Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Halibut with Spicy Asian Vinaigrette and Wasabi Cream (Page 312)

RECIPE #1121

  • Date: Thursday, February 25, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Dining Companions: Matty and Chris
  • Recipe Rating: B+

I chose this recipe as part of the All Seafood All The Time plan. I started by making the two sauces for the fish. To make the sambal vinaigrette I combined rice vinegar, sambal oelek (a Southeast Asian chile sauce), Dijon mustard, and vegetable oil in a blender. I blended until smooth then seasoned with salt. Next I prepared the wasabi cream by whisking together wasabi powder and water, then whisking in sour cream and salt. To prepare the fish I seasoned with salt and pepper, then sprinkled one side with chopped parsley. I browned the fish, parsley side up, in vegetable oil, then turned the fish over and put the skillet in the oven and roasted until the fish was cooked through. I served the fish with the two sauces and pickled ginger. I absolutely love halibut, so I liked this dish, but I still thought it could have been better. The idea of having two sauces was nice, but I thought both sauces could have been improved. The spicy vinaigrette wasn't actually so spicy. It could have used more kick to it. The wasabi cream was a bit too watery, and the wasabi flavor from the wasabi powder seemed a little off to me. That said, I still enjoyed the dish very much. The fish was nicely cooked and the Asian-inspired flavors of the sauces complemented the halibut nicely.

The recipe is here.

I pack my special gentleman's lunch most days. His lunches often contain leftover Book food, so they aren't typical packed lunches. Today, for instance, his lunch was the following: scallops in a mushroom cream sauce with some baguette, chilled seafood salad with herbed olive oil, an apple, and a banana. I also offered him a slice of pumpkin pie, which he declined. I pack him nice, balanced lunches. Yet, nine days out of ten, when it comes time to make myself some lunch, I make a bowl of cereal. It's not just laziness -- I love cereal. Mueslix, granola, oatmeal, cream of wheat... I love it all! I am a high-carb person. If I don't think too much about what I eat, I tend towards the All Carbs All The Time diet. I am not overweight, or particularly unhealthy, so I never had much motivation to change this. Then, a few weeks back I was eating lunch with my friend in Palo Alto. We were eating at one of those places where you can pick from a list of ingredients and they will construct a salad for you. It was such a fabulous lunch and it occured to me that I like salad even better than cereal, but I rarely stock the house with the things I need to make it. One trip to Berkeley Bowl later, all that changed! Every California lunch I have had since then has consisted of a huge, delicious salad. Making salad maybe takes 10 minutes, rather than the 30 seconds it takes to pour myself a bowl of Barbara's Shredded Oats, but it is more than worth it. I am loving the new salad-a-day plan. My salads are chock full of add-ins (because that's the best part!) and I am experimenting to figure out what works and what doesn't. My favorite salad so far: Mixed baby greens, matchsticks of apple, lots of shredded carrot, corn, strips of red bell pepper, sliced avocado, dried cranberries, feta, chopped candied walnuts, and a homemade mustard balsamic vinaigrette (heavy on the vinegar, light on the oil). Yum!


Ali said...

That is very similar to my favorite salad, which I love making for dinner:
romaine, cherry tomatoes, english cucumbers, avocado, chickpeas, dried cranberries, almond slices, feta, and homemade mustard-rosemary-balsamic vinaigrette! Yay for salads.

Teena said...

Oh my gosh -- that sounds good too!