RECIPE: Fresh summer dishes using more rare ingredients

Segment 1: Calamari salad with avocado mousse, pancetta, almonds and radishes
(Serves 2-4ppl)

For the calamari salad
5 qts Water to cook calamari
2lbs Calamari cleaned tubes sliced ¼ inch thin strips  (tentacles optional)
6oz White wine (on the sweeter side)
2 medium Carrots small dice
2 stalks Celery small dice
1 pc Fennel small dice
2 cloves Garlic chopped very fine
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
5oz White balsamic vinegar
16oz Vegetable oil
1oz Lemons juice and zest
¼ cup Parsley chopped fine
¼ cup Scallions chopped fine
¼ cup Shallots chopped fine
1 each Fresno chili chopped fine

For the Avocado mousse
2 Avocadoes ripe, not too firm
1 tsp Garlic powder
2 tsp Onion powder
1each juice of Lemon
1oz Sour cream
2oz Coconut water
Salt to taste

Roasted marcona almonds chopped
Lightly smoked bacon cooked and chopped
Assorted Radishes sliced/chopped

Method for the calamari salad:

·    Clean and slice calamari
·    Make water bath to blanch the calamari with water, lemon, wine, onions - bring to boil
·    Add calamari to water bath for 40 seconds. Strain out and cool
·    Dice carrots, celery, fennel, garlic, herbs and chilies - set aside
·    Make the dressing; add mustard to a bowl. Add lemon juice, white vinegar and slowly drizzle the vegetable oil in until it becomes emulsified and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
·    Add all vegetables and chopped ingredients to the dressing and season with salt and pepper
·    Add calamari to dressing submerge to marinate.  Will keep for 3-4 days.
·    Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice to taste
·    When serving the salad you may have to strain some of the excess dressing

For the Avocado mousse:

·    Peel and seed the avocadoes
·    Chop in medium pieces and toss with a little lemon juice
·    Add to a food processor
·    Add all other ingredients
·    Add additional coconut water if needed to smooth out the blending
·    Blend until smooth

For the garnishes:

Soak radishes in cold ice water then slice paper thin
Chop roughly with a knife
Slice bacon and bake in the oven @ 350 for 9 minutes or until crispy. Cool and chop

To serve:

On a serving plate or platter of your choice, layer the avocado mousse with a piping bag or a spoon. Arrange the calamari salad around and garnish with the radishes, almonds, and pancetta

Segment 2: Crispy lamb belly with smoked tomato, tomatillo, apple and mint

(serves 2-4 ppl)

2 LBS Boneless, cleaned Lamb belly
2 medium Carrots
4 Celery stalks
3 medium onions
6 cloves Garlic
2 cups White wine (sweeter side)
¼ cup Vegetable oil
Few sprigs of fresh Thyme
Salt to taste
Water to cover all ingredients

Smoked tomato sauce

4-5 ripe Roma/plum tomatoes
6 cloves Garlic
2 medium Onions
½ tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
¼ cup Vegetable oil
¼ cup chopped Cilantro
½ tsp Pasilla powder
½ tsp Paprika
¼ cup Basil leaves
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Tomatillo - apple mint salsa

8 medium Tomatillos, small diced
1 Green apples peeled and diced
2 medium Shallots peeled and diced
1 clove Garlic chopped fine
¼ cup Cilantro chopped
2 TBSP Vegetable oil
¼ Mint leaves only (julienne)
2 cups Honey
¼ cup Lemon juice
¼ cup Lime juice
Salt to taste
Pepper taste

 For the Lamb belly
·    Pre heat oven to 330F
·    Season the lamb belly with salt and pepper
·    Sear it in a thick pan until lightly browned on both sides
·    Take out and lay in deep enough baking pan
·    In the same pan (that the lamb was seared) add all vegetables with extra oil to cover the bottom
·    Sautee for about 5-7 minutes and add the white wine while scrapping the bottom of the pan
·    Reduce the wine until it has almost evaporated - add water and bring to boil
·    Pour liquid and vegetables over the lamb belly. Cover with foil paper and place in oven. Braise for 4.5 hours. Reserve the liquid for later
·    Once cool enough to handle, take out of liquid and cool - and shape portion and you like.
·    To serve, heat vegetable oil and sear the belly on all sides until crispy
·    Season with salt and pepper

For the smoked tomato sauce:
·    Chop tomatoes , onions and garlic  in half and smoke for 25 minutes Or roast in high heat oven until skins scorch
·    To a medium pot add; chopped garlic, onions sauté for 5 minutes until they become translucent
·    Add spices and tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat
·    Place in blender and add spices, herbs and blend until smooth
·    Season with salt and pepper to taste

For the salsa:

·    Reduce citrus juices and honey by half in volume on low heat
·    Cool and set aside
·    Sauté the garlic, apples, tomatillos with vegetable oil  for 3 minutes - cool
·    Combine honey - citrus mixture with above
·    Season with salt, pepper and add chopped herbs

To serve:

Arrange the smoked tomato sauce, on a bottom of the plate. Layer crispy belly on top and layer the salsa on top - enjoy!

Segment 3: White chocolate mousse
(Serves 2-4ppl)

3.5 oz/w White chocolate discs or pistils
2oz/v Heavy

cream (hot)
7oz/v heavy cream (whisked until stiff)
½ oz Vanilla extract
1 sprig Lavender (optional)
1 sprig Mint (optional)


·    Whisk 7oz of heavy cream until it forms very stiff peaks - keep cool, set aside
·    Add mint and lavender to the 2oz's of heavy cream and heat - strain out the herbs - add to the white chocolate and stir until all melted and smooth - cool chocolate until it slightly thickens
·    gently fold the whisked cream to the chocolate mixture in 3 stages and cool
·    Serve with berries, chopped mint and chocolate sauce - enjoy!

 Taggia at FireSky Resort & Spa, A Kimpton Hotel
4925 N. Scottsdale Rd. (Scottsdale Rd & Chaparral Rd)
Phone Number:  480-424-6095    
Website: http://

Print this article Back to Top