Monday, September 7, 2009

Fig Jam, Sushi and One Kobe Steak

My kitchen can be very busy at times.The other day, I decided that I had to make fig jam and fig confit because we had 20 pints of fresh figs coming off two fig trees. It was the moment, now or never. The figs were ripe and their was no going back. Meanwhile, I'm packing for a trip to Kauai. To add more stress, I decided to make fresh granola with all kinds of nuts because I'm nutty for thinking I pull this off and pack too. Now, I'm up to my ear lobes, cooking figs and roasting 10 pounds of homemade granola.
Just as I'm pouring my first cup of tea, Alex Haas arrives at 8am with two friends, Demitri and Nic and a boatload of fresh fish. Seems they went to International Marine, a wholesale fish market downtown at 5:30 am. Only the best for these young chefs, live spot prawns, Santa Barbara uni about 30 pieces, a huge side of yellow tail and the yellow tail collar, a small slab of Toro belly, two dozen oysters and a Kobe steak.
I'm thinking about the jam and the mixing the ingredients for granola. The young chefs are attacking each other with the live prawns. Spewing salt water all over the counters and floor. Flicking each other with the prawns water. Is this how sushi chefs act?
Needless to say, we talked about dinner. Alex and his friends planned to make 8 different recipes as a farewell dinner, or should I say " A happy to see mom and dad leave meal." Fresh Oysters with a Maui Onion Salsa Toro Belly Sashimi, Grilled Yellow Tail Collar, Uni Pasta, Live Spot Prawns Sushi and Steamed Prawns with a Sake infused Ponzu, Yellow tail Seared with Mushrooms Marmalade and a Kobe Steak cooked Sous Vide and quickly seared . They knew what to do, the execution was flawless.They pulled it off. It was cool to watch the three of them, slice, dice and make all kinds of dipping sauces. The food was beautiful and creatively displayed. These guys know how to cook.
This was a great farewell dinner. Everyone took home a goody bag of warm granola. It was the least I could do for a great evening with three up and coming chefs.

Garlic and Butter

Just a thought...I started prepping my ingredients at around 5 pm. Cooking the fresh garlic in butter and stir-frying sliced onions. Later at dinner, we talked about how cooking the garlic gets the senses ready. It's the same with certain other items we adore, champagne = celebration, candles create mood. Garlic and butter together sends a powerful food message.