My copy of Silver Palate has seen better days, but that's always the way to find a favorite recipe....look for the dirty pages! There are quite a few of those in this wildly popular cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso with Michael McLaughlin. Between them, Lukins, Rosso and McLaughlin introduced many Americans to French, Southern and Eastern European cooking techniques and ingredients.
In the 1970s, after Lukins had spent some time at the Cordon Bleu in London and had worked with chefs in France, she returned the New York and started a catering business. In 1977, she co-founded (with Rosso) a gourmet and catering shop in NYC called The Silver Palate. McLaughlin managed the Silver Palate and when owners Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins decided to write their first book, he created many of the recipes. Lukins sold her interest in The Silver Palate in 1988 when it was sold to new owners and the store finally was closed in 1993.
After 11 years working together, Rosso and Lukins split up in the 1990s in a widely-reported feud, although they were reunited in 2007 to publish a new 25th-anniversary edition of The Silver Palate Cookbook. Lukins passed away in 2009. Rosso and her husband Bill own an inn in Saugatuck, Michigan. She gives cooking lessons there.
McLaughlin stayed in the background (this poor photo was hard to come by) for the most part and left the Silver Palate in 1984 when he opened the Manhattan Chili Company in New York’s Greenwich Village, a restaurant that showcased Southwestern cuisine. Michael died in Santa Fe in 2002.
To honor these "game changers" I chose to make a seafood salad I've been making for years. What I like about this recipe is you can dress it with different salad dressings. A basil purée or a sherry mayonnaise are the two I use the most; I like them both, or you could use any recipe for a basil pesto you may have. I chose to use the sherry mayonnaise this time. I also like to add tomatoes as it seems to call out for some additional color.
Pasta and Seafood Salad
From The Silver Palate Cookbook
1 pound raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 pound bay scallops, rinsed
3 squid, dressed
1/2 pound corkscrew or shell pasta (I used cavatelli here, but I do prefer corkscrew or something unusual.)
1 cup peas, defrosted
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup minced purple onion
1/2 cup olive oil
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper1 cup black olives, preferably Kalamata or Alfonso
Boil scallops and shrimp in boiling salted water for 1 minutes. Boil the squid and tentacles for 3 or 3 minutes. Then cut squid body in 1 inch rings. Be sure to use the squid tentacles! Cook pasta, drain. Mix all ingredients in a salad bowl and toss with sherry mayonnaise or the basil purée. Top with black olives. Serves 4-6.
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 chup sherry vinegar
salt and pepper
2 cups corn oilMethod:
Combine egg, egg yolks, mustard, vinegar in processor. Season with salt and pepper and process 1 minute. With motor running, dribble oil in a steady stream. When done and thick, refrigerate.
7 cups washed and dried fresh basil leaves
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Method:Purée in a food processor, cover and refrigerate
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