SEATTLE — Cicchetti Kitchen + Bar opened in Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood with the goal to bring flavors of the Mediterranean to the Pacific Northwest. Their name, "Cicchetti", is Italian for "small plates" or "tapas." These originate from Venice and are served throughout the day as snacks, typically alongside a glass of wine, in a Cicchetti bar. Cicchetti serves a rotating menu designed to be shared, featuring options both meat-lovers and vegetarians will enjoy.

Cicchetti Kitchen + Bar is celebrating its 10th anniversary by showcasing some throwback plates on the menu. New owner and Executive Chef Christian Chandler demonstrates how to make 3 quick, easy and delicious Venetian tapas: lamb dolmas, pomegranate muhammara and wood-fired dates with chorizo. 

Cicchetti's Lamb Dolmas Recipe

DOLMA FILLING:

  • 1 pound ground lamb shoulder
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 3oz white wine
  • 2/3 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup oregano, chiffonade
  • 1/2 cup mint, chiffonade
  • 3/4 cup feta, course crumble
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 cup golden raisins, re-hydrated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

LAMB SPICE:

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3ea green cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ras al hanout
  • 1 teaspoon green peppercorns
  • 25 grape leaves

METHOD:

Toast and grind all spices and season the lamb.  In a non-reactive pot, brown cook the onions and garlic over medium heat until translucent.  Add the seasoned lamb and cook through.  Deglaze the pan with white wine and reduce by 50%.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add basmati rice and stir the pot until it comes back to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low, cook for 7 minutes.  Kill the heat and allow the rice to carry over for an additional 10 minutes.  Cool rice completely on sheet pan in walk-in.  After the rice and lamb cool, in a large metal bowl combine remaining ingredients and season to taste.  Wrap in grape leaves. 

Cicchetti's Pomegranate Muhammara Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 ea red bell peppers
  • 1.5 cup walnuts (blanched and shocked 3 times then toasted)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon pimenton
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon chili flake, ground
  • 4 ea allspice berries, toasted and ground

METHOD:

  1. Roast peppers over open flame until charred on all sides
  2. Place charred peppers in a large metal bowl, and quickly seal the bowl with plastic wrap
  3. Once they cool, deseed and peel all of them
  4. Add all ingredients to robot coupe (or food processor) and blend until well incorporated
  5. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt if necessary
  6. Dip in your favorite flatbread or crackers

Cicchetti's Wood Fired Dates with Chorizo and Mahón

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound Spanish chorizo, ground 
  • 1 pound Mahon, grated
  • 1 1/3 cup Mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley 
  • 2 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoon toasted/ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar 

METHOD

Pulse chorizo in robo-coupe (or food processor) till fine, combine with all other ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well, check seasoning. 

Stuff the date with the chorizo and cheese filling. Bake in the oven at 400’ for 8-12 minutes until golden. 

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