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Potato Cod, Sunflower Seed Risotto, Truffle and Sorrel

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Potato Cod, Sunflower Seed Risotto, Truffle and Sorrel

Here is a fish dish that was inspired by a bacon wrapped black cod I had years ago at craft restaurant.  The key to this recipe is using a vegetable "pasta" machine that can cut the potatoes like strings of thin "pasta".  You then take the strings wrap it around the cod.  Not only does this give the fish a great visual appeal but it gives a wonderful crunch as well.  I made a wonderful "risotto" out of sunflower seeds that was cooked in vegetable stock, finished with hedgehog mushrooms, a little cream, truffle butter, and parmesan.  When the sunflower seeds are cooked in this method they still retain a little crunch to them but they transform into a nutty, earthy flavor, that is still tender but a little al dente as well.  I made a simple sauce with sorrel to round out the dish.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 lb wild cod loin cut into 3-4 oz pieces
2 large potatoes stringed "noodles" 

2 cups of sunflower seeds
3-4 cups of vegetable stock here
1/3 cup of cream
3 tbsp of truffle butter here
1 cup of hedgehog mushrooms
drop of sherry vinegar
1 oz of grated fresh parmesan
Salt and pepper

Sorrel aioli
1 bunch of green sorrel
1 cup of aioli or veganaise
salt to taste 

Garnish fennel fronds, micro greens, celery leaves, truffles 

For the Sunflower risotto 

In a small sauce pot on medium heat add 1 tbsp of truffle butter and sunflower seeds.  Toast for 1 minutes and then add 1 cup of vegetable stock with a pinch of salt.  Cook for a few minutes until the broth is just about gone, then add another cup of vegetable stock.  Continue this process 2-3 more times (roughly about 20-25 minutes) until the seeds have plumped up and are tender.  If you are doing this ahead of time you can stop and cool down the seeds here.   Right before you are ready to serve the dish take a small saute pan with 1 tbsp of truffle butter and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.  Then add your cream and seeds to the pan.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the cream has thickened and reduced. Finish the sunflower risotto with truffle butter and parmesan cheese.  Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the Sorrel sauce,

Place all the ingredients in a vitamix and puree until smooth.  Place in a squirt bottle and set aside.  

For the Fish,

You will need a vegetable turning slicer machine here for the potatoes.  You will need the setting that will give you the thin angel hair like potato strings.  Take the potatoes on the slicer and turn the slicer to create these strings of potato.  You can place them in cold water if you don't have time to work quickly to prevent them from browning.  I didn't but if I was doing a lot I would have.  Take your 3-4 oz pieces of cold and carefully take one end of the potato and start wrapping one end of the cod.  Continue the process until you have about a 2 deep layer of potato wrapped around the cod.  Set aside and continue with the rest of the cod fillets.  

To finish,

In a small sauce pot add about a 1/2 cup of grapeseed oil for pan frying.  Once the temperature comes to 325 add a few pieces of the potato wrapped cod.  Fry on one side for about 2 minutes or golden brown.  Then rotate the fish to the next side of uncooked potato.  Continue the process until all sides of the potato are golden brown (roughly 6 minutes).  Take out and drain on a paper towel and season immediately with salt all over. Continue until all the pieces are cooked.  Then take on a plate add a few spoonfuls of the sunflower risotto.  Place the fish on top.  Add some of the sorrel sauce around and on top of the fish.  Finish with some of the micro herbs and fresh truffles.  Serve and enjoy!

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Wild Sea Bass, Spicy Corn - Tomato Soup,

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Wild Sea Bass, Spicy Corn - Tomato Soup,

Here is another great late summer dish utilizing sweet corn; that is something I just can't get enough of.   Of course I have to put my twist on things and use what I have available.  I made this corn soup with a bit of north african flavor and it ended up being a bit spicy for some of the guests I was serving.  I had this tomato soup already made so i decided to combine the both together in the bowl to tame down the spiciness a bit.  The combination was absolutely perfect! Everyone absolutely loved this dish.  I paired the rest of the dish with summer vegetables and perfectly seared sea bass.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it  


1 1/2 lb sea bass cut into 4 oz pieces
salt to taste
2 tbsp of olive oil
5 tbsp of coriander seed coarse ground

Corn Soup
1 small onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 small yukon potatoes
2 yellow cayenne peppers
4 ears of corn off the cob keep the cobs
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of ras al hanout
pinch of saffron threads
6 cups of chicken stock
1/2 cup of half and half
2 tbsp of butter and olive oil
salt to taste

Tomato soup
1 onion sliced
3 garlic cloves sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes
8 leaves of basil
10 heirloom tomatoes
2 cups of water
3 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

3 corn grilled
1 cup of small diced cucumber
1 leek small diced
1/2 cup of blanched sugar snap peas
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper

chive oil see recipe
breakfast radish sliced thin

For the Corn soup,

In a medium size soup pot on medium heat add butter, oil, onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions have softened (try not to let them get color).   Then add cumin, ras al hanout, saffron, and cayenne peppers.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then add the chicken broth, potatoes, corn, and a tsp of salt.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender.  Then pour in batches if need be into a vita mix and puree until smooth; add a little half and half while blending to give it a creamy texture if desired.  Season with salt and keep warm.

For the Tomato soup

In a medium size soup pot on medium heat add oil, onions, garlic, pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add tomatoes, water, and 2 tsp of salt.  Bring to a boil and cover, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes.  Then pour into a vita mix with fresh basil leaves.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. ( you can also add a little half and half here if you desire). Keep warm and set aside. 

To finish,

In a large saute pan on medium heat add oil.  Take sea bass and season with salt and coarse coriander.  Place the sea bass fillet side down (the side seasoned with the coriander and salt). Season the bottom side of the fillet with salt now too.  Cook for 6-7 minutes on the one side. The fish should be cook almost all the way through on the one side.  Then turn over and cook for 1 more minute.  Turn off the heat.  Meanwhile In a small saute pan, add 2 tbsp of oil, leeks, and pinch of salt.  Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat and then add corn, cucumbers, and snap peas.  Cook for another 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside and keep warm. In a large bowl add a ladle full of each soup.  Then add a few spoonfuls of the warmed vegetables.  Then take the fish out and lay it on top of the vegetables. Finish with the oil and radish.  Serve and enjoy!

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Walleye, Cranberry Bean, Lima, Swiss Chard

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Walleye, Cranberry Bean, Lima, Swiss Chard

Here is a great summer fish recipe using fresh shelling beans that are in season right now.  One of beans that I really enjoy cooking with are cranberry beans.  They have a vibrant color once shelled, but unfortunately like most beans they loose a lot of their color during the cooking process. Flavor wise, they are delicious.  I think cranberry beans are good mix between not overly starchy and not too creamy.  

During the mid years of my teens I lived in Minnesota (Land of 10,000 Lakes) and one of the fish that is very common in those parts of the country is walleye.  Whenever I see that as an option at the fish market I have to buy it.  Not only is it wild and not farmed raised but it is a fish that is a bit oily and a bit flakey, the result is fantastic.     

This recipe is inspired from a cassoulet, I had some duck leg meat left over from an appetizer which I will post in a few days that was a perfect compliment to the fish and beans.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Walleye

1 lb walleye cut into 4 oz pc
1 tsp of espelette 

1 1/2 cup fresh cranberry beans
1/2 onion charred, 2 cloves of garlic
4 cups chicken stock, 1 sprig of fresh thyme and savory
1 tsp of salt

1 cup of fresh lima beans blanched until tender (approx. 1-2 min)
1 bunch of young swiss chard
2 duck legs smoked and grilled
6 red cipollini onions cut in half and roasted
2 large yukon potato confit (see recipe)
8 pc of confit garlic
2 tbsp blis9 sherry vinegar
2 tbsp of confit oil, 1 tsp of chopped thyme and savory
Salt and pepper to taste

Chive flowers, nasturtium, savory, and oregano flowers

For the beans,

In a small sauce pot, add fresh cranberry beans, charred onion, garlic cloves, chicken stock, herbs, and a tsp of salt.  Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes or until beans are tender.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature in its cooking liquid.  

For the vegetables, 

In a pot of salted water blanch lima beans for 1-2 minutes and then place in an ice bath.  For the cipollinis onions cut in half and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Place cut side down in a small saute pan on medium high heat.  Cook for 2 minutes and then place in a 400 preheated oven.  Roast for 15 minutes until onions are tender.   For the garlic confit.  Place a cup of oil (vegetable) and a half cup of peeled garlic in a small pot on medium heat.  Once the oil starts to simmer turn down to low.  You want the oil to barely percolate.  Cook until the garlic is golden brown and tender.  (You don't want to cook the garlic too fast where the garlic browns but is not tender all the way through).  

To finish, 

In a large saute pan on medium heat place 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Season walleye with salt on both sides.  Place the walleye skin side down into the pan.  Now season the fillet side with a little espelette pepper. Cook the fish for 4-5 minutes on the skin side.  Meanwhile in another hot saute pan with 1 tbsp of confit oil add the small diced duck leg meat. Cook for one minute and then add swiss chard and a cup of the beans with a cup of the bean stock.  Bring to a boil and add the lima beans, potatoes, onions, and garlic.  Turn down to a low, adjust seasoning with sherry vinegar, confit oil, salt.  Place a few spoonfuls in each bowl along with some of the broth.  Flip over the walleye for 5 seconds and then place on top of the vegetables.  Finish the dish with herb flowers, serve and enjoy!

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Halibut, Fennel, Porcini and Nonzero Rice

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Halibut, Fennel, Porcini and Nonzero Rice

Here is a great summer dish that is light and absolutely delicious. I got lucky at the farmers market in Santa Monica and got some of the last porcini's of the season.  The mushroom monger said it wasn't the last of the season it was more like they were having a second season because of the rain they had been getting. Normally the season would be over by this time of the year but lucky for me it wasn't.  I made a mushroom stock and cook the rice with in it with fennel.   The rice variety was one that my boss was giving from Asia and it was called nonzero, this rice was straight from the farm and it was absolutely delicious. It was not a sticky rice per se, it had a little starch that give a tiny hint of creaminess but not quite like a risotto.  At the end of the day the rice was fantastic.  I also grilled the porcini's on my hibachi grill which gave a great smoked flavor the the meaty mushrooms.    Simple sear to the fish with a bit of fennel to finish.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 lb halibut cut into 4 oz pieces 

1 1/2 lb of Porcini’s
1 fennel cut in half sliced thin
1 small onion sliced thin
2 tbsp of butter and olive oil

Mushroom Stock
3 oz of dried porcini
3 oz of dried shiitake mushrooms
3 oz of dried morel
4 oz of cremini mushrooms
4 oz of button mushrooms
4 garlic cloves
2 tops of leeks
10 cups of water
Salt to taste 

1 1/2 cup of mushroom stock
3/4 cup of nonzero rice
1 tsp of salt 

Mushroom froth
2 cups of mushroom stock
4 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of verswhip
Salt to taste 

Micro dill or fennel fronds, fennel pollen, borage to garnish

For the mushroom stock,

Place all the ingredients in to a pot and fill with water.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for about an hour to an hour and half until the stock has reduced by half and the water taste like mushrooms.  Strain out the mushrooms, season with salt and set aside and keep warm.

For the porcini's,

Start grill (hibachi in my case) bring up to 350-400 degrees.  You want to give a smokey flavor to the mushrooms without completely cooking the mushrooms all the way through.  Porcini's are very meaty and dense in texture.  They should still be a bit firm after grilling.  Simply toss with olive oil and salt, cook them for just 2 or 3 minutes on each side.   Then take off the grill and cool.

For the fennel and onion,

Slice thin fennel and onion.  In a small sauce pot on medium low heat add butter, oil, fennel, onion, and salt.  Add the top to the pot and cook for 15 minutes without browning.  Stir the pot by shaking the pot and keeping the lid on every few minutes.  Try not to take the top off and allow the steam to escape.  The onions and fennel should sweat in the their own juices until they are soft. Once tender turn off the heat and look to cool

For the rice,

Add mushroom stock and salt to a pot.  Bring to a boil and pour in the rice.  Cook for 25 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the 

To finish,

In a medium hot saute pan add olive oil.  Season the halibut pieces with salt and place fillet side down in the pan.  Cook on that one side for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile combine the fennel, onions, mushroom stock, and rice in a small pot.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until hot and the broth has evaporated; finish with a little butter if desired. In another saute pan add butter and porcini's.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.  Season with salt and pepper. Place a few spoonfuls of the rice in the in the middle of the plate.  Flip over the halibut and cook for 20 seconds, then take out.  Place on top of the rice.  Add the porcini's on top the rice.  Add  verswhip, butter, and salt to the mushroom stock with a hand blender for a 1 minute.  Then froth the stock and pour around the plate.  Finish the dish with fennel pollen, fronds, and borage.  Serve and enjoy!

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Blue nose Sea Bass with Cara Cara Orange and Buckwheat Risotto

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Blue nose Sea Bass with Cara Cara Orange and Buckwheat Risotto

Here is a great fish dish using a lesser known bluenose sea bass. This sea bass is normally found around the waters of Australia and New Zealand.  Limited in the amount they can catch, It is not the highly over fished chilean sea bass. For this recipe I paired this delicate fish with cara cara orange butter sauce.  Simple and delicious, but when citrus season rolls around its hard not to through this in fruit in everything.  I found some great local buckwheat groats at the farmers market and made a risotto with it.  I finish the dish with some dill oil, fennel, fried brussel sprouts and baby squash.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 lb blue nose sea bass cut into 4oz-5oz pieces

Cara Cara Sauce

3 cara cara oranges pulp and juice

1 tbsp of cara cara zest

1/4 cup cream

1 stick of butter 

salt to taste 

 

Buckwheat Groats "Risotto"

1/2 cup of buckwheat (kasha)

1 shallot minced 

1 garlic clove minced 

3-4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock 

1oz of parmesan shredded

2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of snipped chives 

salt and pepper to taste 

 

Orange and Fennel Salad

2 cara cara oranges supremes  (segments)

1/2 of fennel shaved thin

1 oz of mustard fronds 

1 tbsp of olive oil

salt to taste

 

4 oz of brussel sprouts cut in half and fried until golden brown

4 oz of baby yellow squash blanched (patty pan)

Dill Oil

2 bunches of dill blanched 

1 cup of vegetable oil

pinch of salt

 

For the Dill oil,

simply blanch dill bunches for 15 seconds in boiling water then immediately shock them in a bowl of ice water.  Once cooled completely take out and ring of any excess water.  Place in a vita mix with oil and puree for about a minute until vibrant green. Strain and season and place in a squirt bottle until ready to use.

For the Buckwheat risotto,

In a small sauce pot add olive oil, shallot, and garlic.  Saute for 1 minutes then add in your buckwheat groats with a 1  1/2tsp of salt. Cook for one minute and then add 1 cup of the stock.  Cook until all the liquid has evaporated, then add another cup.  Continue the process until the groats become tender (about 30 minutes).  Then finish the risotto with the butter, cheese, chives, salt and pepper.  Set aside and keep warm.

Cara Cara Sauce,

In a small sauce pot add juice, pulp, and zest.  Reduce the liquid by half.  Then add the cream and reduce that by half.  Then pour everything in a blender or using a hand immersion blender puree until smooth and finish by adding to the sauce the butter 1 tbsp at a time until it has emulsified. Season with salt and set aside.  (strain if desired)

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add 3 tbsp of olive oil.  Take your blue nose sea bass and season generously with salt on both sides of the fish.  Then place the fish skin side down into the pan (not you can score the skin with a knife if you so choose, I did not) The fish will want to curl up, so take your fingers or spatula, carefully not burning them, and push down on the fish for about 10 seconds.  This will help "set" the skin of fish flat in the pan so a nice even crispy skin can be achieved.  Cook for 4-5 minutes on the skin side. Meanwhile heat up your baby squash in a small saute pan with a little butter and olive oil.  Season with salt.  In a mixing bowl add shaved fennel, orange supremes. and mustard greens.  Season with some of the juice from the orange and olive oil.  Season with salt.  On a plate take a spoonful of the orange sauce. Then place a spoonful of the risotto down on the plate.  Flip the fish over for 20 seconds in the pan just to finish the fish the rest of the way.  Then place down on to the plate.  Top the fish with fennel orange salad.  Place a fried brussel sprout on top along with a baby squash.  Drizzle a little dill oil on to the plate and serve and enjoy!

 

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Walleye with Potato Terrine, Brown butter, Grapes

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Walleye with Potato Terrine, Brown butter, Grapes

Walleye is one my favorite fresh water fish.  Living in Minnesota when I was in my mid teens to early adulthood was an ingredient that was local and common on the menus.  When you go to the south or out west it is a fish that isn't so common and hard to find.  Walleye is a delicious, delicate fish that can prepared in multiple ways.  This recipe is a simple one just uses brown butter, capers, and grapes to enhance the fish.  I also served a potato terrine, a vegetable compote and celery root puree to round out the dish.  The vegetable compote I was really happy with because I had not quite done this combination before.  I had fava beans that I pulsed in a food processor and then combined them brunoise celery root, zucchini, and leek.  The result was really delicious and something I can't remember doing before.  I finished the dish out on a bed of celery root puree.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy

1 1/2 lb of Walleye fillet cut into 4 oz portions
1 stick of butter
1 cup of Grapes halved
3 tbsp of Capers

Vegetable compote
1 cup Bruniose zucchini
1 cup Bruniose leeks melted
1 cup Bruniose celery root
1 cup fava beans blanched then food processed course
Salt and pepper

Celery root puree (recipe)

Potato terrine (pave)
4 Idaho potatoes peeled shaved thin
1/2 cup cream
4tbsp truffle butter
Salt pepper

Or (alternative)

Potato terrine (pave)
1 Terrine Mold
8-10 medium size potatoes peeled and slice thin
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion small diced
4 garlic cloves shaved thin
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup of cream
2 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp chopped thyme
8 leaves basil
salt and pepper
Cheese is (optional)
3 oz fresh asiago
2 oz pave cheese

Dill to garnish and Fried Celery root (recipe )

For Potato Terrine, Preheat oven 400 degrees

For the first version, place cream in a bowl.  Then shave potatoes on a mandolin into the cream.  Line a terrine dish with plastic wrap or spray with non-stick spray.  Lay potatoes in the terrine mold and season each layer with salt, pepper and truffle butter.  Continue the process until all the potatoes are in the mold.  Then place a cover on the terrine and bake for an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.

or Alternative recipe that is a little bigger and bolder
In a small sauce pot add a olive oil and onions and saute for about 3 minutes on medium high heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute; deglaze with white wine and reduce by half.  Add the cream and horseradish and bring to a boil.  Season with salt and pepper and pour into a large mixing bowl.  Take a mandolin and slice potatoes into the hot cream mixture.   Season the potatoes as you go with a little salt and pepper.   

In the Terrine mold take a large piece of plastic wrap and place inside the mold to line it and have some overlapping it.  Place the first layer of potatoes on the bottom making it all one level. Sprinkle with chopped thyme and shaved asiago.  Repeat with another layer of potatoes.  This time place the basil leaves and some of the Pave cheese.  Repeat with previous steps alternating until you have come to the top all the time pressing down on the potatoes to try and make it as tight as possible.  This will bring some of the cream to the top of the mold.  Once you have the potatoes to the top of the mold add a little more cream to cover all the potatoes.  The cream will cook into the potatoes and be left moist.  Cover with the top and place in the over for about 1 hr and 15 minutes.  Let it stand for 20 minutes.  Then you can carefully un-mold the terrine and flip it up side down on to a plate taking all the plastic off the terrine.   You can serve it hot, warm, or chilled with a salad.  

For the vegetable compote,

In a small sauce pot with 1 tbsp of each butter and olive oil, add leeks and celery root.  Add 2 pinches of salt and cover.  Sweat the vegetables (shaking the pot without lifting the lid periodically) for about 8 minutes.  Then add zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes.  Make sure the heat is on medium to med-low.  You don't want to brown the vegetables.  Place the blanched fava beans into a food processor and pulse on an off for 30 seconds.  You don't want the whole thing to puree but you also don't want gigantic pieces of fava beans either.  Somewhere about the same size as the brunoise vegetables. (if a little bit gets pureed during the process it is fine because it actually helps hold the vegetables together).  Add the beans to the pot and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.  (Feel free to add an herb if you have them and want them ex chive, tarragon, or dill would be great)  Set aside and keep warm.

To finish.

Go to links to finish other parts of the recipe.  Then In a big saute pan add 2 tbsp of oil.  Season the walleye with salt on both sides.  Season with pepper only on the fillet side (not skin side).  Place the walleye skin side down in the pan, hold your fingers (or spatula) on top of the fish to press the fish down so the all the skin gets browned. (fish has a tendency to curl up when you place it in a semi-hot pan, when you push each fillet down for 10 or so seconds the fish will relax and the lay flat allowing the skin to cook evenly, resulting in perfectly crispy skin ). Cook the fish for 4-5 minutes only on the skin side.  When you see the fish is almost cooked on the fillet side and the skin is browned flip it over for 30 seconds, then take out of the pan.  Immediately add the stick of butter and allow it to brown.  Once browned, add capers (with a little juice), and grapes. Season with salt and turn off the heat.  To plate place a spoonful of celery root puree.  Then cut a small piece of potato terrine out of the mold.  Cut it in half again and place on the plate.  Take 2 spoons and make a quenelle of the fava bean compote and place it next to the potatoes.  Place a piece of walleye on the plate.  Then spoon over the browned butter with capers and grapes. Finish with dill and fried celery root.  Serve and enjoy!

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Kona Kampachi, Anise Hyssop, Apple, Jalapeno

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Kona Kampachi, Anise Hyssop, Apple, Jalapeno

I came across anise hyssop for the first time a few weeks ago and immediately fell in love with this herb.  The sweetness and licorice flavor is really something that gives your mouth a new, bold, and pleasant surprise.  It is my new favorite go to if you can get your hands on it.  I also made a very light dessert with it that I will be posting soon with yogurt, figs, and honey.  This recipe is really simple, it takes sweetness and spicy along with the buttery fish of Kona Kampachi.  Kona is probably my top 5 favorite fish to work with because of the versatility of this beautiful fish.  You can serve it raw or you can cook it.  Either way produces a wonderful result.  Please feel free to search my blog with previous post of kona.  I have recipes for both raw and cooked if you want other options.  This dish was a huge crowd pleaser and I'm sure it will be for you too.  Here is the recipe and I hope you enojoy

Kona Kampachi

1 lb of fillet of Kona slice thin
1 Fuji Apple brunoise
2 red radish brunoise
3 tbsp of chives finely chopped
3 tbsp of fried garlic
2 tbsp of anise hyssop flowers 

Sweet/Spicy Jalapeno Dressing
4 jalapeños brunoise
4 tbsp of sugar
6 tbsp of water 

2 tbsp of sesame oil
2 tbsp of white balsamic
2 tbsp of shio koji (clear liquid)

For the Dressing,

Simple place water, jalapeno, and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until the sugar is dissolve and the liquid has thickened slightly.  Set aside to cool.  

In a small bowl place sesame oil, white balsamic, and shio koji.  Mix well.

To Finish the dish

Place 5 slices of the kona on a each plate. Season lightly with salt.  Spoon some of the jalapeno glaze over each slice of fish (including the brunoise pieces of jalapeno).  Then add the diced apple and radish on top of the fish.  Spoon the koji dressing all over everything.  Then top the whole dish with the toasted garlic, chives, and anise hyssop flowers.  Serve and enjoy!

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Hamachi, Tomato water, Koji, Grapes, Tomatoes

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Hamachi, Tomato water, Koji, Grapes, Tomatoes

This recipe is a variation of one I've done in the last few years.  The original has basil, lemon, and more of a Mediterranean feel to it.  This recipe is more a pacific rim type dish.  It has the asian flavors that are subtle and yet the Californian flavors of summer with tomatoes, grapes and herbs.  If there was a dish that I just love because of the freshness and just clean flavors, this has to be one of them.  Its not an overly complicated dish, but you get different flavors literally with each bite.  You have the tomato water, which is rich in tomato flavor, then you have hamachi with koji and topped with shiso-kosho.  The next bite could have fresh crunchy grapes with pickled mushrooms.  And you have the different varieties of fresh and roasted tomatoes.   The dish has a lot going on in simplistic way.  This recipe could be one of my signatures if I had one.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy!

 

1 lb of hamachi large diced seasoned with 1 tbsp of rice koji


Pickled mushrooms (see recipe)

10 grapes shaved thin
1/4 cup of chopped Chinese celery


Shiso- kosho
4 oz of shiso
2 Thai chiles
1 jalapeño
1 orange juiced and zest
2 lemons juiced and zest
3 limes juiced and zest
1 tsp of garlic, sesame oil, white soy

Tomatoes
2 green zebras sliced
3 indigo quartered
4 cherry red tomatoes halved
4 yellow tomatoes halved

1 cup of baby yellow tomatoes roasted
1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 sprig of rosemary


Tomato water (consommé) 
700g tomatoes
1 tbsp of koji (liquid)
Salt if needed

8 oz of chives blanched 

1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil

For the Tomato water

Juice tomatoes in a vegetable juicer.  Then take juice and place in a pot, heat over low heat. Simmer for 15 min until solids separate from the liquid.  Remove from heat skim the pulp from the top.  Then strain through a fine mesh strainer that is lined with cheese cloth or coffee filter.  You should be left with a clear tomato broth.  Place in an ice bath until completely cooled.  Then season with liquid koji and salt if needed. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees,

Place yellow tomatoes in a small roasting pan with olive oil, salt, and rosemary.  Roast for 25-30 minutes, tossing them periodically.  Take out and let them cool to room temperature.

For the Shiso Kosho

In a small food processor place, shiso, chili's, jalapeno, garlic, and zest.  Pulse for 30 seconds.  Then place the contents into a mixing bowl.  Then add the juice from all the fruit, sesame oil, and white soy.  Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Chive oil

Take chives and blanch for 15 seconds and then place in an ice bath.  Drain chives and place in a blender with oil.  Blend until completely pureed, then strain through a fine mesh strainer naturally with out pushing the pulp with a spoon or ladle.  Then place in a squirt bottle until ready to use.

To Finish,

Place diced hamachi in a small bowl and season with 1 tbsp of rice koji.  Then take all of the heirloom tomatoes except the roasted ones and place in a small mixing bowl.  Season with salt and olive oil.  Place 5 to 6 pieces of hamachi in a bowl.  Add a tiny pinch of shiso kosho on top of each piece of hamachi. Place different heirlooms around the bowl.  Add two pieces of roasted tomatoes to each bowl.  Add the sliced grapes to each hamachi.  Place pickled mushrooms around the bowl.  Add the tomato water.  Drizzle chive oil around the bowl.  Finish with chive flowers and micro arugula.  Serve and enjoy!

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Black Cod, Turmeric, Pickled Apricot

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Black Cod, Turmeric, Pickled Apricot

Black Cod is probably one of my top 5 favorite fish to cook and eat.  The butteriness and oil content in the fish makes this fish very forgiving in the cooking process not to mention moist and delicious.  Here I had some fresh turmeric that I decided to candy along with a carrot curry puree.  I thought I would bring some acid to the dish with some pickled apricot slices.  To give the dish some crunch I add some blanched snap peas.  A great spring to early summer dish that is light and delicious.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.  

Black Cod
1 lb of Black Cod cut into 3-4 oz pieces
2 tbsp butter plus 1 slice of fresh ginger

Candied turmeric
3 fingers of turmeric peeled and sliced thin
3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup sugar

Curry oil
2 cups of vegetable oil
2 tbsp of curry powder 

1 1/2 cups of blanched snap peas

Pickled apricot
3 firm apricots sliced thin
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
3 tbsp of white balsamic
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp peppercorns
2 tsp salt

Carrot turmeric puree
4 large orange carrot peeled and sliced 1/4 inch
1 turmeric peeled and sliced thin
1 tsp curry powder
2 cups of water
2 tbsp of butter
1 lime
Salt to taste. 

For the Carrot turmeric puree,

Add water, carrots, turmeric, and curry powder to a pot. Bring to a boil add a pinch of salt, cover and turn down to a simmer.  Cook until carrots and turmeric are tender.  Then strain off reserving the liquid if any is left just in case you need for the puree.  Add the carrots and turmeric to a vita mix and puree adding butter and liquid if need be to make a smooth puree.  Season with salt and lime juice.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the Pickled apricots,

In a small sauce pot add spices cumin, clove, and peppercorn.  Toast on medium heat for about a minute or until the become fragrant.  Then add the vinegar, sugar, salt, to the pot and bring to a boil.   Place the apricot slices in a preserving jar or bowl and pour the vinegar liquid over top.  Cover and allow to come to room temperature.  Allow at least 4 hours until you use them.  

For the Candied turmeric,

Place all the ingredients into a small sauce pot and bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 20-30 minutes until turmeric is tender and there has formed a thick glaze.  Let it cool to room temperature

For the Curry Oil,

In a small sauce pot add curry powder and toast on low heat for 1 minute.  Then add the oil and bring up to 150 degrees.  Then turn off the heat and allow it to steep for 2 hours.  Then strain off season with salt if desired and place in a squirt bottle.  

To Finish,

Place black cod in a sous vide bag along with butter and ginger.  Seal bag air tight and then place in a water bath at 130 degrees for 6-8 minutes.  Meanwhile get plates ready, add turmeric carrot puree to the plate, add blanched snapped peas tossed with curry oil and salt.  Add the candied turmeric slices.  Then take the fish out of the bag, drain on a paper towel, season with salt and place on the plate. Add pickled apricot, and nasturtism leaves. Drizzle with curry oil,  serve and enjoy!

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Branzini, Nasturtium, Snap Peas, Radish

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Branzini, Nasturtium, Snap Peas, Radish

Here is a great fish recipe using branzini (Loup de mer) and all those nasturtiums I picked a few days ago.  Branzini is a great Mediterranean fish that has a mild flavor and crispness is easily achieved  when seared in a pan.  This recipe is another dish that celebrates spring and the bounty that it brings.  Snap peas are wonderfully crisp and sweet.  Radish flowers give a great spice to the dish along with the earthiness from the nasturtiums.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.  

2 Whole Branzini's filleted and de-boned

2 tbsp of olive oil

Salt to taste 

 

Nasturtium Sauce

2 cups of nasturtium leaves blanched

1/2 cup of spinach leaves blanched

2 cups of vegetable stock

5 tbsp of cream

4 tbsp of butter 

salt to taste 

 

Vegetable stock

1 onion charred

2 leeks

3 stalks for celery

4 carrots

2 parsnips

1 celeriac

1 cup of mushroom stems if you have them 

5 cloves of garlic

2 bay leafs

1 sprig of thyme

8 cups of water

 

1 cup of snap peas blanched and cut on the bias

1/4 cup of radish flowers

1/4 cup of nasturtium pedals and flowers

 

For the Vegetable stock 

Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and reduce by half or until the water taste flavorful.  Strain out and season with salt. 

For the Nasturtium sauce

In a small pot add two cups of vegetable stock and reduce by 1/4.  Then pour into a vita mix blender with blanched nasturtium and spinach leaves.  Puree until smooth, then pour in the cream and continue to puree for another minute.  Then slowly add the butter until a smooth creamy sauce is formed.  Strain if desired.  Season and set aside.  

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add oil on medium high heat.  Season both sides of the branzini with salt and place in the saute pan skin side down.  With a spatula press the fish down until it sits flat in the pan.  (when you add the fish to the pan it will curl up, you need to press down firmly until the skins "sets" and then the fish will lay flat and sear evenly on the skin side so that it will brown properly).  Cook the fish for about 4-5 minutes only on the skin side.  The flesh side should cook 85% of the way. Meanwhile in a small saute pan add a little butter or oil and just heat up the snap peas with a little salt to warm them through. Take your plates and pour a ladle of the sauce down on the plate, add snap peas, flowers and nasturtium pedals.  Turn the fish over for 5 seconds in the pan and the take out and place on the plate.  Serve and enjoy!

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Wild Alaskan Salmon, Persian Mint, Lima, Pomegranate, Chanterelles

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Wild Alaskan Salmon, Persian Mint, Lima, Pomegranate, Chanterelles

This dish is a fantastic fall recipe that is light but yet hardy.  The Alaskan salmon, because of its fattiness, is perfect for sous vide preparation. I lightly smoked the salmon before I sous vide it to give a little more layer of flavor. Then I cooked the salmon until it was just barely cooked through.  The texture literally falls apart when your fork touches it.   I found some persian mint at the farmers market which is milder, almost leaning towards a oregano in flavor.  I made a coconut yogurt-avocado sauce with the persian mint to give the salmon some depth of flavor.  Made chips with the skin of the salmon.  I gave the dish more flavor and texture by adding sautéed chanterelles, toasted sourdough, fresh lima beans (that exploded with flavor), along with pomegranate seeds to round out the dish.  Jp said it was one of the best tasting salmon dishes he has ever had in his life.  Always good when the boss says that and knowing he has had a lot of great food in his lifetime.  I served this as an appetizer and served it cold.  It can be served hot or cold

1 1/2 lb of Wild Alaskan Salmon cut into 4 oz pieces (6 portions)

1 cup of fresh lima beans blanched

8 oz of chanterelles cut in bite size pieces

1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds 

1 cup of small diced sourdough croutons 

Salmon skin

 

Coconut Mint Sauce

4 oz of coconut yogurt (stiggs)

1 avocado

1/4 cup of persian mint

1 lemon

Salt to taste

 

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of butter

1 sprig of lemon verbena 

Rosemary flowers and Persian mint

 

For the Salmon,

Using the stove top cold smoked method (without curing first) technique here for the salmon.  Smoke for 3-4 minutes and then turn off the heat and allow the salmon to sit in the stove top smoker for 20 minutes without the heat.  

Set a water bath with sous vide machine set to 125 degrees.  In a cryovac bag add salmon, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of butter, and lemon verbena leaves. Make sure that the pieces of salmon aren't touching each other.  Seal and place in water bath.  Cook for 7-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon.  Take out and allow to cool to room temperature.  (note: the salmon should be a medium rare to medium temperature all the way through.  Because of the sous vide preparation the salmon should be like cutting butter when the fork goes through it.

For the Persian Mint sauce,

Place all the ingredients into a vita mix and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and place in a squeeze bottle. 

To finish, 

In a small sauté pan add oil, butter, and chanterelles to the pan.  Cook for 5-7 minutes until tender.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.  Take the salmon out of the bag and season with sea salt.  Then add a few chanterelles, lima beans, croutons, salmon skin pomegranate seeds, mint yogurt sauce, persian mint leaves, and rosemary flowers.  Add a little yogurt sauce to the plate and the salmon.  Serve and enjoy!  

 

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Ivory Salmon Crudo with Anchovy, Fennel, and Orange

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Ivory Salmon Crudo with Anchovy, Fennel, and Orange

Great ingredients, simply done! That is the key to this recipe.  I paired this white fleshed salmon with classic Mediterranean flavors, for a delicious appetizer.  Roughly 1 out 20 king alaskan salmon are white fleshed or Ivory.  Personally I don't think there is a big difference between flavor, maybe a slight difference in taste but not major.  Because 1 out 20 and limited fishing, you don't see Ivory salmon too often or if you do it is hard to consistently get.  So when I see it I try and get it.  I served the salmon with an anchovy sauce, topped with capers, pickled fennel, green olive, fresh naval oranges, radish and cucumbers.  Very fresh and clean flavors perfect for summer.  You don't have to feel guilty after eating this dish.  

12 oz of Ivory Salmon Fillet

1 lemon 

1 red radish sliced thin

1 persian cucumber sliced thin and rolled up

2 naval oranges cut into supremes (segments)

4 tbsp of capers

 

Anchovy Sauce

4 anchovys

2 garlic cloves

3 tbsp of capers

3 sprigs of tarragon leaves

1 small bunch of chives

1/2 cup of parsley leaves

1 pieces of sourdough day old bread

3 tbsp of sherry vinegar

1 cup of veganaise (mayonnaise)

1/4 cup of olive oil 

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Pickled Fennel Tops

4 stalks of fennel top shaved thin 

1/4 cup of white wine vinegar

1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup of sugar

2 tsp of salt 

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1 bay leaf

2 cloves of garlic

 

Green Olive puree

12 oz castlevetrano olives pitted

2 garlic cloves

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

1 tsp of espelette pepper

1 micro mizuna and borage flowers

Fluer de sel

 

For the Anchovy Sauce,

Place all the ingredients in a vita mix blender except for the olive oil.  Puree until smooth,  then slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and vinegar if needed.  Set aside. 

For the pickled fennel tops

Place all the ingredients except for the sliced fennel stalks into a pot.  Bring to a boil and then pour over the sliced fennel stalks in a small bowl or canning jar.   Cover and allow to come to room temperature.  Set aside for later. 

For the Olives

For the green olive puree (tapanade) place olives and garlic into a food processor.  Puree and add the oil during the process.  No need to season because of the saltiness of the olives.

To Finish 

Slice the fish in sashimi style slices.  Take the lemon and cut in half.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish.  Then take the anchovy sauce and spread it all over the plate.  Place 3-4 slices of ivory salmon on top of the anchovy sauce.  Season the fish with fluer de sel and espelette pepper.  Then add the slice radishes, the sliced rolled up cucumbers, the orange segments.  Add capers, the pickled fennel stalks, and the green olive puree.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and finish with the micro greens.  Serve and enjoy!

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Quinoa Crusted Copper River Salmon with Chrysanthemum

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Quinoa Crusted Copper River Salmon with Chrysanthemum

Love coming to L.A. during the summertime because of the bounty of produce.  Going to the farmers markets you fine so many different ingredients from all over the world that is grown right here in California.  Because of the great climate and the wonderful farmers that have proven they know how to grow and what to grow.  Each farmer takes the initiative to find either one or two things or many things and specialize in just those things, and they become experts in growing and a lot of the times get the natural or heirloom seed of that ingredient which is nothing like you find in the supermarkets.  For a chef it really is inspiring to get to work with all of these bread ingredients, that's why you see so many chef's and restaurants at the farmers market week in and week out.  Here is a dish with copper river salmon with some left over quinoa and fresh peas with a red pepper dashi romesco.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy

1 lb of Copper river salmon cut into 4- 4 oz pieces

1 cup of cooked quinoa 

2 tbsp of whole coriander seed coarsely crushed

3 tbsp of olive oil 

 

Red Pepper Dashi

3 whole roasted red peppers

1/2 onion sliced

1 1/2 tsp of chopped ginger

3 garlic cloves chopped

1/2 cup of sake 

1/4 cup of marcona almonds

1 large red jalapeño sliced (with seeds)

2 cups of dashi or chicken stock

3 tbsp of butter

1 tbsp of grape seed oil

salt to taste

 

1 cup of fresh peas blanched

1 bunch of broccolini stems removed

1 cup of mitake mushrooms cut in half

1 bunch of chrysanthemum greens stems removed

1 tbsp of sesame oil

1 tsp of chopped ginger

1 tbsp of butter

 

1 persian cucumber shaved thin

1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar 

1/4 tsp of salt

4 red radish sliced thin

2 limes juiced 

1 tsp of salt

micro cilantro

 

For the Red Pepper Sauce,

In a medium sauce pot on medium high, add grape seed oil, jalapeños, onions, and ginger.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add chopped garlic, marcona almond, and roasted peppers. Cook for 2 more minutes then deglaze with sake.  Reduce until there is very little sake left and then add the dashi or stock.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.  Add the butter to the blender until smooth.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and set aside to keep warm.

Place sliced cucumbers in a small bowl with salt and vinegar.  Set aside for later. In another bowl add sliced radishes with limes juice and salt.  Set aside for later.

For the vegetables,

In a large saute pan on medium heat add sesame oil, ginger, and mitake mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add broccolini.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then add the chrysanthemum and peas.  Cook for another 2 minutes then finish with salt, pepper and butter.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the salmon,

in a small bowl mix coarse ground coriander seeds and quinoa.  Drizzle salmon fillets with 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Season with salt on both side of the fillet.  Then on the fillet side add a layer of the quinoa mixture.  Then in a non stick pan with the remaining olive oil place the salmon quinoa side down into the pan on medium low heat.  Cook for 6-7 minutes on that one side. Meanwhile take a ladle of the sauce down on the plate.  Add the vegetables on top of the sauce.  Then flip the salmon over and let it sit in the pan for 20 seconds then take out and place on top of the vegetables.  Finish the dish with pickled cucumber and radishes.  Top with micro cilantro, serve and enjoy!


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Cured, Smoked Sable with Grapes, Shiso, and Mushroom Conserva

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Cured, Smoked Sable with Grapes, Shiso, and Mushroom Conserva

Here is a dish I served last night for a few guests that came over for dinner and was a huge hit with everyone.  I had cured and smoked 2 fillets of Sable (Black Cod) fish and was looking for something to do with it.  All I knew is I had the cod and I had both purple and green shiso growing in the garden and wanted to make some sort of sauce with one of them.  These types of dishes come from what I have on hand and with all the abundant summer produce to choose from; the refrigerator at work is normally stocked with a ton good things.  It also doesn't hurt to have a few things preserved that you can quickly add to a dish as well.  In this case it was the mushroom conserva.  I have know idea what genre of cuisine this is but it all worked out, I think this is my Californian cuisine.  When I worked in Dallas the last year or two I was really leaning towards this kind of cuisine and then I moved to San Francisco.  Long story short is, I love to cook when I am in California.  Enough small talk on to the recipe.

2 fillets of black cod, bones removed skin on

2 1/2 cups of salt

2 1/2 cups of sugar

1/3 cup of lemon verbena leaves

1 tbsp of peppercorns

 

Cherry Shiso Gel

1 cup of bing cherries pits and stems removed

1/2 onion sliced

1 tbsp of ginger small diced

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 jalapeño sliced seeds too

1/3 cup of mirin

1/3 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups of whole purple shiso leaves rinsed

1 1/2 tsp of agar 

1/4 cup of water

salt to taste 

 

Mushroom Conserva (adapted from Thomas Keller)

2lb of wild mushrooms (mitake, Beech, Cremeni, Porcini, Shitake, etc...)

1 cup of grape seed oil

1 cup of olive oil

5 cloves of garlic

2 bay leaves

1 large sprig of thyme and rosemary

1/4 cup of lemon verbena leaves

3 tbsp of sherry vinegar

1/2 onion

salt and black pepper

 

1/4 cup of fried capers

1 large red radish slice thin

1/4 cup of micro sorrel

1/4 cup of micro chervil

10 large black grapes sliced

 

For the Smoked Sable (Black Cod)   Note. Needs to be done at least 2-3 days ahead of time.

Please see technique for curing and smoking fish here .  It is basically the same recipe except you add the verbena instead of lavender.  

Mushroom Conserva,

Trim the mushrooms of tough stems if any and any dirt that may be on them.  Cut large mushroom into pieces and keep the small ones whole.  In a pot add the oil, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and verbena.  Bring the oil up to 170 degrees.  Then pour in the mushrooms carefully.  Turn the mushrooms periodically.  When the oil comes back up to 170 degrees cook for another 5 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and add the vinegar, salt and pepper.  Let the mushrooms steep in the oil for 45 minutes.  Then transfer to a container and keep in the refrigerator.  The mushrooms should be submerged in the oil.  Serve the mushrooms hot or cold and will keep for a month.   

For the Cherry Shiso Sauce

In a small sauté pan on medium heat add oil, onion, jalapeño, and ginger.  Cook for 4 minutes and then add the cherries.  Cook for another two minutes and then add mirin, vinegar, water, and sugar.  Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and add a pinch of salt.  Cook for 10 minutes and then add the agar.  Cook for another 10 minutes and then pour everything in to a vita mix along with the shiso leaves.  Puree until smooth, season with salt and pass through a chinois into a bowl.  Allow to cool completely until it has become a hard and gelatinous.  Then break up the gelatinous sauce and put back into the vita mix and puree until a smooth gel is formed.  Pour into a squeeze bottle and place in the refrigerator. ( The sauce will have a strong flavor of spice, herbaceous and sweet)

To finish the dish,

Take four plates and squirt dots of the cherry shiso sauce all over the plates.  Then take out the sable fish and thinly slice 3-4 pieces to each plate.  Add 1 slice of grape and radish to each fish.  Then add a small piece of mushroom on top each piece of fish.  Add the fried caper all around.  Finish with the micro sorrel and chervil.  Serve and enjoy!

 


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Hamachi Tartar with Chinese Celery and Borage

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Hamachi Tartar with Chinese Celery and Borage

Here is a little starter I did last night for a dinner with Dan Aykroyd and his wife Donna Dixon who really enjoyed the evening.  This was a great summer dish that was light and refreshing.  A great way to start of the dinner especially with all the fresh ingredients.  I love spending time in L.A. in the summer time with and going to the Santa Monica Farmers Market  which has to be one of the best in country. You are bound to see famous chef's or celebrities shopping for the freshest ingredients.  The variety and list of ingredients is almost overwhelming.  I went yesterday and their is so much to choose from like Porcini mushrooms to borage to lemon Verbena, to all the fresh fruit peaches and nectarines, all the cherries; it really is beautiful to see and taste.   I end up buying almost a little of everything and come back and try to figure out what to make.  Sometimes it is an overload of ingredients and ideas of what to do with them.  This dish I tried to keep simple and light.  Here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy it.

1lb of hamachi (sushi grade Yellowtail)

1 tbsp of cherry shaved wood chips

1 tbsp of oak shaved wood chips

4 tbsp of minced Chinese or baby celery

1 tsp of Sansho pepper

1 tbsp of Furikake Rice Seasoning (bonito and Sesame) 

1-2 tbsp of tamari 

1/2 tsp of salt

1 tsp of sesame oil

 

1 cucumber juiced

1 bunch of celery juiced 

1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar 

2 sprigs of lemon verbena 

1 tsp of salt

 

3 Breakfast Radish sliced thin

Borage flowers

Broccoli flowers

Micro Cilantro 

Meyer Lemon oil 

 

For the Hamachi,

Take a medium large plastic zip lock bag and fill it with ice.  Set up your stove top smoker by place the wood chips in the bottom of the pan.   Turn the heat on until the wood shavings start to smoke.  Then place the rack and tray on top of the wood chips.  Put the ice bag down on the tray and place the Hamachi on top of the ice bag.  Place the cover on top or with foil and let the fish smoke for 1 minute on low heat and then turn off the heat and let the fish absorb the smoke for the next 20 minutes with no heat.  The ice helps insure that the fish won't cook.  What your doing is adding a very subtle smoke flavor to the fish.   After the fish has absorbed all the smoke take the fish out and place back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Take out the hamachi and small dice the fish and place in it a bowl.  Add the minced chinese celery, the Furikake, Sansho, tamari, sesame oil, and salt to the fish.  Mix well with a spoon and adjust seasoning if needed.  Set aside in the refrigerator.  

Then take a cucumber and celery and juice through a vegetable juice.  Season with rice wine vinegar and salt.  Add the verbena to the juice to add a little subtle flavor.   Set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  

To finish,

in a medium size round cookie cutter add the hamachi tartar to the ring and press down to hold its shape.  Then take sliced radish and place on top.  Pour a title of the cucumber-celery juice into the bottom of the bowl.  Garnish with flowers, and micro cilantro, finish with a drizzle of Meyer lemon oil.  Serve and enjoy!


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Sous Vide Salmon, Swiss Chard, Ginger Aioli, and Dashi Veloute

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Sous Vide Salmon, Swiss Chard, Ginger Aioli, and Dashi Veloute

Here is a dish that I serve a little bit ago and it was a huge hit with Jp.  This dish definitely takes a little time but some of the things can be done ahead of time.  Salmon is a great fish that can be "poached" or sous vide and also that can be eaten at a medium doneness.  I got a great piece of wild salmon and decided to also use the skin as a chip.  One of the rules in a chef's kitchen is to hardly ever through anything away and the skin of the fish being one of them.  I decided to make ginger aioli and a Dashi sauce.  To round out the dish I made a white miso and eggplant puree along with roasted spring onions. Very French in approach but flavored with Asian ingredients that married beautifully.  Jp couldn't get over how tender and melt in the mouth the salmon was.  This is also a great use of the swiss chard by wrapping the salmon in it.  Here is the recipe I really hope you enjoy it.

1 1/2 lb salmon fillet with skin scaled

1 bunch of swiss chard leaves blanched

 

Ginger Aioli

3 tbsp of fresh squeezed ginger juice

3 egg yolks

1 1/2 cup grape seed or vegetable oil

1 tsp of sesame oil

4 tbsp of rice wine vinegar

1 tsp of Aji Roja puree or sriracha  sauce

4-5 tbsp of honey

Salt to taste

 

Dashi 

3 cups of bonito flakes

1 piece of kombu (optional)

8 cups of water

2 tbsp of butter 

2 tbsp of flour

 

4 spring onions

1 bunch of blanched asparagus tips

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 red radish sliced thin

 

1 large eggplant peeled and diced

3 tbsp of white miso

3 tbsp of cream 

 

For the Salmon,

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

If you can, try and get one whole piece of salmon that weighs around 1 1/2 lbs.  Then take the skin off cleanly or have your fish monger do it for you.  Clean the fish skin of all the flesh so that it is really clean with no meat.  Make sure all of the scales are off on the outside of the skin.  Lay the skin flat on a cutting board and cut with a very sharp knife even strips of the skin.  Then take a piece of parchment paper and lay it flat on a sheet pan. Place the skin flat on the parchment paper and season lightly with salt.  Take another piece of parchment paper and lay on top of the salmon skin.  Place another sheet pan on top to weigh the paper down.  Place in the oven for 15 minutes.  Then flip over the skin and place in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the salmon skin is like a chip.  Set aside to cool and place in a air tight container.  

To make the salmon rolls, cut the salmon fillet down the middle of the fish length wise (you can follow the natural "white line" in the salmon) Then cut salmon into 4-5 oz "blocks".  Make sure that you trim any of the brown part of salmon bottom off (For the visual purposes). The goal here is try and get pieces of salmon that are the same size all the way around or as close as possible.  Then take one piece of salmon block and slice on the bottom 1/3 of the salmon all the way to the end of the other side of the salmon without cutting through it. (basically a butterfly cut) Then do the same slice with the 2/3 part of the salmon fillet (another butterfly cut).  So basically you should end up with a flat rectangular fillet of salmon.  Here at this stage you could use Transglutaminase (meat glue) if you wanted to make a seamless fillet.  I chose not to, I lightly season the flesh side up of the salmon and then roll the salmon up into a tight roll.  Then place the salmon roll in plastic and wrap really tightly, twisting both ends of the plastic until the salmon is a perfect tube.  Continue the process with the rest of the salmon pieces.  Place in the refrigerator to help set the shape for at least 2 hours.  

Then take a stove top smoker and place cherry chips in the bottom of the smoker.  Get a big plastic zip lock bag and fill it with ice.  Place in the stove top smoker on the tray. Take the salmon cylinders out of the refrigerator, cut one end of the plastic off and slide the salmon out of the plastic.  Place all the salmon cylinders on top of the ice.  Place the lid on top of the smoker and turn the heat on for 1-2 minute to get the smoker rolling.  Then turn off the heat and allow the smoke to penetrate the salmon for 15 minutes. ( without cooking the salmon, this is essentially cold smoking)

Then take the blanch chard leaves and remove the stems.  Make sure that you pat the leaves with a towel to completely dry them.  Then roll the chard leaves around the salmon.  Place the salmon back in a piece of plastic and roll it up tight, tying up both ends tightly to form a perfect cylinder.  Then place in a sous vide bag.  Set a water bath to 125 degrees.  Get the other mise en place prepped before you cook the salmon.  

For the dashi veloute, 

Soak kombu in fresh water to soften it a bit and get rid of any impurities for 20 minutes.  Then add kombu to a pot with water and bonito flakes.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer and reduce by 1/2 or until the stock is rich and full of flavor.  In a small sauce pot add butter on medium heat.  When the butter has melted completely add the flour to make a roux.  Cook for one minute and then strain the dashi into the roux stirring continuously.  Start with 2 cups of dashi and small amounts until the dashi thickens to a nice consistency for a sauce or veloute.  Simmer for 15 minutes and then strain and season.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the Ginger aioli, 

Place egg yolks, ginger juice, vinegar, honey, and aji into a vita mix.  Turn on medium low and puree until smooth.  Then slowly add the oils until the aioli thickens to sauce consistency.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and place in a squirt bottle.  

For the eggplant puree,

In small pot of salted water add peeled and diced eggplant.  Boil for about 8 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. Place in an ice bath. Discard any brown pieces and squeeze out excess water.  Then place the eggplant in the vita mix with miso, and a little cream.  Puree until smooth and adjust seasoning if needed.

Place the salmon rolls in the water bath and cook for about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile in a sauté pan on medium heat add olive oil and spring onions.  Cook for 5- 10 minutes until tender.  Then add the asparagus and warm through.  Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.  

To finish,

Take the ginger aioli and make an oval on the plate.  Then spoon in the dashi in the middle of the oval.  Take the salmon out of the water bath and out of the plastic bags. Cut the salmon using a sharp knife in 3 pieces.  Season the tops of the salmon with fluer de sel and place them on top of the sauce.  Place two spoonfuls of the eggplant puree next to the salmon pieces.  Add the spring onions, aspargus and shaved radish.  Finish with the salmon skin chip, serve and enjoy!

 

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Salmon Sashimi

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Salmon Sashimi

Here is an appetizer I served the other day that is really easy and straight forward.  Sushi grade fish has become more available at normal stores over the last few years.  I found an organic sushi grade salmon at Whole Foods that really was a great product.  I would estimate that 80% of the sushi served today is previously frozen.  I don't know that as a fact but that is just my guesstimate.  With a lot of dishes sometimes the best recipes are the ones that are simple and left alone to let the ingredients shine.  Still one thing that I have not mastered yet but still trying to learn.  Most of the things can be done ahead of time and it really is a dish that can be put together in a few minutes if everything else is prepped.  Here is the recipe hope you enjoy it.

8 oz of sushi grade salmon

1 red radish shaved thin

1 spring onion bottom shaved thin

1/4 cup of minced fried garlic

3 tbsp of cilantro stems minced

 

Pickled mushrooms

8 oz of beech mushroom

1/2 cup of black vinegar

1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup of sugar

1 slice of ginger

1 tsp of sambal

 

Ponzu

Miso Mayo

Fried carrots, micro radish, and bok choy flowers to garnish

For the pickled mushrooms,

Place all of the ingredients into a pot except for the mushrooms and bring to a boil.  Place the mushrooms in a heat proof container.  Once the liquid comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved pour over the mushrooms.  Place a lid over it and allow it to come to room temperature.  This is better if it is made at least a day ahead of time.  

To finish the dish,

Take four plates and place one streak of miso mayo down on the plate.  Then take your salmon and slice thin pieces of sashimi and place on top of the miso mayo.  Then spoon on top of the salmon some ponzu.  You can add a touch more fresh lemon juice on top if you desire.  Then finish by adding the pickled mushrooms, fried garlic, radish, onion, cilantro stems, flowers and fried carrots.  Serve and enjoy!

 

 


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Sea Bass with Salt Roasted Sunchokes and Leek Brown Butter

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Sea Bass with Salt Roasted Sunchokes and Leek Brown Butter

Here is a dish that was a big hit the other night.  I know sea bass has been on a list for endangered species for a long time.  There are places selling sea bass that is fished responsible.  The problem lies when poaching occurs or when people fish over the allotted amounts.  If you can get the fish from a responsible source with documentation then you know its coming from a reliable source that is fish responsibly (read here).  With that being said I still try not to buy it very often at all.  Sea bass is definitely a star though in the kitchen because of its meaty texture, with butter flavor. The natural crust that you can achieve from this fish is really superb.  I literally serve it maybe 2 or 3 times a year (serving 4 people) so that amount is not something should be frowned upon.  With that being said you can easily substitute another fish for the sea bass if you feel strongly about it.  Two of my favorite things about this dish other than the fish is actually the sauce and the puree.  I roasted the sunchokes in a salt crust.  This technique really intensifies that natural flavor of the vegetable.  You can do this with any root vegetable or protein of your liking.  The sauce is a simple one but delicious.  You take leeks and chicken stock and then emulsify it with brown butter.  Absolutely delicious.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

1 lb of sea bass cut into 4, 4 oz pieces

1 lb of sunchokes

2 lb of salt

2 egg whites

5 tbsp of water

1/4 warm cup of cream

2 tbsp of butter

 

Leek Emulsion 

1 large leek washed and sliced

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup of green onion tops 

1/4 cup of white wine

3 cups of chicken stock

1/2 cup of blanched parsley

1 1/2 sticks of butter, browned

 

Vegetables

6 baby carrots blanched and cut in half

6 baby turnips blanched and cut in quarters

6 baby zucchini blanched in cut in thirds

1 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of butter

3 tbsp of verjus

1 tsp of chopped thyme

 

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

For the sunchokes

Wash the sunchokes thoroughly under cold water.  Then in a bowl add salt, water, and egg whites.  Whisk together everything with a whisk until the salt resembles wet sand.  You can add a touch of water if it is not wet enough. In a small saute pan that is oven proof place a small layer of the salt to coat the bottom.  Then place the sunchokes on top of the bottom coat of salt.  Take the remaining salt and completely cover the sunchokes leaving no exposed vegetable.  Then place in the oven and roast for an hour. Take out and let it continue to cook for another 20 minutes.  Then crack the salt crust with a mallet to break it up.  Remove all of the salt.  Take the sunchokes out and dust off any of the left over salt.  Peel them if you want ( I did not) and place them in a blender.  Pour in the warm cream and butter.  Puree until completely smooth.  Adjust seasoning if need be.  Set aside until ready to plate.

For the Leek sauce

In a small sauce pot add oil, leeks, and garlic.  Season lightly with salt and sweet the leeks.  Do not let them brown.  Add your green onions and white wine.  Let the wine reduce by half and then add your chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes.  Then pour everything into a vita mix.  Add the blanched parsley and puree until smooth.  Turn down to a low speed and gradually add your browned butter until incorporated. (To make brown butter simply put butter into a pan and when the milk solid start to brown, smell toasted, and the butter turns brown take off the heat).  Let it blend of a minute and then strain out into a holding container.  Keep warm.

To Finish,

In a hot saute pan add 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Season sea bass on both side with salt.  Place the sea bass fillet down into the pan.  Turn down the heat to medium high.  Cook for 5 minutes so the fish gets a really deep dark crust.  Meanwhile in a another saute pan add 2 tbsp of olive oil, carrots, turnips, and zucchini.  Cover and saute for 3 minutes and then add verjus and butter.  Cook uncovered for another minute, finish with thyme salt and pepper.  Flip the fish over after 5 minutes and then cook for 1 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let your fish finish cooking.  Place a spoonful of the warm sunchoke puree down on the plate.  Place the fish on top.  The ladle some of the sauce around the fish.  Place the vegetables next to the fish and finish the dish with sorrel and vegetable flowers.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Copper River Salmon Carpaccio

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Copper River Salmon Carpaccio

Copper river salmon! The prized salmon coming from Alaska waters, has a short season of about 1 month out of the year normally running mid May through mid June.  That's it, so when the season comes along and you can get your hands on this salmon by all means do so.  Lately I have been seeing the Atlantic salmon that doesn't even have the coloring it should because the farm raised don't eat what a wild salmon would normally eat.  You can only imagine the difference in taste side by side with the wild.  

Carpaccio is normally a raw preparation of either meat or fish that is either sliced thin or pounded thin.  In this recipe I pounded the salmon thin and topped it with some different textures and flavors.  Jp said it was one of the best dishes he has had in a long time, every bite had something different in flavor.  The next day he even mentioned it two more times on how good it was and how that could have been served in any high end restaurant around the world. Always feels good when the boss is happy.  Here is the recipe

1 1/2 lb of copper river salmon de-boned and skin off

1 red radish sliced thin

1/4 cup of green onions sliced

1/2 cucumber sliced thin and rolled

1/4 cup of chopped peanuts

1 serrano sliced thin

1/4 cup of cilantro leaves

fleur de sel

1 lime

3 tsp of toasted sesame seeds

Ponzu


Pickled baby bok choy

3 baby bok choy cut in quarters

1/2 cup of black vinegar

1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup of water

1/4 cup of sugar

1 tbsp of sichuan peppercorns

1 tbsp of coriander

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp of ginger

2 tsp of salt

Puffed rice chip

1 cup of jasmine rice

2 1/2 up of water (plus a little more) 

1 tsp of salt

shiso fumi furikake

Oil for frying


For the puffed rice chip

Place 2 1/4 cup of water into a pot with salt and bring to a boil. Pour in your rice, cover and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 20-23 minutes until tender and cooked all the way through.  It is okay if the rice is over cooked.  Once the rice is cooked/overcooked.  Place half of the rice in a blender with the remaining 1/4 cup of water.  Puree until smooth, you might need to add a touch more water to puree it completely smooth.  You should end up with a white glue like consistency  .  Pour the rice puree into a bowl and add the remaining cooked rice to the puree.  Mix with a spatula until well incorporated.  Then pour onto a silpat and with a offset or pastry spatula distribute the rice mixture into a thin, smooth, even layer.  Then place the silpat rice mixture into a dehydrator for 5 hours at 130 degrees (or over night).  After the first 2 1/2 hours have passed, I flip the rice mixture over so the the other side dries as well (Here you can also take a pair of scissors and cut the rice into specific shapes if you want).  Once the mixture is completely dry place 2 cups of oil in a pot for frying at 350 degrees.  Take your dried rice and break into pieces if you did not cut them before.  Place 2 at a time into the fryer and fry for 10-15 seconds roughly.  The dried rice should puff up right away and just needs a few more seconds on each side to slightly brown and crispin up.  Drain onto a paper towel and add a little shiso fumi seasoning on top.  Keep in air tight container when you have fried all the rice chips you want.  You can keep the dried rice in a your pantry and fry later if you want.

For the pickled baby bok choy,

Place vinegars, water, sugar, garlic, ginger, and spices into a pot.  Bring to a boil.  Place the baby bok choy in jar or bowl and pour the hot liquid over the baby bok choy.  Cover and let it come to room temperature, or can according to canning instructions.  

For the salmon,

Place a piece of plastic wrap on your counter about 1 1/2 feet long.  Take your salmon and slice thin like sashimi and place it on the plastic wrap.  Continue the process until all the salmon is cut. Then place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the salmon that is lying on the first piece of plastic wrap.  With a mallet, lightly pound fish until it is very thin.  Then you can arrange the salmon onto your serving plates.  You should be able to get 6-8 portions depending on how big a portion you want to serve.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for finishing the dish later.  This can be done hours before you serve your guest.  That way the salmon is cold and the plate is cold.  

To finish,

Take the salmon out of the refrigerator and unwrap the plastic.  With a hand held torch, torch the top of the salmon slightly to give a little different texture and flavor.  Then spoon on a couple teaspoons of ponzu on top of the salmon.  Squeeze a little lime juice over the top. Then season slightly with fleur de sel.  Add sliced serranos, cucumber, and radishes.  Top with chopped peanuts and green onions.  Add cilantro leaves, sesame seeds, and finish with puffed rice chip.  Serve and enjoy!


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Escolar Crudo

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Escolar Crudo

Here is a simple lunch that was light and refreshing.  It is always hard to choose what to make if Jp has been traveling and on the road.  When he is on the road he normally is eating out and so I know sometimes he wants something more light because he has been eating heavier things in the restaurants and hotels.  I just took a few ingredients that I had left over and through them all together and this is what came out.  

1 lb of Escolar Loin

1 tsp of sansho

2 red radishes sliced paper thin

1/4 cup of green onions

1/4 cup of ponzu

1/3 cup of puffed black rice

1/4 cup of cilantro with flowers

1 avocado parisienne balls

Pickled Daikon Radish

2 small daikon radish peeled and sliced thin

1 cup of rice wine vinegar

1 jalapeno cut in half

1 tsp of salt

1/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of water

ALMOND MISO PASTE

1/2 cup of smooth almond butter

1/4 cup of yellow miso

1/3 cup of warm water

1 tbsp of sambal chile paste

 

For The Almond Miso

Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.  Set aside until ready to use.

For the Pickled Daikon

Take water, sugar, salt, jalapeno, and vinegar and place in a pot.  Bring to a boil.  Place the sliced daikon in a bowl and pour the boiling pickle juice over the radishes.  Cover and set aside until it comes to room temperature.  Then place in the refrigerator until ready to use.  

To Finish 

Slice the escolar sashimi style.  Then take a spoonful of the almond miso on the plate.  Arrange fives slices of escolar on the plate.  Then drizzle ponzu on top of the fish.  Sprinkle sansho on each slice of fish.  Add a slice of daikon radish and red radish to each slice of escolar.  Sprinkle with black rice, cilantro flowers, green onions, and parisienne avocado.   Serve and Enjoy!


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