Tuesday, September 26, 2006

unagi rolls

Unagi and avocado are a marriage made in heaven.

unagi avocado rolls
Still eating sushi rice from the hamachi dinner. Obviously I made way too much rice. Good thing we had some unagi in the freezer. This should be a freezer staple, it's saved us many a night from having to cook more than a pot of rice.
[sushi rice, unagi, avocado, cucumber, mayonnaise, wasabi, soy sauce]

serving suggestion

D's mom gave us a LOT of Top Ramen.

ramen noodles
I suppose it could be slightly better if I used homemade stock, but sometimes you just crave that msg-laden packet of...msg. I added lop cheung, Shanghai choy, and a medium-boiled egg.
[ramen, Shanghai choy, lop cheung, egg]

zucchini bread

See last legs salad for the explanation.

zucchini bread
This was the quickest way to use up some zucchini. I'm very sad I forgot to add the walnuts.
[flour, sugar, zucchini, oil, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, salt]

Monday, September 25, 2006

last legs salad

Basically, this was a way to use the quickly expiring foods in my fridge. Sad, but true.

salmon and zucchini salad
The aging contents of my fridge: smoked salmon, half a bag of salad, zucchini. I grilled the zucchini, and layered it with the salmon on top of the greens. The dressing is the remains of the sauce from Saturday's breakfast.
[salad: zucchini, smoked salmon, mixed greens, salt, pepper; dressing: avocado, yogurt, dill, lemon juice, water, salt, pepper]

Saturday, September 23, 2006

eggs copenhagen, california style

There's a diner in Cambridge that serves a version of eggs benedict with smoked salmon instead of canadian bacon. They call it eggs copenhagen. This is my take on it.

eggs copenhagen
Since this was breakfast for 2, not 20, I didn't really want to make a vat of Hollandaise. I decided to make an avocado-yogurt sauce to go with it instead. I think it worked out nicely. The sauce was tart and rich-tasting, but with far fewer calories than a traditional Hollandaise would have been. The leftovers can be used for a salad dressing.
[english muffin, smoked salmon, poached egg, avocado; sauce: avocado, yogurt, onion, lemon juice, water, dill, salt]

Thursday, September 21, 2006

short ribs

There's something extremely luxurious about braised short ribs. It's a nice wintry food. I got these beautiful ribs from the Korean market.

short ribs with chocolate
I got this recipe here, and was both intrigued by and skeptical of the chocolate. I didn't have fresh rosemary, which probably would have made a big difference, but the chocolate added a mysterious richness to the final sauce. It lasted about 3 days (even with sharing with R&D and the twins), and was tastier each day. I definitely recommend letting it sit overnight before eating.
[short ribs, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, chicken broth, red wine, bay leaf, chocolate, salt, pepper, sugar]

warning: not for sushi purists

If you're a sushi purist, I recommend you skip this post. Your delicate sushi senses will be offended.

bumblebee tuna rolls
A group of friends had assembled a collection of recipes as a Christmas gift, and my fellow founding member of the "mutual admiration society" included this recipe. So, it's not really bumblebee brand tuna, it's from Trader Joes, but you get the idea. It's easy, tasty and made from pantry items.
[canned tuna, sushi rice, mayonnaise, cucumber, green onion, wasabi, soy sauce, nori]

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I was given a slab of hamachi (yellowtail) and then informed that it probably wasn't safe to eat as sashimi! What a shame! So instead of subjecting my digestive system to potential trauma, I cooked it up. Pan-seared with soy-mirin marinade. And the trimmings went into a miso soup.

seared hamachi
Even cooked, the hamachi was wonderful and buttery. I can only imagine the glory that it could have been as sashimi. We also had this great wasabi furikake that we had brought back with us from Japan. It went extremely well with the rice and hamachi.
[hamachi marinated in mirin, soy, ginger, sesame oil]

miso soup
This is a great, light soup.
[miso paste, wakame, green onions, silken tofu, hamachi trimmings]

my minimal dumplings (pan-fried, guo-tie)

Growing up, we were always enlisted to help wrap dumplings. It may have been the beginnings of my culinary adventures, but it wasn't really my favorite thing to do at the time. The benefit is that I can now do it without really thinking, so it's something to do while watching TV.

minimalist dumplings
I make extremely minimal dumplings: pork, napa cabbage, green onions, and garlic. There are lots of variations out there involving shrimp, or chinese chives, but in the end, I just like the basics. The other weird thing I do is freeze them right away for cooking on those too-tired-to-cook days. I rarely eat them right after making them. D and I wrapped these on Tuesday night (while watching the Tick [thanks G&R!]), and then had some for lunch the next day.
[ground pork, napa cabbage, dumpling wrappers, green onions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, pepper; dipping sauce: soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, chili sauce]

Thursday, September 14, 2006

5-hour chicken

Five hours + low (250°) heat = tasty.

5-hour chicken
My friend L made this for us once and it was spectacular. I have to admit that mine was not as amazing as hers. I'm not sure if it was the smaller chicken size, but the skin didn't have the same crispiness that hers did and the breast meat was slightly drier. I'll have to keep trying until I get it right. The cooking method is basically the same principle as the turducken, low heat, long cooking time.
[whole chicken, onion, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, thyme, white pepper, black pepper]

5-hour chicken, smoked paprika mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables

smoked paprika mashed potatoes
Can you guess which other spice I bought at Market Spice? Nothing beats fresh spices, that's for sure.
[russet potatoes, milk, half-and-half, butter, smoked paprika, salt, cayenne pepper]

sautéed vegetables
This is a very simple vegetable side. Since everything else was heavily spiced, I wanted to brighten it up with someting lighter.
[zucchini, red peppers, corn, salt, pepper, olive oil]

end-of-summer cobbler

It always seems a waste to me to cook really great fresh fruit, but we weren't consuming the peaches at the rate that they were ripening.

blueberry peach cobbler
I can never get the names right: cobbler, betty, crumble, pandowdy... Anyway, whatever this one is, I used a batter dough, which goes on the bottom, and the fruit is poured on top. It all goops together in one doughy, fruity mass. I think I had way too much fruit, so I should have baked this for longer, because the dough in the middle was a little on the raw side.
[butter, flour, sugar, milk, cinnamon, baking powder, peaches, blueberries]

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

provence, by way of seattle

We just got back from Seattle, and stopped in the Market Spice shop at Pike Place Market. I picked up a packet of beautifully dried herbes de Provence and was looking for any excuse to use it

chicken provençal, scalloped potatoes, and green salad

chicken provençal
So this isn't authentic as I didn't have any olives and wasn't about to make a special trip to the store for them. I got the recipe from Cook's Illustrated.
[chicken legs and thighs, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic, anchovies, herbes de provence, salt, cayenne pepper, lemon zest]

scalloped potatoes
I flavored the cream with the herbes de provence. It actually made it slightly bitter, and I totallly mis-timed the whole thing. I thought smaller ramekins would mean a shorter baking time, but apparently that's not the case when it comes to potatoes.
[russet potatoes, chicken broth, heavy cream, white wine, herbes de provence, salt, Beecher's flagship raw milk cheese]

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

presto pesto pasta

Here's another quick meal, even if you make the pesto yourself.

quick salad
I wanted to match the pesto pasta, so I took a scoop of the pesto and stirred it into the deglazed chicken drippings to make the dressing.
[herb salad mix, oranges, pine nuts, dressing (chicken drippings deglazed with white wine, pesto sauce, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper)]

pesto chicken pasta
I had a bunch of basil that was starting to look neglected in my fridge, so I thought I should use it up in one fell swoop.
[pasta, chicken, pesto sauce (basil, pine nuts, olive oil, pecorino cheese, salt, pepper)]