Salmon With Fresh Marrow Beans

indigo rose tomato

 

haricot vertFresh Marrow Beans

 

 

 

 

 

A quick weekday meal using up leftovers. I always have fun ingredients laying around to play with so I whipped up this poached salmon with Indigo Rose Tomatoes (left) and two types of beans, Fresh Marrow Beans (right) which are a shelling bean, and fresh Haricot Vert (middle). I topped it with a Lemon Balm (bottom left) aïoli and Burnet (bottom right).

Lemon BalmBurnet

Fried Soft Shell Crab

When I was in New Orleans recently I saw soft shell crabs on a lot of menus. It is a hard dish to create at home because the best way to prepare them is by battering and deep frying and not over cooking the precious crustaceans. Soft shell crabs are difficult to find in retail stores because they really need to be alive so you know they are fresh and you have to know how to clean them. I won’t get into how to clean them here, but I will say that it probably isn’t the most humane. Soft shell crabs are a delicacy and if you aren’t up to the task of cooking them at home, look for them on restaurant menus while they are in their short season.

Lemonade Lemon

Guaje Bean

If you know me then you know I have a lot of unique ingredients laying around that I have photographed for the preppings.com website. The crabs themselves needed to be photographed so I took this opportunity to create a dish with a simple fresh salsa and an aïoli with ingredients I had. I fried the soft shell crabs with an egg wash and then a flour and cornmeal mixture. The aïoli was made with Lemonade Lemons and Guaje Seeds (pictured above). For the salsa I used Mandurian Cucumbers and Zapotec Tomatoes on a bed of Flowering Spinach and topped with Corn Shoots.

Flowering SpinachZapotec TomatoMandurian CucumberPopcorn Shoots

 

Spring & Summer Salmon Dish

I love springtime ingredients and they are even better when they collide with summer ingredients. I also love using hard to find ingredients and that is one of my motivations for starting the preppings.com website. Right now in California we are seeing all of the summer ingredients starting with all of the spring ingredients still hanging around.

Morels

Fava.beans

 

 

 

 

 

In this dish I have used Smoked Sea Salt Crusted King Salmon, Fava Beans, Morel Mushrooms, Corn Milk & Black Garlic Sauce, with Bullsblood Microgreens.black.garlic

micro.bullsblood

Poached Salmon, Lentils, Sauce Gribiche

Poached Salmon, Beluga Lentils, Sauce Gribiche

Poached Salmon, Lentils, Sauce Gribiche

One of my favorite dishes to cook and eat is Poached Salmon With Sauce Gribiche and Lentils. This is a classic French bistro dish that is easy to make and is always a crowd pleaser. This is a simple dish to make with the most time consuming part being the Gribiche Sauce (click link to see ingredients). The sauce is more like a relish with the main ingredient being hard cooked eggs. The flavor has a very nice balance with cornichons, herbs and olive oil. The salmon is easy to prepare by poaching which takes very little time (5-10 minutes depending on the size of the fish) and you can use just water or any flavored liquid such as a court bouillon or fish stock. I use Beluga Lentils here but any lentils can be used. Lentils cook very quickly so you want to keep an eye on them to make sure they keep their firmness when they’re finished cooking.

This dish can be served hot or at room temperature and makes a luxurious meal for a picnic. You can put this complete dish together in under an hour and it is sure to be in your dinner menu rotation.

Seared Sea Scallops

Raw Sea Scallops

Raw Sea Scallops

I was recently asked, “how do you get that beautifully caramelized crust when searing scallops?” I have seared many Scallops but after thinking about it for a little while, I realized their are some important details to know in order to achieve that perfect crust on the exterior and nice tender interior. Just to be clear, we are talking about sea scallops, not the small Bay Scallops, and preferably scallops that are on the larger side (U12 or larger, meaning 12 to a pound or fewer).

The most important thing you need to do is find the freshest scallops that you can find. Previously frozen won’t work because when you start searing the scallops, water releases, and now you are poaching and not searing and this will cause the scallops to be limp. After you get fresh scallops, start by removing the muscle, and then crowding them together on paper towels to get them as dry as possible. Make sure to bring them to room temperature before you start cooking (out of the fridge for 45-60 minutes). Something you often hear when trying to achieve a nice crust is “don’t crowd the pan”. This is very important when searing scallops so make sure you are using a large enough pan and the scallops are far enough apart from each other. As for the pan: use a cast iron skillet or a stainless steel pan that has an even cooking surface. Also make sure to use oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed oil or rice oil, and get the pan VERY HOT.

Scallops With Lentils

Scallops With Lentils

Lastly you want to sear the scallops very quickly, about 2-3 minutes per side depending on the size, and then serve them immediately. Here is the checkoff list for the key points:

  • Fresh, never frozen.
  • Remove muscle.
  • Dry on paper towels to remove as much moisture.
  • Bring to room temperature.
  • Use a large pan.
  • Use grapeseed oil or rice oil.
  • Get the pan very hot.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!