Cooking with Celebrity Chef James Kelly

April 28th, 2014
Labels:
Paula Hermanny and James Kelly cooking in her home in La Jolla
 
James Kelly of Soma Chef Services in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica is hands-down Paula’s favorite chef. Paula was so excited when Chef Kelly agreed to come to her home in La Jolla, California and cook with her and friends. Paula met Chef Kelly on a trip to Santa Teresa, one of her favorite vacation spots in Costa Rica.

Chef James Kelly cooking sashimi in La Jolla CA

Having a background in the art of Japanese cuisine and immersing himself in Costa Rican culture, Chef James Kelly has been refining his culinary skills for nearly 20 years. He describes his style of cooking as a fusion of Asian and Latin American, but most importantly his dishes are a perfect balance of freshness, lightness, flavor and texture. 

Chef James Kelly Sashimi

He opened Restaurante Soma at the Milarepa Hotel in 2004, and at the request of his patrons (including Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady) he began offering personal chef services. When he came to Paula’s home, Chef Kelly wanted to teach the ladies how to prepare dishes that were healthy, tasty and fun to make. 

Paula Hermanny and friends with Chef James Kelly

Costa Rica ­– Insider tips from Paula

Where to go: The unspoiled Nicoya Peninsula.

Where to stay: The Milarepa in Santa Teresa is a beautiful beachfront property perfect for families, couples or friends.

What to pack: Bikinis, yoga wear, sunglasses, sunblock, and a couple of flowy dresses for dinner.

What to do: Surf, fish, yoga, long walks on the beach, and swim in 80 degree water of Santa Teresa beach.

Where to eat: When Chef James Kelly is not cooking for us, we go to Koji in Santa Teresa for sushi.

 
 

Crab, Mango & Jicama Summer Rolls

20 rolls

Crab Mango Jicama Summer Rolls 

Ingredients
1 lb lump crabmeat, picked over
2 almost ripe large mangos
2 large jicama
4 oz baby arugula
6 scallions
1 package 8 1/2" rice-paper sheets
1 cup packed fresh fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup packed fresh fresh mint leaves
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

Directions

Drain and pick over crab meat and store refrigerated until ready to roll. Cut mango and jicama into strips 1/2" by 2". Trim each scallion into two 5" lengths; slice lengthwise into very thin strips. Place all of your herbs on a cutting board and roughly chop, making sure to cut cleanly through them as to not to bruise them. In a large sauté pan bring about 2" of water to a simmer, season with sea salt. Once cool enough to touch, you’re ready to roll.
Get all of your ingredients ready and line a baking sheet with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Place a second clean, damp kitchen towel on a cutting board. Submerge a rice paper roll into warm water until just pliable, place on the damp towel on the cutting board. Across the bottom third of one sheet of rice paper place a few leaves of arugula, a generous pinch of mixed herbs, 2-3 tablespoons of crabmeat, two pieces of mango end to end, and 2 strips of jicama. Cover with strips of scallion, and some more herbs. Roll rice paper into a cylinder, stopping halfway. Fold left and right sides into the middle; finish rolling. Place on prepared baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate. Repeat entire process, making twenty rolls.
To serve, cut each roll in half with a sharp knife and serve with Cashew-lemon dipping sauce.

Cashew-Lemon Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 scallions, roughly chopped
2 small cloves garlic, grated
1" piece ginger, grated
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon lime/orange zest
1 cup unsalted organic cashews, lightly toasted and chopped

 

Green Papaya Salad

6 small or 4 large servings

 

Chef James Kelly Papaya Salad 

Ingredients:
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2-3 tablespoons (packed) palm sugar or golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 1” piece or ginger or galangal, peeled, finely grated
3 Chinese long beans, halved crosswise or 15 green beans
1 1½lb to 1¾lb green papaya, peeled, halved, seeded
1-2 heirloom carrots, peeled
10-15 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped fresh Thai basil
2 green onions, very thinly sliced
1 fresh red Thai chile with seeds, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped organic cashews
Micro herbs for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Set aside. Cook beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Using a mandolin with the julienne attachment, julienne enough papaya to measure about 6 cups, then julienne your carrots leaving the center bits. Be very careful with the mandolin and use a kitchen towel to protect your fingers. Place papaya and carrots in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, chile, and green beans. Pour dressing over; toss. Sprinkle cashews and micro herbs (if using) and serve.