Archive for September 15th, 2010

September 15, 2010

Slice of Columbus 2010

What a great group of volunteers Nationwide Children’s Hospital has in its Development Board.  They all work so hard to raise funds for a truly world-class hospital.

The 21st annual Slice of Columbus gathered 20 local pizza shops to vie the title of  “Best in Columbus.”  A huge crowd of enthusiastic pie tasters thronged the LC Pavillion to taste offerings from diverse shops such as Adriatico’s,  Sparano’s, Late Night Slice and Mellow Mushroom.

Winners included Creno’s (Judges Favorite) and People’s Choice went to Romeo’s.

I personally tasted and judged only about half the offerings, but enjoyed every moment of it.  The band played loud, beer and cold beverages flowed and my tablemates and fellow judges cracked wise.  It was a great night.

The true winners of the event are all of the children the hospital will be able to serve.  I was happy to do my small part to help.

September 15, 2010

Perfect Pairings | Turbot in Aubergine Soup

Bread and butter.  Strawberries and cream.  Proenza and SchoulerBlomkvist and Salander.  I’m not simply saying that some things go together, I’m saying that they complement each other, they amplify each other, and their sum is greater than their parts.

Take, for example, eggplant and tomato.  They grow together, they’re picked together, and most importantly, they create the most amazing flavor together.  I can’t help but believe that nature wants us to follow its cues.  In fact, earlier this week I simply roasted eggplant and tomatoes together, took the tray out of the oven, and poured it over pasta.  It’s a marvelously versatile combination.

Today we have a delightful, late-summer dish that will leave you with a satisfied smile.  The soup and crouton are satisfying, and the fish is simply prepared and light.  For those of you interested in economy, it will stress neither your grocery bill nor your time.  It’s also very easy and looks lovely when served.

September Turbot in Aubergine Soup

2 1/3 lb Turbot Fillets

½ of a medium-sized eggplant, cubed

1 lb of tomatoes, roughly chopped (1/4 cup reserved)

½ white onion, diced

2 healthy slices of rustic bread

1 garlic clove, peeled

Salt, pepper, olive oil, small handful of chopped herbs

In a medium-sized pan, add a glug of olive oil and soften the onions over medium heat, about 6 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and eggplant, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blitz.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350˚.  Cover the bottom of a roasting dish with parchment paper to keep the fish from sticking.  Rinse your turbot fillets under cold water.  Season with salt and pepper and gently fold the fillets in half, skin side in, placing them next to one another in the dish.  PK tip:  Salt your fish just before you’re ready to cook it.  Salting too early will dry it out.  Drizzle generously with olive oil.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until fish is no longer translucent and has just begun to flake.

Toast your bread.  While still hot, rub each slice generously with your garlic clove.  The toast acts as a nice “grater.”

To serve:  Pour several ladlefuls into the bottom of two warm, shallow bowls.  Place your toast in the middle, about ½ submerged.  Place your fish filet atop the bread.  Garnish with reserved tomatoes, chopped herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serve with a Sauvignon Blanc, Indaba, perhaps?  Very cheap and cheerful.  Also found regularly at Fresh Market and Whole Foods.

Playlist included the enchantingly Icelandic Hafdis Huld.

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