One of my new favorite restaurants is Gato. I’m a big Bobby Flay fan and have been for years. It was a real disappointment when he closed Bolo several years ago, I loved the food and ambience. Gato makes up for that loss in a big way. One of my favorite small plates is Mussel and Clam Salad with Saffron Pickled Shallots. The entire dish is sublime, but those saffron pickled shallots really blew me away. I knew I had to try and replicate the recipe!
It’s a Quick Pickle!
This is a quick pickle recipe and super simple to make. Boil water, vinegar, sugar, salt and saffron for 5 minutes.
Dump in the sliced shallots and cook and another 5 minutes. Then let them steep in the pan off heat for 15 minutes.
I thought these saffron pickled shallots would be a real treat on chicken liver pate and sandwiches, especially tuna. Strew a few shallots in salads and include a little of the pickle brine in the dressing.
Use a mandolin or vegetable slicer to make slices of uniform thickness. These keep for a couple months in the refrigerator. Store in a mason jar or reuse an old pickle jar.
We started March with almost summer-like temperatures in the mid-70s and now the first day of spring, we’re expecting a snow storm! I decided to take advantage of the hopefully last cold days to make Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks in the slow cooker. Always make a braise the day before, the flavors are much better and it gives you an opportunity to easily remove the fat before reheating.
Eric went to Stew Leonard’s and picked up some beautiful grass-grown lamb shanks from the Amish country. For the Mediterranean flavors, I’m using sundried tomatoes, Dijon mustard, herbes de Provence, saffron and a lovely Italian red wine. I had ¾ cup of cornmeal in the cupboard and decided to make a soft polenta with some sautéd shaved Brussels as my sides.
The snow came Sunday night and it was a beautiful sight to wake up to this morning! The sun glistening on the snow-covered limbs and a brilliant blue sky. The snow didn’t even stick to the paved surfaces and the barely three inches we got are melting away quickly!