Friday, December 03, 2004

Dinner & Scrabble with Drew

I finally delivered my promise to cook dinner for Drew. The night before I had prepared dessert, a ginger crème brûlée, but used half and half instead of heavy cream. The result looked as it should, but as I tasted it, I realized that the low fat content turned the dessert into an omelet. Not so good.

Thankfully, I had enough time to come up with a new plan.

Drew arrived at about 8 and I poured him a glass of mint lemon iced tea. We talked in the kitchen as I prepared the peanut salad. I roasted fresh peanuts, mashed them into peanut butter for the sauce which I tossed with greens, pickled julienned carrots, daikon, green onions and herbs (sweet basil, thai basil, rau ram - a Vietnamese basil, coriander and mint). The salad was topped with sliced guava (outer fruit) and grilled shrimp.

We caught up and took a break before the main course.

I bought some fresh wild ahi steaks (sushi grade) and hadn't thought about marinating them since I had made a sweet soy reduction sauce. After asking Drew what he liked and he didn't care, I sesame crusted and seared them. I then plated the ahi, layered the whipped ginger sweet potatoes topped with wasabi caviar, and steamed vegetables.

We stuffed ourselves then started a pretty competitive Scrabble match. When we were done with our first game, it was time for dessert, but Drew was still stuffed. So we played another game. Alas, I never got to make dessert, bananas foster (Drew's favorite) with coconut milk sauce. (I ended up making it for Robbie when he went to look with properties with me on Sunday.)

I beat Drew the first game, but got killed in the second. Argh! Next time he'll be eating words.

Food wise, I was happy with the timing of the dishes (which is always a challenge), but there was much room for improvement. Mind you, I found all different kinds of unused garnish as I was cleaning the kitchen -- whole peanuts for the salad, fried scallions for the sweet potatoes. I would've further reduced the sweet soy for a thicker glaze. I also would've opted for the fried scallion instead of wasabi caviar to garnish -- it would've been a better match for both flavor and texture. The wasabi caviar and sesame on the ahi somewhat clashed.


Blogger the hun said...

So, when are you going to cook for me? *drool*

2:04 PM  
Blogger Arethusa said...

you'd be a great addition to our university cafeteria kitchen!! I'm serious here.

12:13 AM  
Blogger MHP said...

I'll cook for you, anytime you're here. You know that!

Uni cafeteria? I sure hope it's a lot better than it sounds. My memory of them are not anything to write about.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Gregor said...

Actually, it didn't clash - it was perfect. You may know how to cook, but I know how to eat, and since it's the eating that's in dispute, I win - no clash, perfect meal.

11:49 AM  

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