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Fish Recipe: Estonian Creamy Fish Soup

By Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly

Over the years as we have traveled and explored the markets of the Baltic and Scandinavia, our chefs have developed a love of earthy Nordic food, ingredients, techniques, and traditions. One of our most popular chefs, Karlis Celms, came to us from Riga, Latvia as our local chef host leading our Culinary Discovery Tour through the Riga market.

This excursion, Chef’s Market Tour & Latvian Cooking Lesson, takes you on an insider’s tour of Europe’s largest market and bazaar, Riga Central Market. You have the chance to taste local specialties such as smoked herring, local cheeses, traditional rye breads, and regional sweet treats — plus we shop for ingredients for your cooking class. You’ll have ample time to take in the unique atmosphere and architecture of this bustling UNESCO World Heritage site. You also get a great panoramic tour of Riga as we travel to and from the market – keep an eye out for the famed Art Nouveau Street, where you can really get a good look at the stunning architecture of this city.

Back on board at The Culinary Center, we dive into a true farm-to-table cooking experience as we prepare traditional dishes such as Latvian meatballs in a cream gravy and root potato mash as well as seasonal berries made into a chutney or perhaps spring mushrooms for a duxelle tart. It all depends on what we find in the market! We top it all off with a delicious lunch paired with artisanal beers we specially select – a true celebration of all that makes Nordic cuisine so special.

So start planning your next culinary adventure with us and cook up a Nordic feast with this delicious fish soup – one of my favorites from Latvia’s neighboring country, Estonia.

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ESTONIAN CREAMY FISH SOUP

Serves 4

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely diced onion
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock, cold
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups 1-inch red new potato cubes
½ pound salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pound halibut fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 to 2 teaspoons fish sauce
Coarsely ground white and pink peppercorns, to taste
2 tablespoons each chopped fresh dill and chopped chives

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sweat the onions with the allspice, bay leaves, and thyme until onions soften and aromas bloom, about  6 minutes. Add the cold stock, cream and potatoes and simmer until potatoes are al dente, about 10 minutes. Add the fish and continue to simmer until the fish is cooked, about 5 minutes. Taste and add fish sauce and cracked pepper to season.

Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with dill and chives – and enjoy!

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Chef Kelly’s Croquetas Cubanas

I love Cuban sandwiches, so this recipe brings the flavor profile of a traditional Cubano to this classic finger food. Whenever I have gatherings, these are always a crowd favorite, so they make the perfect surprise for parties. I make them the night before, refrigerate the balls overnight and they come out perfectly. Enjoy them with a mojito and imagine yourself in a classic Havana bar. Read on to find out how to make Cuban croquetas!

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Chef Kelly’s Favorite Coconut Shrimp

coconut shrimp, easy coconut shrimp recipe, how to make coconut shrimp, authentic coconut shrimp

There’s something magical about the turquoise waters of the South Pacific and the local tropical ingredients that inspire flavorful fare. This classic recipe uses the standard breading technique of flour, egg, and bread crumbs, but with a twist – chickpea flour. I love the nutty taste of the chickpea flour as a substitute for traditional white flour. A proper breading technique creates a coating that steams the fish inside, so be sure to avoid overcooking it.

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Chef Kelly’s Vaca Frita

Cuban cuisine is hearty, luscious, flavorful – and meant to be shared. One of the most classic Cuban recipes, vaca frita, is also one of my favorites. A close cousin of ropa vieja, it’s a vibrant dish featuring tender and crispy beef infused with garlic and island-fresh lime. Served with rice and black beans and a cold mojito, it’s the perfect taste of Cuba. ¡Buen provecho!