“I am the Culinary Diva.
A Culinary Diva I am.
I do not like Sardines,
Culinary Diva that I am.
I do not like them in a tin,
I would not like them here (Sardine Rillettes)
Or there (Around My French Table).
I would not like them anywhere!”
-adapted from Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Childish as it may seem, I do not like sardines! Dress them up, disguise them, no matter: I don’t like them. Not even if they are a featured ingredient in my treasured cookbook Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.
What’s a culinary diva to do? I want to fit in; I want to follow the rules. But at the very sight of this slimy, disgusting little bait fish I break out in hives and hot flashes. Who knew you could have an allergic reaction just by viewing a sardine based dish on a computer screen?
In the spirit of this week’s French Fridays with Dorie challenge, I decided to make the Tuna Rillettes instead. While the Big Tuna, Bill Parcells, won’t likely be with the Saints, this tuna dish is heavenly and amazingly simple to make within five minutes.
|Pantry staples make for a delectable treat|
You will likely find the ingredients in your pantry. And, if not, you haven’t been shopping lately. Just take some canned or packaged tuna, add curry powder and some other spices and, voilà,
|Save a step and put directly into food processor and not separate bowl like I did|
The franchise player is the curry and my star was the Japanese Curry from Williams Sonoma. Not only is there an amazing aroma, but the subtle nuances from the curry (star anise, cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper, fenugreek, turmeric, fennel, and coriander) played well with the tuna. The curry did not overwhelm the palate or the tuna, but it did create a medley of flavors. Although the recipe calls for allspice, shame on me and my grocery shopping sous chef but our pantry was bare in this regard so I decided to use a little pumpkin pie spice instead. Happily this substitute performed like Matt Flynn, formerly of the Green Bay Packers and now with the Seattle Seahawks (at least according to my sous chef who is counting the days until football season begins). Plus I opted for heavy cream over the crème fraiche (because of a refrigerator shortfall), and was very pleased with the texture and richness it added. A little squeeze of lemon brightened the flavors as it always does.
|Squeeze a little lemon juice|
|I love my Little Pro Plus - it's great for Rillettes,|
So what is the perfect canvas for this delectable dip? Raincoast Crisps! We used the Fig and Olive and the slight sweetness of the fig complimented the curry. Celery would also be a great vessel to enjoy the goodness of this rillettes.
|Tuna Rillette with Raincoast Crisps|
My sous chef thought this might be Dorie’s best recipe so far, certainly better than the Crab and Grapefruit Salad we tried before it. He gave it two corkscrews up as a wonderful appetizer that is perfect for Spring, Summer and Fall picnics (Hollywood Bowl here we come!) and for a light meal when you don’t feel like cooking.
|The unfortunate Crab & Grapefruit Salad is still a work in progress |
(note, do not substitute Sambal for hot sauce with this dish)
To read more French Friday's with Dorie, or to join in on the fun: