Smoked Chicken, Smoked Oysters, Smoked Paprika, Smoked Sea Salt
Crazy for smoke? Back in March a recipe by Chef Linton Hopkins for a Shrimp & Smoked Oyster Chowder in Food & Wine caught my attention. The photo from that article had been hanging on my refrigerator ever since. And I don’t know about you, but it is very difficult to walk past the huge smoker at Whole Foods Market without adding a “smoked something” to the cart. The aroma is intoxicating.
Another favorite – smoked oysters. I like the Crown Prince ‘Natural’ Brand. These oysters are harvested in South Korea, naturally smoked over oak, and packed in pure olive oil. In Chef Hopkins’ chowder, the smoked oysters are chopped. Here, I make them the star of the soup – they are warmed, and served whole. These oysters, along with the smoked half chicken from Whole Foods, plus Spanish smoked paprika & smoked sea salt result in a unique soup with layers of smoky flavor…
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Baja-Style Tortilla Vegetable Soup
Garnished with Avocado, Lime, Serrano, Cilantro
Baja California, Mexico! Have you been? Unfortuately it’s been a few years since I’ve been down there. We loved Ensenada – a couple decades ago we rode our bicycles 50 miles from Rosarito to Ensenada. That ride is still going strong, in its 31st year. And we always love Los Cabos, with it’s great beaches, restaurants, nightlife and fishing. In Guerrero Negro, where the whales come in the winter to give birth, you can experience them up close in the lagoon.
Fish tacos have been a specialty in Baja, no wonder, as it is a long thin spit of land surrounded by water. Traditionally, the tacos are local fried fish served on a corn tortilla, with shredded cabbage, onion, crema, and lime. That’s the way I remember them sold from street vendors in Ensenada back in the early 80’s. Speaking of Ensenada, have you been to Hussong’s (est. 1892), the oldest cantina in the Californias?
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Leek & Celeriac Soup
Toasted Sesame Oil & Black Sesame Seed Garnish
Ciabatta Toast with Smoked Gouda
We recently had one last Holiday Party…
Pork Potstickers, Apricot Dipping Sauce
Elegant Leek & Celeriac Soup, Smoked Gouda Ciabatta Toast
Pork Roast Roulade
Stuffed with Sausage, Pistachio & Chestnut
Wild Arugula Salad with Pistachios, Sherry Vinaigrette
Chocolate Pineapple Soup, Pound Cake Crouton
Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 (Thanks Adam!)
Mexican-style Meatball Soup
Pasilla & Cumin Scented Beef Broth with Rice & Zucchini
Roasted Chiles from Hatch, New Mexico
Garnished with Fried White Corn Tortilla Strips
Lime and Cilantro
Last summer I wrote about Hatch chiles
. The famous chile from the “Chile Capital of the World” in Hatch, New Mexico. I addition to lots of fresh chiles, I also bought some pre-roasted chiles to keep on hand in my freezer. They were perfect for this albóndigas recipe.
White Truffle Oil
Cover the beets with water. Bring to boil then simmer until very tender. When beets are cool enough to handle; trim, peel and slice.
Strain the beet cooking liquid through a coffee filter, reserve.
While the beets cook, bring stock to a boil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, cabbage, onion, garlic, tomato, bay leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- 4 or 5 beets
- 1 chopped head cabbage
- 1 sliced medium onion
- 4 sliced carrots
- 7 crushed garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch dill
- 1 large can seeded peeled tomatoes
- 8 c. stock ((beef or vegetable)
- sugar, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
- truffle oil and crème fraîche for garnish
After about 30 minutes, add sliced beets, beet liquid, and a bunch of dill. And red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove bay. Purée with an immersion blender. Adjust seasonings.
One of the best wine pairings I can remember was enjoyed at Chef Nancy Oakes’ Boulevard
in San Francisco where Chioggia beets (Italian heirloom variety) were paired with a fruity flavorful red wine from Brouilly. Definitely try this soup with a Brouilly if you can find one, if not, try a more readily available Beaujolais.
Delightful Color, Cheery Garnish
Delicious Deep Earthy Flavors