Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shefzilla "Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home"

Do I really have to put my flip-flops away? Is the party over? Farmer's Market season is coming to an end here in Minneapolis. One "Last Hurrah", a chance to soak in my favorite newly discovered (by me anyway) Kingfield Farmer's Market on Nicollet Ave. A few weeks ago I made my way to this cozy "Sunday only" market with a goal. My mission was to secure a signed copy of Stewart Woodman's new cookbook "Shefzilla" Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home for my son Dan. We both have admired Stewart's creative food and style in his restaurant, Heidi's, (named after his wife an accomplished chef in her own right) and his food blog, Shefzilla. My mission was accomplished and I got a personalized copy of the book for Dan, instructing him to "Live his dream"...which he is doing in a fine restaurant in Los Angeles. I have yet to send it to him, because I can't put it down. Hopefully I won't get his copy all dog eared and stained before I get it in the mail. Better get my own copy!

Last Christmas when our family was all together in one state, we decided the six of us would enjoy a gift from a favorite Auntie and go out to enjoy some fine dining. We picked Heidi's, had a "lick your plate" meal and had wonderful family time and tried not to be too giddy as we discretely took pictures of our food. Dan went back into the kitchen to give Stewart his regards and praise. So glad we did because the restaurant was destroyed by fire a few months later. There is a happy ending though...this new cookbook was born from this "time off" for the Woodman's and they will be opening the restaurant in a new space on Lyndale Ave. before the first of the year if all goes as planned.

So fun to meet Stewart. I think I stumbled over my struck by chef celebritydom. The book is great, giving the home cook flavors that are unique and will keep your guests wanting more. Perfect if you're looking for that show stopping dish to bring to a holiday party.

The Woodman children were right there at their side as they demonstrated , Seared Salmon Spring Rolls, Simply delicious. The dipping sauce gives it that "give me more" flavor. That's one of the things that makes this cookbook great. He shares many of his sauces, stocks, dips that add that extra pop to the dishes. It inspired me to go to Penzey's Spices to pick up some pink peppercorns, black sesame seeds and a few more interesting spices to add to my repitoire.

The side bars (gold text boxes) also make this book extraordinary. Stewart shares his insight about his he came to this place and how deeply in love he is with his craft. Not just a cookbook, but stories and life's lessons to boot.

Yes, that's me next to Heidi. I was in the crowd and got to help with the demo. LOVED this day.

Everyone got to sample. Last week Stewart also shared this recipe on the morning news. Check the link for a video demo. of the recipe.

Seared Salmon Spring Rolls
Recipe by Chef Stewart Woodman
Shefzilla: Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home

Makes 5–6 rolls

For marinated salmon:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
1 pound salmon, cut in 1-inch strips
1 tablespoon canola oil

1. Place first 7 ingredients (soy sauce through celery salt) in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour over salmon and marinate, covered, in refrigerator 2 hours.

2. Preheat sauté pan over high heat, add canola oil, and heat to smoking point. Add salmon to the pan; discard marinade. Cook about 2 minutes, turning salmon occasionally to sear on all sides.

3. Remove salmon and pan juices to plate and let cool to about room temperature. Flake salmon with a fork and set aside with pan juices.

6 (8-inch) spring roll wrappers
About 24 to 30 cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced into thin 3-by-1/4-inch ribbons
About ½ cup Dipping Sauce

Fill large bowl with warm water. Working in batches, soak 1 to 3 spring roll wrappers in water until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove rounds from water and arrange in single layer on work surface. Place 4 to 5 cilantro leaves, 1/8 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, and 2 cucumber ribbons down middle of each round. Place about 1/3 cup flaked salmon filling with juices on each round. Fold one edge of each round over filling. Fold in ends. Roll up rice paper rounds tightly. Transfer to platter. Repeat with remaining rounds. Slice spring rolls in half diagonally. Spoon about 1 tablespoon dipping sauce over each half. Serve immediately.

Dipping Sauce
Makes about 2 ½ cups
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
6 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
10 tablespoons fish sauce
¼ cup shredded carrot

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Before I left the market, I was drawn to the Foxy Falafel tent, "Because Chickpeas are Cool". I happened to run into my new friend Crystal, a Twin Cities food writer and fellow "foodie" who writes Cafe Cyan. She was just handed her warm pita filled with crispy goodness and before she got her first bite, I asked if I could take a picture of any good blogger would do.

What makes these falafel so special is that they sprout the chickpeas increasing their nutritional value, plus digestibility...and the SAUCES, did I mention the sauces? Smoky garlicky harissa, cucumber yogurt and the lemony tahini sauce. Plus, these condiments.

Sorry to tease you, but Foxy Falafel is done for the season. You'll have to wait until next Spring. I am working on my own at home falafel recipes (which I will share) in case you can't wait that long. I know Foxy's are hard to sure to try their Beet Falafel...OUTSTANDING, with it's lemony goat cheese sauce. (I'm drooling)

Stay tuned for my next post. We enjoyed Shefzilla's Cilantro Pesto Shrimp Pizza, great flavor...I will share the green delight.

P.S. Did you know cilantro has amazing health properties?


Unknown said...

Awesome post, Kelli! Looks like so much fun, helping the Woodmans, running into Crystal, scoring Foxy Falafel, and enjoying the last Kingfield market of the season. I'm ready for spring!


Everything looks and sounds delicious . . . I can nearly smell it. I miss that fun shopping area in Minneapolis.


Crystal said...

Chickpeas are cool :) So great to run into you!

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