Sunday, March 19, 2006
Seafood and Scrabble
We couldn’t tear ourselves away from the Super Scrabble board all afternoon, but I finally managed to get to the market yesterday, and was so hungry by the time I got there that when I couldn't decide between shrimp and tuna steaks, I got both. We came back and cooked between turns. Here's dinner:
SEARED SESAME-CRUSTED AHI TUNA
1 large tuna steak, cut in half
1 ½ tablespoons white sesame seeds (get the Asian kind for added flavor and crunch)
1 ½ tablespoons black sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon canola oil
Toss sesame seeds, salt and pepper together. Coat tuna in mixture on all sides.
Heat oils in pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Sear tuna 2 minutes on each side.
Remove from pan. Slice steaks into ½-inch thick medallions. Garnish with wasabi aioli and serve.
(On the Scrabble board: wontons, bandits, rarity)
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup wasabi powder
Blended olive oil (25% canola oil, 75% olive oil) as needed
In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except oil. Using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients on medium speed. Slowly add oil until mixture reaches desired consistency.
(In Scrabble, I make my third seven-letter word of the night: adopted)
SHRIMP, JICAMA, AND NOODLE STIR-FRY
4 tablespoons peanut or stir-fry oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated or minced
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, coarse stems removed. thinly sliced
1 small jícama (1 lb), peeled and cut into 2-inch-long julienne
3/4 cup frozen edamame, pre-shelled, thawed
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 lb medium shrimp, shelled
3 servings precooked yakisoba noodles
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 scallions, chopped
Prepare all ingredients (peel shrimp, chop onions, mince garlic and ginger, etc). Peel the jícama and julienne it. Munch accordingly.
Heat wok over high heat; swirl peanut oil to coat pan and heat until hot but not smoking (a drop of water should sizzle immediately in the pan). Sauté onions and ginger for three minutes; add garlic and pepper, 1 minute; mushrooms, edamame and jícama, 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, swirl the remaining teaspoon of peanut oil. Add shrimp and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Sauté 3 minutes or until shrimp are uniformly pink (do not overcook or shrimp will be rubbery). Transfer shrimp to small bowl and set aside.
In same pan, add water, sesame oil, and yakisoba noodles. Sauté until noodles separate, adding up to 2 tablespoons water if necessary.
Return vegetables to pan with yakisoba; add remaining soy sauce and cook 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook 1 minute. Season with salt if desired. Transfer to plates, garnish with scallions and serve immediately.
(J gets 80-something points on the triple-word-score)
I lovelovelovelove ahi tuna. It’s so easy, extremely quick, always good, and the steak was only five dollars at my beloved market. How can you beat that?
Wasabi aioli: For some reason, I decided that I could beat this by hand. I added the oil too soon, whisked my head off, ended up trying to do it in the blender, and it still didn’t thicken. From now on, I will always use a mixer. The flavor was still great, though, if the eggs don’t freak you out—and for you salmonellanoids out there, pasteurized eggs are available at most supermarkets.
Jícama – first time I ever cooked with it; coolest veggie EVER! If you’ve never had it, it’s a starchy, potato-sized root with a sweet, apple-like crunch. Like a potato-apple almost exactly, in fact. Most recipes call for it raw, if that gives you an idea—it’s often used in salads and slaws. I found, however, that it sautéed very well, and the crunch in the noodles was yummy—like water chestnuts, but slightly sweet and generally better.
Yakisoba—I’m not going to lie…I used a package. J had bought it and I was dubious, but they turned out great, and I appreciated less preparation. Go figure.
So that was our scrumptious feast last night. Super Scrabble (the same game) continues…right now I’m in the lead, 766 to 623. With twice as many tiles in the bag, I think it might be the longest game EVER.