Uni season is coming to a close. While I can still claim it as seasonal, I made another attempt at "unibonara", or Carbonara di Mare, that I've been working on as seen in Dinner!
I gave up on finding appropriate smoked fish and this time went with grilled-and-cooled salted aji
/ horse mackerel as bacon / pancetta surrogate
- as seen in Breakfast!
One fish, picked over and flaked:
cream and Parmie Reggie
mise, or for Italian speakers, ミーザン・プラス
I set the noodles aside to dry after making seafood lasagne earlier in the month.
mise, looking the other way
Successes: The salted aji is infinitely better than the previous licquorice allsorts (hokke
), and a keeper. I reduced the proportion of umeboshi this time, and the dish lost some of its exhilaration. I'll go back to the previous amount, but this counts as successful experimentation. I also stretched what was previously a sauce volume for 2 servings of pasta into 4, using the same amount of core ingredients (basically just more wine and cream), without unduly compromising flavour.
Failures: well, the garnishing doesn't set a new standard for clumsiness, but there was stiff competition and it didn't move far in the other direction, either. By concentrating too much on photography and too little on cooking, I exceeded my single-filament personal bandwidth and screwed up several points:
- added the aji with the wine and umeboshi, as I did before with the super-cured hokke. The aji is of course more fragile (West African Mahogany is more fragile, come to that) and should have gone in afterwards with the cream, just to warm through. As a result it broke down finer than ideal, but this point almost falls under successful experimentation.
- missed the pasta timing, got the sauce too thick and failed to notice and adjust with more wine
before serving the second round
- and finally, what with everything else I didn't concentrate as I should on the salt adjustment and got it a bit short
thus suffering the indignity of the salt shaker at table. I have no excuse.
And it still tasted fantastic
The garnish leaves are once again 春菊 shungiku
, literally 'spring chrysanthemum' and a sign of spring, so that, what with winter uni and spring greens, this version nicely symbolises the change of the seasons - albeit one week after the equinox itself.
Look out for more uni frivolity in the post-season.
Edited by Blether, 27 March 2010 - 01:46 PM.