Saturday, 28 July 2012

Tartar Build-up...

Today, I had the joy of visiting the dentist for the first time in several years.  I'm happy to report that overall, the check-up revealed that my teeth are in good condition for someone who is (and I use the dentists' words exactly) "young and healthy like yourself." Of course, no visit is perfect so one thing I must focus on is softer toothbrushes in order to have a better handle at my receding gumline. All in all, not that bad as better brushing can reverse receding gums; no amount of hair care can reverse the effects of a receding hairline. I'll take my ultra-soft toothbrush with pride, thank you.

Another thing that came up was the amount of tartar build-up that has accumulated since my last visit 3 - 4 years ago (most likely 5, but I didn't say that). One hour of polishing, scraping, and spitting and only my bottom teeth (with junior-high-aged retainer still in place) are now squeeky clean. Litterally squeeky clean as the hygenist demonstrated smoothed-out teeth (no squeeky sound) versus not-yet cleaned teeth (a mini nail-on-chalkboard sound) with her picks and drills. 

As I lay in the chair going over the rest of the day's plans (visit with friends, grocery shopping, gardening), an inspired meal from the heavens descended upon me. (In hindsight, it was likely more the shine of the dentist's lamp than heavenly beams that blinded me at the time of inspiration). If my teeth have that much tartar build-up, why not treat my teeth to a totally tartar dinner?

First, the tartar meat. As I am hesitant to prepare and serve myself completely raw red meat, I opted for fresh albacore tuna steak. The marinade was a combo of what to me would naturally go with tuna (Japanese ingredients: soy, salt, sesame oil) and my mojito of the moment (lime, sugar, rum), with a bit of ground ginger in honour of my slight growth of gingivitis (sp?). Marinade 1 hour, grill to sear outer edges and serve.

Next, the sauce for my tuna tartar could only be homemade tartare sauce, right? Tartare sauce is essentially mayonnaise flavoured with fresh dill, parsely, and chopped cornichons. Store-bought mayonnaise pales in comparison with homemade, and making your own mayonnaise is so easy: 1 egg yolk for 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 tbsp lemon juice (vinegar or lime juice also good), with some salt for flavour. Whisk gradually and voi-la! You'll never buy Hellman's again!

Serve tartare sauce over cubed tuna tartar with rice and kale (which was stir-fried in the leftover marinade), and you have a dish perfect to celebrate your tartar-free teeth with! The perfect wine-pair for this meal was a Cab-Franc rose from BC's own Tinhorn Creek, but any dry rose would do fine.

When enjoying this tartar-inspired meal, don't forget to say "aah!"

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