Posts filed under 'seafood'

Stumped About Seafood?

Good_Fish_Cookbook Northwest chef Becky Selengut knows a thing or two about fish and in her new book GOOD FISH, she shares some of that wisdom with more than a little light-hearted humor and lots of insightful anecdotes. Selengut cares as much about the delicately balanced flavors in her recipes as she does about the denizens of the deep and being a thoughtful steward of them and their home. Addressing everything from seasonality, raising and harvesting methods to buying tips and questions buyers should ask their seafood seller, Selengut is handing the home cook the ultimate guide to sustainable seafood cooking.

Continue reading on Amazon’s Al Dente Blog.

Add comment June 30th, 2011

The Weekly Herald

Spot prawns tend to be very flexible no matter how you cook them and works well with a myriad of fresh ingredients. Check out The Weekly Herald for my Spot Prawn Pasta with Lemon Cream recipe!

Add comment June 30th, 2011

Zesty Winter Citrus

If you missed the live show on KOMO AM 1000, you can listen to it again online.

When you haven’t seen the sun for days on end and last summer’s soft fruits are a distant memory, citrus can definitely brighten the winter blahs. Tangerines stuff our stockings at Christmas; I love the teeny tiny ones–sooo easy to peel and their segments so easy to pull apart. Orange marmalade brightens up our morning toast. I even love to adorn my dining table with a big, sunny bowl of bright lemons and tangerines.

For centuries citrus has had a medicinal role, too–fighting off winter colds, tarting up hot, brandy-laced toddies, and, combined with honey in lemon cough drops, soothing dry throats.

Citrus is so versatile, being totally edible from the juice to the flesh to the peel. Citrus is a perfect accouterment for those cutting down on sodium in their diets. A squeeze of lemon or lime can bring out the flavor of food just as salt does. The tart juice also brightens sauces or vinaigrettes, and a quick squeeze of lemon brings a bit of sunshine to a simple glass of water.

Citrus skin brings you its big-flavored zest to use in baking, marinades and dressings. Strips are twisted and swiped around the rim of martinis and Manhattans, the skin’s oils are used in extracts to flavor cakes and candies and cookies. Citrus peel is even delicious on its own; candied orange, lemon or grapefruit rinds make a nice little something to nibble on after a big dinner.

No longer just the generic “orange” to meet the lunchbox fruit obligation, a plethora of specialty citrus varieties is available during short seasons between September and mid-March or later. There are so many types nowadays that you can try a different one every week of the winter! You could even have a tasting.

I’ve included 2 recipes this week – both are tasty tasty! If you’re an oyster lover you’ll want to try my recipe for Oysters on the Half Shell with Citrus Splash- made with pink grapefruit and tangerine the splash really lets the oyster itself come through – even oyster purists will  love this tangy bivalve adornment. And Orange Pound Cake with Macerated Oranges & Orange Flower Cream – incorporates everything orange in this lovely dessert … from zest to flesh to floral orange water!

And don’t forget those wonderful orange pomanders you used to make as a kid! Star with a  nice thick-skinned orange – stick it with whole cloves until it is totally encased. Nothing brings back fonder scent memories than one of these hanging in my closet or sitting on a dresser. If you’ve never made one, you should. It provides a bit of aromatherapy, and sitting, poking in the cloves can be quite relaxing…
Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey

Oysters On The Half Shell with Citrus Splash!
Splash makes 1 cup. It will top about 2-3 dozen oysters.

Sweet and tart bits of winter citrus are a terrific contrast to briny oysters.
When serving freshly shucked oysters on a buffet, lay them on pine or spruce boughs for a stunning presentation. Depending on your or your guests’ tastes, count from 4-5 oysters per person as a starter or 3-4 per person for a buffet.

Very fresh oysters in the shell

Citrus Splash
1 pink or ruby red grapefruit
1 tangerine
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh chives
tiny pinch red chili flakes (depending upon how hot you like)

To shuck and serve the oysters:
Rinse the oysters and scrub the shells with a vegetable brush to remove any debris. Refrigerate until ready to shuck. Right before serving, shuck the oysters, discarding the top shell and inspecting the oysters for any bits of broken shell, picking it out carefully. Set the oysters on a platter or individual plates spread with crushed ice and bits of pine or spruce boughs if using. Top each oyster with about 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Citrus Splash and pass the remainder, or if serving buffet style set the Splash out in a small bowl so guests themselves can spoon a little over each oyster.

To make the citrus splash:
With a sharp knife peel grapefruit and tangerine just deep enough to expose the fruit, removing all white pulp. Section the citrus over a bowl to catch the juices, then finely chop fruit sections. Return fruit to the bowl and add remaining ingredients.
Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Orange Pound Cake with Macerated Oranges & Orange Flower Cream
Note: remove the zest from the oranges for use in the cake before proceeding to make the macerated oranges. I like to use a microplaner for zesting the oranges or use a potato peeler and peel the orange part (zest) of the outside off /with no white pith. Then finely mince it.
Makes 6 servings

Macerated Oranges & Glaze
3 very large or 4 small oranges, (or use 2 regular oranges and 2 blood oranges for a spectacular look and taste)
2 Tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier (optional)
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup sugar

Orange Cream
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp orange flower water *

Cake
1 cup butter
2 Tbsp finely minced orange zest
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp orange flower water
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

To make the macerated oranges and the orange glaze:
Cut a thin slice off the ends of each orange, then holding the orange cut-side down on a cutting board, cut the rind off of the orange all the way around, using downwards cutting motions. After you have cut away all the rind from the oranges, slice them in 1/4-inch slices. Place the oranges in a large, shallow glass or stainless bowl or baking dish. Sprinkle with the Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan combine the orange juice and sugar, bring to a boil over high heat and boil 1 minute. Let cool, then pour half of the orange syrup over the sliced oranges. Cover oranges with plastic wrap and let marinate refrigerated at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Reserve the remaining orange syrup for finishing the cake.

To make the orange cream:
In a chilled mixing bowl, mix together the cream, sugar and orange flower water. Whip the cream until it is just softly whipped and soft peaks are forming. Refrigerate until needed and rewhip slightly if needed before serving.

To make the cake:
With an electric mixer cream the butter and orange zest until very fluffy in a large bowl. Slowly add the sugar. Then continue creaming for 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at time until well beaten in, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Then add the vanilla, orange flower water and orange juice and combine. With the mixer on low speed slowly add the flour, baking powder and salt to the creamed butter egg mixture. Mix only until just combined. Do not overmix at this point. Place the batter in a prepared (greased and floured) 1 1/2 quart (4 1/2-inch x 8 1/2-inch) loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then with a long wooden skewer poke cake at 1/2-inch intervals all over. Drizzle the cake, still in the pan, with the remaining half of the orange syrup. Let set at least 1 hour before serving.

To serve the dessert:
Slice a very thin slice of cake off both ends; eat it or save it for a snack. Then cut the cake into 12 even slices. On each of 6 large dinner plates arrange 2 of the cake slices, overlapping slightly. Divide the macerated oranges evenly over each plate of cake. Drizzle any juice around and over the cake slices. Dollop each serving with the Orange Cream.
* Orange flower water is available in Middle Eastern grocery stores and well-stocked supermarkets.
Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Add comment January 7th, 2010

Salt: A Cook’s Best Friend

If you missed the show on KOMO, click here to hear it online!

Salt is the universal seasoning—it makes flavors pop and go “Wow!” Salt brings out other tastes, even sweetness! All creatures like to eat salt—except, as we know in the Northwest, NOT slugs!

Salt is either mined from ancient, now dry, salt lake deposits or evaporated from sea water. There are many varieties. Refined table salt has additives to keep it flowing freely and iodine to ensure thyroid gland health in inland areas. Kosher salt is additive-free; and chefs appreciate its coarse-grained texture. Pickling salt contains no additives, which could cloud the pickle brine. Less refined, rock salt retains more minerals; it’s used in making ice-cream, baking potatoes, and nesting baked oysters in pans.

Hand-collected from coastal France, sel gris, also called grey or Celtic salt, is moist and unrefined; its pale color comes from the salt flats clay. During evaporation, a light film forms on top; this is fleur de sel, considered the “champagne” of salts.

‘Alaea is the traditional Hawaiian table salt; this sea salt gets its natural color from volcanic red clay. Danish smoked salt is flavored by the woods used when the evaporation is done over an open fire. 

Looking for big flavor—but from natural products—today’s consumers want gourmet salts from both culinary and health standpoints. And SaltWorks™, Inc., based in the Seattle area, does all–natural very well. The company buys directly from the farmers who produce the salt and imports it without a middleman. Founded in 2002 by owner Mark Zoske, SaltWorks now sells over 10 million pounds of sea salt a year. The company’s Artisan Salt Co. retail brand offers more than 30 varieties of salt and is available in hundreds of high–end retailers across the country.

Salt can headline a menu item, such as in Chinese Salt & Pepper Squid or Whole Snapper Baked in a Salt Crust. We love to sprinkle a little salt in salads before tossing; it’s a natural with hard-boiled eggs; and, heaven knows, we all love our salty snacks. We even enjoy it with our drinks—from a simple Salty Dog to the very popular Margarita.

Brining has become very trendy for flavoring food and keeping meats moist. My recipe for Pacific Rim Style Brine for Salmon for the Grill is an easy way to try out brining. I also included a recipe for a Citrus Herb Salt Rub for Chicken or Fish. This recipe infuses the salt with wonderful flavors to enhance any protein dish that needs a little “oomph”. It is great on roast chicken or used as a finishing salt on roasted scallops or plain grilled fish.

Pacific Rim Style Brine for Salmon for the Grill
Makes about 1 quart of brine

3 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 cup, packed, light brown sugar
4 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

To prepare the brine: Add salt and brown sugar to water and mix until dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate unused brine for up to 10 days.
To brine and cook fish: Place salmon in brine, enough to totally cover fish. If needed to keep it submerged, weight down salmon by placing a plate or plastic bag filled with water on top of fish. Marinate fish in brine, refrigerated, for 3 to 4 hours only; DO NOT OVER-BRINE FISH! Remove fish from brine and lightly rinse off with cold water. Throw away used brine immediately!
Refrigerate fish, covered, till ready to cook. Grill the fish in your usual way, but do not salt the fish. Taste after cooking to see if salt is needed—it probably won’t be.
Chef’s Note: This brine is also great for brining chicken breasts, scallops or pork chops.Copyright ©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Citrus Herb Salt Rub for Chicken or Fish
Makes about 1/2 cup

1 lemon
1 orange
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
15 large fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup fleur de sel
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

To make the salt rub: With a potato peeler, peel the lemon and orange, removing the colored part of the skin but not the white pith. Cut peel in very fine strips. (Reserve fruit for another use.) In a large, shallow, glass baking pan, mix peel, herbs and salt together and leave uncovered in a warm place in the kitchen. Stir a couple of times a day. Let sit at room temperature until the citrus peels and herbs are thoroughly dried—this should take about 3 to 4 days.

In small batches, grind the dried mixture in a coffee grinder (preferably one that you use only for spices) or with a mortar and pestle. Grind until the herbs and citrus peel are in small pieces and incorporated well in the salt. Then stir in the pepper. Place in a tightly covered jar until needed. This mixture should keep well at room temperature for up to 3 months.

To use salt: I like to use this seasoning on chicken or fish before roasting or grilling. It is also great used as a finishing salt and sprinkled on fresh vegetables, sautéed mushrooms, grilled shrimp, sliced poultry, or meats such as lamb or pork.

If roasting a whole chicken, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse chicken under cold water and dry inside and out with paper towels. Place in a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack. Rub outside of chicken completely with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the salt rub.

Roast chicken in preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees. Let chicken rest 10 minutes before carving. (It will continue to cook and come up to 165 degrees F while resting.)

I like to sprinkle a little more of the rub on the carved meat as a finishing salt just before serving. Copyright © 2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

4 comments November 5th, 2009

A Taste of Summer in October

This is Cameo McRoberts filling in for Kathy while she’s shaking up some fun overseas. I’m an Executive Chef here at Kathy Casey Food Studios and I’ve worked with Kathy on a lot of things. What I love the most is sharing ideas with her!  When Kathy asked me to take over this week’s Dishing post, you can imagine I jumped at the chance.  What better opportunity to discuss my favorite subject: Me!! Oh wait, I mean Mexican food!

October normally brings in colder weather and a shift in mentality for heartier meals. With the onset of fall, our cravings turn to slow cooked and braised dishes, a staple in Mexican cuisine. I like to make this Yucatecan style Ceviche to bring about one last taste of a warm Summer before the Winter frost kicks in.

Ceviche is normally fish ‘cooked’ in lime juice, but with this one we cook the seafood first.  It’s great choice for people who don’t enjoy raw or undercooked seafood. I also like to use the 1# seafood medley that is usually available at Trader Joe’s.  It has a mix of shrimp, calamari and scallops that work well in the dish.   I also like to use a Japanese mandolin or julienne for texture appearance.  If you don’t have one, medium dice or julienne so that everything is the same size, but keep the onion pretty thin so it doesn’t overpower.

Now a little about me and my fave Mexican restaurants:
Before joining the D’Lish entourage, I was Sous chef at the highly acclaimed Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, winner of James Beard awards galore. Most recently, Rick Bayless, chef and owner, won Top Chef Masters making him a household name. 
Since my return to Seattle the quest for soul satisfying Mexican fare has left me a little weary.  But Seattle’s taco truck obsession and the honest offerings of a few places in town, eases the homesick pangs in my belly for the truly authentic. 

Taqueria la Fondita II has true carnitas… Pieces of pork butt braised in lard; once the meat is cooked the heat is turned up so the little tender morsels begin to fry.
Senor Moose offers up dishes that I love to see on the menu but don’t always make it, like Mancha Manteles, one of the 7 traditional moles, sweetened with plantains, and usually garnished with grilled pineapple and chorizo.
And dear to my heart, forever underrated, but always busy, is Agua Verde/ Paddle Club.  It’s a pain to get a table. But their dedication to sustainability, their staff (some have been there over 10 years), their delicious food, and not to be forgotten, the view make it one of my favorite Seattle places.
The best place to find Mexican ingredients is La Conosupo Grocery, in Greenwood. They have everything you need, a good selection of cheeses and chilies, and it’s not too intimidating if you don’t speak Spanish. 

With that said, go grab a six pack of Pacifico, some chips and rent ‘The Three Amigos”!  Don’t forget to enjoy the ceviche and reminisce of this past summer… Or plan for the next one!

Yucatecan Ceviche
Serves about 4-8 people

1 lb seafood medley (or 1/3 lb each, shrimp, calamari, or scallops)
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 c. jicama, julienne or med dice
1 cucumber, julienne or med dice
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
1/4 c. cilantro
3/4 c. lime juice, fresh squeezed
3/4 c. orange juice, fresh squeezed
1/4 tsp. habanero chili, very finely minced
Salt & sugar approximately a Tablespoon each. 

For the seafood: Bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil.  Turn heat OFF and add the seafood medley, stir seafood constantly until the shrimp are cooked all the way through.   Strain off water and set seafood into refrigerator to cool.  Prepare all of the vegetables if orange segments are too big; give them a quick chop to break up.    Combine lime and orange juice with the minced habanero, pour over veggies. Add the cooled seafood refrigerate for 1 hour.  Serve the ceviche with chips, or plantain chips.  Also delicious over salad greens for a high protein dinner salad. © Cameo Appearance 2009

Chefs Note: salt and sugar levels are different depending on sweetness of orange juice and other vegetables.  Ceviche should be tart and well balanced.  Add salt and sugar at the end and add a little at a time to find a balance.

Add comment October 21st, 2009

Summer Time Seafood

There are seafood events happening all over the country this month, from right here in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, all the way down to the Big Easy.

This weekend I will be a judge in the 5th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off, held in New Orleans, LA. The cook off features one entrant per state and I’ll be tasting their creations and casting my vote for the talented chef who will take the crown.  Day one will be action packed with all the chefs on stage as well as cooking demonstrations from guest chefs.  For the five finalists, day two holds another set of challenges as mystery ingredients are introduced and cook times are reduced as the chefs prepare a dish that the home cook can easily recreate.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the winning chef and recipe!

The following weekend you can head to Ballard and “Get Your Viking On.” Celebrate 35 years of sun, seafood and Scandinavian-ness at the Northwest’s favorite neighborhood summer festival, Ballard Seafood Fest.  It’s a time for salmon to sizzle, fire hoses to spray, beer and wine gardens to sooth, and entertainment to scintillate.  And as always, it’s a moment for Ballardians to pay homage to their culture and history, as well as to celebrate today’s history makers. An event that began in 1974 as a one-day salmon BBQ, has at age 35, grown to encompass nearly all of downtown Ballard. It now hosts scores of quality arts & crafts, a plethora of seafood vendors, a kid’s fun center, both a beer and wine garden, goofy trademark contests such as the lutefisk eating competition, and finally, three entertainment stages featuring the best of the Northwest and beyond. So set aside Saturday & Sunday, July 25 & 26 and come to Ballard to join in the festivities.

And for those that are heading out to summer beach cottages I’ve included my favorite recipe for all your shore booty – crab, mussels, clams and more in Beachfront Seafood Stew. Whether you make this stew for a dinner party or make the base ahead to take along to the beach to enjoy after a day of clamming and mussel-gathering, the dish calls our for a bottle crisp white wine such as a crisp Covey Run Pinot Grigio or if your a red wine drinker, a bottle of Columbia Syrah.

Beachfront Seafood Stew

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Base
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms (about 5 ounces)
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups clam juice
3 cups chopped ripe tomatoes or diced canned plum tomatoes with juice
Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
Fresh-cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

Seafood
1/4 cup olive oil
12 ounces littleneck clams in the shell
8 ounces mussels, scrubbed and debearded
8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces sea scallops, halved
8 ounces boneless, skinless firm-fleshed fish, such as salmon, cod, or halibut, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 large or 6 small cooked red potatoes, quartered or halved, depending on size
1/4 cup Pernod liqueur (optional)

Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnishing

To prepare the base, heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms, fennel, and orange zest. Cook, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender.

Add the wine, clam juice, tomatoes, saffron, salt, Tabasco, rosemary, thyme, and pepper to taste. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If not using immediately, cool and refrigerate until needed. Reheat before proceeding.

To finish the stew, heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the seafood. Lightly sauté for 30 seconds, turning the fish and scallop pieces as necessary. Add the potatoes and Pernod and cook 30 seconds more, then add the hot stew base.

Cover the pot and cook until the clams and mussels just open. (Take care not to overcook the seafood.) Immediately remove from the heat. Discard any clams or mussels that have not opened. Divide the fish and shellfish among individual large bowls, then ladle in the broth and vegetables. Serve immediately, garnished with rosemary sprigs.

Chef’s Note: Serve this with thick slices of crusty French bread for soaking up the juices.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Copyright © 2006 by Kathy Casey.

Add comment July 16th, 2009

Halibut – the white prince of fish graces our stores and dinner tables this summer

Pacific halibut is found primarily along the North American West coast and is commercially fished mainly off Alaska and British Columbia. In 1923, with reserves suffering from being overfished, the United States and Canada signed a convention on halibut, leading to the creation of the International Pacific Halibut Commission, which today regulates Pacific halibut fishing. Members meet annually to review research, check on the progress of the commercial fishery, and make regulations for the next year’s season. This management allows for a maximum of sustained halibut harvesting.

 

Fished for in Alaska and British Columbia, halibut are the largest of all flatfish. The biggest ever recorded for the northern Pacific was a 495-pound fish caught near Petersburg, . Alaska

 

Halibut is valued for its sweet, mild flavor, firm meat, and snow-white color; it is the second favorite fish in the Northwest, surpassed only by salmon. Market forms of the fish include steaks, fillets, and fletches (split body-length fillets), plus the extra-tasty cheeks so applauded by their culinary fans.

 

I have included a very simple recipe for Grilled Halibut with Lemon Herb Splash that really lets the delicate fish shine though. I like to serve it with a simple bread salad studded with fresh summer tomatoes and cucumbers.

 

In the Seattle metropolitan are you can find fresh halibut at:

 

Seattle Fish Company

 

Seattle Fish Company stores are located in Freemont and West Seattle. Independantly owned, Seattle Fish Company features NW fish as well as warm water ‘exotics.’ They purchase daily and troll-caught halibut will be available through the end of the season (November 15th)

 

112 N 36th Street

(between N 1st Ave & N Palatine Ave)

Seattle, Wa  98103

 

4435 California Ave  

Seattle Wa, 98116

 

www.seattlefishcompany.com

 

Metropolitan Markets

 

If want your fish skinned they can accommodate that – just ask the fish monger. And for shopping assistance look for the folks in “Red Coats” on Fridays and Saturdays at the Admiral and Proctor Stores.

Store locations:

Queen Ann Uptown – “bottom of hill”

Sand point

Admiral (West Seattle)

Dash point (Federal way)

Proctor (North Tacoma)

Recipes are available for halibut at the fish case and on line at www.metropolitan-market.com

 

Grilled Halibut with Lemon Herb Splash

Makes 1/2 cups Splash, enough to top 4 – 6 pieces of fish.

 

Lemon Herb Splash

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced fresh lemon zest

1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary

1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

—————————-

4 fresh halibut steaks or fillets, approx. 6 oz. each

oil as needed

salt & pepper as desired or Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt

 

To make the splash: Mix all ingredients together well. Add other fresh herbs if you like such as chives, thyme, lemon verbena or tarragon too!

 

To finish the recipe: Heat grill till hot. Lightly rub fish on each side with a little oil and season with salt and pepper or Dish D’Lish French Seasoning as desired.

 

Grill fish for approximately 2-3 minutes per side, cooking more or less, depending on the thickness of the fish. Fish should be nicely grill-marked, cooked through but still juicy.

 

Place halibut on plate and splash each piece of fish with 1 tablespoon or more of the Lemon Herb Splash as desired. Pass remaining splash on the side.

 

 

Chef’s Notes: Soak a few wood chips in water and throw on coals just before placing fish on grill to add a nice, light smoke flavor.

 

Copyright ©2009 by Kathy Casey

 

Add comment May 14th, 2009

Tart and Tangy Rhubarb—from Entrée to Dessert

It’s the beginning of spring when vibrant stalks of rhubarb poke their heads out of the ground and wait for the sun to shine upon them. The rays brush-stroke them to brilliant pink or ruby red, all ready to show up at grocers and local farmers markets.

When I was a kid, there was a neighbor’s garden right up against the playground’s cyclone fence, with openings just big enough for small hands. We dared each other to reach through the fence, pull up a super-tart, underripe rhubarb stalk, and take a big bite. Ooooew! It is still one of my favorite prankster jokes to play on the non-rhubarb-savvy: “Hey, have you tried this cool new red celery? Isn’t it beautiful—here, try a bite!” Hee-hee.

Rhubarb stalks range in color from pale green, sometimes speckled with pink, to pink and bright red—color depends on the variety and is not a guide to quality or degree of sourness. Hot-house rhubarb is the first to come into the grocery stores, but it doesn’t have as big a flavor as our local commercial crop or that grown in backyards. The one thing to be cautious of is to be sure that only the stems are eaten and that any leaf is trimmed off as the leaf portion is poisonous.

Rhubarb has lent its tangy flavor to pies and applesauce over the years and is most commonly used in desserts. Strawberryrhubarb is a classic flavor combo, especially baked up in pies. But I decided to put a little twist on that all-time Northwest dessert favorite—in Strawberry Rhubarb Filo Flower Cheesecakes. The filo flowers are easy to make and less intimidating for some than pie dough, and the ultra-thin leaves of filo dough are interesting to try working with if you never have. Lightly brushed with butter and sprinkled with finely minced walnuts and cinnamon sugar, the delicate petals of filo are filled with a creamy cheesecake batter, baked, and then topped with pleasingly tart compote of rhubarb and strawberries. Individual and elegant. This is a perfect recipe to print out for that Mother’s Day dinner you plan on whipping up this year!

On the savory side of things (rhubarb is not just for sweets!), I created a recipe for Pan-Roasted Halibut with Rhubarb Ginger Vinaigrette. The rhubarb is cooked till tender with a little sugar, fresh ginger and white wine vinegar then finished off with some cilantro and a touch of sambal; everything is whisked together with a splash of oil. This bright vinaigrette is a lovely foil for delicate Northwest halibut. Serve it with fresh asparagus and steamed basmati rice for a simple, spring dinner.

Pan Roasted Halibut with Rhubarb-Ginger Vinaigrette
Makes 4 servings

Vinaigrette

1/2 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white wine or raspberry vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup vegetable or light olive oil
—————————

4 6- to 7-ounce boneless, skinless Pacific halibut fillet portions (ask for center cut)
kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish

To make the vinaigrette: In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, vinegar, ginger and garlic, and cook over medium heat until rhubarb is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, salt, sambal, and chopped cilantro. Whisk in the cooled rhubarb mixture. Then gradually whisk in the oil, emulsifying the vinaigrette. Set aside at room temperature while you are preparing the fish.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Season halibut on both sides with kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste.

In a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over moderately high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add halibut and sear until golden on the first side, about 1 – 2 minutes. Turn fillets, and cook about 1 – 2 minutes more, until golden on second side.

Place skillet in oven and finish cooking fish until just done (no longer translucent in center), about 4 – 8 minutes, depending on thickness of fish.

Place halibut portions on serving plates, top with the vinaigrette and garnish with cilantro sprigs.
©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Strawberry Rhubarb Filo Flower Cheesecakes
Makes 8 servings

Compote

2 cups 1 1/2-inch-diced fresh rhubarb (about 1/2 to 3/4 pound)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sliced strawberries

Cheesecake batter

12 ounces cream cheese
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
————————————————-

1/3 cup finely minced walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter
8 (12-inch x 17-inch) sheets Apollo filo dough (If frozen, allow 5 hours at room temperature or 24 hours in the refrigerator to thaw.)

To make the rhubarb compote: In a 10-inch sauté pan combine the rhubarb and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let cook about 10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender, occasionally stirring gently. Let cool to room temperature, then fold in strawberries. Refrigerate till needed. (This can be made up to 2 days in advance.)

To make cheesecake batter: Using a mixer, cream the cream cheese, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl. Then blend in the eggs, vanilla, sour cream and lemon zest. Mix until creamy and smooth. Set aside.

To assemble and bake filo flowers: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon, and set aside. Melt the butter and set aside but keep warm. Spray 8 muffin tin compartments generously with cooking spray and set aside.

If you’ve never worked with filo dough, read the instructions on the box to acquaint yourself with it. Whenever working with filo, work quickly and cover any pieces you’re not working on at that moment with a piece of plastic wrap and then a damp towel.

Stack the filo sheets on a clean dry surface. With a sharp knife make 2 cuts crosswise and 1 lengthwise to make 6 squares out of each sheet. (You should have a total of 48 squares.) Stack the squares up to make one pile and cover as described above.

Make the filo flowers one at a time. Place one filo square on a clean work surface. Using a pastry brush, brush filo very lightly with the melted butter. Sprinkle with 1 level teaspoon of walnut-sugar mixture. Place another filo square on top. Butter and sprinkle as before. Repeat this method, stacking filo, buttering and sugaring, until you have 6 layers. Butter the top of the 6th layer, but do not sprinkle with sugar mixture.

As soon as you finish a filo stack, place it into the pan-sprayed muffin tin. Shape filo, pressing in the sides to form a cup-like liner, then puff out the top like flower petals. Repeat to make eight filo flowers.

Carefully fill each filo flower with 1/4 cup of the cheesecake batter. Place on center rack in preheated oven. Bake 20 to 22 minutes until cheesecake is puffy and filo is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes. Then carefully lift out each one to a platter. Let cool until barely warm, then top cheesecake with rhubarb compote, evenly dividing it among the pastries. Serve barely warm or, if refrigerated, bring to room temperature just before serving. ©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Add comment April 30th, 2009

Next Posts Previous Posts


Calendar

November 2014
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Posts by Month

Posts by Category