Monday, June 2, 2008

The best of two coasts

The Alaskan coast, and the North Coast (aka Cleveland).

First Alaska. Pan Seared Halibut Cheeks, Copper River King Salmon, and a Smoked Copper River Sockeye Collar (I also had a broiled collar, but forgot to put it on the plate. It was the fish equivalent to the best chicken wing ever.). The fish came from Kate's at Cleveland's West Side Market. While the Copper River Sockeye was first rate, the King was truly special. After being gutted (or "processed," as the euphemism goes) on the boat pre-rigor, the fish are iced and quickly sent to Cleveland, where Tom the fishmonger picks them up at the airport. I don't think fresher, or as high quality, Copper River Salmon are available anywhere else in the area (although one restaurant in town has been known to get its fish from the same Alaskan). It's not cheap, but a little goes a long way. It was difficult for me to spot eating it sashimi style, but I could think of worse habits.

Next, the North Coast. Most of the non-fish things on the plate came from The Shaker Square Farmer's Market. The mayo is homemade with a Plum Creek Egg Yolk, Shallots from a Vendor whose name I don't remember (they're the only one currently selling shallots), Frank's RedHot, Organic Canola Oil, Organic Spanish Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, ground Urban Herbs Tellicherry Pepper, Red Wine Vinegar and some generic Dijon Mustard. It's been said here before, but it's worth saying again, making mayonnaise is very easy.

Between the cheeks and the collar is a vegetable medley. Starting in the order things went into the pan are: diced Parker's Pancetta, sliced immature and super sweet Onions that volunteered in the community garden, sliced Killbuck Valley Brown Oyster Mushrooms, Sage Leaves from the community garden (an overwintered plant was too huge for its own good), chopped Muddy Fork Farm Asparagus, and some salt and pepper. With the rendered pancetta fat and the moisture in the mushrooms there was no need to add any liquid. Cooked over low heat the entire time, it was very ratatouille like.

Between the cheeks and King there's sauteed red and green Mizuna. All that was added to the wet-from-cleaning leaves was salt and pepper. They were sauteed in just a bit of toasted sesame oil. I don't remember the name of the farm they were from either, but hopefully I'll be growing some soon from their starts.

There's also a sliced radish from the same folks who supplied the shallots.

The flowers in the background are from Blissful Acres. If I ever needed to be part of a CSA I'd give them a call (Maybe Muddy Fork too). Blissful Acres also supplied the the original "seed" that led to the second part of this post. I'm no longer in the plot where I grew those, but the Jerusalem Artichokes must not have gotten the message that someone else was gardening there because they self seeded and are growing better than if I had planted them for a second season on purpose.

Really good stuff using the best of what can be found around here, both produced and brought in. Hopefully we'll get some good starches soon.

Kind of looks like a Seder plate:

Mizuna starting to cook:


Nancy Heller said...

You wrote: "Kind of looks like a Seder plate [photo]"


The CFT said...

Glad you enjoyed. You have to admit, it bears a striking resemblance.

Emily said...

We're having a WIN A SUMMER OF WILD SALMON CONTEST and giving away 15 lbs. of wild salmon to the person who posts the best salmon recipe. Recipes can be entered at