Your Sensitive Side

December 20, 2006

A few foods have a remarkable quality that makes a person feel safe, secure, comforted. Mashed potatoes are definitely one of those, but they also say, “eat, eat, you’re too skinny. I’m your mother, I should know.” This dish, on the other hand, says “I’m a sensitive, caring man, who know’s that G marks the spot.” It will make her feel like you’ll be there until her dying day, or until she gets bored with your dinner conversation, which ever comes first.

Serve this as a second course, right after the oysters topped with creme fraiche and caviar.

Miso Lemon Soup

What’s really important with this soup is the 4 simple, bold flavors. Your stock should be simple and pure.

miso_soup.jpg

Simple Fish Stock
The correct way to do this involves a visit to your fishmonger. Ask for 3 small fish heads, preferably fileted carcasses. I like to use sea bass, flounder and weakfish, but just about any light-fleshed fish will do. Cut the gills and the guts out with your heavy duty shears. Put them in 10 cups of fresh spring water with a bay leaf and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bones, strain the stock and add another bay leaf, 1/2 tsp of salt and 5 sprigs of thyme. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 more minutes. If you’re in a pinch, you can skip the fish heads and use bonito flakes.

Assemble the Soup
Juice of half a lemon
2 cups fish stock
2 heaping teaspoons of white miso
2 pinches cilantro, finely chopped
1 scallion, finely sliced

Put the miso paste in a small metal or glass bowl. Add 2 Tbs of the hot stock and mix the miso into a thick rue. Add the lemon juice, the remaining stock and stir. Ladle the soup into teacups and garnish with scallion and cilantro. Sip it like a tea with your pinky extended.

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