I have a three-volume set of Confucius teachings. Years ago, when we were all young and passionate, and tended to argue earth-shattering issues till wee hours of the morning, with guitars and Georgian wines (that’s a country, not a state), sometimes, when an argument hit a dead-end and voices got hoarse, one of us would pull a Confucius volume, open it at random, and pronounce, “Confucius say..”
I have been immensely fortunate and highly privileged to “walk along” many exceptional bloggers, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from them. Even though I have announced that this humble blog of mine is not accepting any more awards, I felt the need to thank those great bloggers who have nominated me for various awards.
I have been repeatedly nominated for this one:
I truly don’t understand what makes my blog lovely. I cook, I take amateur pictures, assisted by a helpful cat, and I write, and only the latter is professional, or, rather, had been long time ago. Well, Confucius say…
Therefore, I’ll just grab what has kindly been handed to me, and proceed.
Thank you, dear friend! If anything, not I, but you, each and everyone of you, deserve recognition for your talents and hard work!
Finally, I thank you, beautiful ladies and awesome bloggers, for this particular honor, especially because this is one award the rationale for which I can at least understand. What I am about to cook is a mystery to me!
I had three beautiful Ahi tuna steaks. We were expecting only one guest for Friday night dinner. I can do math (sometimes!). I was planning to quickly sear them on the grill right before Shabbos, then wrap them in foil with a few drops of lemon juice, and stick them in the oven until it was time to serve the main course. I was also planning to serve my Barely Cooked Spinach (see recipe here). But you know what happens to “the best plans of men and mice” – at the last moment, I got two more guests one of whom was a vegetarian. I had to do math again (not my thing, but I can do it, if I have to!), and figure how to make four tuna steaks out of three. Confucius say…
So I did. I decided to slice my beautiful steaks (what a pity!), marinate them in white wine and lemon juice, stick them in the oven right before Shabbos, and hope for the best. I also seasoned them with salt and pepper, and, on a whim, scattered a handful of sliced black olives on top. For our vegetarian friend, I made arroz con frijoles negros – Rice with Black Beans (see recipe here).
Meanwhile, I was simply curious: what am I making here? Google to the rescue, and guess who comes up – Confucius! The Book of Rites, known as the core of Confucianism, mentions Kuai, “finely cut slices of raw fish or meat” marinated under various sauces. Kuai served without a sauce was considered inedible, and the one ingredient common to most sauces was mustard seed. Aha, Confucius say… I quickly added yellow mustard seed. Then I tasted it in order to adjust acidity and seasoning, and – mystery of mysteries! – it was soooo good, that I decided on the spot to serve it as is, as my humble imitation of Kuai.
This photo is taken before Shabbos, obviously, but this is exactly how I served it. Instead of Barely Cooked Spinach, I served my Fishy Mystery on a bed of fresh baby spinach and garnished it with a few crispy corn kernels. It was a smashing hit! I was asked where I got the recipe, and all I answered was, “Confucius say…”
Before getting to the actual recipe, I want to leave you, Beautiful People, with two pieces of advice to other bloggers:
- 1 lb Ahi tuna sliced in thin strips
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (preferably the one you plan to drink with it)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pour wine and lemon juice over sliced fish, add olives and mustard seed, season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and keep refrigerated for at least 30 minutes, possibly more.
- Serve on a bed of fresh spinach or any baby greens, garnish with corn.