• Simply Wild (2/15/2015)

    HuckleberrySalmonWild ‘Bruce Gore’ King Salmon and wild huckleberries; nothing tame about that combo!

    When creating recipes for Northwest treats, it’s fun to pair up ingredients that inhabit the same environs.  They frequently make excellent combinations.

    To make this dish, simply season fat salmon fillets and sear in olive oil.  Once evenly caramelized, move the pieces into a baking dish and finish cooking in a 400 degree oven.  Keep an eye on them!  Overcooked salmon is a crime!  When 90% done, remove from the oven and let them rest to finish cooking.

    For the sauce, add minced shallot and rosemary to the remaining oil you cooked the salmon in.  When the shallot is done, add a round of tawny port and reduce.  Add huckleberries and cook to a glossy substance.  Remove from the heat and mount with unsalted butter.  Season the finished sauce, as needed.  Plate the salmon and serve with your incredible sauce.

    If you are unfamiliar with huckleberries, they are in the blueberry family.  I found some in the freezer section at Central Market.  You can pick them at the end of the Summer in higher elevations.  I used to greatly enjoy doing this!  The bear ‘sign’, I was careful not to step in, made me a little nervous, but hey, sometimes great meals require some adventure to achieve!  Besides their wonderful flavor, they have five times the antioxidant of blueberries!  And, like blueberries, they are believed to help maintain mental function, as we age.  Something to keep in mind.

    Like every recipe I create for Fearless Feast, this one is, of course, gluten free.  Enjoy!!  Chef Celinda

  • Zesty! (1/14/2015)

    citrusDuring, seemingly endless, gray winter days, bringing a little sunshine into our meals is a true bonus.  Beautiful colors, bright flavors, reminiscent of sunny days past or future, give us hope.  That bitter tang from tiny morsels of zest, as it assaults each of our senses and bellows WAKE UP!!

    Using the zest, the thin outer edge of the peel not the inner white pith, in recipes adds flavor, but no fat or sodium!  How many ingredients, with that level of WOW, can say the same thing?

    The easiest way to make quick flavor adjustments to many dishes, is by keeping a microplane handy in the kitchen.  You can zest directly into the pan or do ahead and have it handy.  It smells sooooo good, coming off the plane in tiny ribbons, as the oils are released into the atmosphere.

    If you are in need of a large quantity, you might want to use a grater with a larger surface.  I like to do this over a good size piece of waxed paper.  Less mess and more zest for use.

    I particularly like the bitter aspects of citrus zests.  I use it frequently, in any dish that the primary fruit flavor would work with.  Watch Fearless Feast recipes for lots of great ideas!

    Enjoy!  Chef Celinda

  • My Love Affair… (1/9/2015)

    castelvetranosI must confess, I LOVE Castelvetrano Olives… Such beauty!  Such a satisfying object to adore!

    Castelvetrano olives are named for their provenance, a town and comune of the same name in Trapani, Sicily, Italy.

    This olive is actually not cured, but processed in a similar fashion to California’s black olives.  This is why this beauty has such a lovely bright green hue.  You must keep them refrigerated, should you want to prolong their existence in your home.  That is, if you can resist eating every last one the moment you open the package…

    The flavor is sweet and a bit fruity; tasting truly like good olive oil.

    Enjoy them with your favorite bold Italian cheese, good quality cold cuts, or alone with a glass of wine.  They are an excellent ingredient for tapenade, with their delightful flavor and incredible color.  You can include them in many recipes, too.  Just crush to remove the pit and chop.  Super easy.  This olive wants to be loved!

  • Play With Your Food (1/9/2015)

    ChicoriesYes, I highly recommend playing with your culinary cohorts!  Get to know one another!  Have FUN!!

    This colorful pair of playmates are both from the Chicory family.  These are some excellent ingredients with which to invigorate your Winter diet!

    The frivolous greenery to the right is Frisee; aptly named.  Frisee is a fine leafed relative of curly endive.  It has a nice bitter, yet slightly sweet flavor.  You can eat it raw, in a salad featuring, possibly a favorite, full flavored cheese, nuts, eggs, mustard, or citrus.  Additionally, it is excellent as a wilted salad!  Frisee can also be braised.  I think I might endeavor to create a recipe using this frolicsome ingredient tonight!

    The luscious purple/red orb to the left is Radicchio.  You might have read my recent post featuring a warm radicchio salad.  This highly versatile chicory hales from Italy.  It also has the bitter notes, typical of this genus.  You will find Radicchio to have a subtle earthy quality in it’s flavor profile.  I particularly enjoy cooking it with vinegars, like Balsamic.  The cooking process brings out a wonderful sweetness, that is enhanced by the acids of the vinegar.  You might also try dressing wedges of Radicchio with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper then grilling for another addictive flavor!

    For more ideas on ingredients to use with these lovely ingredients, I recommend Karen Page’s book ‘The Vegetarian Flavor Bible’Karen does a phenomenal job of giving us endless ways to combine and create with these and 1000’s of other ingredients!

    So get out there and PLAY with your FOOD!  Chef Celinda

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