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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pickeling Summer Produce

I recently posted some pictures from my Suzie's Farm cooking class at Great News cooking school in Pacific Beach; and thought I would share a little something from that class.
This simple recipe is my basic pickeling "mix" and can be used to pickel just about anything (from carrots and jalapenos to cucumbers).
If you wana see me live and in person you can check me out this Saturday on a small family farm in Encinitas, teaching you how to cookgreat vegetarian dishes.

Pickled Wax Beans
Makes 3 to 5 Pint Jars
1 tbsp                   Pickeling spice
4 cups                  White wine vinegar
½ cup                   Sugar
6 cloves                Garlic, peeled
1 tsp                     Kosher salt
1 lb                      Wax beans, stem end removed
1 cup                     Onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
6                           Bay leaves


Sterilize preserving jars* and lids.

Place pickeling spice in cheese cloth a secure with butchers twine into a small bundle.

In a small sauce pot combine pickeling spice bundle,  kosher salt, white wine vinegar, sugar, and garlic cloves; bring to a boil and cook till sugar and salt are dissolved; stirring occasionally.

Place half of the onions into sterilized preserving jars. Top with green beans (upright)  and cover green beans with remaining onions and bay leaves. Divide vinegar mixture into jars and filling to within ½ inch of rim.

Using a chop stick, remove any air bubbles in the jar.

Wipe off rim of jar.

Top with cover and twist on seals.

In a large pot cover jars with water and allowing 1 to 2 inches of water to cover jars (you may need to add extra water for this). Cover and gently boil for 10 to 15 minutes.

After processing, remove jars and set them upright on a towel to cool 12 to 24 hours. Do not retighten bands. Once jars are cool, test each one for a seal by pressing the center of the lid. The lid should not flex up and down (if it does, immediately refrigerate or reprocess with a new lid for the full length of time).

Label, and store jars in a cool (50° - 70° F/10° - 20°C), dry, dark place for up to one year. After opening, refrigerate, and use within 1 month.

For additional information on canning go to

* Wide mouth jars are best for ease of filling



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Nothing goes to waste- Broiled Tuna Collar with Citrus Soy Dipping Sauce

When I was in culinary school in Miami, a hurricane scare sent me running for shelter at a friend’s house. Lucky for me I picked a friend with a Tuna head in the freezer. This is how I was introduced to the best part of the fish you can get.
Now I go to my local fish monger at Catalina Offshore; it is not something they have daily. Every so often I walk through the doors and spot those beautiful tuna heads in the case and I know I am in luck. Or you can call in the morning (early in the morning- the earlier the better) and order them.
To make your life easy start with cooking the collar; think cooking a steak verses cooking a roast. Your fishmonger should remove most of the head and split the collar in half. This makes it super quick and easy to cook. But if you have the time to stew the whole head (I like to use a classic Jamaican curry style preparation)...go for it!!
If you love this recipe and want to learn how to make it; I am doing a joint cooking class with Tommy Gomes from Catalina Offshore on June 12 at Great News in Pasific Beach. The class will feature a variation of this recipe along with Heirloom Tomato, Avocado and Crab Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette; Low Country Shrimp and Clam Boil; Grilled Salmon Topped with Tomato, Caper, Basil Vinaigrette.
Broiled Tuna Collar with Citrus Soy Dipping Sauce
Serves 2 to 4

                       Tuna collars (about 3 lb. total), cut in half and fins removed
As needed  Grape seed oil
As needed  Kosher salt

1/3 cup                Whitesoy sauce (Shiro)
½ cup                  Orange juice
1/8 to ½ tsp         Rayu (or Hot Sesame Oil).*
3                          Green onions, thinly sliced

½ cup                  Grated daikon radish

Preheat oven to 450°.
Lightly rub fish collars with oil and sprinkle both sides of fish lightly with salt.
Place a cookie cooling rack onto a foil lined cookie sheet; put collars skin side down, onto the cooling rack. Cook until collars turn golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove collars from the oven; pour oil off of pan and rotating collar to skin side up.
Increase oven temperature to broil.
Return collars to the oven and cook until skin crisps and caramelizes, about 1 minute.
While the collars are cooking, prepare the sauce. Mix soy sauce, orange juice, hot sesame oil, and green onions in a small bowl.
Serve collars with a dipping bowl of citrus soy sauce and a small amount of daikon radish.

*If you don’t like spice replace the Rayu (or Hot Sesame Oil) with sesame oil.

This recipe is great for a hot summer night. I did it in the oven in this recipe but it could easily be done on the BBQ. The collar of the fish is very fatty (not a bad thing at all- for those that don't know the fattier the fish the less dry and the less likely you are to overcook it). Be very careful not to burn it.

Start by getting the grill super-hot; then reduce the flame to medium heat. I like to get a nice crust on the flesh side and then move it to the upper rack, being very careful of flare ups. Close the grill and cook for the same amount of time listed in the recipe. Checking every so often to make sure your fish has not caught on fire.