Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Friends with French Culinary Institute Degrees: Dinner at Greek Tutor's, Byzantine Latino Headquarters

Thank god my Greek tutor ditched med school and enrolled in the French Culinary Institute instead. The following is a true story. He invited me over for dinner the other night and this is what happened:

Seared Chilean Sea Bass with glazed onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
He used a melon scooper to make the little balls. How cute, eh? The seabass was perfectly seared, retaining its intrinsic moisture. Seasoning kept to a minimum as not to f**k up a good thing.

Imam Bayildi, with a french twist. It's never looked this pretty folks. This dish is loved and cherished by us Asia Minor Greeks (Holler!) Imam Bayildi literally means the priest has fainted in Turkish because of the mass quantities of olive oil used. My aunt is Greece says it's because of the garlic and onions. Wikipedia says it's because of the cost of the ingredients. Nonetheless, my family's version comes out of a big pot oozing with juices and irregular shapes of eggplant. Greek tutor's version was finesse. 

 Kalamari, or squid. He got this squid from his local Korean super market and cleaned it with his bare hands while giving me a quick lesson on squid anatomy while dissecting. Squid have teeth (one tooth actually, and it's rather creepy). He lightly seared these babies and put a tad bit of seasoning as not ruin the freshness of the sea.

Salmon baked with spinach. My favorite fish is salmon. Wild salmon to be exact.
Greek tutor's been bragging to me about his salmon for quite some time.

"I make mine on a bed of fresh spinach with a little lemon and herbs then seal it up in foil and bake for 20 minutes in the oven," he's mentioned a few times. Seemed a little too easy and simple for a French Culinary Extraordinaire I thought to myself.

"Ooh really? You're gonna have to show me that trick some time." I quipped back with a nudge, nudge.

No joke, here it is, just like he said. Perfectly moist with a slight tang of the lemon to highlight the freshness of the fish. We scooped heaps of wilted spinach and tender chunks of salmon onto our plates along with the other fruit de mer friends.

For dessert, a microwaved chocolate souffle with fresh whipped cream and berries made by the Kinezo (friend's pet name, please do not be offended) and neighbor. I was too full to move and photograph. Please use imagination.

"You know you don't have to refer to me as Greek tutor, you can call me your friend, Andreas," he mentioned as we left the disco maniac Agura restaurant opening.
Too late for that one! My first Greek tutor will always be known as Greek tutor.


Diana said...

Mmm love salmon! Think I'm going to make some for myself tonight! :)

yutjangsah said...

What a tutor?! Is this like Educating Rita? I know you weren't alive in the 70s but I thought I'd just ask and be nosy like that. I like this Andreas. He's good stuff. He even stuffed the squid with baby octopii. Clever! Invite me over next time the priest faints.

Banana Wonder said...

D takes a B - I lurve salmon too - my fav - I think its super fun delish and healthy with the spinach baked in too.

Yut - Do you know CPR? Cuz we'd need to resuscitate the priest for the second helping! Hmmm I'm gonna have to look into Educating Rita... I was born in 1980...but the 'rents were 1970s porn starish like that.

Peter M said...

My most favourite of the spread here is the tourlou (veggies) and the squid...move over..ALL MINE, ALL MINE!

sbmama said...

11/14/09...unrelated...but had to tell you I've found you (obviously)...It was such fun meeting you and Heather last night in Solvang at Mandolina and Lucas and Llewellyn Wineries! Can't wait to hear all about Route 246 and dinner. BTW...the party we headed to was very fun...Blog on, girl!

Banana Wonder said...

Peter, Guess what? The veggie are supposed to be Imam Bayldi!! Uber fancy style.

Rebecca, Hi!!!! Thanks for stopping by! It was great meeting you and we were looking for you at Rte 246... next time!

Maria said...

The Imam Bayldi does look amazing ... it actually reminds me of the ratatouille Ratatouille cooked in the movie (so perfectly sliced and layered)!!

Great meal all around!

Banana Wonder said...

Hi Maria! Thanks for stopping by. The Imam Bayldi was a work of art indeed - I don't think I could make it so pretty myself.