Baked Fresh Haikai Pass Halibut with Maple Syrup glazed Baby Carrot and Grilled Red Pepper, Tarragon Tartar Sauce
If you like fresh seafood, this is the time to eat it! King Crab, and Halibut are in season right now. Tonight I cooked the best tasting halibut steak in less than half an hour. Here is how I did it:
1 1/2 inch Halibut steak
Pinch of Olivier Salt & Herb mix for fish, sprinkle it all over the fish
1/4 cup Corn flour slightly coating the fish
Heat up a cast iron pan under medium heat, pour 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Wait half a minute before placing the fish in the pan. Cook under medium / high heat for three miuntes for each side. Put fish on a tray in a pre-heated 425ºF oven for ten minutes. Let it cool off for three to five minutes before serving.
Capellini with Tomato Sauce, King Scallops and Jumbo Prawns
Capellini is a very thin kind of Italian pasta. It is thinner than vermicelli, thicker than angel hair. It is best to pick up tomato sauce because the noodle can coat the sauce inside out. Also it is great for presentation as you can build height by rolling the pasta when you put it on the plate.
Capellini 400gm (for 4 servings)
King scallop x8
Jumbo prawn x8 (8 – 12 count/pound) peel the shell
Tomato sauce 3/4 cup (see my “Eddy’s killer tomato sauce)
Fleur de sel (sea salt from France)
Boil a large pot of water and add plenty of salt (just regular salt), add pasta and stir well. Pasta tend to stick together when you first put it in hot water so you need to keep on stirring it until it is totally seperate. It takes about 7-10 minutes.
Sprinkle Fleur de sel / black pepper on the scallops and prawns. I usually just put it on one side only because the scallop has a very strong salty taste already. let it sit there for ten minutes. The salt will bring some juice out from the scallops. Please don’t use paper to wipe it dry! This is the protein from the sacllops and it’ll form a brown crust when you grill them later.
Use a small pot to heat up the tomato sauce.
Heat up a thick bottom pan under high heat. My favour pan is called “All-Clad” 10″.
Pour about four tablespoons of vegetable oil in the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Put the sacllops in the pan quickly. Don’t worry about burning the scallops. It takes a lot of heat to burn one! Cook one side of the scallops for about four minutes and turn it over to cook the other side. Place the prawns in the pan at this time. The prawns take a lot less time to cook and you can turn the prwans after two minutes. Take the sacllops and prawns out and let it rest on a plate.
After cooking the pasta for about 7-10 minutes, taste it to see if you can bite through it. If so, you can drain the water and pour the pasta in the pan (after you take the scallops out). Let the left over oil from the scallops coat the pasta before you pour the tomato sauce in it, mix well. There should be some juice coming out from the scallops and prawns while they are resting. Pour the juice in the pasta before plate it.
Have some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ready by the table and “Dinner is Ready!!”
Smerlo alla Soffritto (Scallop with Saute Vegetables)
Sorffritto is a very simple basic Italian cooking method using diced onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and shallot. For scallop dish I made the other night, I even put in some sweet potato and corn to enhance the taste. Just imagine the flavor you can generate from the pan after you slow cook it for half an hour!
Although the basic items you use is simple, the size of the dice can make a big difference at the end. If you are cooking comfort food with beef or chicken, I prefer to dice up everything in a bigger chunk so you can see it at the end. I diced everything in small pieces when I paired it with the scallop last night. I didn’t want it to over power the scallop. You can even use it to make a good Bolognese meat sauce! Add the soffritto to my “Killer Tomato Sauce” (please see Front Page for details).
The word “Soffritti” means “Saute” in Italian. After you dice up everything, use a generious amount of good quality olive oil. Slow cook it in a thick bottom cast iron pan untill you can smell the aroma. Gently stir it often to prevent burning, add a small pinch of sea salt and fresh pepper for taste.
Grilled Pacific Wild King Salmon
It is actually very easy to cook a perfect salmon. Usually most people make the mistake over cooking them and the meat is relatively dry. You can cook like a pro if you follow my cooking “method”.
- Season the boneless salmon filet with sea salt and fresly grounded pepper for five minutes
- Heat up a very hot cast iron pan and pour four table spoons of vegatable oil in the pan. (don’t put in oil if the pan isn’t hot enough, your fish will stick to the bottom)
- Quickly place the serving side down to the pan first for 30 seconds and flip the fish over for another 30 seconds.
- Transfer fish to a pie dish and quickly put it into a pre-heated 400F oven and bake for 7-8 minutes. Sprinkle some fresh dill on top of the salmon.(rule of thumb – 7 minutes for one inch)
- Take the fish out and let it rest for five minutes before serving.
Barbeque Pacific Wild Coho Salmon (The best there is….)
Coho is a smaller salmon between 10-15 lbs in range. However, in late September it could grow up to 20 lbs plus in the Northern BC water called “Northern Coho”. We like to catch them with light tackle and it is a lot of fun! The meat is dark red and softer than King Salmon. It is great for grilling or barbeque purpose.
Salmon on the barbeque grill….(this is a slap of Pacific Wild Coho Salmon)
Salmon on the plate……and dinner is ready!
- 1x Pacific wild King salmon filet (with skin)…….I prefer the lower ½ of the filet for BBQ, about four lbs
- 2 table spoons chopped shallot
- 2 table spoons chopped garlic
- Bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 2 table spoons chopped scallion
- Fresh lime juice from ½ lime
- 2 table spoons Maple syrup
- 2 table spoons Kikkoman soy sauce
- 6 table spoons Marsala wine (can use Sherry wine as substitute)
- ¾ stick unsalted butter
- Lemon zest from one lemon
- Small bunch of fresh dill
- Use paper towel to pad dry salmon filet.
- Mix the above ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour onto salmon.
- Use a spoon to drizzle mixture on the salmon from time to time and marinade the salmon for ½ hour.
- Pre-heat barbeque under high heat oil the grill surface with a paper towel and transfer salmon filet on the grill(skin down and no turning) for five minutes with the cover down.
- Turn barbeque to medium heat and cook salmon for another five to seven minutes with the cover down. (Rule of thumb: 1 inch for five minutes) The salmon skin should protect the salmon from burning.
- When you have the BBQ cover down, you keep the heat and enhane the smoky flavour to the salmon.
- Use two spatulas to separate the meat from skin and carefully transfer cooked salmon filet onto a large plate.
- Pour sauce on top and sprinkle lemon zest and fresh dill on top before serving.
Pour the left over marinade to a sauce pot and add 3/4 cup of dry white wine. Reduce mixture to ¼ cup and whisk unsalted until sauce becomes thicken.
Oven Baked Westcoast Halibut Filet with Pesto alla Genovese Herb Crust, Burre Blance Sauce
Line Caught Fresh Halibut Off the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Halibut is a very temperamental fish; I mean the meat is very sensitive to heat. It is very easy to over cook or under cook. The meat itself doesn’t have a lot of flavor but it is so tasty if you cook it right. This recipe you see here takes only fifteen minutes to cook. As usual, I’ll share the cooking method rather than the step by step procedures.
1 lb Fresh halibut filet (ask your fish store to remove the skin or you can do it if you have a good knife)
½ cup bread crumb (see details below)
Pinch of Sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
2 tsp of Pesto alla Genovese (see recipe from my other post)
I usually save all the left over bread in a big container and let it dry out. (make sure the container has a small opening for air circulation or the bread will become moldy in a day) Use a food processor to break the dry bread to small crumb. Take one cup of bread crumb and mix it with ¼ cup of flour; add a tsp of sea salt and pinch of pepper. Add two tbsp of chopped shallot, one tbsp of minced garlic, ½ tsp of Herbes de Provence, ¼ tsp of thyme. Gently stir in ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil to the dry bread crumb mixture and mix well. Put it in a baking dish and bake it in a 350ºF oven for about 30-40 minutes. Let it cool off after it is done and you can store it in a clean container for up to a month.
Cooking the fish:
After using a towel to dry the fish, sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on the skin side of the filet. Turn the fish over and spread ½ a tsp of pesto on the flesh side evenly. Coat the pesto side with bread crumb. Pour some corn oil, vegetable oil or peanut oil to a very hot cast iron pan. Once you see smoke coming out from the pan, transfer the filet (skin side down) to the pan for only 20 seconds. Use spatula to remove the fish right away to a baking pan and place it in a pre-heated 450ºF oven (one inch for five minutes). The flesh of the halibut is so moist and tender and your guests will wonder – Is it really a halibut steak?
Grilled Alaskan King Sea Scallops, Giant Prawns, Beurre Blanc Sauce, , with Mango/Papaya salsa
Selecting a scallop:
I like to use live Alaskan scallop. Unfortunately, you only can find item like this in a Chinese seafood market. When selecting the scallop, make sure it is still alive by poking the shell. If you see the scallop closes it shell right away, it is still alive. They are very expensive, about $6.00 CDN a pound. One scallop would cost you about $4.00-$5.00 so make sure you buy the freshest one. Ask the shop keeper to open the shell for you and keep the intact scallop meat on half shell. When you take your scallop home, make sure to take out the green edges surrounding the scallop. It is part of their digestive system.
Live scallops x4
Beurre Blanc Sauce:
Chicken stock ½ cup
White wine ½ cup
Chopped Shallot 1/2 tea spoon
White wine vinegar 1 tea spoon
Unsalted butter ½ stick
Lemon juice ½ tea spoon
Sea salt small pinch
White pepper small pinch
Pour a couple table spoons of vegetable oil in a pre-heated (medium-high) cast iron pan. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and white pepper on the scallop and put the scallop (meat) face down on the pan for 30 seconds. Flip the scallop over (shell down) and cook for another minute. I prefer to prepare this dish on an outdoor cook top as it is very smoky. Take the scallop off the pan just before the scallop meat comes off the shell. If you allow the meat to come off the shell, you have over cooked the scallop to well done. I prefer to eat my scallop medium rare. Take the scallop off the pan and place it on a plate.
Burre Blance is a classic French white butter sauce for eating seafoods.
To make the burre blance sauce, reduce the chicken stock, white wine, vinegar, shallot to ¼ cup (you will see more big bubbles). Add lemon juice and salt/pepper to taste. Turn heat off and whisk in butter quickly to thicken sauce. Use a spoon to drip sauce over scallop and serve.
Please see my salmon cake recipe for tarter sauce and mango/papaya salsa procedures.
I cooked for my friends (Alex and Ivy) when I was in Hong Kong vacationing back in April. I took the following pictures, a King Scallop and a grill Lobster in half shell. My friend Alex took me to The Aberdeen Fish Market where I bought the best seafood in the world. Alex knew all the store owners and they hand picked the best of the best for us. Not only we had a good dinner that evening, we had a “Feast”!
Spiedini di Astce : Half lobster grilled with fresh herbs and lemon
Wild Pacific Salmon Cakes with Tarragon Tartar Sauce
Every year, I catch fresh Pacific Salmon off the West coast of Vancouver Island, about 30 miles offshore. In a good year, we’ll manage to hook 150 Coho and Spring salmon — although we only get to keep 2 Spring and 4 Coho per year. Nothing beats catching, preparing, then eating your own catch. Fishing is one of my favourite hobbies along with cooking, so this recipe allows me to combine both passions. Crab cakes are a popular item in the restaurants, but unfortunately most available crab meat is either frozen or with pollack fillers so I would rather stick to fresh ingredients. Also, using fresh crab for crab cakes is simply a waste. This is a great recipe to serve as an appetizer, entree, or even with Eggs Benedict and Hollandaise sauce for Sunday brunch.
The best part of serving this recipe to my guests is also showing them a photo of my prized catch – “this is what you’re eating!” Ingredients and instructions after the jump.
Ingredients for salmon cakes:
(Makes approximately 36 appetizer-sized salmon cakes)
3 lbs. Pacific Salmon filet – skinless
4x tbsp. mayonnaise
3/4 cup finely ground bread crumbs
2 tsps. dijon mustard
1 clove minced garlic
Small bunch, chopped chives
1 shallot, chopped
4 tsps. white all-purpose flour
Instructions for salmon cakes:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F
2. Wash salmon filet under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. In a baking pan/cookie tray, put a dash of extra virgin olive oil on the pan and place filet on top.
3. Sprinkle sea salt and fresh ground pepper over the filet, with another dash of extra virgin olive oil. Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
4. When the salmon has finished baking, let it cool for 30 minutes. Use hands to break apart the meat into a separate mixing bowl. Also, while breaking apart the cooked salmon, search for bones and remove.
5. In the mixing bowl, add: 4 tbs. mayonnaise, 3/4 cup bread crumbs, 1 clove minced garlic, small bunch of chopped chives, 2 tsps. dijon mustard, and 1 chopped shallots — mix all ingredients together and ensure the salmon meat has been broken up into small, flaky pieces. Mix well.
6. In a separate shallow dish, put about 4 soup spoons of white all-purpose flour. This will be used to bread the salmon cakes and prepare them for frying in the pan. Using a table spoon, scoop the salmon mixture and form a small, thick cake shape in the palm of your hand. The recommended appetizer size is approximately 1.5″; dinner size is 3″. Dust the salmon cakes with flour on both sides and place in a plate to prepare for pan-frying.
7. Pan frying: season a large frying pan with vegetable oil OR use non-stick spray (i.e. Pam). On medium heat, cook each salmon cake on each side for approximately 3 mins (until golden brown).
Ingredients for tarragon tartar sauce:
4x tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 dill pickle, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
Small bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
Small bunch chives, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon of dill pickle, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Few branches of dill, chopped
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, and serve alongside salmon cakes or dollop on top of each individual cake for bite-sized portions.
Optional Mango and Papaya salsa
Two mangos from Philippine, One papaya from Hawaii, cut into samll pieces. Juice from one lime, chop up a small bunch of celentro and some diced red onion. Mix everything in a bowl add sea salt and fresh ground black peper. Refrigerate for any hour before serving with Salmon cake
Wok Fried Tiger Prawn with Garlic Black Bean Sauce, Chinese Style
Recipe to follow………