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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Catching Up

Thought Id post some pictures Ive been meaning to get up so tonight is the magical night.

The first here is young Alex giving his wine the swirl test and getting a good look at the color. He prefers heavy Cabs from the Rutherford Valley although recently is becoming more interested in Spanish Jumilas.

This was fish I did one night on a whim. If memory serves correctly the White Fish was Mahi while the chunk of meat the looks like steak is actually tuna. They were both frozen and defrosted, since the BBQ season is just starting it served as a good lesson never to BBQ frozen fish if all possible. Seriously, though it looked passable the difference between fresh and frozen was very apparent. The Veggies came out great though as we used some locally grown baby peppers with mushrooms and onion cooked in the BBQ Wok. Nothing like a roasted pepper. The sweet flavor is so distinctive and the smell unforgettable. The BBQ wok is a great tool for roasting smaller cut veggies that would normally fall through the grate.

This picture is of one of the biggest artichokes Ive ever seen. It was on Sale for 99 cents so I had to buy it. Quick tip for a great Choke Dip-mix some Salsa Verde with Lime Juice and add Japanese Mayo. Delicious! Anyhow I put the beer can in there just to get an idea of the size. It was basically bigger then a softball and we couldn't eat it at one sitting. Quick and easy artichoke primer-boil some garlic, black pepper, lemon, and salt and place the artichoke stem side up in the steam rack. Some artichokes have the little pointy things on the end that you need to cut off with a chefs knife but the one picture was pretty much ready to go right off the back and required no prep at all really. We used the heart the next night for a Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad topped with Bronzed Chicken.

This was a Lemon Pepper Farfalle Pasta in a Garlic Caper sauce with some fresh sliced tomatoes, parsley, with some grated imported Italian asiago. We had the ingredients in the pantry and cooked it up on a whim we had nothing else for dinner. I was so proud of it I decided to post the picture here in one of my typical self back patting moments.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Another night, another BBQ

Last night did some Mahi with Tuna and assorted baby peppers and a balsamic vinaigrette salad with heirloom tomatoes. Truth be told the Mahi and Tuna were both frozen and bought at Trader Joe and I had forgotten the world of difference between fresh and frozen but it came out great so here goes. The Mahi I simply grilled using a bbw basket. Nothing crazy there. The tuna however I used the Chef Paul BBQ seasoning and cooked on the Cedar Plank. It was good but the seasoning is a bit spicier then your run of the mill typical bbq seasoning. Next time Ill probably use 1/2 of the bbq seasoning and add some lemon pepper. The Cedar Plank does add a lot of flavor but for super firm fish like tuna its kind of a weird mix of flavor/texture. Its much better suited for Salmon thats for sure. The salad was nothing crazy but Heirloom tomatoes are very interesting as they vary in all sorts of sizes, colors, textures, etc etc. If you've never tried them its certainly an interesting experience. As for the veggies I used the BBQ wok to grill some assorted baby peppers. brown mushrooms, asparagus, and sweet Maui onion. Back in the day I would have simply tried to put these straight on the grill but after seeing so many veggies fall through the grate I finally smarted up and got the Wok. It really is a must own for all BBQ enthusiasts. So many things you can do with it and it really is hassle free as it gets.

The wine was simply OK. I actually gave the Kirkland/Marquis Phillips Shiraz a bit higher rating. A bit more complex with a much truer flavor. Cant complain as it was only 9 bucks a bottle but as for as cheap shiraz's go the Marquis Phillips is still my pick of the litter.