By Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3
What started out as a dry summer has certainly turned into a mental monsoon of sorts.
With the storm last week and a new one brewing in the Atlantic, it only adds to an already exciting if not drastically different sort of year.
As election years go, this is an all-time low, with vitriol and venom at every turn. This is precisely why I do not watch the news, and why I have not in years.
I’ll just keep up with the local events. If anything big happens, someone will tell me. Well, I’m pretty sure that they will.
But aside from all of the nonsense, I still regal in the thought that we at least have a few more weeks of summer. It is not quite over yet. You see, summer is a double-edged sword for me.
On the one hand, summer is a great season to live at the beach; fishing, surfing, swimming and all the assorted hobbies that are great when it’s hot outside.
But from a business standpoint, when the island opens up, we slow down tremendously 12 miles inland.
That was a harsh truth that I learned last year, and it was only grossly exacerbated this year as I try to make up for four months of lost income during the dead season.
Needless to say, I did not lose too much sleep over it. I can’t do much about the shutdowns and just have to prepare myself for wedding season.
Ah, wedding season. I love weddings.I cry at weddings; I am a hopeless romantic.
And while we still have several weddings to amaze and amuse over the next few months, the party sizes have obviously dwindled as restrictions are rampant and aplenty.
As none of us know what the winter has in store for us, the holiday parties haven’t come to fruition yet, but I am sure that they will.
Most people understand that they just have to invite fewer guests (which could be a blessing for many who won’t have to invite that one uncle).
But at the end of the day, whether it’s a summer party, a wedding cocktail hour or a holiday party, there is one simple hors d’oeuvre that I love to serve; tuna poke bits.
Served in a shot glass, it is a mini flavor explosion in your mouth and it does justice to a cold, crisp beer or a nice glass of sauvignon blanc.
Two little tips on this recipe: While most people do not know this, the tuna needs to be frozen to kill parasites commonly found.
Don’t believe me? Just look up ‘sushi worms’ one day and you’ll see a ton of videos.
As much as I love my fresh, raw tuna straight from a kill, I am not opposed to getting rid of the worms. Call me old-fashioned.
As for the sushi, it is important to understand that different packers have different instructions. Some are so refined that you do not need to rinse tirelessly under cold running water.
Others, you must perform this aforementioned, dull process. So follow the instructions.
And in my case, I lean more towards a Korean-style rice, adding sugar, rice wine vinegar and a nice chunk of kombu to elevate the flavor of the rice.
Play with this, and find a combination that you like. And for the love of Pete, please ride out the remainder of summer safely, have fun and make some good food!
Tuna Poke Bites
makes 30 small plates
1 lb. Refreshed tuna (reference article)
1 c. Poke sauce (recipe follows)
1 c. Seaweed Salad
30 strips pickled ginger (recipe follows)
1 avocado, small dice
2 c. Sushi rice, cooked
Toasted sesame seed & scallions as garnish
Spicy Mayo (recipe follows)
•Dice the tuna into small pieces, keeping them as uniform as possible. Also ensure that the tuna remains cold all of the way through this process
•Toss the tuna in the poke sauce 1 hour before service
•When ready to serve, merely place some sushi rice in a small serving vessel and top with the tuna and avocado
•Finish it off with the seaweed salad, ginger, scallions and sesame seed
•Serve immediately as it is best not to let the fish sit out of refrigeration for too long
makes about 1 c.
¾ c. Soy sauce of your choosing
2 Tbsp. Sesame oil
1 tsp. Srirachi Hot Sauce
2 tsp. Kewpie or Duke’s Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Vinegar from the pickled ginger
•Combine all ingredients and adjust to taste
makes about ¼ c.
2” fresh ginger
1 c. Rice wine vinegar
½ c. Sugar
dash salt, or as needed
•Simply use a spoon to scrape the skin off of the fresh ginger. No knife and no peeler. It’s a great trick
•Thinly slice the ginger and place in a heat-resistant bowl
•Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil
•Pour over the ginger and refrigerate, allowing the ginger to steep for at least an hour
•Add salt only if necessary
•Refrigerate until ready to use
makes about 1 c.
2 tbsp. Sriracha
Juice of 1 lime
¾ c. Kewpie or Duke’s Mayonnaise
•Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use
— Paul G. Suplee is an
Associate Professor of Culinary Arts
at Wor-Wic Community College.
Find his ePortfolio at www.heartofakitchen.com.