Lights. Camera. Transformers. We spent the first fifteen minutes of lunch this week talking about alternative plot lines for the upcoming Transformers movie, all of which are sure to be better than whatever mess they end up with. One story line included a line of robot dogs, and another featured garbage collectors called Recepticons, loosely based on a combination of Oscar the Grouch from Sesame street and Gary Busey, were he a Transformer.
What does this have to do with lunch, or wine? Nothing. We just want to provide a little levity for anyone who may take wine, meals, or life a little too seriously. For images from the meal, just check out our Instagram account.
Sunday was a light day, with only 7 people.
I went to the market and perused the fish counter for a few minutes. Among the refuse of smells, I found great looking (and smelling) red snapper. I asked for 3 – 4 pounds of fillets, which were wild caught in US waters.
The meal included pan searing the fillets with roasted root vegetables, roasted fingerling potatoes and gilled brocollini, and a prawn. We always try to eat with the seasons, and right now in the middle of winter, root vegetables are in vogue.
Heat a large skillet; I used a double burner cast iron grill on top of my stove burners. First, I brushed on 2 tablespoons of olive oil them place the fish skin side down, but make sure the pan is very very hot before you place the fish. I sprinkled with kosher salt, brushed the top of fish with olive oil then used a red fish seasoning, no additives, simply spice. When the fish was 2/3 cooked I flipped the fish and finished it for about 5 minutes. While that was cooking I placed the 8 prawns in another hot skillet and cooked on each side for about 4 minutes and just before down hit it with a splash of white wine and lemon.
Long before the fish cooked I prepared the root vegetables, which included beets, parsnips and carrots. I just cut into chunks, nothing fancy, tossed in olive oil, thyme and sage, and spread them around in a roasting pan. Same for the fingerling potatoes. Both went into the oven for about an hour at 450 degrees.
The brocollini was placed in another skillet or saute pan with olive oil and a splash of water to create steam. Cover the pan so the vegetables not only grill but steam as well. When complete squeeze a half lemon, add salt and more olive oil to taste.
All were plated the same way, root vegetable and potatoes in center of plate, fish on top and prawn on top of that, with broccolini on the sides. Garnished with olive oil, oregano and chives.
We served a great, and perhaps little known, Italian white from Sicily called Tenuta delle Terre Nere – Etna Bianco. Tenuta (bianco) is a white wine from Mount Etna in Sicily – it was wonderful and a perfect match. We also had a California Pinot with the cheese; the California Pinot was of course our very own Why Whine.
After dinner we had a course of cheese which consisted of parmigiana, fiore di sarde (Sardinian pecorino), brie and a semi soft French sheeps milk cheese.
This was followed by espresso and cappuccino and Averna Amaro, also from Sicily.
All of the food above was pretty easy to cook and prep, taking only a few hours with good family, good friends, great food, and great wine.