Eat Drink Style Summer Supper: Braised Short Ribs, Seared Salmon Steak, Spot Shrimp and Tuna Tartare

Summer Supper

The summer heat is here and automatically converts J's 400 sq. ft studio into a 375 pre-heated oven. When I cook, I need to slap on my headband not because I'm a posing, rap-star or deviant NBA star – it IS ridiculously hot in her kitchen. For me, the dynamics of a meal evolve once you move to the outdoors, even if it's in a courtyard, where everyone can peek through the curtains at you or overhear anything said. It's time to eat outside.

This occasion was fitted perfectly for a post-poned birthday like a baby blue prom dress on a high school junior. We had missed my good friend's wife's bday and decided to make it up with a nice 4-course dinner. I had known LL since we were in 2nd grade, and only grew stronger in our friendship through the years. He ended up wedding his highschool sweetheart after nearly 11 years of screaming each other's heads off, tears, abrupt hangups on the phone – you know, the true acts of love.

They came over on a weekday to see the table already set with more cheese that J had hand-selected at the Silverlake Cheese store. As they sat outside munching on the cheese, they didn't see the headband-bearing guy running amok like Remy of Ratatouille. But in the end, it's always worth it to see a smile on anyone's face, especially if it's two people that mean a lot to you. After all, cooking for a friend is the tastiest way to say... "you're not bad, i like you guys."

Table Setting

The Setting
Cheese from the Silverlake Cheese store. Cheese platter from iGourmet.com. Plates from Crate & Barrel. And a plastic folding table from Costco. Pure class, I know. Call it a form of membership rewards.

Tuna Tartare with Apples, Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil

Tuna Tartare
I must have raw fish in any meal. I do this over and over again because it's simple and tasty. No need to suffer any burns or missing digits with this appetizer. A few drops of soy sauce, fresh apples and a dash of sesame oil and you have a take on a famous hawaiian poké dish.

Spot Shrimp with Tomato Confit

Spot Prawns in Tomato Confit
For the second course, we made some delicious spot prawns. This comes from the wonderful "Sunday Suppers" cookbook by LA chef, Suzanne Goin. After J made this for dinner one night, this one was tagging along with us for a while. After roasting some tomatoes in some garlic, basil and olive oil, they are then puréed and used a dipping sauce for large, succulent spot prawns and baguette bread.

Roasted Tomatoes

Roasting Tomatoes
Tomatoes getting ready for a culinary MRI. You can't hear them, but they are screaming in joy.

Seared Salmon Steak with Artichokes and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Seared Salmon Steak in Thai Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Sautéed Artichokes
Third course. This was a favorite in the restaurant I used to work in. Salmon is seared skin-on and cooked to a medium consistency. The best part of the dish is actually the crispy salmon skin. The restaurant used piquillo peppers and chicken stock for the sauce. I did a take on it and roasted some red peppers and added Sriracha chili garlic sauce, créme fraîche, stock and butter. This was tasty, leaving a slight spice kick on the tongue. My friends ended up sopping up the rest of the sauce with the baguettes.

Braised Short Ribs with Daikon & Asparagus

Braised Sichuan Red Peppercorn Short Ribs, Daikon & Asparagus
For the main course, we served up a dish that J and I had at the wonderful Sona restaurant in West Hollywood. If you have not experienced David Myers' fine cuisine, close your laptop and go – I love it. I put it up there in my favorites along with Wylie Dufresne's WD-50 in New York. They are both masters of the kitchen. If you go into the restroom of Sona, you'll see congratulatory letters written to Chef Myers from notable-chefs like Daniel Boulud, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller and Tom Collicchio of Top Chef (recipient of FIVE James Beard awards). Anyway, I took his braised short rib dish and added some Chinese flavor to it by searing them in sichuan peppercorn/salt mixture. Thanks to the talented Jaden of Steamy Kitchen for her inspirational posting on flavoring salts. I braised the ribs in red wine, a mire poix, red peppercorns, ginger, soy sauce and a little bit of sesame oil. These turned out great. I would do this again and shred the beef for asian style tacos.

Scoops Ice Cream

Scoops Again!
This ice cream shop never ceases to amaze me with new flavors everyday. I believe this one was maple vanilla or something. I don't know, I just eat whatever J gets.

For Miles of Sideways, opening his bottle of 1961 Cheval Blanc which values at $2,600, was a special moment... as with the opening of our 2005 Sea Smoke Southing. The Sea Smoke went very well with the richly braised short ribs. This was a good summer supper. Happy belated to IL.

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