What are some of your favorite late-summer dishes?
Yesterday, Australian chef author and restaurateur, Curtis Stone, joined me in our studio kitchen for a special Facebook LIVE. We made an elegant fennel salad, a crispy calamari and a tropical passion fruit cocktail - it was a wonderful way to send-off the season and welcome fall! We had so much fun sharing our tips, and answering all your cooking questions.
If you missed my Facebook LIVE show, just click here on “Facebook with Curtis Stone”. Enjoy these photos. And, if you haven’t done so already, pick up my latest book, “Martha Stewart’s Vegetables” - it’s in bookstores now! If you are in the Los Angeles, California area tomorrow, September 10th, stop by the Macy’s Del Amo - I’ll be there signing books at 3pm PST! I hope to see you!
Chef Curtis Stone has been on my television shows before. It was so much fun to have him back in my kitchen studio – this time for Facebook LIVE.
Curtis is an author, television personality and restaurateur. His newest restaurant, Gwen, opened this year in Los Angeles, California – please visit Gwen if you are in the area.
Curtis grows passion fruit in his garden and brought a bowl full to make his passion fruit fizz cocktail. Passion fruit, Passiflora edulis, is a vine species of passion flower native to Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. The fruit is filled with seeds and a wonderful sweet juice.
The cocktail includes vodka – Curtis likes Tito, while I prefer Imperia, but any premium vodka will work.
We asked Curtis to do a “Tom Cruise” – do you know remember the 1988 movie, “Cocktail”?
The cocktail included vodka, lemon juice, passion fruit syrup, Aperol, and egg whites. I added a little drizzle of Aperol on top – it is my favorite aperitif. Watch our show for the complete recipe – it’s a delicious drink!
Curtis starts to make his shaved fennel salad with pickled onions and sea beans. The mandolin is among his favorite kitchen tools – this one is from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s.
The pickled red onions have a beautiful color from the red wine vinegar. It adds such a nice color for this green salad.
Sea Beans grow wild all over coastal North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Common names include glasswort, pickleweed, and samphire. Sea beans can be eaten raw or cooked. It has a salty flavor, with a fresh asparagus-like aftertaste.
I brought lots of fresh, wonderful fennel straight from my garden. All the vegetables were just picked the day before.
We also brought baby zucchini from the farm – so beautiful.
I love to harvest many of my vegetables when they are still a bit small – I think this size offers the best flavors.
Here are some beautiful herbs from my garden too!
This is fennel pollen. It’s popular in Italy, where cooks often add it to their olive oil for bread. It has a bold flavor – Curtis enjoys using it in his cooking.
Curtis’ salad looks so inviting. He uses his hands to lightly toss the salad ingredients.
Next, I showed how to clean this fresh squid for our calamari. A viewer asked what “calamari” meant – it is a dish made of batter-coated, deep fried squid served plain, with salt and lemon on the side.
Using a thermometer is the only way to ensure your oil is at the perfect temperature. We decided to deep-fry the squid in both olive oil and safflower oil to see which was more tasty, but any oil will work. This is safflower oil.
Here is the pot of hot olive oil – it’s about 320-degrees Fahrenheit.
When cleaning the squid remove the backbone.
It is so easy to clean and prepare. I taught my granddaughter, Jude, how to clean squid, and she can now do an entire tray by herself.
I like to cut the squid into rings, and then sift them through a strainer with corn starch and salt.
Curtis gave a helpful tip for not burning yourself when putting something into an oil filled pot. Watch the show to find out.
While I sifted, Chef Curtis fried – it was a lot of fun.
And look at the delicious calamari. It cooks very fast – each batch only takes a minute.
Beautiful salad, calamari and fried zucchini – wonderful, tasty, and so easy to make!
We finished it up very quickly in our studio – everyone loved it!
Thanks for visiting, Curtis! I am looking forward to trying the new restaurant, Gwen, when I am in Los Angeles!