Some of the freshest line-caught Blue Marlin from Hawaii, seasoned and marinated in salt, pepper, Sweet Moroccan Pepper (paprika-ish) and a touch of some Australian spice blend(coriander, cumin, garlic etc) with a dash of Olive Oil was grilled, then doused with a warm bath of Moroccan Preserved Lemon, Picholine Olives, Garlic, Tomatoes, Shallots and Olive Oil. This even had my ten year-old asking for more. Very Med.
Next, was a play on the overly used technique of sous vide. I picked up some fresh Alaskan Halibut Cheeks
. Naturally, a bit on the tough side, I decided that this technique now had great merit. I seasoned them with Salt
, chopped Fennel
, Anise Seed
and Orange Zest
and Olive Oil
and let them sit overnight. The next day, I packed them into the zip-lock bags(home style sous vide) with Shallots, Olive Oil
, Orange Juice
, an Orange Segment
and a splash of Harissa
. Sealed them tight and cooked them in 125 degree water for about an hour. I then removed them and let them sit at room temperature for a bit, then charred on a hot grill to get that last "smack"
of flavor in a bold form. They were delicious. The flavor held all of it's natural goodness and added a new dimension to the cheeks.
There were also the typical salsas; Pineapple-Red Onion-Cilantro~(a signature) and relishes; Mango-Red Jalapeno with Mint and the like, but the real showstopper was the marinated, spicy Pork "Sliders"! This was the HIT of the feast! Many of us could not stop devouring these little "muffulata-like" sandwiches. First I took a boneless shoulder and placed it into a agro dolce vinegar-honey-brown sugar-salt brine for an hour to tenderize it a bit, as well as add a little bite of acidity. It was then patted dry and rubbed with salt, black pepper, smoked sweet paprika, chipotle powder, Moroccan pork rub(cumin, garlic, pepper, poivron rouge, coriander, bay, ginger etc), garlic powder, chili powder and a splash of evoo. This was left to do it's thing overnight. The next morning, very early, I sauteed a mixture of onions, carrots, garlic and shallots, all chopped very small so as to just melt into the braise later, in which I again added more of the same spices to create very intense, highly aromatic foundation to the pincage. I added in the pork and browned in the very hot marmite. Next was the deglaze with various means of flavor...balsamic vinegar, molasses, honey, water, white wine. Throw down a bit of brown sugar, thyme and oregano and bring to a simmer, cover and then this is left for the long endurance of cooking for 6-7 hours at 250 degrees. The sliders were embellished with a lathering of Orange-Paprika flavored Aioli, slices of late-harvest sauvignon blanc vinegar Pickled Jalapenos(with a hint of mustard seed, honey and pepper), the Mango-Red Chili Pepper Relish and fresh picked Cilantro leaves all stuffed inside a soft, yet crusty shelled "po-boy" style loaf. Damn tasty.
To cap off the feast, my good friend Tyler Anderson, did us good with fresh cooked-to-order Cinnamon Doughnuts on our deck. One look around, and the faces said it all. This was what it was all about. As the last sparks flew in the sky, and the explosion blasts came to an end, and the embers on the beach burnt out to smoldering ashes and the stuffed guests stumbled out to the road, I was able to record this 4th as yet another great party at the beach house. Anything I would do differently??? Yes...hire a person to clean up!