The ingredients for this month's Paper Chef wasn't an issue for me. The cost of the ingredients was very interesting though: 75 centimos for 6 artichokes, 99 centimos for a bunch of asparagus and 15 euros for 850 g of tuna. Vodka? Well we have it lying around in here so I just used some of this.
Based on the cost of the ingredients, I decided that 'tuna' was going to be the star of my show. After all, it cost exponentially more than the other ingredients.
Other than that it could be the increasingly warm weather but I haven't had much of an appetite these days, which is maybe why I've been less inspired to cook. Warm weather just drains energy out of me and to be productive I need to keep the temperatures in my room under 24C. I guess this is why in Asia, the offices have pretty strong air conditioning to make sure people are working during the horribly humid and hot months of July, August and September instead of dozing off on their desks and being unproductive.
Enough of my excuses for being uninspired - and uninspired my executions were. Yes, I tried out three different ones and Ronny said they were all good, and I felt they were all kind of OK but nothing fantastic.
Anyway here they are:
The first one was very straight forward. I just braised the artichokes and asparagus in some olive oil with salt, pepper, guindillas and garlic, and served them with tuna braised in more of the same stuff. I used the juices from braising the tuna to make a sauce with vodka, sugar, soy sauce and wasabi.
In the second execution, the ingredients were braised in olive oil, with salt, pepper and guindillas again, and it was served with pasta. The tuna was marinated in vodka, lemon juice, salt and pepper prior to cooking.
The third execution was just watered down Japanese cooking. The artichokes and asparagus were braised in olive oil and seasoned lightly with salt only and set aside. The tuna was braised and then cooked in something similar to Teriyaki sauce, except instead of Mirin, I used vodka with lots of brown sugar, seasoned with soy sauce and spiked with freshly grated ginger. This was served with a nice portion of thinly sliced leeks on top to give it an additional zip. What was surprising about this last execution was how delicious the artichokes tasted with this sauce. The tuna flavored Teriyaki sauce spiked with ginger seemed to bring out all the good flavors in the braised artichokes more than before.
There's still time to send in your entries. Please go here to the Alison's lovely blog: Local Lemons.