Eat Drink Style Thursdays with J, M & J - Miso Chilean Seabass Recipe & Seared Scallops

When I had first met J, she was barely starting her new hobby, wine-collecting. I usually drink anything in front of me, and for a while, I was drinking crap wine like $2 Buck Chuck because I didn't know any better. I even cooked with it. But it wasn't till I met her friend MM that I started to appreciate wine more as an art/craft than a source for alcoholic debauchery.

J: "You've gotta meet my friend MM. He's teaching me about wine."
Me: "Sure. I'll drink anything! Save me from the wrath of the $2 Buck Chuck."

In no time, J accumulated a collection of wine in her beautiful Danby Wine Cooler. I eventually met MM and learned a wealth about wine. The most interesting thing to me was that a good wine didn't have to reach the 3-digit bracket. He showed me delectables wines as low as $6 (3-bottles of $2 Buck Chuck).

Me: "Hey do you know how to pair wine with food?"
MM: "Sure, I can try."
Me: "Awesome. Hey, random question. If I hold on to a bottle of $2 Buck Chuck for 10 years, will the value of it increase? Say, to $20?"
MM: *weird look*

As an aspiring caterer, it is essential to possess the lore of wine. If you're serving up haute cuisine, the last thing a client wants to see is the same bottle of wine 3-4 times. You'd be fired instantly and resort to working in the kitchens of Applebee's or Olive Garden - stuck in front of the fry-o-lator for the rest of your life making sampler plates of mozzy sticks, wings and jalapeno poppers. I'd rather die.

We decided to start doing dinners with J, MM and MM's gf, JK. I had spoken to MM earlier about pairing a 3-course dinner. I could tell he was stoked because he immediately took for the wine store the same day we talked. He purchased 3 bottles of wine/champagne for my 3-course dinner, but ended up serving 2-courses. Seafood City, a Filipino market, didn't have clams to sell. What kind of seafood market refuses to sell clams??? Here's what we had:

Goat Cheese, St. Andre Brie/Camembert & Duck Liver Pate
We started off with a selection J bought from The Cheesestore of Silverlake with some mini toastettes. We had discovered these after one of many wine tastings at Silverlake Wine. We just had whatever wine I had lying around with this. Great selection by J.

Seared Scallops with Rosé Beurre Blanc
For the appetizer, I seared some large scallops with salt & pepper in some olive oil and butter till they were light brown on both sides. About 3-4 minutes per side and medium-high heat. I reduced some Rosé with shallots and vinegar and added cream, butter and sugar to the beurre blanc. A beurre blanc means 'white butter' and is traditionally made with butter, shallots, vinegar and white wine. The wine can be substituted with any sweet wine and the vinegar can be substituted with lemon. The scallops tasted buttery and were cooked perfectly. The butteriness was balanced off by the sharp and sweet taste of the beurre blanc. I served some microgreens on top to give a slightly bitter crunch. MM served a 2004 Carl Schmitt-Wagner Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett with this. Wonderful pairing.

Miso Chilean Seabass with Truffle Oil, Yuzu-Flavored Edamame and King Mushrooms
I steeped the Chilean seabass fillets for 3 days in a mixture of mirin, miso paste and sugar. I boiled the three components together and added them into a ziplock with the fish once it had cooled completely. Before broiling the Seabass, I sauteed some edamame beans and king mushrooms and seasoned it with soy sauce, rice wine and yuzu juice. I set the fish on top of the edamame and king mushrooms and lightly drizzled some French Truffle oil my catering boss had given me. Excellent stuff. The fish tasted great w/ the Truffle oil, but I had added way too many beans to the dish. According to the guests, it took some "work" to eat the beans. MM served a 2004 Dönnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spätlese with this.

Overall, it was a great night, ending with more wine-drinking and a few episodes of Reno 911. Thanks again to MM & JK for great wine and company. Stay tuned for the next "Thursdays with J, M & J" dinner. Thanks for reading.

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