Friday, July 8, 2011

Impromptu Dinner Guest

On the spur of the moment, I invited our neighbor from across the street, Joe’s coffee buddy to have dinner with us.  He asked what time he should come over and I told him sixish, though at that point in the late afternoon, I still didn’t know what I would fix for dinner.  It would just have to be on the grill because it was too nice a day to be doing anything inside.
Joe at lunch, under the apple tree

We had been given some fresh caught wild tuna steaks which were in a vacuum-sealed bag and were rock solid in the freezer.  Fish defrosts fairly quickly, I thought, and if I put it in a pan with a marinade, it would thaw even faster, though it was already past 4:00.  I made up a little batch of my “Surf and Turf Marinade for Fish” and poured it over the fish, substituting a finely chopped shallot for the green onions I didn’t have.  Then I went back to what I was doing before I made the invitation.
When Trace greeted William with his usual happy bark, I was surprised it was already 6:00 and I hadn’t even thought about dinner and what might go with the fish.  Oops!  We shared glasses of wine while I scrambled, pretending I wasn't flustered and unprepared.  I decided everything would go on the grill and could be quickly put together.  The fish had defrosted nicely and was well coated with the marinade.  I cut some peppers and a sweet onion in large chunks and sliced three medium potatoes into ¼” rounds.  All this went into a bowl over which I drizzled a bit of the Kitchen Essentials garlic and herb infused olive oil.  I decided to cut an apple into ¼” rounds as well, and sprinkled that with just a bit of cinnamon sugar.
All this went on the grill, which was at medium heat, while I put together a salad. 
Potatoes, onions, and vegetables

By that time the potatoes, vegetables and apple slices needed to be turned over and the fish put on the grill. 
Fish is on, vegetables are done and moved, apples and potatoes almost done
 I set the table on the patio and went back to the grill to turn the fish and move the vegetables to the side to prevent them from charring.  
Almost done...

We were almost ready to eat and this all took no more than a half hour from chop to finish.  I plated our dinner and put a nice dollop of “Mock Aioli” on each plate for the fish and the potatoes.
Ready to eat!  Joe said the potatoes were like the ones he had in Belgium years ago

I have never cooked potatoes on the grill before, but we all decided this was a really good way to have something like a French fry without the deep fat cooking.  And I really liked the fact that the whole meal came together so easily and so quickly.
Recipes for the marinade, the infused olive oil, and the mock aioli can be found in the following places:  “Surf and Turf”, “Kitchen Essentials”, and “A Big Birthday Party”.

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