Recipes 04:25:13

Seasons by the Sea: Farm Stands, Flowers, and Fluff

Crudo of Local Fluke
    This recipe, from “The Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown Cookbook,” is one of Fresno’s specialties.
    Serves four.
1/2 to 1 lb. sushi-grade fluke filet, skin off
1/2 seedless hothouse cucumber
2 large radishes (red, French breakfast, or Easter Egg)
1 large jalapeno, seeded, ribs removed and finely diced
4 Tbsp. ginger oil (recipe to follow)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Hawaiian pink sea salt, to taste

    Thinly slice the fluke on the bias into approximately half-ounce slices. Place four to five slices of the fluke on each plate overlapping the slices. Use a Japanese mandolin to finely shave the cucumber and the radishes.
    In a bowl, toss the cucumber, radishes, and jalapeno with half of the ginger oil and the lime juice. Place the salad on top of the sliced fluke, then drizzle the remaining ginger oil and lime juice over the fluke. Season with pink sea salt.

    Ginger oil:
    1 lb. fresh ginger root
    6 cups canola oil

    Wash and rough chop the ginger, no need to peel. Place in large saucepan with oil. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook three hours. Transfer ginger oil to stainless steel bowl. Refrigerate until completely cooled. Strain out ginger. Store in glass jar in refrigerator. This will keep up to one month.

Steamed Sunflower Buds
    This recipe is from “Cooking With Flowers.”
        Serves two.

Pinch salt, plus more for seasoning and serving
6 sunflower buds
1 qt. water or vegetable broth
4 sprigs parsley
6 garlic cloves
2 lemons, scrubbed and halved
1/4 cup white wine
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Pepper to taste
Lemon juice, for serving

    Bring a wide, deep pot of water to boil over high heat and toss in a good pinch of salt. Peel and discard tough, hairy green leaves from bottom of sunflowers. Cook buds for about 3 minutes. Drain buds in a colander. (Partially cooking the buds in water removes a little of the bitterness.)
    In same pot, stir to combine water or vegetable broth, parsley, garlic, lemon, wine, and oil. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return sunflower buds to pot, bottoms up. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Buds are done when you can poke the bottoms and feel no resistance. Drain buds and serve them with a sprinkle of lemon juice and a little salt.

Camerino’s Popcorn
    This recipe is from “It’s All Good.” It is from Gwyneth Paltrow’s friend Cameron Diaz, who makes it for Gwyneth’s children, which makes Cameron their favorite houseguest.
        Makes 15 cups.

    Extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup organic popcorn kernels
    Coarse sea salt

    Set a large, heavy pot over high heat. Add enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom of the pot and let the oil get very, very hot, nearly smoking. Add the popcorn kernels and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Shake the pot to coat the kernels with oil and let the heat do its thing. When the aggressive popping sound just begins to subside, remove the pot from the heat and carefully take off the lid. Transfer the popcorn to a large mixing bowl and season to taste with plenty of salt. Serve immediately, preferably with a very fun film.