Monday, June 20, 2011

Coronado Concerts in the Park - Make it Raw, Baby

We're already four concerts into the Coronado Concerts in the Park summer season, and I've only posted one short recap of the first one at the end of May.  Packing for the move turned everything upside down, then Dooley got sick, and now we're in the midst of unpacking and getting used to our new home. John left for a short business trip early Sunday morning, so I was left alone to create something "raw" for the culinary theme of the evening.

Nina, one of our core cooking friends, just started a blog called Fresh! On My Plate, a collective endeavour to inspire new enthusiasm for the art of designing what we eat, so we may derive full enjoyment and benefit from nature's bounty... We've loosely followed her June weekly themes for the concerts this month: Farm to Table, Cooking Clean, and Make it Raw.

Alec & Nina

Sashimi came to mind for Make it Raw, so I chose to recreate Hamachi Sashimi with Tangerine Vinaigrette, from The Fish Market's Top of the Market restaurant. I raved about it in my Where the Wild Things Are post back in May, and was able to purchase a beautiful piece of hamachi from The Fish Market's retail fish market yesterday.

Sous chef Johnny's hamachi is served with tangerine vinaigrette, macadamia nuts, and micro greens. I borrowed Bobby Flay's tangerine vinaigrette and spicy almonds from his Preserved Duck Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette and Spicy Almonds for my version. I have about half of the vinaigrette left over, and just might have to do a repeat of my recent Salmon, Arugula and Couscous Salad to use it up. There's quite a few pieces of spicy almond brittle bits left for salads, or just nibbling.

Tangerine Vinaigrette

4 cups fresh tangerine juice
2 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon chile de arbol powder
½ cup pure olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a saucepan over high heat, cook the tangerine juice until it is reduced to ¼ cup and becomes a syrup.  In a blender, combine the tangerine syrup, vinegar, mustard, honey and chili powder and blend for 30 seconds. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until the dressing emulsifies.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a plastic squeeze bottle. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Almond Brittle

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup lightly salted almonds
1 teaspoon chile de arbol powder

Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil or nonstick spray, set aside.  Combine the sugar and water in a medium nonreactive saucepan and cook over high heat until a dark amber color. Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds and chile powder. Carefully pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and let harden at room temperature. Let harden and coarsely chop.


I purchased 1/2 pound of fresh, sashimi-grade hamachi, which yielded approximately 16 slices. I tossed the micro basil in tangerine vinaigrette, and also drizzled vinaigrette over the hamachi.  I garnished the plate with spicy almonds, micro basil leaves, tangerine supremes, and fleur de sel.


We were also celebrating Father's Day at the park, and the father-daughter duo of Alec and Sonoma danced the night away...

I cheated a bit on the raw challenge - reducing the tangerine juice to a concentrated syrup, and simmering the sugar and water to a rich amber color, did require some heat.  Nina cheated as well, with her Ahi Poke on Crispy Won Tons.

Kai and Olivia made their way up to grassy dance floor surrounding the gazebo for a few of their own father-daughter dances...

Kai's Beef Carpaccio was amazing, with arugula, shaved Parmesan, and a drizzle of Dijon vinaigrette

Beef Carpaccio
Alton Brown, via Food Network

8 to 10 ounces beef tenderloin, from the tip end of the roast
4 handfuls arugula
Your favorite vinaigrette
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Shaved Parmesan

Wrap the tenderloin in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, unwrap the tenderloin and thinly slice the beef into approximately into 1/8 to 1/4-inch pieces. Lay out sheets of plastic wrap and place each slice onto the plastic. Top with another piece of plastic and gently pound the meat with a meat mallet until paper thin. Repeat until all of the meat is sliced and pounded. Divide the meat evenly among 4 chilled plates. Serve with greens tossed with vinaigrette, salt, pepper and/or Parmesan.


We're never short on desserts!  Carmen went raw with these stunning mini Cheesecakes, but I also spotted Olivia's Trifle and something chocolaty on the dessert table.


I'm sensing some frustration with the raw menu...


bunkycooks said...

These dishes are lovely, but then I wouldn't expect less! I love the raw theme and the Tangerine Vinaigrette sounds incredible! I hope we can find a way to get there before the series ends!

eCoronado said...

Denise, oh how we have missed your summer concert cooking posts. Your words and photos are amazing and we promise to come by and say hi (and steal a bite or two). People of Coronado - this is how you do Concert in the Park!

Kim said...

Swoon. All of it. When tangerines are back on my tree, you BET I'm going to make this. :)

We're breaking a tradition this year with Barry's friends, and it's making me quite sad. For the past three years (and more for the rest of them), a group of us have always prepared picnic dinners to enjoy on the back bay before jazz concerts at the Hyatt Newporter in Newport Beach. (No one fancy was coming to town this year.)

So we're settling on a Chris Botti concert in Temecula in September. :) - Hey, maybe you guys should meet us there!!!