Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer Lovin', Had Me a Blast...

This is it, the end of the summer season… at least as far as my specials are concerned.

I’m not going to jump right into braised meats in rich and heavy sauces; I’ll ease into the season slowly by straying away from cold dishes and by introducing some earthy flavors, then once the autumn vegetables are in full swing the real fun begins.

So before the final shift to fall I wanted to make one last set of specials to pay homage to summer.

It is always popular when I have some kind of ahi tuna as a special, and there has been this idea floating around my head for quite some time involving an incarnation of tuna salad, but instead of a unidentifiable mushy mishmash using canned tuna I used fresh, seared tuna steaks and a variety of fresh textures and familiar flavors that stay true to the traditional dish.

First, I seared the ahi tuna steaks hot and fast like they should be and while they cooled a bit I assembled a crispy salad of red and orange bell peppers, shaved celery, cornichon, baby fennel, scallion and tomato dressed with a an Old Bay vinaigrette,and finished the plate with a wasabi-dill crème fraiche to add the finishing touch for the flavor profile.

For me, nothing says summer like a cool, refreshing glass of sangria, and a white version is a nice alternative. I was inspired by a night out at our friends and neighbors at Poco Wine Room where my wife and I had a pear fruit wine that, if we didn’t already know, could pass for a crisp chardonnay with strong pear notes. Unfortunately, it would be blasphemy to make sangria with a wine of that caliber, so instead I blended white wine with Looza (the best!) pear nectar and added chopped peaches and nectarines, the last of the season.

Sip it with joy, my friends, never with sorrow; though the end of summer is nigh, the bounty is near.

With Love,