Monday, July 30, 2012

Scallop Showdown

I’ve recently discovered how amazingly easy it is to make seared scallops. Dry them with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper, sear in butter for 3-4 minutes per side (10-12 per pound size). 2 big keys: start off with good quality, fresh (not frozen) scallops and don’t touch the scallops until they are seared-no constant flipping.

Last week, Miss G came over and we had a showdown with a couple of whites to see which paired best with the scallops:

2010 Watermill Gewurztraminer: from the Oregon wide of Willamette Valley, courtesy of Miss G. Crisp, dry Gew├╝rztraminer with grapefruit which carry through the palate. Pear and floral notes round out the finish, making it a perfect pair for spicy Asian food.

2010 Artiste “Dog Rose Tree” Pinot Grigio. (I’ve talked about Artiste wines before in my Artiste Series Quests. They recently started a new line of Modern wines. Taking a New World approach to winemaking, Artiste “Modern Wines” are single origin, vintage wines that express unique varietal character, and each micro-lot wine is adorned by contemporary art on the label by American artists.) I'm normally not a huge fan of pinot grigio, but this was lighlty citrusy, but not overpowering, crisp, just a hint of herbal/grassy notes.

Results: Well, we’re torn. I didn’t put lemon on my scallops, so I preferred the Pinot Grigio because the additional citrusy was a nice addition to the food. Mr. Lush and Miss G drizzled lemon on the scallops, so they preferred the Gewurztraminer and felt the citrusness of the Pinot Grigio competed with the lemon on their food, instead of complemented it. Both were excellent, good acidity and crisp ness, so you couldn’t go "wrong" with either.

 Bottom line: normally we go with a lightly oaked Sauvignon Blanc, like the Chateau Ste Michelle Horse Heaven I’ve blogged about in the past, and I think next time we’ll head back to that. It’s always fun trying new things though!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Manihi Motu Picnic

We recently took a trip. Not just any trip, but my #1 bucket list item: a trip to the South Pacific. We went with my parents to the islands of Huahine and Manihi. Aside from seeing the most beautiful sunsets and gorgeous blue/green water, shark feeding, and me scuba-diving for the first time, one of the more interesting days we had was a motu picnic. (A motu is pretty much a deserted mini-island) It's more than just one picture can dictate, so here's the day:

We started off by hand fishing (no reel, just a block of wood with string tied around it, a rock and a hook)
I caught mostly these pink ones-smaller, but tasty!

After catching enough fish to feed a small hotel:

We arrived at the motu:

Our boat and captain/fisherman:

We went snorkeling:

And our captain found an octopus:

Which most of us "tried on":

(not me though, I was..uh..busy being the photographer and videographer!)

After snorkeling, the captain/octopus catcher cleaned the fish and we fed birds:

Here's the fish we're eating for lunch-I'll explain where the big ones went later. ;)

Here's our captain/octopus catcher turned chef-notice the octopus on the grill???? Yep, that was the one that was on Mr. Lush's face not even an hour before!

Here's our lunch:

So if you've been keeping track, our captain/fisherman/octopus catcher/chef is pretty talented-we're pretty sure he'd win Survivor, that's for sure. Well it doesn't stop there....remember the big fish (grouper) we caught that didn't end up on our plates? Well, he tied a rope around them and caught this:

Yep, he's a shark catcher-and whisperer! We all posed with this "cuddly little sharkie":

No hook used, so we just let him back into the lagoon:

Then Mr Lush took a stab at it...and caught two! Now, in my defense, the camera battery was dying and my reaction time was off, due to my shock he caught not one but two AND one of them practically landed in my lap, so I was a little late on the record, but here's what I have:

Whew! That was a seriously jam packed day-we thought we'd get caught in a storm on the way back, but luckily our ponchos ended up being more of a fashion statement than utility:

Time for some more Hinanu!