Friday, July 29, 2011
This is one of my favorite ways to prepare Halibut, but you can use any other meaty fish such as salmon or seabass. I prefer a little more soy sauce, but it is a matter of preference. I also like to braise baby bok choy with this dish, but you can use any vegetable you wish.
1 6-8 oz Halibut fillet
1/4 cup chicken broth or stock (homemade or store bought)
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce (or to taste)
1 pat of cold butter
5 oz baby spinach
1 large Shitake mushroom
For Spinach and Mushrooms:
Steam or saute spinach in one tbsp of grapeseed oil until wilted, then place in the center of a shallow bowl. Keep warm. Steam or saute mushroom the same way as the spinach. When fish is done, place it on top of the spinach, remembering to keep warm. Slice Shitake mushroom on the bias and arrange over fish.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
This is great as lunch or an appetizer on it's own. For dinner, accompany salad with a soup, maybe vichyssoise. Bon appetit!
2 large eggs
1 bunch of curly frisee (use the tender green parts)
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp of sherry or champagne vinegar (or use more depending on how acidic you like your dressings)
2 cloves of garlic
1 slice thick bacon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Gourmet croutons or homemade
Fill a bigger saute pan with enough water and a splash of vinegar (vinegar helps to hold the whites together) to submerge eggs; I like to make an extra egg or so just in case a yolk breaks; also, a non-stick pan helps; bring water up to boil, reduce to simmer, and slowly break your eggs into the hot water; turn up the heat a bit but not to a boil and using a slotted spoon bathe the yolks gently with water until the whites are cooked and the yolk is translucent, but still runny; transfer to a plate with paper towels on it and tent with tinfoil to keep warm
You can use any good gourmet crouton or make your own by using stale bread, cutting them up into bite-size pieces, coating them in olive oil with a little salt and pepper, and baking them in the oven at 375 degrees until golden brown and crisp.
To Assemble Salad:
Work fast, so your eggs don't get cold! Dress your clean frisee with as much vinagrette as you like, approximately 2-3 tablespoons (so you will have extra dressing for another time -- just refrigerate and it will last for about a week). Then, salt and pepper your salad to taste and toss to fully incorporate vinagrette.
Garnish with lardons and as many croutons as you want. Then, add warm eggs to the top of the salad. This is a lunch-sized serving, if you wanted to do an appetizer, cut the recipe in half and only use one egg. Now remember, you can use as much bacon and croutons as you want -- there are no rules, you can make this recipe your own!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Recipes are only foundations, so my suggestion to you is to make them your own! The "avocado mousse" and the "tomato salad" recipes are two variations of dishes that I had on a recent trip to Chile. My friend Liz Caskey (of Culinary and Wine Experiences, she also has several cook books) had a small cocktail party at her home in Chile for our group where she served her versions of these recipes. She is a talented cook herself and also organizes these fantastic culinary and wine tours in Chile and Argentina. My daughter, Leni, and I ate the most delicious regional and "food-forward" dishes, as well as drank some of the finest wines coming out of Chile today. So, I must give credit where credit is due -- I recommend her website to anyone interested in broadening their culinary horizons!
Leni and I loved Chile, the food, and the people so much that I decided to make these recipes "my own". So, today's recipe is for the avocado mousse appetizer, and you will see how by making even the smallest changes, I have made it my own. So feel free to make your own changes so you, too, can call it your own.
*Recipe serves 4-6 people
1lb fresh tomatillos
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1-2 fresh Serrano chiles
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup water
Salt to taste
Take the husk off of the tomatillo and rinse under cold water so they're not sticky; pat dry. Coarsely puree in a blender or a food processor the tomatillos, chiles, onion, garlic, and water. Place in a skillet, bring up to boil, and reduce to simmer until mixture thickens -- this takes about 15 minutes to reduce. Cool mixture down completely before using, then add chopped cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste.
1 1/2 lbs fresh tomatoes, seeded and cored (just use flesh)
1 tsp fresh cilantro
Salt to taste
Chop into small dice, approximately a quarter of an inch. Place in a bowl, add quarter of a cup of tomatillo salsa (or more depending on your preference), and stir gently until combined. You could add more chopped cilantro and salt to taste -- too much cilantro can be overpowering and too much salt will make vegetables release too much water, so careful on the salt because you are topping the dish with caviar.
3 Haas avocados, ripe but not mushy
1/2 of a fresh lemon
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 jar salmon roe to top each dish (or enough for 1 tsp per serving)
Cut avocados in half, remove seed and scoop avocado into a bowl. Add a squeeze of half the lemon to help retain green color. Then add the heavy cream. Mash with a fork and then using an electric hand mixer or a Braun handheld food mixer (you can get these at any decent kitchen store) whip until very smooth, like a mousse with no lumps.
I like to use martini glasses for this dish so you can see every layer, or you can use clear shooter glasses if you want a smaller recipe (just make sure a spoon fits in them or use a demitasse spoon). Place about a one-inch layer of tomato and tomatillo salsa on the bottom of glass, and smooth to fit bottom of glass. Then add a 1-inch layer of avocado mousse, and smooth around the glass to create a neat appearance and so that both layers can be seen (see photo for reference). Add one teaspoon of salmon roe. For a decadent appetizer, use any good caviar. Chill in refrigerator for a couple of hours (2 hours should be sufficient), then serve immediately. Enjoy!