07.15.2011 by Andrea
Seattle Met magazine recently devoted an issue to all the treasures to be unearthed when exploring the market. Tourists love to flock to the original Starbucks store, visit the gum wall, soak in the sounds of smooth jazz, and watch the fishmongers toss freshly caught treats. Some of my favorite places to frequent are in the Market Blocks. You’ll find delicious cuisine at Matts’s in the Market, my favorite bartender [Murray] at Zigzag, hands down, pure tastiness at the Pink Door, fun concerts at the Showbox, and the best view of the market is at the top of the Hard Rock Cafe.
The Market hosts a fantastic cheese festival, and houses amazing vendors. This past Monday I got a chance to be treated to a dinner that featured dishes with ingredients that primarily were procured from the market. This meal, hands down, ranks high in best meals that I have ever had. When I saw the proposed menu, I was already smacking my lips, the finished dishes were out of this world.
The first course of the evening popped of flavor. This is the one that took the cake and has me wanting to make this, yes – you read that right. I would love to recreate the dynamic flavors of this dish. Ahi Tuna Poke. Cubed Yellowtail that was served with freshly made wonton crisps and a marinade that had over 24 hours to marry all the ingredients together. The mixture of garlic, soy sauce, scallions, crushed peppers flakes, and sriracha was just the right hint of spice, but wasn’t overloaded with too much kick. Add in the tuna and some avocado prior to serving and you will not be disappointed. AK tried making wonton cups the next evening, and then serving the poke in them for more portable pupu’s. I wish I had been around to try that too, and trust me I tried to smuggle the leftovers home, it didn’t work. But it was a valiant effort.
Two more servings of that delicious poke and I would have been content to call it a meal. But we were about to meet the next course. Bacon wrapped jumbo scallops. When I say jumbo, I mean it. So large, plump, and succulent. Without the added accoutrement of the bacon they alone were delicious, but we all know that bacon has a tendency to make everything more savory.
The head honcho in the kitchen that night, AK, recommended cooking the bacon just a smidge, prior to wrapping it around the scallop so that you can quickly pan sear them to perfection in just a couple of minutes. That way you’re not left with a strip of raw meat wrapped around the perfect scallop.
You would think that after those jumbo-jet size scallops we couldn’t possibly have a full size entree to have to devour, but we did. Halibut. One of my favorite fish to begin with. The topping that was created for this fish could have been a salad, side, or just a mid-afternoon snack. Sauteed onions, zucchini, garlic, roma tomatoes, salt and pepper, melded with feta cheese, then baked atop the halibut. The plate was then complete when we had a summer salad of spinach, cranberries, raspberries, candied walnuts, tossed with a blush vinaigrette.
Wow. A few deep breaths. I couldn’t have asked for a better meal to kickoff my workweek. Headed out to enjoy the sun that keeps trying to break through the clouds. Until the next bite, cheers!