Sunsets Inspire Culinary Creations

by Executive Sous Chef Paul Duncan

sunsetbyDZWhat an amazing first summer I’ve enjoyed here at Ray’s!  I was hired as Executive Sous Chef in June and was fortunate enough to lead the crew in the Boathouse kitchen through their first summer after our major remodel of the dining room.  I inherited an outstanding group of culinarians and have hired a few more to complete the team. It has been exciting working through such busy months with them and watching them learn and grow with our business levels high.  I look forward to many more summers and the changes of the season, which will certainly influence the menu and the direction we are going in.

Having moved recently to the Northwest from the island of Maui, I am still impressed with the views from the dining room and deck here at Ray’s.  Being on the water here is only  a complement to the food and service we strive to provide. Ray’s is famous throughout the area and we like to keep it that way, not only for the view at sunset but that beautifully prepared morsel you savor in that moment. I still find myself walking through the swinging doors of the kitchen to peer out as the sun goes down. I’ve seen my fair share of sunsets in Hawaii but I do believe the ones from Ray’s rival any that I have seen there.

All of this strikes inspiration in the food we are creating, as Fall is rapidly approaching. I look forward to the inspiration that lies ahead in the crisp clear autumn skies and what new creations will hit the menu.

stuffedgulfprawns_optThe first dish that I had the honor of creating for the Boathouse is the Dungeness Crab Stuffed Jumbo Prawns with Red Quinoa Tabbouleh. It was certainly a dish inspired by the waters in front of our restaurant and that of the warm summer months. The dish is accompanied by habanero and cilantro infused béchamel.  I believe the combination works beautifully, with the crispness of the quinoa and the richness of the prawns, finished with the velvet heat of the béchamel.  I would like to share the tabbouleh recipe so you can prepare it at your home and enjoy during the last remaining weeks of this beautiful summer.  As for the complete dish, you’ll have to come visit us at Ray’s and I will prepare it for you…


Red Quinoa Tabbouleh

2 cups red quinoa
4 cups water
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
2 cups cucumber, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups scallions, sliced
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chiffonade
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice

In a large sauce pan, add water, quinoa, salt and bring to a boil on high heat.  Once it comes to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low and finish cooking until the tails pop out.  Fluff the quinoa and allow to cool on a sheet pan.  Toss in a large mixing bowl with the fresh ingredients and add the cooled down quinoa. Combine with olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and check for seasoning.

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