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Tagged With: Piment d’Espelette

Piment d’Espelette Fish Stew

This hearty stew hits it on all notes — the high acid of the tomatoes and wine play against the sweetness of the deeply caramelized onion and fennel, the brine-y olives render the seafood right at home, and the Piment d’ Espelette… oh, the Espelette! The perfect balance of heat and complexity that clarifies this bounty of flavor, and unites it all in delicious harmony. If my fish-monger has them, I’ll often throw in a few oily little fish, like fresh anchovies or sardines, too… Just sear them whole, skins and all, in a bit of olive oil and add to the serving dishes.

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Piment d’Espelette Fish Stew

Ingredients

4 ounces (8 large) raw, shell-on shrimp
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
2 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken stock, or fish stock, if you’re so lucky
1 1/2 cups water
½ cup clam juice
1 cup dry white wine
1 strip of lemon rind
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons oil
2 medium (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total) fennel bulbs (tough green tops trimmed), cored and cut in half, then cut into thin slices, reserving some fennel fronds for garnish
1 large sweet onion, such as Maui, Mayan, Walla Walla or Vidalia, cut into thin slices
Salt- I prefer Sel de Mer for this recipe
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces waxy yellow potatoes, such as Yukon gold, ½ inch dice.
½ cup large green olives, such as Lucques, pitted and halved
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
Freshly ground Lampong black pepper
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
8 ounces skinless, firm white fish fillets, such as swordfish, cod, halibut, or sea bass
8 ounces clams or mussels or a combination of the two
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon Piment d'Espelette

Instructions

  1. Peel and de-vein the shrimp, placing the shells in a medium pot and reserving the de-veined shrimp in a bowl, tossing with half the ground fennel to coat. Use the remaining ground fennel to season the fish fillets, and set aside.
  2. Add the stock, water, clam juice, wine, bay leaf, lemon rind and allspice berries to the pot with the shrimp shells; bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the broth through a wire strainer, discarding the shrimp shells and whole spices. Add potatoes to the broth, and simmer until fork-tender.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the Piment d’ Espelette. Cook for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring a few times, until the vegetables are tender and golden. Deglaze with the tomatoes, add the garlic, and simmer until reduced by half.
  4. Add broth to tomato and vegetable mixture, adding in the olives and sun dried tomatoes, and season to taste with salt and fresh pepper. Keep hot over medium low heat.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of the oil and the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the fish until lightly browned, turning and cooking until just firm- do not overcook, as they will continue to cook in the hot broth when served. Transfer to a plate.
  6. Add the shrimp to the hot pan along with clams and/or mussels, along with a few generous ladles of broth, and cover tightly with a lid to steam open the bivalves.
  7. Place an equal portion of fish into serving bowls. Ladle the hot broth over the fish, garnishing each serving with shrimp, clams and mussels, chopped fennel fronds and a generous pinch of Piment d’ Espelette.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/piment-despelette-fish-stew/

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

Piment d’Espelette

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Spice merchant Christmas is coming a little late this year, but it is well worth the wait! The current crop of Piment d’Espelette has arrived at our doorstep, ready to transform our soups, stews, rice pilafs, and most especially egg and fish dishes with its mild heat, and fruity, almost tomato-like flavor. A single sampling of this precious spice leaves no question as to why we are so excited by its arrival!

Piment d’Espelette (pepper of Espelette) originates in the area that joins the southwestern-most corner of France with northeastern Spain, a region historically known as Basque country. Piment d’ Espelette bears the distinction of being the only spice recognized by the AOC, or Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée. The AOC guarantees that products which bear its seal will be produced in traditional manners, and originate only from their traditional region (Champagne is a classic example). Therefore, only the superior pepper grown in the ten, tiny approved Basque villages may be labeled “Piment d’Espelette.”

Visits to this picturesque region in late summer and early fall yield visions of festoons of peppers, drying against white stucco houses as they have for centuries. Each October, the end of the Piment d’Espelette harvest is marked by a vibrant festival, complete with parade, that draws upwards of 20,000 tourists. There, the peppers are sold fresh, pickled, or dried and ground, as we carry it. At only 4,000 on the Scoville scale (as compared to 40,000 for Indian Cayenne), Piment d’Espelette’s mild flavor is the cornerstone of the traditional Basque stew piperade, a piquant concoction of peppers, tomatoes, onions, and on occasion, ham and eggs.

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In keeping with Basque tradition, we consume our Piment d’Espelette seasonally; making way for the new crop when it comes. The Basque have another tradition worth imitating- that of the txoko, or gastronomical society. Generations of Basques have gotten together to cook, sing, and experiment with food in thousands of private clubs.  Pick up some of the freshest and most flavorful flakes of Piment d’Espelette available in the United States by the ounce, or sweetly packaged in a 1/2 ounce jar for your next txoko, or meeting of your foodie friends. On egin!

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Categories: French, Hot Topics, Mediterranean, Notes from the Field, Spice Notes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Ranch Potato Salad

I’ve lived all over this great country, and while there are some pretty big differences between Boston and the Carolinas, one summer constant nationwide is barbeques, and for my family, that meant potato salad!  Mom’s potato salad was full of mayo, hard-boiled eggs and bacon – delicious, yes, but it needed an update.  I came up with this recipe to combine my love for mom’s cooking with my equally unhealthy love of tangy, delicious ranch dressing into a potato salad that even my doctor would eat.  Instead of mayo, I use Greek yogurt, so it still has that traditional creaminess I crave without the fat, and it gives the World Spice salt-free Ranch Seasoning a little extra tang, too. (I still use bacon because, after all, potato salad wouldn’t be the same without bacon!) The festive and unusual colors of heirloom varieties of red, white and blue potatoes are perfect for enjoying the Fourth of July fireworks at Gasworks Park in downtown Seattle. And since I work at World Spice Merchants, I have to garnish it with something fun, right? I like to use a little bit of Piment d’Espelette, or maybe some Aleppo pepper, or some Urfa Biber . . . decisions, decisions!

Ranch Potato Salad made healthy – no mayonnaise!

 

 

Ranch Potato Salad

Ingredients

3 lbs. potatoes, unpeeled (try using red, white and blue ones for a really colorful dish)
16 oz. Greek yogurt
1 red bell pepper, chopped (any color bell pepper will do)
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
8 strips bacon, cooked crisp, chopped
Piment d'Espelette, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cut the potatoes in bite-sized pieces, and boil until just fork tender. (They will have some carry-over cooking - you just don't want them to be "mushy". Drain, and spread out on a cookie sheet to cool. (You can also roast the potatoes, too. Just toss them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them until done. Also allow them to cool before making the salad.)
  2. While the potatoes are cooling, you can make the dressing. In a large bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, salt and Ranch Seasoning. Mix well - it will be a little thick. (You can always use a little water or milk to thin it out, if you like, but the natural liquid from the chopped veggies will also thin it out a little.)
  3. Add the cooled potatoes and chopped veggies and bacon to the bowl, and toss well to make sure everything is coated with the dressing. Taste for seasoning - you might want to add a little more salt or Ranch Seasoning.
  4. Transfer the finished potato salad into a serving bowl and garnish with Piment d'Espelette for an extra-special treat.
http://www.silkroaddiary.com/ranch-potato-salad/

Categories: BBQ, Global Cuisines, North America, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment