I like cooking, I really do. But the prep work is what does me in. I always underestimate how much time it will take to do all the chopping, marinating, skewering and such. Tonight I was trying a new recipe out of Stephen Raichland's Beer-Can Chicken: and 74 Other Recipes for Off-Beat Cooking on the Grill, Rosemary Tuna Fish Sticks. The marinating had to be done for 20-30 minutes, but I tend to forget there's a great deal of work that needs to be done to prepare said marinade. Plus, I served it with my signature grilled veggies, which takes a good chunk of time on its own. So here I am at a quarter to seven, sweating the fact that the zucchini still needs to be cut up, and the grill isn't even on yet.
While I still think threading the tuna with rosemary twigs is a bit of overkill, I was thrilled with the outcome. The medium-rare chunks of tuna were meaty, popping with the zest of lemon juice and minced garlic. I made up Raichland's Mediterranean salsa for a topping (tomatoes, black olives, capers, garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil); what a great match with the tuna.
I'll tell you what else was a great match: Santa Duc Côtes du Rhone. For an Old World wine, this was all fruit forward, displaying ripe raspberry and cherry on the nose. Smooth, soft feel, fairly light bodied with low tannins, and an acidity that was strong enough to come up against the lemon juice and garlic of the dish. Best part was, the fruit continued all the way through; this was particularly surprising, as I find a lot of French wines have such subtle fruit presence they fade too quickly when paired with food. Not this one.
Better than the wine or the food, though, was the company. Hubby and the Doodle had me in stitches all night. Doodle loves knock-knock jokes, so we're always coming home with new ones to share.
"Knock knock, Mummy!"
"Crocodile, that's who!"
Lately it's turned into random punchlines -- no joke, just the punchline -- followed by a Statler-and-Waldorf round of laughter worthy of the Muppet Show. I never know what the heck she's talking about, but it's hilarious nonetheless:
"What's up in the sky?? It's an ice cream! BWAAA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!"
You can't find that level of comedic genius anywhere, you know ...