Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 14, 2015 - Lychee and Coconut

Good Morning!  It has been a long time.... this is technically our first post of 2015!  And we have a beauty of a meal for you!  

If you live in the Northeast, you are probably like us and cursing winter at this point.  The sound of a snow plow sends chills up your spine, and you are staring longingly at your flip flops waiting for that first crocus to emerge.  With that in mind, we decided to make this blog night a spring-ready meal... light, flavorful, tropical!  However, we did have an issue this week.  Originally, our chosen ingredient was a kumquat.  Why?  Because why not!  I was in the grocery store, saw them for sale and the next day, shot Jennifer an email saying "we've never tried Kumquats!"  So we plan up this fancy menu... low and behold the next week when I go to the grocery store - they're now out of season.  Soooo... we had to make some small adjustments, but I can't imagine this meal being any better!

Cocktail - Lemongrass Lychee Sake-Tini

Mix some vodka, cold sake, the juice from the lychee can, some lemongrass syrup and voila!  This was exquisite!  The slight gingery heat from the lemongrass with the sweet lychee - perfection!

Appetizer - Watermelon, Lychee, Basil Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Vinaigrette

Ok, so lychees are odd looking, I know.  They are a Japanese fruit that can be found at most Oriental markets and come packed in syrup in a can.  (Almost like when you buy fruit cocktail at the grocery store.)  They are delicious - sweet and exotic.  If you've never explored this fruit, definitely give it a try - don't be put off by the odd appearance.  Now - let's mix these sweet lychees with some crisp and juicy watermelon, add some fresh chopped basil and mix it with a spicy lemongrass dressing and you've got yourself a fabulous meal.  This along could be a stunning lunch!  (We did exclude the feta - just didn't seem to make sense.)  Oh - and the lemongrass - we cheated.  We could have bought the individual stalks at the grocery store, but instead found a jar of pre-sliced lemongrass in liquid and that worked out even better.  (We also use lemongrass a bit so its just economical.)

Appetizer Wine - 2013 Pike's Riesling

This crisp Riesling was a surprise!  Not sweet and not overwhelming at all!  There were great flavors of green apple and lemon with a lingering finish of mineral and stone.  A fantastic summer wine.

Entree - Coconut Crusted Swordfish with Mango Sauce

This is where that lack of kumquat could have caused an issue.  However, we made a quick executive decision and mango seemed like an equally good partner to coconut and fish!  This would make your gym trainer so happy.  (I think... don't quote me on that.)  Fresh and delicious swordfish lightly coated in coconut flakes and then sauteed up.  The sauce is divine - a simple mix of the OJ and diced mango in the leftover juices from the fish!  (Yes, we did cook with coconut oil.)  Seriously - a light and delicious fish!

Side Dish - Coconut Rice

See picture above

It's a rather foolproof recipe and it leads to delicious results!  (Paired with some fresh edamame!)

Entree Wine - 2012 Trimbach Pinot Blanc

This French white is the perfect pairing.  Smooth and crisp with white flowers and apricot, this medium bodied white stood up well to the meaty fish but didn't overpower.

Dessert - Chocolate and Mango Spring Rolls

I'm not even sure why I'm posting the recipe since we completely deviated from it.  First issue was the lack of kumquats (easily solved with mango).  Second issue was once we read it after two bottles of wine, we realized it involved making your own chocolate bars.  (Umm... yeah... not going to happen.)  Sooooo.... we winged it.  We combined chopped chocolate, shredded coconut, diced mango in a bowl and then filled spring roll wrappers.  Roll them up and quickly fry.  Then dust with chocolate shavings.  Delicious!

Aperitif - Mionette il Ugo

Ok, so an Italian prosecco doesn't quite match the rest of the theme, but there's a cute butterfly on the bottle!  We didn't know what to pair with dessert and after the light wines, we figured some bubbles were in order!  This prosecco is actually fused with elderflower so it gives a nice crisp finish that perfectly rounded out our meal!