Living the DIY Wedding: Smoked Fish and a Woven Mat of Leeks

I cooked all the food for my own wedding (50 attendees) a couple of weeks ago. Well, I didn't cook everything. I bought 25 pounds of smoked fish from Acme Smoked Fish in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. They smoke all the fish there and I trust them to do it just right.

I overestimated a little in terms of people's capacity to eat smoked fish, however. I bought a 1/2 pound per person but I would do 1/3 pound per person next time...






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Because I was being guided along the way by a professional caterer friend in California, it wasn't enough to just put the fish on some lettuce leaves and be done with it! I took any and all advice and when my friend Katy suggested that it might be nice to weave a mat of leeks to line the fish platter, I said "great, done! No task too complex for the day before my wedding day.






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The first thing I did was line an 11"x17" piece of 1/4" plywood with tin-foil. After washing and blanching the leeks, they were ready to be woven.

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The process became much less daunting once I began. In fact, the weaving was a relaxing and fun break from the other cooking, peeling, roasting, and shelling going on.

To keep the leek stalks from browning, I brushed the completed mat with lemon juice. It is important to try to dry the leeks as much as possible (and more than I did) after blanching them. Otherwise the mat tends to get a bit soggy.

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I covered each of the two completed mats with saran wrap, rolled them gently and put them in a cooler--ready for travel uptown the following day.

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