Appetizers

Ahi Tuna Crudo with Sweet Soy, Wasabi and Cucumber

May 10, 2014
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Since the first human caught a fish and realized it was edible, people have had to figure out how to eat it now and how preserve the delicate flesh for eating later.  Smoking, drying, or curing (and sometimes all three) were used to by migrating tribes as a means to carry their bounty with them.  Several ways of eating raw fish in the moment also evolved; sushi, sashimi, ceviche, carpaccio, and crudos are just a few.  Whether a simple sashimi with a splash of soy sauce or a classic ceviche covered in citrus juice, cooks always strive to make it different and better.  Two methods, gravlax and crudo, give us options at opposite ends of the spectrum for enjoying raw fish at its finest.

Crudo’s origins lay with the fishermen of the Mediterranean who would often eat their catch fresh out of the sea with nothing more than a drizzle …

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How To Make Salmon Gravlax

March 1, 2014
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One of my favorite things to do is to show people how simple it is to make things at home from scratch. Do not fear cooking (or in this case, curing). Love it and it will love you back. Gravlax is super easy to make at home, and yet at the same time, a delicious and impressive bit of culinary magic which will have your friends and family saying, “You made this?”

What is Gravlax? It’s is a salt and sugar cured salmon and is a wonderful addition to a brunch buffet, open faced sandwich or on canapes. There is often a bit of confusion surrounding gravlax, with many people assuming it is the same as smoked salmon or lox. In fact, gravlax is not smoked at all but instead cured by the process of covering it in salt and sugar which draws out the excess moisture (less moisture=slower spoilage).

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Crab Cakes with Spicy Yogurt Remoulade

February 8, 2014
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Are you the type of person who if you see a particular item on a menu, you will order it without fail? Typically this is something you would never make at home, right? When I see duck with a crispy skin, there’s a 99.99% chance I will order it, but duck is something I never make at home.

If I’m ever in a restaurant with my husband and there is a crab cake on the menu I know exactly what he’s ordering. When I was a chef we had a running joke; if I saw a ticket come into the kitchen with a seared ahi and a crab cake on it for a single diner at the bar, I knew he was in the restaurant. He’s that predictable when it comes to a menu.

Crab cakes aren’t really that difficult to make at home, but I’ll be honest, they’re not …

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Marinated and Chilled, Cracked Dungeness Crab Legs

December 17, 2013
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Does your family have one of those stories which has been told and re-told so many times that it has taken on a life of its own? Does the story goes beyond gossip to become gospel?

What happens when you find out the story is not true?

If you’re me, you share it anyway, because it’s a good story.

This, my friends, is the tale of my uncle and the crab…

When I was little, and even back to my mother’s childhood, my grandparents would hold an open house party on Christmas Eve for their friends and family. They would put out a big spread of food which usually included a couple of homemade pizzas and, given that they lived in the San Francisco Bay area, seafood straight from the wharf. One of the most popular items was a cracked and marinated dungeness crab which was a perfect component …

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Oysters part 4- How to Make Oysters Rockefeller

February 19, 2013
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There is over a century of history surrounding the recipe for Oysters Rockefeller and as many recipes out there as there are varieties of oyster. Created in 1899 at Antoine’s restaurant in New Orleans, the dish was a version of one originally made for snails. Legend has it that when it was first eaten, people said it was “rich enough for a Rockefeller,” hence the name.  One thing is for sure, the recipe is a closely guarded secret and while people have tried to duplicate it, it’s never been published, not even in their Antoine’s cookbook.

There’s been much debate over the years as to the ingredients, but experts agree the most traditional versions are made with a mix of herbs and watercress, not spinach which has become more common. Bacon, Parmesan cheese, cream, and even hollandaise sauce, are frequent additions, but not original. This version is as faithful as …

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Oysters Part 3- Sauces and Garnishes

February 13, 2013
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So now that we’ve talked about the history of oysters, the different types and where they come from, and you’ve seen how to buy, clean and open raw oysters, how about making some sauces to go with them? Below are some of the most traditional ways to serve oysters. My favorite is mignonette sauce, or just completely unadorned. How do you like your oysters?

Mignonette Sauce

Mignonette Sauce

Mignonette is the typical French accoutrement for oysters. Order oysters or a fruits de mer platter in any Parisian bistro and what you’ll get is a clean taste of the sea with a wedge of lemon and this piquant sauce.

4 oz red wine vinegar
2 ea shallots, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp freshly cracked black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and allow the shallots to marinate at least 1 hour.

It’s all about the shallots.
The shallots add a savory component …

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