Best Places Northwest Cookbook, 2nd Edition: Recipes from Outstanding Restaurants and Inns of Washington, Oregon, and British Columbiaby Cynthia Nims, Lara Ferroni
Northwest cuisine has in recent years received national attention, primarily for its focus on fresh, locally grown and raised ingredients. The Best Places Northwest Cookbook features more than 100 truly outstanding regional dishes from iconic restaurants and inns of Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, all of which appear in the 16th and 17th editions of Best… See more details below
Northwest cuisine has in recent years received national attention, primarily for its focus on fresh, locally grown and raised ingredients. The Best Places Northwest Cookbook features more than 100 truly outstanding regional dishes from iconic restaurants and inns of Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, all of which appear in the 16th and 17th editions of Best Places Northwest. Originally published in 1996, the best-selling cookbook has been revised, with added updates to establishments from the previous edition, as well as an array of new recipes from some of the most-celebrated places to have opened in recent years. Completely repackaged with a fresh design, and featuring the photography of Lara Ferroni, this cookbook is essential for any Northwest foodie's kitchen, as well as a great keepsake for visitors to the area.
Read an Excerpt
Three new recipes:
Tomatoes and Paneer
Vij's, Vancouver, British Columbia
The best time to make this recipe is summer when you have access to delicious, locally grown heirloom tomatoes and red onions. Paneer is a slightly labor-intensive (albeit very simple) cheese made from whole milk. You can buy ready made paneer from most Indian grocery stores, however, it's even better made from organic milk at home.
1/2 cup olive or grapeseed oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 lbs BC organic red onions, sliced and then halved
2 lbs BC organic tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped cilantro (wash first, and include stems)
1/4 cup water
1 gallon organic whole milk
11/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 piece cheesecloth, folded into a 3layer piece large enough to line a colander
1 large, heavy-bottomed pan
For the paneer, first pour the 1/4 cup water into the pan. Then pour the entire gallon of milk slowly into the pot. Stir in the sugar. Turn on the heat to medium and bring the milk to a boil. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Do not leave the milk while it is on the heat. When the milk rises, but before it overflows, pour the vinegar into the milk and turn off the heat. The milk will stop rising and solids will separate from the liquid. Wait five minutes, until the liquid has completely separated from the solids.
Line the colander with the triple-layered cheesecloth. Place the colander in the sink and carefully pour the entire contents of the pan over the cloth in the colander. Leave the paneer in the colander for about five minutes to drain. Wrap the cheesecloth around the paneer in a ball shape and tie it in a double knot. Place the ball of paneer on a large plate (on a counter or in the sink) and place a two-quart pan of water over the paneer, still wrapped in cheesecloth. This will flatten the paneer to about two inches in height. The remaining water will also slowly drain from the paneer and make the cheese firmer. After half an hour, lift the pan with the water away, unwrap the paneer and place it on another plate. Make sure you scrape away any paneer stuck to the cheesecloth with a spoon. For a firmer paneer, let it remain under the pan of water for one hour.
Cut the firm paneer into 1 1/2 inch cubes. If the paneer isn't firm enough to slice, cut a baguette or other firm crusted bread on the bias and spread with the paneer.
Heat the oil on medium heat for 1 minute. Add the mustard seeds, stir and wait until you hear the first popping sound. Immediately add the onions and saute for 5 to 8 minutes, or when the onions have a golden color along the edges. Stir in tomatoes. Add the turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir well and saute for 5 minutes, stopping before the tomatoes lose their shape. Turn off heat, stir in the cilantro.
To serve, ladle the hot tomato masala over the paneer. Garnish with a bit more cilantro.
Makes 6 servings
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Spot Prawns with Baby Chickpeas, Meyer Lemon, and Herb Coulis
Tilth, Seattle, Washington
Spot prawns are one of the few "green" choices left when it comes to shrimp, because they are trap caught rather than farmed. They are plentiful all along the west coast from California to Alaska. The prawns are caught in traps that resemble lobster and crab traps, where fish can swim out, and the shrimp are landed alive. Maria Hines, the chef-owner of Tilth, likes to serve this dish with a little salad of organic mint, cilantro and parsley perched on top of the prawns for a fresh balance of flavor and texture.
1 lb fresh spot prawns
1/4 cups dried chickpeas
2 cups water
2 stalks of celery
1 small yellow onion
1 medium carrot
2 bay leaves
1 bunch mint, leaves only
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
1 bunch parsley, leaves only
3 cloves garlic - roasted
1/2 lemon -juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup fresh heavy cream
1 lemon, zested and cut into segments
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
a pinch of ground white pepper
Remove the shells from the prawns.
For the baby chickpeas, add to a bowl of water and let sit overnight. Drain the chickpeas, discarding the water.
In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups cold water with the celery, onion, carrot and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes. Strain out the vegetables, preserving the stock.
Add the chickpeas to the broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook until the beans are soft and creamy, 30 to 40 minutes, adding more water if needed. Add the salt.
For the Herb Coulis, add the mint, cilantro, parsley, garlic, juice from the lemon, salt, red pepper flakes and olive oil to a blender and puree until the mixture is a smooth light green. Add a small amount of water if the mixture is too dry to puree.
For the Buerre Fondue, add the butter and cream to a pot and heat until the butter melts. Remove from heat and add the lemon zest. Let stand for about 1 minute. Blend the mixture until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot, and add the lemon segments, salt and pepper. Heat until the mixture begins to steam, about 135F.
Add the prawns to the Buerre Fondue and cook for about 5 minutes.
To serve, drizzle each plate with the herb coulis and pile the chickpeas near the center of the plate. Top with the poached prawns and a drizzle of the Buerre Fondue.
Makes 6 servings.
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Salmon with Split Peas and Bacon in a Mussel Broth with Spinach
Inn at Langley, Langley, Washington
4 wild salmon fillets 4-5 ounces
2 cups cooked split peas (cooked al dente and rinsed)
1/4 cup cooked bacon fine diced
1 shallot, sliced
2 pounds Penn Cove mussels
1/4 bottle fruity white wine
1/2 pounds butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tablespoons crème fraiche
4 cups fresh spinach, cleaned
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325F.
Rinse the salmon fillets and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a saute pan large enough to hold two of the fillets over medium-high heat. Add the salmon fillet and sear on one side. Remove from the sauté pan and place on a baking tray, seared side up. Repeat with the remaining two fillets. Cook in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until the fish is opaque. Set aside and let it rest in a warm space.
While the salmon is roasting, heat the peas with the butter and lemon, and keep warm over low heat.
In a third pan, sauté the sliced shallot with the bacon until the shallot is soft and translucent. Add the mussels and deglaze the pan with the white wine. When the mussels open, pour off the broth into a shallow pan. Leave the mussels in the sauté pan and cover to keep warm.
Whisk the butter into the mussel broth, and then add the juice from one lemon. Set aside.
Saute the spinach in the butter and season with the minced shallot, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
To serve, divide the warm peas between four serving bowls and place the salmon on top. Top the salmon with the spinach and a dollop of crème fraiche. Then “hook” three of the mussels on top of that. Tuck a couple of shelled mussels around the salmon. Pour the broth around and garnish with tiny hyssop leaves and a drizzle of great olive oil. Serve right away.
Makes 4 servings
Meet the Author
Cynthia C. Nims and Lara Ferroni both live in Seattle. Lori McKean lives in Tolovana Park, OR.
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