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Monday, November 10, 2003  

Wherein John Cleans the Kitchen and Then Makes a Ridiculously Complicated Dinner
During my hours of alone-time turned boredom on Saturday I decided to surprise Jules with a immaculately cleaned house. So after a few hours of scrubbing, vacuuming, and what not I felt good about the state of the apartment and sat down from some of my delicious book. Then I suddenly had the idea to cook up some salmon that ws in the freezer as that is Jules' favorite food. So I brainstormed for a recipe for a few minuets and then decided on a complicated french-asian fusion theme.

Fish is one of my culinary weak links, so I wanted a very simple and fool proof cooking method, and I decided on steam. And since I would have the steamer all set up and a-steamin' I figured now would be the time to test out Alton Brown's steamed Couscous recipe. So I started the couscous in the steamer while I prepped the misé for a sauce for the fish. Since steaming (with just water) doesn't impart any flavor to the dish I knew I would need a tasty sauce, and I decided what would be better than a classic Beurre Blanc (which is traditionally a reduction of shallots, vinegar, and white wine that is blended with a whole lot of butter.) But since I had this whole idea to go with asian flavors I added ginger and soy sauce to the reduction, and substituted lemon juice for the vinegar. I would pick up some of these flavors in the couscous by sauteing onions, ginger, garlic, and mushrooms and adding some sesame oil and soy sauce and then folding that mixture into the finished couscous. The fish was steamed to perfection and served over the couscous, topped with my sauce and garnished with some toasted sesame seeds.

In the end everything came together very well (though I didn't have any vegetables for a side...) and I was happy with the results. The sauce was a little on the tart side because of the wine I used and my addition of lemon juice. Next time I think I will use pineapple juice and more soy sauce. The couscous turned out really well, but it also ended up being an incredible mess that turned my newly spotless kitchen into a disaster area. The little grains of pasta got EVERYWHERE, and I managed to dirty no less that 6 pots and pans (the steamer pot and insert, the 12 inch skillet, the saucer, the 8 inch skillet, and a cookie sheet) and a whole slew of support equipment in the cooking of the meal. I'm STILL doing friggin dishes!

posted by JMV | 11/10/2003 02:37:00 PM
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