Who among us can resist fresh seafood, the exclamation point to the Pacific Northwest menu. Among Andaluca's taste sensations this spring: Grilled Pacific Halibut, seasoned with Chef Wayne's special Fragrant Spice Rub. Here's his not-so-secret recipe:
SAFFRON COUSCOUS (Yields 4 cups)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups Israeli couscous
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
3 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup saffron tea*
Saute couscous in butter, salt and pepper for approximately 3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Add chicken stock, bay leaf and saffron tea and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, covered.
*Place two teaspoons saffron threads in 1 cup of water, bring to a rolling boil. Or purchase a stash at a specialty tea and spice shop.
FRAGRANT SPICE RUB (Yields 1 cup)
Developed especially for this dish by Executive Chef Wayne Johnson
1 cup coriander seeds, crushed
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
3 tablespoons nigella seed
3 tablespoons yellow mustard seed
3 tablespoons cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
Place all ingredients in a container and mix well. Store on your spice shelf in an airtight container. Or purchase a jar of "Andaluca Spice" rub, available at the restaurant.
TOMATO GINGER JAM (Yields 3 cups)
2 1/2 cups Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ginger, very finely julienned
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons garam masala (available from your local spice merchant or Indian market)
Place all ingredients in a heavy stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often, being careful not to scorch. Reduce heat to low simmer and cook until very thick and jam-like (approximately one hour). Stir frequently to prevent burning. Chutney will become shiny and almost transparent when it is ready. Cool in shallow pan.
PRESENTATION: Roll Halibut in Fragrant Spice Rub. Grill until done. Place fish on a bed of saffron couscous. Garnish with Tomato Ginger Jam.