Can’t wait to try some of these! Recipes below are from Chef Melinda Burdo herself.
Roasted Moroccan Eggplant Relish
Makes about 2 ½ cups
Kitchen Note: I usually default to a microplane tool for zesting my citrus. But in this recipe, I want the citrus flavor to be very pronounced and not lost with all the other ingredients. So, here I use a vegetable peeler to peel the citrus and then chop the peel which gives me a more robust citrus flavor.
2 whole eggplants, medium size, sliced lengthwise into 4 slices each
1 of each red and yellow bell peppers, cut in half, seeds removed
1 whole red onion, peeled and sliced into 1 inch rounds
½ cup olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons fresh garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 ½ teaspoon cumin, ground
½ teaspoon coriander, ground
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
1 whole lemon, juice and zest
1 whole orange, juice and zest
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the eggplant on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Tuck the bell peppers and onion slices in and around the eggplant. Brush all the vegetables with the olive oil and season liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in oven and roast until all the vegetables are well softened and lightly browned, about 35 minutes. Turn the pan half way through cooking to ensure even browning. When done, remove from the oven, cover with foil and set aside.
When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, find a large mixing bowl to combine all the ingredients. Chop the eggplant into very small pieces, kind of making a mash with your knife. While chopping, discard about half of the eggplant skin and include the remaining skin with the eggplant. Peel the skin away from the bell peppers and chop well. Chop the onion well. Place all in the mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Add the garlic, cilantro, parsley, cumin, coriander, cayenne, lemon zest and juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Stir well to combine. Taste for seasoning and add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
I like this relish most as an appetizer with honey chevre on whole wheat crackers. It is also great as a topping for grilled chicken or white fish. Or, try adding it to a simple red sauce and toss with pasta and parmesan cheese.
Burdo, November 2013
Wok Fried Dungeness Crab
Serves 2 – 3
Kitchen Note: As with many Asian recipes done in a wok, it is important to make this dish quickly with very high heat. Having all your ingredients prepped, lined up and ready to go will help make this very speedy.
1 whole Dungeness crab, cooked, cleaned, and broken down into legs and body sections
¼ cup peanut oil
¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
¼ cup fresh lemongrass, outer leaves removed and cut into thin matchsticks
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, peeled and smashed into a soft paste
½ cup scallions, mid section removed, white and green sections cut into thin matchsticks, separated in half
1 whole orange, peeled zest and juice separated
1 cup sake
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (I like the Lee Kum Kee brand)
3 whole limes, juiced
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
Crack the crab: Ask your fishmonger to do this for you. Or, place a towel on your counter and put a few legs on the towel at a time. Using a cleaver or meat tenderizer, gently cut or hit the legs to break the shells. This allows the sauce to penetrate the shells and flavor the crab as well as making it easier to get the meat while eating.
Heat a wok over very high heat. Add the peanut oil in a circle, covering the outer perimeter of the wok. Working quickly, add the ginger and lemongrass and cook over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Carefully add the crab pieces, garlic, half of the scallions, and orange zest. Stir quickly to combine all ingredients, then fully cover and let cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
Uncover the wok and add the sake, chili garlic sauce, reserved orange juice, lime juice, and tamari. Stir well to cover all the crab with the sauce. Lower the heat to medium, place the lid back on the wok and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the lid, try the sauce and adjust for seasoning. Continue to cook for a minute or two longer or until the sauce coats the crab shells; it should be slightly thickened.
Tumble the crab out onto a large platter and garnish with the remaining scallions, sesame seeds, and lime wedges.
Burdo, November 2013