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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Chilled Peaches & Cream Soup with Saffron
Goat Cheese Flower Croutons
Peaches are available year-round, yet we all know that the season for the most luscious fruit is in the summer. But did you know that the deep red blushing color of the skin occurs only on the side facing the sun?
Juicy, aromatic, sweet peaches make a delightful chilled soup. However this peach soup is even more intriguing with notes of exotic saffron, tart apple, and captivating vanilla. The addition of cayenne pepper adds another layer of complexity. And the texture is just what you would expect from peaches & cream – it’s velvety smooth and lush thanks to the efficiency of a high-performance blender (like Vitamix).
Chilled Peaches & Cream Soup Recipe
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Cold Poached Salmon with Three Horseradish Sauces
Creamy, Red Beet, and Golden Beet
I was contemplating a starter course that would possibly appeal to more people on Passover. Those of us who absolutely adore our Eastern European Gefilte Fish are apparently and sadly, few and far between.
But is there anyone among my relatives who doesn’t love salmon? Of course, we will always honor tradition and keep serving gefilte fish. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This year, we also serve another elegant first course – a lovely, flavorful Cold Poached Salmon with THREE Horseradish Sauces and lots of fresh herbs. The entire dish can be prepared in advance, so it is easy and ready to go when it is Time to Eat during the Seder! Edible flowers are optional, but they sure do add to a pretty spring-like presentation.
Cold Poached Salmon and Horseradish Sauces Recipes
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Steamed Halibut Cantonese-Style
Firm, lean, meaty, mild, and slightly sweet. Bright white flesh Halibut is often best cooked with moist methods like poaching, steaming, or braising. Inspired by Cantonese technique, here a beautiful piece of Alaskan halibut is cooked in a bamboo steamer then served in a big shallow pool of soy-ginger-garlic-sesame sauce. Each flake is drenched in the flavorful sauce before each bite. It’s quite heavenly.
Halibut Cantonese-Style Recipe
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