Salmon Crudo, Blackberry Ponzu

Salmon Crudo, Blackberry Ponzu

Salmon Crudo, Blackberry Ponzu

You might have noticed that we are making our fair share of raw salmon dishes here. In my search for an interesting pairing with salmon, I came across quite a few sites from the Pacific Northwest where local salmon was paired with local blackberries.

Usually referring to a wine and food pairing, the saying goes “what grows together goes together.” Roughly speaking, the idea is that local wine and local foods complement each other. Seems to work very well for this land & sea pairing as well.

Ponzu sauce (ponzu shoyu) is a Japanese condiment commonly made with citrus, soy sauce, mirin, and dashi. Here, blackberries add a tart fruitiness and a striking color purple.

The sushi-quality raw salmon slices are steeped in blackberry ponzu for just 5 to 10 minutes to infuse the flavors. Crunchy cucumber, peppery radish, spicy jalapeño, and buttery-nutty pine nuts add pizzazz to this appealing crudo dish. Togarashi, a Japanese spicy seasoning made with ground nori, sea salt, various chili powders, orange peel, and sesame seeds adds complexity and the finishing touch.

Salmon Crudo, Blackberry Ponzu Recipe

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Sopa de Frijoles Borrachos

Sopa de Frijoles Borrachos

Sopa de Frijoles Borrachos
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Drunken Beans Soup

We served Frijoles Borrachos smothered in melted Oaxaca cheese with a side of warm flour tortillas the other night. It is an uncomplicated, tasty first course/side dish that appeals to almost everyone. But if I am going to cook dried beans, I am going to make plenty, as they take hours to soak and cook. Might as well make enough for other delicious dishes.

This time I turned the remaining pinto beans into a Drunken Beans Soup. The idea is similar to frijoles borrachos with beer as a key ingredient, but the beans are simmered with vegetables and spices then puréed to a coarse soupy texture.

The soup itself is quite delicious, but it is the garnishes that take it to another intoxicating level – Mexican crema, radish, pickled red onion, serrano chile, fried tortilla strips, cotija cheese, lime juice, and cilantro.

Sopa de Frijoles Borrachos

Drunken Beans Soup Recipe

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Saumon Cru, Beurre Blanc Grenade

Saumon Cru, Beurre Blanc Grenade
Saumon Cru, Beurre Blanc Grenade
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Raw Salmon, Pomegranate White Wine Butter Sauce

The inspiration for this easy, elegant dish comes from a charming bistro in Paris that serves pan-fried trout with a pomegranate white wine butter sauce.

Here, the star of the show is pristine raw sockeye salmon that is bathed in the warm sauce. The result is a mind-blowing silky-rich dish where pomegranate arils add fruitiness, crunchy texture, and pops of color.

We often serve raw salmon drizzled with olive oil and some citrus, adding richness and brightness. In this French version, imagine how butter is substituted for olive oil and where white wine and vinegar add the tangy bright notes. Shallot adds complexity, while butter sauce paired with bold sockeye brings a luxurious mouthfeel.

Crudo or raw salmon is typically served cold, but here, to add another interesting dimension, the butter sauce gives warm kisses to the raw salmon. It is unusual, and unusually fabulous.

Recette de Saumon Cru

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Black Cod over Fresh Fettuccine in Dashi Broth

Black Cod over Fresh Fettuccine

Black Cod over Fresh Fettuccine in Dashi Broth
Shiitake, Castelvetrano Olives, Fried Garlic, Chives

Here’s another excellent dish inspired by Nobu Matsuhisa, where he gives Japanese noodles in hot broth a Western twist by substituting Italian pasta.

Since there are but a few ingredients – where olives play a big role – choose super-tasty, buttery, meaty Castelvetrano olives. And the pasta has to be fresh, not dried, where the tender velvety texture is heavenly in the savory umami-rich dashi broth. Flavorful earthy shiitakes are wonderful in this dish, oyster or chanterelle mushrooms would work also, however common button mushrooms would be way too boring. Lastly, the star is black cod (aka sablefish), with its silky-rich luxurious flesh and its contrasting crispy skin.

Black Cod over Fresh Fettuccine Recipe

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White King Salmon

White King Salmon

White King Salmon
Lobster Butter Sauce
Gnocchi, Edamame, Roasted Maitake

White King Salmon SashimiWhite King Salmon Sashimi: Nobu-Style
Jalapeño, Garlic, Cilantro, Lemon Ponzu

White king salmon are special, and rare. About 5% of king salmon do not have the ability to metabolize and store the red-orange pigment, carotene, in their muscle cells.

In the past it was believed that white and red king salmon consumed notably different diets, leading to their flesh color distinction. Scientists now believe that variation in flesh color is controlled by genetics. White king salmon cannot metabolize these pigments from their food sources, leaving their flesh white.  (from Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game).

There is no way for the Alaskan fishermen to know if their catch is white until it is sliced open. Because of its precious nature, much of this treasure doesn’t make it to the lower 48. Who could blame them for keeping it and enjoying on the spot?

The white kings that do make it to the lower 48 are highly prized for their flavor, texture, and unique color – and are often offered as a pricey nightly special in many high-end restaurants.

It is not only the pure ivory color that is extraordinary. These fillets taste very different than red-orange flesh king salmon. The cooked flesh is silky, and tastes fine and delicate, more mild in an elegant way. It is curiously soft and buttery.

Sashimi style white king has even more appealingly complex qualities – it is simply luscious with sweet, clean, buttery, and moist characteristics.

White King Salmon

White King Salmon Recipes

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