Tuesday, August 07, 2007

All Discussion and No Pictures

Forget American history, racism, or international relations....let's get back to more important topics, like food.

I mostly ate nasty road food on the trip. There were a few exceptions. We were served a traditional southern feast at the Davies Plantation - fried okra, ham, turnip greens, mac n' cheese, fresh sliced garden cucumbers and tomatoes, and something our cook would only call "pineapple casserole." It appeared to involve a combination of canned pineapple, Velveeta cheese, and crushed Cheez-Its on top. I shit you not. I'd be lying if I said it didn't taste as bad as it sounds.

And on my last night in D.C. I treated myself to an insanely beautiful and delicious sushi dinner. I'm talking thinly sliced flounder laid flat and topped with shiso leaves, fried carrot bits and truffle oil. Or salmon ceviche with finely sliced red onions, shiso again, and ikura....all sweet and salty and creamy and crunchy and spicy and sour in one bite. I spent three hours eating such things and sipping cold sake. It was perfect.

But I missed cooking when I was gone. So tonight I stopped by ONF and Richard's Meat Market, deciding on fennel bulbs, green tomatoes, watermelon, fresh sage and pork tenderloin. I baked the tenderloin in white wine, fresh sage and rosemary. I knew I wanted that fennel but wasn't sure how it was all going to work out. I carmelized some thinly-sliced Vidalia onions and added the sliced fennel bulb. At the last minute I julienned (as best as possible) the green tomatoes and threw them in. I thought the carmelized onions would be sweet, the fennel would add an interesting twist and the tomatoes would add some tang. I made my standard salad (mixed greens, toasted pecans, blue cheese, red pepper, cucumber w/ mustard-sherry vinaigrette), but then I wanted the fennel/onion/green tomato mixture to have some kick so I added a dash of Sriracha sauce to it. I wasn't sure how the "flavor profile (someone watches too much Top Chef)" would come out. Plus, I never really know how the meat will cook. I was raised vegetarian and even though I've been cooking meat for years it always feels like a crazy experiment.

It turned out pretty well, especially with a bottle of Spanish rosé Angela had brought over once.

The watermelon was for dessert. SO GOOD! I could eat my weight in watermelon in the summertime.

8 comments:

miss marty said...

i have been on a huge watermelon kick as of late. watermelon and lime smoothies! yum. watermelon with just a touch of really nice balsamic! yum. watermelon with feta, olive oil, balsamic, and basil! yum.

Alannah said...

You just made me REALLY HUNGRY, Miss Marty.

Step Right Up said...

There you go with that food talk again.
Minus the pineapple, that southern surprise casserole seemed more like the white trash south than the genteel south of a plantation. Cheese Whiz and Cheezits? I'd like to challenge you to whip up one of your fancy schmancy suppers with those ingredients!

miss marty said...

what rosé were you drinking? i haven't found one that i really like...

Jeff Mac said...

Man. My lunch of a soy peanut butter and jelly sandwich is looking lamer and lamer right about now...

Alannah said...

Oh man, Marty...this summer we've had a bunch of different rosés (thanks Ang!). Last night was Cruz de Piedra grenacha. I also really like the Turkey Flat.

Will we have time to cook when you're here in Sept.?

Hmmm, I wonder what kind of wine goes best with soy peanut butter?

I wish I could name all the "southern surprise casseroles" I've eaten out of politeness over the years....

miss marty said...

oh yeah! i forgot about the turkey flat. i had that a few years ago while working a turkey flat wine dinner at sassafras. i'll have to see if i can find it round' these parts.

i think i should make time for a dinner while in arkansas.

5 of 9er said...

fried okra, ham, turnip greens, mac n' cheese, fresh sliced garden cucumbers and tomatoes... please take me to that place!