I have loved wasabi peas for awhile now, but the other day something hit me. I wanted to use them in a super cool way that takes them far beyond being a simple snack. I used a coffee grinder and zapped a handful of the crispy peas until they looked like a rough bread crumb. Then I coated some beautiful fresh tuna with it. I grabbed some oyster and shiitake mushrooms and a few green onions too, threw them into a screamin' hot saute pan and caramelized for about 5 minutes or so, then added some chopped garlic, sesame oil, and a splash of soy sauce. I did the same thing for the tuna.
I have been preparing for the Wine and Dine Destin Charity event www.dcwaf.org coming up this week. I am so stoked about it! The Charity is so awesome. People from all over come to Destin, FL to eat great food and drink amazing wine, then give a bunch of their money away to a worthy cause. The DCWAF has raised nearly $3 million in 4 years.... AMAZING! The foundation supports children in need. If you want to learn more or donate to the foundation go to the website and check it out. My menu is a 5 course dinner that is gonna "Mess with the Palate" hahaha... I wanted to make a menu that would isolate and articulate individual flavor profiles and really focus the palate to natural sweetness, bitterness, and savory flavors. I am working with Regina Martinelli from Martinelli Winery in Sonoma. She is pairing some awesome wines to my menu.
Yesterday, I made that wicked avocado dessert. It was really tasty by the way. The texture was so smooth and creamy and the lime juice totally brightened up all the flavors. I had some extra avocado in my kitchen and hadn't quite satisfied my craving. I grabbed my cast iron grill pan and got it smokin', sliced some avocado and grilled them on both sides. I had some pine nuts too, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do at first but then it hit me. I toasted the pine nuts in a bit of bacon fat. I wanted to bring out the nutty savory tones of the avocado, plus bacon makes everything better.... thats just the southerner in me I suppose. I also reduced equal parts pomegranate juice and balsamic vinegar to make a glaze.
I had lunch with a buddy the other day and we started talking about avocados. We chatted about flavor and consistency, how much we both loved them, how they are really good for you... just a couple of food dorks I suppose, but its totally true. Avocados are so versatile and can reach so far beyond guacamole. I made this wicked dessert today to play with the smooth creaminess of the avocado. The natural sweetness and texture is absolutely awesome! I took a soft avocado, cut it in half and scrapped the meat into a large bowl, used a whisk to whip it until it was smooth, then added some heavy cream, powdered sugar, and a squeeze of lime juice. Whip it! Whip it good!... and it was that simple. Serve the fluffy avocado cream in the emptied shell and garnish with a fresh sprig of cilantro and a slice of lime. You could serve it in a bowl too, I just like the look of the avocado shell.
I woke up this morning to the amazing aroma of orange blossoms and hazelnut coffee. The Florida sun was beaming and the breeze was surprisingly cool. I had a pineapple in the fridge and some eggs, so I got to work on a delicious breakfast treat for myself. I small diced the pineapple with some red onions, bell peppers (red and green) and a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. I added a touch of salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil, covered it up and popped it in the fridge for a bit to let all of the flavors macerate together. Then came the eggs... (when I was a kid, I only liked eggs if they were scrambled. I couldn't stand them any other way. Its funny how things change as you grow, because now I cant think of any food being as sexy as a perfectly cooked sunny side egg...