Eclipse di Luna | This is Atlanta Cooking | PBA30

Eclipse di Luna

Mediterranean-influenced Spanish cuisine/tapas bar.

764 Miami Circle, Ste 138
Atlanta, 30324

Owners: James Ehrlich and Eric Klein

Executive Chef: Robert Garrett

Robert Garrett has been in the restaurant business since his first job in 1979 shucking oysters. “I never found anything else I could be passionate about. When I tried other things, including earning a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, I always found myself coming back to the restaurant business.”

After earning that Bachelor of Arts degree, and working in restaurant kitchens for many years, Robert went on to study cooking at the Art Institute of Atlanta. In Atlanta he worked at Harvest, Bacchanalia, and Wisteria, before landing the job as head chef at Eclipse di Luna.

He thrives on the crowds that gather at Eclipse di Luna. “The best thing about our restaurant is that we are always so busy. I love the fast pace. Our tapas format and the large number of people we serve every night means that I get to work with a great assortment of unusual ingredients. No matter how exotic the recipe may seem, we always have plenty of people who will order it. This gives me a great opportunity to experiment and develop great recipes like our Pulpo a la Gallega (Grilled Octopus with Saffron Potatoes). “

This is Robert’s second time around at Eclipse di Luna, and it sounds as if he plans to stay. “I have the best job in Atlanta, and the best crew. I love it here.”

Robert Garrett, Executive Chef, prepared:

  • Salmon Marrroqui (Grilled Salmon with Moroccan Pepper Relish)
  • Pulpa a la Gallega (Grilled Octopus with Saffron Potatoes)
  • Mejillones Negros (Steamed Mussels in Fennel-Garlic Broth)
  • Chorizo con Sidra (Spicy Spanish Sausage in Apple Cider)

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Salmon Marroqui (Grilled Salmon with Moroccan Pepper Relish)

Yields 4 tapas

  • 12 oz. Salmon fillet cut into 3 oz. Portions
  • olive oil/salt/pepper
  • 1 cup red pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ c water
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 T paprika
  • 2 T chopped garlic
  • 2 T tomato sauce
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 t cumin, ground
  • ½ t crushed red pepper
  • ½ t salt

Pepper Relish

Combine sliced red pepper, sliced red onion, chopped cilantro, water, olive oil, paprika, chopped garlic, tomato sauce, sugar, red wine vinegar, ground cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt in a food processor; pulse until mixed well and slightly chunky. Reserve.

Brush salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill on moderate heat for approximately 2 minutes per side for medium.

Place small amount of couscous salad on four plates. Top each with a salmon fillet and top salmon with a dollop of pepper relish.

Couscous Salad

(for Salmon Marroqui)

Yields 6 about cups

  • 2 c dry coucous
  • 2 c “lemonade” or water
  • ½ c celery, diced small
  • ¼ c red onion, diced small
  • ½ c toasted pinenuts
  • ¼ c golden raisins, lightly poached
  • 1/8 c chopped mint
  • 1/8 c olive oil
  • 1 T sugar
  • salt and pepper

Place couscous into a large bowl. Bring “lemonade” to boil and pour over couscous. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Scrape or fluff couscous with fork and leave in bowl. Add all ingredients- gently combine. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Note: If drier than desired, add small amounts of olive oil and lime juice until you are happy.

Pulpo a la Gallega (Grilled octopus with Saffron Potatoes)

  • 1 lb. Baby Octopus
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 garlic, halved
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ c salt
  • 1 t whole black pepper
  • 1 T chopped parsley
  • 1 T chopped shallot
  • 1 t black pepper

Place halved lemon, halved garlic, chopped celery, chopped carrot, bay leaves, salt, and whole black pepper in a pot with enough water for octopus to move around. Bring to a boil, add octopus.

Bring water to a hard simmer and let cook about 2 hours or until octopus is very tender. Drain and place octopus only in a bowl.

While still warm, combine octopus with parsley, garlic, shallot, and black pepper. Thread desired amount per portion onto bamboo skewers.

Salt skewers and grill until slightly charred and very hot, about 1-2 minutes per side.

Place potatoes on plate, remove octopus from skewers and top potatoes. Drizzle octopus and plate with paprika vinaigrette.

Paprika Vinaigrette

  • 1 lg. Red pepper
  • 1/8 c paprika
  • 1 c red wine vinegar
  • 2 c olive oil
  • 1 T sugar
  • salt and pepper

Roast pepper over flame or in oven until skin blackens. Let cool and peel. Place pepper in blender with paprika, vinegar, and sugar; puree. While blender is running, drizzle in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Saffron Potatoes

(for Pulpo a la Gallega)

  • 2- lg. potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
  • lg. pinch saffron
  • salt/black pepper
  • olive oil

Place saffron in pot with enough water to cover potatoes. Liberally salt water and bring to boil. Remove from heat add potatoes. Let soak for 1 hour to absorb saffron. Return to boil and cook potatoes until tender. Drain potatoes; toss with olive oil to lightly coat—season with salt and pepper. Roast potatoes at 400 degrees until lightly browned and cooked through—about 20-30 minutes. Reserve for Octopus.

Mejillones Negros

(steamed mussels in fennel-garlic broth)

Yields 4 Tapas

  • 2 lbs. mussels, cleaned
  • 2 oz. olive oil
  • 1 T shallot, chopped 1 T garlic, chopped
  • ¼ c dry vermouth
  • 4 c fennel-garlic broth
  • 15 gloves garlic
  • 1 c shaved fennel
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 1 T chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

While preparing stock, place garlic cloves and olive oil in pan and roast in oven until golden brown, about 1 hour at 300 degrees. When cool, drain and reserve garlic; reserve 1 T olive. Heat pan on medium-high until hot but not smoking. Add shallot and chopped garlic with 1 T olive oil. Cook until garlic just begins to brown. Add mussels and shake pan to combine. Deglaze with vermouth, let boil to reduce by 1/3. Add stock and shaved fennel. Bring to boil and cover pan; simmer until mussels open. Reduce heat to medium low. Add butter; swirl pan to emulsify. Season with salt and peeper- add roasted garlic cloves. Divide amongst 4 bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with grilled bread. Discard any unopened mussels.

Fennel-Garlic Broth

Yields about 1 gallon

  • 1 whole fennel head
  • 3 whole garlic wedges, halved
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 t whole fennel seed
  • 1 t whole coriander
    • 1 T whole black pepper 1 gallon cold water

Cut fennel fronds into 2 inch pieces. Trim bulb and save for shaved fennel. Place fronds and trimmings of fennel in a large pot with all ingredients. Fill with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.

Let simmer 1 ½ - 2 hours. Pour into plastic container; let cool and refrigerate overnight. Strain for use.

Chorizo con Sidra

(Spicy Spanish Sausage in Apple Cider)

Yields 4 Tapas

  • 2 4 oz. Chorizo links
  • ½ Granny Smith apple sliced thin
  • 1 T shallot, chopped
  • 1 T garlic, chopped
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 2 c apple cider
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

Roast sausage links in oven until browned and cooked through— about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Slice ¼ inch and reserve. Heat pan on medium-high until hot; but not smoking. Add 1 T olive oil, shallot, and garlic; cook until garlic begins to brown. Deglaze with brandy “off flame”. Let boil to cook off alcohol. Add sausage slices and apple cider. Bring to boil and reduce by 1/3. Add apple slices to heat through. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Divide amongst 4 small bowls and sprinkle with parsley.