Green Tea Infused Salmon Carpaccio
Green Tea has been an art of the millennium for Asian cultures. Its aroma is breathtaking, its taste is sweet and tangy, its spirit is high in tradition. I think it’ll be a shame not to try and combine Green Tea with other culinary ingredients.
For this recipe, brew a strong cup of Jasmine Tea. Make sure you only let it steep for no more than 5 minutes! Otherwise too much of the bitter/tangy chemicals will be extracted, which could be overpowering and indeed not very pleasant.
Whisk in some Honey to balance the tang. After you let the honey green tea chill to room temperature, douse over thinly sliced BEST QUALITY SALMON (or a white fish like Snapper or Mullet) you can find. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two (depending on how strong the tea is / what type of fish you are using). I love Salmon, and find that the fattiness of the Salmon cuts through the tang of the Green Tea quite well.
Once that’s settled, whisk up a simple dressing with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Honey, in a ratio of about 6:2:1, respectively.
Line the Green Tea infused Salmon slices on a plate (discard the marinade), season with Salt & Pepper, drizzle some of that Apple Cider Vinaigrette all over.
And for shits and giggles, BAM in some Pomegranate Seeds, heads of Baby Pea Sprouts (or any micro you might have), and a touch of fresh unripened Goat Cheese for additional creaminess.
There you have it!
Eating healthy in Medschool. No problem!
When the ingredients are fresh, you really don’t have to do too much to make them shine.
For the Shrimps…
Marinate them in some Olive Oil with Cilantro and Lime Juice (enough for the flavour, not so much that the acidity starts cooking the shrimps) for 30-60 minutes in the fridge, then sautee them on high heat with some Chilli until cooked through but still tender.
For the Veges…
Parboil them first, then sautee in a pan with some Olive Oil on medium-high heat until tender and slightly coloured.
A big splash of Lemon/Lime Juice all over. And don’t forget to season with Salt & Pepper!
Oh… this goes perfectly well with (a case of) Corona. Ha. ha.
The endocrinology staff members all take turn and bring “snacks” every Friday for our “morning tea”, which starts at around 10am and lasts about an hour. There is usually so much food that having lunch could be a struggle.
My contribution last week was Balsamic Macerated Strawberries topped with Mascarpone Cream.
——- Strawberries, the ripest ones you can find (You can tell by the distinct aroma only ripe strawberries possess.)
——- Balsamic Vinegar
——- Mascarpone Cheese
——- 35% Cream
——- White Sugar, to taste
——- Citrus Zest (I used limes because I had some lying around, but feel free to use lemons, oranges, or even grapefruits. Zest is a fantastic way to add flavours without additional acidity.)
1) Clean and half (or quarter if large) the strawberries. Place them in a sealable plastic bag.
2) In a pot, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil, then simmer and reduce to 1/3 in volume, or until the reduction coats the back of a spoon. (Depending on the type of balsamic you are using, you may want to add some sugar at this point.)
3) In a large bowl, mix 1:1 mascarpone to cream. Add sugar to taste. Whip until firm and fluffy. (If you can hold the bowl upside-down on top of your head for 5 mississippies, you are golden!) Keep it in the fridge.
4) In a resealable plastic bag, marinate the strawberries in the balsamic reduction for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight in the fridge.
5) When serving, place some macerated strawberries in the bottom of a glass, drizzle over some strawberry-infused balsamic reduction, top with a large dollop of mascarpone cream. Zest some fresh citrus flavour.
Et voila! The simplest but one of the most mouth-watering desserts you’ll ever have. I promise.
I do have a grave confession, which I continuously struggle to express to my dear friends and family in Canada. The countless times how I wished I were back in Montreal sharing laughters that last through the night. The many, and many more times when I longed to reach out, and hug, and kiss, and narrate sincerely my deepest appreciation to have you as friends and family. For a lack of better words, as usual, I’d like to borrow a few words that might possibly be able to just perhaps summarize this confession. “Not that I didn’t care, it’s that I didn’t know. It’s not what I didn’t feel, it’s what I didn’t show.”
Craig and Megan, remember the time when we had buffalo duck wings that were so spicy that it hurt the next day‘? Jess and Jen, remember the time when I made that canard a la framboise in my tiny little kitchen/dining room/living room/bedroom? Last but certainly not least, Dylan, remember the time we cooked giant pieces of foie gras and then ate them with croutons fried up in that very fat? Memories shared with you guys continue to put a smile on my face despite the passing years. And I hope you find comfort in those as
Before I get strayed into other sentimental feelings, I would like to, if I may, dedicate this duck meal to you boys and girls. And for the many of you who are not mentioned here that happen to read my blog, I love you too.
Festivities and holiday seasons remind me of all the wonderful ingredients other than chicken, beef, or pork. They are all fantastic, dedicated players in the culinary world, don’t get me wrong, but they do deserve a break once in a while. Among many things, I must admit that I have a tender spot for something that quaks, has firm breasts, and a fatty behind – duck! (It’s “canard“ in French). Boasting with flavours, its meat is tender, juice, characteristic, and well suited for anything from a quick pan-sear to a slow roast.
Here is my version of Canard a la Figue.
- 2 Ducks, whole
- 2 Yellow Onions, washed, halved
- 1 Large handful of Carrot sticks, washed
- 1 Large handful of Celery sticks, washed
- 1 Whole bulb of Garlic, washed, halved in cross-section (to expose each clove)
- Couple of Bay Leaves
- 1 Small bunch of Thyme sprigs
- 1 Spoonful of whole Black Peppercorns
- 1 Handful of Shitake Mushrooms, stems removed, slice in half if large
- 1 Handful of Cherry Tomatoes, whole
- A few Bok Choy hearts, sliced longitudinally in quarters
- 2-3 Shallots, cleaned, finely diced
- 1-2 Cups palatable Red Wine
- 1-2 Cups Duck Stock (which we make from scratch)
- 1 Small handful of Dried Figs, finely chopped
- 2-3 Tbsp Fig Preserve (depending on sweetness, or substitute with Honey)
- Butter, unsalted
- Fresh seasonal Figs
- Baby Zucchini and Flowers, grilled
- Baby Carrots, blanched then grilled
- Duck Fat (which we render from scratch) oven-roasted Potatoes with Thyme, Bay Leaves, and Garlic
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Method – for the duck
- Wash the duck, pat dry.
- Chop off the neck, peel away the skin from the neck, reserve both.
- Chop off the tail/bum, reserve.
- Slice along the midline as close to the breastbone as possible, carefully remove the breasts. Try to obtain as much meat in one piece as possible, by carefully cutting through the connective tissue as close to the breastbone and rib cage as possible, while slowly peeling away the breast meat. Make sure to locate the wing joint and cut through the cartilages (should be fairly easy as long as you don’t try to saw through the actual bone).
- Now you should have a boneless piece of duck breast attached to a wing. Remove the wing, reserve. Trim off excess fat from the breast, reserve.
- Repeat Steps 4-5 for the other breast.
- Remove the legs and thighs. Once again, try to cut through the cartilages, not the bones.
- Trim off excess fat from the thighs (should be plenty), reserve.
- Debone the legs and thighs in one piece. This could be tricky. If you want, you could always get extra boneless duck breasts so to have enough meat for your guests, and save the legs and thighs bone-in, skin-on for Duck Confit (another day for now).
Method – for duck fat
- Place the neck skin/fat, tail/bum, and any extra pieces of fat you’ve trimmed into a pot, together with a couple bay leaves.
- On low heat, slowly render out the fat from the tissues. This should take a couple of hours.
- Once the bits of duck tissue are brown and crispy-ish, let cool, and strain through a fine sieve. Reserve the clarified duck fat.
Method - for duck stock
- Place the duck carcasses (2x), the necks (2x), and the wings (4x) into a large pot. (OPTIONAL: roast the above @ 400°F for 30 minutes first for an additional layer of flavour.)
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns into the same pot.
- Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for at least 3 hours. Give her a whole afternoon or even overnight if you are really dedicated.
- Make sure to periodically skim off any surface foam (coagulated blood) to ensure a clear, not cloudy, stock base.
- Once time has done its job, strain through a fine sieve. Reserve the duck stock.
Method – Soupe du jour
- In a pot, bring enough duck stock to a boil with the mushrooms. Reduce until desired richness.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Just before serving, add the bok choy and cherry tomatoes and let cook for about a minute.
- Remove from heat and serve.
Method – Canard a la Figue
- Score the skin on the duck breasts and thighs.
- Season with salt & pepper.
- Over medium heat, place duck meat skin side down in a pan.
- Sear until the skin is crispy and golden brown, the fat is mostly rendered, for about 8 -10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fat and the size of the breast.
- Turn over the breasts and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes, again depending on the thickness and doneness desired. Medium is my favourite when it comes to duck.
- Once desired doneness is achieved, place the meat under foil and allow rest.
- Meanwhile, add the shallots to the same hot pan. Sautee until soft and translucent, for about 2-3 minutes. Make sure the heat is not too high, or you risk burning the wonderful brown stuck bits of flavour on the bottom of the pan!
- Deglaze with red wine.
- Add the dried figs.
- Once the alcohol has been simmered off a bit, add the duck stock and continue simmering until thick. You know the sauce is at the right consistency when it just begins to coat the back of a spoon.
- Add the fig preserve (or honey) to taste. Also season with salt & pepper at this stage if required.
- Once the desired consistency and flavours have been adjusted, strain through a very fine sieve. Return the liquid to a new pan.
- Bring the new pan to a boil. Turn off the heat. Add a dollop of unsalted butter to the fig sauce to obtain that lustful restaurant richness and shine.
- Slice the breasts at an angle. Fan them out on a dinner plate. Drizzle with the homemade fig sauce.
- Serve with duck fat roasted potatoes, grilled zucchini flowers, and baby carrots.
- Garnish with a half or quarters of fresh seasonal figs. Voila!
The “feeling” of your company, by which I meant not the objects upon which we gaze, but the very lively people. People, subjects. People. Around whom we breathe, amonst whom we learn, beneath whom we surrender. Our presence, belief, trust, love and desire.
Top priority after grilling meat: TENT!
Ideally you would “tent”, as to cover in foil, the meat for the same amount of time it spent on the grill. But realistically, who can wait that long?! Just remember to give the meat some time to relax its muscle fibers after it’s been grilled, literally.
To continue my laziness… more meat!
At my new backyard in Sydney!