Saturday, October 23, 2010

Houston, we do not have a problem…


Houston’s moment: noun; a term used to convey extreme appreciation of food that has disappeared from your plate in a ridiculously quick manner.

A couple years ago, Andy and I went to lunch at Houston’s in San Francisco. It took only one glance at the menu to know what I was ordering: the seared ahi salad with mango vinaigrette. I am a huge fan of any and all things ahi. Chances are, if ahi is on the menu, that’s what I’m having.

My salad came and all my attention focused on it. The conversation came to a screeching halt (at least from my side). At one point, Andy asked me a question, but said I just looked blankly up at him, like I was in a daze and didn’t know where I was. Needless to say, I REALLY liked that salad. For the next several minutes, I concentrated only on powering it down, while savoring each wonderful bite. When I looked up again with an empty platte, Andy was staring at me with a mix of amazement, disbelief and maybe even a little pride (she says optimistically).

And the term “Houston’s moment” was born.

I figured this ahi dish with honey-wasabi glaze would have a fair shot at a Houston’s moment and I was right.




Seared Ahi with Honey Wasabi Glaze and Green Onion-Ginger Rice

Ahi:
1 ahi steak, about 5 ounces
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
canola oil

Lightly oil ahi, then press sesame seeds into all sides of the fish. Heat canola oil in a small nonstick pan (enough to cover the bottom) over very high heat. When pan is very hot, sear ahi on all sides, no more than 20 seconds per side. (Beware of popping sesame seeds.) Remove from heat and slice against the grain.

Glaze:
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
splash of rice vinegar

Stir all ingredients together. Set aside.

Rice:
1 cup cooked jasmine rice
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 – 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (to taste)

Combine all ingredients together just before serving.

To assemble: Plate rice and a few slices of ahi, then drizzle ahi with glaze.


With this glaze, you can very clearly taste the sweetness of honey and the punch of wasabi. But when mixed with the honey, the wasabi is not overpowering. It gives the ahi a big boost of flavor. The rice pairs nicely with the rest of the dish with complementing background flavors.

I did have a bit of a Houston’s moment with this dish. My plate was clean in a matter of seconds. And as I sheepishly looked at Andy out of the corner of my eye, I saw that he was indeed looking at me, then my plate in disbelief.

What can I say? I liked it…a lot. 


56 comments:

  1. This looks delicious! I would not have thought to put honey with fish but it sounds like it works.

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  2. fish and honey??? hmmm it s interesting taste for me:)

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  3. What a beautiful creation! I too would have stopped everythig to gaze at and eat this; I'm sre it must be as good as it looks.
    Rita

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  4. Looks beautiful!!! Kate@kateiscooking

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  5. The combo of flavors sounds really scrumptious!! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. This sounds so good!
    Kathleen

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  7. Your ahi is seared exactly the way I love it too. Has to be super rare. I also like the combination of the black and whit sesame seeds. The glaze is beautiful.
    I bet yours was better than Houston's. We have a Houston here, also, not too far from us. Great place.

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  8. I love seared ahi! Yours looks beautiful. I like mine super rare, too. Will try this one out!

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  9. I love Houston's! I have never had their Ahi but I always see it on the menu--I'm totally going to try it next time because of this post. Yours came out excellent!! You created a really beautiful dish here.

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  10. Oh, wow! That sure is beautiful! Love the contrasting colors of sesame seeds! Great job!

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  11. The dish looks so perfect. Love the presentation.

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  12. This looks so exotic and beautiful. I have never tasted ahi. But from the pictures I think I must start searching for this.

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  13. Hi,

    Love the dish...beautiful presentaion...:)

    Dr.Sameena@

    www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com

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  14. lovely dish! I love the simple flavours.

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  15. Absolutely gorgeous and totally my style. How wonderful that you've made this in your own home!

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  16. This is one of my husband's favourite dishes husband!
    Your presentation is absoluty michelin level!!!!
    Barbara

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  17. Your ahi tuna dish looks absolutely gorgeous. I've had this dish at Houston's before and have to agree that it is really fantastic!

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  18. Oh wow, this is absolutely gorgeous! You did a fantastic job. I am not always a huge fish fan but ahi is definitely a fish I can tolerate. Mmmmm!

    PS. Have I ever mentioned how much I love your fun and festive background on your blog?

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  19. Beautiful...I love this glaze, and your sear is perfect :)

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  20. Haha, I can totally relate to the Houston moment :) I've never made seared Ahi at home, but it's one of my favorite dishes to get when we go out!! Hawaii was especially full of Ahi :)

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  21. That is quite possibly the most beautiful presentation of a home cooked meal that I have ever seen. Love the bi-colored sesame seeds.

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  22. This dish sounds spectacular... and I understand the daze. Ahi does that to me, and we take dinner seriously in this house!

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  23. This looks absolutely amazing! The presentation is so delicate.

    Hey, I've given you a shoutout in my blog, a game of tag. Check it out when you have a moment :)

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  24. Karen, absolutely mouth watering. And awesome you got to recreate it. Houston's moment was hilarious. You enjoy your food, its not a bad thing (=

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  25. It's a gorgeous dish! A Houston moment for sure!

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  26. OMG Karen - this looks absolutely devine. I plan to make this next weekend after I finish decorating 5 dozen Halloween cookies. It will be a well deserved treat! Keep 'em coming!

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  27. This looks amazing! Can't wait to try!

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  28. Yum!! The tuna looks absolutely gorgeous! Definitely going to try that! Thanks!

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  29. I love the visual impact of seared ahi. Great stuff Karen. Sadly this is the kind of dish I prepare for myself when I'm eating alone. Otherwise I have force back tears as I cook a separate piece of ahi until it's well done for the rest of my taste testers.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  30. This looks absolutely amazing! The Ahi looks perfectly seared and I bet the flavors were just amazing! Congrats on #1 in Top 9!

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  31. I will confess, I have never actually tried to sear tuna at home, for fear of poisoning myself and family! But yours looks so incredibly good, it might be worth the risk. Congrats on top 9 and on recreating your Houston's moment!

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  32. Congrats on your Top 9 today!

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  33. Oh man, you have made my favorite dish ever! I order seared Ahi tuna almost every time my husband and I go out to a fancy seafood restaurant. I think it might be time for a romantic dinner at home! Thanks!

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  34. wow, that looks so perfectly cooked. Thanks for sharing this. Pictures are amazing :)

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  35. Oh, Wow, that tuna is perfectly cooked! It is absolutely beautiful!

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  36. I make this too! Nice Photos, I like your wasabi/honey idea. I use a sesame ginger, chili seasoning for the ahi crust.

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  37. Looks delicious...congrats on top 9!

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  38. I love Houston's Ahi... Whenever I have Ahi at another restaurant, it's always compared to Houston's. I've tried searing Ahi once before and failed... But now that I have Houston's recipe... Should be a daily meal

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  39. Congratz on the top nine...such a wonderful combination!!

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  40. Wow! Look at that Ahi! You have outdone yourself with this one. I always find it so tempting to overcook fresh tuna when I make it at home. You've certainly got the right touch. This is gorgeous - thanks for sharing!

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  41. Woohoo! Top 9 go you!

    This is absolutely lovely. No 2 ways about it :o)

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  42. I discovered a great trick when buying fish (shhh...don't tell). I tell the fellow behind the counter that I'm eating the fish raw, and he always goes back and brings me the very freshest fish. (Mind you, he swore just moments before that the fish in the showcase was the very freshest!)

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  43. This looks gorgeous and so fresh! The addition of honey sounds fabulous.

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  44. Amazing! Congratulations on the top 9!

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  45. Love it! Tuna is one of my favorites and that recipe..well! Gorgeous, Delicious and everything in between.

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  46. Congratulations on being #1 on Foodbuzz today Karen! Absolutely stunning dish :)

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  47. This is beautiful and I love the idea of honey wasabi.

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  48. your final presentation is so clean and beautiful, and the tuna freshness just stands out .. u are one great food shooter :)

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  49. Creative and innovative recipes. Lovely clicks.

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  50. Congrats, Karen! You made it to Today's Top 9, right! Such beautiful post.
    Kristy

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  51. You are a gem for this low cal. dish.
    Congratulation!
    Rochelle

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  52. There is a Houston's about a block from my house, and I've always ordered the pork chop ... but I think you may have made me change my ways. Assuming, of course, that I don't just make this at home and keep ordering the pork chop there! Nice job on the recreation, too - it looks beyond fantastic.

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  53. Looks fantastic! It's only 8:40 am and I'm already salivating for this recipe! Great job!

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  54. Delish! We love fresh Tuna and now that the oil has stopped pouring into our Gulf we are getting Gulf Tuna again! I will definately be trying this wonderful looking recipe! Thanks!

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