Searsucker in San Diego, California

Dining Outside the Home: Searsucker in San Diego, California. How many restaurants do you visit that actually encourage “shared plates”? Searsucker doesn’t mind. In fact they recommend it. They understand the trend of grazing. After all, friends get together to unwind over savory foods and playful cocktails, so this is the best way to try new things. When you think about it, presentation is love at first sight. Small bites can offer big flavor combinations. Take a look at the Spicy Ahi Poke with taro root chips. You can almost taste the toasted sesame and spicy sriracha. But why take my word for it? Take a seat inside for a crowd or table for two on the patio. Either way, you can count on sharing.

Coconut’s Fish Café in Kapaa, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: Coconut’s Fish Café in Kapaa, Kauai. Anyone who likes coconut shrimp will absolutely flip over this Happy Hour appetizer: Half price Coconut Shrimp with a fiery sweet chili pineapple dipping sauce. A generous portion count of six batter fried fan-tailed shrimp is enough to share or make a substantial meal for one. Don’t judge me. Another winner is the Ahi Poke: raw tuna chunks marinated in soy, garlic, and green onions. Try not to drool. Long story short, if you like to save money and don’t mind a late lunch or early supper, spend more time at the beach and then head over to Coconut’s Fish Café for a great taste of seafood.

Niçoise Salad

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Clean Plate Club: Niçoise Salad! Repeat after me, “nee-SWAHZ”. One more time, “nee-SWAHZ”. Spoken like a true Parisian. Now what does it mean, you wonder. In layman’s terms, niçoise refers to the style of cooking in the south of France. It usually includes deep brown olives, vine-ripened tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, tiny new potatoes, thin green beans, and anchovies or tuna. The dressing almost always includes Dijon mustard, minced shallots, herbs, and olive oil. If it sounds like a lot of fresh ingredients, think of it this way: it’s a gourmet salad, a meal in itself. Besides, it is absolutely show-stopping on the plate. Take your time. Enjoy every bite. Because when you’re all finished, you may discover you’re ready to have it again next week.

NIÇOISE SALAD

Ingredients:

1/2 pound petite fingerling potatoes

6 ounces thin green beans, ends trimmed

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon garlic wine vinegar

1 shallot, minced

1/8 teaspoon marjoram

1/8 teaspoon thyme

1/8 teaspoon oregano

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 head butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

6 ounces grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup niçoise olives

4 eggs, hard-boiled and halved

2 ahi tuna steaks

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons furikake seasoning

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Wasabi mustard

Instructions:

In a 2-quart pan over medium heat, bring to a boil fingerling potatoes, with skin on, in salted water. Cook 15 minutes. Add green beans for 1 minute or until bright green. Remove from heat. Drain; set aside. When potatoes are cool, cut in half or quarters. For salad dressing, whisk together Dijon mustard, garlic wine vinegar, minced shallot, marjoram, thyme, and oregano. Whisking continuously, slowly add olive oil until fully blended. Add kosher salt to taste. Set aside. Divide butter lettuce into serving dishes. Arrange fingerling potatoes, green beans, grape tomatoes, niçoise olives, and hard-boiled eggs. Serve with seared ahi steaks.

Instructions for ahi steaks:

Combine olive oil, vegetable oil, and sesame oil in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with furikake seasoning and white sesame seeds. Marinate ahi tuna steaks ten minutes per side to coat evenly. Remove from marinade and set aside. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil mixture. Cook steaks 2-3 minutes per side. The outer skin will appear seared while the center will remain rare. Remove from heat. Transfer ahi steaks to a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes. Cut into 1/4″ thick slices. Drizzle wasabi mustard on a platter. Arrange sliced ahi, overlapping the slices.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter P

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Color of Food: Poke Tuna Bowl! Allow me to introduce you to the rice cooker. In a mere 10 minutes, sweet Asian rice is transformed into a steamy sticky rice that can be eaten with your fingers. Simply scoop it into a ball, dip it in your favorite sauce, and nibble away. It’s that good. And gluten-free. Join the craze of poke bowls by adding ahi tuna and avocado chunks. Basically, you can dress it up to match your taste buds. It’s healthy, it’s colorful, and most of all, it’s Yumolicious!

POKE TUNA BOWL

Ingredients:

2 ahi tuna steaks, skinless

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons furikake seasoning

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1 1/4 cup water

1 cup sweet rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into chunks

Instructions:

To prepare ahi steaks, combine olive oil, vegetable oil, and sesame oil in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with furikake seasoning and toasted sesame seeds. Marinate ahi tuna steaks ten minutes per side to coat evenly. Remove from marinade and set aside. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil mixture. Cook steaks 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Transfer ahi steaks to a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes. To prepare rice, combine water, sweet rice, and olive oil in a rice cooker. Secure lid with knob set to Pressure. Set timer for 10 minutes and press Start. Meanwhile, cut ahi tuna into 1/4” thick slices. Chop avocado into chunks. When rice is finished, turn lever to Steam on rice cooker; wait until steam is released and then carefully remove lid. Scoop sticky rice into bowls. Add sliced ahi tuna and avocado chunks. Serve with dipping sauce.*

*For homemade Vietnamese Dipping Sauce, follow the link.

https://snapshotsincursive.com/2017/04/17

Dining Outside the Home: Coconut’s Fish Café in Kapaa, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: Coconut’s Fish Café in Kapaa, Kauai. Even if you never plan to ride a surfboard, you can still enjoy the spirit of Aloha every time you visit Coconut’s Fish Cafe. Surfboard table tops encourage a “Hang Loose” attitude while filling the room with positive energy and healthy food. Top a mixed green salad with the grilled shrimp duo and a seared plank of blackened ahi, smeared with wasabi sauce. Also, might I suggest the papaya dressing? It’s amazing. All sauces and dressings are made from scratch. Order the coconut shrimp to have beforehand or with the meal. It sets the stage for a fabulous meal.

Dining Outside the Home: Island Taco in Poipu, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: Island Taco in Poipu, Kauai. The handwritten sign on the counter said, “Aloha! Please try our homemade cinnamon crisp. Yum!” An inviting basket nearby was overflowing with crunchy sugar-coated flour tortilla strips. OMG! Within seconds Elise, a quirky illusion of a mermaid with ocean blue hair, appeared to take our order for lunch. Since all the tortillas are handmade, Island Taco didn’t stop there. Tacos that turn on, Burritos that beat all, Quesadillas that are quazy-good, plus much more. The chef at Island Taco goes on to create tropical choices like Kalua Smoked Pork, Seared Cajun Ahi, Blackened Mahi Mahi, Papaya Shrimp. Are you getting my drift? Refried beans and dirty rice are always a good idea. Generous servings are spot on! It’s a quick bite because, after all, you’re in paradise and the island lifestyle keeps you moving on. Hang loose. Shaka Mahalo.

Dining Outside the Home: The Fish Express in Lihue, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: The Fish Express in Lihue, Kauai! If you’re looking for a quick bite of incredibly fresh fish, spicy ahi, batter-fried butterfly shrimp, or seasoned seafood, make a pit stop at The Fish Express near the Lihue Airport. No matter the time of day, people can be seen standing around outside leaning against the building or sitting in the shade with a styrofoam container propped in one hand and a fork in the other. Once inside the door of this carry-out eatery, you’ll be blown away by the multitude of choices available in the glass showcase. No worries. Try anything that looks yummy. But you better hurry. If you dilly-dally too long, the person beside you might snatch it up. The staff is an old hand at getting people through the line f-a-s-t. Affordable Bento boxes are placed on the edge of the counter near the register as a convenient add-on. Do it. Throw a couple bucks in the Tip Jar. As you’re driving away, don’t be surprised if you find yourself cracking open a container to nibble on its contents. “It’s fresh off da boat.”

Dining Outside the Home: Morton’s The Steakhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio

Dining Outside the Home: Morton’s The Steakhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio! With a stunning view of Fountain Square and a wait staff that aims to please, it’s easy to see why Morton’s Steakhouse on Vine Street sets the stage for an unforgettable experience. For starters let’s try a modern “Mortini” like Pimm’s Cup. Oh, my! A peek at the extensive menu, known for their aged prime beef and signature dishes, leaves one already planning another visit. But for now, relax and enjoy the anticipation of lavish delight. Perhaps a nibble or two of Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, engulfed in a misty fog of dry ice as it makes a grand entrance to the table. Sublime. Prepare to share generous side portions for the ultimate dining extravaganza. After all, the grande finale is Soufflé for Two. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter A

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Ahi Tuna Appetizer! When you’re looking for something to serve that makes a great starter, choose an exotic appetizer that awakens the “wow” factor in your taste buds. It takes only minutes to prepare but your guests will long remember it after the evening is over. 
AHI TUNA APPETIZER 
Ingredients:

2 ahi tuna steaks, 4-5 ounces each, skinless

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or canola oil

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons aji nori furikake seasoning 

1 teaspoon white toasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon black toasted sesame seeds
Instructions:

Combine olive oil, vegetable oil, and sesame oil in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with furikake seasoning, white sesame seeds, and black sesame seeds. Marinate ahi tuna steaks ten minutes per side to coat evenly. Remove from marinade and set aside. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil mixture. Cook steaks 2-3 minutes per side. The outer skin will appear seared while the center will remain rare. Remove from heat. Transfer ahi steaks to a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes. Cut into 1/4″ thick slices. Arrange on a platter, overlapping the slices. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi paste, and a Vietnamese dipping sauce.