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Sardines with Harissa, Garlic and Herbs

I love the simplicity of grilled sardines. If they are super fresh, nothing more is needed than simply tossing them on a hot grill and perhaps a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of fruity olive oil. If you don’t live near the ocean where freshly netted sardines are readily available, then I suggest IQF or individually quick frozen. People may scoff and say frozen is never as good. I know I used to be that opinionated too. Then I cooked a few pounds caught by a small fisherman near Monterey, California After catching, he immediately flash-froze them at 40 below zero, locking in the freshness. The best practice is to thaw slowly in your refrigerator over two days. This way you have the least amount of cell damage that is usually caused by thawing too quickly.

Many people have a decided opinion on whether or not they will eat a strongly flavored fish. For those willing to try or already love them, I suggest a simple sauce with assertive, sharp briny or spicy flavors like capers, preserved lemon or harissa. These grilled sardines are fabulous served over arugula or even simply steamed couscous.

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Bourride, Bouillabaisse’s Troubled Cousin

I am surely going to piss off my Marseille-based family and bouillabaisse purists alike with this post. To put it simply, bourride is bouillabaisse’s troubled half-sister. While they certainly share a common lineage, there are stark characteristics that differentiate the two. It’s almost like they both have the same mother, but who the hell is the father?…

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Fideuà – Rustic Catalan Pasta Paella

Fideuà, a rustic Catalan Pasta Paella, is a dish that I absolutely love. It’s as versatile as you could ever imagine.  In my version, I use monkfish, clams, and shrimp, though almost any other protein works. Feel free to try other fish, poultry or even vegetarian versions. However you decide to make it, this is one of those dishes you simply cannot stop eating once you start.  …

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