The Power of Uni, Brunch & Bocci, and Easter Lamb

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It was a fantastic weekend for Kitchen Monkey, culinary and otherwise. A trip on Friday up to Tampa to see a friend's MFA graduation art show unexpectedly turned into a free Saturday trip to Busch Gardens. A long day of rollercoastering was followed by a trip to Tampa's Ichiban restaurant, a very decent sushi joint that happened to have fresh uni, pictured above.

Uni is sea urchin roe, and it is not for the novice sushi eater. It has a taste that can be described using a combination of adjectives such as buttery, nutty, and slighlty fishy. But no description can really do the taste justice. The consistency and texture, however, is easier to describe. Think somewhere between a smoke oyster and a big loogie. The texture turns alot of people off, many others don't appreciate the taste. Still others are deterred by the price (I rarely see it cheaper than $2.50 a piece, and in NYC its often $5 a piece or more.) But learn to love it, and you will forever be in search of good uni.

Upon returning to Sarasota, I discovered in the mailbox a letter of acceptance to University of Minnesota Law School, which I didn't quite expect, but am very happy about. Its one of the top 20 law schools in the country, and I have a lot of heavy thinking to do in the next few weeks. For those of you who have been following along, DC suddenly doesn't seem to be quie as certain as I thought. I am going up there this weekend however to check it out. It will all come down to vibes at this point.

But getting back to food: immediately after my return on Sunday I went over to Nick's house for Easter brunch. It was fantastic. He made a frittata, some home fries, Ann made some excellent crepes, AJ made fried plantains, and Mary made some disturbingly delicious chocolate truffles. I brought OJ. After brunch we all played bocci on the back lawn.

That evening I had a few people over for lamb dinner. I marinated a leg of lamb in fresh rosemary, olive oil, mashed garlic cloves, lemon juice, and lemon peel. I also made a delicious salad of cucumber, tofu, and leeks, with a sweet miso dressing. Maybe I'll post the recipe later.

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Erin said...

Minneapolis is a great city. I would prefer the U of M to American, and anyhow the music scene is much better in Minneapolis than in DC. Priorities.

Kitchen Monkey said...

So far I've been changing my mind about three or four times a day. AU and UofM both have distinct advantages over the other in various ways, so ultimately I'll have to go with gut feeling after I've visited each one. If anyone else has any opinions about either city, feel free to chime in.

megwoo said...

Kitchen Monkey,
The uni picture is great and I wanted to try it up until the loogie part. Gross.

The lamb, however, looks and sounds delicious!

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

Knock, Knock, Knock......you still out there Monkey? We miss your posts! Guess the law school stuff is keeping you pretty busy. Well, ok, I'll be patient..... :)

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