August 28, 2015 A Perfect Day of Food
We walked down the alley and picked two pounds of white figs that were. Ripe and ready to fall. We made granola, yogurt, milk and fig bowls and ate by the pond.
We went to lunch with James Turk and two of his associates at Que Houng. The food was not up to its usual high quality but Suzette and my Bun bowl of steamed rice noodles, salad, fried egg rolls, and grilled pork was really delicious.
After lunch I walked across the street to Talin and bought a lovely 1 lb. piece of fresh Monkfish, fresh Shanghai Bok Choy, shallots, and a piece of ginger.
In the evening we were not hungry, but we ate ½ bag of Onion and Sour Cream flavored potato chips while watching the news on TV, so I suggested that we cook the fish. Suzette she did not want to cook and create a mess that would need to be cleaned , but then she offered a solution; that we cook foil wrapped fish on the grill. I loved the idea. Foil wrapped fish is one our favorite ways of cooking fish. It was a favorite dish we used to eat at Roberto’s Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta when I first used to visit Harold and Suzette in the late 90’s, when they owned the condo at Conchos Chinos overlooking El Set and the Bay.
Roberto was very pleasant and his restaurant had perfected foil wrapped fish. It usually contained red snapper, some kind of chili, tomatoes and other vegetables. I think it was served with rice and beans. The dish is the equivalent of the French dish of fish cooked in parchment. It is always a treat when the bag of aluminum is unsealed at the table and that first rush of delicious aromatic steam hits one’s nostrils. The secret to the dish is that it makes its own sauce in the bag as it cooks and the flavors of the fish, white wine and vegetables blend.
Monkfish is one of Suzette’s favorite fish because if it is baked properly it has the texture and flavor of lobster. One of the easiest and most successful ways to bake it in foil. Suzette is a master at foil baking. She filled the bags with julienned carrots, diced tomatoes, white wine, sugar snap peas, and butter and a ½ piece of monkfish., sealed the bags and baked them on a moderately low heat on the grill for 45 to 50 minutes. Monkfish is a vey dense and thick fish that requires long cooking. I heated a bag of PPI diced brown mushrooms and Yukon Gold potatoes from Tuesday night’s meal and we threw a handful of them into the bags after the bags were opened. We drank a Santiago Station Sauvignon Blanc that I thought was a little sweet but seemed to be fine with the baked fish. Suzette toasted three slices of Fano baguette after we had eaten all the baked ingredients and we soaked the bread with the sauce at the bottom of the bag and ate that also. I relished every morsel of the dish. We melted slices of butter over the fish when we opened the bag to make a more buttery sauce like the dipping sauce for lobster.
This a fun way to cook and eat fish and it leaves no dishes to wash other than the dish you serve the bag on.
After dinner I could not resist the urge to open the new goat cheese I bought at Costco and spread a thick layer of it on the third piece of bread and eat it with the last of the Aberdeen rose as we watched a glorious performance of all Scandinavian music performed by the Vienna Philharmonic in a open air concert at one of the beautiful castles in Vienna.
The concert lasted from 9:00 to 10:30 so we had glasses of cognac. I partially enjoyed the Grieg Piano Concerto ( think in B flat) and the Peer Gynt Suite.
After a wonderful day’s food I felt great and got up on Saturday and rode 18 miles to Paseo del Norte and back.