12.04.2008

Summer Memories

Winter is almost here. I have lots of friends waiting for those first snowflakes. Personally, I can skip that whole season completely and move from fall right into spring. Snow days are fun though. What a perfect excuse for a full breakfast mid-week, with the obligatory, I-just-shoveled-the-whole-driveway cup of tea. So, a correction, fall, a few snow days, and then spring...

Here are a few old pictures of a dinner with friends in June. We sat outside until we lost the spot in an unfair fight with mosquitoes. They should thank us though - sangria-infused blood is the best kind.

On the menu -
  • Fresh thyme tuna tartar
  • Roast vegetable napoleons
  • Steak a la husband
  • Tiramisu (joy of cooking recipe )

The tar tar

I was inspired by a trip to a sushi restaurant in Rome to make this tartar. The restaurant we visited served a trio of tartar fish, minced with fresh herbs I haven't had with raw fish before.

  • 1lb of ahi tuna, sushi grade
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp red tobiko
  • 1 tbsp ponzu
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Mince room temperature tuna with chopped thyme leaves. Mix in the ponzu, half the tobiko and lemon juice. Taste for flavor balance as it will vary depending on the ripeness of you lemon. Set into molds (or biscuit cutters) and layer on top with the remaining tobiko. Remove molds and decorate with fresh thyme.



The napoleons
(instructions for 2 servings)
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 Chinese eggplant
  • 1 fresh, vine ripened tomato
  • 3 tbsp of goat cheese
  • 1 tsp pon shabu sauce
  • balsamic vinegar (aged)
  • shitake & sesame vinaigrette
  • olive oil
  • salt
At 350F roast the bell peppers seasoned with salt in olive oil. This takes about 30 minutes. Let the peppers cool and remove/discard the translucent skin and seeds. Cut eggplant into rings, about 5mm wide. Pan fry in olive oil. Eggplant absorbs a lot of oil so pressing it down extracts some of it back to the frying surface. As it starts to caramelize a bit, and becomes very flexible, it's done. Pour a little shitake & sesame vinaigrette dressing over the veggies. Mix goat cheese with pon shabu sauce, both at room temperature. Assemble the napoleons, using a toothpick or a steel spear, layering fresh tomatoes, seasoned with salt, bell peppers, eggplant and goat cheese mixtures. When you have about 2 layers, pour some balsamic over the napoleon. This should be just a drizzle. The key to this layered salad is the temperature. The vegetables should be served while warm.

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