Monday, June 02, 2008

Not Completely Terrible

I made some pretty good salsa over the weekend to go with some simple burritos, and there was a fair amount left over. The tomatoes available now aren't so good for eating by themselves, but spun in the food processor with lime juice, onion, garlic, and cilantro they do all right. Milo suggested- pretty impressively for someone not yet four- that we run the leftover salsa through the ice cream machine. He's used to unusual things going in there, so today we did, and bought some seafood to go with it.

The seafood included shrimp, which I hardly buy any more, but I had a profound hankering for Vietnamese summer rolls. Normally I make these with tofu, but I'm not eating soy right now. With bean thread noodles and our own lettuces, mizuna, and mint, they delivered exactly the clean flavor I craved- balanced perfectly by a tangy peanut-lime sauce. I saved the shrimp shells to make a broth, and roasted some cauliflower. Once all brown and nutty, I puréed the cauliflower with the strained shrimp broth to make a thick soup. A little salt, and that was all; a trip through the tamis would have made this much more elegant, but I was trying to keep it simple.

And then a few scallops, seared in olive and sesame oil, served with the salsa sorbet and the deglazings of their pan (which I had also sautéed the shrimp in.) A good, easy three-course meal that combined light and rich, and kept the portions nice and small. Some wine would have been nice, but I'm not drinking either for a bit. That will change on Wednesday, when I bet there will be some special treats in store.


Heather said...

Hmmm...A few things:

1. Your plating and photos are much more focused (literally and figuratively) this time around. Nice.

2. Cauliflower puree can be a sauce for summer rolls, and not just a device for permanently souring a child on crucifers. Good to know.

3. The pico de gallo sorbet is inspired, particularly coming from your little culinary wunderkind. And it looks like an ice cream scoop of tuna tartare, which might be the best idea I've ever had.

4. Seared scallops.

cook eat FRET said...

see? i need an almost 4 yr old to help me with ideas... you're cheating.... the kid's a genius.

summer rolls are on the short list but now i am flying the coop and out of town for what will feel like EVER (impromptu LA thing for 3 weeks and then the NYC thing) - i even bought the skins but it will have to wait.

the salsa sorbet - brilliant with the scallops and the soup would be wonderful for me because well, i love cauliflower... especially pureed or roasted.

Brittany said...

Your not quite 4 year old is dabbling in molecular gastronomy.

I must know what your wife ate while she was pregnant so I can do the same when my time comes. You have a genius on your hands

peter said...

1. The longer days make for better natural light come dinner time.

2. Cauliflower purée can be a sauce for anything at all.

3. I did the tartare scoop thing recently too; the salsa was really good this way.

4. Yup.

Claudia: He's really smart. This was one of his better ideas.

Brittany: Why, she ate my cooking, of course.