Miracle Worker

I picked up a bunch of these beauties a couple of weeks ago at the Greenmarket.  People tell me they taste like dirt.  I love them.

However, I want to do something OTHER than borscht or *gag* roasted and in a salad with goat cheese and frisee, like so many other tables are doing around town.

Ideas please.


  1. Do what my Mom does (worryingly similar to a meal I had in East-Germany when it was still East-Germany):

    Peel, chop into strips, boil to death. Serve with boiled potatoes and a pork chop*.

    * if you’re in Holland, where you’ll be able to buy pork chops, in East-Germany this was probably a bit more difficult, so they used a surrogate, I suspect it was shoe leather…

    I have a smoked mackerel in the fridge, what should I do with that? (Keeping in mind that my culinary skills are not up to Mom’s level…)


  2. Turn it into mousseline and serve it as quenelles? I don’t think I’ve ever seen smoked mackerel before.

    Everyone and their grandmother does roasted beets in a salad or soup. So boring.

    Risotto is an idea, and the only thing I’m missing at home is some Parm-Reg cheese.


  3. Joe

    I see that “roasted with goat cheese and frisée” is not just played out on the west coast… YAWN.

    I get a bit perplexed by beets myself, though I do love them now and then. How about:
    – Cooked, sliced paper thin or julienned and pickled cold with some kind of exciting vinegar and maybe sliced onion/shallot
    – Roasted, quartered and served warm, glazed with a dab of honey, fresh ginger, and lemon or orange zest


  4. TED

    They’re very good just by themselves. Tossed in olive oil, wrapped in foil, cooked for a good while, then served with kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper.

    I also like them sliced with braised fennel.

    You could use leftovers in a red flannel hash, but that seems not quite your style.


  5. Here’s the mackerel:

    (It was on sale, as you can tell from the sticker)

    What my family would do is clean it (which is pretty quick work, take off the head, take out the spine and a couple of rows of bones), flake it and eat it just like that or on a slice of bread.

    I may keep it simple too and do a mackerel melt, with some wasabi mayo and gouda.

    I’m having a little experiment tonight, the machine is making bread dough right now, which I will fill with very spicy ground beef. They’re a take on the bapao, I guess, if you know what those are.

    Oh, here’s my first-ever attempt at sushi: http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t293/SubtleKnife/blog/sushi3.jpg

    I think I’m going to do a food picture round-up blog.


  6. That’s pretty good for makizushi.

    I think I’ve only had saba nigiri sushi (Japanese mackerel, typically with scallions and grated ginger). Never had the European variety.


  7. mmmm, I love saba nigiri too, but I don’t know whether they use European mackerel over here.

    There’s this little place in Rotterdam that has great hamachi nigiri too (my American friend K was impressed, it was one of the few places he’s seen yellowtail here in Holland, I’m a sushi novice, really, so I couldn’t really say how common it is) – it’s tempting to just keep eating those…

    We did also see the weirdest ever dish in a sushi restaurant right there: slices of cheese (probably gouda!) and salmon wrapped around salmon mousse. I can’t imagine it’s very authentic. I should take pictures.

    PS about the beets, I will eat anything with goats’ cheese, whether it’s fashionable or not! :p


  8. I have a very limited cookbook collection (more on this in a later post), and sure enough, one of the recipes is for pan-fried goat cheese with golden beets and frisee.

    It’s not just in cookbooks. Nearly every restaurant that I frequent that’s American in concept or in execution has a similar dish on their menu. Hearth, Paradou, Union Square Cafe, and even Aquavit. You can’t escape it. Are chefs so unimaginative? I just want to scream “Basta!” sometimes.

    Gareth — I forgot to add: am trying to be more seasonal in my approach to cooking. I go to the Greenmarket every other week, so it’s important that I use what’s available in my kitchen. Beets with feta….interesting. I’ll file that one away for the future. Seems almost autumn-like for me.


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anna brones

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