Sunday, August 05, 2007

A good food and drink weekend

This weekend I did a quick trip to the hot central valley to join my brother in teaching our mother how to use her new computer. Food and drink always plays a big part in any get together and we did both. First I went to see the three brothers that own La Rocca seafood in San Francisco. When I need the best fresh fish its where I go to get it. Its a whole sale business that sells to the best restaurants in the bay area. I had the idea of doing something from Sicily with big bold flavors. The flavors of Sicily are influenced by its location in the Mediterranean sea, being close above northern Africa there is the Moroccan influence of using a lot of citrus in its food. Swordfish and squid are common so I ended up buying about three pounds of each. With the fresh fish and squid on ice I drove to my moms house. Once at the house I started to clean and cut the swordfish so it can marinate before grilling, my brother started cleaning the squid which will be a side dish. Of course any kitchen operation will need a beverage close by and with the 104F heat outside we choose Jamaican red stripe lager beer. Its perfect with Bob Marley music playing in the back ground.
Sicilian food with Jamaican beer? they are both islands so close enough.

For the Swordfish I made a marinade which I poured over the fish, then the fish was skewered with bamboo skewers (soaked in water to prevent burning) covered and refrigerated. during this time a charcoal grill was lit. When the grill is hot and clean, wipe with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. The skewers are then placed on the grill and turned every few minutes while basting with the marinade. The fish is done when just cooked through, too long and they can become dry. I served the Swordfish with a Sicilian cous cous salad. More on the Squid in the next post.

Swordfish marinade:
3 pounds swordfish in 2 inch cubes
1 cup fresh orange juice
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Marinate chilled and covered for 2-4 hours

Sicilian Couscous salad:
2 cups Israeli couscous
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
2 oranges, segments and zest
1 pinch of Spanish saffron
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
a splash of sherry vinegar
1 bunch spinach leaves, clean and dry
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
Toast the couscous in a saute pan with a dash of olive oil till golden brown, cook in salted water like pasta, remove from heat and drain, add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and allow to sit for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend together.

1 comment:

Bro said...

Don't forget the shots of Raki!!! Since we were cooking like in the Med, a shot of frozen Raki, in this case from Lebanon, caps a great meal. Raki is the name given to the liquor made from wine byproducts, it is similar to Grappa. Every country that rings the Mediterranean makes their own version of this liquor; in Greece you can buy a liter of the local stuff for a Euro!!