Cooking with Style

Cooking with Patrick you will learn some new tricks as well as enhancing your own personal cooking style. More »

Cooking is More than Just Food.

Cooking is about the experience, the aroma, the atmosphere. A nice coffee, tea or glass of wine can enhance any meal. More »

Never Forget the Dessert

The right dessert and aperitif can really finish off a fantastic meal. More »

Fresh Tea can enhance the right meal

Brewing fresh tea or espresso can really finish off the meal and leave you feeling content. More »

Yummy! Learn to Cook with Style the Paddy Smyth Way

Cooking in Vancouver has enabled Patrick Smyth to learn the best techniques from this wonderfully cultural city. More »

 

Irish Scallop Ceviche (serves four)

This is Patrick Smyth’s recipe for ceviche – a great twist on a Peruvian classic

This Spanish classic is easy to make, and with scallops makes for a foo-foo appetizer which is a specialty in County Cork, Eire. The acidity of the citrus fruit ‘cooks’ the fish, and makes for a nice refreshing appy on a hot summer day.

½ kg bay scallops

Juice from 6 lemons

1 onion  – sliced thinly

2 sticks of celery – diced

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp ground pepper

½ tbsp white salt

1 tsp ginger – chopped finely

¼ cup fresh cilantro – chopped

In a glass bowl (never metal!) combine the lemon juice, ginger, celery, onion and olive oil. Add the scallops, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for no less than 2 hours. If possible, a full day of marinating is best and if there is now enough of the marinade to cover the mixture completely, add some water (not too much) until it is completely submerged, and cover with Saran wrap.  The flesh of the scallops should be white and opaque when ready.

Just before serving, add cilantro and toss.  Serve in glass bowls – Tall ice cream sundae dishes are the best

 

 

Ceviche, all jazzed up

 

When the ceviche appetizer comes to the table, it’s as beautiful as a peek into a tide pool brimming with sea life. A bright clamshell opens next to a curling purple octopus tendril; there’s a flash of pink shrimp tail and a pretty bed of green and red vegetables.

The interplay of colors and forms in Nobu Malibu’s ceviche hints at the amazing nuances of flavor to come: sweet seafood enlivened with bright citrus flavors and set off by summery tomatoes and an undercurrent of chile and ginger.

Once found only in Latin American restaurants — Mexican and Peruvian mostly — ceviche has become a favorite of chefs at many of the most innovative restaurants in town, and it’s gaining almost a cult following among diners. The familiar appetizer of raw fish “cooked” in lime juice and tossed with vegetables and chiles has gone creative and global in L.A. these days, blithely crossing boundaries and showing up in all sorts of new guises in all sorts of places — steakhouses, neighborhood California cuisineries, formal French restaurants and Japanese restaurants too.

Chefs just seem to love creating new ceviches — they’re found on many tasting menus — improvising new combinations of flavors with each new season or seafood delivery. Spontaneity is the point: making something wonderful with whatever’s freshest and best at the moment — and that means an ever-changing palette of seafood, citrus and vegetables.

Ravel Centeno-Rodriguez, co-owner of Minibar in Studio City, loves ceviches so much he’s dreamed of opening a “cevichería.”

Minibar offers ceviches with different ethnic twists — Ecuadorean, Hawaiian, Thai — on the regular menu, changing every few months. Chef Thomas Deville also dreams up a continuous line of ceviches du jour. One recent example, the Hawaiian ceviche, is made with ahi tuna, pineapple, soy sauce, shaved fennel and “gyoza chips.” Another with a Mediterranean twist cooks rock shrimp and albacore in a crunchy marinade of lime and orange juice, fresh tomatoes, diced red bell pepper, ginger and honey. Coming soon, as part of Minibar’s expansion: a raw bar with a big ceviche section.

Other restaurateurs might be a bit less ceviche-mad than Centeno-Rodriguez, but not by much. It’s no surprise to find it on the menu at Latin-focused places such as Norman’s in West Hollywood, Paladar in Hollywood or Border Grill in Santa Monica. But it’s also showing up at restaurants as different as the French-Mediterranean Lucques, the Japanese Nobu Malibu, the steakhouse Boa, and Meson G, where small plates rule.

Go ahead: improvise

The spirit of improvisation has always animated ceviche makers (the dish probably originated with fishermen who couldn’t cook on their boats and so “cooked” their catch with lime juice and added tomatoes, cilantro or whatever was at hand), so the current anything-goes mood among chefs is a natural stage in the dish’s evolution.

It’s also a product of distinctly L.A. conditions: the availability of great, incredibly fresh fish; a customer base that’s wild for flavor but shies away from carbs and calories; and a local love affair with raw fish — be it sushi, sashimi, ceviche or crudo.

“Ceviche tastes good, it’s refreshing, you feel good after you eat it,” says Suzanne Goin of Lucques. “It’s brightly flavored. In L.A. we eat a lot of sushi and sashimi. For me, ceviche connects with that too. That’s the nice thing about being a chef now in Southern California. I’m definitely not a fusion person, but you’re not so boxed in.”

Goin’s ceviche was inspired by a farmer’s “amazing” tangelos and Reed avocados to create an appetizer of pink-fleshed nairagi (the Hawaiian fish also known as striped marlin, or a’u) quick-marinated in lime and lemon juice, and served with avocado, tangelo, jalapeño and pistachios. Goin then worked with her Hawaiian fish supplier, who brought her different fish to sample, and she tasted various options until she settled on the nairagi. “It all came from a tangelo-avocado-pistachio place. The tangelos and their juice are bracing and taste really good cold; the avocados are buttery; and the fish is something that’s good very cold with a lot of lime and sea salt.”

At tiny Chloe in Playa del Rey, co-chefs de cuisine Abigail Wolfe and Ian Torres worked together to create their ceviche, a salad of albacore marinated in lime and tangerine juices, then mixed with a confetti of diced cilantro, cucumber, radish and corn and served mounded on greens.

“Albacore’s a really cool fish,” says Wolfe. “It’s really pale, and then when you toss it with the citrus, parts of it turn white. You don’t want it to ‘cook’ evenly. It’s beautiful when you can see the opaque and translucent parts.”

Torres, she says, had the idea to incorporate the vegetables so that it would be equally vegetables and fish, with lots of colors and textures. Thrilled with the arrival of early summer corn and cucumber, Wolfe and Torres tossed those vegetables into their surprising ceviche.

When chefs mix it up with ceviche, they ring changes in one or all of the three elements of the dish: seafood, citrus and vegetables.

Fishing about

The seafood can be all of one kind or a mixture. Mild-flavored white fish are often used, but these days, chefs might taste half a dozen fish — such as sea bass, halibut, hamachi — before selecting the right one for a particular ceviche. Shrimp, rock shrimp, scallops, squid, octopus have all shown up in a citrus bath on someone’s appetizer list. When fresh calamari came to town, Ciudad featured a minted calamari ceviche. Lee Heftner at Spago often has a ceviche on tasting menus there, frequently using hamachi.

At Boa Steakhouse and Lounge on the Sunset Strip, ceviche livens up the seafood platter appetizer, an amusing and impressive edifice of king crab legs, lobster and shellfish on ice. Served with warm, chewy sourdough rolls, the tangy ceviche of shrimp, fish, scallops or conch, depending on the season, complements the sweet cold crustaceans.

Even Umenohana, the Beverly Hills bastion of handcrafted tofu, offers an appetizer ceviche: a single shrimp and a single scallop marinated in lime juice, served in a chilled martini glass on a slice of lime and topped with a tiny scoop of apple-tomato sorbet. The sorbet’s designed to soften the acidity and enhance the sweetness, a departure from traditional chile-spiced ceviches.

“You have to have some kind of acid,” says Minibar’s Centeno-Rodriguez, “citrus or vinegar. The fish has to cure.”

While South American ceviches often use vinegar, just about every kind of citrus juice seems to have made its way into L.A. ceviches lately: tangerine, orange, lemon, lime, tangelo. Fish “cooks” differently in different citrus; chefs often combine less acidic juices such as orange with traditional lime.

Nobu Malibu’s ceviche is made with various combinations of white fish, shellfish, octopus, squid and shrimp in a sauce of yuzu and lemon juice, soy, ginger, garlic, black pepper and spicy aji amarillo chile paste.

Ceviche lovers look for a little something on the side too. At Café del Rey, the halibut ceviche, made with Buddha Hand citron juice and toasted coriander seeds, is served with Thai basil granita. Peruvian ceviches are served with potatoes and corn, but most of us, accustomed to Mexican ceviches, look for a chip equivalent.

“You always have to have a little bit of crunch,” says Centeno-Rodriguez, “whether it’s from the ceviche itself or what accompanies it. I always like ceviche with some kind of dipping tool — gyoza chips, arepas, plantain chips, tostones [plantain fritters], jicama chips, yucca chips. That’s part of the fun. It’s a little party in a bowl.”

Roots in Latin America

Ceviche was a specialty of Mexican beach resorts back in the day, and for decades it was most closely connected with Acapulco.

Longtime Mexico travelers remember that on boat tours taken from coastal resorts, the destination was often an isolated tropical beach where the boat crew would prepare ceviche for the visitors. Recipes for slightly more complicated ceviches using pompano, haddock, oysters, shrimp and snapper appear in cookbooks published in Mexico from the 1950s onward.

Ceviche is also a traditional dish in Ecuador and Peru, where it’s most often made with whole shrimp marinated in lemon juice then stirred into a salsa of finely diced tomato, onion and cilantro. Other fish and shellfish are also used, and many recipes call for the inclusion of chopped chiles, celery, garlic and other ingredients.

Ceviche’s roots make it a favorite among Latino kitchen staffers around town. It’s a popular staff dinner at Water Grill, where Chloe’s Wolfe, who is from Vermont, had her first taste of it while working at the downtown restaurant. It’s also often a staff meal at Cobra & Matadors, though it’s not currently on the menu there.

Caribbean, Asian flavors

Some dishes billed as ceviches veer off into tuna tartare or semi-sashimi territory. At Noe downtown, chef Robert Gadsby’s tuna ceviche with Bermuda onions and wasabi is soft slices of seemingly seared tuna — no chill, no crunch, no chiles. The ceviche on the menu at Ortolan veers a bit too: white salmon is marinated briefly in lime, then served with caviar and lime-and-lemongrass milkshake shots.

But many of the best ceviches we’ve tasted lately owe their exciting flavors to Caribbean and Asian ingredients. Conch, coconut, lemon grass, Asian chiles, ginger, Thai basil and other ingredients from citrus- and seafood-loving cuisines work beautifully.

The trick is to keep it simple. No matter how inspired the experiment, ceviche has to stay honest to its humble roots to be ceviche. Improvise away — but keep the mood casual.

Just slice up the freshest fish you can lay your hands on, squeeze the juiciest limes or lemons you’ve got, toss in the tastiest combination of chiles, raw vegetables, herbs and other salad-y things that strike your fancy. Marinate, mix, chill — and call it cooking.

*

Mediterranean ceviche

Total time: 40 minutes, plus 1 to 2 hours marinating time

Servings: 4 to 6

Note: From chef Thomas Deville at Minibar.

1 red bell pepper

1 jalapeño pepper

1/2 onion, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1/4 pound rock shrimp

1/4 pound albacore tuna

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tomatoes, seeded, not peeled, and diced small

2 drops Tabasco

2 green onions, green part only, very thinly sliced

1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons micro basil leaves or minced basil,

for garnish

Toasted pita triangles

1. Char the bell pepper and jalapeño pepper on a grill or stovetop burner, then place in a paper bag. When cool, peel, seed and dice, and set aside. Sauté the onion 3 to 4 minutes in 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Cool.

2. Drop the rock shrimp into boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, then remove and plunge the shrimp into an ice bath. Drain and pat dry.

3. Cut the albacore into pieces about the same size as the shrimp.

4. Place the shrimp and tuna in a bowl. Add the reserved chopped bell pepper, jalapeño, sautéed onion, lime and orange juices, diced tomatoes, Tabasco, green onions, ginger, lime zest, honey, salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours before serving.

5. To serve, garnish with basil and drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Serve with toasted pita triangles.


Each serving: 92 calories; 9 grams protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 3 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 37 mg. cholesterol; 428 mg. sodium.

*

Mixed seafood ceviche

Total time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Note: From Nobu Matsuhisa at Nobu Malibu. Look for yuzu juice in Asian markets; aji amarillo paste is available at Latin markets.

Ceviche sauce

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons yuzu juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon aji amarillo paste

In a bowl, combine the lemon and yuzu juice, salt, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, pepper and aji amarillo paste. Set aside.

Seafood and assembly

6 ounces mixed seafood such as halibut, shellfish, octopus, squid, shrimp

4 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

3/4 cup peeled and thinly sliced cucumber

4 each red, yellow and orange cherry tomatoes, halved

4 cilantro sprigs for garnish

1. Very thinly slice the raw fish. Shuck the shellfish, if using. If using octopus, cook it 15 to 20 minutes in boiling water, until opaque. If using squid or shrimp, cook very briefly by plunging into boiling water; when the water returns to a boil, remove the seafood from the pot and put into ice water to stop the cooking. Pat dry and cut into bite-size pieces.

2. Combine the seafood, chopped cilantro and vegetables in a large bowl. Gently stir in the ceviche sauce. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro sprigs.


Each serving: 65 calories; 9 grams protein; 6 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 33 mg. cholesterol; 437 mg. sodium.

*

Albacore ceviche salad

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

Note: From Abigail Wolfe and Ian Torres at Chloe in Playa del Rey.

1 cup sweet corn kernels, cut from 1 to 2 cobs

3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Salt, pepper

12 ounces raw albacore tuna

1/2 cup lime juice

4 tablespoons tangerine juice

1 1/3 cups peeled, seeded and diced cucumber

1 cup red radish, julienned

4 tablespoons chopped cilantro

12 leaves red leaf lettuce

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

1. Cook the corn kernels in 2 teaspoons oil in a small sauté pan for 2 to 3 minutes on low heat until crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper; place in a small bowl and chill.

2. Remove the sinew from the fish and cut the meat into small dice.

3. Combine the lime and tangerine juices with salt and pepper to taste, then whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup olive oil. Marinate the fish in this mixture for 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Combine the marinated fish with the chilled corn and the cucumber, radish and chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. To serve, place 2 lettuce leaves on each salad plate. Spoon some of the juices onto the leaves. Using a slotted spoon, mound the ceviche onto each plate. Garnish with cilantro.


Each serving: 356 calories; 15 grams protein; 10 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 30 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 26 mg. cholesterol; 38 mg. sodium.

My Secret Bouillabaisse Recipe

Patrick Smyth’s Thick Bouillabaisse Recipe

(French Provençal seafood stew)

Bouillabaisse is one of the great dishes of French Provençal cuisine. This recipe is simple and the key here is using top-notch ingredients, easily found in Vancouver. It is thicker than most classic recipes, but tastes awesome!

6 servings

Ingredients

Broth

  • Olive oil – 1/4 cup
  • White Onion, chopped – 1
  • Celery, chopped – 2 stalks
  • Garlic, minced – 4 cloves
  • Seafood bouillon cubes x 4 (optional)
  • Field Tomatoes, coarsely chopped – 1 pound
  • Fennel bulb – 1 chopped bulb
  • Orange peel (no white pith) – 1 piece, about 2 or 3 inches long chopped finely
  • Parsley – 6 sprigs
  • Fresh thyme – 2 sprigs
  • Salt – 2 teaspoons
  • Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Water – 2 quarts
  • White wine – 1 cup
  • Pernod – ¼ cup

Rouille

  • Red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded – 1
  • White Potato, cooked and peeled – 1 large
  • Garlic, crushed – 4 cloves
  • Serrano chile pepper, minced – ½ (less if you don’t like spicy)
  • Fresh basil – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • Olive oil – 1/4 cup
  • Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon

To Finish

  • Fish and seafood (white fish (halibut), prawns, octopus, scallops, clams, mussels, crab — 2 to 3 pounds (NEVER use an oily fish like salmon) – 5 to 6 pounds NB – mixing it up is best
  • French bread or similar bake and serve bread sliced and toasted – 3 pieces per person

Method

  1. For the Broth: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium flame. Add the onions, celery and garlic and sauté slowly until the onions are wilted and translucent. Stir in all the remaining broth ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Adjust its seasoning with salt and pepper. (The recipe can be prepared up to this point and the broth kept in the fridge until needed.)
  3. For the Rouille: Place the roasted pepper, potato, garlic, chile pepper, basil, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor with a little of the broth from above. With the blender or processor running, gradually pour in the olive oil. Thin out the sauce a little with more of the broth if needed. The rouille should be thick but spreadable. Adjust seasoning and place in a small bowl. (best served warm)
  4. To Finish: Bring the broth to a simmer again over medium heat. Add the fish and seafood in batches, starting with the firmest fish first and ending with the most delicate seafood. Simmer until all the fish and seafood is cooked through, about 5 minutes. DO NOT overcook!!!
  5. To serve, Place a piece of each type of fish and seafood in each bowl and spoon the broth over all. Smear the rouille on bread and eat on the side as an accompaniment.

And there you have it – my favourite Bouillabaisse recipe!

Great Recipe for Spag Bol (spaghetti bolognese)

This morning we woke up to 12 degrees Celsius here in Vancouver, and immediately looked at the trees across from my patio to see if they were turning brown.  Had I slept through August and most of September?

So I started thinking about what to cook for dinner and came across the following great article found in the London Daily Telegraph.

While the dish has been a staple for millions of diners around the world for decades, Italians claimed the original recipe has become so corrupted it is in urgent need of culinary rescue.

Gourmands insist that the popular dish’s apparent simplicity is deceptive, and throw their arms up in dismay when they see chicken or turkey used as a substitute for the key ingredient, minced beef.

In an attempt to restore the integrity of the dish known to millions of British diners as “spag bol”, nearly 450 chefs in Italian restaurants in 50 countries cooked spaghetti bolognese on Sunday with authentic ingredients including pancetta, carrots, celery, onions, tomato paste and a dash of wine.

They had to conform to a recipe set down in 1982 by the chamber of commerce in Bologna – the home of bolognese.

Most people, particularly foreigners, get the recipe wrong from the very start, purists insist. Instead of spaghetti, they say it is tagliatelle that should be cooked to go with the rich meat and tomato sauce, making it “tag bol” rather than “spag bol”.

“Along with lasagne, spaghetti bolognese is the most abused Italian dish. There are some crazy versions out there,” said Massimo Bottura, a bolognese “virtuoso” who runs a restaurant in Modena. The worst he had ever eaten was in Bangkok. “It was terrible,” he told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Abominations such as turkey mince, American meatballs, butter and cream have no part in a true spaghetti bolognese and need to be stamped out, say the guardians of Italy’s culinary heritage.

“Abroad, when they offer spaghetti bolognese, it’s often something that has nothing at all to do with the original,” said Alfredo Tomaselli, the owner of Dal Bolognese, in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo, who counts among his past customers George Clooney.

It is not only spaghetti bolognese that is subject to abuse in the kitchens of the world.

Other Italian dishes that have gained worldwide popularity, such as spaghetti carbonara, Neapolitan pizza, pesto and the creamy dessert tiramisu, have also been compromised, often with results that are close to inedible.

“It is always the great classic recipes that get most twisted around,” said Alessandro Circiello, of the Italian Federation of Chefs.

RECIPE: The perfect spaghetti bolognese (as adapted by Patrick Smyth)

Serves four people

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

6 rashers of streaky ‘pancetta’ bacon, chopped

2 large onions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 carrots, chopped

Stick of celery

1kg/2¼lb lean minced beef

2 large glasses of red wine

2x400g cans chopped tomatoes

2 fresh or dried bay leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper

800g-1kg/1¾-2¼lb dried tagliatelle

freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and fry the bacon until golden over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, frying until softened. Increase the heat and add the minced beef. Fry it until it has browned. Pour in the wine and boil until it has reduced in volume by about a third. Reduce the temperature and stir in the tomatoes and celery.

2. Cover with a lid and simmer over a gentle heat for 1-1½ hours until it’s rich and thickened, stirring occasionally.

3. Cook the tagliatelle in plenty of boiling salted water. Drain and divide between plates. Sprinkle a little Parmesan over the pasta before adding a good ladleful of the sauce. Finish with a further scattering of cheese and a twist of black pepper.

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Patrick Smyth Vancouver Cooking – A Bit About Patrick Smyth

Cooking with Patrick Smyth

Corona Time, with a little Mexican Food

A bit about who I really am! Patrick Smyth in Vancouver.

Patrick Smyth is the Founder and Managing Director of Ocean Eclipse Venture Capital Inc., that provided venture capital, early stage financing, corporate and public media relations, investment research, analysis, taking private companies public, 504 PPM’s and other specialized services to emerging technology and breakout corporations.

He was also the Founder and Managing Director at iSmartCheck, an electronic transaction processor and provider of online payment solutions working closely with major banks and processing corporations.

Mr. Smyth has a number of years experience include the building of infrastructures and management of private and public companies; specifically in high technology industries. His broad experience also covers the fields of eCommerce, Database Management, Financial Accounting and Public Markets, and he has had interests of varying degrees in a number of other companies, both private and publicly traded, in the Financial Processing Industry, Telecommunications Industry, Commodities, Oil & Gas, Green Energy Technologies and Online Advertising.

Mr. Smyth has a history in wanting to better the planet, including being the recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, working with Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. and co-founding Clean Goal LLC. Patrick spends as much time as he can outdoors, is a member of the Surfrider Foundation and makes conscious efforts to being part of the solution from the simple act of promoting ‘catch & release’ to investing in new technologies that profit both the environment and the pocket-book.

Mr. Smyth was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, graduating from St. George’s Boys School and then attended the University of British Columbia graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Specialties

• Finance, raising capital, public company filings
• Securities Law
• Energy
• Payment processing
• Electronic payment solutions
• Public Speaking and Public relations
• Corporate Management
• Casinos, Poker, Gaming, Sportsbooks
• Financial processing
• Mergers and Acquisition
• Successful start up experience