#cookingoutloud. In this oppressive heat and humidity that seems to stretch on like a blanket of warm rubber on the skin, my mind is thirsting for meals that cools more than fills. And that brings us to seafood platters.
More so than any other dishes I think, seafood platters are exceedingly cheaper than equally delicious to make at home than to order in restaurants. Seek out not the fanciest, but the freshest, most in season, ready in abundance variety that will thus excel in both taste and market price, such as these abalones, fresh water snails and shrimps all flirtatiously alive and twirling at the market today. I had one job and one job only, and that is not to fuck them up by overcooking.
Bring pots of heavily salted water to a bare simmer, bare simmer!, and as many pots of water as the number of seafoods on hand so the flavors and impurities do not muddle with one another. After washing each type of seafoods, transfer them into each pots of barely simmering water, and poach them at such maintained, low temperature. The water should never boil, never!, so don’t you fucking dare, and the cooking time will depend on the type and sizes of the seafoods, but as a rule of thumb, between 1 (raw) and 10 (fully cooked), I always aim for an 8, the state of supple plumpness with the assurance of faint translucency.
Once ready, transfer them into a large bowl of iced water to chill completely. For abalones, take them off of their shells and remove the inner guts, then place them back for pretty sake. Serve over a platter of crushed ice. For condiments, I recommend mixing a big dollop of mayonnaise, Greek yogurt and Japanese mentaiko (cured spicy roe), small dollop of Dijon mustard, grated garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Something cold and refreshing to quench on the side, and my friends, summer is dealt with.