24 September 2012

What They Are Saying About Fiore

Making happy clients is my business.  Here are some letters from summer clients that make me proud.

"Fiore is the hardest-working real estate agent I've met. He tirelessly worked with me and my fiancé over 6 months to find us the perfect house in Queen Anne. Fiore doesn't try to oversell you - he's more interested in finding a good fit. I really appreciate Fiore's work - and will continue to refer my friends to him.” 
—Kurt W., Queen Anne
"I could not have asked for more from Fiore. Top notch professionally & personally. He was great at reading our knowledge and needs as well as anticipating potential challenges and preparing us to make well-informed decisions. Without Fiore's expertise and professionalism, we are not sure if we would have bought this house, which we love so much! We were nervous to ask too much in concessions after the inspection. Fiore was very confident we could ask for a lot back and since we trusted him, we agreed. We ended up getting way more than we expected and are VERY grateful for his advice on every step of the process!"

—Katie K., North Beach

From the Chef ~ Home-cured Salmon Roe Caviar

It's been a busy summer out on the Sound, and this year that has meant lots of wild blackberries, dungeness crab and salmon.  Besides home-cured lox, one of my favorite new foodstuffs is home-cured salmon roe caviar.  I say "home-cured" and not "homemade" because really you are just tweaking a food that the salmon hens so graciously produce all on their own.  They really deserve all the credit.  It's really very simple and easy to take it to the next step - and a very, very worthwhile and yummy endeavor!  The best part is that you can really maximize a salmon you caught right here in our abundant waters.  This year we've caught and cured the roe of both Chinook and Coho off Dolphin Point on Vashon Island to equal satisfaction.  Here is the link to the method I am using (this is a great site, by the way!) 


As far as how to use it, I have tried it simply on top of white rice and orzo pasta, which lengthens the flavor.  I think I like it best on crackers as an hors devours.  I've tried combos of horseradish and minced onion and with thin slices of avacado.  My favorite invention is as follows:

Salmon Caviar Drizzled with Chive-Basil Oil
1.  Finely chop some fresh chives and basil.  Better yet, use a mortar and pestle to pound them into a fragrant green pulp.  With some freshly ground pepper, add to good olive oil, buttery or spicey, mix and set aside.

2.  Take some crackers - I like Ak Mak, as the sesame seeds add another, nutty dimension - and break into pieces and thinly spread some cream cheese on top.  Set crackers on a nice serving plate.

3.  Pile high with your home-cured salmon roe and then drizzle with chive-basil oil.  Enjoy with beer, white wine, bubbly or a dirty gin martini.

06 September 2012

From the Chef: Limoncello

 When Life Hands You Lemons, Make…Limoncello! 
 Casa Fiore #23—July-August, 2006

Limoncino, limoncello, limonetto—whatever you call it, this sweet, sun-drenched yellow jewel is the perfect sip at the very end of a long, fulfilling meal.  Wherever you find lemons in Italy—sunny, romantic places like Camogli, Genova, and San Terenzo on the Italian Riviera or Napoli and the Amalfi Coast—you find this refreshing elixir made from their essential oil.  While this “digestivo” is relatively simple, debate on the correct recipe and proportions rage on.  Though there was a time when “I’d have to kill you” if I shared this highly secretive recipe, times have thankfully changed.  The old and sacred ways, however, still are to be honored and strictly followed.  And so I give you this hallowed and ancient recipe for limoncello passed down to me from my dear Zio Franco, with my own little twist...of lemon. Cherish and respect it!

1. Zest 12 organic lemons (though I do understand the waxy coating on conventional lemons may add a fine hallucinogenic effect to the sipping).  Get just the yellow part—no white pith.  Let soak 7 days in one bottle (750 ml.) of 190 proof grain alcohol (available in Oregon or Idaho—yes, you gotta put some extra effort into this one!  Update:  You can order the stuff on line and they will inexplicably deliver it right to your door.)
2. Make a simple syrup of 4 cups sugar and 5 cups purified water.  Warm until sugar is just dissolved.  Let cool.
3. Strain infused alcohol until all zest particles are removed.  Mix infused alcohol with simple syrup, stir, and bottle. 
4. Store in freezer and serve whenever you are in need of a drop o’ sunshine!

***Lemon-creamsicle?  Try Crema di Limoncello:  Substitute 5 cups whole milk for purified water.