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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Fish/Seafood/Caviar

TIP OF THE DAY: Crabtini, A Simple & Elegant First Course

A delicious crabtini. Photo courtesy Ruth’s
Chris Steakhouse.

 

When you’re cooking a fancy dinner, there are tricks to shave time and effort. We typically do this by making first courses and desserts that are simple yet impressive.

One of our go-to first courses is a slice of store-bought pâté with a lightly-dressed mesclun salad, cornichons, pickled onions and some halved grape tomatoes for color. Another is a crabtini.

A crabtini is a crab cocktail served in a Martini glass. Thanks so much to Lynne Olver of FoodTimeline.org, whose research indicates that the originator of the concept appears to be Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, circa 2005.

The crabtini has inspired chefs to create even more elaborate preparations like this molded crab cocktail. But, seeking the quick and easy, we emulated Ruth’s Chris to make our own crabtini:

RECIPE: CRABTINI

Ingredients For 6-8 Servings

  • 1 pound lump or white crabmeat (types of crabmeat)
  • 1/2 cup capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Herb vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • Romaine
  • Garnish: salmon caviar, red tobiko or tiny dice of
    red bell pepper; lemon or lime wedges
  • Preparation

    1. GENTLY toss the crab with capers, onion, parsley, Creole seasoning, salt and pepper and vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

    2. PLACE romaine leaves upright in a Martini glass. Place a mound of the crab salad in the glass.

    3. GARNISH with caviar and serve with lemon or lime wedges.
     
    RECIPE: HERB VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mixed leafy fresh herbs: basil, mint, parsley, tarragon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few shakes Worcestershire sauce
  •  
    Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
     
    WINE PAIRING

    Enjoy your crabtini with a festive glass of sparking wine—another quick and easy way to add glamor to a simple course—or a clean, crisp dry white wine.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Mussels Escargot Style, With Maitre d’Hotel Butter

    mussels-escargot-style-garlicparsleybutter-millesimeNYC-230

    Mussels, escargot style. Photo courtesy
    Millesime Restaurant | NYC.

     

    Escargots don’t have much flavor. What brings them to life is the vibrant garlic-parsley butter, known in French cuisine as beurre maître d’hôtel butter.

    It’s a popular compound butter that’s used on fish, meat, noodles, potatoes, vegetables and you-name-it. It’s delicious year around, and ushers in spring with its bright hue.

    Substitute the escargots for mussels, as this inspired recipe from Millesime restaurant in New York City shows, and serve it as a first course.

    The only challenge is to decide what dishes you have to serve it in—most of us don’t have escargot dishes. But as you can see in the photo, anything will work. Have Champagne coupes? Time to use them for other than Champagne.

    We’ve suggested extra toast, below, because most people will want to soak up every last drop of the butter sauce.

    Going forward, we’ll use the American name for the butter sauce, sparing those who don’t speak French the need to pronounce beurre maître d’hôtel butter (burr meh-TRUH doe-TELL).

     
    RECIPE: MUSSELS IN GARLIC PARSLEY BUTTER

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 30 mussels
  • Garlic parsley butter (recipe below).
  • 8 slices brioche or quality white bread
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the garlic parsley butter. Keep on the stove.

    2. REMOVE mussels and beards from shells; rinse and sauté lightly in butter.

    3. MAKE the toast and slice into quarters. Warm garlic parsley butter sauce as necessary.

    4. ASSEMBLE and serve: Fill dish with butter sauce, add six mussels and serve with toast points.

    5. REFRIGERATE any remaining garlic parsley butter for other use, including garlic bread.

     

    RECIPE: GARLIC PARSLEY BUTTER

    Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PULSE all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a microwave-safe dish or small pitcher.

    2. KEEP on or near stove if making the mussels for immediate consumption. Otherwise, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.

    3. HEAT before serving.

     

    compound-butter-browneyedbaker-230

    Garlic parsley butter, a compound butter known in French cuisine as maitre d’hotel butter. Photo courtesy Brown Eyed Baker.

     

    WHAT IS COMPOUND BUTTER

    Compound butter is preparation that combines unsalted butter with flavorful ingredients: fruits, herbs, nuts, spices and/or other savory ingredients (anchovies, capers, mustard, olives, etc.).

    It is often used in French cooking to create an instant sauce for anything from grilled steak to sautéed chicken and fish to vegetables; it is also stirred into soups and stews for added flavor.

    In the U.S., popular compound butters include strawberry butter for muffins, chipotle butter for corn on the cob, and perhaps the most familiar, garlic butter for garlic bread.

    Here’s more on compound butter, plus recipes.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Asian Grilled Salmon With Edamame

    miso-glazed-salmon-edamame-chefRitaFrenchProvincePhoenix-230

    Delicious for dinner: glazed salmon and
    edamame. Photo courtesy Chef Rita French |
    Province Phoenix.

     

    Having just presented different ways to serve edamame as a snack or side, it’s time to move on to mains. Here’s a delicious grilled salmon dish, courtesy Euro USA.

    RECIPE: HONEY SOY GRILLED SALMON WITH EDAMAME

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 scallions (green onions)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 center cut skin-on salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1-1/3 cup cooked edamame
  • Optional garnish: snipped chives or parsley, lime wedges
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the grill over medium-high direct heat. Oil the grill grates. Finely chop the cilantro and scallion and mix in the oil and ginger. Season with salt and pepper.

    2. CUT two 3-inch long slits through the skin lengthwise on the bottom of each salmon fillet, going about halfway into the salmon. Stuff the slits with the herb mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

    3. STIR together the lime juice, soy and honey.

    4. PLACE the salmon, skin side up, on the grill and cook until well marked, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the salmon and continue cooking, brushing the tops with the sauce, until the fish is cooked through, about another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve with edamame and lime wedges.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Surf & Turf Sushi & More

    While meat and seafood have been served at the same meal since since the dawn of plenty, and Diamond Jim Brady (1856-1917) consumed platters heaped with steaks and lobsters, the pairing known as surf and turf originated in 1960s America.

    It became the darling of American steakhouse menus, combining the two most expensive items on the menu: lobster (surf) and filet mignon (turf). It has its own food holiday, February 29th, National Surf & Turf Day.

    But we can’t wait until the next leap year, 2016, to share this treat: surf and turf sushi.

    SURF & TURF HISTORY

    The earliest earliest print reference found by FoodTimeline.org, our favorite reference source on the history of all things food, was published in the Eureka [California] Humboldt Standard of August 14, 1964: “An entrée in restaurants in Portland [Oregon] is called surf and turf—a combination of lobster and steak.”

     

    sushi-tenderloin-lobster-maki-tenprimesteakandsushi-230

    Luxury sushi: a lobster-avocado maki topped
    with torched tenderloin, sweet eel sauce and
    a garnish of togarishi and rice crisps. Photo
    courtesy Ten Prime Steak And Sushi |
    Providence.

     

    Some sources claim that the concept originated on the East Coast, based on a 1966 print citation newspaper article in the Miami News. The columnist says that the restaurant La Hasta has created the best thing since lox and bagels—surf and turf; and that on some weekends the management had to take the dish off the menu, since demand exceeded supply.

    Sorry, East Coasters: 1964 beats 1966.

    Yet a third claim from a food writer couple, without printed proof, that the same dish by the same name was served at the Sky City restaurant in the Seattle Space Needle, at the 1962 World’s Fair. That may be, but documentation is required. If anybody remembers it from the World’s Fair: Please raise your hand. There’s a bonus if you have the menu.

    Fun fact: The beef-seafood combo is called “Reef and Beef” in Australia.

    THE NEW SURF & TURF

    The original may have been lobster and filet mignon; but as long as there’s something from the surf and something from the turf, you’ve got surf and turf! We “invent” a different combination for our monthly surf and turf dinner. The past year’s pairings have included:

  • Clam roll and a hot dog
  • Crab cake and lamb chops
  • Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and Canadian bacon
  • Fish and chips with sliced sausage “chips” (heavy, but fun)
  • Fried oysters with a burger (make it edgier with a fish stick and tartar sauce)
  • Fried oysters with steak (or, garnish the steak with a raw oyster on the half shell)
  •  

    sushi-surf-and-turf-10primesteakandsushiprovidence-230sq

    Two rows of raw tenderloin-topped sushi,
    plated with yellowtail, eel and other seafood
    sushi we had to crop out. Photo courtesy Ten
    Prime Steak And Sushi | Providence.

     
  • Lobster roll and a chicken sausage, both in brioche buns
  • Oysters wrapped in bacon (an oldie, but still “surf and turf”)
  • Panko fried shrimp with chicken-fried steak (too much fried food for us)
  • Salmon or tuna grilled rare with rare filet mignon
  • Salmon tartare and steak tartare
  • Scallops with grilled lamb chop or pork chop
  • Shrimp and beef stir-fry (good but not as festive as the other variations)
  • Shrimp and poached chicken cocktail
  • Shrimp kabobs with grilled skirt steak
  • Shrimp tempura and pork tenderloin
  • Sliced grilled tuna and sliced breast of chicken
  •  
    And now, we’ve discovered surf and turf sushi from Ten Prime Steak And Sushi in Providence.

    Our maki-rolling skills are rusty, but we’ll try it right after we master our March recipe, surf and turf meat loaf. (So far, ground chicken and whole baby scallops are the mix of choice.)

    MIX & MATCH

    You could fill every day of the year with a different option and not run out (and if anyone decides to start a restaurant based on that concept, send a hefty ideation fee here).

    Pick your favorite seafood and meats: crab cake, crab legs, scallops or shrimp with lamb chops or pork chops, for example.

  • Surf: any fish or shellfish. Think outside the lobster box to caviar/roe, clams, crab, crawfish, eel, escargot, grilled tuna, mussels, octopus, oysters, shrimp, squid, sushi/sashimi, uni (sea urchin). Grilled cod or halibut stand up well to beef and pork.
  • Turf: bacon (and the bacon group: Canadian bacon, prosciutto, serrano ham, etc.), beef, bison, exotics (boar, elk, ostrich), lamb, ham, poultry, pork in their many forms: grilled, roasted, ground, ribs, sausage, etc.
  •  
    And props to Allen Brothers, purveyor of prime meats to restaurants and the public, for the idea of creating the surf-topped filet mignon. The company topped filet mignon with a crown of lobster “stuffing” (chopped lobster, fresh herbs (try tarragon or thyme), scallions, cream, butter, sweet onions, bread crumbs and a touch of garlic), as well as a lump crab meat version with mozzarella, chopped spinach, garlic and rosemary. (You’ll have to make your own, though; the company has updated the product with new, non-surf, toppings.)

    Try your own hand at the new surf and turf and let us know your favorites.
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Crab Stuffed Flounder

    Print

    Crab-stuffed flounder is actually easy to
    make. Photo and recipe courtesy Westside
    Market | New York City.

     

    February 18th is National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day. The recipe is easy to make, and gives the appearance of a “fancy” preparation. You can stuff any white fish filet with crab meat.

    Before buying crab, note that there are four grades of meat. In order of expense, they are:

  • Jumbo lump crab meat, the largest, snow-white lumps.
  • Lump/backfin crab meat, the same color, flavor and texture of jumbo lump, but is in slightly smaller pieces
  • White crab meat, smaller white pieces ideal for recipes where the size and shape of the crab flake becomes indistinguishable, such as crab cakes.
  • Claw crab meat, the reddish-brown claw and leg meat which is actually more flavorful and is preferred by many (who also and appreciate the lower price) and is the best to use in spicy dishes, where the flavor best holds up to the spices,
  •  
    So the best crab meat to use is this recipe is claw or white, depending on preference and availability.

    Here’s more on the different types of crab meat.

    Thanks to the Westside Market in New York City for this easy recipe.

    RECIPE: CRABMEAT STUFFED FLOUNDER

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley or dill plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 8 ounces crab meat, picked over
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 tablespoon cayenne
  • 4 8-ounce flounder or tilapia fillets
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4-8 toothpicks
  • Optional garnish: lemon slice or wedge, parsley or dill sprigs
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Lightly oil 9 x13-inch ovenproof dish.

    2. MELT butter in skillet. Add onion and celery and sauté until soft. Stir in parsley or dill. Remove skillet from heat and stir in breadcrumbs, crab meat, lemon juice and cayenne.

    3. DIVIDE crab meat mixture among fillets and roll up. Hold together with toothpicks. Place fish seam side down in baking dish. Sprinkle paprika over fish.

    4. BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with dill and lemon before serving.
     
    CRAB MEAT OR CRABMEAT?

    You’ll see both uses. Which is correct?

    “Crab meat” is more correct, although the incorrect “crabmeat” has eased into acceptance over time (spell or pronounce something incorrectly enough and people accept it as right).

     

    claw-meat-phillips230

    Claw meat and leg meat are darker but more flavorful and less expensive. Use it in recipes where the crab gets fully blended with other ingredients. Photo courtesy Phillips Crab.

     

    Whenever you’re confused about how to write something, think of other uses. For example, lobster meat is the correct form; you’d never write “lobstermeat.”

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

    Looking for “gourmet” Super Bowl fare? Try this recipe from Dietz & Watson. Just a bit of fresh basil elevates bacon-wrapped shrimp to new flavor heights.

    Serve the shrimp on a platter for game-watching, with cocktails or as an appetizer or first course for dinner.

    RECIPE: BACON-WRAPPED SHRIMP WITH BASIL

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 16 jumbo shrimp (thawed if frozen), peeled and
    deveined
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 16 slices bacon
  • 16 flavorless wooden toothpicks
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces barbeque sauce
  • 4 teaspoons grated horseradish
  • 2 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • Garnish: lemon wedges, basil leaves
  •  


    Fresh basil elevates the flavor of bacon-wrapped shrimp. Photo courtesy Dietz & Watson.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F and butterfly the shrimp: Make a deep slit along the back of each, but not all the way through.

    2. RINSE the shrimp and pat dry. Place one basil leaf inside the slit in each shrimp. Wrap each shrimp in a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

    3. HEAT the oil over high heat to 350°F in a medium stockpot or saucepan. When hot, carefully add the shrimp, a few at a time. Deep-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp from the oil and place on a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

    4. COMBINE the barbeque sauce, horseradish and hot pepper sauce in a skillet. Add the shrimp to the sauce and heat, basting the shrimp for 5 minutes, until they are heated through. Serve on a platter garnished with lemon wedges and sprinkle with a chiffonade of basil.
     
    HOW TO MAKE A CHIFFONADE

    A chiffonade is a cut that creates long, thin strips. Stack the leaves, roll them tightly and slice perpendicular to the roll. See the photo above.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pan-Seared Fish, Crispy Skin

    Sear that skin until it’s crisp! Photo courtesy
    Pollen Restaurant.

     

    Fish is healthy, low-fat protein; we all should eat more of it. Grilled or pan-seared fish is at the top of the list many nutritionists suggest for making better changes in your diet.

    This is not news.

    The news is: the fish doesn’t have to be dull. You can prepare it exciting without a cholesterol- and calorie-laden butter sauce.

    Here’s how to keep it health and delicious.

    1. Sear the skin. Crispy skin is a treat, without being a no-no. Yes, there’s some fat—but far less than chicken skin.

    2. Use a very light sauce. Serve the fish in a bowl of broth (just a half inch or so). You can use clear stock, tomato-based broth or even vegetable soup. Another option: tomato sauce, like a chunky pasta sauce. Better brands, without added sugar, are very low in calories. We often use diced San Marzano tomatoes, straight from the can with some fresh herbs.

     

    3. Top the fish with healthy vegetables. Steam the vegetables or lightly sautée them in olive oil. Combine three different vegetables for more arresting color and flavor. Don’t forget the super-healthful cruciferous group, including, among others, bok choy, chard, kale and Napa cabbage. Or instead of a topping, use vegetables as a base with the fish on top (spinach is great as a bed), and hold the broth.

     

    4. Serve with whole grains, beans or legumes. A bed of barley, beans, brown rice, lentils or quinoa hits the trifecta: attractive, healthful, tasty. Or with a dollop of yogurt seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe some grated cucumber, radish, and garlic. Perch it on a bed of greens with an assertive vinaigrette.

    5. Garnish with something artistic. Consider edamame, microgreens, snipped fresh herbs, sprouts, thin slices of baby radishes. Celery leaves are great for this purpose. Most people toss them out, but they’re an attractive and tasty garnish.
     
    HOW TO GET CRISP SKIN

    Crispy skin on a fish filet is a treat. Here’s how to do it.

    1. HEAT a heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron is great, nonstick doesn’t work as well) until it gets very hot; then reduce heat to medium-high heat for several minutes before you start cooking.

     

    Get rid of the butter- or cream-based sauce. Photo courtesy Nobilio.

     

    2. PAT the skin fry with a paper towel before seasoning (season both sides). If the skin sticks to the skillet, either the skin is too damp or the pan isn’t hot enough.

    3. BRUSH fish with oil (canola or grapeseed) and apply an even coating of oil to the pan. It will smoke; that’s when you add the fish, skin side down. When the fillet curves upward, use a spatula to press it once and it will flatten out, ensuring full skin contact.

    4. COOK until you see a golden brown color on the edge of the skin. The fish will be about 70% cooked. Then, gently slide the spatula under the fillet and flip it; cook for a few more seconds. You want to flip it just once; flipping it back and forth impedes proper cooking.

    5. PLATE and serve.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Sardines, Delicious & Great For You

    Serve sardines topped with cress or with
    other salad greens for a light lunch, first
    course or main dinner course. Photo courtesy
    Payard | NYC, which grilled fresh sardines for this rexipe.

     

    If you’re trying to incorporate more fish into your diet, peel back a tin of quality sardines. It’s a break from the same old can of tuna, and the right brand can be a delightful discovery.

    BELA-Olhão, from the fishing community of Olhão, Portugal, has perfected the art of canning sardines. Plump, meaty and pretty, too—their silvery skins shimmer on the plate—these are gourmet sardines.

    The sardines are wild caught, sustainably fished off a non-industrial coast and 100% dolphin safe. They are packed within eight ours of the catch and canned in top-quality olive oil. They are certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.

    They’re available in plain plus delicious flavored varieties:

  • Cayenne Pepper Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lightly Smoked in Olive Oil
  • Lightly Smoked in Tomato Sauce
  •  
    Matiz, from Spain, is another top-quality brand. There’s no “fishiness” in these fine sardines. If your prior experiences with sardines have not been satisfying, give them a try.

    SARDINE NUTRITION & HEALTH BENEFITS

    Omega 3, 6 & 9. Among fish, sardines have the highest levels of omega-3, -6 and -9 essential fatty acids.They aid the body in transferring oxygen, help with muscle elasticity, brain activity and have a positive impact on the blood vessels and heart.

    Calcium. Sardines are super-rich in calcium: A 3.5-ounce serving has more calcium than a cup of whole milk! One 4.25-ounce tin provides 30% of your daily value.

    Coenzyme Q. Sardines are rich in coenzyme Q-10, plus a spate of vitamins and minerals. Coenzyme Q-10 can stave off heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, even depression.

    More. Sardines are a good source of vitamin D, B12 and lean protein.

    Low mercury. With a mercury content of 0.016 ppm, the FDA calculates that sardines have one of the lowest levels of mercury among seafood. This may be a result of a diet that consists mainly of krill and plankton. The more kinds of other fish a species eats, the more likely it is to absorb the mercury levels of the fish that it feasts upon (which is why shark mercury levels are so high—they eat so many kinds of fish, some of which contain a high mercury content).

    SARDINES VS. SALMON

    Sardines are “the new salmon.” Now if only consumers would figure that out!

    Because of the move to eat more salmon, the wild fish have become less abundant, less sustainable, less nutritious and are suffering from epidemic-like outbreaks created when infected farmed salmon escape into the wild.

    There are numerous issues with farmed salmon—read this article in the New York Times by Taras Grescoe, author of Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood.

    The bottom line: Sardines are a great alternative.

     

    SERVING SARDINES

    All sardines need—fresh or canned—is a squeeze of lemon juice and some minced parsley (and if fresh-grilled, a few drops of quality olive). The quality of Bela-Olhão’s extra virgin olive oil means that no draining is required.

    Sardines are simple to serve:

  • On pasta with tomato sauce or simply olive oil, garlic and herbs
  • On garlic bread as a first course or a snack
  • On a bed of steamed spinach, a vegetable medley or a whole grain
  • In any green (substitute for tuna in a Niçoise salad)
  •  
    Or, make “sardine cakes” instead of crab cakes. Here’s a recipe for fresh, light, meaty sardine cakes from Bela-Olhão:

    RECIPE: SARDINE CAKES

    Ingredients For 4 Servings (2 Cakes Each)

     

    Bela Olhao sardines in plain and flavored olive oils. Photo by Melody Lan | THE NIBBLE.

  • 1 can (4-1/4 ounces) sardines in olive oil, drained and mashed
  • 1 can (15-1/2-ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup pre-shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 small red or orange bell pepper, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs, divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MASH the beans in a large bowl using the back of a spoon until smooth but still a bit chunky.

    2. ADD sardines, cheese, pepper, 3/4 cup of the bread crumbs, egg, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, and pepper to taste and mix well to combine. Place the remaining bread crumbs on a plate.

    3. SHAPE the mixture into eight 1/2-inch thick patties and coat with the remaining bread crumbs.

    4. HEAT 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Add the remaining oil when you turn the patties.

    5. SERVE with a wedge of lemon, and optional tartar sauce or ketchup for dipping.

    SARDINES & SALAD

    Like tuna, sardines fit in to any green salad preparation. Try this recipe for a sophisticated Sardine, Cress & Almond Salad.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Japanese-Inspired Salmon Appetizer


    Cooked salmon “roll.” Photo courtesy
    MacKnight Foods.

     

    First, the health benefits:

    For years, healthcare professionals have been promoting the benefits of eating more salmon for its omega 3 essential fatty acids. Omega 3s contribute to:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Decreased cancer risk (breast, colorectal and prostate cancer)
  • Eye health—both dry eye and macular degeneration
  • Improved mood and cognition
  • Joint protection
  •  
    Beyond the well-promoted omega 3s, salmon has two equally strong health benefit components:

     
    Salmon Proteins and Amino Acids

  • Recent studies have found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules called bioactive peptides. They may provide help with joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness and control of inflammation in the digestive tract (e.g., ulcerative colitis).
     
    Selenium, An Antioxidant

  • Salmon is noteworthy for its high selenium content. High selenium intake is associated with decreased joint inflammation, and also with prevention of certain types of cancer, including colorectal cancer. Four ounces of salmon provide more than 60% of the Daily Value (DV) for this mineral.
  • As an antioxidant nutrient, selenium has also been shown to be especially important in cardiovascular protection through maintenance of the molecule glutathione.
  •  
    Enough seriousness; now for the fun.

    As an alternative to the conventional baked, broiled, grilled, roasted or sauteed salmon main course, here’s an idea for an appetizer or first course. You can also serve it as a salad course, plated with a green salad.

     

    SALMON “ROLL” APPETIZER

    This easy recipe was inspired by sashimi, but it isn’t raw. The ingredients are:

  • Salmon, cooked or smoked
  • Nori, the roasted seaweed sheets used to wrap sushi rolls
  • Optional: cucumber spears for smoked salmon roll
  • Optional: plate with Asian slaw or seaweed salad
  •  
    Then:

  • For smoked salmon: Cut cucumber to size and roll in a piece of smoked salmon; wrap with a band of nori.
  • For cooked salmon: Cut thick fingers of cooked salmon. Wrap with nori and serve.
  •  

    Smoked salmon “rolls.” Photo courtesy MacKnight Foods.

     

    NORI: ANOTHER “HEALTH FOOD”

    You can buy nori in the Asian products aisle of your market, at Asian grocers, or online. Look for a brand that has perforated sections so it can also be more easily cut.

    Store nori in an airtight container (a heavy duty storage bag with the air squeezed out will do).

    Nori is about one-third protein and one-third dietary fiber, and contains high proportions of iodine, vitamins A, B, and K, and iron.

    It has almost no calories; and the people who love it really love it. You can also use a chiffonade of nori as a garnish for noodles, soups and other dishes.

    You can also eat nori as a snack. You may have noticed the proliferation of nori snack packages—toasty, crunchy nori seasoned with sesame seeds or other flavors. We love them!
     
    BE SAVVY ABOUT SALMON

  • Types of salmon. Do you know your Coho from your Chinook?
  • Make an informed choice. Check out the difference between wild and farmed salmon.
  • Then, take our wild salmon trivia quiz.

     
    FAVORITE SALMON APPETIZERS

  • Pancakes With Smoked Salmon & Salmon Caviar
  • Smoked Salmon & Caviar Blinis
  • Seven Layer Smoked Salmon & Caviar Sandwiches
  •  
    PLUS

  • The different types of smoked salmon
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Caviar Smoked Salmon Sandwich

    Thanks to our friend Ordway, who always gives us a tin of Petrossian caviar for Christmas, we typically have a caviar lunch on New Year’s Day—our first indulgence of the New Year.

    Sometimes we just eat it from the tin with a spoon. Other times we spoon it onto slices of Yukon Gold potatoes with a tab of crème fraîche.

    This year we made the following recipe from Petrossian, where we enjoyed many a fine repast during the year. We made one switch, trading the honey mustard dressing for a spread of crème fraîche and dill. If your market doesn’t carry crème fraîche, here’s a recipe to make it.

    RECIPE: CAVIAR SMOKED SALMON CLUB
    SANDWICH

    Ingredients For 6 Sandwiches

  • 24 large blinis at room temperature or 24 slices of toasted quality white bread
  • Honey mustard dressing (recipe below)
  • 2 large tomatoes, each cut thinly into 6 slices
  • Mesclun greens sufficient for 6 sandwiches
  •  

    A luxurious club sandwich. Photo and recipe courtesy Petrossian.

  • Optional: 6 slices bacon, cooked on a sheet in the oven until crisp and cut in half
  • 12 smoked salmon slices (about 1 pound)
  • 100g (3.5 ounces) sturgeon or salmon caviar
  • Optional: homemade potato chips (recipe)
  •  

    Crème fraîche and caviar. Photo courtesy
    Petrossian.

     

    Ingredients For Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 ounces red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  
    Alternative

  • 4 ounces crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon minced dill
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE honey mustard: Combine mustard, sugar, vinegar and a dash of salt and fresh pepper in blender. Mix at full speed 2 minutes.

    2. REDUCE speed by half and add the oil a little at a time until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings and texture. Consistency should be spreadable. Blend for another minute. Store refrigerated. When ready to assemble sandwiches…

     

    3. SPREAD honey mustard on 6 blinis. Arrange 1 tomato slice, a handful of greens and 1 slice of salmon on dressed bread. Repeat with 6 more blini, and add to the top of the first 6. Add 2 half-slices of bacon if desired.

    4. ADD another blini to each stack, but no dressing. Cover with a thick layer of caviar and close with the final blini. Cut into quarters and skewer each with a toothpick. Serve with homemade potato chips.
     
    Do you know the different types of caviar? Check out our Caviar Glossary.

      

    Comments

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