Sunday Family Dinner

Our Fishermen Bring it in for Family Dinner!

Fishing Wknd.2

Several weeks ago we sent our boys out to reel us in some fish.

Well actually, they didn’t go on our bidding but rather my B.I.L.(s)–brothers in law, took off for their annual deep sea fishing trip off the coast of San Diego.

But BOY, oh BOY did they come through!

In years past, they’d come back with some beautiful fish (mostly tunas) that would immediately be inhaled as sashimi, poke and other forms of sushi. Sure, we’d keep a few fillets in the freezer for a rainy day but those, too, would quickly disappear.

Fishing Wknd

But this year, those boys must have been doing some crazy praying to Poseidon because it was raining Dorado and Yellowfin for them!

Look at all of those beauties!!!

Someone pass me some soy sauce and wasabi because I’d totally be Gollum up in there!

Don’t judge my LOTR reference….

Fishing Wknd.3

The entire haul was split up among all of the guys on the boat but it still left each person with a hefty amount of Yellowfins and Dorados.

Heaven…….

With all of the beautifully fresh and wonderful fish, our theme for Family Dinner was born.

Simple really—we wanted to focus on creating dishes that were fresh and in season.

Fishing Wknd.4And as always, it started off with cocktails. Because cocktails make the world go round….at least we like to think so.

Since it’s Autumn (despite the 80 degree weather we’re having), I decided to serve up a bunch of Apple Moscow Mules. They’re super easy to make and I love how it’s a delicious spin on one of my favorite cocktails.

Apple Moscow MuleSeester T also served up some Champagne Cocktails which was essentially chilled sparkling wine with about an ounce of elderflower cordial. The cordial adds a lovely floral profile to the cocktail. Since elderflower cordial can be a bit on the sweeter side, I’d recommend choosing a brut sparkling wine to balance it.

Wondering how Champagne is seasonal in the Fall?

Champagne season is year round silly.

CocktailLobster season begins in late September here in California.

And since my family gravitates towards lobsters like teenage girls to a Taylor Swift concert, it had to be on the menu in some shape or form.

Lobster2
Sweet, tender and just so damn good.

LobsterSeestrah N chose to make little Chipotle Lobster & Avocado Sliders using Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.

In all honestly, I would have been happy with 2-3 of these beauties and call it a day. But we’re gluttons during Family Dinner– so we noshed on them as appetizers to tie us over.

Lobster RollOf the two catches the boys brought home, we chose to serve the Dorado over the Yellowfin.

Dorado, commonly known as mahimahi or dolphinfish, isn’t a fish that I have too often. Rarely when I do order it out, it’s either in a fish taco or prepared with some type of blacken Cajun seasonings. So when T said she was going to grill it, I thought–heck, if you say so.

She marinated the fillets in a clarified butter-anchovy-capers-herb mixture before the boys grilled them. The Dorado was then finished with some of the sauce it was marinated in and then topped with chopped parsley.

It was awesome.

Surprisingly moist and tender—nothing like I’ve ever experienced with Dorado before. I’m certain it has to do with how fresh the fish was but I am definitely going to give it another try next time I see it on a menu.

SFD

T served the fish with a warm Cannellini Bean and Arugula Salad. The vinaigrette had some of the same ingredients as the fish marinade but she also added briny olives and crunchy diced celery. It was a wonderful light pairing to the Dorado.

On a side note, the leftover salad was fantastic the next morning with a runny fried egg on top. Brunch goals and all…..

Cannelini SaladAnd finally, Dessert.

I knew I wanted to make some sort of fruit tart since the prior few Family Dinners were all chocolate desserts. The week leading up to Family Dinner, I had seen figs EVERYWHERE at my markets in San Diego. Because of it, I was inspired to make a Pistachio-Fig Tart filled with a Marscapone Cream.

But when I had gone up to Orange County for the weekend for dinner, I couldn’t find figs for the life of me! I had gone to 5 different stores in search of them but apparently they must have all gone to San Diego on vacation.

N had convinced me to go with plums instead since it was nearing the end of its season. It wasn’t too bad. Although I had grilled the plums, we all agreed that it would have been better had I sprinkled it with sugar and brûléed it. Still, the flavor was good–despite the elusive figs.

Tart

All in all, it was a great Family Dinner and was even on the lighter side…..for us, at least 🙂

BIG THANKS to my B.I.L.s for bringing in the greatest catch for us to date!

DSC_0089

This Month’s Family Dinner Menu

Cocktails: Apple Moscow Mules and Champagne Cocktails
Appetizers: Chipotle Lobster and Avocado Sliders
Entrees: Grilled Herb Butter Mahi Mahi with Cannellini Bean & Arugula Salad
Dessert: Pistachio-Plum Tart with Marscapone Cream

Advertisements
Seafood

Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls – Temaki

Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls

I’m not sure when we discovered that my niece Nini had a knack for knocking out some amazing Spicy Tuna but once we did, there was no turning back. It has everything to do with this “crack sauce” she created to bind the fish. And incidentally, that sauce is pretty brilliant for a bunch of different things like dipping fries in or as schmears for seafood burgers.

At our last family dinner, I mentioned that seestrah’s neighbor had gifted them with a whole bunch of freshly caught yellowfin tuna (sigh….I love living in California) so we seized the opportunity and put Nini to work on a bunch of temaki (sushi hand rolls).

In truth, you could use any type of sashimi grade seafood for this preparation –ahi, salmon, scallops, shrimp…..the ocean (or lake) is the limit! But remember–it’s got to be sashimi grade since there is no heat used to cook the fish.

Oh Nini, what a cutie-patootie and rockin’ little chef.

DSC_0072

She started off with the crack sauce which is really a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Things like mayo, sambal chili, sriracha, soy, sesame oil and such. She then folded some of the sauce into the chopped tuna.

We didn’t include it here but if you wanted an extra kick {you wild animal, you!}, throw in some finely minced jalapeno or serrano peppers. They’d add an extra level of heat with a bit of nice crunch.

Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls

Then we got rocking and rolling!

Nori, daikon shoots, avocado slices, more crack sauce………thinly sliced cucumber strips would have been also a great addition.

Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls

And of course, the star of the whole deal–the onolicious fish! Throw on a few heaping spoonfuls of that spicy lusciousness.

On a side note, I have to apologize for the weird hue of these photos. It’s takes more talent than I possess to tinker around with my camera settings while keeping one hand constantly filled with these overflowing temaki that I couldn’t stop eating.

I have no shame.

Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls

Speaking of which– temaki are meant to be eaten right after they’re rolled so that the nori retains the crispness. If not, they become a bit wilty like these little guys below. But of course, that didn’t stop us for inhaling them.

August 2015 Family Dinner

And that’s it! Beautiful, homemade temaki!

DSC_0280

Thanks Nini ❤ !

___________________________________

Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls {Temaki}
Makes approximately 18-20 rolls

Ingredients:

1½ cups mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Sambal Oelek chili garlic paste, more or less depending on heat preference
2 tablespoons Sriracha, more or less depending on heat preference
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons tobiko (fish roe), divided
4 tablespoons chopped chives, divided
2 pounds sashimi grade tuna, roughly chopped
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 cups cooked sushi rice
2-3 ripe avocados, sliced
1 package daikon radish shoots, approximately 2 cups
10 sheets nori (toasted seaweed), cut in ½ lengthwise–you should end up with 20 long sheets about 4 x 8 inches
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds

In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, Sambal, Sriracha, sesame oil, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 2 tablespoons tobiko and 2 tablespoons chives. Portion out about ½ the sauce into a clean bowl. Cover and refrigerate. With the remaining sauce, fold in the chopped tuna. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining salt, rice wine vinegar and sugar. While the sushi rice is still hot, drizzle the liquid over the grains and fold it through to thoroughly coat. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature.

Prepare the hand rolls. Lay one nori sheet lengthwise in your hand and add a small pile of daikon radish shoots in the center. Place 2-3 slices of avocado on top and then a small scoop of the cooled rice. Place a few spoonfuls of the reserved spicy sauce over the rice before topping with a generous scoop of the tuna on top. Carefully fold the left of the nori over in a diagonal motion, tightly rolling until you’ve created a secured cone. Top with scallions, sesame seeds and a small scoop of tobiko. Serve immediately.

Seafood

Ahi Shōyu Pokē

Ahi Poke

Happy Aloha Friday, Folks!!!!

Seester brought it to my attention that I have yet to post a recipe for  my ahi pokē –well, any kind of pokē for that matter. Which is actually kind of surprising since I’m kind of a Pokē Monster….and no, that’s not my Pokémon name.

Just consider the delay a sign of my Island Time …….

But what better time than now as it is Aloha Friday and it’s almost pau hana!

Ahi Poke

First things first….

Hawaiian Pokē is pronounced POH-keh.

Rhymes with crochet.

And is not POH-kee because that’s just hokey.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Ahi Poke

Pokē is the Hawaiian take on a seafood “salad” usually consisting of raw seafood —though there are some variations with cooked proteins as well. While in Hawai’i, I eat it by the pounds…DAILY. And if you’re ever there and you don’t–well, you’re just missing out….big time. Particularly since the seafood is so darn fresh there and plentiful!

One of my fav thing to do while on the islands?

Grab a cooler filled with ice and run to the nearest Foodland or other local grocery store where there are Pokē Counters!  Rows and rows of fresh pokē of all different types that are so affordable—averaging $8-$12 per pound when I was last there. Once you’ve got your tubs of fresh pokē in your cooler with some Hawaiian Suns and adult beverages, plop yourself down at a nearby beach and Live A’loha.

Perfection.

Ahi Poke

Luckily for us, the love of pokē has finally caught on in the mainland as there’s been a surge of pokē shops springing up in SoCal for us to get our fix in.

But don’t fret if there’s not a pokē shop nearby because the standard ahi pokē is really easy to make at home as long as you know of a trusted fishmonger or have a grocery that has sashimi-grade fish on hand.

Ahi Poke

Ahi Pokē is often referenced as “ahi shōyu pokē” as it is flavored with Japanese soy sauce {shōyu}. There are many different variations but at minimum, it typically consist of ahishōyu, onions, sesame oil, and some type of seaweed. Many folks like to also add Hawaiian chili peppers and macadamia nuts, too.

The recipe below is my standard go-to but sometimes I’ll swap out the ahi for yellowtail and throw in some avocados for extra richness and gochugaru (Korean chili powder) for a kick. As with anything, you can add or omit to suit your fancy but be sure to use sashimi-grade fish. I also like to use a marinated akame (sea kelp) that I pick up in the refrigerated section of my local Japanese grocery store. But ogo (also known as ogoniri) can be a bit easier to find at Asian grocery stores (or online) as it’s often sold dried.
Ahi Poke

I tend to serve my pokē as an appetizer with noriten – seaweed tempura chips. But it’s equally as onolicious in sushi rolls or pokē bowls

But I warn you, this pokē is always a hit–even with the munchkins (ours inhale it!), so make a big batch!

A’lohas... ❤

_____________________________

Ahi Shōyu Pokē 

Ingredients:

1 pound sashimi-grade ahi
¼ cup finely minced shallots or Maui sweet onion
¼ cup chopped scallions
2 heaping tablespoons minced marinated arame or ogo
¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
2½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, more to taste
½ tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Using a very sharp knife, dice the ahi into 1/3 – ½ inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the shallots, scallions, arame, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Once chilled, stir the pokē and taste. Add additional sea salt and soy sauce as needed. Sprinkle the fish with toasted sesame seeds and serve.

For pokē bowls, divide the pokē into 2 portions and serve on top of bowls of steamed rice. Top bowls with additional items such as gari, avocado slices, tobiko, pickled cucumbers, and nori strips. For an appetizer, serve the pokē with tortilla chips or noriten chips.