Virtual Cooking Class with Chicago Chef Paul Kahan

Virtual Cooking Class with Chef Paul Kahan

Roasted Sockeye Salmon with Pepita Pesto
Charred Radicchio with Balsamic Vinegar
Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey and Lemon

Sitka Salmon Shares, an Alaskan direct-to-consumer seafood company, paired with Chef Paul Kahan, the two-time James Beard Award winner behind popular Chicagoland restaurants avec, The Publican, and Big Star for a Virtual Cooking Class featuring their wild Alaska sockeye salmon.

Guests received a meal kit for two shipped to their door plus a code to cook virtually alongside Paul, and Culinary Director Perry Hendrix. The cost was $149 plus shipping. There was a generous amount of product in the shipment, enough to feed four, making this a delightful gourmet experience a very reasonable cost per person. And it was especially neat to spend time with one of Chicago’s great gregarious chefs in his own kitchen.

Cooking Class Recipes

Virtual Cooking Class with Chef Paul Kahan

For the Squash:
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Cut the top and tail off the squash and slice through the middle. Remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut the squash in ½” slices. Toss with honey, olive oil, juice of half a lemon and salt. Toss on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes or until the squash is sizzling. Stir the squash and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until the squash is tender and nicely browned.

Lori Lynn’s comments:
I placed the squash on a pre-heated sheet pan. I still needed to cook the squash an extra 10 minutes to get it to be tender and lightly browned. Drizzled with a bit more honey and a squeeze of lemon after plated.

Sitka Salmon Recipe

For the Radicchio:
Slice radicchio heads in quarters. Preheat a heavy bottomed or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Season the radicchio with salt and pepper. Add oil to the pan, and working in batches if everything doesn’t fit, sear the cut side of the radicchio until well browned – about 5 minutes. Flip and brown the other cut side of radicchio – an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and place in a large mixing bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Give it a taste and add more lemon juice and salt if needed.

Lori Lynn’s comments:
I plated the radicchio directly from the cast iron skillet to keep the nice layers intact. Added balsamic vinegar and lemon juice over the top once plated.

For the Salmon:
Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Place salmon on the baking sheet and season with salt. Place in the oven and bake until the fish is tender and just cooked through, about 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon. Serve with pepita pesto.

Lori Lynn’s comments:
I cut the two salmon fillets in half. Patted dry with paper towels. Let them come to room temperature. Oiled only the bottom/skin-side of the fish, kosher salt on the top, then placed in oven for 11 minutes at 300°F. No pepper on top, no olive oil on top. When salmon came out of the oven, I gently brushed away any white albumin oozing from the fish. Let salmon rest for a few minutes before plating. This method makes for a very clean presentation.

Virtual Cooking Class with Chef Paul Kahan

About Sockeye:
The bright red-orange color of sockeye salmon flesh comes from eating plankton and krill while they are in the ocean. Fans of wild Alaska salmon appreciate the sockeye variety for its deep rich intense flavor, unique dense texture, and gorgeous striking color.

For the Pepita Pesto:
• ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas)
• ½ cup grated Parmigiano cheese
• ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled
• 2 cups Italian parsley leaves
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

In a blender, combine the pumpkin seeds, cheese, oil, and garlic and blend until smooth. Add the parsley and salt and blend just until the parsley is pureed (this helps keep the color a little brighter green). Set aside until ready to serve or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Virtual Cooking Class with Chef Paul Kahan

Dessert was delectable Apple Butter Oat Bars and they promised to share the recipe soon.

P.S. We like Sockeye Salmon Crudo (raw), recipes here.

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