Saturday, June 22, 2013

Yard Sausage with Fennel

Friday 21 June
This Eckerlin's sausage was one of the left-outs from our sausage-fest on Memorial Day weekend.  They now think it's named that because it was sold by the yard. 

In a flash of inspiration (and because we happened to have a fennel bulb), we browned the sausage, added a whole, cored, thin-sliced fennel, and braised them both under cover with white wine.  
Topped with a few fennel greens at the end, the tender vedge made a wonderful combination with the mustard seed and mace of the sausage.

Vegetable Grill with Burrata

Thursday 20 June
Jungle Jim's makes their own fresh burrata, mozzarella with a creamy interior, so we never fail to get one when we're out there.  And as we'd also picked up a biggish eggplant, this was a logical inspiration.

Who knew that real Italian nonnas grilled their eggplant without pre-soaking the slices in oil?  So we cut out the ridiculous prep of skinning, salting, pressing, washing, wringing out, and oiling the eggplant - which was thin-skinned Chinese, and didn't need it anyway.  Instead we just oiled the grill, turned the slices when they were browned, and anointed at the end with salt, olive oil and fresh oregano.

But we couldn't stop there.  We sliced a couple of zucchini into fans, and grilled them too, with a lot of slices of red onion, though this time we oiled and salted them both.  We piled those on top of the eggplant, and for a touch more unnecessary elegance, anointed them with our homemade rosemary oil.

Finally, we grilled thick slices of beefsteak tomato (the only thing that stuck to the grill), and put a different homemade oil - basil - on top of that.
The platter was ceremoniously carried to the table, with the burrata on a plate of its own, where it could be sliced in half without leaking all over the hot vedge.  And lo, it was amazing, especially when you got a forkful of eggplant, cheese, and tomato - sort of an unbaked, summery version of eggplant parmesan.

Skate and Pea Tips

Wednesday 19 June
Now be honest - if you read this aloud, wouldn't you think this post would contain tips about how to skate and pee?  But it doesn't.
It's just that today Barbara was out at Jungle Jim's, and as usual, took the opportunity to snap up something from their abundant fish market.  This time it was skate wings, now up to $3.99/lb. (they're twice that at Luken's).   Heedlessly she didn't have the skate skin removed, but she did get a half pound of what JJ's is now calling pea tips - pea shoots are much smaller - so we could do this.
Of course, skating with the skin on is more complicated, so we made a court bouillon with thyme leaves and boiled the two whole wings for a while, as here.

The ugly things looked quite mysterious and prehistoric.  And when they were done, Holt scraped the skin off, and served them in our traditional way, with brown butter and capers.
With our dipturus batis (we hope not intermedia - look it up), we drank Lacheteau Vouvray 2012 - rich and a little sweet, but good with buttery food.

Fajita Steak

Tuesday 18 June
Since the thing we like about fajitas is the tasty meat and vedge, we didn't see the need to go out and get tortillas to wrap that good stuff in, as the only result is they leak juices all over your chin.  So this dinner was really just a platter of fajita innards.
We got out a thinnish sirloin steak, sliced it into half inch thick strips, and made up a beef marinade from New Joy: whisk together the juice of 3 limes, 2 minced scallions (really long-tailed bulb onions), a pour of oil, some chile flakes, 1/4 tsp. each of ground coriander and ground cumin (not anise, that's weird), and throw in the steak strips to think about themselves overnight.  I think that we used to use red wine and a dash of Worcestershire in our fajita marinade, but that must have been a long time ago, because I can't find any record of it on the blog.

The fun was, we got to use the round grill pan that JoDee and David gave us when we were down in Smyrna (thanks, guys!).  It did a good job giving grillmarks to strips of yellow and orange pepper, then slices of onion, and at last, the meat. 
We served the fajitas - on plates - with dollops of drained yogurt, and David Warda's salsa verdeMuy sabroso.

'Ahi Tuna with Pico de Gallo

Monday 17 June
We had bought a sad bunch of cilantro at Findlay Market, and even in its little covered flower vase in the fridge, it wasn't going to last long.  So we picked it over, chopped up whatever leaves were still green, and made a pico de gallo out of it, some chopped red onions, Roma tomatoes, lime juice, and a little chile de Chimayo.
That made a bed for a couple of 'ahi tuna steaks, simply salted, peppered, and pan-fried until just rare in the center.