A Saturday Evening Dinner

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/kabayaki-mackerel-don
* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/steamed-lobster-with-nobu-sauces
* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/roasted-hake-with-nobu-chili-red-onion-salsa

A couple of days ago, my wife injured her ACL and was hobbling around. To cheer her up, I thought I make a nice dinner for a cold Saturday New England night.  I thought I’d make Nobu Mackerel Kabayaki Don, Roast Cauliflower Nobu-Style and cinnamon raisin baked apples with vanilla ice cream for dinner.  I’d done the Mackerel before, and I thought the roasted cauliflower from Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook (p. 98) – Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower  With Red And Green Jalapeno Salsa might be a nice idea for an accompanying vegetable dish. As it would turn out, a number of the Nobu restaurant menus have a listing for (Oven Baked) Cauliflower With Jalapeno Dressing; an online recipe from Matt Hoyle at Nobu 57 NY can be found here –

http://www.marthastewart.com/317655/cauliflower-jalapeno

It’s basically 12 oz of cauliflower florets dressed with olive oil, salt/pepper and roasted at 450

One portion for roasted cauliflower

Cauliflower tossed with olive oil and 3 three-fingered pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix

degrees for 4-8 minutes (until ‘browned and just soft).  It’s then tossed with 4 tablespoons of the jalapeno dressing, 1/4 red onion (finely diced) and a finely diced jalapeno with half of the seeds

Preparing the jalapeno for the salsa

(seeds from one half side of the jalapeno) removed.  So this was the cauliflower dish which I decided to do.  My guess is that the red onion/jalapeno ratio was 1/4 cup minced red onion to 2 teaspoons of the jalapeno. As it would turn

Nobu Roasted Cauliflower, Jalapeno Salsa With Jalapeno Dressing

out, I ended up having to cook the cauliflower about 12 minutes in my main oven. I’m beginning to suspect that if I’d done the cauliflower in my countertop oven, it very well might have taken the 4-8 minutes. While the cauliflower was cooking in the oven, I began preparing fillets of spanish mackerel that I’d picked up at Whole Foods, Newtonville for the evening’s meal (see https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/kabayaki-mackerel-don).

Roast Cauliflower With Jalapeno Dressing And Kabayaki Sawara (Spanish Mackerel) Don

My wife did make one interesting observation – she thought the sawara (spanish mackerel) was a much nicer/more succulent fish than the saba (regular mackerel).  I guess I need to make note that sawara is going to be the mackerel of choice in this house.  She loved the cauliflower preparation and confirmed I had indeed cooked it through properly and that it still had a tiny bit of that textural crunch.

Simple jalapeno salsa for the roasted cauliflower

For dessert, I though I’d do baked apples – a dish I learned from a former flame when I was going to school in Connecticut years ago.  A week or  two prior, my wife had gone apple picking with two friends and came back with some empire apples. So I thought I’d core the apples like they did on America’s Test Kitchen…

(see time indices 2:49-3:01)

top to bottom: cinnamon, raisins, brown sugar

… and fill it with a cinnamon brown sugar raisin mix. So the filling, as I remember it, was – 1/4 cup packed

Measuring out the raisins

 brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of raisins.

…then cinnamon…

…then the brown sugar

Filling’s all done

Now it was just a matter of getting the apples set.  So I got one cortland and one empire, took off their tops.

(l to r) cortland and empire apples with their tops removed

That was followed up (just as in the America’s Test Kitchen video) by peeling the body of the apples and coring them with a melon baller.

Preparing the apples for the filling

The cored apples were then filled with the cinnamon, brown sugar raisin mix and placed onto a tray with a 1/2 cup of water.

Apples ready for the oven

The tray with the apples were placed into my big oven that was preheated to 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

Cinnamon brown sugar raisin apples a la mode

Peeling the apples for the baking process was a new thing for me; as a result, the apples still had a slightly firm ‘bite’ to it.  When I re-do the baked apples again, I think I’d cook them at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. For a cold New England Saturday night, my wife agreed that this was certainly a very satisfying supper

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