Cioppino

Cioppino is such a versatile dish – you can add any type of seafood that you wish (as long as it's fairly firm, like scallops, salmon, halibut, grouper, haddock – and shellfish). The sauce has a great depth of flavor but doesn't overpower the fish. It's a perfect main course for weekend company. You can make the stew (minus the seafood) up to two days ahead, bring to a simmer and add the fish as noted below. Be sure to use a big pot!

cioppino.jpg

Recipe

3 T. olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 tsp. salt
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 tsp. smoked paprika
(1) 28-oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
1-1/2 c. dry white wine
32 oz. fish stock
7 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in a little bundle
1 bay leaf
1 lb. clams, scrubbed
1 lb. mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 lb. uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-1/2 lbs. assorted firm-fleshed fish (I used salmon, scallops and halibut)
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon (2 tsp. grated zest, the rest cut into wedges)
hearty Italian gluten free bread for dipping

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and paprika until everything is coated. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer about 30 minutes.

Remove the thyme. Add the clams and mussels, cover and cook about 5 minutes, until the clams and mussels begin to open. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the lemon zest. Season to taste with more salt and red pepper flakes if needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Thai Red Curry Mussels

After a delightful day of wine tasting, the perfect accompaniment to a great bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir is this tasty recipe for fresh mussels. The broth has the perfect amount of spice, not too hot and lots of nuanced flavor. For the second course, consider Jacques Pépin's Frisée aux Lardons, followed by a cheese course with crackers and fruit.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Recipe

2 T. peanut oil
1 stalk lemongrass, bottom 2/3 of inner bulb smashed and cut into 3 pieces
3 T. Thai red curry paste
1/2 c. white wine
(1) 15-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
2 T. fish sauce (nam pla)
juice of 2 limes
2-1/2 lbs. mussels, cleaned
4 T. basil leaves, chopped
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Rustic Italian bread, or a baguette, sliced, for dipping

In a saucepan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the lemongrass, curry paste, wine, coconut milk, fish sauce and lime juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Add the mussels, cover the pot and let steam until opened — about 8 minutes. During the last minute of cooking, add the chopped basil and cilantro. Remove the lemongrass before serving.

Transfer the mussels to 4 bowls, discarding any that didn't open. Pour the sauce over the mussels, and serve with plenty of bread for dipping.

— Bobby Flay, Food Network

Thai Butternut Squash & Pineapple Curry

I must admit that I have never cooked with Thai red curry paste, so I thought I'd give it a go ... and I'm glad I did! Delicious. I was a bit cautious and added just one tablespoon, but I think I could have safely added 1-1/2 or 2 tablespoons. You could also add some chicken, or experiment with additional veggies (spinach, red pepper, etc.). As you can see below, I had just baked some yummy pumpkin cake donuts, but that story is for another time!

thai-red-curry.jpg

Recipe

1 T. coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 T. Thai red curry paste
1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1 can coconut milk (I used Trader Joe coconut cream)
3/4 c. vegetable stock
2 c. green beans, trimmed and cut in thirds
8-ounce can pineapple, drained, cut in chunks
1/4 c. chopped coriander + some for garnish (or Italian parsley if cilantro's not your thing)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and fry the onion for about 5 minutes until softened.  Stir in the red curry paste and garlic to coat the onions and cook for a minute. Add the butternut squash and beans, stir well, then add the coconut milk and stock, stirring to combine. Bring to a bubbling simmer, then turn heat down to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes until the squash is tender and the sauce has reduced a bit and thickened.

Stir in the pineapple and cilantro and cook for another 5 minutes until the pineapple is warmed through. Serve over rice and sprinkle with some more chopped cilantro. Serves 4. 

Prosciutto Wrapped Halibut with Brussels Sprouts and Kale Couscous

I rarely get the chance to have fresh Alaskan halibut, but tonight was the night! What a great pairing - prosciutto and halibut, seared in a hot pan and finished off in the oven over a bed of perfectly seasoned veg. The zest of a whole lemon is added to the pan just before the brussels sprouts and kale and it makes all the difference, lending a tart depth of flavor along with the garlic and chile flakes. Enjoy!

prosciutto-wrapped-halibut.jpg

Recipe

(4) 4- to 6-oz. halibut fillets
Salt & Pepper
8 slices prosciutto
2 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
pinch of chile flakes
3 c. shredded brussels sprouts
2 c. shredded kale
1 c. couscous
1-3/4 c. hot chicken stock
1/3 c. dried currants

Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Sprinkle the halibut with salt and pepper. Lay 2 slices of prosciutto on a flat surface, slightly overlapping. Place a halibut fillet at the end of the slices and roll up. Repeat with remaining fillets.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the halibut to brown the prosciutto for about 1 minute per side - your pan should be nice and hot. Remove to a plate while you cook the veggies. Quickly stir the garlic, lemon zest and chile flakes into the pan, add the brussels sprouts and kale and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the couscous, hot stock and currants. Place the fish on top of the mixture and transfer to the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes until couscous is cooked. Remove fish from the skillet, fluff the couscous with a fork and serve.

– Katie Lee, Food Network's "The Kitchen"

Crusty Baked Shells & Cauliflower

This recipe is a great way to celebrate cauliflower! It's first sautéed in a hot pan, then combined with cooked pasta shells, fresh sage, a hint of lemon, and lots of cheese with a crunchy topping. Easy and delicious! Can be assembled up to 24 hours prior to baking, keep covered in the refrigerator.

baked-shells-cauliflower.jpg

Recipe

3/4 lb. small shell pasta (such as Barilla)
Olive oil (about 1/2 cup total)
large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
3 T. fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
2 T. capers
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 c. grated Fontina cheese (I used Trader Joe's Quattro Formaggio Shredded Cheese Blend)
8 oz. ricotta
1/4 c. creme fraiche
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
6 T. freshly grated Parmesan
3 T. parsley, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

Fill a large saucepan with water, add 2 T. kosher salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 6 minutes (or according to package instructions). Drain and put in a large bowl. Add 3 T. olive oil and stir. Set aside.

For the cauliflower, heat 3 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower in one layer and saute for 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Pour into the bowl with the pasta. Add the sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and mix well. Stir in the 2 cups of grated Fontina cheese. Transfer half of the mixture to a 10x13x2-inch rectangular baking dish. Mix the ricotta and creme fraiche in a small bowl, then spoon it over the pasta mixture, spreading somewhat evenly. Then add the rest of the pasta/cauliflower mixture on top.

Combine the panko, Parmesan, parsley and 1-2 T. olive oil in a small bowl, and sprinkle it evenly on top of the casserole. Bake for 30 minutes.

– Based on a recipe by Ina Garten

Green Tea Soba Noodles with Lime & Cardamom Salsa

Another delicious, simple and unique recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi. He never disappoints. Green tea soba noodles can be found at any Asian grocery (I bought mine at Uwajimaya). I couldn't locate nigella seeds noted in the original recipe, so I substituted black sesame seeds. The ground cardamom adds a wonderful and unexpected, subtle flavor. I served this dish with Jamie Oliver's spice crusted tuna steaks with cilantro and basil accompanied by a Penner Ash 2014 Pas de Nom pinot noir. Dessert was Anna Jones' recipe for chocolate and earl gray pots. Spectacular!

Recipe

FullSizeRender.jpg

7 oz. (200g) green tea soba noodles
2 T. basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 T. coriander leaves, roughly chopped
5 T. shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
2-3 limes (enough for 3 T. juice | use one cut in quarters for garnish | zest one to get 1 tsp. zest)
3 T. peanut oil
1 garlic clove, peeled, crushed and minced
1 small green chili, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
4 eggs, soft boiled
1/4 tsp. black sesame seed

Cook the noddles in rapidly boiling water for six minutes (or according to your package directions). Rinse under cold water and drain.

For the eggs bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the room temperature eggs and simmer for six minutes for a slightly runny yolk (as you may notice in the photo, I accidentally cooked mine a little too long and got a hard yolk). Run under cold water for a few minutes and just before serving, peel and cut in half. 

In a large bowl add the basil, coriander, pistachios, cardamom, lime zest, lime juice, peanut oil, garlic, chili (if using), and 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix well, then add the noodles and mix with your hands. Serve and top with the avocado slices, two egg halves, a sprinkle of black sesame seeds, and a wedge of lime on the side.