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Chilean seabass with paprika infused olive oil-Galicia style

Elena Fernandez

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.

 

Ingredients

1 Chilean seabass fillet

6 small potatoes

1 onion

5 garlic cloves

Bay leaves

1 salt tablespoon

Extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper

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

 

Preparation

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!

 

seabass 3

 

 

 

Etta´s seafood: a friendly spot in the heart of Pike Place

Elena Fernandez 

Altought I´m happy Eastsider I periodically feel the need to cross 520 bridge to keep warm my urbanite side. Last Monday I decided to meet my friend Mary with the idea of having a quick bite at Etta´s seafood and visiting after the brand new SAM exhibit Peru: kingdoms of the sun and the moon. 

I know everybody is happy enjoying a sunny day, but I love driving to the Waterfront when is cloudy and foggy because is in these days when you can nearly “touch” the real Seattle spirit. For me Etta´s seafood belongs to this real seattlelite experience nobody has to miss visiting our city.

Squash soup at Etta´sAnyway It was my first visit, so I look dissappointely to the menu looking in vain for the famous Eggs Benedict with Dungeness crab, another authentic Seattle dish. Everything 100% authentic, oh my lord.

But I rediscovered a better alternative. The $15 Seattle Week Restaurant*, menu, a real bargain! I opted for the squash soup and the salad with pasta, and mushrooms, but I didn´t want to miss the opportunity to taste the local oysters so I chose the Vancouver variety, suggested by the waitress.

Eveybody knows that we Spaniards are seafood lovers, so I was transported for a moment to Galicia, but with the local touch of Tabasco and a little fork. In Spain you eat oysters with your hands, only with a touch of lemon. I´m happy to live in a aplace with such an amazing sea creatures.

Coming back to the menu, the squash soup was really good. A bit spicy for me, but I have to say my taste is super austere, I love foods with few spices, dressings and sauces. Following the Spanish term, I´m a food purista.

That´s precisely why I enjoyed so much the pasta, arugula and mushrooms salad. It´s been tossed only with olive oil, so the aromatic flavors of green and fungi were sublimated instead of camuflated.

Mushrooms pasta con arugulaBy that time I had forgot to check my watch and Mary was giving me all the details about her new fascinating new role as Program Coordinator of Freedom Education Project Puget Sound, that provides college education inside the Washington Correction Center for Women.

FEPP  offers courses in English, Math and Spanish to more than 60 students. In addition to these classes, FEPPS sponsors a monthly lecture series. I´ve always believed that everybody deserves a second chance to give a meaning to his life, so I find this project and its mission really fascinating.

When the dessert came, panacotta for both of us, we decided to loose our maybe too ambitious schedule and to go back to the SAM exhibition in a few weeks. Sometimes is better to enjoy pleasures bite by bite.

“But next time we´ll visit first the exhibition, OK?,” I said. “Done,” answered Mary with a big smile.

*the Seattle Week restaurant ends today, October Thursday 24th

Cartel Pike Place II