Friday, July 06, 2007

Summer Supper: Braised Short Ribs, Seared Salmon Steak, Spot Shrimp and Tuna Tartare

Summer Supper

The summer heat is here and automatically converts J's 400 sq. ft studio into a 375 pre-heated oven. When I cook, I need to slap on my headband not because I'm a posing, rap-star or deviant NBA star – it IS ridiculously hot in her kitchen. For me, the dynamics of a meal evolve once you move to the outdoors, even if it's in a courtyard, where everyone can peek through the curtains at you or overhear anything said. It's time to eat outside.

This occasion was fitted perfectly for a post-poned birthday like a baby blue prom dress on a high school junior. We had missed my good friend's wife's bday and decided to make it up with a nice 4-course dinner. I had known LL since we were in 2nd grade, and only grew stronger in our friendship through the years. He ended up wedding his highschool sweetheart after nearly 11 years of screaming each other's heads off, tears, abrupt hangups on the phone – you know, the true acts of love.

They came over on a weekday to see the table already set with more cheese that J had hand-selected at the Silverlake Cheese store. As they sat outside munching on the cheese, they didn't see the headband-bearing guy running amok like Remy of Ratatouille. But in the end, it's always worth it to see a smile on anyone's face, especially if it's two people that mean a lot to you. After all, cooking for a friend is the tastiest way to say... "you're not bad, i like you guys."

Table Setting

The Setting
Cheese from the Silverlake Cheese store. Cheese platter from Plates from Crate & Barrel. And a plastic folding table from Costco. Pure class, I know. Call it a form of membership rewards.

Tuna Tartare with Apples, Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil

Tuna Tartare
I must have raw fish in any meal. I do this over and over again because it's simple and tasty. No need to suffer any burns or missing digits with this appetizer. A few drops of soy sauce, fresh apples and a dash of sesame oil and you have a take on a famous hawaiian poké dish.

Spot Shrimp with Tomato Confit

Spot Prawns in Tomato Confit
For the second course, we made some delicious spot prawns. This comes from the wonderful "Sunday Suppers" cookbook by LA chef, Suzanne Goin. After J made this for dinner one night, this one was tagging along with us for a while. After roasting some tomatoes in some garlic, basil and olive oil, they are then puréed and used a dipping sauce for large, succulent spot prawns and baguette bread.

Roasted Tomatoes

Roasting Tomatoes
Tomatoes getting ready for a culinary MRI. You can't hear them, but they are screaming in joy.

Seared Salmon Steak with Artichokes and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Seared Salmon Steak in Thai Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Sautéed Artichokes
Third course. This was a favorite in the restaurant I used to work in. Salmon is seared skin-on and cooked to a medium consistency. The best part of the dish is actually the crispy salmon skin. The restaurant used piquillo peppers and chicken stock for the sauce. I did a take on it and roasted some red peppers and added Sriracha chili garlic sauce, créme fraîche, stock and butter. This was tasty, leaving a slight spice kick on the tongue. My friends ended up sopping up the rest of the sauce with the baguettes.

Braised Short Ribs with Daikon & Asparagus

Braised Sichuan Red Peppercorn Short Ribs, Daikon & Asparagus
For the main course, we served up a dish that J and I had at the wonderful Sona restaurant in West Hollywood. If you have not experienced David Myers' fine cuisine, close your laptop and go – I love it. I put it up there in my favorites along with Wylie Dufresne's WD-50 in New York. They are both masters of the kitchen. If you go into the restroom of Sona, you'll see congratulatory letters written to Chef Myers from notable-chefs like Daniel Boulud, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller and Tom Collicchio of Top Chef (recipient of FIVE James Beard awards). Anyway, I took his braised short rib dish and added some Chinese flavor to it by searing them in sichuan peppercorn/salt mixture. Thanks to the talented Jaden of Steamy Kitchen for her inspirational posting on flavoring salts. I braised the ribs in red wine, a mire poix, red peppercorns, ginger, soy sauce and a little bit of sesame oil. These turned out great. I would do this again and shred the beef for asian style tacos.

Scoops Ice Cream

Scoops Again!
This ice cream shop never ceases to amaze me with new flavors everyday. I believe this one was maple vanilla or something. I don't know, I just eat whatever J gets.

For Miles of Sideways, opening his bottle of 1961 Cheval Blanc which values at $2,600, was a special moment... as with the opening of our 2005 Sea Smoke Southing. The Sea Smoke went very well with the richly braised short ribs. This was a good summer supper. Happy belated to IL.


susan said...

wow great spread. i love braised shortribs and i love daikon. together i love even more! did you guys get the shrimp at 99 ranch again? i wanna try the recipe out.

The Cooking Ninja said...

Beautiful set up and dishes so beautifully presented. I love tuna tartare.

Jeni said...

Good job hon! The ice creams were green tea maple & peach lavender btw. You're my favorite chef...yes...even over David Myers.

SteamyKitchen said...

your food and photos are looking MIGHTY FINE!

JadedOne said...

You know what? Your posts are getting up there with Chubby Hubby. Those pictures are absolutely amazing and the posts are fun to read. Big ups man!

christianne said...

What a spectacular meal! Your friends are very fortunate. Looks delicious!

jinius said...

omg that looks delicious! and i agree with steamykitchen-- your photos are beautiful! they look all professional and stuff.

Irene said...

D & J, that meal was awesome! That was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me for my bday. Thanks again!

Larry said...

There are few things better in life than sharing great food with great people. The food was amazing all around with no detail overlooked... and such an honor to share the special bottle of SS. Thanks to D&J for an awesome evening! Cheers!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Niiice! This and the previous post makes me feel like I should go out and trap a mouse or something so I can get fed!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Yoony, hi thanks! yeah we got the spot shrimp at 99 Ranch. It was more expensive this time around. I've seen them as low as $11.99/lb. We should go shopping at a Chinese market one day, i'll show you things you can buy to make your own chinese food.

Ninja, funny name. Thank you.

J, i actually look forward to the mystery Scoops ice cream you buy for dessert.

SteamyK, thank you.

Jaded, thanks. No way, Chubby Hubby is a true pro.

Christianne/Jinius, thanks.

Larry/Irene, the pleasure is mine. You guys are good to me.

WC, haha thanks.

Angie said...

I'm panting. I get so amazingly hungry when I read your blog. Holy cow!

Aixas said...

WOW, amazing! I can't wait to eat at your new place :)

2nd-favorite said...

Damn! I want to be your friend. You know, FF has a bday coming up. Those shrimp look delicious. We need to explore Susan Goin's book a bit more. I just wish it had her recipe for braised lamb.

Jonah said...

It all looks incredible, but I want you to teach me how to do the seared salmon skin. There is something magical about restaurant fish, the way it is so hot, but not overcooked.

s'kat said...

Wow, wow, and WOW! I think you have more than made up for the belatedness with this wonderful celebration.

jill said...


if you ever want to do a post on food and wine pairings, I will happily supply the wines (as long as I can eat your delicious looking food!).


Chubbypanda said...

You and your crazy Asian tacos...

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Anonymous said...

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