Saturday, May 17, 2014

Swapper profile: Andrea Bornschlegel + Arugula-Kumquat Salad with Roasted Salmon and Horseradish Sauce Recipe

I am so pleased to introduce Andrea Bornschlegel in this post, our first swapper profile in too long. I first met Andrea at our very first swap (3 years ago, what?!?), where she wowed us with the delicious flavor combos of her liqueurs such as Spiced Orange, Basil Ginger, and Vanilla Limoncello. She reduxed her liqueurs at a more recent swap, also serving up a delicious Gold Rush Cocktail for potluck consumption. Her bacon jam at the June swap last summer had just the right balance of sweet and salty, and Andrea brought tasty jars of bourbon and Meyer lemon caramel to the most recent swap. I've been lucky enough to score Andrea's goods in the past, and I must confess I was loathe to not bid on the caramel, but we were leaving town shortly afterwards for a month, and I feared I would not be able to savor it all before leaving (silly me). Her incredible sounding salad recipe below features a few of my favorite things...salmon and kumquats to start...and will definitely make it onto our dinner table very, very soon. Read on for her culinary inspirations and the makings of a perfect springtime meal! 

Andrea making liqueurs: kitchen alchemy at work
Name: Andrea Bornschlegel

Home (+ hometown swap): Mountain View, CA

Profession: Finance & accounting for startups

How did you first get involved in food swapping? How long ago?  I read a NY Times article about swapping and searched for local events. I went to the very first swaps in both SF and the East Bay in the spring of 2011, but haven’t been to a great number overall. I’ve considered trying to start up a Silicon Valley swap – if anyone is interested, please contact me!

What did you make for the last food swap and what inspired your choice?  I made Meyer lemon caramel and bourbon-cayenne caramel, as I’d been experimenting with different flavors. I do homemade liqueurs most often, but hadn’t given myself enough lead time last month. 

Andrea's Meyer Lemon and Bourbon Cayenne Caramels!

What’s your favorite thing about swapping?  The people, the inspiration, the goods! I especially like getting an unusual ingredient to play with (fennel pollen, rose geranium) rather than something to just eat. But it’s all good.

Who or what most influences your cooking?  Reading, reading, reading to expand my repertoire, and sharing ideas with friends and family. This year, I’ve been cooking things I’ve never touched before (sunchokes, celeriac, kumquats, pork belly) and doing projects like home-cured duck prosciutto and  homemade ricotta. For everyday cooking, my husband wants healthy meals while I want cheese, butter, bacon, and more cheese (with chocolate on top), and I realize he’s probably smarter, so I try to head that direction.

Bacon jam in the making

Bacon jam for sampling at the swap

What’s your favorite kitchen tool?  My mandoline, for super-easy, super-thin slicing. My dad bought it for me years ago. I like it much more now that I’ve bought a protective glove and don’t have to use the safety holder. Also, my microplane and a little julienne tool my mother-in-law bought me. I guess I like things small and thin and shredded?

Your current flavor or ingredient obsession? I’ve previously always required my eggs to be cooked hard, but somehow in the past year I’ve discovered the joys of runny yolks. Currently eating them on any kind of vegetable (but mostly asparagus) and/or any kind of starch, with truffle oil.

Biggest food surprise?  No-knead bread – it’s soooo easy! Even my first try at it was heaven, and even a disappointing loaf is fabulous.

If the Rapture came tomorrow, what would your last meal on earth be?  Oh, too hard! Fried chicken, various potatoes, scallops, salmon with vanilla sauce, several porky items. Chocolate lava cake with ginger ice cream. Inventive craft cocktails.

When I'm not in the kitchen, I'm...traveling, seeing friends, reading, doing crossword puzzles, running or at the gym, wasting time on the internet.

Favorite local fod experience:  Spreading a beach towel on the kitchen table for a Dungeness crab, artichoke, sourdough feast. Walking to downtown Mountain View and eating al fresco.

The Gold Rush Cocktail was a welcome addition to the bar...

...and coaxed people to the swap tables for her liqueurs for sure!

A sampling of Andrea's liqueurs - photo by Becky Spencer (EBCA swap)

Recipe by Andrea:
I made this up on Valentine’s Day (like I said, my husband likes healthy meals). Sorry for lack of amounts, but it’s a salad, it’s flexible  do what you prefer depending on how many you’re serving.

Arugula-Kumquat Salad with Roasted Salmon and Horseradish Sauce
(loosely inspired by “Salad for Dinner,” Tasha DeSerio)

Arugula (or butter lettuce, romaine, or spinach if you prefer)
Fresh kumquats, sliced thinly or quartered, discarding big seeds  more than you think is reasonable ;-)
Fennel bulb, core removed, sliced very thinly
Roasted beets, chunked (Trader Joe’s carries cooked vacuum packed beets)
Avocado, chunked
Carrot curls (using veg peeler) or very thin julienne
Red onion, raw or quickly pickled in water/cider vinegar/sugar mixture (maybe 1C - 1/4C - 1/4C)

Wild salmon, 5-8 oz per person, roasted per your usual method or whatever looks simple on Google

Salad dressing:
50/50 roasted walnut oil and Trader Joe’s orange muscat champagne vinegar or other mild, fruity vinegar (more oil if your vinegar is stronger); thyme fresh or dried; a little Dijon or dried mustard; S&P

Horseradish sauce:
3/4 C plain greek yogurt (or strained a bit if a thinner style) (or thinned crème fraîche for decadence)
1-2 T prepared horseradish
1-2 shallots, minced fine
1-2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 T champagne or sherry vinegar
1 T olive oil
Chopped chives and/or basil

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and dress very lightly.  Plate dinner-size salad portions covering most of the plate, overlap salmon a bit, top the salmon with ~2 T sauce, and pass the rest of the sauce at the table.