Lomi Lomi Redux

I left State College on Thursday so that I could begin preparing the menu for a friends Bachelor Dinner Party.  Adam is a big fan of Asian cuisine, but he also comes from an Italian family, and in the New York area, that means, a steakhouse oriented menu will do just fine too. I decided to mix it up a bit and offer a some new twists on old favorites.

We started out with a Lomi Lomi Salmon- normally a salted salmon, green onion, tomato mixture that looks like a salsa but is kind of like fresh lox. This is a traditional Hawaiian dish. I don’t know it’s origins, since we don’t have salmon in Hawaii. My guess would be that salmon was salted for transport to the islands from Washington or Alaska and then the locals tore it up and mixed it with onion. I’m sure tomato came later.

My take was to add Blood Orange and put a ring of reduced Pomegranate around the dish for a sweet tart flavor. It was delicious. This dish takes 2 days to make, but only about an hour or so of actual work.

Recipe:

1.5 lbs Salmon Filet
1/2 cup of kosher salt
1 bunch of Green Onions
1 small Ugli or Beefsteak tomato
1-2 Blood Oranges
1-2 tsp sesame oil
1 bottle of POM pomegranate juice

Start out with 1.5 lbs of salmon filet- as low fat as possible (smaller white lines) and try to avoid the thinner belly portion which tends to be more fatty and therefore more fishy- also have your fish monger skin it for you since he’s got the bigger knives and plays with fish all day, it’ll take him 2 seconds to do. Cut the salmon filet in half down the center and then cut each narrow strip in half lengthwise so you have 4 “logs” of salmon. Liberally salt (it should be covered with salt) both sides of the salmon and place it in a covered dish and refrigerate overnight. The next day, you’ll have a lot of liquid in the dish which you can drain off- this is the liquid the salt has removed from the fish. You’ll notice that it’s gotten quite firm as well. Now soak the fish in a bowl of fresh cold water for an hour or so and then remove a piece and cut a few thin slices off of it and taste one of the inside slices to check for saltyness- too salty, change the water and repeat.

Now prep your other ingredients- you can dice everything if you like.

I like to slice some of the onions  down the middle, and leave some whole- removing the top greens and the root tip, slice the onions into 1/8 thick pieces. You’ll have a mixture of nice round slices and smaller stringy slices, set aside.

Cut the tomato into quarters and remove the seeds (the more watery parts) as much as you can and cut it into 1/2 inch dice

With the blood orange, you want to cut the peel off so the flesh is exposed and then slice it into 1/4 inch dice.

Once your fish is ready, you want to trim off any of the dark meat areas and make sure you have no skin or fat on the skin side. then slice the fish into fairly thin slices in batches, followed by cross cutting it so that you have small pieces similar to the size of your orange pieces, I usually just cut across the slices so I have tiny strips of fish. The traditional hawaiian way is to tear the fish into small pieces and you can do it that way too if you want, but I think it’s more work- try it any way. Combine all of these ingredients and the sesame oil. Refrigerate for a few hours.

While you’re waiting for your lomi lomi to settle in- take your bottle of pomegranate juice and simmer it over medium to low heat until you have about 2 ounces left- it should be pretty thick, like maple syrup. If you want- you can serve this with crackers and therefore omit the sauce, though it is a nice touch.

Enjoy!

Seafood Stew

Best Accidental Recipe of the Week.
What happens to leftovers in my house, may not be what happens to them in your house, but I assure you, that will change.

Mediterranean Influenced Seafood Stew
My Cousin Hope and I came up with this dish last week and it’s a delicious one! The battle between ginger and tomatoes was won by the tomato.

Ready? Read on for more juicy details

You’ll need a large saute pan for this dish, or a wok.

1 lb of pasta, either Gigli, Campanelle, Cappelletti, or Cavatelli.
1 lb of scallops (I prefer the larger dry scallops- they are not pumped with water when frozen, ask your fish monger.)
1 lb of king salmon or steelhead trout (if you’ve never had steelhead and your local fish monger has some on hand, take it)
1 ugly tomato cubed (less seeds and water in these beauties, more meat for the buck)
Sugar Snap Peas (our grocer packs them onto small trays- a little more than a fat handful)
1 shallot, sliced (larger one, otherwise use 2)
1 clove of garlic, mashed (with the side of your chef’s knife, don’t have one? Check out the great selection of Chef’s Knives at Amazon)
a pinch of Saffron (1/4 gram is probably fine)
1 cup of white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, or a Spanish or Portuguese white)
1/4 cup of Peanut oil with 1-2 TB of butter added
Pan Searing Flour (this is easily made with salt and white pepper which is only used to keep the color consistant- feel free to use black)
A few slivers of Preserved Lemon diced (use only the peel and rinse before use)

Blanch for 1 minute or steam the sugar snap peas and set aside (they should have some crunch to them)

Prepare water for pasta. Begin the pasta once you have started browning the seafood.

Nuke the white wine with the saffron in it for 1-2 minutes

Slice the fish into stew sized cubes and set aside.
Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and dredge them in a bowl of pan searing flour (if you don’t have any of this pre-made flour, simply season the scallops with salt and pepper and then dredge in flour)
Dredge the fish in the same dish, adding more flour if needed.

prepare a large pan by preheating over medium-high (every stove is different) for a few minutes and add  the oil and butter. The oil should be almost smoking- if it’s smoking, your too hot, turn it down.

Add the shallots to the oil and saute for 1-3 minutes, (adding the garlic after the first minute) or until they begin to turn color (do not let them brown much)
Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Now add the scallops, sauteing them for 3-4 minutes on both side or until brown- (do not crowd the scallops or they will not brown, so do them in batches if you need to, I did mine in 2 batches) Scrape any excess flour crunchies out of the pan (if using steel or cast iron) to keep them from burning (these taste great).

Follow by sauteing the fish in the same oil, which by now will be disappearing- add a little extra oil if needed. Remove from oil when browned on two sides. Turn heat down a bit.

Now add the  white wine and saffron to the pan and simmer the pieces of cured lemon peel for 1 minute, followed by the tomato cubes.
Cook the tomato cubes until the skin begins to curl, then add back the onions, garlic, seafood, and sugar snap peas. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cooked covered for 1 minute to warm ingredients)

Serve immediately over pasta!