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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Herby Turkey & Corona Bean Soup
It’s that time of year again. Time for the Annual Leftover Turkey Soup. This year with beans! Huge, enormous, gigantic beans! And lots of fresh herbs. Rosemary, sage, thyme, and bay perfume a broth that is rich and flavorful. The beans are super-plump, tender and creamy. Nutty, cheese notes brought by a sprinkling of Parmesan and piquant spice notes by red chile flakes complement the shredded roast turkey. This year’s leftover soup is a huge delectable winner!
Herby Turkey & Corona Bean Soup Recipe
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Stuffing Mushroom Casserole
For Thanksgiving, we always serve The Stuffing Everyone Loves, and there is always plenty leftover because, you know, we never want to run short on that! Rustic ciabatta, with its porous, chewy texture is the perfect bread for this stuffing. A 50-50 ratio of vegetables (mushroom, celery, onion, and leek) to the volume of ciabatta creates a balanced, not overly bready-y dish. Plenty of butter, Italian parsley and butter-fried sage bring the classic flavors of the season.
Leftover from the green bean topping, there were homemade bacon bits. And miscellaneous cheeses were leftover from our appetizer buffet.
I happened to purchase extra mushrooms when shopping for the Thanksgiving feast. And so, two days later…the tasty Leftover Stuffing Mushroom Casserole was born. I suspect your favorite leftover Thanksgiving stuffing would work equally well with this basic template.
Stuffing Mushroom Casserole Recipe
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Basque Pumpkin Cheesecake
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.
For Thanksgiving this year, I decided to make a pumpkin version of the Basque Cheesecake instead of serving pumpkin pie. Whoa! Another big hit. It’s rich and ultra creamy; earthy, sweet and pumpkin-y; and flavored with the warm spices of the season.
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.”
Basque Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
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