Each year, the city of Seattle hosts “Dine Around Seattle”, a fine-dining experience you don’t want to miss. Now in its tenth year, this twice a year promotion has become so woven into the culinary culture the Northwest, that locals and visitors alike anxiously anticipate its arrival.
How it works:
Each March and November, Sundays through Thursdays, Seattle area’s finest restaurants offer 3-course dinners for a mere $30 (tax and tip not included). This includes selections for appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Many of the restaurants also offer lunch for $15. One of our favorite takeaways from the event is the delicious recipes that many local Seattle chefs share. Here are a few from November 2011’s Dine Around Seattle event.
Spaghetti Squash with Cranberries, Scallions, and Pistachios
Restaurant Zoë, Chef Scott Staples
- 1 large Spaghetti Squash, cooked and cleaned (yield 4 cups cooked)
- 3 Tbsp Dried Cranberries, soaked in Red Wine Vinegar
- 4 Tbsp Pistachios, toasted and crushed
- 1 bunch Scallions, thinly sliced
- 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- Salt, to taste
- White Pepper, to taste
- 2-3 Tbsp Pistachio Oil for garnish
Cut squash in half lengthwise and place on sheet tray, cut side up. Place 3 tablespoons of butter inside squash and lightly season with salt and white pepper. Cover squash with foil and cook in oven at 325-350 degrees F. When squash is tender to the touch (approximately 30-45 minutes), remove from oven and uncover. Scrape squash with a fork to remove from its skin. You can place this in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. To assemble this dish put the remaining butter in to a sauté pan over medium heat. Melt butter, add squash and heat through. Then add cranberries, pistachios, scallions and season to taste. Remove from heat and put onto serving dish, drizzle pistachio oil over and around the squash to garnish.
Etta’s New Dungeness Crab Cakes
Etta’s, From Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen
This is a lighter and creamier version of our original Etta’s crab cake. All the bread crumbs are on the outside of the cakes and get golden brown and delicious after being sautéed. These crab cakes are soft and need at least an hour to chill before pan frying to handle well. Note: To make fresh bread crumbs, use supermarket white sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process to fine crumbs in a food processor.
- 1 large Egg Yolk
- 1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tbsp Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp Onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp Tabasco
- ½ tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
- ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
- ¼ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Sour Cream
- 1 lb Fresh Dungeness Crabmeat, drained, picked clean of shell, and lightly squeezed of excess moisture if the crabmeat is wet
For dredging and frying
- 4 cups Fresh Bread Crumbs (see Note)
- 3 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- Green Cocktail Sauce (see recipe)
- 4 Lemon Wedges
In a food processor, combine the egg yolk, vinegar, mustard, bell pepper, onion, parsley, Tabasco, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Pulse to finely mince the vegetables and combine all the ingredients. With the motor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube until the mixture emulsifies and forms a thin mayonnaise. (Note: this amount of mayonnaise will not emulsify in the largest size food processor. Use a medium-size processor, a mini processor, or mince the vegetables very fine and use a blender.)
Transfer the mayonnaise to a large bowl and stir in the sour cream, then use a rubber spatula to fold in the crabmeat. Gently form 8 patties, about 3-inches wide by ¾-inch thick. Put the breadcrumbs in a shallow container and mix in the 3 tablespoons parsley. Lightly dredge the patties on both sides in the bread crumbs. Cover the crab cakes with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or longer.
Put 2 large nonstick skillets over medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of butter to each pan. When the butter is melted, add 4 crab cakes to each pan. Gently fry the crab cakes until they are golden brown on both sides and hot through, turning once with a spatula, about 4 minutes per side. ( The internal temperature of a crab cake should be 155ºF on an instant-read thermometer.)
Transfer the crab cakes to plates, serving 2 to each person, accompanied by ramekins of green cocktail sauce and lemon wedges. 4 servings.
Green Cocktail Sauce
Yields 2/3 cup
- 8 oz Tomatillos, husked and cut into quarters
- 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Green Tabasco
- 1 tsp Garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds, toasted (see note)
- 1 tsp Fresh Horseradish, peeled and grated
Put the tomatillos in the bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely pureed. Remove the tomatillo puree to a sieve, drain off the liquid and discard. Put the drained puree in a bowl and stir in the vinegar, sugar, green Tabasco, garlic, mustard seeds, and horseradish.
Note: To toast spices, place them in a small heavy skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, shaking or stirring constantly, just until they are lightly browned and aromatic.
Make your reservations now for Dine Around Seattle, running March 1-29th, 2012. For more great Seattle chef recipes, go to http://dinearoundseattle.org.