Saturday, June 25, 2011

What's for Dinner: Steamed Tilapia on Rice & Tiramisu

Over the last few weeks, Moddang and I have been watching a lot of Iron Chef (the Japanese original) and Oliver's Twist, the cooking show starring Food Revolution's Jamie Oliver. Moddang cooks mostly traditional Thai dishes, never sparing the spice; my "expertise" lies in sandwiches - I have special concotions that include sesame salad dressing, chili sauce, and other various assortments atypical to sandwiches. After much discussion, however, we've decided to try our hand at recipes outside our safety zones. Last night was our first go at it.

Our appetizer was very simple and, in fact, took no cooking. It was Sartori's Balsamic Bella Vitano cheese sliced atop rice crackers. The cheese is mildly crunchy with a very fruity taste. The cheese itself was wonderful. The rice crackers were actually quite flavorful and, in my opinion, nearly smothered the refined taste of the cheese.

For the main course, we steamed tilapia fillets wrapped in aluminum foil. Added to the fish were diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, a dash of extra virgin olive oil, pinches of salt and pepper. Once the fish was sufficiently steamed, we cut the fillet into chunks and placed the chunks in bowls of rice, squeezing lime juice from fresh limes over it. The great thing about tilapia is that it has a very light scent so, if you don't like fishy-smelling fish, this is the fish for you.

We got a little lazy when making the tiramisu. Instead of doing two layers, which is most common, we did only one; neither did we let it set in the fridge for 2-3 hours, chiefly because we wanted desssert right away. For our tiramisu we used one egg, separating out the egg whites, and whisked the yolk in a bowl, adding sugar. Once the egg was whisked nicely, we added half a tub of Mascarpone cheese (saving the other half in case this all went wrong), and mixed it with the yolk and sugar. We then dribbled about a shot of rum to the mix. Next, we dipped ladyfingers into coffee (you might want to use espresso though) and placed them in a glass pan (we used a round pan, but it's more common to use square or rectangular pans), and dribbled two more shots of rum atop the ladyfingers. Moddang spread melted cookies'n'cream chocolate over the ladyfingers and then spread the cheese topping over that. We sprinkled cocoa powder and crushed coffee beans on top and put it in the fridge to settle...for about ten minutes before saying "to hell with that!" and flaked some dark chocolate on it, and ate.

Everything tasted quite good, regardless of our laziness in certain areas. I don't recommend being lazy, but it was getting late and we were really hungry. Anyway, I hope we keep doing this because I enjoy cooking, to the extent that I can cook, and will try to post whatever recipes we come up with. Until next time: Don't forget to masticate!

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