Friday, August 7, 2015

What's on My Plate: Plated Jerk Red Fish & Pork Tonkatsu

It has been about 3 months since my last Plated delivery. I missed the order for the squid ink and crab claw menu, laaaaame.  I honestly forgot I had a meal scheduled, then after several email reminders I chose a menu that looked fun and tasty.

Meal 1: Jerk Redfish with Chayote Squash, Tomatillo, and Scallion Sauté

The updates to the menus include novice vs pro prep time. With those additional parameters I decided to treat my kitchen like a cooking reality show. After unpacking all of the items and laying out all my prep tools I set the timer for 50 minutes and went at it.

My prep time is still a little long. My chopping skills are getting better each meal, but still take the majority of my time. My new ingredients for this dish were redfish and chayote squash. The Chayote Squash resembles a pear and has a similar texture but took on the flavors of the food it was cooked with. At the 50 minute mark the fish was seasoned and cooking, the veggie sauté was ready to go, and I was pouring lime sauce over the fish.

The next 7 minutes were dedicated to me plating the food. The fish cooked in about 6 minutes. I was able to plate the squash and fish before the 10 minute timer went off. 

Loved this dish. The jerk fish was a nice mix of sweet and spicy. The squash and tomatillos sauté was tart and tender. The 2 parts balanced each other really well. This created a light, flavorful dinner.

Total prep time was 57:35. Next goal is to hit the novice time of 50, then the pro time of 40.

Meal 2:  Pork Tonkatsu with Yuzu Cherry Salsa and Mizuna

The goal for this meal was 40 minutes, yeeeeeah, not in my kitchen. The hardest part of this prep was pitting the cherries. I chose to cut them free and thatt was fairly time consuming. Everything was chopped and prepped at the 40 minute mark.

I added 15 minutes to the clock to finish everything. I was able to prep and cook the pork at 10 minutes. The last 5 minutes was plating the Mizuna and Pork Tonkatsu. With an additional 15 minutes I was able to cook and plate everything. Total prep time: 55 minutes

The 2 new ingredients for this meal we're the Yuzu juice and Mizuna. My favorite part of this dish was the Yuzu Cherry salsa. I looked up Yuzu, it is a citrus fruit from east Asia, it was tart but thicker than a lime or lemon juice. The salsa was a tasty blend of sweet, spicy and tart. Another new ingredient for me was the Mizuna. This tiny green was packed with tons of flavor, tart and very fragrant. I should have decreased the soy sauce in the salad, it was too salty for me. But, when I put the salad and pork together it balanced the flavors. The Yuzu Cherry Salsa added tons of flavor to the pork and balanced out the bitter and salty taste of the Mizuna salad.

Loving cooking with Plated. Have you tried any of the home chef delivery programs? What is your favorite meal you've prepped.

Cooking with plated allows me to explore new flavors and ingredients while preventing food waste. Each menu provides the portions you need to serve a perfectly plated meal. If there are any left over seasonings I save them for slow cooking and broths. Fun, tasty, creative meals in the comfort of my own home. Taking my home cooking to a whole other level.

Health and Happiness,

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer Seafood at The Optimist

Had a great night out with the hubs and our friends dining out at The Optimist off Howell Mill in Atlanta .  A seafood and oyster bar that gives you the feel of a beachside restaurant in the city. Natural woods, putting green, and a live band greeted us. What a cute spot.

The in house menu was a little different from what was posted online so I had to make some last minute substituions. To start, We split an appetizer of Spanish Charred Octopus. I was expecting the consistency of squid, but I was pleasantly surprised how tasty the octopus was. It was tender and meaty, closer to the consistency of crab meat. It was well seasoned, I don't usually enjoy spicy, but it wasn't overwhelming just the right amount of spice to make it flavorful.

I followed that with my main dish, the SwordFish with corn, cherry tomatoes, and brisket. Cooking a steak style cut of fish can be tricky, but this was prepared perfectly. Firm on the outside but tender on the inside. I was excited to see how brisket was incorporated, it was a garnish, I was hoping for a lil more brisket. We also shared a side of chilled asparagus. A light and tasty combo for the evening.

I am use to bodybuilding sized servings, but I was satisfied because it was so tasty. Our friends got the Crispy Fingerling Potatoes, it looked really good. When I dine out I still try and get a good mix of protein, veggies, carbs, and fat. Next time I would definitely pair my veggies with the potatoes for a more filling meal.

Have you tried The Optimist?
What is your favorite combo?

Looking forward to our next dinner out!

Health and Happiness,