Tickled her pink again

Readers might remember that I had promised to make a Norwegian Pink salmon dish for the wife and then got a bit puzzled as to why the raw salmon tasted different from the ‘raw’ salmon we had restaurants http://finelychopped-k.blogspot.com/2008/03/tickled-her-pink.html

Well I have cracked this great mystery of life. Yesterday I stopped at Santé once again. This is the premium imported foods place at my local market. This time I picked up ‘smoked’ and not ‘raw” salmon. Scottish though, not Norwegian. The owner assured me that this was supposed to be better than Norwegian. It looked pink enough so I picked it up. I had to almost sell my car for it though. It cost Rs 560 (14 USD) for 200 gm!

Anyway, the mystery was solved when I opened the pack. This DID taste like what I thought was ‘raw’ salmon at restaurants. So smoked salmon is what we like then. I felt like the famous Indian sadhus who would get their answers to the mysteries of life on the Himalayas. And most importantly the wife loved it and kept squealing in joy as she took the first bite.

I made a pesto pasta with it. Pesto is my favourite pasta sauce. I first had it at a restaurant called Da Vinci at Bandra and loved it. A welcome break from the usual cheese or tomato ones I was exposed to. In fact I’d started the blog with some of the disappointing pesto experiences since. http://finelychopped-k.blogspot.com/2007/10/lost-in-sphagetti.html Out of the Blue at Bandra is one of the few places which make it the way I like it.

I use the pesto recipe which I picked up from Jamie Oliver’s book. Though, I use a lot less oil and no pine nuts. Pine nuts are available here but are expensive plus the wife is not too fond of them. I like them though.

Here’s my recipe smoked salmon pasta in pesto sauce:


Ø 200 g chopped smoke salmon
Ø 3 handful of basil leaves
Ø Boiled pasta (the wife prefers penne so penne it is)
Ø A tea spoon of olive oil
Ø 30 g of cheese…Jamie recommends parmesan …so I used some Coloured (gives an orangeish tinge to the dish) English parmesan that I bought earlier from santé
Ø 6,7 cloves of peeled garlic
Ø A tea spoon of pepper powder
Ø 1/4 coffee mug of cold milk and a tea spoon of corn flour

Ø Pesto sauce: Grind the basil, garlic and pepper powder to make the pesto sauce. I used a food processor. Jamie Oliver uses a pestle and a lot olive oil too to blend it. I don’t. Someday I’ll have a good pestle and mortar though
Ø White sauce: add the corn flour to the milk and stir in

Ø Put the pesto sauce on a heated sauce pan. Stir
Ø Add the white sauce. Stir
Ø Add the cheese (grated or broken into little pieces). Mash with a ladle
Ø Add the pasta. Salt and stir.
Ø Add the smoked salmon. Stir…and this is very important ONLY for 2 seconds and switch of the flame. The pasta is ready. Add the oilve oil at the end if you want. I insist on 2 seconds so that you get the virgin taste of the smoked salmon

It is quick and from the wife’s reaction very tasty, plus quite special too


k said…
once we redeem our mutual funds, can we have it again?
Smoked Salmon is really popular in NY. It is most commonly eaten on a bagel with cream cheese. Try it! It is really good.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
There is a place called the "Bagel Store' close to where I live...started by a European I think. It is comparativeley expensive but a nice place to hang out. We have had bagels with smoked salmon there and loved it
Kalyan, Doesn't Pesto require Pine nut or Walnut powder as well?? Also I am novice... do temme whats Pepper powder that we have used?
Lastly.. Why does the White sauce has no Butter?Traditional white sauce is Cornflour cooked in Butter and then milk added gradually?? Is it?? Help me.. wanna make Pesto Pasta tomm..
Kalyan Karmakar said…
hi, you are right. Pesto has pine nuts. You can take about ten to twelve for two people, toast it in oil and add it the sauce. I didn't put it as my wife's not fond of it and it doesn't make much of a difference frankly. U r right about butter too. It's just that i am not allowed butter and u don't lose much by not putting. Adding it adds to the taste of course. Al the best
SS said…
Where do you get ur basil from?

I live in Juhu, and the best I find in the local markets is pathetically dried out.....
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@SS: I buy mine from Pali Market. There is a street side veggie seller called Lalu's. Then another shop to his left by a thin lady in a sari. And a fe more shops there which sell fresh basil. Ten Rs a packet/ Very fresh and bouncy