Squeaky Peanut

"Dot takes on the Domestic Diva"

Back to (Bland) Basics April 11, 2010

Filed under: Recipe Review — squeakypeanut @ 10:05 PM
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Menu No: 16: Roast Salmon and Potatoes, Mustard-Herb Butter, Haricot Verts with Tapenade, Lemon Mousse (From Martha Stewart’s Dinner at Home

Roast Salmon and Potatoes: 

First of all, shouldn’t that be “Roasted?” 

Secondly, I am not typing it out here, but I would like to point out that in her schedule she never says when to make the butter. It just miraculously makes itself sometime before it’s needed when the salmon is done. 

Thirdly, the recipe involves roasting fingerling* potatoes and a salmon filet in the same pan. Does that seem like a good idea? I love salmon, but the thought  of all that oil oozing into the potatoes made me a bit queasy. (*OMG, y’all-the spell check suggestions for ‘fingerling’ are creepy and a bit salacious!) 

The potatoes are sliced in half, tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then the salmon is added, brushed with olive oil, and it’s all roasted for another 20 or so minutes. 

A compound butter, made with Dijon mustard, parsley, chervil and thyme is then spread on top of the fish and potatoes. The butter was delicious, despite chervil being unpredictable; sometimes it uses its powers for good and sometimes for evil. I  had to laugh because Martha seems slightly obsessed with Dijon mustard. If she could make a Dijon mousse, and float it in some booze, she’d die of happiness, I think.  

The recipe says to use a filet that has a skin, but we had some in the freezer without, and I’m glad we did. I think it would have been way too oily and would have ruined the potatoes to have all that oil on them. As it was, they were much too oily to need any butter added to them. Most were ok, but I did bite into one and get a squirt of oil in my mouth, which was pretty gag-a-licous. 

I would also like to point out that Miss Pooch ate a piece of salmon that fell on the floor and while she gobbled it down, she didn’t expend any effort to get any more of it from us. Was it the chervil or lack of other seasoning? Or her impeccable training and behavior? 

Haricot Verts with Tapenade 

Ok, you know I don’t like olives. Well, to be honest, lately I have found that I kind of like the giant green ones that are stuffed with cloves of garlic that are sold on those supermarket olive bars. It must be this new medication I’m on. It goes to follow that I hate tapenade, except for my friend Cathy’s (hi, Cathy!), so I wasn’t anticipating liking this one, which involves tossing blanched haricot verts with olive oil and tapenade. 

I used a fresh jar of tapenade, which had a layer of oil over the top, so I didn’t bother with the oil, as Martha was nearing the Paula Deen/Mario Batali level of oil and fat additions for the meal.  

Egads, this was terrible. The Husband lurves olives and green beans and even he thought this was horrible. They just do not go together. At. All.  I can’t really think of a metaphor to explain why that is, so you must trust me when I tell you it was pretty gross. It wasn’t as bad as the infamous raddichio salad, but she gets extra deductions for taking something as lovely as a green bean and turning it into something inedible. In fact, when I alluded to the haricot vert disaster on my Facebook page, a Certain Someone asked how that was possible. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE  THE POWER OF MARTHA! 

Looks oily!


Lemon Mousse: 

I was having such a lovely weekend I barely could force myself into cooking this menu, so I waited until late on Sunday. I cheated on Martha and made some Rick Bayless spinach and mushroom enchiladas with tomatillo sauce on Saturday. Holla! Those were very FLAVORFUL and WELL-SEASONED. Hmm. 

This is all to say that I haven’t actually made the mousse yet. Stay tuned for the dessert installment later this week. 


So far, we are not impressed with her spring menus that involve taking simple foods and cooking them simply. One wonders why you would need a recipe to roast some fish and potatoes in a pan. True, I wouldn’t have thought to put Dijon mustard in the butter, but that’s about the only innovative thing here.  Well, except for the use of tapenade to ruin some haricot verts that never hurt anybody. That was pretty special.   

Salmon: C 

Butter: A     It’s rather pathetic to have a seasoned butter be the best part of the entrée. 

Green Beans: D 

Lemon Mousse: ????????? 



3 Responses to “Back to (Bland) Basics”

  1. sunny Says:

    OK, it actually LOOKS rather delicious on the plate, and SOUNDS rather delicious on the menu; (well, all that is but for the tapenade with the haricots verts..eeek),but alas we can count on the divine miss m. to mess up perfect simplicity with her relentless muckraking, everydamntime..

    YOU, my dear Squeaky P., have what appears to be a most patient nature, but me thinks you take an almost curmudgeonly delight in the inevitable flat souffle..a bit o’ the jane austen in yer blood, lass… ??

    A Certain Someone

    • The salmon and potatoes weren’t bad, but they weren’t anything special and were a tad oily, hence they got a C, which we employ for the merely average. Sigh.

      And, you are probably right about the curmudgeonly delight! But after all, who wants to read a blog that is two paragraphs of, “yum, this was good!” every week? 🙂

  2. Joanna Says:

    If Miss Pooch didn’t ask for seconds, that should serve as a warning sign for the rest of us… Martha, bubbe, you’re off your head.

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