I am not quite sure how Aki does it. Yet, when she does a tremendous burst of passion fuels our cooking. What do I mean? Well, there are times that I come into the kitchen and ask, "what are doing/making?" The response, as if it is now carved in stone, "you'll see, you just have to wait." Again, there it is, me having to be patient, like training a puppy. And I wait.
This past Saturday, I was delighted to wait for a banana and lime jam. I did not know that I was going to be delighted to wait for this jam. I mean, it was not even on the list, though when it was done, I was privy to another brilliant flash.
We were fine tuning several dishes for this past weekend one of which revolved around crispy yogurt and Steve's sake cured steelhead trout roe. The kicker was the dish had not evolved. It is not that we had not worked on the dish, it was just that the concept while good, lacked substance. And then the banana jam came on the scene. In fact, when Aki was making it I asked her what she was doing and when she said "making banana jam." I just laughed, because our list was big enough, we did not need anymore...and at the exact point, my brain made a connection. Several years ago we made a banana and caviar dish. Actually, looking back we have made several banana and caviar dishes. And then, while I write, heck there was even a restaurant named Bananas and Caviar. Simple minds work slowly.
And when the jam was finished the dish became complete. The soft and firm texture of the banana jam surrounded the floral-sweet sake roe, adding acidity and an unctuous nature to the dish. A few arugula blossoms added spice to the dish and the crispy yogurt brought texture and tang to the table.