now working on this goal professionally, at The Corson Building. 4 years ago
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Thought I’d capture this tummy-warming soup i threw together tonight:
sweat some diced (large) carrots, yellow onion, parsnip, and celery in olive oil until just translucent (seasoning with sea salt, of course). Squeeze a quarter of a lemon and add a carton of low-sodium chicken broth, bringing to a full boil. Squeeze in another quarter of lemon, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. While this broth was getting nice and tasty, I steamed up a piece of fish with a sprig of dill. Just before serving, add to the soup some frozen peas, and chopped dill. A healthy handful of spinach at the last second is nice too. Squeeze in the remaining half lemon and adjust the seasoning to taste.
Place a piece of just-barely-steamed fish in the bottom of your bowl, and let the hot broth that you ladle over it finish the cooking. Slurp away! 6 years ago
A great batch of granola just came out of the oven.
This is a recipe i’ve been formulating in my head for some time now.
Ginger, blood orange, and grey salt granola with pistachios (and mango – last minute addition).
First, I melted some butter (who’s measuring) and GOOD honey in a saucepan. While that’s getting nice and foamy, slice up some orange zest. Squeeze the blood orange juice into the melted butter and honey, and add about a 1/2 teaspoon of gray salt, stirring to dissolve. Be careful not to let the butter burn. After these ingredients have simmered together for a bit, I stirred in about a teaspoon of powdered ginger, a few drops of vanilla, and a little bit of canola oil to increase the volume of liquid. Remove from the heat and let it cool a bit before tossing in a large bowl with your rolled oats (to coat).
Spread the goodness into thin layers on greased (spray) cookie sheet pans and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, stirring about 3 times to make sure nothing burns. In the meantime you can shell your dry-roasted pistachios and chop up some dried (unsweetened) mango into nice bit size chunks.
As soon as the oatmeal is lightly golden and toasty, slide it onto an unused sheet pan on a rack to cool, immediately stirring in the nuts and dried fruit.
This not-too-sweet mix would be great mixed in with some thick greek-style yogurt. 6 years ago
It seems that warm salads (specifically grilled romaine) are showing up more frequently on restaurant menus these days. I first encountered grilled romaine cooking at an Outstanding in the Field event, and have been noticing it menus ever since.
I just enjoyed my own spin on the basic technique, by topping a bed of grilled romaine (cut into thirds, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper before placing on a hot grill, flipping once) with smoked trout, capers, and slivered hearts of palm. A killer homemade creamy, garlicky dressing made the meal.
This homemade “caesar” dressing is easy to make, and cut through the rich, smoky fish quite nicely: two smashed garlic cloves, minced mixed with juice from one half a lemon, about a teaspoon of dijon, and salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle olive oil to emulsify (1/4 cup? But who’s measuring…) and then whisk in about 1 tablespoon (adding in thirds) of non-fat, greek style thick yogurt. 6 years ago
Initial menu thoughts:
passed: goat cheese and poached pear crostini
•shaved fennel and blood-orange cream tart “salads”
•caccio e peppe – pasta with fresh parmagiano and cracked black pepper
•pan-seared sea scallops (or sea bass) with watercress aoli
•lemon-scented kabocha squash with wild mushrooms
•warm salad of roasted red and golden beets with arugula and olives
•pine nut torte with cinnamon ice cream 6 years ago
I spent a great holiday weekend with friends and family in the Great Pacific Northwest. Dad and I made a customary trip to the market on Saturday morning, and I spent the evening preparing the following meal for a few guests they had over. All of the dishes were met with rave reviews, so I thought I’d record them here for future use:
Hors ‘devours: beechers honey walnut crackers topped with humboldt fog cheese and a sliver of roasted golden beet
First course: pan seared giant sea scallops drizzled with a roasted red pepper aoli (roasted red bell peppers, smoked paprika, cayenne, olive oil)
Second course: mache and butter lettuce salad with satsuma orange slices, shaved roasted ricotta cheese, toasted pistachios, and a pickled red onion vinegarette (simmer champagne vinegar with sugar until dissolved, and pour over minced red onion. let cool on the kitchen counter and when whisk with olive oil and season to taste to finish the dressing).
Third course: petrale sole stuffed with spinach, leeks, cipollini onion, and green olives, served atop roasted pumpkin puree and garniched with rye bread crumbs (toast rye bread and chop into breadcrumbs; add chopped flat-leaf parsley, meyer lemon zest, sea salt, and olive oil)
Fourth course: sliced comice pears served with 82% caco chocolate
wine pairing with fish course: elk cove (oregon) pinot gris 6 years ago
I had my first encounter with a feijoa at the farmer’s market this weekend, and had to buy a pound. Delicious enough raw, tonight I stuffed them with some salty feta cheese and roasted them until gooey for a great little appetizer.
I had also picked up a sugar pie pumpkin, which I sliced in half, drizzled with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted for 45 minutes. Once caramelized on top, I scooped out the good stuff and blended it with a little pipe stock and two garlic cloves that i had lightly browned in oil in a stockpot. Once the pumpkin attained puree status in the blender, i added it back to the still-garlicky pot with the addition of some butter, a little bit of soy milk, and some more water, s&p until i had a wonderfully seasonal pumpkin soup. If i had had a few sage leaves lying around i would have deep fried em for a little garniche.
Some chicken tenders seasoned with curry powder hit the grill pan to complement my pumpkin soup. The meal turned into a bit of an orange affair, but these flavors just go so well together… 6 years ago
Last night I pulled a stage for a personal chef friend of mine. It was great to see her again and always a joy to cook with someone you just click with in the kitchen. A simple but elegant goat cheese crostini topped with poached red bartlet pear for starters; a butter lettuce salad with macerated red onion vinegar, great olive oil, toasted walnuts, thinly sliced pear finished with shaved point reyes fog hollow blue cheese (this salad just looked like fall); next we served stuffed petrole sole, with a spiniach/leek filling and steamed to delicate perfection, plated over roasted butternut squash pureé. A sprinkle of toasted bread crumbs with parsley and lemon zest finished the fish. Desert was a spicy (not hot) ginger molasses cake with carmelized apples over the top. Hey, I got sole, do you? 6 years ago
Trail Mix & Potato Salad – Samovar Tea in San Francisco 6 years ago
I love unexpected ingredient pairings. Specifically, most folks wouldn’t be surprised at the suggestion of butternut squash with pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, clove). But the mention of cayenne pepper might throw a few people off. Well, don’t underestimate this delicious combination. Especially when pureed with a little bit of butter, salt, and soy milk for creaminess (of course you should cube and steam the squash first).
This lovely fall-orange puree served as the base for some pan fried red snapper filets that I had marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, pimentón (smoked spanish paprika), garlic and onion powder. A bowl of brussells sprouts sauteed (always par boil and shock first) in olive oil, butter, and minced shallot with fresh farmer’s cheese crumbled on top played a supporting role. If you’re snapper and squash and greens got yo’ back, you know it’s goin to be a good night. 6 years ago
Hearts of palm, golden raisins, parm, oregano, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, paprika – bake and enjoy. 6 years ago
I owe myself a few posts from meals past, but since this one was so quick i thought i’d throw it up now and get to the backlog later.
Thanks to an upcoming event, I remembered a great preparation for romaine lettuce: I grilled up a head (split in two) with olive oil, salt and pepper. A squeeze of lemon toward the end and a sprinkle of capers after plating the greens finishes that part. While the lettuce cools a bit (should actually be undercooked slightly), drop a few eggs into the frying pan. Remove it from the heat and let the residual heat cook the eggs delicately before slipping them over the romaine for a nice warm lunch salad.
Great with Pellegrino. 6 years ago
I love costco. If you know what you’re looking for and are any guage of quality, you can do quite well for yourself at Costco. Even if you’re just one person, you just need to know what to look for. I picked up a fleshy piece of wild halibut and let it marinate in a classic soy/sesame oil/lemon juice bath for a couple of hours before grilling it to perfeciton on a grill pan. On a whim, I also picked up some organic trumpet mushrooms (costco’s starting to stock some far more interesting products these days) and threw those around the edges of the grill pan while the fish cooked away. Grilling enhanced the flavor of the mushrooms immensely over their raw state, and they had a nice, meaty texture. If you were to cut the stalks into rings, they wouldn’t be too far from overcooked scallops. Now, I know no one likes rubbery scallops, but it’s the best comparison I can make and turns out just fine when you are, in fact, eating mushrooms. Rounded out this quick meal with a sea noodle/scallion/asparagus salad (light soy dressing). Very satisfying. 6 years ago
Mom sent me a bunch of apples for rosh hoshanah, including my first gravenstein. Yum. “Classic apple flavor” best describes this variety; just what you imagine when you think “apple pie” flavor. 6 years ago
Although I wasn’t floored by anything I made last night, both dishes showed elements of great potential. A last minute decision led me to combine fresh local cherries with rosemary from my garden for the chicken dish. I first stewed the cherries (pits intact) in red wine (it was merlot that I had lying around), a rosemary sprig, lemon zest, whole black peppercorns, and a bit of pipe stock. While this was happening, I seasoned several chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and rosemary (this time off the sprig) and pan fried in olive oil until just browned. I deglazed with the reduced wine stock drained from the cherries, then adding the cherries themselves and tucking the chicken back into the broth. A hit of lemon before covering and simmering for a good 15-20 minutes. The chicken turned a great purple on the outside, and was nice and tender, but the flavor was not particularly strong. This may be due to the particular preperation. However, the peppercorn/rosemary-stewed cherries were amazing. I decided while eating dinner that in the future I would again make these cherries, reduce the stock to more of a syrup, and then pour over vanilla ice cream. MMM.
Inspired by a delicious meal at Sitka and Spruce the other night, I went for a whitefish stuffed zucchini for a side. The stuffing mix included fresh breadcrumbs with parsley, flash-fried true cod (flaked), zucchini insides, garlic, red onion, and fresh cherry tomatoes. Because my diners had a dairy restriction, I couldn’t use any parm on top. Overall, these zuc boats turned out pretty well, but definitely could have used the salty finish of a golden parmesan crust. 6 years ago
Last weeks’ dishes also included:
Cold cauliflower soup (a la Beth)
Quinoa salad with spiniach, snow peas, pine nuts, apricot
Grilled thai-style tofu
Chicken-stuffed grape leaves simmered in tomato sauce
Roasted corn salsa with heirloom tomatoes, grilled ancho chiles, grilled tomatillos, lime juice, and pickled red onions
Did i forget anything drool6 years ago
I wish there really was more time for nights like last night; It was great to get a bunch of old friends together for a gorgeous evening of good wine and food out on the deck. I went Greek (the only thing coated in oil was the grill, however) and built some home-style greek burgers, a tomato/cucumber/basil/red onion/feta salad, and finished it off with some fresh watermelon. The burgers were worth noting: 2/3 ground lamb inside top round, 1/3 ground turkey breast, chopped green olives, diced sweet walla walla onion, oregano, dill, a little olive oil, one egg, and some minced garlic. Grilled till juicy and served up on lightly toasted roasemary rolls with a house-made tzatziki sauce (greek yogurt, thin cucumber slices, lemon juice, olive oil, and some dill for that extra touch). Ooopa! 6 years ago
Simplicity is amazing. Cut a ripe plum (from the farmer’s market) in half, remove the pit, rub lightly with canola oil and place on a very hot grill for a few minutes each side.
Let cool slightly until warm but not hot, and dollop either thick greek yogurt, whipped cream cheese, or marscapone on each half. Perhaps a dusting of cinnamon if you want to get fancy.
Yum. 6 years ago
I got another call about food from a bachelor friend last night…at 10:30. “Hey man, remember that marinade for portabello mushrooms you showed me [olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper]? Can I use that on chicken too?”
“You could, but it probably wouldn’t give you much in the way of flavor after cooking on the george foreman. Why don’t you try this, it’s really simple: olive oil (just enough to coat), and garlic salt.”
“I have garlic powder…”
“That works. Just use garlic powder, salt, and pepper.”
“Ok, thanks man.”
Let me know if you need any advice! 6 years ago
So, last thursday I catered lunch for 30 of my classmates, with a menu inspired entirely by shitty dorm food. We had boxed-wine sangria, a cold asian ramen noodle salad with a light soy-miso broth (inspired by ramen of course), a tuna nicoisse salad (inspried by canned fish products), and my “grown-up pop-tarts” – which, i might add, debuted with rave reviews.
Since then, I’ve been getting a ton of requests for food advice, including ideas for vegetarian fare, help heating bottled pasta sauce, and several requests for the sangria recipie (what recipie?). For those interested, here it is:
1 box franzia “chillable red” (NOTE: I would not, under any other circumstance purchase or reccomend purchasing this product).
Mix with a sweet, all-natural fruit juice of choice (I picked up a bottle of orange-mango that happend to be on sale), and the following fresh fruits, all sliced: 2 navel oranges, one-two limes, several apricots, 1 hole pineapple (chuncked) white peaches (I mascerated these in lemon juice prior to adding to the mix). Refrigerate over night. Add ice cubes immediately prior to serving. Really, any ripe fruits would be nice and feel free to adjust the sweetness with the various juices and/or sugar as desired. Using frozen juice concentrate would probably be an easy way to sweeten the mix if you like. I think that’s it.
And as of this afternoon, I have become the “fish maven” for one of my friends, after introducing him to grilled wild alaskan sockeye salmon. Yum.
“friend’s sn” (8:09:39 PM): you’re going to receive phone calls from me in the future
“friend’s sn” (8:10:01 PM): it will be like “hey dave how are ya? good? good. so between xyz salmon and qrs bass, what do you think?” 6 years ago
I just prototyped what will soon become an entertaining favorite, especially as the sun continues to shine and the grills gets daily use for the next few months.
Riffing on my new favorite salad – grilled romaine – I threw together a grilled fish salad tonight.
Halibut steak marinade (snapper was the original inspiration and would probably work well, but the halibut just looked so nice): minced green spring garlic (from the ferry terminal market), minced ginger, zest of grapefruit, minced red onion, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Refrigerate and flip once or twice while the fish bathes in all the delicious civiche-esque juice.
Cut some nice thick slices of grapfruit (peel definitely on), same for the red onion; filet a green bell pepper. Brush all of the above with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper, giving the romain the same treatment. Start the pepper, onion, and fruit When the halibut steak hits the (very) hot grill, adding the romaine when you flip the fish and the other ingredients. The romaine gets a turn soon there after, at which point it will be about time to remove the veggies and grapefruit from the heat. In the next few minutes, whip on the following vinegarette:
more minced spring garlic
a little more minced ginger
salt and pepper well and squeeze in the juice of one lemon before whisking vigorously with canola oil.
Remove the fruit and veggies from the grill and slice the romaine, bell pepper (nice sized squares) and grapefruit into sections. Scatter the romaine on your bright white plate, followed by the peppers, red onion slivers, and then arrange the sunny grapefruit wedges around the edge of the plate. By this point, the fish will be falling off the t-bone; scatter these delectible chunks over the nice bed you just made and drizzle lightly with the vinegarette.
This dish presents beautifully with all of the rich, bold colors to communicate the rich bold flavors. Bright orange and pink grapefruit slices, peels charred; deep purple onion rings, bright green cilantro leaves, muted bell pepper green, dotted with white morsels of moist fish. 7 years ago
Spring has finally arrived, and I’ve been meaning to write about a meal that took place two weeks ago, the last of what I might call a more “wintery” meal. But it had spring notes. As I’ve described before, the only thing better than a transcendent food experience alone is a transcendent food experience shared with others. Blair made this meal worth writing about.
I finally got around to roasting that rolled turkey breast I’d been meaning to prepare for so long. I anointed the meat inside and out with a garlic, thyme, and sage-infused olive oil, and seasoned simply with salt and pepper before slow-roasting in the oven. Whipped up some robust mashed cauliflower with suateed leeks and fresh parmesan cheese (a side dish rapidly earning converts among diners).
Haricot verts added some green to the plates. But perhaps the most notable part of this meal was the mushroom gravy that enveloped our juicy slices of turkey meat, a suace that could only be described as velvety.
Saute sliced crimini mushrooms in garlic and sage-infused olive oil untill all of the moisture has escaped and evaporated (the mushers will shrink up nicely). Now comes the exceptionally easy part of making this oustanding sauce – just pour in about a cup and a half of creamy portabello mushroom soup – you know, the organic kind that comes in the box… Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the sauce reduces in volume to desired thinkness (I brought mine down to about 1/4 volume, I’m guessing). Season with salt and fresh ground pepper, of course.
Your diners (or just you!) will coo as you spoon this elegant and rich (but healthy!) gravy over your roasted turkey.
The earthiness of this meal made it the perfect transition dish out of winter and into spring. All around, this meal would best be described as an earthy meal shared among two down-to-earth friends. 7 years ago
Did you know that Belgian Endive leaves make great wraps for deli turkey meat with mayo and mustard? 7 years ago
I’ve written about them before; they only happen every so often; up till this point they’ve only happened in the presence of other people. But I bring new hope to other solo chefs and diners out there: tonight I had my first solo Transcendent Food Experience.
The setting: I’ve been in a very creative (relaxed energy) state of mind of late, probably spurred on by a combination of the arrival of spring, the three creatively stimulating courses I’m taking, and general comfort from the feeling that a chapter of my life is coming nicely to a close. More specifically, I had KPLU jazz streaming in via powerbook while I was prepping, cooking, and eating. Sensing the possibility of a TFE, I lowered the lights just before sitting down to eat.
The Dish: The spring halibut season started about two weeks ago, and I bathed a nice filet in a bit of tamari and olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper while I prepped my vegetables (normally I use the phrase, “veggies,” but this accompaniment deserves the more sophisticated, “vegetables,” or maybe even “verte…”).
Joining the succulent fish on the plate would be a side of shiritaki noodles tossed with quartered yellow summer squash, green kale, red onion, seasoned with basil, mashed garlic, lemon, and red pepper flakes.
First, you’ll want to bar boil and shock your kale (see earlier entry for notes on this process). Once that’s done, it’s safe to begin the real cooking (your kale will be cool to hang out in its “shocked” (oh my!) state for a while. Add three mashed cloves of garlic to a little puddle of olive oil over low heat and sprinkle in some red pepper flakes. This begins the process of seasoning the oil, and, after a few minutes, add in your red onion rings (medium-thin slices). Low and slow is the key here, folks, as we don’t want to burn the garlic or onion – just get them nice and translucent. It’s kind of like watching a sexy woman undress very slowly right in front of you. Mmmm. Don’t forget to season with kosher salt and pepper as you add each ingredient to the sautee pan. Once your garlic and onion are sufficiently “undressed,” add your quartered yellow squash and increase the heat ever so slightly. Sprinkle with dried basil to taste
Now would be a good time to squeeze a quarter of a lemon over your filet and place it under the broiler (leaving you about 8-10 minutes to finish everything else). After the squash begin to caramelize around the edges, toss in your kale and squeeze half a lemon over the top before tossing to combine. Go ahead and add in the shiritaki noodles while you’re at it. A few grinds of fresh black pepper are nice here too. Adjust the seasonings (basil, salt, pepper, basil) and keep the heat on low, tossing ever so often until the fish is ready.
How did I know I was having a Transcendent Food Experience? Well, first, I broke the mold on this one – literally. My le crueset baking dish cracked under the heat of the broiler, forcing me to remove the fish at exactly the right moment and resulting in a perfectly flaky, moist halibut filet with perfect salty undertones from the tamari. The sautee was just regal. The glistening purple, gold, and green, jewled with roasted garlic cloves, couldn’t be described any other way. The summer squash looked gorgeous next to the fish, like little quartered lemons (I had a quarter of real lemon on the plate as well but the fish was too delicious to adulterate it with the citrus, which was promptly returned to the fridge). How else did I know I was transcending, you may ask? As I closed my eyes and leaned back in my chair, I could smell the ocean, feel the gentle rock on the deck of a sailboat, and taste the sunset as the gentle residual heat from the pepper flakes danced on my tongue. A sprinkle of mild cow’s milk cheese or toasted pine nuts on the vegetables, or perhaps a glass of crisp white wine would have set the meal off perfectly, but then again, I would have been utterly out of commission for the rest of the night, basking in culinary delight. This meal was so delicious I even managed to avoid ruining it by not overeating. A vision of berries and cream dances in my happy little head. . . 7 years ago
(Japanese Sushi Omelet)
Inspired by my love for japanese food and my desire to learn new (to me) traditional japanese cooking techniques and recipes, i did a little poking around and found some instructions for preparing tamagoyaki. My first two attempts (last weekend) were moderately succesful, but only attempted to replicate technique, not ingredients (that’s up next). Basically, I used plain ‘ol egg whites and added a very thin layer to a nonstick pan. When this layer has just cooked, roll the egg “crepe” to one edge of the pan (I don’t yet have a tamagoyaki pan, but am thinking of investing), re-coat your pan with non-stick spray, and add the next thin layer of egg. This time, when the 2nd crepe is about half-cooked, roll the first layer back over the new layer (so now you have a “double-layer egg crepe”). Continue layering thin sheets of egg mixture in this fashion and roll one last time to finish before removing, shaping, and slicing (I actually ate it just in the roll).
My attempts were moderately succesful (but still tasted good), and I learned something critical – gentle heat seems to be key to this technique. Also, adding the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and mirin to the egg mixture next time might change the cooking dynamics favorably. Now i just need to go get some more eggs… 7 years ago
Not only was it great catching up with some old friends tonight, but I really enjoyed building them a meal that they would remember. I kept it relatively simple (usually generates the best results) with steak sandwiches, a tomato salad, and a green bean and portabella salad. Sarah brought strawberries and whipped cream for desert, which I wouldn’t have done any differently. Happened to have a nice bottle of merlot around too to round out the evening.
The steak: Marinated a nice, lean inside top round for a few hours in soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, lemon juice, smashed garlic, cilantro, green onion (scallion) salt and pepper. A little honey or sesame seeds would be nice too if desired. On to a searing hot grill until just pink in the center. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing against the grain on a bias into thin strips.
Finishing the sandwiches: Split a fresh-baked delicious ciabatta in half and brushed with olive oil before toasting on the grill after the steak came off. I whipped up a chimichurri sauce (loads of cilantro, lemon and lime juice, couple of smashed garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and olive oil to emulsify). Brushed this piquant sauce on one side of the toast, layed out the sliced meat, and topped with sauteed red onion before capping with the other half of the ciabatta. Slice the huge sandwich into triangular sections for presentation and easy eating.
Green beans: Blanch for 2-3 minutes and then shock (add immediately to ice water) before draining and refrigerating. Roast (or grill) the portabellas after coating with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let cool and slice. Once all of the ingredients are cool, toss together with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, italian flat-leaf parsley a little squeeze of lemon, and a healthy shaving of fresh parmesano reggiano. A little minced shallot would also be nice, if available.
Tomato: Super simple – fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Fresh ingredients count big time here.
Everyone enjoyed themselves, and I enjoyed making that happen. 7 years ago
Last night I prepared a special meal to celebrate my parents’ (one set of them) anniversary. I endeavored to create several dishes that I had been thinking about but had not yet attempted, and decided on a theme of “delicate and verdant.”
Things got off to a great start with an early morning at the market, before all of the tourists crowded in, to secure the freshest ingredients. I love getting to the market (and I do mean THE market) early
- it’s such a sensory experience. The aromas of the each vendor – the cinnamon bakery, the russian, french, and chinese pastry shops roasting espresso, fresh sea air implore me to inhale deeply with each breath. The sun warms my back against the cool waterfront breeze. It’s my equivalent of Carl Sandberg’s description of Chicago—it just feels industrious, down-to-earth, GOOD.
Back to the food: Starting with fresh ingredients and keeping it simple make it hard to mess up any dish, even those you’re cooking for the first time. I had originally planned to open the meal with ensalata caprese, but when I got to the fish stand and saw the gleaming fresh halibut cheeks, I couldn’t resist. I seasoned these medalians with salt and pepper and gave them a hot sear in olive oil and butter. Topped em with a light salad of plum tomatoes and chiffonade basil dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. Lemon rind to garnish. What I love about this first course is that it actually looks like caprese (with the halibut cheeks replacing the mozerella). Rave reviews for course one inspired me to outdo myself for the main course.
Poached salmon with Nana’s special recipie (cloves and distilled white vinegar give this poaching liquid its distinct and delicious undertones) were served atop of bed of “caviar” – beluga lentils. These black lentils are easy to prepare, by simmering them in vegetable stock for about 20 minutes. I diced up some of the carrot from the poaching liquid and added it to the lentils before spooning a nice bed on to each plate. A thick slice of silky salmon on top of the lentils, garnished with a steamed spring onion and drizzled with the crowning glory of the dish – a walnut-dill pesto, made on-the-fly.
Walnut-Dill Pesto: about 1 cup of toasted walnuts, 2 cups of fresh dill, 3 smashed garlic cloves, and kosher salt get a few nice pulses in the cuisenart before switching to “on” and drizzling in a stream of olive oil. After scraping down the sides with a spatula, add the juice of about one and a half lemons, a healthy dose of freshly ground pepper, and salt to taste before blending and adjusting lemon juice and olive oil to desired consistency. This received rave reviews.
Accompanying the salmon and lentils was a simple 3-ingredient dish: fresh english peas with butter and mint. Blanch your freshly shelled peas in boiling, salted water for about 2-3 minutes and shock in an ice water bath (this step can be done earlier in the process if necessary). Melt some butter in a sautee pan and add the drained peas. Toss with butter and chiffonade of mint, lots of ground black pepper. Salt to taste.
The meal closed with a simple desert – double-dipped strawberries.
Prepare a basic dark chocolate ganache by melting chocolate, butter, and grand manier over a double broiler. Dip fresh strawberries (long-stemmed are easier and make a beautiful presentation). Place on wax papered baking sheet in the fridge to set. The “second-dip” will be completed at the table by your diners, when they plunge the chocolate coated berries into a delicious marscarpone cream: whip marscarpone with the juice and zest of a meyer lemon, sugar, pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to taste. Refrigerate during the meal to let flavors set and remove about 10 minutes before serving to bring temperature back up a bit.
Decadent and light at the same time.
According to my parents, this ranked as one of the best meals they’ve had. Ever. I am proud to say that I enabled them to share something I relish – a transcendent food experience. 7 years ago
Blanch them in heavily salted water until just fork tender for NO MORE THAN 8 minutes! This is the key to not generating that foul smell/taste that your parents complained about. Drain off the water and slice each mini-cabbage (yes, they are mini-cabbages) in half (hot-dog style). Sautee up some crimini mushrooms and leeks (shallot would be nice too) in a combination of oilive oil and butter. Toss with the brussels sprouts to coat and season with salt and pepper before serving beside a nice grilled chicken breast. 7 years ago
Especially broiled black cod. Lacking sake necessary to create black cod kazusuke, I improvised by marinating the filets in a mixture of soy sauce, chili paste, and honey all afternoon before broiling them hot and fast. Served the perfectly executed (IMHO), rich filets with a side of shirataki noodles with grilled zuchinni and scallion. Currently enjoying gastronomic satisfaction. 7 years ago
I’ve recently discovered that cleriac (celery root) attains the texture of french fries when roasted in the over (did this in combination with a variety of veggies including artichoke hearts, bell pepper, asparagas…). I’m going to play around with the timing and the seasoning to get the crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside just right. Seems to me there is a great (lower-carb) alternative to oven fries here. Break out the ketchup… 7 years ago