Monday, July 09, 2007

Corn on the cob in white wine and salmon marinated in coffee

I got tired of cooking corn on the cob on the grill - even if I soaked it and partly steamed it first, and despite the blackened kernels looking pretty cool, it still came out dry. So, I have gone the other direction. I soaked the corn on the cob in a bottle of cheap white wine, for a few hours - not sure, actually, how much is absorbed that way. Then microwaved them in the wine until done. The corn came out moist and heavy with a mild winey scent and flavor to it. Instead of butter, I mixed coarse sea salt, olive oil, some benocal butter subsitute, fresh mashed garlic, black pepper, juice of two lemons, and zest of two lemons, as a dressing for the corn. Excellent.

Tomorrow, well I am grilling something very, very experimentally. The wife and daughter are highly dubious. The fresh salmon fillet, skin on, is marinating in a combo of strong espresso, unsweetened chocolate, cinammon, chiles, fresh squeezed clementine juice, garlic, and Cointreau liquer. If this doesn't go well, I suppose this may be my last blog post. But I have seen coffee as a marinade at least once or twice on the internet - although, to be sure, one can see many, many things on the internet of the "don't try this at home" category.

My last salmon, however, grilled and then served with a reduction sauce of amaretto, balsamic vinegar, cinammon, vanilla, orange juice, prunes ground up fine, and then good quality turbinado coarse raw cane sugar scattered on top, was a big success.

(Update. The coffee, chocolate, cinnamon, etc. salmon was interesting. I rinsed it off carefully - the coffee-chocolate marinade had absorbed into the salmon flesh - and got all the excess off the fish. I put some mild chili spices, salt, very standard spices on it and some olive oil, then baked it in the oven for a bit, flipped it over so it was skin up and finished it under the broiler. The salmon had a very distinctive taste. It was dark and almost but not quite smokey - I guess I'd say smokey without the "bite" of smokey. Almost bitter, but not quite bitter. I guess the word I want is "alkaline." Interestingly, Jean-Marie and Renee both liked it - specifically liked the taste of the marinated fish, not just the chili spices on the outside. But Jean-Marie rarely likes meats or fish cooked with fruits or sweet things - she prefers them sour, acrid, slightly bitter and dark. I don't think the flavor would have stood up all on its own - after the marinade, the fish still needed the chili spices. But it gave the fish a very specific, dark, almost bitter but not quite flavor. That was with a strong tasting fish, salmon - I'm not sure whether it would be a good thing or bad thing was a less flavored white fish to start.)

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