In Memory Of Chef Michael Chiarello
January 26, 1962 – October 6, 2023
Marinated Salmon with Fennel Salad
His love for the Napa Valley is a central theme in his career and philosophy. Michael Chiarrello’s style of cooking married the rich traditions of his Italian culinary heritage with the casual style and fresh flavors of the wine country.
The Chef was renowned for letting good ingredients speak for themselves, cooking in sync with the seasons, and celebrating whatever the market brought. Upon hearing the news of his passing, I wanted to honor his memory by preparing one of his recipes.
Chef Michael Chiarello sadly lost his life due to an acute allergic reaction that ultimately resulted in anaphylactic shock. He was 61 years old when he passed away earlier this month in Napa, California.
🧡 🧡 🧡
About this recipe the Chef wrote, “I discovered this dish on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, an area famous for lemons and wild fennel. The salmon is a sort of ceviche, cooked in lemon juice with olive oil…”
Marinated Salmon with Fennel Salad
This is my adaptation of the Chef’s recipe from my signed copy of his cookbook, “Casual Cooking, Wine Country Recipes for Family and Friends.” His restaurant Tra Vigne in St. Helena, Napa Valley was one of my early favorites.
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🐟 🌿 🍋 Lemony Salmon Crudo 🍋 🌿 🐟
Sashimi-Quality Sockeye Salmon
Local Lemon Basil Leaves, Italian Basil Oil
Lemon Emulsion, Red and Green Jalapeño
Lemon Slices, Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
Lemon Basil has a distinct flavor profile that combines the aromatic notes of basil with a bright, citrusy twist. I was thrilled to find this herb as well as a super flavorful and aromatic Italian Basil grown right here in Las Vegas at a local urban indoor farm! Frontier Farms grows fresh Herbs & Greens & Edible Flowers without pesticides or herbicides in a controlled state-of-the-art growing environment.
With a basil-like anise flavor, lemon basil is often described as slightly sweet, herbaceous, and peppery. And as the name suggests, lemon basil has a pronounced lemony or citrusy aroma and taste. This lemony aspect adds a refreshing and zesty quality to the herb. Also detectable are minty undertones, which contribute to its complexity.
When it comes to pairing lemon basil with foods, it pairs well with a variety of dishes and ingredients, especially seafood. It can be used as a garnish to give sushi or sashimi a unique kick.
Sockeye salmon have a beautiful bright red flesh that is bold and intense and exquisite. Its dense, meaty texture facilitates the cutting of lovely raw thin slices. The leaner flesh of sockeye balances and harmonizes with rich citrusy olive oil emulsions. Lemon lovers will swoon over this sockeye salmon crudo recipe with 3 layers of lemon – lemon basil, lemon slices, and lemon emulsion.
Lemony Salmon Crudo Recipe
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Crispy Skin Sockeye Salmon
Spicy Coconut Curry
Brown Basmati, Roasted Peanuts, Scallion, Cilantro
This piquant SALMON FUSION dish really packs in the flavors! It is an amalgamation of exotic Indian/ Thai/ Mexican elements featuring wild-caught sockeye from the pristine waters of Alaska, and then served on English dinnerware to boot! It’s a very tasty, almost effortless Global-Style dinner with a complex flavor profile and easy prep…
Crispy Skin Salmon, Spicy Coconut Curry Recipe
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Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Las Vegas
And His Crispy Skin Salmon Dish
Gordon Ramsay made a surprise visit to Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the restaurant, which was the first of his six Hells.
We were there, but unfortunately just missed him by exactly one week! The one word we used to describe our lunch at Hell’s Kitchen was FUN! It was super enjoyable from the buzzing energy, to the studio-set atmosphere with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Strip, to the relaxed yet experienced service, and it felt like the guests were all there to have a good time, too. And we enjoyed the crispy skin salmon dish so much, that I decided to re-create it at home.
Hell’s Kitchen in Vegas is on track to hit $55 million in annual sales, Ramsay said, a figure that places it among the highest-grossing independent restaurants in the world. The 300+ seat restaurant is open more than 12 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year. Just like casinos, Ramsay staffs Hell’s Kitchen in three eight-hour shifts. In fact, there’s a team dedicated to making Wellingtons throughout the night. (from Las Vegas Review-Journal here)
🔥 Hell’s Kitchen Las Vegas 🔥
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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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