Seattle Chef

Mamnoon's Chef Carrie Mashaney shares her Persian Stuffed Trout

Geometric shapes hang in 3’s dancing beneath neon stars. A colorful contemporary piece of art ballooning out with light prisms dispersing from the core, refracted and reflecting like a constantly shifting rainbow. In an instant, the feeling of love, protection, inspiration and peace move into the experience. Colors for all cultures, all people. A reminder that we are all welcome here.

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Meet chef Carrie of Mamnoon who’s love for cooking began in her childhood kitchen while bonding with her mom. Cooking was a family affair that extended beyond the home to encompass an American diner type of restaurant known for its welcoming environment, diverse guest base and comfort food fare. Different from the Middle Eastern cuisine her work focuses on today, though the hospitable and vibrant atmosphere reminiscent of a home away from home shares a commonality that likely contributed to the gravitational pull that landed her into the current executive chef role she now holds.

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PERSIAN STUFFED TROUT

Trout Filling

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  • 50g Barberries

  • 65g Golden Raisins

  • 62g Verjus (white)

  • 30g Olive Oil

  • 30g Garlic

  • 100g Shallots

  • 100g Green Onions

  • 15g Parsley

  • 15g Tarragon

  • 15g Cilantro

  • 15g Basil

  • 15g Dill

  • 15g Basil

  • 1tsp Dried Mint

  • Salt (to taste)

Trout Dust

  • 5-7 Trout (boneless & butterflied)

  • 2Tbls Angelica (ground)

  • 2Tbls Turmeric

  • 1 Tbls Black Lime (ground)

  • Salt (to taste)

Barberries in Turmeric Oil

Tarator Sauce

  • 1 cup Tahini

  • 1 clove Garlic (grated)

  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice

  • 1 Tsp Salt

  • 2-3 Tbls Water

Garnish

  • 1 cup Sliced Almonds (toasted)

  • 1 cup Leaves of Herbs (from above)

  • 1 cup Dried Rose Petals

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Preparation

  1. Heat the olive oil, barberries and turmeric together gently, whisk together. Set aside.

  2. For the Tarator sauce, puree the lemon juice with garlic. Add tahini and salt and water to desired consistency. Refrigerate overnight.

  3. Plumb barberries and raisins in warm verjus overnight. The same day, pat the trout dry and dust with trout dust. Refrigerate overnight.

  4. The next day, rough dice the onions and saute them with the oil with the garlic until soft and a little brown. Add the raisin mixture and reduce until all the liquid is gone. Pour into and pan and cool until room temp (can also be made a day ahead).

  5. Give all the herbs a very rough chop and fold them into the cooled raisin mixture. Season with salt to taste. Stuff in trout. Brush with turmeric oil from above and grill to perfection, brush with turmeric oil after. Garnish with a few picked herbs, almond, rose petals and barberries from the oil. Serve with tarrator sauce on the plate or on the side.

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When asked what Guests favor? The answer is everything. Though if she had to choose it would be the fattoush salad that changes seasonally. In the winter it’s made with winter vegetables and in the spring it has yogurt and eggplant.

For Carrie, the path towards becoming a chef was a winding experiment of curiosity, chance encounters and a return to the familiar. A love for baking led her to study pastry techniques in France. The excitement of traveling and making social connections had her working in the front and back of restaurants on both coasts while also doing a stint in Alaska. It was the loss of her mother and the comfort, love and connection she felt to her while cooking that led Carrie to more seriously consider a chef’s career.

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The reflective reevaluation that only loss can summon led to a pivotal moment that propelled Carrie forward, towards a path with purpose. Moving through time. Further away from where it all began, with and without her because all roads lead back to our mothers in the end.

Fate would plop her into highly valued positions as a pastry chef and cook at Cafe Juanita & Spinasse. It is there she would find a supportive and enduring friendship with Chef Jason Stratton of MBar that would encourage personal growth and pushing beyond areas of cooking that were familiar. When the opportunity came up to join the Mamnoon team as a pastry chef, acceptance was an easy yes. The many accolades of the restaurant, food and owners made the choice an easy sell. It’s not a coincidence that Carrie found a place and even more opportunity at Mamnoon to grow professionally for Racha and Wassef forever loyal and supportive of their staff and friends, value professional development and promotion from within.

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Racha and Wassef have supported Villa Jerada almost from the beginning when inventory consisted of a few core ingredients to a warehouse filled with high quality ingredients of the Levantine, Mediterranean and beyond. They are like family so to see their restaurants so successful gives us great pleasure and speaks to the authenticity and role they play in sharing such an old and special cuisine.

At the core of everyone’s story exist the influences that connect us back to our cultural and familial roots. Our presence forever swayed by the fibrous experiences branched out in various directions, anchoring and supporting us in our efforts propelling one upward, rising towards a future destined, even when not intentionally pursued.

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Our individual food memories are a small piece of a bigger food story. Food informs how we interact with people in the world and when shared in celebration of culture and flavor like at Mamnoon, it breaks down walls where isms erect them and invites us to imagine how food connects us to the human condition that celebrates food, culture and people across countries and time.

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Shop the ingredients

Renee Erickson of Sea Creatures shares her best end of Summer recipes

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The restaurateur extraordinaire Renee Erickson (of Sea Creatures restaurant group, co-founder of The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale WinsBarnacleBar Melusine, Bateau, Rana e Rospo, and the new Deep Dive in the Amazon Spheres ) was gracious enough to share with us her favorite recipes using VJ spices during our recent lunch.

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The proverb home is where the heart is comes to mind when watching Renee cook in her kitchen. Her simple and elegant style exposes beauty throughout and her love of cooking, culture and ingredients, never hidden, for those too are tucked neatly in all the corners of her home. Distinguishing characteristics seen also in her restaurant endeavors.

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The allure of Renee’s cooking comes from her use of clean, fresh regional ingredients and her ability to creatively blend the global influence of her travels abroad. A true artist, curious, open and imaginative, which is why our team was eager to ask Renee her favorite ways to use some of our spices at home. She tells us Ras el Hanout with Greek yogurt and grilled halibut is a regular occurrence on her kitchen table.

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Renee & Mehdi reminisce on adventures and the most memorable Fish Tagine they had together in Morocco. Traveling home with friends has never been so easy. Renee’s adventurous spirit and love of culture and food made the sharing special and created a bond that has set the foundation for an enduring friendship and collaborative exchange that has supported Villa Jerada in its infancy until today. 

Grilled peach and tomato salad with Aleppo

Grilled peach and tomato salad with Aleppo

Ingredients tell only one part of the recipe story. Perspective matters, and with spices it’s good to include them beyond traditional uses. Renee does a great job blending our spices to local ingredients. Her creative approach inspires us to use our products in ways we had not yet imagined.  She made us a wonderful grilled peach and tomato salad with extra virgin olive oil from a farm we all stayed at in Marrakech and Aleppo pepper flakes grown in Turkey. We also had lamb chops with our Moruno Rub on a bed of greek yogurt whipped with Ras el Hanout, and radishes with Sumac, ricotta and Dukkah. When asked if she were to cook a dish for Moroccans using local ingredients, which NW dish would you cook? She said, “Steamed Dungeness crab with spiced butter”. Sounds delicious!!!!

Sumac Radishes and Ricotta with Dukkah have become our favorite dishes of the summer

Sumac Radishes and Ricotta with Dukkah have become our favorite dishes of the summer

Nothing beats an awesome meal surrounded by friends that encourage you in your efforts. Renee’s kindness and determination to help and support her community moves beyond her relationship to food, to the very heart of her values, and who she is.

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It’s with gratitude for all her love, support and influence in the Seattle food scene and for cooking us a lovely meal in her home that makes the launch of our 'Meet the Chef' series extra special.


RENEE'S RECIPES

Dukkah Ricotta

  • Ricotta

  • 2 Tbls VJ Dukkah

  • Lime zest (to your taste)

Moruno Lamb chops

  • Lamb chops

  • Olive oil

  • 1 Tbls Moruno Rub

  • Sea Salt

Rub lamb chops with olive oil, sprinkle salt, and rub a generous tablespoon of our Moruno Rub for 4 chops. Add more spice to your liking.

Ras el Hanout Yogurt

  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt

  • 1 tsp honey

  • 1 tsp Ras el Hanout

Whip until creamy and well blended

Sumac Radishes

  • Radishes

  • 1 Tbls Olive Oil

  • 1 Tsp Sumac

  • 1 pinch Sea Salt

Cook radishes in olive oil, add salt. Remove from heat and add a generous sprinkle of Sumac.

Peach and Tomato salad

  • Peaches

  • Tomatoes

  • 1 Tbls Olive oil

  • Lemon juice (to taste)

  • 1 Tbls Aleppo pepper

  • Thai Basil (generous sprinkle)

Rub peaches with olive oil, gently grill for 2 min.

Cut tomatoes in chunks, mix in a bowl olive oil, lemon juice, salt and Aleppo pepper. Add the tomatoes, peaches and coat well. Serve on a platter and sprinkle with Thai basil.