Thursday, August 02, 2007

Parachute In for Some Tuna

As I was running laps around a track in Riverside Park tonight, parachute strapped to my waist, sun setting over the Hudson River, I was thinking about tuna.

Sushi-grade ahi tuna. It was pink and fatty. Fork brought it home before I set out on my run, and as I released the parachute for a final lap, feeling its weight disappear as I tore around the track feeling newly lightweight, my stomach started to rumble. TUNA!

I busted into the kitchen, and Fork and I set to frantic work. Within 15 minutes, dinner was on the table and we dug in. The tuna steaks were phenomenal; we lightly coated them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and seared them in a hot frying pan for less than two minutes per side, serving them rare. Fork also picked up more littleneck clams, his latest obsession, which were just as tasty as last week's. And what goes better with tuna than ginger? Instead of masking the tuna's fine flavor, though, we used ginger on the salad, in an emulsified ginger dressing recipe my cousin Kathy gave me years ago.

And for dessert, the ice cream flavor du semaine: Coconut. I prefer this name to the one Mark Bittman gives it in yesterday's Times--Cornstarch Ice Cream. Despite the unappetizing name, this ice cream is one of my favorites yet. It's not as smooth as other ice creams I've made (especially the French-style ones, with eggs), though it lacked the graininess present in many ice creams. Turns out that cornstarch prevents crystal formation--which results in that grainy texture--by soaking up water, so there's less water present to make big crystals. The addition of some toasted coconut at the end of the churning did lend a little texture, though: a pleasant crunch.--S

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