Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Same method, more yummy

Apparently I'm in a bit of a rut, but no one is complaining!

Tonight's dinner was essentially the same as last night in time required for prep and general methods, but was more of an Asian twist. (I'd call last night's more French with a dash of pacific fusion.)

My wife picked up about two pounds of sashimi grade ahi from Race Street Fish. Given that as a starting point, I opted for another round of simple grilling. I dusted the fish with a bit of salt and pepper and some toasted sesame seeds (add some seeds to a hot dry pan for a minute or two), and started a nice hot fire. While the fire was getting going, I put together a quick spicy greens salad with arugula and cilantro, dressed with a splash of olive oil and soy sauce. I boiled water to cook a pile of somen noodles, and sliced up some baby bok choy. Once the fire was ready, I grilled the bok choy and finished up the noodles. I then quickly seared the tuna on both sides, which produces a nice char layer but leaves the center essentially raw.

To assemble plates, add a pile of somen noodles, slice the fish and place on top of the noodles, and add a pile of salad (garnished with more sesame seeds) and a bok choy half. Serve with wasabi on the side and soy sauce on the table, and call it dinner.

We opted for sake with this meal, which was refreshing and clean with the flavors of the salad and the fish. The whole thing took perhaps 30 minutes to throw together.

I hope that inspires someone to grill some fresh fish. There's little as fast, easy, and wonderfully flavorful as that!


Monday, September 17, 2007

Beef - it's what's for dinner.

It's been a while since I've discussed food, so let's give that a whirl.

Dinner last night was quite tasty. I grilled some filets mignon to just barely medium-rare (indeed, some people might call them rare), and then let them rest for ten minutes while I dealt with the rest of dinner. Before that, though, I grilled some crookneck squash and some slices of polenta with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper brushed over each.

While the steaks finished, I heated some garlic (about five cloves, finely minced) in about a tsp. of olive oil until nicely browned. (Stick with a very low flame for this or the garlic will start to fry too much.) I added 4 Tbsp of butter, and let that melt into the garlic. Finally, I added 2 Tbsp of sake and another tablespoon of mirin. Let it all heat together, season with salt and pepper, and you've got a yummy sauce.

Plate assembly is easy: place a pile of arugula on a plate, slice the steaks into thick slabs, lay a steak on the arugula, and top with the sauce. Add a squash and a polenta disk, and you've got a nice looking and yummy meal. Serve with a nice crusty bread and a heavy red wine...yum! Outside of a bit too much fat, this is a meal that's also pretty good for you, too, as long as the steaks aren't too big. (The ones I used were around six ounces each.)

The wine we chose was a bottle of the 2000 St. Supéry Élu meritage. We've got a few more bottles of this specific vintage, and I think we'll hold onto them for a while. This bottle was perfect with the meal, with nice toasty oak flavors and bursting with ripe fruit. There's a bit of tannin to it still, and this will definitely age for several more years without any trouble. I think we have about seven more bottles of it, so we're looking forward to several more notable meals.

Bon appétit!