March 28, 2014 Lunch - Anatolia Doner Kebab and Dinner- Halibut Roulade with Roasted Vegetables and Steamed Asparagus.
At 1:30 p.m. I went with Bill Turner to lunch at the newly opened Anatolia Doner Kebab at 313-B Central N.W. Everything about Anatolia is the same except the space is bigger. This was its first day to be open in its new location. There is still no art on the walls, leaving large swatches of white and blue on all sides.
I had a Daily Special which is now $6.99. Today’s special was a seasoned chicken on rice with salad and a piece of baklava for dessert.
Bill had a salad with homemade dolmas (grape leaves rolled around a stuffing of rice and pine nuts and herbs or whatever you choose, such as ground lamb) and black olives and his lunch was about $12.00, because he had picked a combination of things that had their own separate prices.
We talked to the owner and when we asked him about Kibbeh, he said, “It will take a while for us to get things straightened out and organize the kitchen so that you can order whatever you want.” Since I usually order the Daily Special, I am happy with whatever they chose to serve, especially since it seems to change daily.
When Suzette came home around 3:30 we took a nap and then at 5:00 we rode the bike for about 40 minutes to I-40 and back and then discussed dinner. When we got home, Suzette asked if the halibut was a thick steak and I said, “No.” I suggested cooking the halibut rolled into a roulade and adding sautéed slices of tomato, like the California Cuisine dish we have fixed in the past. I also suggested couscous. Suzette said, “What about tomato couscous?” I said, “Great.”
We got out the halibut and looked at it. It was about 12 inches long, about ½ inch thick and about six inches wide. Suzette cut the filet down the middle length-ways to make two three inch by 12 inch long filets. I went to get the wine. We agreed upon a Sauvignon Blanc and I selected a Joel Gott (Costco $9.49), which is a pleasant drinking wine without a lot of citrus or tannin.
When I returned upstairs, Suzette had rolled each 3 by 12 inch long halibut filet around a thick slice of lemon and used a 5 inch long bamboo skewer to hold the rolls firmly and had run the PPI canola oil from last week’s fish frying through a strainer to remove all the food particles into a large skillet and was sautéing the fish rolls and had stemmed the asparagus and had it steaming in the steamer.
In another skillet were the roasted vegetables we had thawed out from the freezer. Suzette said she had decided to sauté the roasted vegetables instead of making couscous. Suzette asked me to make some tartar sauce and I got the mayonnaise from the fridge. And then went looking deeper in the fridge for the pickle relish and horseradish. When I returned from the fridge Suzette had ladled a large spoonful of mayo into a bowl and squeezed lemon on it, so I added the relish and horseradish and mixed everything together and we were ready to eat.
We loved the halibut cooked in this manner. The edges were crisp and the center was tender. Only about 1 square inch on each roulade was undercooked, which is remarkable. The rest of the fish was tender and flaky except at the edges, which were crispy.
The roasted vegetables were soft and tender, also; but the asparagus was crisp and not over cooked, so the asparagus was delicious and along with the edges of the fish rolls, the crispest textures of the meal.
This was a wonderful meal. Suzette said she liked the way we sautéed the fish better than poaching which make it soft and tender but without any crisp texture and better than fried fish which tends to soak the fish full of oil. This method keeps the flesh of the fish fresh without any undue moisture from the poaching medium or exceedingly oily from the submersion in frying oil, except for the edge of the roll which is crisp and golden browned part that is a pleasant and little different in texture anyway.
After dinner I had a bowl of spumoni ice cream with lemon curd and chocolate sauce and a dash of cognac with a cup of tea and a glass of Calvados. This was too many flavors. I should have limited dessert to the spumoni with the dash of cognac.
I woke up during the night and watched all of “Seven Years in Tibet” for the first time, which I found to be unbelievably moving. It is a true story about an Austrian soldier who is a world class mountain climber who escapes with a friend from a British P.O.W. camp in India in 1943 and climbed into Tibet. They eventually make it to Lhasa and were befriended by Tibetans and he befriended the Dali Lama. He returned to Austria in 1950 when the Chinese invaded Tibet and the Dali Lama left in 1959; a very lovely and moving story.