Hobnobbing: Barbecued Salmon With Fresh Corn Grits & Chipotle Nectarines

There is something simultaneously inspiring and depressing about meeting someone your age that is having great success. Double-penalty points if they are having fame and fortune in an area you’re passionate about, and triple points if they’re nice to boot.

A spectacular beer cocktail, inspired by a Mai Tai. Photo credit: Annie Laurie Photography.

Such was the case last week when I met Mark Fuller , the chef and co-owner of Ma’ono Fried Chicken and Whisky and a James Beard semi-finalist. Not only has he managed to open not one, but two iterations of a tremendously popular restaurant, he is a phenomenal chef, and just a damn nice guy.

To see the full story on Ma’ono’s Happy Hour swing by my column in Seattleite magazine, but for those of you looking for some culinary inspiration for the weekend, look no further than below for a Mark Fuller original that he generously did a cooking demo of for me; Barbecued Salmon With Fresh Corn Grits & Chipotle Nectarines. Stone fruit is perfectly ripe this time of year in the Pacific Northwest, and while the lateness of the corn does render it a bit sweeter than the recipe originally called for the kick of the Chipotle Nectarines makes it a mouth-popping yet surprisingly delightful combination.

Chef Fuller in Ma’ono’s kitchen. Photo credit: Annie Laurie Photography.

Barbecued Salmon With Fresh Corn Grits & Chipotle Nectarines

Created by Chef Mark Fuller
Executive Chef and Owner of Ma’ono Fried Chicken & Whisky, Seattle

Photo credit: Annie Laurie Photography.

Marinade:
3/4 cup blue agave syrup
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Tabasco® brand chipotle pepper sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco® brand pepper sauce
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds salmon fillet, cut into four 8-ounce pieces

Nectarines:
2 ripe nectarines, pitted and cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint or basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco® brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce

Photo credit: Annie Laurie Photography.

Fresh Corn Grits:
4 ears corn on the cob, husked and each halved
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco® brand Pepper Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Marinade
Combine in a large bowl, agave syrup, soy sauce, Tabasco brand chipotle pepper sauce, fish sauce, Tabasco brand pepper sauce, garlic and olive oil. Add salmon fillets; cover and refrigerate about 3 hours, turning occasionally.

Nectarines
Combine in a medium bowl, nectarines, mint, olive oil, salt and Tabasco brand chipotle pepper sauce. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate.

Fresh Corn Grits
Grate kernels from corncob into bowl. Place corn and butter in 2-quart saucepan. Over high heat, heat corn to boiling, stirring frequently until mixture thickens. Stir in Tabasco brand pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Photo credit: Annie Laurie Photography.

Salmon
Preheat grill to medium-high.

Grease grill. Place salmon, skin-side up on grill. Grill about 4 minutes. Turn fish: cook about 4 minutes longer or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Serve salmon with fresh corn grits and nectarines.  Serves 4.

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Filed under Entertaining, Health Conscious, Lactose Free, Seafood, Uncategorized

Lights! Camera! Action!

I consider myself a good secret-keeper, but this one has been no small feat for my big Irish mouth to keep under wraps. Hence why I am so excited, nearly giddy, over-the-top pleased to share that I was chosen to be one of nine contestants on Top Chef Master Thierry Rautureau‘s upcoming Kitchen Circus show!

The general premise is this*:

Ever wonder how masterful dinners are created in a 4-star restaurant?

Each episode of Kitchen Circus features three home cooks testing their skills preparing one course of a three course meal at Seattle’s renowned Rover’s restaurant. Who will master the rigors of a professional kitchen and be voted with the best course of the evening by a FULL house of gourmet diners?

Dishes will be judged on three criteria: taste, presentation, and creativity with one home cook winner each evening. All winners from the first three episodes will move on to the finale dinner at the end of the season, where a champion will be crowned.”

To read the full press release, please visit here.

Lots more info and behind-the-scenes skinny to come soon, but for now I just HAD to let the cat out of the bag!

*As provided by Kitchen-Circus.com

29 Comments

Filed under Kitchen Circus

Going For It: Sage and Chevre Popovers

A perfect way to start a Saturday morning.

One of the things I love most about writing this blog, is becoming friends with people all over the world; hearing their stories, sharing recipes, being buoyed by their adventures, and trading kitchen tips and tricks. I am humbled by people’s honesty, in their triumphs and in tragedy, and I so appreciate knowing that there are other neurotic foodie folks out there who think there is nothing odd about making six dozen carrot muffins to perfect the technique.

One of my favorite exchanges was the discussion of all of our “Scary Foods“. I began with grilled artichokes, but from there came confessions of trepidation about spatchcooking a chicken, feelings of inadequacy with yeast dough, and a personal favorite, “anything animal related”.

Popovers have always been on the Intimidating List for me. Done right they are culinary beauties, golden brown with steam escaping from their crusty tops in front of your eyes. Done wrong they are dense little hockey pucks that would be better suited for home protection than mandatory consumption. The trick is that you must not, absolutely can’t, definitely don’t open the oven while they are cooking. For certain people who shall remain nameless (me) this is an exercise is incredible self-control, and let me tell you, it ain’t easy. But if you follow the rules and wait until they are done you will be greeted with a splendid treat and the unexpected, but most welcome addition to just about any meal be it a fried egg, salad, beef tenderloin, or fall lasagna.

What are you cooking this weekend?

Sage and Chevre Popovers

Makes 12, halves beautifully. Adapted from Joy of Cooking.

Culinary beauties: Sage and Chevre Popovers

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 TB warm melted salted butter
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, cut into 12 pieces
  • 1 1/2 TB dried sage, crumbled
  1. Bring all ingredients to room temperature.
  2. Move rack to center of oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
  3. Grease muffin tins. Popover tins are great too, but the former will absolutely do the trick.
  4. In a bowl combine the flour and salt.
  5. In a second bowl thoroughly combine the eggs, milk, and butter.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and fold just to combine. A few lumps will remain.
  7. Divide half the mixture into the muffin tins, about one-third full.
  8. Evenly distribute the goat cheese and sage, and top with remaining mixture.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 20 more minutes. Do not open the oven!
  10. After the full 35 minutes of baking time, check to ensure they are done. They should be well browned and crusty, or else they will deflate.
  11. Remove from pan, and puncture one hole in the side of each to let steam escape.
  12. Serve immediately or keep crispy in the oven (turned off) for up to 30 minutes.

21 Comments

Filed under Breakfasts, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

And We Will Feast

Day 21 of no buying groceries. Perhaps I’m having similar experiences to the kind that people who go on totally unnecessary, self-induced, 7 day juice only retreats have. Increasing obsessions of never running out of olive oil again, chaste commitments to myself to not callously swipe the crumbs of cheese into the sink, a newfound appreciation for all the things you can make with eggs.

Brilliant loophole…people coming over for dinner and offering to bring things.

What started as a slightly irrational response to admittedly excessive spending, and turned into a silly experiment, has provided a nascent respect for all the grandeur and bounty of our lives.

Tomorrow I’ll be heading to Portland for Feast, a world-class celebration of food and drink, paying homage to the Oregon soil that “produces amazing fruits and vegetables”,  vineyards that “grow grapes that make award-winning wines”, hops that are the reason “Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world” and an ocean that “provides sustainably caught salmon, Dungeness crab and tuna.”

The Season’s Best

If you’d like to be a virtual guest of this culinary adventure, please join me on Twitter at @ShutUpNCook. Otherwise, I look forward to returning with alluring, comforting, complicated, inspiring, liberal, and always ultimately satisfying, feasts.

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Spectacular, Spectacular: Grilled Bruschetta with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil, and Shrimp

This past weekend my Uncle Daniel took us on a boating adventure up to the San Juan Islands. It is truly breathtakingly beautiful up there, with vistas you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the States. We boated, we kayaked, we laughed, and of course, we ate. Happily bobbing along on the Moon Dance II, a handmade wooden craft by the renowned Sam Devlin, we enjoyed cooking up feasts in the boat’s galley, aptly named the Moon Dance Diner for all the impressive creations Daniel whipped up there.

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

A little pre-trip prep…slow roasting the tomatoes.

Day 17 of no buying groceries, coupled with boat friendly cuisine made this one a little tricky, but no less spectacular. The robust and bright flavors of the slow roasted tomatoes come to life when paired against the sizzling buffalo mozzarella. Basil freshly picked from the garden just the day before provides a welcome depth, and when topped with one impeccable grilled shrimp helps elevate an otherwise generally standard antipasto to an elite affair.

Mt. Baker in the distance.

The gents determining where the afternoon kayak should go.

Sunset at Sucia Island up in the San Juans.

We may have briefly lost a kayak, but it resulted in a midnight paddle where the phosphorescent were absolutely extraordinary, lighting up the water as we paddled through its stillness.

A cup of coffee, a morning kayak ride, and returning to Daniel cooking up omelets in the Moon Dance Diner. Doesn’t get better than this.

Grilled Bruschetta Topped with Buffalo Mozzarella, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Chopped Basil, and Grilled Shrimp

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main course.

Grilled Bruschetta Topped with Buffalo Mozzarella, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Chopped Basil, and Grilled Shrimp

  • 2 Ciabatta loaves, cut in half
  • 1 TB butter
  • 4 slices buffalo mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup slow-roasted-tomatoes, room temperature (I’m loving the Smitten Kitchen recipe, right now)
  • 8 jumbo shrimp, raw and tail on, tossed in 1 TB Olive Oil
  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Using either a grill pan or skewers, cook the shrimp until pink and cooked through. About 2 minutes a side. Once done, set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, butter ciabatta loaves and grill until nicely marked, buttered side down, about 5 minutes
  4. Remove ciabatta and top with mozzarella over grill marks. Return to grill and cook until mozzarella melted, about 5 minutes.
  5. Cut loaves in half and top with basil, slow roasted tomatoes, and shrimp.
  6. Enjoy!

18 Comments

Filed under 15-Minute-Meals, Appetizers, Entertaining, Seafood, Uncategorized

Good Looking: Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Curried Quinoa

When you write a food blog, it is very important to be strategic about your posts. You want to be consistent for your readers…but not post too often, lest they get sick of you. There are certain times of day that you want to publish, thereby generating higher traffic, and you always want to make sure you cover a variety of recipes and topics so you can rest assured you’ve got the proverbial “something for everyone”.

Heirloom Tomatoes

The latest bounty from our CSA.

Tonight, I’m going to break all those rules. Why? Because on Day 11 of “No Buying Groceries-gate 2012” I had a deliciously, fun dinner, and thanks to my new camera, a finally legitimate picture (or three) to back it up!

Salted Tomato

Who needs diamonds when a girl can have this?

Before I share the recipe for these perfect bites of summer, can I just say how stinking fun it was to read all your comments?? I must admit I was a little nervous letting you all in to the neurosis that is my psyche, but to hear that there are other folks out there that have similar feelings about foods, and budgets, and some weird Boxcar Children like enjoyment from using up the dredges of their refrigerator, honestly makes me feel better.  We are a funny bunch, we foodies and writers, but at least we’re in good company. And with that, I proudly present to you…

Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Curried Quinoa

These are a spectacular vegan side or main, yet are hearty and flavorful enough to satisfy the most voracious of carnivores. They can be easily made ahead, and are a lovely addition to a dinner of grilled fish and salad.

Serves 2 + leftover quinoa

Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Curried Quinoa. [Insert Happy Sigh Here]

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + drizzle
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (less if you don’t want it to have any kick)
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • Kosher Salt
  1. Heat 2 TB oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add quinoa and cook and stir until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Then, pour broth into the pan, return to heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add curry,  and stir well to combine; cover and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375.
  4. Cut the tops off of four medium tomatoes. Using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out all the flesh and seeds.
  5. Sprinkle salt in cavity of tomato, and put upside down on paper towel to absorb moisture.
  6. Once the quinoa is done, stuff tomatoes with quinoa, drizzle with olive oil, and put in a bread pan.
  7. Bake until tomatoes are softened and top of quinoa is slightly toasted, about 15 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately.

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Filed under Health Conscious, Lactose Free, Make ahead, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Bad Behavior: Slow Roasted Tomato Quiche with Leeks and Gruyère

Like so many before me, I’m afraid to say, I have some unflattering qualities. I’m prone to interrupting and am wildly competitive. My hair makes me look like a Fraggle when I wake up and I have been told on more than one occasion that I am nearly unbearably cheerful in the morning. I think To-Do lists are fun, and find a timer a helpful addition to more situations than is healthy. And I am a hideous control freak. It’s bad. I’m working on it. Well, sort of…part of me has just given in to this reality that I have a strong, undulating need to control most situations. Like I said…it’s bad.

Cherry tomatoes ready to be roasted

Such little jewels…cherry tomatoes waiting to be roasted.

As proof of this dreadful quality I input all my receipts into a monthly Excel spreadsheet. Are you shuddering yet? You should be. And yes I know about Mint but am too much of a control freak to trust it. This past weekend as I was closing out August I gasped in horror at my Groceries line item. As you would probably expect I tend to spend more on food than some people do, but August was out of control. Let’s just say if you can feed a starving child in Africa for $1 a day I could have fed a few children for a few years. And this doesn’t even address my “Eating Out” or “Fun” line items. It was time for drastic measures.

And so, with the determined resolution you could only expect from someone like myself, I put a moratorium on all food purchases. Admittedly, I have a very stocked kitchen to begin with (add “obsessive and irrational fear of second potato famine” to the list of faults), but I’m actually now having fun seeing how many gourmet meals I can create with just what’s in my kitchen at the moment.

This quiche was one of my first attempts to take a classic and fake it a bit with ingredient swaps. Craving a rich quiche, but not having any milk or cream I decided to use some yogurt, of which I have loads. The result was nearly as good as if I’d made it with the traditional heavy cream or half and half, and as an added bonus was healthier to boot.

What are your favorite “Use Up Everything In the Refrigerator” recipes?

Roasted Tomato Quiche with Leeks and Gruyère

Slow Roasted Tomato Quiche with Leeks and Gruyere

Slow Roasted Tomato Quiche with Leeks and Gruyere

  • 1 pate brisee crust
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (learn about how to support Slave Free tomatoes here)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 TB + drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grind of Salt and Pepper
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts finely chopped
  • 1 cup Gruyère, grated (or whatever cheese you like…chevre or cheddar would also be lovely)
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 3/4 plain nonfat greek yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 365.
  2. Toss the tomatoes, garlic, drizzle of olive oil, and grind of salt and pepper in a cast iron pan, and roast until liquid is melted and flavor is concentrated. About 30 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, saute the leek in remaining 1 TB olive oil, until softened, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Combine the eggs and yogurt, and vigorously beat to combine, there should be no lumps from the yogurt
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pate brisee until a slightly larger circle than the pie plate. Fold in half for easy transfer, and move over to the pie plate. Unfold, trim the edges so even, fold crust under itself, and flute the edges.
  6. Add the leeks, cheese, and tomatoes to the pate brisee. Cover with the egg/yogurt mixture and bake 20 – 25 minutes on the middle rack, until golden brown, egg set, and cheese slightly bubbling.
  7. Can be served warm or room temperature.

28 Comments

Filed under Breakfasts, Uncategorized, Vegetarian