Posts tagged ‘Fish’

Basque Cold-Poached Salmon

Earlier this year I got racks of lamb lamb from the Annual Basque Picnic here in town. I had a great time gathering together with my brother and cousins to celebrate the culture of out ancestors, listening to the language and songs, smelling amazing food being grilled, watching folk dances and seeing lots of people of similar descent (we are French-Basque) enjoy the all-day festivities. In addition to my cousin’s birthday, the day was absolutely filled with awesome activities. I started by perusing the Etcheverry Basque Imports booth, buying some great folk music and Chorizos in an Iron Skillet; I was not at all surprised to find The Basque Kitchen, which I already owned, amongst their selection. They had all sorts of amazing stuff! There was an American Basque guide book and an intriguing book on myths and legends that I added to my list to read later.

Annual Basque Picnic

Several months ago (sorry for the delay) during one of my grocery store quests for fish, I found salmon on sale and bought three pounds of it. I decided to try something different and flipped open my new Basque cookbook to the fish section. I had never poached salmon before but the recipe looked pretty easy and tasty, especially with the garlic aioli. My husband is usually not a sauce-on-the-side kind of guy but loved the aioli. They also went well with the side of steamed asparagus.

Cold-Poached Salmon with Garlic Aioli
Adapted from Mary Ancho Davis’ “Cold Poached Salmon” recipe published in “Chorizos in an Iron Skillet
 You can of course eat the fish cold, as suggested, but we decided not to wait and ate ours still hot.ChorizosIronSkillet
Yield: 4-6 Servings

Cold-Poached Salmon
Ingredients

1 qt Filtered Water
1 Sweet Yellow Onion, peeled, quartered
3 Celery Stalks with leaves
2 tsp Sea Salt, any variety
1/2 tsp Peppercorns, fresh ground
Marjoram, 1 T fresh or 1 tsp dried
Tarragon, 1 T fresh or 1 tsp dried
Basil, 1 T fresh or 1 tsp dried
1 Dried Bay Leaf
3 lbs Salmon Steaks, rinsed, boned

Directions
Boil all of the herbs and spices in the water in a large pot for 20 minutes over medium-high heat.

Wrap the salmon in cheesecloth to prevent them from falling apart as they cook and carefully place in the boiling broth. Simmer 15 minutes or until the fish is firm. Carefully remove the fish from the broth. Untie cloth and unwrap the fish, being careful not to burn your fingers.

Chill the fish in a covered container for at least two hours.

Serve with garlic aioli.

Garlic Aioli
Adapted from Mary Ancho Davis’ “No Fail Ali-Oli” recipes published in “Chorizos in an Iron Skillet.” According to Ms. Ancho Davis, the sauce gets better with times as the flavors meld together, so if possible, make this sauce A day or two ahead.
Yields: 8 Servings

Ingredients
1 C Prepared Mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
4 – 6 Cloves Garlic, peeled, trimmed, minced*
1 T Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Lemon Juice, to taste
1/8 Sea Salt, any
Peppercorns, fresh ground, to taste (optional)

Directions
Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Adjust the flavors as necessary. Chill until ready to serve with the fish.

*Keep in mind that this is raw garlic. You can roast the garlic first if you like. If you choose to use a food processor to mix the ingredients, you do not need to mince the garlic.

Delicious Sushi in Petaluma


I wanted to visit Andy’s Kitchen & Sushi Kitchen ever since I discovered it in spring before our big move, and my mom’s recent visit was the perfect opportunity. Although the restaurant’s curb appeal left much to be desired, the interior was cool and modern. The seasonal and new item signs are handmade and may look a bit… off, but the skillfully-made, gorgeously-plated foods made up for them. The variety was quite impressive and the house specialties incredibly intriguing, but we could only realistically eat so much without over-stuffing ourselves. We took a bunch of leftovers back to the house with us. I definitely have to go back to Andy’s and order some new dishes to try. Soon! There were so many tasty items to choose from! Considering that Andy’s has such an extensive menu, I can take my time and concentrate on savoring each of the delightful mixture of colors, textures and flavors.


We started out with jasmine green tea, edamame, and miso soup, which provided a great start to the meal of appetizers. ;P Next time I want to try the edamame with garlic sauce and the seafood teapot soup, which I hope is a type of dobin mushi, a particular favorite of mine. The edamame were warm and lightly salted. Although I forgot to take pictures of the miso soup, Mom’s was indeed beautiful the the crab meat artistically displayed in the middle. My miso soup with tofu was hot and comforting with great umami (satisfyingly savory flavor). I have found a new love of poki or poke, which is basically a sea vegetable and raw fish salad. (Thank you Anise for introducing this type of dish to me! I can’t wait to try some dishes from your poki  recipe book.) I also really enjoy seaweed salads, so I ordered the poki salad made with ahi tuna. The fish and seaweed were perfect, and the white and black sesame seeds and orange and red tobiko mixed into the salad were more than just garnishes, adding delicious flavor and mesmerizing bright colors and wonderful flavors. It was so delicious, I almost forgot to take a picture. I thought about ordering a meat and vegetable combination plate of tempura, but I don’t think we would have had enough room in our quickly filling tummies to eat it.

There were so many great looking sushi rolls on the menu, it was difficult to narrow down our order to merely two. Somehow we managed before reading the menu descriptions made us much hungrier. We finally decided upon the caterpillar and Godzilla rolls. The caterpillar included unagi, cucumber and avocado with garnishes of black sesame seeds and green tobiko on top. I really like tobiko for its mild fishy flavor and crunchiness and are kind of like salmon roe, which I don’t like, since the salmon eggs have a stronger taste and remind me of fishy bath beads due to their size. The caterpillar roll was also dressed with nitsume, as cooked eel dishes usually are. I love this sauce and wish that it was featured in more dishes and not merely a cooked eel accompaniment. I think I’ll make some with the recipe that I found (click in the nitsume link above) but with less sugar. I also want to find out how different sweeteners, like agave, turbinado or sucanat affect the sauce flavor, so that I can make a sauce with a lower glycemic index value.

I had never seen a Godzilla roll before, but it looked amazingly delectable on the menu. Ours was filled with tempura shrimp, crab, romaine lettuce, cucumber and scallions and was topped with avocado and smoked salmon. This roll was also garnished with sesame seeds and drizzled with sauce of some sort. I suppose I will have to just order it again, in order to remember what kind it was…. Darn. 😉 Regardless of the sauce, the Godzilla roll was downright tasty, and I will order it again. In addition to my recently acquired taste for wasabi, I’ve also found that I can suddenly eat pickled ginger, too. It use to be way too spicy for my palate and stomach and cause me heartburn, but I tried the ginger with the sushi and found it exceedingly palatable. Surprise!

Look at these! Don’t they look drool-worthy?! Yum! In addition to the vast variety of items normally on the menu, there are also many seasonal dishes that frequently get swapped out, as well. I look forward to trying some of those, too. Which sushi restaurants do you prefer and why? Which of their specialty rolls do you like the most?