This is how you celebrate springtime!

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  Every year from April to September millions of blue crab molt their old hard shell for a new one. Not all market places or cities are close or lucky enough to be able to take part in this yearly event, atleast in a cost efficient way. This delicacy must be harvested at just the right time from the water before hardening. The mouth and abdomen is discarded along with the gills or “dead man’s fingers “for you old timers. After cleaning the crab you can eat it whole, typically deep fried or sauteed.

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Medium pan seared strip steak rice and cornmeal fried soft shell crab

I always fry my soft shell in flour but this time I switched it up to a fine yellow corn meal. Some recipes call for an egg batter which I feel is tasty but can overshadow the delicate crispness of the fried shell. I should’ve used a better grade of cornmeal but altogether I think now I’m switching forever. Another note on switching forever! The strip steak you see was perfect melt in your mouth tender after the normal few minutes in the pan then finish in the oven with a rest time. The main difference between this steak and any other was the fact that it was all organic raised grass fed beef! I never thought I would truly be able to tell. I feel it had more flavor and more tenderness. It could’ve been the butter and rosemary I basted it in.

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Cooking demands attention, patience, and above all, a respect for the gifts of the earth. It is a form of worship, a way of giving thanks.

– Judith B. Jones

Cuisine prep for Japan

No doubt about it I’m going to Japan one day! It’s been a goal of mine for years and I’m feeling the travel bug hard now! This trip would be business before pleasure though!http://gofund.me/Npjapan Please take a minute to read my story and mission to gain knowledge, business connections and meet amazing people. I figure I should get accustomed to some of the flavors of the country to reduce culture shock! So from time to time I’ll grab something from the land of the rising sun that I’ve never tried and share with you! I’ve decided to start out light with Mochi!

Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of steamed short grain rice, pounded into a paste and molded into desired shape. The rice cake can be flavored or filled with a sweet paste, used as a dumpling, or covering for fresh fruit and ice cream.

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I came across a pack of Mochi balls one half filled with sweet adzuki bean paste the other grassy, earthy matcha. Strange words for candy I agree! You can feel these things are super soft through the package, comparable to a marshmallow .

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Red bean and matcha Mochi rice cakes

If you’re a food texture person then at first you may not like the gumminess of Mochi. With a texture somewhere between taffy and marshmallow the rice cake is often advised to be eaten in sections to avoid choking! That’s the kind of texture I’m dealing with here. Atleast it dissolves quick! I thought the flavor was good of both Mochi but the ice cream was definitely special. The Mochi surrounding the frozen dessert isn’t as gummy as the candy and is just a cool way to eat ice cream! Stay tuned for more cuisine samples from Japan and around the world!

Bacon Wrapped Trout Stuffed With Fresh Dill

 

“First knife skills. Then,knowing how to control heat. Most important is choosing the right product…the rest is simple.” -Justin Quek
 
      What better way to celebrate the springtime weather than fresh fish and herbs?! This is an easy way to turn an otherwise less flavorful fish into a quick,sexy,savory filling meal.  This recipe only uses 6 ingredients , four of which should always be in your kitchen . The dill works with the lemon to add a soft sweetness to the flesh while olive oil and bacon juices keep the meat irresistibly moist. I used uncured bacon with this fish because I didn’t  want the extra saltiness and added preservatives. If you worry about contaminants while eating fish you’ll be happy to hear trout has the lowest amounts of dioxin levels of all oily fish.

Bacon wrapped trout stuffed with dill

1 whole trout

Salt and pepper

4-5 sprigs dill

2-4 lemon slices

2-4 slice uncured bacon

2 tablespoons olive oil

      1. Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper then stuff with dill sprigs.

      2. Lay lemon slices inside or on top of fish. Wrap fish with bacon slices nice and tight. 

      3. Heat up olive oil in a large pan and sear the fish on both sides to lightly crisp the bacon.

       4. Flip fish back to serving side and finish in preheated oven at 425degrees for about 20 minutes depending on size    Garnish with lemon and dill

       

“Always let your meat rest.” – Dad

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” Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life. ” – Anthony Bourdain

I wish I could take credit for this dish but I must give it up to my father who is one part of the reason I’m obsessed with all things food. Every now and then I get to enjoy a home cooked meal that reminds me of why I started Fond Media and The Fond Chef blog. I want to show how the act of preparing and eating good food is more than what you see. It’s trial and error, it’s history, it’s science,it’s beautiful, it’s love,comfort, nature, simplicity, and the surest way to humility!

After-dinner bubbly

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Hard day at the office? Dinner deserve follow up drinks? Need more time with your date? Sometimes you just don’t want to go home and a well crafted cocktail is calling your name! This time for me it was a much needed nightcap and preview of Coopers Hawk Winery in Columbus, OH! I’ve heard nothing but good about this place and will do a full review at a later date. This time I felt severely under dressed in my typical sandals, shorts and t-shirt! I took note to atleast wear khakis and real shoes next time. I wasn’t too bothered by it as I was in awe of the wine and beverage list!
Strange enough Champagne is what caught my eye tonight. Blanc de blanc Champagne is made from white wine specifically Chardonnay. It’s bright, fruity but not too sweet, and effervescent! I needed something stronger than that today though! The bartender steered me in the right direction. I don’t remember the name of the drink just the ingredients.  I’m not sure if I forgot because the drink was strong or I was too excited about my selection! Blanc de blanc Champagne paired with Remy Martin VSOP, lemon twist, and a sugar cube for extra Bubbly effect! I am familiar with Remy Martin and expected it to overpower the lemon and Champagne. The combination of lemon twist and sugar cube helps mask the potency of the Remy while leaving complexity of flavor that lingers yet satisfies on the pallete! Needless to say after dinner and just one of these powerful and tasty concoctions I was satisfied and ready to call it a night! – FC

Grilled flank steak with spinach and green apple salad

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Spinach and green apple salad with grilled flank steak and onions

For the flank steak :
1/2 gallon milk
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 white onion
1/2 cup red wine

For the salad:
1 bunch spinach and spring mix
1 cup toasted walnuts
2-3 green apples cut into matchsticks

For the dressing :
1 – 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil

The trick to a good steak of any kind is a perfect marinade! Most people go for acidic marinades on instinct thinking  “the stronger the better” . The truth is that with acidic marinades such as vinegar,
wine, citrus, and tomatoes you run a risk of making your meat tough! The acid will initially work well on the surface but with time the protein will contract and squeeze water out! Milk however will tenderize the meat throughout without any toughening due to the lactase enzymes that break down proteins. Flank steak benefits tremendously from this kind of treatment since you can marinade up to 24hrs!

1. Marinate steak in milk up to 24hrs.
2. Season with salt and pepper before adding olive oil to a medium high skillet. Brown both sides and remove.
3. Add julienned onions and saute until tender.
4. Return flank steak to pan and add red wine. Saute until desired temp. Add more wine/oil as needed.
5. Combine ingredients for salad and dressing as listed.

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Papaya

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. ”  – Hippocrates