Seafood

Harissa Salmon

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Over the past 4 years I’ve made a ton of salmon, not just Friday night salmon dinner sails, but plenty of private charters select salmon off my catering menu. The first year I ate salmon with enthusiasm, after that I only ate some here or there and now I hardly even try it even though I’ve made it. Don’t’ get me wrong salmon is great, but it’s also a strongly flavored fish, unlike white fish salmon will always be the star rather than whatever you put on top of it. So after having made salmon at least 50 times for about 60 people ever time I have found a handful of recipes that I really love and don’t mind repeating.

This quick harissa is great on its own, roasted red peppers and some freshly toasted spice make a powerful sauce, but it’s more of an ingredient at that stage. Add some mayo and then it’s really a sauce all on it’s own ready to smother a couple salmon fillets and roasted under the broiler.








Harissa Salmon


Ingredients

  • 3/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 3/4 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 c roasted red peppers
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 3 -4 salmon fillets

Directions

Harissa sauce

  1. In a small pan toast the cumin, coriander and caraway seeds for a few minutes until they are fragrant, grind in a spice mill or mortar and pestle until powdery.
  2. Add the ground spices and remaining ingredients into a food processor, blend till smooth.

Salmon

  1. Preheat the broiler on high and move a rack to the uppermost position.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up and place the salmon fillets on it, spoon about a ¼ cup of harissa sauce sauce over each fillet.
  3. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet, turn the tray every few minutes to ensure even coloring. Cook until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 140F.

Grilled Halibut with Lemon Butter

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A lot of my recipes start with a little inspiration from several recipes, I mash them together and out comes something of my own creation. This recipe was born two years ago on Zodiac’s Seafood and Wine Tour, the only reason it’s taken me so long to test the recipe and write it down is because I don’t’ like to repeat myself. Plus, there are so many new things to try out there that I more often want to try something new than make something I’ve had before.

Sure you could pan fry the fish but it’s not the same, I encourage you to light up your grill and make this fish dish.

 






Grilled Halibut with Lemon Butter


Ingredients

  • 6 lb halibut fillets
  • ¼ c butter, melted
  • ¼ c honey
  • ¼ c soy sauce
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp. salt

Directions

  1. Place the halibut fillets in a casserole dish.
  2. Melt the butter and stir in the honey, soy sauce, lemon zest and lemon juice, pour over the halibut fillets and marinate for 2 hours turning occasionally.
  3. Grill the halibut over medium coals, about 4 minutes per side or until an internal temperature reads 145F.

Pork and Shrimp Gyoza Burger

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My favorite part of making dumplings is not in the stuffing and sealing process, but in the making of the filling and well, the eating. This is where you get to be creative and put all the flavors your heart desires into the filling and my heart desires a lot of flavor. Tiny little pan fried parcels should tingle your taste buds, make you smack your lips and keep stuffing them in your face or that’s at least how my pork and shrimp gyoza make me feel. I don’t want to put my chopsticks down until the whole platter has been cleared, but filling all those gyoza wrappers take time so it’s time for a shortcut.

These gyoza burgers have enough flavor that the toppings for the burger are minimal, a few pieces of tender butter lettuce and a mayo flavored with sweet and sour chili sauce is all they need. Yeah maybe a thin slice of tomato or some cucumber could be a nice addition, but then those elements will take away from all the work you put into flavoring the patties. Ground pork and chopped shrimp are mixed together with fresh ginger, garlic, green onions, a touch of sesame oil along with a few other simple ingredients to make a juicy and soft burger patty. I chose to grill my patties because I believe most burgers should be grilled, but these would work equally well fried in a pan with a little oil.

 










Pork and Shrimp Gyoza Burger


Ingredients

Burger patty

  • 3 lb ground pork
  • 2 lb shrimp
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches’ ginger
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • ¾ c panko
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. white pepper
  • 2 egg whites

Sweet and sour mayo

  • 1 tbsp. ginger, julienned
  • ½ c sweet chili sauce
  • ¼ c rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 -3 tsp. sriracha paste
  • ¾ c mayo

To serve

  • Brioche hamburger buns
  • Butter lettuce

Directions

Burger patty

  1. Add the garlic and ginger to a food processor and blitz until you have small pieces, scrap out into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add about 1 ½ pounds of shrimp to the bowl of the food processor and pulse a few times until you have little pieces but not a paste, scrape out into the mixing bowl.
  3. Chop the remaining ½ pound of shrimp into small pieces, I cut each shrimp into 4 or 5 pieces, add these to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix together with your hands until you have a well homogenized mixture. This is where I always cook a small amount of the mixture to test the seasonings and adjust as needed.
  5. Shape the meat mixture into patties. If you have a scale weigh out the meat between 4 and 6 oz or just shape it by hand trying to make the patties even. I use a lid covered in cling film to help shape my patties and make them uniform, before I remove them from the mold I press my thumb into the center and make a small divot, this helps prevent the burgers from puffing up and turning into a hokey puck.
  6. Chill the burgers on a tray lined with cling film while you make the sweet and sour mayo and you preheat your grill.

Sweet and sour mayo

  1. In a small pan sauté the ginger until fragrant, about 1 minutes, add in the remaining ingredients except the mayo and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens.
  2. Transfer the thick chili sauce to a bowl and allow to cool before adding the mayo and stirring to combine.

To serve

  1. Grill or pan fry the burgers until they are cooked or an internal temperature reaches 160F.
  2. Assemble the burger on a brioche bun with butter lettuce and plenty of sauce.

Poached Cod in Thai Curry Sauce

52 weeks of cooking – Poaching

As a sailor you’d think the crew would be eating fish all the time, nope, we hardly ever eat fish.

It comes down to two factors, it’s expensive and we don’t catch it often. We go into lots of ports that are known for their seafood and I would love to pick up a bunch of it to prepare for the masses but it’s way out of my budget. The fish that we do end up having we catch ourselves. On long Atlantic crossing it’s easy enough to throw a line out and just wait for something to take a bite, most of the time we end up catching fish when we are going fast or in the middle of rough weather. There is nothing like changing dinner plans and serving a big fillet of fish for dinner, its do able when you are feeding 25, but for 75 people it’s more like everyone gets to lick the fish and that’s it.




When I want a fish dish to be packed with strong flavors I look to a Thai curry. Complex flavors from the curry paste could overpower a delicate white fish, but with a light hand and delicate base of coconut milk you can achieve the right balance to meld the two together. Poaching the fish in the sauce also adds more flavor to the curry as the fish releases its juices.

 




 

Poached Cod in Thai Curry Sauce


Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
  • 1 15 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 cod fillets

To serve

  • sautéed garlic spinach
  • steamed rice
  • cilantro for garnish

Directions

  1. Into a large pan add a splash of olive oil and sauté the shallots, garlic and ginger until they get a little color and soften.
  2. Add the red bell pepper and curry paste, cook for three minutes then add the remaining sauce ingredients, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and vinegar.
  3. Bring the sauce to a simmer and add the fish fillets, nestle them in-between the vegetables and spoon sauce over the top.
  4. Cook the fish till done, 10-15 minutes depending on the size. When a fork is inserted into the center and turned the fish should flake and not resist.
  5. Serve with sautéed spinach, rice and garnish with cilantro.