Planked Wild Salmon with Nectarines, Thyme, Honey, Almonds, and Ricotta — Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Dinner is served -- right off the grill.

Dinner is served — right off the grill.

 

This might be the ultimate summer dish.

“Planked Wild Salmon with Nectarines, Thyme, Honey, Almonds, and Ricotta” combines summer’s prize of wild local King salmon with some of the season’s most luscious stone fruit — all co-mingled on a cedar plank that imparts a ravishing smokiness on the backyard grill.

Best yet? You can devour it all in good conscience because it’s all sustainable.

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes From the West Coast” (Figure 1), of which I received an advance review copy, before it is released publicly in October.

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It was written by Ned Bell, who founded Chefs for Oceans to raise awareness for responsible seafood choices, and is a member of the Seafood Watch’s Blue Ribbon Task Force. He wrote it in conjunction with Valerie Howes, the food editor of Reader’s Digest Canada.

Doing the right thing when it comes to seafood can be daunting. Species that seemed plentiful often find themselves over-fished in no time flat. Do we have to give up eating what we love? Or is there another way?

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Just Pickle It — With SuckerPunch Gourmet

Making a Bloody Mary at home is a breeze with SuckerPunch Gourmet mixes.

Making a Bloody Mary at home is a breeze with SuckerPunch Gourmet mixes.

 

When David van Alphen launched his pickle-making business in Illinois in 2011, he wanted to give it a name that would convey the wallop of flavor he hoped to seal inside every jar.

Hence, SuckerPunch Gourmet was born.

Today, it makes not only pickles, but salsas and Bloody Mary mixes. I had a chance to try samples recently.

The Spicy Garlic Originals ($5.99 for a 24-ounce jar) is indeed the product that launched the company. Cut into thick slices, these are plenty garlicky, flavored with 15 spices including cloves and black peppercorns, and get a warm kick from arbol chiles. They are perfect tucked into a pastrami sandwich.

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Downtown Los Gatos Welcomes the Catamount

Soft serve with a chocolate magic shell and caramel sauce at The Catamount.

Soft serve with a chocolate magic shell and caramel sauce at The Catamount.

 

Following in the footsteps of Pizzeria Delfina, Gott’s and Tacolicious — all San Francisco restaurants that have ventured southward — now comes The Catamount in downtown Los Gatos.

It’s the newest establishment by restaurateur Ray Tang of the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco.

The handsome, 10,000-square-foot restaurant opened earlier this summer in the old California Cafe building. The interior was completely redone. The once open kitchen was closed off with trendy barn doors. The bar and dining room have been given the air of a modern plantation with breezy ceiling fans, plenty of rattan, and loads of windows to let streams of natural light in.

The old California Cafe redone completely.

The old California Cafe redone completely.

The inviting bar.

The inviting bar.

Its name pays tribute to the town’s name (Spanish for “the cats”), as well as its surrounding mountainous landscape.

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Coffee So Good

Raw cacao, cashews, a touch of sea salt, and cold-pressed coffee make up this Cashew Mocha.

Raw cacao, cashews, a touch of sea salt, and cold-pressed coffee make up this Cashew Mocha.

 

Coffee So Good is coffee so nutty, too.

In the best of ways.

This organic cold brew coffee manages to be creamy while being vegan.

The secret is cashews.

The nuts provide the creaminess that milk or cream normally would. Each 10-ounce bottle has 160-180 calories, as well as 4 grams of protein, about 10 grams of fat, and about 9 grams of sugar from agave nectar, depending upon the flavor.

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Aebleskiver with Lemon Curd, Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Danish doughnuts to dunk into thick, tangy lemon curd.

Danish doughnuts to dunk into thick, tangy lemon curd.

 

Keep Portland weird?

I say: “Keep Portland delish, too!”

This Pacific Northwest city is famous for embracing and celebrating the quirky, the off-beat, and the unconventional in everything.

Of course, the most fun way get to know any city is through its food. Whether you’re planning your first trip to Portland or wanting a keepsake that pays tribute to the city’s vast culinary treasures, “Portland Cooks: Recipes From the City’s Best Restaurants & Bars” (Figure 1), of which I received a review copy, is sure to rev the appetite.

The book is by James Beard Award-winning food writer Danielle Centoni, a former colleague of mine who was once the food editor of the Oakland Tribune, and now lives in Portland.

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Forty restaurants, bakeries and bars are spotlighted, with each showcasing their distinctiveness in two recipes apiece. Indulge in everything from Ataula’s “Salt Cod Croquetas” to DOC Yakuza’s ” Okonomiyaki with Wild Mushrooms” to Olympia Provisions’ “Pan-Roasted Halibut with Shrimp, Clam, and Andouille Stew” to Salt & Straw Wiz Bang Bar’s “Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Marionberry-Habanero Ribbons.”

“Aebleskiver with Lemon Curd” from Broder restaurant sounded so good that I had to dig out my aebleskiver pan just to make them. The restaurant is famous for its Scandinavian-inspired breakfasts and lunches. And these puffy, doughnut-hole-shaped pancakes are super popular.

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