Friday, September 12, 2008

What's for dinner: Bday dinner results

As is usually the case with a menu, I made tweaks to what I was planning for tonite.
First, I decided that instead of searing the scallops I would cook them sous vide (under vacuum). That meant cooking them in a vacuum bag in water at a temp no higher than 140 degrees. Not long ago Dave bought a portable induction burner, and it did a magnificent job of keeping the water between 138 and 141 degrees. I made this menu change for two reasons: 1) I was searing the steak, and wanted some texture variety; 2) Less attention needed to be paid to the scallops while I finished the rest of dinner. A third reason was that I wanted to try it -- and as soon as Dave reminded me we have the induction burner, it was a slam dunk. Incidentally, they came out perfect -- firm but not chewy, very sweet, and great with the Bearnaise.
I also messed around with the salad a bit. Same ingredients, but I tried juicing some of the tomatoes and making a fresh tomato aspic with the pearl mozz suspended in it. I think I went a little too light on the gelatin, so it didn't really hold its shape. But the flavor was fantastic, very intense tomato with hits of the basil vinaigrette. Like a cold jellied tomato soup.
The ahi noodles looked great, and so did the Baked Alaska:

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