Saturday, 21 April 2007

One and the same salmon

You'd think that someone about to go on holiday would be in a peppy mood.. heh heh, well, you're half right, except for a couple of things I'll save for a minor rant right at the end of this post. :)

For the past week or so, I have been trying to make space in the freezer for the frozen dinners that will sustain my hubby while I'm away, so that means I didn't (and won't) have to cook much since I DO have a magic freezer containing the fruit of my past immoderate labour. I don't mean to brag, but I won't even be able to finish all that I froze before taking that plane! :)

Anyhow, I still had dill left over from last week's sai bhaji, and a couple of eggs that were ageing, so instead of an easy-way-out omelette, I had to do something I had never done before pasta-wise! :) The idea came from a cookbook I'd bought with my very first paycheck on French soil, so seeing mine turn out exactly like those in the cookbook was pure joy:


This is what a sheet looks like against the light.


Am I twisted, or does this make anyone else think of Braveheart? I don't know, seeing the sprigs of dill broken up by the force of the rollers in the pasta machine somehow reminded me of Mel Gibson as William Wallace being stretched 4 ways... oh, never mind!

Since the big thaw was taking place, heck, I also thawed the 1-kg bag of leek I had as well as some salmon filets, to get this extremely simple No-Bake Lasagna:


How to
: Pasta - Sift 200g of flour in a bowl, make a well in the centre, add 2 small eggs, 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of salt. Break yolks and stir, incorporating the flour. Knead the dough until smooth, cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes. When ready, make very thin pasta sheets, place dill sprigs on one sheet and cover with another sheet. Press lightly to remove air bubbles, then pass double sheets though the rollers again to get a sheet as thin as the original sheets. Leave them to dry for at least 2 hours, then cook in salted boiling water.

Salmon - Fry about 500g of salmon in hot sizzling butter and flake with a fork. Add salt and white pepper to taste and 100g of cream. Blend to get a smooth paste.
Leek - Cook 500g of leek in melted butter until leek is soft. Add about 2 tbsp of flour and stir until flour absorbs leek juices. Blend.

Place a sheet of pasta on serving plate. Alternate layers of salmon, pasta, and leek according to your liking. Can be served hot or cold.

Variations: Salmon & spinach-ricotta, salmon & broccoli, beef & spinach-ricotta, or really any meat and vegetable pairing!

Body Count: Salmon filets

I got impatient with the triangles after a while, so took to making these Double-barrel Cannellonis as well:


Another picture of the lasagna, at an angle that the hubby preferred:


And now, for the rant... :)

I am infinitely grateful to the management in my company for being so wonderful in having let me take most of my leave at one go the way I'll be doing shortly... before Friday, only the people who needed to know I'll be away, knew. From experience, I've learned to stop telling people who don't need to know for one very petty reason - the lame "jokes" or attempts at jokes that follow!!! What am I talking about? You know, "threats" to send me work while I'm away so that I won't be able to enjoy my holiday? I always tell those I A) directly work with or B) report to that I'll be willing to do bits here and there while on vacation, but when this comes from someone who's neither A nor B, I don't know, for some reason, it grates. Besides, that's OLD!!!

That's not all.. tell me who still encounters this - on my way back to my desk from the coffee vending machine, someone would extend his/her arms and "thank" me for the coffee. Am I wrong in wanting to give up the coffee, but without the cup?

Last but not least, when the administrator does something to my computer, thus sitting at my desk, invariably, someone passing by would say "Hey, D (my real name), you sure look different today!". If I'm in a good mood, I'll be charitable enough to pretend I didn't hear it. And even in a bad mood, I'm relatively charitable by ostensibly rolling my eyes. But I desperately want to do more for society besides just rolling my eyes! It is now the year 2007. Is such lameness still acceptable? How can I do my part for the betterment of human evolution?

UPDATE: A few of you have asked me about the cookbook that I have to thank for this pasta idea. Strangely, information on it is rather elusive, there isn't even a name of an author, so I'll just stick its photo here for all to see:


I don't even know if it exists in other languages, but it has 2 whole pages dedicated to sheets of pasta with different squashed herbs like the above example, as well as many other nifty ideas! Now you see why I had to buy it with my first paycheck? :) This one's a keeper!

37 comments:

Asha said...

OMG!! How beautiful.You are becoming an food artist!:))

Lydia said...

That pasta is so incredibly beautiful! I have always wanted to try something like that, but never have. Please enjoy your vacation...and let your mind wander, too. I often find that, with a change of scenery, the answers to big questions (like, what am I doing with my life?) come much more easily.

Kajal said...

Hi Shilpa,
Wow........
Nice presentation.
Pasta is looks so beautiful......................
Thanks for sharing.:)
Kajal

Zhe said...

Eeee! Can`t take it! The pasta is too pretty to be eaten! Tzk!

Victor said...

Wow, your pasta looks like a beautifully-handcrafted lampshade. Maybe can use any leftovers for that purpose? Haha.

Sorry, maybe I am a bit thick (and yes OLD!!!) but I don't get the part about you giving up the coffee without the cup. BTW, I like my kopi gao gao (very thick coffee).

Claude-Olivier said...

Et bien c'est super sympa ce que tu nous proposes la, j'aime vraiment beaucoup! Ta présentation est très réussie, bravo

Bon dimanche
Claude

tigerfish said...

Lasagna look like sandwich!
Aiyo...in Sg, even on leave for a day or two, need to be ready accessible in case got urgent work requests :(

Shilpa. said...

Oh asha, don't make me blush, haha!! thank you! :)

Hi Lydia, does this help strengthen the case for buying that pasta attachment for your KitchenAid?? ;-) thanks for the advice! I hope I get the answer to the eternal question - how can I get rich quick without doing anything? haha!!

Thank you Kajal, it's my pleasure! :)

Hey Zhe, I can't believe you're finally paying me a visit! :)

Victor, what nonsense?! hahaha! what will I do when the lampshade gets mouldy? As for the scalding coffee without the cup, aiyah, simple, lah, pour on the offender who thinks he's so funny by thanking me for coffee I bought for myself! Then I keep the cup for the next victim! mwahaha! Works the same for kopi gao gao or susu, teh o, etc! :)

Shilpa. said...

Salut Claude! Si c'est toi qui le dis, toi qui maîtrises si bien la présentation, je suis trop flattée! :) Merci! J'espère que ton weekend a été chouette par ce beau temps!

Hey Tiger, no lah, I always tell my bosses I'm willing to work even on vacation, but they're too kind to actually send me anything. :) I wouldn't really mind even if they did... haha, you have a point about the lasagna, but quite hard to eat it with my hands! :)

WokandSpoon said...

The lasagna is so pretty! Really creative. What was the cookbook that you bought?
As for the bad jokes at work - hey you're going to be in another country!!! I'll bet that you won't even remember the name of your company after 2 days of eating out in Singapore!

Chris said...

Woa.. this is one lasagna Garfield the lazy cat sure won't want to mess with... hehehe...

BTW, I dunno what you're ranting about leh... Juz go and enjoy yourself lah.... The heck with work! LOL.

Sandeepa said...

You cook and freeze Gourmet meals for a French hubby while you vacation in S'pore. What are you a French Goddess or a Singapore Diva ?

Shan't ever show your blog to D.

Sandeepa said...

And there aren't enough words to say about your creative pasta .. Great Job Shilpa !!!

Everyday the hubby eats that pasta I am sure he will pine for you ;-)

Sia's Corner said...

errr!!!! i am not sure whats the exact word to describe how good ur pasta looks shilpa.... they r just amazing. it did made me think wheather they r the pasta sheets or wall papers;) i know i know its a dumb thing to say and r not very good compliment;) he he he... but they r piece of art and u r turning into an artist sweetie:)

Sia's Corner said...

and enjoy ur break girl!!! have loads of fun:)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Your no-bake lasagnas are works of art!! Absolutely gorgeous! I wish I could make my food look half as good as yours, but in this world, some cook and others eat. I belong to the latter group. :-)

cheesewithaspoon said...

Wah, that lasagna looks like those beautiful handmade Indian papers! You know the ones I'm talking about? With leaves and flowers embedded in the pulp? Aiyo, I think if I made anything so pretty I would just want to stare at it all night and not eat :-) . Was dill the original choice in the cookbook or did you think of it yourself? Either way, I think dill is the perfect herb for this -- the prettiest fresh herb of all, so feathery and delicate-looking!

Your lucky husband -- when I travel I leave him to eat pasta and bottled sauce :-) . Granted, I rarely travel without him, but still, I think my wifely graces leave much to be desired....

cheesewithaspoon said...

Er, in case this was unclear to anyone: when I travel, I leave ***MY*** husband to eat pasta and bottled sauce, not Shilpa's.

BuddingCook said...

your lasagna looks oh so pretty! :D

Dr. Soumya Bhat said...

this is really a good recipe.Nice presentation too...Loks afsolutely professional..hmm really good.

Shilpa. said...

Hi Wokandspoon! Thanks for the compliment! I've updated my post so see the end of it for the book cover. It's too bad you've left France, or you'd definitely be able to thumb through it at leisure at Fnac! :) heh heh, you have a point, but what makes you think I'm safe from bad jokes in S'pore? ;-)

Chris, I know lah, they're very petty things to rant about when the world is falling apart and the ozone layer is depleting, but when you hear things like that for 5 solid years, sometimes from the same old mouths, you tend to wonder, is it me or is it them? :)

Sandeepa dear, what made you think the frozen dinners couldn't be bought?? :) If the hubby gets to eat stuff cooked by me while I'm away, it's only because I often cook for 6, hee hee, so froze extras from one of such "occasions" (think WFF)... I'm no goddess of a wife, so please do show D my blog! :)

As it is, there's only one last serving of pasta left, so he won't be able to pine much.. ;-) thanks for the compliment, but I wish I could say I invented such pasta! :)

Shilpa. said...

Hello Supriya dearie, aren't you supposed to be on a break? :) I don't think your compliment is dumb at all! In fact, I'm even flattered that you think it looks like wallpaper! :) Thank you! I've never been very good in art when in school, but this is all thanks to nature and dill "weed", haha! Thanks also for your wishes! You can bet I'll go out and have fun!

Hi Lyrical chick, haha, stop it, you're making me laugh! :) Thanks a lot, but I wasn't born with it - you can tell that I've come some way in learning how to present my food (my earliest posts make me cringe so much I don't even want to look at them) :) you're right about some doing the cooking and some doing the eating, though. I actually end up not eating much of all that I cook, which has led some to suspect that I've laced my food with something.. ;-)

Hey cheesewithaspoon!! Yes, I know what papers you're talking about and you have no idea how thrilled I am with the comparison! :) Haha, you sound like my sis (the visitor called "Zhe" above) re staring at the pasta all night! :) I've updated my post to show the book that I used. No, I didn't think of the dill myself, there was a whole page devoted to pasta with different herbs! I'm tempted to try it with chervil the next time, but you're right about feathery dill making it all look so delicate! Its flavour hardly came through, though.

Haha, don't feel sorry for your hubby! If I wasn't leaving for a whole month, I doubt my guilt mechanism would've tripped like this either! :)

Shilpa. said...

Hi again cheesewithaspoon! whew! thank goodness you clarified THAT! ;-)

Thanks budding cook! Can't take all the credit though! I have Kitchen Aid to thank! ;-)

Hi Dr Soumya Bhat, thank you! Gosh, professional? Now, that's the first time someone said that of my food/pictures! Thank you so much! :)

eastcoastlife said...

Wow! A work of art! Want to try that for hubby's birthday! Give him a surprise!

5 years of such lame jokes? Gosh, I would have died from boredom. hehehe....

I must tell myself to come up with great jokes for you when you're here! Huh? Of course must joke with you lah! If not no fun! hehehe....

tigerfish said...

You got S'porean boss arh? Heyyo, bosses around the world all different wan ler! I don't mind working out of my own free will but they don't have to remind everyone who goes on leave to remain "contactable" right? And as if 1-2 days without anybody will die liddat!

Strangely enough, I don't own any cookbooks(before feb2007) except for a few mini books I bought out of boredom in SG airport while I was waiting for the flight to be back to US during feb this yr. And that book, I think you have lah...coz I saw the sayur lodeh recipe inside!!! Buahahahaah!
My recipes are all from newspaper cuttings and magazine cuttings!!! Used to collect them in Sg, but never use them...who knows they turn out so handy now!!!!

Chris said...

Shilpa:
Dun get me wrong. That's not what I meant. You have the right to rant. I bitch and whine about life everyday from serious grievances suffered at the hands of my boss to the malfunctioning of the gent's toilet flushing system in the office. Even the tea lady gets on my nerves sometimes. I'm not called a Singaporean for nothing, you know? LOL.

Shilpa. said...

Halo ECL, when's your hubby's bday? ;-) hey, I didn't mention it, but I think this pasta can even be worn! Think edible underwear, hahaha!! tell me about the lame jokes, man, I don't know how I remained so polite all these years without telling someone off!

Tiger, I think you misunderstood lah.. no-one's asking me to remain contactable, only ppl who are so lame they can only think of such things to joke about.. but no, my bosses are French, and definitely nicer and more "human" than any boss I've ever had in S'pore man..

Haha, I'm not surprised you got the same recipe book as mine! :) I bought it in Cold Storage, I think, near the cashier's counter. But wah, I really wonder how you manage without cookbooks! And newspaper cuttings?! Hahaha, that's cute! :) Now with all sorts of food blogs, I'm sure you're spoilt for choice, too!

Chris, haha, high-five man! Actually, I was even tempted to set up a separate blog just for rants, but scared kenah flaming lah, haha

Gini said...

That pasta is a work of art! I always shy away from pasta makers as it seems such an intricate process. Your pasta sheets looks even more intimidating :). I haven't started getting excited about my vacation so far. Have fun!!

Sharmi said...

WOW how very creative Shilpa, Its simply Amazing. so beautiful looking. I am out of words!!

Shilpa. said...

Hi Gini, I felt exactly the same way - in fact, I had the pasta machine for almost 2 years before I decided to use it! :) But now that I realise how fun and easy it is to make pasta, I'm hooked! I hope I'll see you in S'pore! Take care! :)

Hi Sharmi, thank you thank you, I'm very touched by your kind words, especially since this is my first time making herb pasta! :)

Sia's Corner said...

are u packing bags or still stuffing fridge now? ;)

Sandeepa said...

Shilpa
Have a great vacation. Would love to hear how you celebrated Mother's Day with your Mom at DMC :)

Enjoyyyyyyy

Shilpa. said...

ahem, sia, shouldn't i be asking you the same question?? ;-) you're on a break, girl! :) but to answer your question, i've not yet done all there is to stuff up the fridge because i have been working late in the office but have saturday to churn everything out! you have been warned! :)

Sandeepa, thank you so much... heh heh, to whoever else reads this, DMC is "Desi Momz Club", tzk tzk, as if you couldn't guess!! ;-)

Muaks, everyone!

Sia's Corner said...

i had to cut off my break and come back looking at the dropping count on my sitemeter;) he he he... i am really addicted to blog... he he he...

Victor said...

Shilpa, I know this is a bad time to tag you but I am also a victim myself, haha.

Visit my blog post here for details. Do at your time (or not at all, do I look like I care? Hahaha).

Mallika said...

Don't get me started on office politics!! Have a lovely break and don't let these people get to you. Your husband is one lucky man. Mine gets microwave ready meals when I am away!!

Shilpa. said...

Hi sia, i don't believe you.. what could be more important than a break? :) haha.. what sitemeter? I didn't notice any when visiting your blog, but am interested in getting one, too...

Victor, thanks for tagging me! :) I want to, but my time in Singapore's sprecious, so I'll see when I come back, ok? :)

Hi Mallika, thanks for coming by! I will definitely have fun, but don't be quick to find my hubby lucky, haha.. all that cooking is driven by guilt stemming from the month-long "abandonment", hehe..