Archive for February, 2009
Admittedly, this salad may be trying a little too hard (or perhaps I’ve been watching too much Top Chef). In any case, if you’re looking for a sophisticated, unique way to start off a dinner party, this is just the trick. The key to this dish is balance. Endive is naturally very bitter, but is offset by drizzling honey over the whole plate. The figs and pistachios add texture, and the fried prosciutto… well, who doesn’t love crispy pork?
Makes: 4 fancy “salads”
Total kitchen time: 30 minutes
- 6 heads of endive (green, red or both)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (an infused oil, such as roasted garlic olive oil, works great here)
- 2 slices prosciutto
- 1 cup dried figs, sliced as thinly as possible
- 1/2 cup pistachio nuts, shells removed
- 1/4 cup organic honey
- Preheat your oven (*ding, this is a great toaster oven candidate) to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Wash the endive and remove any unsightly outer leaves. Slice each endive head in half from the stem to the tip. Arrange the endive cut side up on the foil-lined baking sheet. Coat the endive generously with olive oil. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until the outer edges are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, fry the prosciutto in a skillet until crispy. Drain onto paper towels, then crumble the prosciutto and set it aside.
- When the endive is done roasting, arrange three pieces on a plate alongside a handful of sliced dried figs and pistachio nuts. Drizzle a spoonful of honey over the plate, then sprinkle the endive with about 1/4th of the crumbled prosciutto.
If sliced figs and pistachios don’t suit your dinner crowd, you can always drown the plate in blue cheese
The Travel Channel’s Man v. Food visits Seattle this week for amazing showdowns between Adam Richman (eater extraordinaire) and some of the biggest piles of eatin’ our city has to offer. Adam starts by tackling Red Mill Burgers, home to some of the best burgers (and onion rings) in the country. Then, he’s off to the waterfront classic Crab Pot, where he’ll undoubtedly use his 4 rows of teeth to tear through a wheelbarrow of seafood. Next, Adam bets the farm when he devours the infamous 12-egg omelet at Beth’s Cafe. Will he have what it takes, or will Seattle’s biggest appetites show him up?
My expectations were set high for Moshi Moshi (yet another) sushi bar on Ballard Avenue’s busy block of boutiques and bars. Needless to say, Moshi Moshi delivered on its promise of traditional Japanese cuisine mixed in with Pacific Northwest-inspired creations. If you’re planning on visiting, don’t bother looking for a sign outside – it doesn’t exist, at least not yet. Instead, look for the diffuse, cool glow of the restaurant’s imposing metal and LED cherry blossom tree, a central feature of the restaurant’s design. At its base, a wrap-around bar (sushi on one side, drinks on the other) welcomes walk-ins. The constant dance of sushi chefs and bartenders moving between their ingredients and eager customers stirs up a constant swirl energy that permeates the atmosphere. This place is definitely buzzing.
With good reason, too. Although sushi is their staple, the formidable page of starters and small bites simply cannot be overlooked. My personal favorite was a grilled oyster with spicy miso cream ($2/each, pictured top left). Also impressive was their selection of shioyaki: salt grilled fish and meat. I tried the waygu beef loin with soy salt ($14.50, pictured middle left), which was just the type of pungent flavorful dish I had been hoping to find.
Moshi Moshi’s fish selection is extremely fresh, and as diverse as its menu. I could only identify about 60% of the fish in my Omakase (chef’s discretion, prices vary, pictured top right), and I consider myself to be a bit of a sushi snob.
An unfortunate disappointment was a lack of creativity in Moshi Moshi’s “new style” maki sushi rolls. I’m a fan of the type of inventive interpretation you’ll see at places like Mashiko and Umi Sake House, and I had high hopes for clever suprises at Moshi Moshi. With the exception of a self-titled roll, the rest were predictable and even a bit pedestrian, especially when compared to the diversity found elsewhere on the menu.
All told, I believe Moshi Moshi has a bright future in Ballard. I look forward to eating my way through the rest of their menu, and perhaps claiming a new happy hour hangout. $4 maki and $1 edamame? Count me in!