Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Little Bit Crunchy, A Little Bit Wok and Roll

Ahhh there is nothing more elegant than fresh, lightly seared tuna. This Tuesday, as in yesterday, we made quite the meal and quite the mess. Our dinner consisted of: Lightly seared tuna with a wasabi-honey marinade resting upon deep-fried scallion rice cakes with shaved celery, and a finally a watercress salad and cucumbers with a honey mustard vinegar dressing. Needless to say, no one went home hungry

The tuna was procured from Whole Foods market and it sure was looking fresh.
We took the tuna, divided it into three portions, and stuck it in the bag with the marinade. The marinade consisted of:
3 tbsp honey
1 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp of wasabi (flavor to your own taste)
and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Please note that all measurements were eyeballed. cooking is always more fun when you experiment so use these as only a guide.

So we took our cast iron skillet and heated it on high heat for 15 minutes to ensure its maximum heat potential.
Drizzled on a little olive oil and seared those babies up. Make sure you only do a light searing at very high heat. You want the majority of the middle to be raw.

Note: One thing we failed to do is cook the tuna last. It only takes a few minutes to cook and is best served hot. Make sure everything else is cooked and ready to plate before cooking the tuna.

We saved the marinade, added a little balsamic vinegar and reduced it to pour on the steaks and cakes.

The deep-fried rice cakes were easy peasy.
Just take some cooked rice, cut up some scallions, add some bread crumbs (or corn flake crumbs in our case) and two eggs.
Mix it together and spread it on a greased or floured piece of foil evenly (about 1/4" - 1/2" thick.
using a cup or cookie cutter cut out 3" diameter circles and put them in your hot oil you had heating up on your back burner. Let them brown on each side and voila! Fun and easy rice cakes. Make sure not to over load the oil because they tended to be delicate and could crumble trying to separate them in the oil.

Finally the Watercress salad. Pretty straight forward. Cut up some watercress, add some mandolined cucumbers and add dressing. The dressing, courtesy of Miss Caitlin was phenomenal. Eyeballing in portions of soy sauce, honey mustard, vinegar she came up with a splendid vegetal compliment to the tuna steaks.

Now on the wine:
Daniel graced us by splurging on some 2007 Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Reisling Kabinett. Though I am not as well versed in wine as my cohorts, I will say this much: the wine was perfectly balanced, if not a little acidic which shows its potential for aging. You already could even get some of the crude oil on the nose that will only get better and more prominent with age. Definitely a treat.
The second bottle was from my own collection, a 2006 Maximin Grunhauser Herrenber Riesling Kabinett. Not as much acidity as the Donnhoff and much more fruit forward. This is a great affordable Riesling with much more personality than the majority of wines at the same price point.

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