Delicious though the holidays were, a return to healthy eating was something to look forward to last night. We celebrated the first day of 2011 with a hot stone grill feast.
I started by making some Thai sticky rice. I had no idea that this kind of rice was steamed until I did a little reading up on it. After soaking the sweet rice overnight, I heaped it on cheesecloth inside the steamer, and placed the steamer over some boiling water in my wok. I don’t have the traditional Thia steamer, but this steamer worked just as well. Forty-five minutes later, we had sticky rice, and it tasted so much better than making this same rice in a rice cooker. The rice becomes sticky, but retains its shape.
Chris had marinated some stir-fry beef for his hot stone grill meat choice, but I was more in the mood for seafood, so I had scallops and shrimp. I marinated the shrimp in a little lime juice, but left the scallops naked. One of the dipping sauces I made especially for the scallops: a vodka/cream/dijon sauce that I added to the scallops after they seared. The other dipping sauces, for the veggies and shrimp, were made of soy/scallion/lime and cumin/lime/olive oil. With a nice pot of genmaicha (popcorn green tea) made up, we began to cook.
What I love about hot stone grilling is that the cooking is part of the eating process, which nicely slows the whole meal down. I have a habit of eating much too fast, so this is a good reminder to enjoy and anticipate the next bite. It reminds me of meals in Korea, since in many restaurants you grill your own meats at the table. And though it feels fancy, it’s really easy to do, and healthy to boot. What I consider a “food treat” usually means high-calorie and not so good for you, but oh so tasty, so it’s nice to find a treat that’s easy to feel good about.