"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Shad Roe with Lemon Butter

Shad Roe with Lemon Butter is one of those recipes that I just knew I was going to have to vet alone, before I served it to anybody. Why? Because it looks like this:

That's before it's cooked, of course. But it's considered a spring delicacy, right up there with ramps and fava beans, and when I spotted it at Connelly's Seafood I got a lobe to try out. It's cheap, people--$2.69/lb.

The directions are a little worrisome. The book directs you to pay close attention while you're cooking, so it's neither too firm nor mushy. Mushy? What is this stuff anyway?

Well, since you ask, it's the egg-filled ovary of the shad.


Now, come on. I bet you eat caviar without blinking.

So here's why it can be mushy--all those little eggs make for a grainy texture unless they're cooked just right. And basically what you're going for is sort of medium-well which you can feel if you are used to poking your hamburgers with your finger to see how done they are. I undercooked mine but 20 seconds in the microwave made it perfect.

The lemon butter is key. Salt is even more key. With these simple additions it's a fabulous, rich-tasting dish.

Honest! Still, I'll reserve this one for my husband, who is game for food like this (well, anything but calf liver).

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