Sunday, April 11, 2010

Date Night In: Grilled Quail

About a year and a half ago, the hubs and I decided that as much as we love each other, the tiny confines of a one bedroom apartment for us and our two fairly large hounds was starting to feel a bit cramped. Thus, we decided to move out of the beautiful city of San Francisco and into the adorable town of Mill Valley just 15 minutes north of the city, across the Golden Gate Bridge. My absolute favorite thing about our new abode is the time we spend at home- just us, the dogs, a crackling fire and a delish dinner which makes for the perfect date night in. The more date nights in we have, the more ambitious we get with dinner, which led us to our most delicious date night meal to date... Five Spice Grilled Quail with Truffle Yaki Sauce.

Now, the name sounds a little daunting, I know. But if I can do it... you definitely can! Think of quail as tiny little chickens but much more delicious and totally easy. Just season with salt and pepper, grill 2-3 minutes per side and voila!

The piece de resistance of this dish was by far the sauce. Don't get me wrong, the quail was fabulous, but the sauce... I could eat the sauce on anything and everything and I'd live a very happy life! I think it'd be great on chicken or salmon as well as quail... but really, just give the quail a shot, I promise you won't be disappointed.

To make the Truffle Yaki Sauce:
3 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. mirin (japanese cooking wine)
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
3 (1/4 inch thick) slices peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. white truffle oil

Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the water, soy sauce, grapeseed oil, vinegar, lime juice and mirin in a bowl. Stir in sugar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Transfer soy sauce mixture to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir remaining 1 tbsp water and cornstarch together in a small bowl and whisk into soy sauce mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until thick. Gradually whisk in cream and remove from heat. Whisk in truffle oil. Arrange grilled quail on serving platter and spoon sauce over the quail.

Finally, have your hunny pop a bottle of Pinot Noir or your fave Chardonnay, light some candles, turn on a little Coltrane and enjoy!

And the best part about a date night at home... there is no one to impress but your hunny so you can gladly enjoy in your most comfy chic attire. I'd choose this because I just can't help but love a onesie and especially one by Marc by Marc Jacobs!

Thank you to Cakebread Cellars for publishing a fab cookbook and inspiring us to have romantic evenings at home.

recipe courtesy of The Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cookbook
Marc by Marc Jacobs Terry Jumpsuit from Shopbop

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