The Missus can eat this in one sitting! Amazing.....
Nijiya Market 3860 Convoy St Ste 109 San Diego, CA 92111
So I was over at Catalina Offshore a couple of weeks back.....giving Tommy a hard time as usual. Anyway......while waiting for my salmon, Tommy pointed at some rather fragile looking, almost translucent pieces of fish and told me, "this is louvar....get it....you won't be sorry....." It seems that Louvar is a prized, but very rare catch, youfind it doing a Google search on "Cadillac of Fish". The fish just seemed like it was going to fall apart, but Tommy assured me that it firms up well when cooking. I decided to do a simple straight up saute......let sit in ginger and Shaoxing, simple season, dust with potato starch, then into the cast iron. It browned up really well....it was super moist, mildly sweet in flavor, super tender, so moist....sorry.....it as just so moist.
I should have taken more photos, but there's only one.
I haven't done one of these in a while....so here goes. Stuff I've made recently.
I picked up some nice Bay Shrimp at Catalina Offshore as an impulse buy....without anything in mind. So I ended up making at smoked spicy mayo Louie salad with avocado....really nice with all the hot weather.
And paired it with a nice Edamame - Smoked Corn salad....
One of our favorite things lately is very simple.....a nice heirloom tomato and good quality mozzarella topped with 18 year old balsamic and Arbequina Olive Oil.
You really don't need anything else.....
Remember, the XO Sauce we got as a gift from the Missus's friend? Well, we recently got another batch....so I put the Big Kahuna to work and made some Shrimp Fried Rice....it was delici-yoso.....
Funny thing was....I forgot the bean sprouts. I didn't want to waste, so I made a stir fry dish using Serrano peppers from the yard, black vinegar, and Finadene (I'll get to that post soon).
For some reason, this really hit home with the Missus and was fairly close to comfort food to Her......so I've made this about 5-6 times since! Bean sprouts....sheesh....
Of course there are the old standby items.....
So Faye, this is what the stovetop smoked salmon is really supposed to look like.
Tommy told me he got really busy and kind of forgot about the salmon he was making......
And finally, some breakfast dish I don't even remember making....it must be recently since the picture is dated less than two weeks ago....must've have been tired and on auto-pilot.
Man, it wasn't the heat, but the humidity that was pretty bad for a while there, eh? I'm from Hawaii and it still drove me crazy. And I just saw that we're in for a bit more the next couple of days.
One of my favorite dishes during our recent trip to Spain was Salmorejo, a thick puree/soup made up of tomatoes and thickened by bread. It's the bread that makes this look almost like a thick carrot soup.
It is served cold, like gazpacho, but is much richer and thicker. It was one of my favorite items in Spain. It's usually topped with finely chopped Serrano ham and coarsely chopped boiled egg. I really didn't feel staying the kitchen and boiling some eggs so I went with some finely chopped prosciutto ends; which you can buy at Bristol Farms. They sell it cheap. It's hard and waxy, but does well as salad topping when chopped finely. I added some cucumber and red onion and a few small, thin slices of Serrano peppers from the yard.
Here's a photo of my favorite version from Madrid (I'll get to the post one of these days):
It was much more refined than what I made. I based this on a recipe from the late Penelope Casas' fine cookbook; 1,000 Spanish Recipes. It's an easy recipe. And a refreshing dish....of course, the more ripe the tomatoes, the better the flavor.
1 1/2 (approx) Cups Country Bread (I used a leftover baguette) crust removed, cubed
1 1/2 pounds very ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup Arbequina extra virgin olive oil or something that you enjoy
1 tsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Finely chopped Serrano Ham Hard Boiled Eggs Coarsely Chopped
1 - Soak the bread in water for about 3-4 minutes, then squeeze dry
2 - Place tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and half the bread in a blender/food processor.
3 - Start the blender and add in the olive oil until smooth
4 - Slowly add in the rest of the bread until the desired texture is reached
5 - Season with salt and pepper to taste
6 - Refrigerate at least an hour - I've found that this does taste better the next day.
To serve, ladle into a shallow bowl, top with ham and eggs, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
It took us 21 hours to get back to San Diego. The next morning it was time to restock. Among the stops was Nijiya. I was shocked to see truffles in the produce case. I probably shouldn't be surprised as over the years Nijiya has had seasonal items like fresh chanterelles.
So no, that's not a turd. It's not super fragrant, not like what we came across in France. It was 8 bucks for something that works grated on the microplane over eggs.
Which gave me the idea of doing a locomoco....but it couldn't be just any loco....
Sooooo.....long story short, ground wagyu from Bristol Farms, I have frozen veal stock in the freezer, dried porcini in the cabinet, shallots on the counter.
And all those basic skills everyone who cooks should have; how to cook an egg, how to make a burger, and how to make a simple pan sauce. Shave truffle on egg and...say no more.....
So it was time to "go loco, or go home"! Or maybe....go take a nap?
So here's the deal.....there are times when I think Tommy at Catalina Offshore will actually recommend something as a bit of a challenge. Something I haven't heard of....with some hint....in this case it was "the texture is like pork....but the flavor is mild".
I'd really never heard of Cobia....this version was wild caught.
What Tommy told me was "the texture is like pork....the flavor is mild...so go for it smart guy....."
So what I did was a nice seasoning with Kosher Salt, Spanish Paprika, granulated garlic, fresh ground pepper, and Turkish oregano.
The glaze was Balsamic Vinegar and Agave Syrup.
After seasoning, the fish was coated with potato starch(katakuriko) then pan fried.
At the end, you remove from heat and add the glaze.
I haven't done one of these in a while. So perhaps it's time for another recently consumed post. We've been eating fairly simple and grilling and smoking quite a bit. The Missus loves roasted vegetables. But man, it's been so hot....I really don't feel like having that oven on. So what we've started doing is roasting vegetables on our Weber after a grill session. It's get's nice and hot. I'll get some of the small wood chips and soak it in water and throw it on the charcoal.
Using the carry over heat form the grill session, this works out real well. You just need to stage the vegetables.
I'm finally finding the time to cook a bit on weekends. So the Missus get's Her fish again. In recent weeks, the Monchong at Catalina Offshore has been excellent.
But it was the sculpin that Tommy told me that I "had to get" that was the real winnah! I seasoned it with cumin, harissa, ghost pepper salt, etc..... Dusted it with potato starch.
Good lord this was good.
The Missus likes organizing potlucks at work....easy to do when I have to do the cooking, right? So they recently had a Mexican food themed potluck and the Missus had me make my Carne Guisada (with chicken).
Now folks are asking for the recipe......they must have enjoyed it. The Missus came home empty handed.
And, like I said, we've been using the smoker a bit.
It'll take longer to read this post than to actually make this. But first, a word from our legal department:
Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.
Now that we got that out of the way....yes, I use raw eggs...well, egg actually, for this.
I also use an immersion blender and a Ball Jar.
The eggs are either pasteurized or the best we can find - pasture raised and all that. I also use whole eggs, which makes this much lighter than just egg yolks. As for the science; if you love that kind of stuff, get Harold McGee's classic - On Food and Cooking.
I've read where having all ingredients at room temperature, but I've done this with cold eggs and mustard and the results has been fine.
If you've been reading my posts on Portland, you should know that it would only be a matter of time before I made this. The Missus loved the Radicchio Salad at Tasty N Alder so much, we went twice. The Missus wanted to go on our last morning as well, but they opened a bit too late so we ended up somewhere else. I knew that Chef John Gorham, has a cookbook out named after his Spanish inspired restaurant; Toro Bravo. Taking a quick look at the Amazon page for the book; I quickly saw "Radicchio Salad" in the index....so guess what? I bought the book. The recipe for the salad at Toro Bravo is different from what is served at Tasty N Alder. The book version is dressed with a vinaigrette....though I like the idea of macerating onion in the vinegar for added punch. I'll surely use that idea later on. It also uses a tapenade and is served with baguette. The version at TNA is dressed with mayo with slices of bacon; they call it lardons, but it's a pretty wide slice of bacon. All was not lost however, as there were two take-aways from the recipe in the book; using a microplane to grate the manchego cheese, which makes it light as air and which allows the cheese to incorporate itself into the dressing adding another layer of flavor. The second, soaking the radicchio in ice water to remove some of the bitterness. This was key. The Missus had never taken to radicchio because of its bitterness. In addition, I decided to make my own mayonnaise, a light, whole egg version.....which I call my "three minute mayo".....like it says, it takes about three minutes to make and is very light and creamy. I also mixed in 3 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat for that extra kick. I'm thinking you can add some anchovy, or some extra acid component if desired. The Missus enjoys this version.
So here's what I made......four times in ten days!
This is what we had twice at Tasty N Alder.
Radicchio Salad (Inspired by Tasy N Alder):
3 slices thick cut bacon
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (I make my own very light version with whole eggs)
3-4 Tb Rendered Bacon Fat
1 tsp Agave Syrup Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Radicchio (about 3/4 pound)
1 cup Manchego Cheese grated with a microplane
2 boiled eggs crumbled (optional)
- Cut radicchio into four and remove core portion. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Separate leaves and soak in ice water for 30 minutes
- Slice bacon into 1/2" wide slices. Cook slowly to render off bacon fat and let bacon crisp. Let bacon fat cool but not harden
- Combine mayonnaise, bacon fat, agave syrup. Taste and add salt a pepper as necessary. Chill.
- Drain radicchio and spin dry in a salad spinner. It's important to get the radicchio faily dry. This will let the dressing coat it evenly.
I recently mentioned being able to take time for a proper lunch on weekends again. Some of this means doing "component cooking", which is creating parts of dishes that can be put together in different combinations.......stuff that I used to do in a previous life a zillion years ago. Anyway, this is based on another recipe, used to create a sauce that keeps for a week or so and can be used in different ways. The one thing I've learned is to start this in a cold pan, versus dumping all the stuff with butter into a hotel pan over a couple of burners, which is what used to take place way back then. Maitake....or Hen of the woods mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms keep their shape and earthy flavor throughout the process, so this is a good sauce for composing dishes....like say....a Pan seared monchong, smoked potato-brussel sprout saute, maitake - porcini sauce, kinda thing....
Like I learned in my "hannabudda days" of cooking....it's all about prep, though I didn't realize it at the time.
Maitake - Porcini Sauce:
1 head of Maitake (Hen of the Woods) Mushroom, cleaned, trimmed, and separated 1 head of Shimeji Mushroom, cleaned, trimmed, and separated 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushroom 2 cups warm water 2-3 tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tb minced shallot 1 tb grated garlic 1 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp dried thyme salt(truffle salt?) and pepper to taste 3 tb Creme Fraiche
- Steep porcini in the warm water for 20 minutes - Place maitake and shimeji mushrooms into a cold pan - Turn heat to medium high - Allow the mushrooms to carmelize for 3-4 minutes mixing occasionally - Remove porcini mushrooms from soaking liquid - Strain porcini liquid - Add Olive Oil and shallots to pan - As mushrooms soften, add porcini, garlic, oregano, thyme - Once fragrant, add 1 1/2 cup of the porcini soaking liquid - Lower the heat and reduce by at least one-third - Taste and add salt and pepper - Remove from heat and thicken with creme fraiche