Celebrate spring with these seafood sensations

Spring is here! So what better way to say good-bye to winter than with some fresh seafood. Bob Kinkead, chef and owner of Washington D.C.'s acclaimed Kinkead's restaurant, was invited on the “Today” show to share some favorite recipes from his new book, "Kinkead's Cookbook." Here are the recipes.
Pepita-Crusted Salmon With Chiles, Corn and Shrimp RagoûtBob Kinkead

Serves 6

To make the ancho crema, in a saucepan over high heat place the ancho with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Strain and dry. Remove the seeds and stems. In a blender, combine the softened ancho, orange juice, and salt. Puree to a paste. If too dry, add a little water. In a stainless steel bowl, mix the puree into the Salvadoran cream. The crema should be thick but pourable. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To make the cilantro cream, in a small saucepan bring 2 cups of water and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Blanch the cilantro leaves and scallion for 1 minute and refresh in an ice-water bath. Strain and squeeze dry. Transfer to a blender and puree. Place the puree in a stainless steel bowl, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, and remaining salt, and mix well. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To make the salmon, preheat the oven to 375°F. Blanch the corn in salted, boiling water for 4 minutes, or until tender. Strain and reserve. In a food processor, place the pepitas and tortilla chips and pulse to a medium coarse mixture.

Salt and pepper each salmon fillet and dip into the but­termilk on one side only. Next, dip each fillet into the pepita-tortilla mixture. Let rest in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil. When hot, sauté the fillets, coated side down, for 3 minutes or so, until they start to brown. Carefully turn over and place in the oven for 4 to 6 minutes, until just barely cooked in the center. You will most likely need to do this in two batches for 6 portions.

To make the shrimp ragout, in a sauté pan over medium­-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil and sauté the onions until transparent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze with the white wine and add the blanched corn, scallions, poblanos, tomatillos, potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, and half of the diced tomatoes. Cook for about 2 minutes and whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Chop half of the cilantro leaves and set some aside for garnish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer from the heat and stir in most of the chopped cilantro leaves and crabmeat.

To make a tomato relish, combine the remaining tomatoes with the olive oil, the remaining chopped cilantro, and the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice.

To serve, divide the shrimp ragout onto 6 warm plates. There should be slightly more than 3/4 cup on each. Top with a fillet of salmon. To garnish, drizzle on the ancho crema and cilantro cream. Top each fillet with the tomato relish and sprinkle with the whole cilantro leaves.

91233536048139804Ancho Cremaancho chile11 ancho chileorange juice1tablespoon1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juicekosher salt0.25teaspoon1/4 teaspoon kosher saltsalvadoran crema or sour cream0.5cup1/2 cup Salvadoran crema or sour creamCilantro Creamkosher salt0.25teaspoon1/4 teaspoon kosher saltloosely packed cilantro leaves1cup1 cup loosely packed cilantro leavesscallion11 scallion, choppedmayonnaise2tablespoon2 tablespoons mayonnaisesour cream4tablespoon4 tablespoons sour creamSalmoncorn2earKernels from 2 ears corn (about 2 cups)pepitas0.5cup1/2 cup pepitas, toastedtortilla chips1cup1 cup tortilla chipssea salt and cracked black pepperSea salt and cracked black peppersalmon fillets30ounce30 ounces salmon fillets, skinned and cut into 6 portionsbuttermilk1cup1 cup buttermilkShrimp Ragoût and Tomato Relishpeanut or vegetable oil0.5cup1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oilyellow onion11 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)garlic2clove2 cloves garlic, minceddry white wine0.25cup1/4 cup dry white winescallions44 scallions, dicedpoblano chiles22 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, and dicedtomatillos55 fresh tomatillos, dicedrusset potatoes2cup2 Russet potatoes, peeled, diced, and blanched (about 2 cups)lime juice3tablespoon3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juiceplum tomatoes6cup6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (about 2-1/2 cups)butter1cup1 cup (2 sticks) buttershrimp1818 medium shrimp (26 to 30 count), peeled, deveined and cut into large dicekosher salt and black pepperKosher salt and freshly ground black peppercilantro1bunch1 bunch cilantro, leaves only (about 3/4 cup loosely packed)jumbo lump crab meat8ounce8 ounces jumbo lump crab meat (picked for shells)olive oil1teaspoon1 teaspoon olive oil

Grilled Oysters and PancettaBob Kinkead

Serves 6 as a first course or makes 30 hors d’oeuvres

Soak six 7-inch wood skewers in ice water for 1 hour. Shuck the oysters and drain, reserving the liquid. Clean and reserve the deep top shells; discard the bottom shells.

In a sauté pan over high heat, bring about 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Blanch the pancetta for 1 to 2 minutes, drain, and cool. Unroll the pancetta so that it is like strips of bacon. Dry the oysters in a paper towel and roll one strip of pancetta around each. For each serving, double­-skewer five pancetta-rolled oysters and chill for 30 minutes.

To make the oyster butter sauce, in a noncorrosive saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar, white wine, and 1/4 of the minced shallots. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to almost a glaze. Add the oyster liquor and cook until reduced by half. Whisk in the butter, add salt and pepper to taste, and remove from the heat.

To make the balsamic mignonette, in a bowl, combine the remaining shallots with the cracked black pepper, balsamic vinegar, and Chianti.

To grill the oysters and pancetta, preheat a grill (prefer­ably charcoal or, better yet, wood-fired). When hot, grill the skewers on one side until the meat is brown and not sticking to the grill. Turn and grill the other side. The pancetta should be crispy and the oysters still moist. Keep warm.

To serve, spread the rock salt on 6 plates and place 5 of the empty oyster shells on each. Remove the oysters from the skewers. Place a cooked oyster in each shell. Spoon about a half teaspoon of the balsamic mignonette on each oyster. Garnish with the oyster butter sauce and a small rosemary sprig. Serve hot.

912335360489620966049933091atlantic oysters 3030 Atlantic oysters (such as Nantucket or Bluepoint)pancetta30slice30 slices pancetta, sliced 1/16- to 1/8-inch thickcoarse rock salt or sea saltCoarse rock salt or sea saltrosemary sprigs66 rosemary sprigs or other fresh herb, for garnishoyster butter sauceOyster butter saucewhite wine vinegar1teaspoon1 teaspoon white wine vinegardry white wine2tablespoon2 tablespoons dry white wineshallot1 large shallot, mincedbutter6tablespoon6 tablespoons butterkosher salt and black pepperKosher salt and freshly ground black pepperbalsamic mignonetteBalsamic Mignonetteblack pepper1teaspoon1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepperbalsamic vinegar0.25cup1/4 cup balsamic vinegarchianti or valpolicella4tablespoon4 tablespoons Chianti or Valpolicella

Recipes excerpted from "Kinkead's Cookbook: Recipes from Washington D.C.'s Premier Seafood Restaurant," by Bob Kinkead. Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kinkead. Published by Ten Speed Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt can be used without permission of the publisher.

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