So Date #5 got postponed, which actually works out great because I was EXHAUSTED last night and fell asleep in front of the presidential debate around 9:30 p.m. I might have fallen asleep even if I hadn't been exhausted as that debate was a total snoozer. Wow. So boring!
But I digress.
Date #5b will find me in the kitchen, making sake-steamed sea bass. A few of you expressed interest in the recipe, so as a prelude to the date, here it is. My notes in [square brackets].
SAKE-STEAMED SEA BASS WITH GINGER AND GREEN ONIONS
from Bon Appétit, April 2003
3/4 c. sake [or whatever white wine you plan to drink with the meal]
3/4 c. bottled clam juice [or extra wine or broth, although the clam juice really does make the stock deliciously flavorful, despite the fact that the words clam and juice sound totally vile together]
1 T. minced, peeled ginger
1 clove garlic, cut into a few large chunks
4 5-oz. sea bass filets [or halibut steaks, or some other firm, white fish]
2 green onions, chopped
4 t. soy sauce
1 t. sesame oil [or a bit more; I love sesame oil]
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
2 t. toasted sesame seeds [a mix of black and white look really pretty]
1. Combine sake, clam juice, ginger, and garlic in the bottom of a large skillet that can accommodate a steamer rack. Bring liquid to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 min.
2. Arrange fish on steamer rack; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place rack in skillet. Top fish with onions, then drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil.
3. Cover skillet and steam fish until opaque in center, about 5 min. for fresh fish. [I have made this with frozen fish and it works fine, it just takes a bit of extra time.] Remove steamer rack from pan.
4. Mix cilantro with juices in skillet.
5. Serve fish over steamed rice, topped with juices from skillet and sesame seeds.
So easy! So delicious! So impressive for company! If you and your company like fish, that is. I'm serving it with edamame and a green salad with a soy/ginger dressing.
It's Asian Theme Day at our house; in addition to the dinner that's on tap, we met friends for dim sum this morning. John and I used to go to dim sum at least twice a month, and we took the twins all the time when they were babies. It's a great meal for kids of all ages because as soon as you sit down, food starts to arrive, so you can be in and out quickly. I had only taken Maddie and Riley once or twice since they started eating real food, and they had never loved it but had always gotten by. Today, they found lots of thing appealing: conjee, shrimp rolls, pork buns, shrimp in taro root, tea, sesame balls, and straight-up soy sauce. Yum!