Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Halibut Ceviche

Just came back from Peru where the ceviche is the freshest in the world! Use sole, shellfish or in this case I used Halibut. Also a very simple dish to prepare and takes very little time. In Peru they serve ceviche with a chunk of roasted sweet potato and piece of corn. 
4 ounces super fresh firm white fish
Juice of 1-2 limes or lemons
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
Red Thai chile pepper or jalapeno pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced to taste
Basil or coriander for garnish
6 Kalamata olives cut in quarters
sea salt to taste

Dice fish into 1/2 inch chunks. In a bowl add fish with enough lime or lemon juice to cover. Add onions, chile and olives, toss well and marinate for a few minutes until fish is opaque. More fish will require longer marinating time. For this amount only 5 minutes will suffice.

Arrange in bowl or on a plate, sprinkle some salt on top, maybe some freshly ground pepper, then sprinkle on chiffonade of basil or coriander. Lovely and refreshing summer dish.

Halibut Crudo

This dish is ridiculously simple and refreshing. You can use any fish you might find at any reputable sushi restaurant.
4 oz of super fresh sushi grade Halibut
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
2-3 large basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 red Thai chile, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
Sprinkle of Fleur de Sel

Put fish in freezer until it is very cold. With a very sharp knife slice thinly and arrange anyway you want or on any serving plate you wish.

Squeeze lime juice on fish first, then oil. Sprinkle Fleur de Sel, add sliced chile and basil. you could use coriander if you prefer as well. Enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Baked Razor Clams with Garlic and Fontina Cheese

Every week I go to Eataly in Manhattan and always leave with something fresh and different. Razor clams are hard to find so if you have the opportunity to get them, you should. They are tougher in texture than regular clams, which you could also use so cooking time is very important but, they are worth the effort.

4 fresh/live razor clams
2 ounces good quality fresh, thinly sliced ham, 1/4 inch dice, no packaged stuff, you want real ham
One large garlic clove, finely minced
1 Tbsp of minced Italian parsley
2 Tbsp of good quality extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tsp for drizzling
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
One or two turns of freshly ground black pepper, optional
1 1/2 ounces of good quality Fontina cheese, sliced thinly or shredded
1/2 a bottle or so of beer or 1/2 cup white wine
Juice of 1/4 of a lemon or to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Clean your razor clams thoroughly by running under cold water and rubbing any grit off. Dry and set aside.

In a skillet just large enough to hold clams bring beer or wine to a boil and add clams, cover and steam for literally 30-40 seconds tops until they open or they will be tough at the end. Remove quickly from skillet and discard liquid.

Clams will be hot so use a towel to pick them. Open shells up all the way and remove clam meat. Put opened shells on a baking sheet.

Line up clam meat horizontally and dice into 1/4 chunks. Place chopped clams in a small bowl, add ham, garlic, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and pinch of salt. Mix with a spoon to incorporate all ingredients.

Distribute clam mixture evenly on the four open shells, distribute cheese over mixture and place in oven  until cheese is just melted but not brown. This will take approximately 7-10 minutes but obvioulsy every oven is different so keep an eye on it.

Remove from oven, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a squirt of lemon and serve immediately of cheese hardens up when cold.  Can be served with a salad and some bread and you have a meal. I also liked the clam mixture as is, don't add the cheese, just toss in a squeeze of lemon and put it on a crostini rubbed with garlic and olive oil and it is delicious. So give both a try and enjoy!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Carrot, Parsnip and Arugula Salad

A nice addition to this salad is avocado. Peel, slice in 1/4 inch slices and gently toss with the carrots and parsnip and place on arugula. Lovely in the summer or any time for that matter!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sea Bean Salad

This recipe will make enough for two small appetizers or one large salad. Omit the speck for all vegetarians. You can adjust red pepper flakes to be less or more spicy. Drizzle a little more olive oil around the plate.

3 oz sea Beans
2 Kumato tomatoes
4 Parisienne or baby carrots
1 bunch Hon Shemiji or similar mushroom
1 oz of speck, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
Juice of 1 navel orange/slice and reserve peel and pulp for blanching water
Lemon garlic vinagrette
1 sprig rosemary
1 inch cube of ginger diced
1 mashed garlic clove
Extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Separate clustered mushrooms and place in a small bowl. Pour enough mirin to cover and marinate for about 1 1/2 hours. Drain and pat dry on paper towels.

Cut off heads of carrots and blanch until soft in salted water with rosemary, ginger, mashed garlic clove and reserved orange slices. Use a paper towel to gently rub off skin and slice in half lengthwise. Parisienne carrots are small and round while baby carrots about 2-3 inches long. Either one is fine.

Slice tomatoes into 6 wedges.

Use 1 tsp of oil and saute diced speck on med high (you can adjust the heat if they are not getting crispy, only takes a few minutes and speck is more delicate than bacon) until crisp. Blot on paper towel.

Rinse off sea beans and thoroughly dry off.

Make vinagrette, swap juice of about 1/2 lemon for vinegar, and pinch of red pepper flakes and olive oil. This modifies the recipe and will make extra dressing which you can use on another salad.

In a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients, gently toss everything together, except for speck. Do not salt as sea beans are very salty. Plate and sprinkle crispy speck on top.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Zucchini Spaghetti Puttanesca

Zucchini "Spaghetti" Puttanesca
This is a great dish for summer zucchini but I like to make now because the flavors are robust and satisfying any time of year. Also it is a gluten free vegan dish.

3 anchovy filets
3 heaping tbsp large capers, rinsed, drained and patted dry
4 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
20 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced in half length-wise
2 large zucchinis, julienned with a mandoline or sliced very thinly to resemble spaghetti
2-3 Plum tomatoes, cored and diced; use flesh only 
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Generous pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Parmesan Reggiano cheese or Piave, grated to taste

Place anchovies, garlic and lemon juice in a mortar and pestle or a very small food processor and blend until smooth but still ever so slightly chunky; add this mixture to zucchini "spaghetti" with the olives, capers and pinch of red pepper flakes. Quickly and gently toss all ingredients, season to taste and serve immediately or zucchini will start creating liquid and wilt. Arrange on a plate and use as much freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano or Piave cheese on top as you like. Enjoy! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Quick Appetizer

Partner's olive oil and herb cracker, cream cheese or creme fraiche with scallions, slice of tomatillo, smoked Scottish salmon, coriander leaf, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt. Simple and elegant.