Week at the Beach – Bio-luminescence (and glowing breath)

Garlic, Side Dishes, Week at the Beach

Being at the beach is magical in it’s own right. The constant westerly breeze, the gentle rhythmic roar of the waves crashing against the beach, the complete absence of man-made light… it is times like these that you can almost understand someone’s decision to ditch the modern world and bat off to some remote destination… living out their life sustained by coconuts and mangoes.

We arrived at the beach house shortly after sunset. And with my eyes weary after the long highway hours, it took some time for them to adjust to the post dusk light of the moon on the cresting waves. I was sure it was a trick of the night, but I kept catching glimpses of color on the waves just as they began to crest. It had to be my eyes playing tricks… but they continued.

And as the evening wore on, the color grew in brightness and density. The waves were indeed luminescent. The waves were alive with dinoflagellates (typically associated with red tides). They produce electric blue light when the breaking waves trigger a bio-luminescent reaction.

I stood on the deck mesmerized by the rippling blue lights way into the evening. Unfortunately making dinner much later than I had intended. As the last of the color faded, I remembered I was supposed to be getting the grill started – so I fumbled around in the dark setting up the coals.

Dinner that night was a simple meal of exceptionally marbled steaks (char grilled, of course), an assortment of grilled vegetables, and a quick wasabi / garlic aioli I whipped up with some of the fresh wasabi from Marx Foods that I was supposed to be working with for a contest entry.

(In hind sight, I probably should have stayed with a savory application like the aioli as opposed to the bizarre cheesecakes I came up with.)

Grilled Vegetables
Serves 4 to 6
1 Large Eggplant
1 Zucchini
2 Multi Color Peppers
1 Vidalia Onion
2 to 3 Yellow Squash
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Tamari (or Soy Sauce)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Clove Garlic – Minced
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste
1 Large Zipper Bag

  • Slice all vegetables 1/4″ thick and place in the bag
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients
  • Seal and shake the bag to well coat
  • Set aside for 30 minutes to marinate
  • Grill for 15 minutes on each side over low coals (make sure you have pronounced grill marks before turning over)
  • Pour a little of the marinating liquid over the vegetables before serving

Wasabi ~ Garlic Aioli
Makes 1/2 Cup
4 Cloves Garlic
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Wasabi (if you are using dry, reconstitute 1 Teaspoon of powder in 2 Teaspoons water)
1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
Mortar and Pestle (or a smooth bottomed rocks glass and a slightly larger mixing bowl… if you don’t happened to have an exceptionally well equipped beach house)

  • Place the peeled cloves in the pestle and smash until it is a paste, add the vinegar and smush it up to incorporate
  • Gradually add all the oil – a little at a time – making sure you incorporate all the oil between additions
  • Add the wasabi and smack it around to mix it all together
  • Cover and chill until the steaks are ready
  • Place a healthy dollop on each of the steaks as they come off the grill
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I cook stuff... I'm a kitchen tool... I am.. - a food guy. - a Restaurant Consultant, - a Kitchen Designer and Remodeler. - a Part-time Landscaper, - an Occasional Caterer, - a very lazy author (or, so my ex-editor says) - Seriously under-employed I have... - eaten things that would probably have been better off in the trash - bungee jumped before it was even considered marginally safe - Thought..really, truly thought.. I would be dead by 30 sheared sheep for fun and personally castrated three of them. - have three novels in varying stages of incompleteness - been crushed by a grand piano. (The piano was undamaged) - been bitten by a chimpanzee - spent an entire night fishing for squid off the coast in Thailand - been the guest of honor at a dinner for reasons I am still unsure of - have a thing about deli meat, in general ... mortadella, specifically

4 thoughts on “Week at the Beach – Bio-luminescence (and glowing breath)”

  1. Wow, what a beautiful thing to see on a visit to the beach. I would prefer to be near the ocean more than most anything else. Your garlic aioli sounds lovely–love the kick from the wasabi. 🙂


  2. A fabulous meal…grilled veggies are soooo tasty and of course a main of steak is really what grilling is all about!! I can't wait to get back to grilling! The photos of the bioluminescence are gorgeous! Where is this beautiful get a way?


  3. Yum! This dinner looks great and good always tastes better outside! Your Wasabi-garlic aioli sounds really interesting and I can't wait to try.


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