Showing posts with label Seafood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seafood. Show all posts

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Smoked Trout Schmear – Because There’s No Cool Way to Say, “Spread”

Schmear,” on the other hand, is impossible to say without sounding cool. Try it, you’ll see. You also have to love a recipe whose name describes what you’re supposed to do with it. You make a schmear, and then you schmear a schmear.

Names aside, this smoked trout schmear is incredibly easy, and very versatile. Obviously, it’s great spread on any kind of bread or crackers, but slathered atop a freshly toasted bagel may be it’s finest expression.

By the way, this is one of those recipes were you almost have to ignore the exact ingredient measurements I give below, since the ideal amount of salt, acidity, and heat are very subjective. Equal proportions of cream cheese and smoked trout is a good starting point, but everything else should be added “to taste.”

Smoked trout is relatively easy to find in any of your fancier grocery stores that sell smoke salmon, and unlike its more common cousin, I think it provides a richer, more interesting flavor, especially in spreads like this. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!



2 trout boneless, skinless fillets (about 5-6 ounces total), checked for bones and crumbled
6 ounces cream cheese (3/4 cup), softened to room temp
2 teaspoons capers, drained
1 rounded teaspoon hot prepared horseradish, preferably homemade
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
1/2  lemon, juiced (about 4 teaspoons), or to taste

2 teaspoons fresh chopped chives
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Crab Rangoon – Rhymes with Swoon

Many people are surprised when they find out that crab rangoons are about as Asian as Buffalo chicken wings, but it’s true. Even though they’re commonly found on Chinese and Thai menus, they were actually invented in San Francisco, at Trader Vic’s, in 1956.

While not “authentic,” these crispy crab and cream cheese wontons are one of the most addictive, delicious, and crowd-pleasing appetizers ever created. That is, if the filling has enough crab in it. Most of the restaurant versions I’ve had are probably 3 or 4 parts cream cheese, to 1 part crab, but here we’re using a 1 to 1 ratio, and the results are amazing.

Besides being generous with the crab (or lobster, or chicken), the other critical factor is the “warhead” fold. Even though you can fold these over once to make a simple triangle, I highly recommend using the method shown herein.

The “turnover” fold is easier, but you don’t get nearly as much crispy goodness, and that’s what makes these so great. It’s that contrast between the warm creamy center, and those four crunchy edges that makes this such a magical bite I really hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 60 Crab Rangoons:
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces crab meat, drained well
1 clove crushed garlic
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
60 square wonton wrappers
canola oil for deep-frying

For the sauce:
(Note: I only made a half batch in the video. This should easily be enough for 60 rangoons)
1 cup ketchup
1/4 rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce, or to taste
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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Shrimp Toast – Is Toast the New Wing?

While virtually unknown compared to most other popular fried party snacks, these shrimp toasts are easy to make, and every bit as delicious, and addictive, as those Buffalo wings, or jalapeño poppers. Well, all that’s about to change.

Nobody goes to a friend’s house to watch the game, and expects to see a plate of these crispy-on-one-side, soft-and-savory-on-the-other-side treats, but after a few of you make these, and word spreads, I’m sure it will just be a matter of time.

Speaking of spreads, since we apply the shrimp mixture raw, it’s not like you can dip a finger in to taste it. So, to check for seasoning, especially the salt, you may want to fry a small piece (like during meatball production), and adjust from there. I added a tiny pinch of salt, but thanks to the soy, anchovy, and fish sauce, you may not need any.

These are significantly better served warm than cold, so maybe fry them in batches, and/or keep warm in an oven. And yes, if you don’t do shrimp, any other raw seafood will work. By the way, I have it on good authority that these are magnificent served with cold beer, and for that reason alone I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes about 16 Shrimp Toasts:
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup diced water chestnuts
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 cup green onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 anchovy filet
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or more to taste
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
4 large slices white bread
sesame seeds, optional
vegetable oil for frying
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Chorizo Steamed Clams – How Do You Say “Ubiquitous” in Spanish?

I have always just called these chorizo steamed clams, "Spanish Clams," since it seems like there’s some variation of this on every Spanish restaurant menu I’ve ever seen.

What better evidence for a dishes’ deliciousness than that? Not to generalize about an entire culture, but the Spanish simply don’t put non-amazing things on every menu.

Sometimes they use beer, or white wine, or sherry; and many varieties of clams can be used; but the common denominator is the spicy, Spanish-style chorizo. Using such a flavorful sausage is sort of like cheating, and one of the main reasons the ingredient list is so short.

Speaking of which, you can really adapt this kind of thing to your tastes. Cilantro instead of parsley, leeks instead of onions, and mussels instead of clams, just to name a few. Just make sure you have plenty of grilled, or toasted bread around to soak up the glorious broth. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 appetizers, or 2 larger entrée size portions:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onions
3 ounces Spanish chorizo, quartered, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups white wine
3 pounds Little Neck clams
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons butter
grilled bread to garnish
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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Spring Vegetable Tartine with White Anchovies – Food Wishes and Little Fishes

It’s not unusual for me to borrow ideas from the various restaurants I visit, but they’re normally tweaked, altered, or otherwise adapted. This time, however, I just blatantly stole this spring vegetable tartine with white anchovies, as it. Why mess with perfection?

Yes, this spring vegetable tartine, featuring the awesomeness that is the white anchovy, was lifted almost verbatim from SHED, which is my current, “favorite place to eat.” If you’re ever anywhere near Healdsburg, CA (like within 500 miles), you simply must visit this amazing store/café/charcuterie/restaurant hybrid.

Now that I’ve offset some of my guilt for stealing this recipe with such a glowing recommendation, I can move on to this intensely tasty tartine. This would be incredibly delicious with just the aioli and vegetables, but when you add the “boquerones,” this goes from great sandwich, to memorable experience.

Even if you think you hate anchovies, which you really don’t, you may still love these, since they are so completely different. They are very mild in flavor, but still extremely savory. I was going to say they're a little bit like pickled herring, but that probably won’t help. Regardless, I hope you give this spring vegetable tartine a try very soon. Enjoy! 


Ingredients for 4 generous servings:

For the aioli:
1 or 2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of cayenne

The rest:
4 large thick slices day-old French bread, toasted
16 white anchovy fillets (aka boquerones)
* 2 cups thinly peeled, sliced, or shredded fresh vegetables, moistened with a splash of lemon juice, and drizzle of olive oil.
edible flowers, optional

* Carrots, fennel root, radishes, celery root, asparagus, artichoke hearts, peppers, endive, micro greens, and any/all kinds of sprouts would work beautifully here.
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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Beurre Blanc – This French Butter Sauce was Spot On

I can’t believe after all these years of posting videos, I hadn’t done a proper beurre blanc! Well, I guess I still haven’t, if you take into account bit of cream we sneak in, as beurre blanc purists do not approve. That’s okay; we’ll just distract them by pronouncing it wrong.

They consider it “cheating,” since adding cream helps you create a more stable base for emulsifying in cold cubes of butter. I don’t get how that’s a problem, unless the cream somehow ruined the taste of the sauce, but it doesn’t, and you could argue it actually enhances it. I also think it makes for an even more beautiful color.

Cream, or no, the technique is not at all difficult. Once your wine/acid mixture has reduced by about 75%, turn your heat to low, and whisk in the butter a few cubes at a time. That’s really it. By the way, feel free to use a saucepan for this. I used a sauté pan because it’s easier to film in, but it does make the process a little riskier.

You can switch up the type of vinegar, or go with lemon juice; and the shallots can be switched out for garlic, or finely minced onion. Chives are nice in this, but many other herbs will work, such as tarragon; or chervil, if you’re sexy. No matter how you pronounce it, or what ingredients you use in it, I really hope you give this easy sauce recipe a try soon. Enjoy!

Note: Yes, I can see there’s a spot of sauce splattered on the lens during the final scenes. These things will happen. Just pretend it’s not there. Thank you.


Ingredients for 4 portions Beurre Blanc:
1/2 cup of white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, herb-infused white vinegar, etc.
2 teaspoons very finely minced shallots
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 ounces of cold unsalted butter (1/2 cup or 1 stick), cut in one-inch cubes
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