Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Coronado Concerts in the Park: Sailing the South Seas

Oh, how I dream of Sailing the South Seas...better yet, Cruising the South Seas, on a mega yacht. Dooley and Diver would love it too! Yeah right, dream on! At least Sunday's Concert in the Park Culinary Challenge provided us with a taste of the South Seas.

Diver settled for a romp in the fountain.

There were so many choices this week. I knew I wanted to create something with seafood, and maybe something with pineapples or mangos.

Mom spends some time surfing the net these days and has been able to join us for most of the Concerts in the Park since moving back to Coronado. Now that I have the food blog bug, she also spends a good amount of time looking at recipes and photographs of food. During her surfing, she came across a blog post by Carolyn Jung, author of Food Gal, who was one of the lucky ones to receive a promotional brochure for the upcoming “Ad Hoc At Home” cookbook (Artisan) by Thomas Keller, including the recipe for his rendition of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. I wonder how one gets on that mailing list?

Mom also found a blog post by Elaine, of The Italian Dish, featuring her beautiful Cheesecake with Roasted Rum Pineapple and Pineapple Flowers, inspired by the April Daring Bakers' Challenge.

We combined Thomas Keller's cheesecake (recipe on Food Gal, here) with Elaine's pineapple flowers, and voila!

My favorite part of this recipe is the "schmear” of softened butter, light brown sugar, honey, dark rum, and vanilla

The recipe makes enough schmear for three cakes, so I decided to make two

The schmear is spread over the bottom of a silicone cake pan, and then sprinkled with a little salt

Next, quartered rings of fresh pineapple are overlapped in the pan before the cake batter is added.

True to Food Gal's word, the cake is inverted "onto your serving platter — with no fuss, no bother, and no dialing 911."

Of course, I couldn't stop at just one dish for our gourmet picnic in the park. I couldn't resist the sound of this recipe either, from Food Network...

Macadamia Crusted Halibut, Oven Roasted Asparagus, Spicy Mango Salsa, Ponzu Sauce, and Coconut Sticky Rice
by Ming Tsai and Budi Kazali
Show: East Meets West With Ming Tsai
Episode: Hawaiian Halibut

I've made macadamia-crusted halibut and a similar salsa before, but I liked the addition of the coconut rice, garlic chips, and ponzu.

The Spicy Mango Salsa is composed of pineapple, mango, papaya, red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice

The Coconut Rice was fun to make. Glutinous rice, also called sweet or sticky rice, is soaked in water overnight, steamed on top of a banana leaf, and combined with coconut milk and unsweetened coconut flakes

For plating, the recipe states: Form the rice into a small flat disk in the center of the plate. Spoon some of the Salsa on top of the rice. Lean the fish against the rice and drizzle the sauce around the plate. Place the asparagus against the fish and garnish with the garlic chips. I did not make the full Ponzu sauce because I wasn't able to find Dashi. I did drizzle a little bottled Ponzu sauce around the plate prior to serving. Here is it prior to the Ponzu drizzle.

Chris made his way over the bridge to join us. He showcased this magnificent platter of Grilled Colossal White Mexican Shrimp & Tropical Salsa (mango, pineapple, coconut, jalapeno)

Here's Kai's Hamachi Poke and Hamachi Ceviche, served on tasting spoons. Poke (pronounced "PO-keh") is a Hawaiian fish salad, usually raw, served as an appetizer.

And Kai's Pani Popo, a Samoan dish that literally means “buns in coconut milk.”

I think I'll blame Jim's shots of Hang Loose Pineapple Rum, but my photography skills were severely lacking and I did not come home with many decent photos.

Use your imagination and envision the rest of our impressive Sailing the South Pacific menu. It would not have been complete without...

Sandra's encore performance of Alton Brown's Cuban Sandwiches, which we all loved when she made them last summer. Although technically not part of our theme, we'll let her slide because they were so delicious ;-)

Alec's & Nina's Lamingtons, a sweet treat very popular in Australia, consisting of a small square of white cake (sponge, butter, or pound) that is dipped in a sweet chocolate icing and then rolled in desiccated coconut;

Pam's Shrimp Coleslaw Salad, with Ginger-Sesame Vinaigrette, taken up another notch with her addition of diced pineapple, mango, papaya, almonds and coconut;

Brad's dessert of Grilled Pineapple, first marinated in a little coconut milk and cinnamon, topped with Coconut Ice Cream and a sprinkling of toasted coconut flakes; and

Madeleine's Fruited Pizza, a cookie crust brushed with apricot preserves, topped with cream cheese frosting, and embellished with blueberries, kiwi and strawberries.

I'm all blogged out after my Daring Cooks' reveal post this morning, and finishing up this post this evening! Enjoy the rest of your week!


Rose at The Bite Me Kitchen said...

That all looks outstanding! What a picnic!

Kai said...

As always, thanks for the great write-up. All blogged-out? What am I supposed to read and drool over for the rest of the week?

cookienurse said...

Love the pineapple flowers!
It's a kick to read your blog..I live in Chula Vista!

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