Tagged With: Seafood

Piment d’Espelette

espelettehouseok2It’s here! This season’s crop of Piment d’Espelette arrived at our doorstep this week, ready to transform our dishes with its mild heat and fruity, almost tomatoey flavor. Piment d’Espelette’s mild flavor is the cornerstone of the traditional Basque stews, and in keeping with Basque tradition we consume our Piment d’Espelette seasonally, making way for each new crop when it comes in.

The seasonal rotation isn’t the only thing traditional about the pepper of Espelette. Piment d’Espelette bears the distinction of being the only spice with an official AOC designation. Being recognized by the AOC, or Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, guarantees that the product which bears its seal will be produced in traditional manners, and originate only from their traditional region. In such illustrious company as true french Champagne, only the superior pepper grown in the ten, tiny approved Basque villages may be labeled as Piment d’Espelette.

Piment d’Espelette originates in the area that joins the southwestern-most corner of France with northeastern Spain, historically known as Basque country. In the region, late summer and early fall are marked by festoons of peppers drying against white stucco houses, just as they have for centuries. Each October, the end of the harvest is marked by a vibrant festival, complete with parade, where peppers are sold fresh, pickled, or dried and ground, as we carry it.

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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. While it might not have centuries of tradition, we’ve got a kind-of txoko of our own, the World Spice Cookbook Club, that meets up to try out recipes from a new cookbook each month. Singing is purely optional.

So come pick up some of the freshest and most flavorful flakes of Piment d’Espelette available in the United States by the ounce or by the jar, and if you’re feeling adventurous drop us a line and come out to the next meeting of our Cookbook Club for a little gastronomical bonding. On egin!

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

Lecosho’s Chargrilled Prawns

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

Lecosho’s Chargrilled Prawns

Ingredients

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!

Notes

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.

https://www.silkroaddiary.com/lecoshos-chargrilled-prawns/

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

Chimichurri Meets Grill

Rule #1 of the Spice Merchant’s Camping Handbook: Just because you are sleeping on the ground, doesn’t mean you have to eat franks and beans! We took Chimichurri sauce camping with us this weekend, and the results were fantastic! We had Chimichurri flank steak for dinner plated up with Voodoo grilled zucchini and followed by Dutch Oven peach and huckleberry cobbler, cause that’s how we roll. (For great information on using a Dutch Oven click here.)

Chimichurri steak

Classic Argentinian Chimichurri sauce combines the almost apricot flavor of the aji mirasols, the peppery sweetness of guajillo and New Mexico chiles, and the earthiness of oregano, cumin and bay with fresh herbs, citrus, plenty of garlic, vinegar and oil, to create a sauce that you’ll find excuse after excuse to use. It couldn’t be easier to make– just throw the sauce ingredients together in a blender and voila! You’re headed down, down to flavor town.

When used as a marinade, the grill fire tames the acidity of the vinegar, enhances the sweetness of the citrus, and intensifies the heat of the chiles. Another drizzle of sauce to finish leaves any cut of meat, beef especially, perfectly balanced in that sweet-tart-spicy-meaty union that screams “summer food” the world over. The flavors of Chimichurri sauce bloom over time, melding together and becoming even more cohesive, so make enough to keep in the fridge for about a month. Insider tip: A “month’s worth” is double what you think it is.

Chimichurri Flank Steak

Chimichurri Flank Steak

Ingredients

    For the Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Chimichurri Spice
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups canola or vegetable oil
  • Murray River flake salt, to taste
  • 1 or 2 limes, juiced plus extra for serving with the steak
  • For the Steak
  • 2 - 3 lbs. flank steak

Instructions

    For the Chimichurri Sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend. Pour into a glass jar with good seal. It will keep for a couple of months in the refrigerator...and just keep getting better. Give it a good shake before using.
  2. For the Steak
  3. Put the flank steak in a large resealable bag, and add enough of the Chimichurri Sauce to thoroughly coat the steak. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag, and seal. Place bag on a plate and put in the refrigerator. Marinate for at least 2 hours, but overnight is even better.
  4. You can either grill or broil this flank steak. When your coals are hot and ready for cooking, take the flank steak out of the bag, but make sure that it still has some of the Chimichurri Sauce coating it when you put it on the grill.
  5. Grill or broil it to your desired doneness, being sure to get good grill marks on both sides. When you take it off the grill, allow it to rest for 5 - 10 minutes.
  6. Slice the steak against the grain, put it on a platter (no sneaking a piece!), and drizzle with more Chimichurri Sauce. Serve it with a little bowl of sauce and some fresh cut up limes on the side.

Notes

You can mix some cilantro in with the parsley for extra flavor.

https://www.silkroaddiary.com/chimichurri-flank-steak/

Categories: BBQ, Course, Global Cuisines, Grilling Season, Latin America, Main Meals, North America, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

  • 3 halibut steaks, about 7-8 ounces each, 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 Turkish Bay leaves
  • 10 Lampong Black Peppercorns
  • 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. When hot, add the halibut steaks and saute until golden, about 2-1/2 minutes per side.
  2. Remove from pan and transfer to a dish large enough to hold all of the halibut in a single layer. Set aside.
  3. Using same oil and saute pan, saute onions, jalapenos, bay leaves and peppercorns until they are almost soft, about 4 minutes. Add Pacific Seafood and saute for another minute until the onions and jalapenos are completely softened. Stir in vinegar and cook at a simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture over the cooked halibut, being sure to spread over and around the halibut. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and serve at room temperature.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/pacific-seafood-halibut-escabeche/

Categories: Course, Fruits of the Sea, Global Cuisines, Main Meals, North America, Recipes | 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.However these beauties, 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.

 

Classic Crab Cakes

Serving Size: 16 appetizer portions or 8 dinner portions

Classic Crab Cakes

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.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/classic-crab-cakes/

Categories: Course, Fruits of the Sea, Global Cuisines, North America, Recipes, Sides, Snacky Bits | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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,too, like fresh anchovies or sardines… 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

Piment d’Espelette Fish Stew

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces raw, shell-on shrimp (About 8 large shrimp)
  • 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
  • 2 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken stock (or fish stock)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • ½ cup clam juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 strip of lemon rind
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into thin slices
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup large green olives, pitted and halved
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 ounces waxy yellow potatoes, such as Yukon gold, ½ inch dice.
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and cut into thin slices, reserving fronds for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 1 California bay leaf
  • Freshly ground Lampong black pepper
  • Sel de Mer
  • 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon Piment d'Espelette

Instructions

  1. Peel and de-vein the shrimp; place the shells in a medium pot and reserve 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.
https://www.silkroaddiary.com/piment-despelette-fish-stew/

Categories: Course, French, Fruits of the Sea, Global Cuisines, Main Meals, Mediterranean, Recipes, Soups and Stews | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment