with Fennel Seeds and Gin
A sushi-quality sockeye salmon fillet is rubbed with a mixture of salt, sugar, black pepper, and toasted fennel seeds. It is tightly bundled in a puree of blackberry and gin then refrigerated for at least 24 hours. The result is something a little different than the traditional gravlax with dill.
Last month we thoroughly enjoyed a Salmon Crudo with Blackberry Ponzu. It turns out the Pacific Northwest chefs’ secret is the marriage of salmon and blackberries. Now we know too.
The blackberry-gin mixture brings an interesting herbal fruitiness while fennel adds subtle anise notes. The exterior of the salmon is tinged a neat purple color. This was a fun project and a refreshing modern alternative to old world Nordic-style gravlax.
We plated our blackberry-cured gravlax with fresh blackberries, tomato, red onion, and lemon. Everything bagels, capers, and cream cheese were served on the side. Delightful and different!
Blackberry-Cured Gravlax Recipe
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Spot Shrimp & Dungeness Crab
Roasted Corn, Avocado, Cucumber, Radish, Red Onion
Aguachile is just one of many styles of Mexican ceviche. Hailing from the State of Sinaloa, it is traditionally made with raw shrimp, cucumber, onion, lime juice, and chiles, and it is usually accompanied by avocado and tostadas. The name “chile-water” comes from the method of mashing chiles with water to make the salsa.
The inspiration for this aguachile recipe comes from an enchanting local restaurant here in Las Vegas – Hola Mexican Cocina + Cantina. They serve “Aguachile Shrimp & Crab Ceviche” where fire-roasted corn is added as one of the components.
With the best shrimp and crab in my freezer…I thought I would try my own version of Hola’s Aguachile Ceviche. And since I was already outside grilling the corn on the cob, I might as well blacken those jalapeños for the salsa too. Turns out it was my best aguachile yet!
With sweet-buttery succulent spot shrimp plus sweet-salty flavorful dungeness crab, this dish was bound to be a winner.
Fire-Roasted Aguachile Recipe
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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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Saumon Cru, Beurre Blanc Grenade
🌸 🌸 🌸
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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Chicken and Olive Stew, Moroccan Spices
This chicken stew is a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, a little bit sour, and a little bit salty with plenty of exotic spices. I took the liberty of adding non-traditional ingredients such as tamari and butter too. It is chock full of savory umami flavors. A big bunch of herbs brings fresh bright notes at the end. The humble chicken stew is humble no more.
Chicken and Olive Stew Recipe
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