Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dining, feasting and

Last night, we met to celebrate our Dining for Women's one year anniversary with this month's featured program.
As our DFW Dinner Affirmation states, “May we all be able to feast together some day.”

Our focus this month is Guatemalan MayaWorks, Chimaltenango & Solola.
MayaWorks logo - “Interweaving Lives, Discovering One World”
In celebration of our dinner meeting; celebrating the culture and foods of Guatemala.
I decided to contribute a halibut mango ceviche.  It was stellar served with tortilla chips.  One diner brought a fantastic dish, oven baked corn tortillas rounds brushed with olive oil and finished with a touch of salt.  The crusty rounds were served with a chunky mango avocado salsa. 
Halibut cheek ceviche

Halibut ceviche  

1 ½ lbs fresh halibut cheeks, cubed
3 lemons, zested and juiced
3 limes, zested and juiced                                                        
¼ cup tequila
3 jalepenos, seeded and minced
2 mangoes, ¼ cube diced
1 pepper, small diced
1/2 cup red onion, small diced
½ cup sweet onion, small diced
2 T lemon olive oil
2 T sweet chile sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
½ cup Italian parsley
2 tsp kosher salt
Combine halibut, lime and lemon juice, tequila, minced jalapeno peppers and 1 diced mango in a non-metallic bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 ½ hours.
Remove from refrigerator, add diced pepper, sweet and red onions, lemon olive oil, sweet chile sauce and cayenne pepper.  Mix well and recover and refrigerate an additional 30 minutes.
Right before serving, fold in remaining diced mango, cilantro, and parsley and salt; season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Prepare 3 hours before serving, the citric acid cooks the fish.  Traditional ceviches marinate for approximately 3 hours.  Bon Appetit!

Tomatillo orange tart with a dollop of whip cream

I love watching Chefs creating incredible food, the artistry involved is
inspiring to me as a home cook.  One night, inspired by a television episode with Rick Bayless, featuring Chef Margarita Carrillo and her tomatillo tart, I decided to bake this incredible tart in preparation for our dinner.  Fascinated by the use of tomatillos in a dessert, I recreated my version of the tomatillo tart by adding orange blossom honey, Heirloom orange sections and a touch of cinnamon.  Pleasantly surprised by the tomatillos in a dessert, it was refreshing, and slightly tart and chewy with the inclusion of tapioca.  Serve with a dollop of whip cream or a scoop of Haagen Daaz's Dulce de Leche ice cream.  Yummy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

gem on Lopez Island, San Juans

A fabulous weekend on Lopez Island, incredible friends, incredible food.  It was the Tour of Lopez, many bikes and families walking on the ferry at Anacortes.  I of course am the sag wagon and planned the feasting throughout the weekend.

It all began with a dessert, a lemony cream dessert called lemon posset, served in mini lions head
ramekins.   I remove the possets and tucked them, at the last minute, in my metro market bag, with a loaf of Bakery Nouveau's parmesan garlic focaccia.   Half of the  leftover focaccia for toast in the morning and it's makes an incredible grilled cheese sandwich.  Normally, I use the leftover focaccia to make turkey burgers by toasting the focaccia and slathering tarragon mustard and gruyere cheese, yummy.

In search of the local produce, I drove to Horsedrawn farms.  Too early in the season, the only purchase I made was a pound of  rhubarb, which I made into a compote to serve with the lemon posset desserts.  I added some heirloom orange slices and POM cherry drink to the compote.  I love adding POM to sauces, vinaigrettes and to sip in the morning with breakfast.

Sweetwater shellfish on Lopez has the most fabulous oysters, clams and mussels, I decided to pick up the lemon pasta to pair with the shellfish.  I stopped by my favorite shop in Madison valley, Lavender Heart before I left Seattle.  Our last visit to Lopez, we cooked  the squid ink pasta with scallops, a  Jamie Oliver recipe.  It was sauteed with tons of garlic, Italian parsley, chili flakes, lemons and served with grilled scallops, yummy.  Picked up the lemon pasta and a bottle of the incredible lemon infused olive oil, flavored with lemon without all the acidity.  Steamed the clams with the olive oil, and re-created the Jamie Oliver recipe with lots of minced garlic, Italian parsley, capers, chili flakes for heat and a splash of vermouth.  Tossed with a little butter, and finished with a little salt and pepper, to die for.  Since the trip to Sweetwater is major highlight of our trip, we also started our meal with 2 dozen Hammersley oysters and a dozen tiny Kumamoto oysters on the half shell.  A little squeeze of lemon and hot sauce, so tasty.  All it needed was a little salad, arugula, heirloom oranges, Italian parsley, tarragon, dill, with a roasted lemon and orange vinaigrette.

A visit to Vita's in the heart of town, to check out their fabulous food and stellar wines.  They were busy baking, the smells were incredible.  Since we were dining on shellfish, I asked for suggestions for white wines; a Can Feixes Blanc Seleccio from 2011, nice and crisp and an Ipsum 2011, also very good and I would place in my wine cellar.  Of course, the red recommendations were fab also; 2009 Valpolicella classico superiore Ripasso and a Tuscan 2009 semifonte chianti.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

cinco de mayo

After gathering with friends on the Montlake Cut, for the opening day of boating and Kentucky Derby races, we feasted on pink squirrel drinks and delicious gumbo.  In anticipation of Cinco de Mayo, I made an appetizer, a Mexican relish, salty, sweet with cherry tomatoes and lots of herbs and of course cheese, so refreshing.  Best served at room temperature with limey margaritas.  I have made it both with feta and goat cheese (a creamier relish), and serve with tortilla chips or bruschetta.  Deliciosa.
The Mexican relish recipe is as follows;
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp red chile flakes
1/2 cup pinenuts or pumpkin seeds
1 cup halved, pitted Kalamata olives
1 cup halved, green pitted olives
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, a combo of red and yellow
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 cup garlic olive oil
1 cup feta or goat cheese
salt lightly to taste

Place first four ingredients into saute pan and dry saute for 5 minutes, until fragrant.  Cool add the remaining ingredients and serve with tortilla chips. 

Can't stop eating this fresh dip, great on top of grilled chicken or grilled beef.