Sustainable Seafood Tacos for National Taco Day!

Mark your calendars and join me in celebrating ocean-friendly seafood during October – National Seafood Month – by enjoying a sustainable seafood taco on NATIONAL TACO DAY, this SATURDAY, October 4! (What a great day!) Chefs across the country are joining together to give this year’s celebration a sustainable twist and so can you. 

Choose a seafood from Seafood Watch’s best choice list to make your own sustainable seafood tacos at home OR you can use my recipe for Spiced Mahi Mahi tacos with Salsa Fresca and Chipotle Crema. Either way, be sure to share your dish on social media using the hashtags: #MakeItSustainable #taco 

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Wild Dungeness Crab Stew

It’s a one pot wonder, it’s delicious, healthy and it’ll serve a family, dinner party or just yourself – for many meals. What more could you ask for?

Wild Dungeness Crab Stew

Wild Dungeness Crab Stew

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

 

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced small

1 fennel bulb, cored and diced medium

4 celery stalks, cut into thirds lengthwise and diced small

6 carrots, peeled and chopped roughly

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

3 cups corn kernels

2 ½ cups lima beans

2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, spots or greening removed and diced medium

4 cups vegetable stock

5 sprigs thyme, tied together with the bay leaves (use butcher’s twine)

2 bay leaves, tied together with the thyme sprigs (use butcher’s twine)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 pound Dungeness crab meat

Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, for garnish

 

In a 5.5 quart pot, set over medium heat, add the olive oil and the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are soft, translucent, and lightly caramelized.

Add the fennel and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the celery and fennel begin to soften.

Add the carrots, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 6 to 8 minutes until the carrots begin to soften.

Add the garlic and the Old Bay seasoning and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.

Add the corn, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes, stock, and herb bundle. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just cooked through.

Turn off the heat. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.

Add the crab, gently stir to combine and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper.

Remove and discard herb bundle and serve stew in bowls garnished with some hand torn parsley.

Salmon Burgers with Homemade Tartar Sauce

Wild Alaskan salmon is in season! So, next time you purchase some salmon at your local grocery store or fish market, how about making my salmon burgers? They are easy to make and have a nice crispy outside on account of the panko. Mmmmmm.  Plus, the homemade tartar sauce is a delicious treat in and of itself! Sea for yourself!

 

Salmon Burger Panko

Salmon burger in panko before cooking

Salmon Burger with Homemade Tartar Sauce

 

 

Salmon Burger with Homemade Tartar Sauce

Yield: 4 burgers

 

For the burger:

1 pound wild salmon filet, skin, bloodline and pinbones discarded, chopped finely

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons mayonnaise

1 ¼ cup panko bread crumbs, divided

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 

Place the salmon, mustard, lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper, mayonnaise and ¼ cup panko in a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold until well combined.

Place 1 cup panko on a plate.

Form 4 equal sized patties, approximately 3-inches in diameter and 1-inch thick, and press bottom of patties into the panko to coat. Do the same to the opposite side, pressing each patty into the panko.

Place burgers on a parchment-lined tray or plate.

Place a large nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat and add the 1/3 cup olive oil. Let sit over medium-high heat for 1 minute, until the oil shimmers (hot!). Add the burgers and let cook on each side for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

Tartar Sauce:

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons cornichon, diced small

½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon capers, rinsed and chopped roughly

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Burger Assembly:

Tartar sauce

Romaine or Butter Lettuce leaves

Toasted hamburger, optional

Place tartar sauce on bottom and top of hamburger buns and top with burger and lettuce. Alternately, you can eat your salmon burger in between lettuce leaves or on top of a bed of lettuce with tartar sauce drizzled overtop.

Cooking for Solutions Success

Super-sous and I are wrapping up a wonderful weekend at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the Cooking for Solutions event.

Today, I had my final speaking/cooking demo followed by a book signing.

What a backdrop!

Not only that, but we were able to attend our friend, (the master chocolatier at TCHO Chocolate), Brad’s informative and fascinating speech on the history and origin of chocolate. Thanks to Brad and his lovely fiance, Melissa, who helped ran the session. (P.S. Like mochas? Try making a Latte with TCHO chocolate – it will knock your socks off – and you can thank Brad for that.)

To top it off, we had a behind the scenes tour of the Aquarium and even got to feed some of the fish!

Many, many thanks to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Team for all that they do to educate, inform, and bring people from all around the world together to promote the health and sustainability of our oceans. You are all such an inspiration!

TODAY has been a great day!

What a day! Woke up at 6:00am sharp for an important meeting with Latte, got to the Today Show studios at 7:30, was whisked off to makeup for a quick head powdering and then I found myself in the magical and beautiful Today Show studio kitchen.

Two quick 10 second teasers later (live promo spots for my segment) and there I was with Al Roker, face to face, cooking it up (preparing my halibut and cherry clafoutis recipes from my cookbook) for a 4 minute segment. I was even able to share about my new TV show, Good Food America.

In case you missed my segment, check out this link. Al, you rock.

http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/47059964

Super-sous took lots of behind the scenes photos and thanks to my sweet friends, I got some snapshots from the TV. Enjoy and thanks for your support everyone!!!

Flying back to San Francisco in a few hours to continue shooting with the Good Food America Production Crew. So long New York. You’ve been great.

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A Lyon Dreams of Sushi

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Inspired by the movie, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, that my sous and I recently enjoyed, this morning we headed to downtown L.A. and took a fantastic 3 & 1/2 hour sushi making class at the Sushi Institute of America. Also joining us was my sous’ sister, Karen, and our best friend, Scott – a master sushi lover.

There’s something so wonderful about the simplicity of sushi. I totally understand how the sushi greats, (like Jiro, his son and kitchen staff) train their whole lives in this art. Making the rice is a science in and of itself: the traditional method to clean it, the right ratio of rice and water, the mixture for the sweet/salty rice vinegar, stirring with the proper technique, fanning the rice to cool it, and so on – this one task alone can take years upon years to master.

The more and more we practiced and learned, the further perfection seemed.

I can only imagine how a sushi master must just ‘feel’ when it’s the right amount of rice in their hands for making a roll or the nigiri (when the fish is on top of a mound of rice). To begin to play with that delicate balance was very exciting for all of us. And the results? Snacks, rolls, and pieces of sashimi and sushi all along the way!

We also learned how to make dashi (fish stock made from seaweed and dried tuna) and miso soup. In fact, we ended up making so much sushi that, upon going home, we had to walk to the neighborhood bookstore to share our feast with our friend Tim (one of the tasters for my cookbook – he actually gave so much feedback that he’s IN the book). We armed him with some soy sauce, a pair of chopsticks and off he went.

Every grain of rice has a purpose. Every motion, every slice, every… delicious bite. The only downside to today’s class, if you can call it that, was the self inflicted sushi coma, which I quickly overcame with the aid of my best buddy, Latte.

You never know, tonight I think I may have some dreams of sushi of my own.

 

Cooking for Solutions

Yesterday and today I have been doing some recipe testing for the Cooking For Solutions event that happens every year at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Being a Sustainable Seafood Ambassador for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I will be cooking and speaking for the event (Saturday and Sunday followed by book signings for my brand spanking new cookbook, with the addition of competing in an Iron Chef style event on Saturday!). I am creating two recipes: one for grilled Alaska Salmon and one for grilled Alaska Snow Crab.

With the rains rolling in today, I’m taking a bit of a backseat on the grilling, but I did manage to play around a bit with a salmon marinade that includes fresh dill, mint, garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and olive oil served with a tzatziki sauce; a cajun-style spice rub salmon; and a salt, pepper, lemon zest, thyme rub with grilled lemon zest asparagus. All are something to build on.

But, what about the crab? Is there anything more delicious than crab with garlic butter? If so, please let me know because I have not been able to find anything that rivals it. I have tried several different dipping sauces as well as an appetizer with marinated candy striped beets, avocado, a dollop of creme fraiche and arugula micro greens.

I also tried a spicy tomato gazpacho with avocado, crab, and the arugula micro greens.

Both were… well, alright,but… hey, it’s no garlic butter.

So, what are your favorite flavor combinations using grilled salmon, or snow crab?

(Now, if only Latte paired well with crab….)