Monthly Archives: June 2013

Baked Halibut with Escabeche #25

I want to start playing around with the spice blends I purchased at La Boîte á Epice. I don't want to hide them amongst other flavors; I want to allow them to stand on their own so I can learn them and know how to best incorporate them in future recipes. I decided to make a simple baked Halibut using Escabeche #25. From Lior Lev Sercarz's book, The Art of Blending, I see that this blend is Mediterranean inspired -- a combination of Lemon, Saffron, Coriander, Fennel and Spices.
master spice blender - blog pic

Master Spice Blender

My friend Linda was visiting this week. We ventured to the west side of New York, Hell’s Kitchen area, to investigate La Boîte á Epice. La Boîte is the masterpiece of  Chef Lior Lev Sercasz, a master spice blender, amongst other things. Linda shared an article with me that was recently published in the NYTimes about La Boîte and Lev. We were intrigued!

From the moment they buzzed us inside, the symphony of aromas engulfed us! Once I began sniffing the forty-two plus different blend combinations, many appealing to my senses, I had to get serious. I began eliminating the ones I didn’t think I’d use … no easy task since I hadn’t gone in with something specific in mind! If I wanted a spice blend for a Moroccan Lamb (#23 Tangier), or Indonesian Fish (#31 Penang), or grilling a Steak (#8 Smoked Salt and #7 Pierre Poivre), I could have honed right in and found what I wanted, but I was interested in what was offered … in the very general sense of the term!

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Strawberry Lunch

The strawberries are so delicious right now.

During the colder months they look like strawberries … but that’s about it!! There’s no taste, no smell, sometimes no juice and usually an outrageous price!

But now, spring is here and the weather has warmed, all the fruits and vegetables are different: abundant, vibrantly colorful, delicious and full of aromas. Strawberries in their simplest form, washed, dried and eaten … yumm!

Lately I’ve been preparing a wonderfully easy, satisfying midday meal with them. I chop some berries up in a bowl, then macerate them using a wooden muddler, (more commonly used to break down mint and sugar in Mojitos!).

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Father’s Day BBQ

Looking for ideas that are new, yet old, I recalled a great barbecue chicken recipe I used to make -- but haven't for years. After hunting around and being unable to locate it, I called Linda, who through the years seems to have held on to all the various recipes I've played around with, usually jotted down on a random scrap of paper, now buried in a box ... somewhere.