Typically, the idea of “surf and turf” conjures images of North American Irish pubs and steakhouses putting a shellfish and a disappointedly small hunk of steak on a dish. Although not touted as “surf and turf,” Ceres Bistro decided to marry two unlikely pairs together for the Worcester Foodies meeting in May. The second course paired a Sweet Sour and Salty Tuna with a Smokey Brined Pork Tenderloin with three equally unlikely sides: Cauliflower Chow Chow, Braised Collard Greens, and marinated butter beans.
While it can be a challenge to properly braise pork it is a double challenge when presenting it with seared tuna, but Chef Bill Nemeroff, mastered the challenge by serving a juicy, tender pork tenderloin with a large cube of sushi grade tuna, both melting in your mouth. The flavor profiles of both were complex, but worked well together with the assistance of braised collard greens, a vinegary cauliflower chow chow, and marinated butter beans. Diners found themselves constantly rotating between the fish, chow chow, pork, collard greens and butter beans—and repeating—an explosive tour of flavors and textures.
While many wines either go with fish or meat exclusively, it was interesting that a pinot noir was chosen as a match, but the 2009 Talbott “Sleepy Hallow” Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands, California) complimented the spices from both the smokey brine of the pork tenderloin and the salty searing of the tuna.
Having started with the Crisp Goat Cheese and Cream of Corn Teaser with Basil Jello and Freeze Dried Crisp Kernels, the Worcester Foodies were starting to get full and satisfied with the creative choices by Chef Nemeroff. But the final course—a sour cream coffee cake with parsnip gelato and candied bacon—would prove the most dynamic and bold choices of the night.