🫒 🧀 🍞 Loaf-Pan Focaccia 🍞 🧀 🫒
🥑 Avocado Focaccia Toasts 🥑
Small-batch focaccia dough is topped with olive salad, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, and baked in a loaf pan. It is heavenly, served warm with herbaceous fruity olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar for dipping.
The leftover portion is wrapped up and saved for the next morning’s breakfast – avocado toasts served two ways, plain and loaded. Focaccia is great as a sandwich bread, and loaf-pan focaccia makes for the absolute best avocado toast!
The dough is made with five simple ingredients – bread flour, instant yeast, salt, water, and olive oil. Compared to all-purpose, the amount of protein found in bread flour is higher in order to contain and produce more gluten and achieve the desired rise in bread. Because of this higher protein level, bread flour is able to absorb more liquid, allowing it to hold its shape and rise upward. The high amount of gluten in bread flour also creates a more elastic dough, which helps achieve focaccia’s airy crumb and chewy texture. Olive oil is added to the dough for tenderness and flavor.
Loaf-Pan Focaccia and Avocado Toast Recipes
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🌿🌼🌿 Cabillaud aux Asperges 🌿🌼🌿
(Cod with Asparagus)
Asparagus Cream Sauce, Balsamic Reduction
This lovely fish and asparagus dish was inspired by one of several fabulous courses we enjoyed at Picasso Restaurant by Chef Julian Serrano in Las Vegas.
The Chef’s menu is drawn from his own background in the regional cuisines of Spain and France, and in honor of Pablo Picasso’s Spanish heritage and years the master artist spent living in France.
The fish course was particularly memorable for its simplicity, harmony, and quality. A beautiful fillet of seared Chilean Sea Bass sat on a raft of perfectly cooked asparagus spears, covered with a light blanket of sauce hollandaise. The brilliant element of the dish was the Chef’s addition of a balsamic reduction, which juxtaposed intense sweet and tangy notes with the rich fish and buttery sauce.
For my version, I serve a pan-seared Wild Alaska Pacific Cod with its pleasant, slightly sweet, mild clean taste and lean flaky texture. And here, hollandaise is replaced by an Asparagus Cream Sauce made from the surplus of my Asparagus Soup for a delightful springtime dish.
Recette de Cabillaud aux Asperges
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🌿 Cream of Asparagus Soup (Hot or Cold) 🌿
“An excellent light supper need be no more than a good soup, a salad, cheese and fruit. And combined according to your own taste, a good homemade soup in these days of the can opener is almost a unique and always a satisfying experience,” so says Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume One, Fortieth Anniversary Edition published by Alfred A. Knopf 2006.
And the beauty of this soup is that it is equally excellent served either hot or cold. Depending on the occasion, the weather, your menu, your mood… whatever it may be – choose the hot or cold version for your delicious soup-centric supper.
The month of May is the perfect time to serve this super-easy, seasonal asparagus soup! The color is quite spring-y. It has a lovely mild, grassy flavor with earthy and nutty undertones plus an exquisite creamy texture. It’s simultaneously simple and elegant, suitable for a weeknight supper or a weekend gala.
Cream of Asparagus Soup Recipe
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Scallop Sushi ~ Gunkan Maki Style
Tender and buttery, day-boat sea scallops from Maine are simply delightful with their slightly sweet flavors, and slightly briny hints of the sea. They are harvested by fishermen that go to work in the icy waters then return to port that same day.
Since the fishing trip is short, day-boat scallops do not need to sit on melting ice like longer expeditions, and therefore do not absorb water over the course of the trip. The taste is pure and natural, as the scallops are not bloated with water after harvest. These scallops are treated with the utmost care, and never soaked in a solution of sodium tripolyphosphate which is commercially used as a preservative but unfortunately degrades the quality of the scallop.
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Gunkan maki was invented in 1941 by Hisaji Imada, the chef/owner of restaurant Kyubey in Tokyo. His new-fangled presentation allowed for the sushi service of soft/loose toppings, such as sea urchin and fish roes. These toppings could not be served in the traditional nigiri style, which consists of a solid slice of raw fish atop an oblong rice ball.
The shape of the newly-developed sushi resembled that of a battleship, hence the name. Gunkan is battleship in Japanese, Maki means roll. Sushi rice is hand-formed into a cuboid, rolled/wrapped with nori, then a soft/loose filling is spooned into the interior.
Here our battleship is filled with diced raw day-boat scallop lightly tossed with Japanese mayonnaise and sea salt. Aromatic shiso adds complex herbal notes where a bit of pungent wasabi flavors the seasoned rice. To quote one of my favorite chefs on a famous seafood dish, “It was a morsel of perfection.”
Scallop Sushi Recipe
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Basque Matcha Cheesecake
With the addition of one single component, Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder, the now-famous cheesecake has morphed into something completely different. Here, the cake has a gorgeous striking green color, and the flavor has also changed dramatically. The recipe brings together ingredients from Basque and Japanese cultures for a novel fusion dessert.
We’ve made Basque BURNT Cheesecake several times, and it is always a big hit. With no fruit topping, no crust and five simple ingredients – cream cheese, sugar, salt, eggs, and cream – it is astonishing how absolutely fabulous the original cheesecake actually is…it is baked in a very hot oven so the top and bottom caramelize where the insides remain soft and luxurious.
The cheesecake recipe was originally developed by Santiago Rivera, Chef of La Viña in San Sebastian, Spain. The Chef says, “Its popularity amongst our clients have become La Viña Restaurant’s Cheese Cream Cake a great classic of the San Sebastian cuisine.”
Matcha Green Tea has an intense and complex flavor profile with vegetal grassy flavors, a unique sweet nuttiness, and savory umami notes.
The vibrant green hue is due to the high concentration of chlorophyll in the leaves, a result of the bushes being covered up in shade for about 3 weeks before harvesting. The whole leaves are steamed, dried, and then finally stone ground to a fine powder.
Basque Matcha Cheesecake Recipe
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