Posts Tagged ‘sockeye salmon’
Tilth, James Beard award winner Maria Hines‘ Oregon Tilth certified organic restaurant, has been on my restaurant list for many months. I’m yet to dine there but I attended a cooking class with Tilth’s chef de cuisine, Jason Brzozwy, at PCC Greenlake on Monday.Smaller and older than PCC Cooks in Redmond, the narrow stairs to the room is marked by an enormous balloon whisk and a wooden serving set.
The stainless steel kitchen had two cameras focused on the stove and the bench. The galley is stocked with accoutrements in an assortment of shapes, sizes and colours.
Each course was paired with a wine. From left to right: Terre Margaritelli Pietramala, Chinook Cabernet Franc Rosé, Lachini Pinot Noir and Château de Corneilla Muscat de Rivesaltes. The Muscat had a ‘quite the find‘ sticker on the bottle indicating that the wine is exclusive to PCC.
We snacked on marcona almonds as Jason welcomed us. He is from Chicago and has worked at Tilth for four years. He smiled as he recalled how as a child his attempt at boiling water for oatmeal ignited a fire. He discussed Tilth’s philosophy and how to ‘create memorable food’. We introduced ourselves and described what that meant to us.
A handsome man, Jason is affable and genuinely loves to cook. He demonstrated each recipe with aplomb.
First was a salad of figs, arugula, Rogue River blue cheese and marcona almonds. Jason explained that ripe figs are plump, heavy for their size and appear delicate. Another tip from the chef was to ‘dress the bowl, not the lettuce’ to avoid wilted greens. Sweet, peppery and pungent, it was a simple salad of complex flavours.
Next was gazpacho. Jason demonstrated his knife skills in cutting peppers into brunoise, eighth inch cubes, for the pepper jam. Fresh corn kernels and diced onions were seasoned and blended until a creamy consistency. Canola oil, lemon juice, black and white pepper, and salt are his staples. The pepper jam was reduced to a syrupy liquid and cooled.
To serve, the corn gazpacho was ladled over a quenelle of pepper jam, halved cherry tomatoes and basil. It was a piquant soup, a summery appetiser.
Tilth’s fisherman teaches anthropology at Seattle Central. Jason spoke with respect about what the fisherman does and the importance of letting the quality of the ingredients be the highlight of each dish.
The fleshy sockeye salmon was deboned with tweezers and portioned.
Atop a slice of heirloom tomato and in a shallow pool of tomato water, the seared Alaskan salmon was garnished with slivers of sugar snap peas and drizzled with edible flower vinaigrette. Cooked to a medium rare, the salmon was buttery with a crispy skin.
Dessert was macerated local raspberries, Greek yoghurt and honey tuiles. The tuile batter was spread on moulds, baked and draped over rolling pins to curl. The tart yoghurt balanced the sweet berries and the fragrant wafer.
The recipes are perfect for a summer dinner party!
We celebrated our first anniversary in Seattle with dinner at Spur. We had a cosy evening at the gastropub during the miserable spring of last year and loved the experience. Located next to The Coterie Room, Spur is the original restaurant by Chefs McCracken and Tough.
The ambience was warm and bistro like. A narrow room is split into two, long communal tables on the right and individual tables on the left. Plush armchairs are at the entrance and the open plan kitchen is at the back. Mirror panes line the wall to create the illusion of space and illuminate the high ceiling.
The menu is categorised into seasonal and staples. In a nostalgic moment, we ordered the same dishes as we did nearly twelve months ago.
Pimm’s is a classic English liqueur and we sipped on a refreshing twist, the West Coast Pimm’s. Poured into a tall glass with lemon, cucumber, mint, basil and ginger ale, it was a fizzy beverage with a citrus bouquet.
Dotted with capers, a plump piece of sockeye salmon was atop pillowy mascarpone on a crostini. At four dollars each, they were appetising bites.
Cut in half and served with a mound of shoestring fries, the grass fed beef patty, red onion jam, cheddar and thyme were sandwiched in a buttery brioche bun. It was a juicy burger, the delicate sweetness of the red onion jam accentuated the savoury beef.
Parmesan foam, shaved Parmesan, glossy sous vide duck egg, finely sliced green onions, crunchy pine nuts, meaty oyster mushrooms and silky tagliatelle, my main was a delectable combination of textures and flavours.
We reminisced and reflected, making the time to pause over a delicious meal at the end of a hectic week.
We travelled from Vancouver to Whistler on a beautiful day. We revelled in blue sky, marshmallow clouds and brilliant sunshine as we ascended. It was a blissful moment when I spotted the first snow-capped mountain.
We were famished so we dropped our baggage at the hotel and walked quickly to La Bocca for a late lunch.
Painted poppy throughout, La Bocca shared a kitchen with the Amsterdam pub next door. We removed our layers and settled into a cosy corner. The brunch menu had breakfast items, share plates, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas and stir-fries.
Mr L ordered the Benedict trio. Anticlockwise from top: spicy Benedict with hot coppa and crispy onion ring, traditional Benedict with ham and BC Benedict with smoked sockeye salmon. All three were served on an English muffin topped with a soft poached egg and citrus Hollandaise sauce.
Mr S also selected a breakfast dish. The skillet of Montreal smoked meat hash had smoked meat, hash brown, sautéed onions and capsicum, signature sauce, and topped with poached eggs.
I craved a hearty meal in the cold weather and compromised on the chilli prawn wok. A generous amount of tiger prawns were sautéed in garlic butter and tossed with crisp vegetables and steamed noodles in a Thai sweet chilli sauce. I switched from chopsticks to a fork as the noodles were slippery! It was a little sweet and lacked ‘wok breath’ (鑊氣) but the ingredients were fresh and plentiful.
Warmed by a full stomach, we exited to explore Whistler Village.
Tom Douglas is the heart and soul of the Seattle restaurant community. His generosity was showcased at the Salmon-Chanted Evening held on Saturday. There’s been controversy about serving the dinner in Victor Steinbrueck Park – accusations of gentrification and widening the divide between haves and have-nots.
For me the fundamental point is that parks are for civic use – families picnicking, children playing, friends gathering, individuals reading, tourists resting. It costs tax money to maintain the facilities and the public space should be respected, to be shared. Events such as the Salmon-Chanted Evenings should be encouraged, to foster a neighbourhood spirit and to support worthwhile causes.
Pike Place Market was bustling on a warm Saturday. An a capella group entertained the crowd in Victor Steinbrueck Park with their pitch perfect harmonies, and cheerful volunteers served the buffet style dinner. The park was full of families and couples enjoying their meals in the late afternoon sunshine. The atmosphere was festive, the queue efficient.
Behind the buffet table was the grill manned by Tom Douglas. On the menu were wood grilled sockeye salmon and you can smell the smokiness in the gentle breeze. It permeated our clothes and we smelt it all the way home!
The grilled salmon fillet was served with tomato basil sauce, green beans, potato and collard salad, and corn on the cob. The fresh tomato basil sauce was a tasty match to the well cooked salmon, the acidity cuts through the natural oiliness of the fish. I loved the simplicity of the crisp green beans and similarly the corn on the cob was sweet and juicy.
We stayed on our wooden stools for a while, basking in the sun and watching the activities on Elliott Bay. We left full and happy, with two chewy Dahlia Bakery chocolate chip cookies for supper.
Three more Salmon-Chanted Evenings are scheduled on 9 July, 13 August and 10 September. Here’s the blurb from the Tom Douglas website.
Salmon-Chanted Evening is a hearty salmon dinner served among the splendor of Seattle’s Pike Place Market in Victor Steinbrueck Park from 5-7pm. Our goal of this event is to celebrate this historic area of our city and inspire a commitment to increased park security and generate consistent, positive community presence in the park. Guests pick up their food buffet style and then spread out on the grass in the park to enjoy dinner and the view. The dinner costs $15.00 per person and all proceeds will benefit the Seattle Parks Department.