Crispy-Skin Morro Bay King Salmon, Miso-Braised Buna-Shimeji
Diced Daikon Sautéed in Sesame Oil, Vietnamese Herbs, Bonito Flakes, Dashi Broth
Being a salmon aficionado and curious about the unusually complex rich flavors of this particular fish, I called the fishmonger at Bristol Farms. Salmon from Morro Bay, just like her famous Northern sister, the Copper River King, has unique qualities that come from “lifestyle” – the environment where they hatch, what they feed on, the temperature and strength of the currents they swim in and against, and finally how they are harvested and brought to market.
LL: “I purchased Wild California King Salmon from you yesterday. Can you tell me more about it?”
FM: “Oh yes! They are troll fishing for King Salmon in Morro Bay right now, using hook and line, bringing one fish at a time on board the boats. The fish are handled with the utmost care.”
LL: “I think it is quite possibly the best salmon I’ve ever had.”
FM: “We think so too. It’s extraordinary.”
Morro Bay King Salmon is the star of this dish. All the other components play a supporting role while creating an ethereal experience. Unlike the super-fatty Copper River chinooks, the Morro Bay is perhaps more balanced? While Morro Bay kings are still very rich in the omega-3 fats, there is also a depth and complexity of flavor that is unmatched by any salmon I’ve ever enjoyed. Unwittingly, I chose a light preparation for the dish, so glad I didn’t overshadow the bright character of the fish with heavy sauces or competing ingredients.
Continue reading “Quite Possibly The Best Salmon Ever?”
Chilled Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Soup
Mashed Avocado with Lime, Tomato Concassé with Shallot
Fresh Mint, Chili Oil & Creme Fraiche Garnish
A vendor at the Farmers’ Market was handing out samples of fresh-from-the-vine sugar snap peas. Telling people just to eat them as is, no cooking necessary. They were sweet & exploding with flavor, crunchy, the color of spring. Few of us could pass up buying a basket or two. Once home, I turned to my favorite vegetable cookbook Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables for inspiration: Sugar Snap Pea Soup. A simple and refreshing chilled soup. With avocado for richness, tomato for sweet acidity, mint for brightness. Spring. Bliss.
Continue reading “Spring Bliss: Sugar Snap Pea, Avocado, Tomato, Mint”
Linguini, Grilled Avocado Sauce with Lime & Cilantro
Topped with Black Beans, Red Onion & Serrano
Been seeing the avocado puréed, and used as a sauce or dressing a lot lately? I sure have. With pasta, as a substitute for mayonnaise in tuna salad, as a substitute for hollandaise with fresh fish or vegetables. Great heart-healthy ideas all!
Here, I take flavors that pair well with avocado such as lime, green chile, red onion, cilantro, black beans…and re-mix them into a refreshing green pasta dish. And by adding one more layer of flavor – smoke – the silky sauce takes on another dimension. Lime juice keeps it bright, and serrano kicks up the heat. It’s a healthy pasta fiesta!
Continue reading “Linguini, Smoky Avocado Sauce, Black Beans, Lime”
Evolution of the Creation/
A Quinoa Meatball Landscape
Meatballs. Swedish meatballs. New Nordic Cuisine. Landscape design. Bed head. Tousled. Meatballs. Vegetarian. Quinoa. Fundamental naturalism. Foraging. Windy. Wavy. Ruffled. Native. Tasty. Satisfying. Elemental. Pickled. Fresh. Healthful. Tumbled. Unordered. Artfully disheveled. Meatballs…
Continue reading “A Quinoa Meatball Landscape”
Organic Kale with Dried Cherries & Shirataki Noodles
Garlicky Chili Lime Dressing
I’m not usually a fan of those free food samples at the supermarket. Seen too many “grazers” with poor manners and questionable hygiene, I suppose. But every once in a while, when there is a conscientious host passing out tastes of a unique offering, I might give it a try, as was the case this past weekend at Whole Foods.
A charming older woman was enthusiastically portioning out little cups of this interesting raw kale salad. It turned out to be an outrageous combination of flavors and textures, so fresh and bright, with an unexpected umami note. I put a bag of her shirataki noodles in my cart, and went home to create a salad inspired by that sample.
Continue reading “Sweet, Spicy, Savory Kale Salad”