Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happy Father's Day -- Nothing To Do With The Bakken -- June 19, 2016

This is for my one reader who cares nothing for the Bakken but likes to see what is going on with the family. So some family stuff and some other stuff.

Before I get started, Ms Veeder has a nice column this week. My dad could connect with that column.

It's going to be a busy Father's Day:
  • Grapevine coin show
  • bike ride
  • swimming pool
  • grill later this afternoon/early this evening
  • PGA golf tournament -- US Open: the 624th ranked player in the world is one stroke behind the lead
  • Game 7 -- NBA Championship -- on the heels of a game in which Steph Curry imploded; series tied
How Times Have Changed

This is Sophia (she will turn two years old in a few weeks) and her older sister in the background, ordering lunch off a tablet yesterday.

I learned later that her mother told the waitress to disregard anything that was ordered off that tablet, 
or as she told the waitress, "No, we really don't want 18 margueritas."


Talking to our older granddaughter yesterday, we decided that grilling would be nice for Father's Day -- it would be the first time this summer -- but because of the heat, I would like to grill "later, rather than earlier." By the time the meat comes off the grill, there will be a nice shadow over the patio; I am shooting for taking the meat off the grill at 7:00 p.m.. The shadow will give us the facade that things have cooled down but in fact the temperature will have fallen from 105 to about ... oh, let's say 103 degrees.

And, unfortunately, unlike Tuscon, it's not a dry heat.

By the way, I've found the best way to communicate the time for dinner for all concerned is to simply say what time the meat will come off the grill. Everything and everyone can then work around that one time. 

Yesterday's "Off Duty" section in the WSJ was actually pretty good. I normally don't even pull that section out to read, but I must have been bored yesterday. As I noted, that section was actually pretty good. It always contains an article on wine, but I lost my interest in wine years ago. I can't recall when I last had a glass of wine. There are way too many choices.

I always enjoy the featured recipe, but generally never actually try one myself. But today I plan to try the recipe that was featured yesterday but I will do it on the grill.

The recipe is by Sylvan Mishima Brackett, the chef and owner of Rintaro in downtown San Francisco.

His recipe: sake-simmered branzino with haricots verts.

It took me a long time to catch up with the world but I'm starting to figure these things out. "Sake-simmered branzino with haricots verts" is simply (in my case, grilled) fish with green beans.

The recipe calls for dashi which the chef makes from scratch. The dashi seemed complicated but it turns out dashi is nothing more than a Japanese version of chicken bullion. Dashi is simply fish/seaweed flavored broth (or stock) that is apparently used by the Japanese like we use chicken bullion. For those of you who have had miso soup in a Japanese restaurant, you've had dashi.

And although the chef made his dashi from scratch one can buy dashi in several different versions and several different brands at several different price points.

He adds sake, sugar, soy sauce, and mirin to his dashi to make the sauce.

After that, one simply sautées (I will try grilling) the fish while constantly basting it with the sauce until the sauce thickens, concentrates, and darkens, about 10 minutes.

Sake-Simmered Branzino With Haricots Verts

  • dashi, one cup
  • sake, 1.25 cup
  • water, 1/2 cup
  • sugar, 1 tbsp
  • soy sauce, 2 tbsp
  • mirin, 1 tbsp
  • ginger, 2 pieces; 1/2 - julienned; 1/2 - quarter coins
  • scallions, thinly sliced
  • branzion (European seabass): 3 incisions both sides
  • fish "tightly" in pan on top of ginger coins
  • pan (fish/ginger) over medium-to-high heat
  • baste constantly; sauce thickens, darkens, about 10 minutes
  • stretch sauce with extra dashi if necessary
  • haricots verts: in salted boiling water, until tender, about 1 minute; strain; unsalted butter in skillet over medium heat, salt (generally not), pepper
  • fish on top of rice
  • scallions over all
Dashi and Cooking Sake

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