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May 2, 2012 01:27 PM

What to make for themed dinner--"Preserved"

Any suggestions for a dish to bring to a collective dinner party with "preserved" as the theme? Tagine with preserved lemons, pickled eggs, and home smoked salmon are already claimed. I'm making a quick cauliflower pickle, but want to make something else more substantial. I'm considering salt cod, but have never used it before.

I have 2 weeks, so nothing that needs to age, please. It has to be seriously tasty so nothing with Velveeta, Twinkies, etc.


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  1. Your timeframe could work with a corned beef brisket. You could add some sauerkraut for an additional preserved item and do a reuben idea.

    1. What a clever theme. I'm not sure how broad the definition of "preserved" is in your instance, but aren't cured meats, like salumi, considered preserved? And anything in a jar has been processed to preserve it for later use. So I'm thinking even that jar of tomatoes you canned last summer would qualify for a lasagna. (Is cheese considered preserved milk? If so, you've got two preserved items.)

      On a loftier note, duck legs confit? I Googled a couple recipes and it looks like it only takes two days to make. You could saute some potatoes in the duck fat as a side. I don't know what your reheating arrangements are. Or a cassoulet with the duck confit and maybe some sausage. Easy to transport in a slow cooker.

      I had thought about MRE's, but only as a joke, and I know you want to make something delicious.

        1. re: ferret

          Brandade de morue is seriously delicious. I was going to recommend cod cakes (bacalaitos) or bacalao in an olive oil emulsion (bacalao pil pil), but the brandade is much easier and just as tasty. If you stuff the salt cod mixture into piquillo peppers, you have double the preserves.

          In keeping with the Spanish theme, when early summer vegetables are abundant, one of my favorite techniques for capturing them at their best is to preserve them in escabeche. They are ready after an overnight cure and can be kept in the fridge for over a month.

        2. How about a jam-heavy dessert? Thinking of something like this:
          (side note -- when I made this, the jam didn't thicken.. would recommend adding the arrowroot at the end of the cooking)

          1. Fresh kimchi or sauerkraut are simple and quick-aging within your timeframe, and can be integrated into a main dish (kimchi fried rice, sauerkraut and shredded dried sausage).

            "Little Bloody Marys" -- these are fun and fascinating, a great drink/appetizer in one.
            per ChowHounder Janet, from 2007 (she's still active! and a genius recipe


            "Blanch the cherry tomatoes, peel them ( yes time consuming but must be done) pour vodka over them, a touch of Tabassco, a touch of Worshestershire sauce, cover and let them marinate at least 8 hours in the frig, roll them around every now and then. Serve with sea salt"

            (Edited to add: I should clarify about the tomatoes as "preserved" -- they held up beautifully for a week and a half as we sampled (I think I only made 10 as a test batch, and kept refrigerated), but I'm sure the vodka would keep them quite longer.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: DuchessNukem

              I have no idea how long they would last. My friends and I don't leave any to linger. Well one time we had some that were three days old. The vodka did seem way stronger, so even better.