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We tapped seafood specialist Jenice Yu of Fresh Ideas Start Here for four special under-the-sea recipes you can serve at a luxe New Year's Eve party.
My first encounter with Jenice Yu, I found her surrounded by an excitable pack of food writers at a Vancouver restaurant event. They were peppering her with questions about her latest shipment, oohing and aahing over details she was feeding them about her hot new product, she even had video of a recent score. That score was a hot commodity—uni (sea urchin)—and these food writers were salivating over her fresh catch.Yu is a Vancouver fish purveyor, who comes from a long line of fish purveyors, and her company Fresh Ideas Start Here serves a ton of local big-name restaurants like Maenam, Bishop’s, Espana and more, even winning an award for top producer/supplier in the 2012 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards.Naturally, she knows a thing or two about high-end seafood, and as a special treat for WL readers, she has put together four fancy (yet simple to make) recipes to wow guests at a luxe New Year’s Eve party: Smoked Salmon Tarts, a Caviar Station featuring Blini Bites, Lemon Coriander Marinated Tuna Squares and Smoked Uni Shooters.
Yu’s pretty and colourful gluten-free dish also features a flavourful horseradish mascarpone and the whole thing can be easily prepared ahead of time. (Recipe here.)
“This recipe was taught to me by Chef Gavin Craig years ago and I have been using it ever since. The spices and herbs that encrust the tuna will act as a tangy cure and cool the outside of the loin.” (Recipe here.)
Yu says this is one of the most luxurious treats you can present to your guests. Gluten-free Blini Bites (recipe for these here) are served along with champagne, caviar, crème fraîche and diced red onions. Note: The caviar should be served chilled (never at room temp) and serving it in a dish on ice is a great way to keep it cool.
I have to admit, for me these would take a bit of coaxing to try, but they are one of Yu’s personal favourites. She says the uni shooters, a traditional Japanese aphrodisiac, are great conversation starters that are always interesting to do with a group of friends, especially if you have first-timers. They are also quick to assemble, you just have to cook rice ahead of time. (Find the recipe here.)