Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Asian Slaw Recipe

Tonkatsu Salad with Asian Slaw
As you can imagine, I get a lot of requests for recipes here at Pacific Grill
Lately I have received repeated requests for our Asian Slaw recipe that we use on our Asian Pulled Pork Sliders w/ Sweet potato Fries & house-made cranberry/ginger ketchup. We also use this dressing on our Bánh Mì sandwich.
The recipe came about when I was trying to imagine a Vietnamese-styled Caesar Salad when I was Exec Chef of Le Colonial restaurant in Beverly Hills, CA. So feel free to use it also as an Asian Caesar—it is delicious drizzled over grilled Romaine lettuce wedges in the summer with some shaved parmesan!
The recipe has been scaled back from the much larger version we use at the restaurant. Obviously if you change any of the ingredients, or use a different brand of fish sauce  the saltiness of the dish may be affected, so please taste the slaw adding more or less of any particular ingredient until you enjoy it.
Asian Slaw
1 clove garlic, sliced and fried crispy (if you do not fry the garlic--the flavor will be slightly different. You can also purchase fried garlic in Asian Markets)
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce (we use 3 Crabs brand)
1 3/8 cups mayonnaise (we use Japanese Kewpie Brand)
½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 whole lemon, zested and juiced (we use a microplane to zest)
1 whole lime, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon palm sugar (you may substitute brown sugar)
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 each kaffir lime leaves, remove thick stems, cut into thin slivers then chop coarsely
1/3 head red cabbage, shredded
1/3 head green cabbage leaves, shredded
1/3 head Napa cabbage, shredded
1/4 bunch cilantro, washed well and chopped (chop leaves and mince stems)
1/2 bunch mint, stemmed and torn into irregular pieces
1/2 bunch Thai basil, stemmed and torn into irregular pieces
1 bunch green onions, minced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (we use both black & white sesame seeds)
1 tablespoon crispy shallots (purchased from an Asian Market)
1.       Place the fried & minced garlic, fish sauce, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon 
& lime zest & juices, sugar & black pepper into a food processor and purée  
until creamy about 1 min
2.       Stir in the chopped kaffir lime leaves, and refrigerate dressing until needed
3.       Shred the cabbages and add to a large serving bowl
4.       Before chopping, be sure to wash the cilantro very well as it can be very dirty. Tear the other herbs and  toss well with the shredded cabbages, and add the minced green onions
5.       Just before serving, toss the cabbage & herbs with enough dressing to lightly coat the slaw
6.       Taste & correct seasonings
7.       Generously sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and crispy shallots over each salad
8.       Serve

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Favorite Chanterelle Recipe

I love the fall. The sun feels warm yet there is a certain hollowness to the rays. Step into a shadow and know winter’s on the way. Nights turn crisp, and the air smells like blackberry pie. The first freeze will soon be here, pumpkins are ripening, and I start thinking about long-cooked braises and stews, and the soul-comforting foods of autumn.

With all the rain we had in the Northwest this summer and the nice warm autumn days we have had lately I knew it wouldn't be long before the foragers would start appearing at our door with amazing Chanterelle mushrooms. I plunge my face into them and inhale their sweet pumpkin-apricot aromas of forest and leaves.

My favorite way to serve Chanterelle mushrooms is sliced and sautéed in some butter with some chopped garlic and shallots, S + P until they are cooked and have given up some of their juices. Add some chopped Italian parsley and fresh thyme. Let the juices reduce a little (especially if you add a splash of white wine and/or chicken stock) which is not necessary but will add some acidity and complexity to the sauce. At the last second swirl in some additional butter to give the sauce some body.

Check and correct seasonings. Brush some sliced La Brea Bakery country bread or rosemary bread with some olive oil and grill it until nicely charred. Then arrange on a plate with a small tuft of arugula.

If you like, add a few drops of white truffle oil which will enhance the mushroomy garlic flavor (and when I say drops --I mean with an eye dropper-- otherwise the truffle oil will overpower the dish). Add some generous shavings of reggiano cheese, and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over everything. And if you don’t want to go to all that trouble--come by Pacific Grill where we are serving this dish while Chanterelles are in season.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nuts & Bolts

For the month of December we are featuring good old fashioned “Nuts & Bolts” as my Nana used to call it [aka Chex Party Mix] here at the Pacific Grill in our lounge, for the month of December. Nana always used to have us out to her house in the woods near Lake Spanaway, and there in her living room in an overly ornate bowl, on an overly ornate lace doily, was this exotically spiced salty snack that I became instantly addicted to, still to this day.

She always made hers with Wheat Chex cereal and Cheerios, and added lots of salty Worcestershire and of course real butter, and real garlic (no garlic powder in her musty smelling cupboard), but yes to dried oregano, and lots of skinny pretzels and peanuts, and those big brazil nuts that we kids did not like at all (well really does anyone like those bitter nuts?)--but without (most) of those ingredients it just doesn't taste right to me.

My good friend Brock insists one has to have Cheetos in your Party Mix and my sister Gayle loves lots of Rice Chex in her's (I always swapped the extra rice Chex in my handful for the extra Wheat Chex in her's and always thought I got the better end of the deal…our Bartender Paul swears that his recipe is the best and recently he made a batch that had spaghetti sauce and sun-dried tomatoes that I actually thought pretty tasty!

A chef friend of mine, the late great Billy Pflug even used to put Duck cracklin's in his gourmet version. Last year, here at PG we deep fried garbanzo beans and julienne salami & pistachio nuts and dubbed it “Chef’s Mix” to great acclaim.

How about yours? Does your family have a secret heirloom recipe?

What indispensable ingredient has to be in your Party Mix for the Holidays?

By the way, also during this month of celebration we are serving two great Champagnes by the glass: Dom Pérignon & Veuve Clicquot at a great price. So get your Merry on! and get down here for some Nuts & Bolts and a glass of Dom or Veuve and let’s celebrate the season—oh and don’t forget to share your secret ingredients with me for your best Party Mix cause I want your recipe to put on my holiday menu next year!

Happy Holidaze!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oysters Oysters Oysters!


This Fall and Winter we are featuring a new oyster at Pacific Grill that I find particularly delicious. And amazingly when we order them they harvest that very day and deliver them to us a few hours after they pick them up off the beach! You cannot get fresher than that!
Served on the half shell I like them with just a squeeze of fresh lemon. We also make a mignonette sauce (white wine and champagne vinegar) with a little freshly diced horseradish root and fresh cracked pepper. Frenchman’s Point oysters owe their unique flavor to the special surroundings in which they are grown or "terroir", [ tehr-WAHR]. Originally a word used in wine and coffee appreciation, the term is used to denote the special characteristics of geography that bestow individual unique qualities upon the food product.

Scenic Frenchman’s Point is located at the entrance to Quilcene Bay, which is located at the northern end of Hood Canal,WA near Dabob Bay in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains, one of the most undeveloped bays on Hood Canal, and is bottle-necked so that with every tide change the pristine nutrients of the area flush directly over Frenchman’s Point.

The oysters are located far away from waterfront homes or other developments, and are grown on pea gravel & small rocks (not in mud) and you can definitely taste the difference. The flavor of the oysters is somewhat complex; plump and brimming with meat they have a slightly metallic overtone, finishing with sweet cucumber and a sprite brininess.

They taste like barely-held-together ocean…

Besides offering them on the half-shell, we also serve them as “Shooters” in a shot glass with citrus infused Stolichnaya vodka & cilantro.

We also roast them over a bed of rock salt perfumed with spices with our house-made pancetta and buttered crumbs.

Some of our guests prefer them deep-fried in beer batter and panko-- served with house-made tartar sauce and our famous skinny fries, with olive-oil poached garlic cloves & fried herbs.