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Food: Cucumber tagliatelle - The Lyorn's Den

Sat Aug. 13th, 2011

11:05 pm - Food: Cucumber tagliatelle

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My boss has a vegetable garden, and as vegetable gardens do, it produces food according to season, not according to appetite, storage capacity, or vacation plans.

So last week he brought a bunch of thick-skinned cucumbers to work to find them a new home. I took one, and as it was not a common salad cucumber, wondered what to do about it.

In the end, I made mixed tagliatelle with sesame sauce and haddock filet.

Mixed one tablespoon each of creme fraîche, tahin (sesame paste) and soy sauce (should have used a little less soy sauce, the whole became very salty). Roasted a tablespoon of sesame seeds in my much-beloved cast iron pan and put them in the sauce, too. The recipe I was taking inspiration from said to foam it with a blender, but the amounts were too small for my blender to make anything of it.

Leaving the sauce as it was, I peeled the cucumber, halved it, scraped out the seeds with a spoon, and sliced it finely with a peeler (which was harder than it sounds, as halved and hollowed-out cucumbers are sadly missing in stability).

Put it in a bowl with some salt, left it.

Thawed the haddock in the microwave, and put on the water for the real tagliatelle. Put some lime juice, salt and black pepper on the thawed fish. When the pasta was boiling nicely, I heated some olive oil in the cast iron pan and fried the haddock. It was a thick filet, about 3 cm high, I fried it 2 minutes and 30 seconds from each side on medium high. In the meantime, I put the cucumber slices in the microwave and heated them on medium for one minute.

I left the haddock in the hot pan when it was done but took it off the stove, sieved the tagliatelle, threw the cucumbers on top, shook it some, put it back into the pot on a warm plate long enough to pour some rice vinegar and a tiny bit of sugar in, then put it on a warmed plate. Haddock on top, then the sauce all around it.

Result: Good. Easier than I thought it would be, except for making the cucumber slices. A little strong on the salt, next time I'll use less soy sauce. I always underestimate how salty it is. Maybe I could do something with the fish before I fry it, to make it a little more spicy.

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