A brothy concoction of Asian flavors with smoked trout? I didn't know what to make of this one, but I have to say, this recipe from Martha Rose Shulman's The Very Best Recipes for Health was one of the most comforting things I've eaten in awhile. Smoked trout is hot-smoked (not cold-smoked like you often find salmon) so it's fully cooked and a great ingredient to have on hand.
'soba noodles' on Serious Eats
I don't always have the best luck with cold soba. At its worst, the soba comes out gummy and water-logged. The key is to start with a very simple dish like this one. The soba is boiled, drained in a colander, then rinsed under cold water. Just make sure to let it drain again after the rinse—this solved most of my issues. Some sauteed shrimp or tofu would help bulk this out if you were really hungry, but it's absolutely perfect for those in need of a light summer meal.
A bowl of cold soba noodles are perfect hot weather eating, as we established yesterday. Mild and nutty, hearty and cooling all at once, we could really eat the noodles all summer long with no complaints. Heidi Swanson's version of soba from Super Natural Every Day dresses quick-cooked and quick-chilled buckwheat noodles with a nutty dressing of black sesame, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts sweetened with sugar and spiced with cayenne.
This particular plate, a cool starter or perfect spring lunch, marries ingredients that seemingly have nothing to do with one another, namely mango and eggplant. But when the eggplant is charred and mixed with the nutty soba noodles and the tangy dressing, the mango brings the dish together with its sweet bursts of fruitiness boosting the salty, sour qualities of the noodles.
The ingredient list was short and concise, and yet I was detecting all these other flavors that I couldn't place. It wasn't spicy or sweet—the taste was more complex and haunting, almost like a smoky aroma. It was addicting to say the least, but where did it come from? The secret is the high heat.
New York Times food-related stories worth checking out if you have the time: A jazz musician dons a chef's toque to cook a Marcella Hazan-inspired Valentine's Day feast for his wife. A legitimately sweet Valentine's Day story. Peter Meehan checks out the latest soba noodle temple, Soba Totto. Some day I'd like to go on a soba noodle tour of New York. Where should I go? People with OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) battle powerful demons in restaurants. Mark Bittman cooks up shrimp with sun-dried tomatoes. Do the sun-dried tomatoes overwhelm the shrimp?...