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Fruits of the Sea

Voodoo Shrimp and Grits

Have you ever eaten something so good that it induces a trance?  Well, check out our Voodoo Shrimp and Grits.  This classic dish features our best-selling spice blend, Voodoo, a robust seasoning which includes onion, garlic, whole mustard seeds, thyme and allspice on a base of peppercorns and sea salts. We are excited to share Voodoo Shrimp and Grits just in time for Mardis Gras.  French for Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras refers to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.  Definitely rich, this recipe could be the inspiration for your own Mardi Gras ritual.

Shrimp and Grits

Voodoo Shrimp and Grits

 

Voodoo Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients

For the Grits
6 cups water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups stone ground grits or polenta
3 cups half and half
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon Tellicherry black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon Voodoo
For the Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 andouille sausages
1 medium sweet onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dulce pimenton
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 1/2 cups fish stock or shrimp stock made from reserved shells
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 pounds fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Instructions

    For the Grits:
  1. Put water in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Add salt and slowly sprinkle in grits while stirring with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the half-and-half and return to a simmer.
  4. Cook the grits slowly, over low heat for 30-40 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Stir in butter, Tellicherry black pepper and Voodoo
  6. Continue to cook grits until they are smooth and creamy.
  7. Hold covered, in a warm spot, while you finish preparing the shrimp and sauce.
  8. For the Sauce:
  9. In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat and brown the andouille sausage. Once the sausage begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes, remove from pan and set aside.
  10. Season both sides of the shrimp with a sprinkle of Voodoo and sear over medium high heat for about a minute on each side, working in batches to not crowd the pan. Remove from pan and set aside.
  11. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to pan
  12. Add cooked sausage onion, pepper, garlic and spices. Sauté for 3 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent
  13. Add stock and bring to boil, gently scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any flavorful bits on the bottom of the pan
  14. Reduce heat and slowly add the cream
  15. Bring up to a simmer and allow to reduce until sauce begins to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
  16. Once thickened, add seared shrimp and simmer until the shrimp are just cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
  17. When the sauce is finished, rewarm the grits and serve in a shallow bowl with the sauce spooned over the grits.
  18. Finish with Voodoo to taste.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/mardi-gras-shrimp-and-grits/

Categories: Cajun & Creole, Fruits of the Sea, Holiday, Hot Topics, Main Meals, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Lecosho’s Chargrilled Prawns

Delicious Food Rut of Summer 2013

Delicious Food Rut of Summer 2013

Hello, my name is Holly, and I am an addict. I have ordered Lecosho’s Chargrilled Prawns too many times to count in the past five weeks.

And, why not? This dish is the perfect, delicious embodiment of late summer. The corn has the delicate smoky sweet that only grilled corn can have, the prawns are consistently succulent, and the slightly sweet fennel salad is the perfect juxtapositon to the mild heat of the creamy chile sauce. It’s an addiction for sure, but one that I don’t want to quit.

Like many professionals, Chef Cody of Lecosho doesn’t work from a recipe but instead uses intuition and knowledge to guide him to the perfect dish, seasoning as he goes. When asked for a recipe, he happily described the process and the how-tos, but had no exact measurements to share. So, for those that prefer precise measurements, this recipe’s a challenge — but a challenge well worth undertaking! Go on, try it out, and test your cooking chops. If you decide to just go to Lecosho and order the prawns off the menu, I highly recommend ending your evening with the cardamom olive oil cake served with macerated Rainier cherries and almond gelato. You can’t go wrong with that!

Lecosho’s Chargrilled Prawns

Ingredients

Prawns
Fennel bulb
Orange supremes
Extra virgin olive oil
Corn
Fresno chiles
Garlic
Shallots
Heavy cream
Pomace oil

Instructions

  1. Shuck fresh corn, char grill, then chill. Once chilled, remove from cob, set aside.
  2. Sautee Fresno chiles with garlic and shallot. Once aromatic, add corn back in, seasoning with Murray River flake salt and freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper.
  3. Add just enough heavy cream to cover. Simmer over medium-high heat until the cream has reduced, and the corn has absorbed most of the liquid.
  4. To make the house roasted tomato oil, roast fresh roma tomatoes with fresh thyme, sliced garlic, salt, Tellicherry black peppercorn, and just a pinch of Indian cayenne.
  5. Roast for about 45 minutes at 350.
  6. Puree in a high speed blender with Pomace oil until smooth.
  7. Toss prawns in tomato oil, and grill over high heat very quickly--about 45 seconds each side.
  8. Dress grilled prawns with a little more tomato oil.
  9. Shave fennel bulb a thin as possible - with a very sharp knife or on a mandoline.
  10. Toss with orange supremes and a little extra virgin olive oil.
  11. Season with a little salt and Tellicherry black peppercorn.
  12. Prepare the bowl with a little tomato oil in the bottom, and add a spoonful of creamed corn. Top with prawns, garnish with fennel salad and a fennel frond, and dust with Murray River Flake Salt.
  13. Enjoy!
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/lecoshos-chargrilled-prawns/

P.S. For those unfamiliar, the pomace oil that Chef Cody calls for is oil that has been extracted from olive pulp after the first mechanical press with the use of solvents- a technique more common to the production of canola or safflower oils. It’s a more cost-effective oil (though it still retains good olive flavor), so many chefs use it in place of extra-virgin during the cooking process.  It’s a good ingredient to have on hand, but if you do not, you can dilute your precious extra-virgin olive oil in equal parts with canola oil.

Categories: Fruits of the Sea, Main Meals, Recipes | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Summer Salmon Gravlax with Beet Powder & Dill Pollen

I love making gravlax because it is such a versatile dish. The cured salmon slices can be used to make elegant hors d’oeuvres, they can be served with a few simple sides to make a nice cool lunch on a hot day, the scraps are great in an omelette for breakfast, and being “cured-but-not-cooked” makes gravlax perfect for coaxing a timid diner into trying more adventurous raw dishes. Most recipes call for fresh dill, and while that works just fine, using dill pollen creates explosive “pops” of dill flavor that are hard to imitate with other methods. Using some beet powder in the sugar mixture adds a beautiful reddish hue to the outer crust of the filet, and the transition from bright salmon orange to deep beet red allows a creative cook to arrange the slices into stunning displays. Rinsing the cure off after 24 hours instead of 48 or 72 leaves the fish raw toward the skin side. This can create the greatest contrast in colors, but the trade off is the fish won’t keep nearly as long as if it’s fully cured, and, of course, the usual caveats about consuming raw seafood apply. So this summer when you come home from your fishing trips, try a salmon recipe that just can’t be beet!

Summer Salmon Gravlax, dill pollen, beet powder, cured salmon

Summer Salmon Gravlax

Summer Salmon Gravlax with Beet Powder & Dill Pollen

Ingredients

1 side of salmon, deboned, skin-on
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon dill pollen
2 tbl Pernod or Absinthe (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix the salt, sugar, and beet powder.
  2. Sprinkle the flesh of the fish with the dill pollen.
  3. In a shallow dish large enough to hold the fish, make a bed with 1/3 of the salt and sugar mixture. Lay the salmon, skin side down, in the dish, on the bed of salt/sugar. Cover the fish the the remaining mixture, pressing it gently into the flesh.
  4. Drizzle with the liquor (if using).
  5. Cover the fish tightly with plastic wrap and place a light weight on top of it. A smaller dish with a few cans of soup works great for an easy weight.
  6. Allow 24-72 hours in a refrigerator to cure. When ready, rinse the cure off and pat the fish dry. Slice thin and serve.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/summer-salmon-gravlax-with-beet-powder-dill-pollen/

Categories: Fruits of the Sea, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Pacific Seafood Halibut Escabeche

The first of the season  Alaskan halibut has arrived, and we are thrilled!  Considered the world’s premium whitefish, first of the season halibut are the best quality because the fat content of the fish is at its absolute peak. To celebrate the arrival of this delicacy from the icy north, we created an escabeche using our Pacific Seafood.  This simple preparation is a luscious showcase of some of  spring’s first fresh flavors.

Pacific Seafood Halibut Escabeche

Pacific Seafood Halibut Escabeche

 

Pacific Seafood Halibut Escabeche

Ingredients

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 halibut steaks, about 7-8 ounces each, 1/2 inch thick
1 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced into slivers
1-1/2 tablespoons Pacific Seafood
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick saute pan over medium heat
  2. When hot, add the halibut steaks and saute until golden, about 2-1/2 minutes per side
  3. Remove from pan and transfer to a dish large enough to hold all of the halibut in a single layer
  4. Set aside
  5. Using same oil and saute pan, saute onions, jalapenos, bay leaves and peppercorns until they are almost soft, about 4 minutes
  6. Add Pacific Seafood and saute for another minute until the onions and jalapenos are completely softened
  7. Stir in vinegar and cook at a simmer for about 5 minutes
  8. Pour mixture over the cooked halibut, being sure to spread over and around the halibut
  9. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil
  10. Serve at room temperature
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/pacific-seafood-halibut-escabeche/

Categories: Fruits of the Sea, Main Meals, North America, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kharcho Tuna at Eltana Bagels

Eltana's Wood-fired Bagel

Eltana’s Wood-fired Bagel

By now most bagel lovers in Seattle have discovered Eltana and as an ex-pat from the East Coast, I can tell you it is about time. The perfect crust on their bagels comes from being boiled in honey water and then baked in a wood burning oven; yielding a hint of sweetness with a very light smokiness that is out of this world. Of course, they use our spices in many of their dips, spreads & salads too which always makes for a superior schmear.

With a recent spice delivery, I found Daniel, one of the founders of Eltana, working on something new that was too good not to share. He was making tuna salad using our Kharcho blend. This rare mixture of spices is typically associated with the hearty stews of the former Soviet state Georgia, and its unusual flavor profile often leaves folks wondering what to do with it. When I tasted this Kharcho Tuna Salad, I was sold. This is no ordinary tuna salad. Daniel starts with high grade albacore tuna which is cooked in house before getting mixed with all kinds of delicious goodies, including our Kharcho. I haven’t been able to pry the secret recipe from him yet, but if he does share it, we will pass it along. Until then, we’ll see you at Eltana!

Categories: Eastern Europe, Fruits of the Sea, Hot Topics, Notes from the Field | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Classic Crab Cakes

The first time I ever had a crab cake, I was thirteen and accompanying my dad on a business trip to San Francisco. We dined in the fanciest restaurant I’d ever been to, and I ordered the crab cake appetizer. It was tender, moist, perfectly seasoned, and it blew me away. I’ve attempted many times since to recreate it, with varying degrees of success. These beauties, however, elegantly spiced with our Classic Crab seasoning and a generous handful of tarragon, put that first memorable cake to shame! Do be sure to use Panko, the Japanese bread crumbs, for this recipe to get that lighter-than-air crust.

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Classic Crab Cakes

Serving Size: 16 appetizer portions or 8 dinner portions

Ingredients

2 pounds lump crab meat
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 celery ribs, finely diced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/3 cup dried tarragon
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
1-1/2 cups unsalted Panko bread crumbs, plus more for coating
2 tablespoons Classic Crab

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Blend all ingredients together in a large bowl, taking care to leave some large pieces of crab claw meat intact.
  3. Form cakes in to handful-sized portions, about 5-6 oz., and dredge in remaining Panko. Sear in a hot, oiled skillet until golden brown on both sides, flipping only once, as the crab cakes are delicate and will fall apart with too much handling.
  4. Place seared crab cakes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and place in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve with a dollop of your favorite aioli. You can even just add some fresh lemon juice and zest to mayonnaise for a quick topping.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/new-bay-crab-cakes/

Categories: Fruits of the Sea, North America, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment