Work during the last full week of Feburary had been rather difficult; as a result I had a hard time coming up with good ideas for a light and satisfying weekend dinner at home for my wife and I. So I decided it might be nice to have a soup and a main course. For the soup, I chose Mushroom Soup With Prosciutto And White Truffle Oil and for the entree I decided on doing a Crisp Skin Spanish Mackerel With Vegetable Salsa for Saturday night.
For the Mushroom Soup With Prosciutto And White Truffle Oil –
The dish was based on the Nobu West recipe found here:
Since I couldn’t get the Jabugo ham, I substituted in prosciutto. I’d made this dish before and discovered that my wife and I found it a little on the salty side, so I reduced the light soy/salt by halving the amount of light soy and dropping the salt altogether. Since I was just making the soup for just my wife and I, I assembled –
14 oz dashi
2 T sake
1 T light soy
For this dish, I used a package of mixed mushrooms from whole foods – a 4 oz package, of which I used half (1 oz each for myself and my wife). I then rolled a slice of prosciutto length-wise and made a ‘chiffonade’ of it.
Since I don’t have dobinmushi kettles, I used two 6oz chawanmushi cups. I then changed the recipe by placing the strips of the ham at the bottom of the chawanmushi cups, followed by the mixed mushrooms, 5 oz of broth each.
I then steamed the covered chawanushi cups on high heat for about 15 minutes and then added a few drops of white truffle oil (since I couldn’t get the actual white truffles) at the end.
For the Crisp Skin Spanish Mackerel With Vegetable Salsa –
This dish was inspired as an amalgam of Nobu Now‘s Baby Scallop Skewers With Vegetable Salsa (Nobu Now, p, 45) and Mackerel Shioyaki And Vegetable Salad (Nobu West, p. 180)
When I looked at the amount of prepared vegetables for the salsa, I noticed how similar the recipe was to the Tabbouleh Salsa from Nobu: The Cookbook (the recipe can be found online here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Scallops-with-Tabbouleh-Salsa-105870 ). So basically the recipe was equal parts red onion, cucumber and two parts diced tomatoes and significantly less parsley. The salsa ‘dressing’ was almost the same except it used 1/4 less garlic, 6 times the lemon juice, 2 times the yuzu juice and 1 teaspoon less of the olive oil. I assembled the salsa ‘dressing’ in the following order (since I found this to be the most efficient way as far as the use of spoons) –
3/4 teaspoon (1/2 t+1/4 t) 4:1 salt/pepper mix
extra virgin olive oil
For the vegetable portion of the salsa –
Salsa (vegetable portion)
3 1/2 oz (by weight) finely diced red onion
2 persian cucumbers, finely diced
1 largish tomato, ‘finely’ diced
4 springs of parsley, take leaves only, finely minced
Combine the vegetables and salsa dressing (hold the parsley until just before plating) and set aside.
I prepped the mackerel fillets by drying the skin side, seasoning them with salt/pepper mix and seared them with rice oil in a hot pan, about 5 minutes on the skin side and a minute or so on the other side.
I then mixed in the parsley (gently), plated the salsa and placed the spanish mackerel on top.
Chawanmushi Cups Utsuwa-No-Yakata, Edgewater, NJ (next to Mitsuwa)
Aji Amarillo/Panca La Chapincita Market, Waltham, MA