Sunday Supper 6 – Who knows? I now know… SALMON!

I am contemplating Sunday Supper 6.  I have had no time to shop and the Sunday company will be bringing groceries: mystery groceries.

Therefore I will be punting. 

But I have dragged out my big sauce book, which I haven’t used forever.  (Amazon shows that it is now in a 3rd printing and has a fancier cover.  But it is still enormous.) 

I will be flipping through and contemplating what to make if beef shows up, or pork, or fish, etc.

Veg and probably dessert will come from the garden.

UPDATE: The mystery ingredient was salmon – wild Koho Salmon.

What to do?

First stuff from the garden.  I turned to Julia Child’s volume 2 and found a recipe for Courgettes en Pistouille, which is based on an eggplant recipe.  Essentially you get the moisture out of zucchini and, in the meantime, create a base of sauteed peppers and onions, and tomato pulp.  You add a paste of garlic and basil to the sautee and then mix in your browned zucchini.

It is necessary to get a lot of the moisture out of the zucchini, or eggplant, etc. 

Peel the zucchini and cube and coat with salt.

After a while you can see the moisture gathering at the bottom. 

You do this so that when you cook it it won’t turn to mush.

In the meantime, I sweated together onions and peppers and tomatoes, all from the garden.

After browning the zucchini in olive oil, I combined them with a paste I made from garlic and fresh basil (from the garden).

Later I would add chopped parsley (from the garden). 

Dry your fresh herbs before you chop them so they don’t lose that immediate essential flavor into the water around them.

In the meantime I am making the sauce for the salmon.

Various stages are needed for this Coriander-Scented Clam Sauce.

You start a court-boullion of fennel and wine.  Reduce and later strain.

Start another pan of mushrooms and clam juice.  Reduce and strain.

Later, combine the two and reduce, whisking in heavy cream and the ground coriander with lemon juice (I didn’t have verjuice).

The coriander is also from the garden.

I used some of the fennel for a base for the salmon, white wine, and a touch of tomato paste.  I tented it and put it in the oven at 350F.

Now I am whisking in the cream and coriander.

I will strain this.

The straining was a problem.  I need a chinois.  I used a mesh coffee filter, but it was awkward, to say the least, and time consuming, which was worse.

Eventually, I got it all together with some chopped flat-leaf parsley.

This was served with Sauvignon Blanc.

I think, in retrospect the sauce was a bit too intense.  Next time I make it I will not reduce it so severely in its stages.

Also, I think I could have gone with a less aggressive bain for the salmon, but it was perfect.

The Sauvignon Blanc was from Frog’s Leap…. [insert shrug here] … ehhhhh.  Okay.  I would have preferred a Kim Crawford with less wood.

Sundays are special days.  Invite people.  Make a meal.  Sit together.  Eat together.  Do the work together.

It doesn’t have to be stuff like this, of course.  The important thing is that you are together.  I worked as a cook so some things come easier.  Stretch yourselves.  It really isn’t that hard.

And as the old Latin phrase goes:

Fabricando fabri fimus.

Perhaps this should be coquinando coqui fimus?

Yes, it should be. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Southern fried chicken, marinated overnight in buttermilk, with garden vegetables and mashed potatoes are on the menu tomorrow here.
    I love just “punting”, Fr. Z.
    It is a real challenge.
    Bon appetite!

  2. basilorat says:

    You can’t grow cocoa beans in that climate….what will you do for dessert???????????

  3. basilorat: There are apples and other fruit available up here…we have apple trees that provided a very nice “apple cobbler” for the feast of the Transfiguration here.

  4. Jaybirdnbham says:

    I was also just about to mention apples, although my idea is baked apples, rather than cobbler.

  5. jay: We always had “cobbler” when I was growing up…part of our Irish heritage, I guess; I heard that is a very popular dessert in Ireland recently, which sounded very familiar to me; my Mom made other fruit cobblers, as well. A very simple dessert. Best hot from the oven!

  6. holeksa says:

    Since visiting this blog, my Sunday suppers have gotten much better.
    I defrosted the freezer to find at the bottom a turkey….I believe it was bought for Easter.
    Defrosted sitting in my fridge wondering what to do with it.
    Turkey = feast…but with out shopping for the fixings, the ever day staples will have to do.
    Hopfully my spice for life will come about after Mass tomorrow.

    Sunday supper with family!

  7. Tom in NY says:

    To cover nearly all most protein options:
    a)one jar each of beef and chicken base; powdered soup will suffice;
    b)madeira or sherry and white wine.
    Looks like you’d have onions or shallots, butter and flour. With drippings, you’re covered. Court bullion is quick should you get whole fish. Unless, of course, you have garum. Bread crumbs and eggs can coat many meat dishes.
    Bon appetit

  8. La Sandia says:

    Sounds like Iron Chef!

    Do you have cherries? I made a clafoutis a couple of weeks ago for my husband, and we thought it was just the perfect dessert for summer. It could also work with blueberries or blackberries.

  9. yatzer says:

    A whole book on sauces? You mean there is another one besides cream of mushroom soup mixed with milk? I will retreat into my barbarian cave now.

  10. wanda says:

    La sauce, c’est tout! (To borrow a phrase.)

    I will try guessing what the menu will be. Something for the grill, steak, perhaps? Potatoes, roasted or, or, how about sliced thick and grilled along with bounty from the garden? A watermelon or cantaloupe would be perfect for dessert, depending on availability.
    I may be wishful thinking.

    Have a wonderful Sunday, Fr. Z. and all.

  11. All the suggestions not withstanding, I had to wait for the ingredients.

  12. AnAmericanMother says:

    La Sandia,

    I had never heard of clafoutis. Found two recipes on — one very rich, one slimmed down.

    Guess which one I’m making (duh, the one with the heavy cream and lots of eggs!) – fresh cherries in the fridge that need to be used!

  13. As for dessert, Fr. Z.
    My Ma told me last night that the blackberries were doing quite well; if you have them, they make a wonderful “cobbler” or just fresh with cream.
    Raspberries are also one of my favorites; in any way, shape, or form.
    Raspberry jam, jelly, or frozen are just absolutely one of my favorites; you can do a lot with them…anyway

  14. I think “coquendo” would be standard, but if there is a frequentative out there like “coquinare” that could mean “to keep on cooking every single day,” so much the better! :-)

  15. Rome: Isn’t the verb coquino, are?

  16. JaneC says:

    Soon I will no longer have reason to envy your fresh herbs because we have moved out of our apartment and tomorrow will move into a house–a real house with a real backyard where I can grow things. I only wish I had nice fresh herbs to cook a dinner with next week, when our priest comes to bless the new house!

  17. dcs says:

    The straining was a problem. I need a chinois. I used a mesh coffee filter, but it was awkward, to say the least, and time consuming, which was worse.

    You might try a an ordinary strainer with a couple layers of cheesecloth. I’ve found this to work pretty well.

  18. dcs: Yes… I have used various make-shift means. A good chinois would help. But that is a whine, on my part, I suppose. I am the master of the jury-rig.

  19. Carolina Geo says:

    Father, I always enjoy reading about your latest culinary endeavors! Thanks for the photos!

    Speaking of salmon, I humbly submit to you the following marinade for salmon. It is an Alaskan recipe, and it never fails to please.

    Combine in a Ziploc bag 3 cloves minced garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning, 2 tablespoons lime juice (or lemon juice), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. This makes enough paste to marinate about a pound and a half of salmon. Marinate the salmon for an hour, massaging the paste into the meat occasionally. Grill the salmon to your desired liking.

  20. Nice to see a shoutout for Kim Crawford. It really is a superb (and affordable) Sauvignon Blanc.

    Costco – $12.49 a bottle.

  21. I’m glad Fr. Z. can give an orderly, clean and organized systematized manner of preparing culinary delights.
    I wouldn’t even attempt to show the chaos, disorganization and anarchy in this monastic kitchen…food somehow gets prepared and set out; but my ADD (genetic from my dear mother) and attempt to do five things at once are not the example for others, I’m afraid.
    Thanks, Fr. Z., for your very German example and your concise ordering of proper cooking.
    I’m making an effort, believe me:<)!

  22. nazareth: at times there is a certain disorder

  23. Patrick J. says:

    Father, I do quite enjoy your cooking forays… well done and nicely illustrated.. food for thought, if you’ll pardon the pun..(but that is so bad, I probably wouldn’t myself!).

    Just as with a nice steak, marinades and sauces, generally speaking, can and many times do ruin a good piece of fish. Many in this county are not used to really fresh fish, and so the desire to mask the fishy-ness of a less than wonderfully fresh piece of fish. Coming from the Pacific Northwest with its abundance and variety of fresh off the boar seafood,this sort of thing is frowned upon, seen as “more is less.” For variation, you might want to try cooking over alder wood, this is the local Indian style, truly wonderful.”


  24. Father: the matter of *coquere* vs. *coquinare* has turned into a rather delicious little philological question. I’m traveling at the moment and don’t have access to my larger dictionaries, but my handy copy of Traupman gives *coquinare* as an intransitive verb meaning “to be a cook.” Perhaps we have an analogy in “militare” which of course means “to be a soldier” or “to exercise the profession of soldier.” Italian, of course, has both *cuocere* and *cucinare.*

    Anyhoo, if Traupman is correct, then *coquinando coqui fimus* would (at an appropriate level of slavishness) end up as something like “we become cooks by exercising the profession of cooks.” Whereas *coquendo coqui fimus*, IMHO, would be ,”we become cooks by cooking (things).” You can take your pick. And a bigger dictionary with actual lemmata (like L&S) may very well have some worthwhile input in the matter.

    Well… er.. I guess that’s just about enough of THAT.

    Ah, errant pedantry!

  25. Tom in NY says:

    Rev. Moderator made a wonderful sauce for his salmon, in limited time. If you lack bones and time, take your needle-nose,and strip pin bones from fillets. Crush green peppercorns and rub into salmon. If you will use liquid smoke, add here. Then cover with real maple syrup – you’ll need the stronger taste and sugar. Proceed to grill. If smoking over wet hickory, don’t use the liquid condensate.
    Salutationes omnibus..

  26. RomeontheRange: That’s good stuff. So, I think the actual impact of what I want to say, using the parallel of fabricando fabri fimus could be expressed by both verbs, but perhaps slightly better by coquere.

  27. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Looks fabulous Father Z! Inspiring. My ‘regular’ oven-poached salmon, tho moist and yummy, is getting boring.

    A sauce book! I’ve been searching for a good one.

  28. Tina: I included a link to amazon for the book I mentioned. But keep in mind that this sauce book is really intense.

  29. irishgirl says:

    Good-looking eats as usual, Father Z!

    I think I’ve had salmon once or twice-probably while eating out. When my late mother was the cook-she was from Germany, so she shares that heritage with you, Father-she never did anything with fish. Even in the days of ‘no-meat Fridays’, the fish eaten at our house was of the fried kind [haddock]. I could never stand the smell of fish as a child-I ate cereal with milk while everyone else in the family had the fish! [go figure…hey, I was a stupid kid back then, what did I know about food? : ) ]

    But now I like fish, though I never cook it at home-it would stink up the house too much. So I go to the nearby volunteer firehouse-especially during Lent-for the haddock fish fry!

  30. Father: on further reflection, I’m starting to like your original version, *coquinando coqui fimus* better. The new question is this: what’s the best-attested version of the model? Since I’m away from my library, I’ve been trolling Latin-proverb websites, where I have so far found two occurrences of *fabricando faber fit* but NO occurrences at all of the version I first learned, *faciendo faber fit*.

    Fabricare/i and facere are clearly in the same relationship to one another as coquinare/coquere, so if the best-attested model uses *fabricando* rather than *faciendo*, then I’d say go with *coquinando coquus fit*, singular or plural.

    [Have we bored everyone else yet?]

  31. RomeontheRange: Sure, I take your point. But I don’t think that I was actually trying to covey to the readership here that they should become cooks as a profession.

    That coquino, which I picked I suppose because the syllables of the necessary form matched the template proverb, seems to be poorly attested in Classical Latin (Plautus… who else?) and seems to be aimed at the actual profession of cooking.

    cŏquīno, āre, v. a. [coquinus],
    I. to perform the office of a cook, perh. only Plaut. Ps. 3, 2, 64; 3, 2; 85 Lorenz with MSS. (Fleck. in both passages coquitare, ex conj.; cf. coquito); id. Aul. 3, 1, 3 Wagn., Ussing; cf. Non. p. 85, 31.

  32. If you cook the fish while stewing cabbage, you won’t smell the fish. :)

    It says here that simmering vinegar with some citrus in it, or simmering a potpourri of spices, will take care of that fish-cooking smell for you. Having baking soda boxes sitting out in the kitchen can also work.

    Though honestly, if you’ve got a fresh fish and you’re not cooking it forever, it shouldn’t be particularly odorific.

  33. irishgirl says:

    Suburbanshee-ahhh, cabbage, also known as sauerkraut….reminds me of when my older sister and her best friend from childhood overcooking sauerkraut when they were teenagers, on a hot summer afternoon.

    The stink of the sauerkraut attracted hosts of houseflies to our gatage-thank God the screen door was closed! Had swarms and swarms of flies-looked like a scene out of a horror flick!

    So they sprayed Raid on the screen from inside the house. You don’t want to know what really happens to flies after they get ‘Raided’….not pretty….but it got rid of the flies.

    One reason why I don’t like sauerkraut. Don’t mind coleslaw. Sauerkraut? EWWWW….!

  34. irishgirl says:

    Oy…’garage’ instead of ‘gatage’. One of those days when the brain gets ahead of the fingers…

    ‘Read before submitting….read before submitting’….another ‘sigh’….

  35. JBlevins says:


    If you have the Cooking Channel (not Food Network, but a new station), they are showing Two Fat Ladies on Saturday nights, the best cooking show ever made.

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