Friday, June 25, 2010

But Is It Fresh?

My buddy and neighbor Bob Viau, of Studio VO, caught a couple of stripers down at the Cripple Cove playground the other week -- the same place I caught my trophy mackerel noted elsewhere. He did his time, sitting patiently from 7:00 with cut bait until the stripers came through at 11:00 PM, and gave me a couple of fillets the next morning.

I cut some up immediately for ceviche -- fresh lime juice, palm sugar, red chili peppers, and a touch of fish sauce. Marinade for an hour or so, and best served with tortillas for a nice texture contrast and added salt.
I dusted the rest lightly with barbecue rub, and pan fried that night, served with a little lemon. You can't find better. Thanks, Bob.

Comfort Food

Sometimes, nothing else will do. Fried Hong Kong style noodles, shell on shrimp, broccoli, fried garlic, homemade sauce. Eaten hot, before the kids came home from school, with plenty of chili paste.

Birthday Beverage

Rum drink in a coconut shell for a special occasion. First, I singed all the loose fiber off on a high burner. Then I topped the shell open the way I learned in Thailand -- with the back of a cleaver -- and while I had planned to use the coconut water, I didn't like the taste so I dumped it out, and rebuilt from scratch with fresh lime and zest, palm sugar syrup, canned coconut cream, plenty of ice, and of Brazilian rum.


Fresh scallops, ' bout half a pound, pan fried for a little crust, then mixed with parsely, bacon fried turkey, a little cooking sherry, some olive oil, and served over linguini fini. Scallops are the only non-kosher food that my wife looks at once in a while and thinks, 'those look tasty...' Made two meals for me.

Hey There, Shrimpcakes...

Coarsely chopped shrimp, mushroom, and scallion, and a little egg white for binder, rolled in spring roll skin and pan fried. I tried to roll little purses, like chaotze, and they didn't quite work. Still delicious; looking forward to the Mark II version. Served with house dipping sauce: soy/vinegar/ginger/scallion.

Shells from the same shrimp; since they were just paper thin, I deep fried them and served sprinkled with coarse salt. I poured the sauteeing oil, with that lovely shrimp flavor, back over the shrimpcakes when I served them.


The same stuffing that went into those mushrooms an entry or two ago. In one iteration, as omelet filling, and warmed, straight up, with kalamata olive bread from Pain D'Avignon.

Ulcer In A Bowl

I dunno. I figure what doesn't kill me makes me stronger, at least regarding spicy food. So here's a serving of hummous with a healthy scoop of Chinese oil fried chili. Crackers. Even worse, while I can't remember for sure, it was probably a late night snack.


Got some big ol' stuffin' mushrooms, and whipped up a filling of sauteed mushroom stems, cooked and drained spinach, about a pound of decent feta, and a few drops of fish sauce for that edgy umame taste.

Stuffed in mushrooms, laid in smoking hot pan to sear bottoms, and broiled until the tops are done. Eaten like steak, with a knife and fork.

Veggie Reuben

Boca burger, kraut, cheddar cheese, ketchup and mayo for the russian dressing. Artisanal-type whole grain bread. I'd prefer one with pastrami, but come on, it looks great. Tasted great, too.

Ramen Rage

I usually doctor instant ramen, and thought recently I was in enough of a rush to eat one plain. I took one bite and, well, I didn't know you could do a spit take with noodles. Here's the after dish, doctored with minced scallion, vindaloo curry paste, and a splash of dark soy.