During 3 years since I moved to Seattle I´ve trying with no success to find fresh duck foie. I have to admit that this is not an easy thing to find in Spain either. You won´t find it in our neighborhood store as foie is considered there kind of a wedding banquet delicacy.
I´d just given up when yesterday I discovered by chance at my local Uwajimaya a frozen area full of these weird ingredientes that maybe a minority of Asian, French and Spaniards love to cook: quail, pig tail, rabbit and duck in all their versions: foie, magret and confit. I had tu rub my eyes to be sure that I was not in the middle of a dream… So, in an impulse I decided to grab two beautiful sirloin steaks too to prepare one of these dishes that we enjoy in banquets and Christmas festivities.
Once at home I told my griller master, my 11 year old son, to prepare the sirloin on the grill while I sliced the foie blocks in the middle to cook them properly. You only need to prepare them pan seared 2 minutes each side. I decide to grill red bell peppers too because they have a powerful flavor but not too heavy as a starch so they could balance the whole dish.
The final touch was a sherry vinegar reduction, a really personal and new creation: 3 tablespoons of vinegar, 3 tablespooons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a tablespoon of lavender cooking slow for around 10 minutes. My lavender comes from one of my favorite places in WA, Purple Haze Lavender Farm. A place that I visited two years ago. I was a bit concerned about the marriage between the foie and the lavender but thinks worked out perfectly so I wanted to share this discovery to you in case you want to surprise somebody close to your heart with this beautiful dish.
Oh, a final detail. When you put the foie on top of the sirloin add a pinch of Maldon salt. This salt will bring the best from this beautiful fatty piece to your mouth.
Altough here in the Pacific NW we enjoy the best salmon ever a fish lover like me needs a pink break from time to time. Chilean seabass is always the best option for me as its soft delicate but luscious texture reminds me so much my beloved hake, a kind of fish that is totally imposible to find here in Seattle.
I usually buy my fish at Uwajimaya but last Tuesday I was running errands in Redmond and I decided It was time to have a peek into the Whole Foods fish section. The nice employee confirmed that seabass is always the jewel of the Crown and that 95% of the customers are Asian or European. “The other clients walk close with curiosity but they barely order. I think they feel a bit overwhelmed with the idea of cooking it”
Don´t be! Cooking fish is easy and we are pretty good developing easy tasty simple recipes. This is one of them, pretty classic in our Atlantic NW, Galicia.
1 Chilean seabass fillet
6 small potatoes
5 garlic cloves
1 salt tablespoon
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh parsely or cilantro
Paprika infused olive oil
1 tablespoon of Spanish bittersweet paprika (other kind would be OK too)
A whole piece of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
In a pot place the peeled potatoes, the 5 peeled garlic cloves and the onion cut in big chunk pieces. Add the bay leaves, the black pepper and cover with water.Pour a tablespoon of salt and a drizzle of olive oil and let the potatoes cook at medium temperature until they are soft (between 20 and 30 minutes depending on the kind of potato). You can test them pinching with a knife. Add the seabass filet cut into square pieces and the minced fresh parsley or cilantro. Cook 10 minutes more.
While the seabass is cooking prepare the paprika olive oil. Fry in a pan the whole garlic piece cut in a half without peeling it until is Golden Brown. Take out the garlic and wait until the oil is at warm temperature not too hot. Pour the tablespoon of paprika and stir until the oils gets a bold red color.
To plate everything put 2 potatoes and piece of seabass on a plate. Drizzle everything with the paprika oil and add some pieces of the fried garlic too.
I love pairing this dish with a rosé wine as it has a stronger flavor than a usual fish preparation. My yesterday choice was a classic one: Marqués de Cáceres DO Rioja. Enjoy!