Archive for ‘Seafood’

July 18, 2014

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

Who needs weekends for brunch? Even though my schedule has cleared up significantly, I’m still working every Saturday and Sunday. I miss weekends. No, I miss brunch. Having week days off is not all that different than having weekends off. I still get to sleep in, run errands (with less of a crowd), meet up with other friends that have weird schedules such as mine… but most restaurants don’t serve brunch on weekdays. I can’t remember the last time I had brunch. So this morning I thought I’d make my own.

Surprisingly easy to put together. I’d say 15 minutes start to finish. 20 if multitasking isn’t your forte.

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HOLLANDAISE

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1.5 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
  • salt
  • water

Melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave until bubbly and hot. In a magic bullet blender, pulse yolks and lemon juice until frothy. Add 1/4 of the butter to the mixture, close, then pulse until well blended. Continue adding more hot butter, slowly, and blend until homogenous. Add 1 tsp salt and pulse to incorporate. Add 1-2 tsp of water if you like runnier hollandaise.

SMOKED SALMON EGGS BENEDICT (serves 2, 2 eggs each)

  • 4  oz smoked salmon
  • 4 english muffins (2, if you want to cut carbs. just serve on 1/2 the bread)
  • baby arugula
  • 4 eggs
  • vinegar  (white wine or any other clear vinegar)
  • paprika
  • optional: chives, chopped finely (or dill. salmon likes dill.)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Halve and toast muffins. Set aside
  2. While toasting, prepare SOFT POACHED EGGS:
    1. Bring wide mouth pot of water to a boil. Add 1-2 tbs vinegar.
    2. Turn off heat. Crack eggs slowly and gently into the water. Cover the pot and leave heat off for 4 minutes. Drain and remove.
  3. Arrange muffins on a plate, top with a small fistful of arugula, then a layer of salmon, then eggs, then hollandaise. Sprinkle w paprika and chives

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NOTES: 

  • Sprinkle paprika on top of the hollandaise at the end of set up. This adds a nice splash of color. I was dumb and blended the paprika in with the rest of the sauce. Has the flavor, not the aesthetics.
  • Arugula adds a nice peppery kick. Spinach is a good mild/boring alternative.
  • Thomas’ Light Multigrain english muffins are the bomb. 100 calories, develops a nice crunch on the outside when toasted, but still chewy/doughy on the inside. Love them.
  • Toss your leftover hollandaise.

Oh. and Anthony Bourdain says never order hollandaise at brunch. “No one makes hollandaise to order.” That stuff is sitting in their kitchen all day. Gross. And now that you know it’s essentially raw eggs and butter, skip it on the menu and make it yourself at home. You wont miss it.

 

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June 21, 2014

Crispy Baked Fish Sticks + Taragon Tartar Sauce

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Trial and error fish sticks. This is what happens when I ask R what he wants for dinner. He even called after me as I was heading towards the kitchen with: “make ’em taste just like those frozen ones I had when I was little!” Aaaarrre you kidding me?

FISH STICKS

  • 4 large fillets of white flaky fish, cut in even long strips (like cod or pollock)
  • 2 eggs, beaten until frothy
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ~2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 450F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and generously oil/butter. Place AP flour and salt in one bowl, eggs in another, and panko, parsley, and parmesan cheese in another. Pat fish dry. Dredge in flour, shaking off excess, then eggs, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, and finally the panko mixture, pressing it into the fish. Space fish evenly on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Bake 15-20 min or until golden brown and cooked through (test by cutting the largest piece in half. It should flake easily.)

TARTAR SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 dash white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 slices of dill pickle, minced
  • 1-2 tsp dried tarragon

Combine in a small bowl. Adjust to taste.

R likes them with ketchup. Another blasphemy. (I tried it later. It’s actually pretty tasty.) I’d like to think this is the improved version of frozen fish sticks. Fresh, tender fish, light and crispy panko breading. Took 30 minutes to make! Including bake time!

Happy eats.

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April 3, 2014

Ketchup Stir Fry Prawns + Chinese BBQ Noodles

Chang’s mom gave me this huge bag of frozen shrimp a few weeks ago and I never got around to cooking it. Every time we saw her she’d ask, “Did you try the shrimp yet?” and I’d shamefully shake my head and admit that I hadn’t figure out what to do with it yet. Stir fry shrimp and eggs? Shrimp with edamame? Overdone. That’s the extent of my Chinese shrimp cooking skills, those two recipes. Then literally out of sheer laziness because it requires no peeling, it occurred to me that I could make the ketchup stir fry prawns I’ve seen my own mother make with those giant tiger prawns. Too ambitious? Maybe. I called my mother to ask for her recipe but she was busy and forgot to call me back. 7:00pm came and went. Chang and I were getting hungry.

So I winged it.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 lb fresh or thawed prawns, heads off shells ON
  • salt
  • corn starch
  • oil (high smoke point, like avocado or peanut)
  • 2 stalks green onions, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated/minced ginger*
  • Sauce:
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 2 tbs soy sauce
    • ~2 tbs brown sugar, loose
    • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

*if you don’t have fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp or so of ginger powder mixed into the sauce will do.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse prawns under cold water (this will thaw them quickly, too, if they’re still frozen). Drain well. Line paper towel over baking pan and place prawns in.
  2. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl
  3. Dry prawns thoroughly with more paper towels (always make sure whatever it is you’re frying is very very dry. It will crisp better and you wont have as much splash back of hot oil when it hits the pan.).
  4. Remove paper towels, mop up baking pan so everything is dry. Lightly salt prawns. Coat with 3-4 tbs cornstarch. Toss and mix.
  5. Heat large frying pan or wok over medium high heat. When pan is hot (you wont be able to hold your palm right over the pan for over 5 seconds if it’s hot enough), add oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat until oil shimmers.
  6. Slowly add prawns in a single layer (you may have to do this in batches). Fry until the cooked orange edges creep up and over to the top side. Flip and cook other side. Both sides should be orange, with just-golden brown and crisp shells. Remove and set aside.
  7. Drain oil so that only a thin layer is left. Add minced garlic/ginger/green onion and quickly stir until aromatic. (You WILL be able to smell it.) Do NOT burn garlic, this does not take long. Add shrimp back in and toss to coat. Spoon in sauce, not all at once, but enough to coat the shrimp. (You can always add more, but you can’t take out.). Remove and serve!

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Woohoo! Yay for winging it! I feel like a real adult now. I’m making grown up dishes! By myself! Who needs mama now?! Yea OK, technically Chang’s mom gave me the shrimp… but I made it into a MEAL! Annndddd ’cause that about hits my grown up-ness quota for the week, I served it with my favorite college lazy dish: BBQ noodles. Literally ate this 3 out of 7 nights back then.

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INGREDIENTS: shacha

  • dried noodles (I like the thin japanese variety, or the curly ramen-like noodles)
  • scallions (minced)
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese BBQ (sha cha)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • Optional Toppings: soft poached egg, veggies

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook noodles.
  2. Mix rest of the ingredients in serving bowl.
  3. Add and mix noodles when cooked.
  4. Top with egg and/or veggies.

Tada!

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February 25, 2014

Jambalaya

jambalaya

In my attempt to stay lean for engagement photos in 7 months, I’ve been eating lots of chicken and rice. Chicken and rice sounds healthy, right? Especially since I only eat brown rice? Well, you be the judge, but my idea of chicken and rice is Cuban Chicken and Chorizo Rice, Chicken Korma, Vietnamese Roast Chicken with rice fried in chicken fat… annnd jambalaya. Yea.

It’s ok. I have seven months.

Tangent: If Chang wasn’t so busy all the time, I’d totally make him follow me around the kitchen and snap photos of the cooking process. One can dream. (Yes, I dream about being a “real” food blogger with a “real” camera and a photographer husband to boot.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb chicken breast (8oz), chopped*
  • equal amounts of shrimp, chopped
  • Tony Cachere’s Creole seasoning
  • 10 oz Andouille sausage
  • 1 16oz can crushed/diced tomatoes
  • ~ 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • ~ 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • ~ 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 cups uncooked rice
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

* Brined the night before is a plus

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Season chicken and shrimp with Tony Cacheres. Set aside with chopped sausage.
  2. Heat 5 qt dutch over/pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onion/bell pepper/celery to pot and sauté until tender, 3 min. Stir in garlic and continue to sauté, 1 min, until fragrant.
  4. Stir in rice. Add spices and ~1 tsp more of Tony Cacheres.
  5. Add canned tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, slowly add broth (about 2 cups for white rice, about 3 cups for brown) and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and medium low. Cover and simmer 20 min for white rice, 40 min for brown (do not disturb as lifting cover lets out steam and stirring rice makes it goopy). Start out with less broth than you think you need. Easier to add than subtract liquid…
  6. Uncover and add chicken, sausage, and shrimp. Push into the rice so chicken/shrimp is just submerged. Add more liquid if rice is drying out. Recover and simmer, adding broth when needed. Another ~15 min or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender.
  7. Mix and season with Creole seasoning to taste. Serve.

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Rice is about eyeballing it. Too many varieties of rice out there to give you the perfect ratio of rice:liquid and exact cook times. Just remember not to over stir as this releases the goop-factor (technical term). Doesn’t hurt to pick up a grain and munch to see how crunchy or soft it is. Brown rice typically needs 1:2.5 ratio of rice:liquid. We don’t eat white rice in my house but typically it’s 1:2. Cooking is an art, not a science! So get to it. You’ll figure it out along the way.

August 5, 2012

Manila Clams with Basil + Notes on BUTTER

Didn’t really expect this to turn out as well as it did, seeing as I totally winged it and just threw in stuff from my fridge. But I’m DEFINITELY making this again. Probably one of my most successful creations.

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Love these Bunashimeji mushrooms, btw. A bouncier, more complimenting texture to the clams than enoki, which is what I usually keep at home for soups and hot pots. Here’s my Japanese mushroom pictionary reference source: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2340.html

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb live manila clams
  • 1 tbs peanut oil/cooking oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • handful of small basil leaves
  • 1 batch Bunashimeji mushrooms (see pic)
  • 1 spoonful of white Shiro Miso
  • ~1/4 cup soy sauce (add to taste)
  • 1 -2 tbs Mirin
  • 1/4 cup Moscato or other sweet white wine (or regular white wine + 1 tsp sugar)
  • 1 tbs good, unsalted butter
  • red chili pepper flakes, for color mostly…little sliced chili peppers will do, too

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare clams: Scrub the suckers clean. Then submerge clams in a deep bowl with salt water. (Like..ocean-water-salty. Makes sense, no?) Add a few ice cubes to keep it cold. Do this well in advance, at least a few hours before cooking. Drain and rinse clean. This gives the clams time to spit out sand and crud.
  2. In a medium sized saute pan (with a lid), heat a bit of oil over medium high until shimmery and hot. Saute garlic until just fragrant (careful not to burn), then add soy sauce and mushrooms. Stir fry 1-2 min to soften.
  3. Stir in miso until dissolved. Add mirin and white wine (if you’re using a regular, non sweet white wine, dissolve in a tsp of sugar). Bring to a boil.
  4. Add clams and cover immediately. In about 3 min, clams should slowly start to open up. Wait for it. Some are slower than others to respond (like humans). Uncover and add basil and butter. Stir until butter melts into the sauce. Remove and plate. Toss out unopened clams (they were dead before they hit the pan. No good.) Sprinkle on red pepper flakes and serve.

NOTES ON BUTTER:

  1. Adding butter at the end instead of sauteing with it in the beginning lets the flavor of butter stand out more. It’s also used to thicken the final sauce. Something I read somewhere. So don’t waste good butter on early steps of a recipe. And DON’T buy cheap butter you don’t mind wasting.
  2. When in doubt, get unsalted. You can use it for cooking aND baking.
  3. Don’t bake with salted butter. It messes up the ingredients ratio.
  4. Learn to make Ghee. THIS you can saute with. In fact, use it instead of oil from here on out. It doesn’t burn. It doesn’t smoke. It doesn’t spoil. And it tastes like HEAVEN.
  5. Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter is rich and creamy. Kind of cheesy. Which can be good or bad, depending on your preference. Smells divine. Good for finishing sauces.
  6. For batch baking, or making ghee in large quantities (which is the ONLY way to make ghee), Land O Lakes is surprisingly amazing. Very rich butter flavor, doesn’t taste like artificial popcorn flavoring like other cheaper brands, and it has this awesome FLAVOR protecting wrapper.

Oh, and I’ve taken to keeping a 4 pack of Sutter Home Moscato in my fridge at all times. Use what you need and drink the rest. Perfect one time servings for those that don’t drink enough to buy a whole bottle for one recipe.

July 12, 2012

Sesame Glazed Salmon + Wasabi Lime Mashed Potatoes

Definitely making this again. Careful with the salmon! I purchased a very thin, very expensive, tail-end filet of sockeye salmon today and over cooked it at 10 minutes. ): Always adjust recipes depending on the cut of fish you have. Other than being slightly dry, flavor was great. Thank you, Epicurious.

Oh, and I’m actually rather proud of my wasabi lime concoction. Only reason why that made it to the table today is ’cause I had a craving for a spicy tuna roll while shopping at Whole Foods. It came with little packets of wasabi. And seeing as spicy tuna rolls are spicy as is, I had a bunch of left over wasabi. Annnnd because I try to keep white potatoes out of my kitchen, I only make sweet potato mash these days. Sweet, spicy, tangy. Can’t go wrong.


SESAME GLAZED SALMON
adapted from epicurious.

  • 1 lb salmon fillets(4 filets)
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs lime juice
  • 3 tbs honey/agave nector
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • ~1 tsp corn starch, dissolved in water
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Melt butter in a small sauce pan. Add garlic and rep pepper flakes, saute until fragrant.
  3. Add sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and honey. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium high.
  4. Add corn starch mixture and stir. Continue to reduce glaze until it reaches the consistency of honey. ~10 min.
  5. Lay filets on greased aluminum foil. Brush on thin layer of glaze. Bake 5-10 min, depending on thickness of filet.
  6. Brush on more glaze and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over garlic-y saute spinach.

WASABI LIME MASHED POTATOES

  • 1 large white sweet potato
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste or to taste
  • juice of 1/2 small lime
  • 1 pinch ginger, powder
  • 1-2 tbs butter
  • 1/3+ cup milk
  • salt to taste

Dice potatoes into small cubes. Cover with wet paper towels. Microwave 5 min. Mash in butter, milk, seasonings to consistency of preference.

June 17, 2012

Coconut Milk + Lemongrass Steamed Mussels

Have lots of crusty bread on hand. You will want to DRINK this broth afterwards.

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And for the millionth time, I apologize for my crappy iphone camera. It tastes so much better than it looks… And mussels are really f*ck up free. Promise. Just try it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb fresh mussels (in a pinch, frozen half shells work too)
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut in 4 two inch pieces and smashed with flat of knife.
  • 1 tbs tumeric (mostly for color)
  • 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 2 slices of fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 0.5 – 1 cup white wine
  • 2 small cans of coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, rinse mussels in cold water. Clean and cut off fuzzy green bits (beards). Let it soak and rinse ~20 min.
  2. In a 3 qt pot, saute shallots until soft ~3 min. Add garlic and continue to saute 2 min. Add tumeric, chili pepper flakes, lemongrass, ginger. Salt generously. Stir and saute another 3 min.
  3. Add wine and let it reduce by half. Add coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 min.
  4. Add mussels and COVER. Steam 3-5 minutes or so, until all the mussels open. Don’t check on it repeatedly as this releases the steam.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into large bowl. Squeeze on lime juice and top with fresh chopped scallions or cilantro as garnish.

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June 17, 2012

Nobu’s Miso Black Cod

So I did a little experiment. I tried the recipe on black cod ($$$) and on regular cod.

GET THE BLACK COD.

Trust me. It’s worth it. Cut the recipe in half if you don’t want to buy $30 worth of fish to feed two. It’s pretty amazing, so don’t make any for your friends if you’re cheap. Ha.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 to 1.5 lb black cod filets
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 4 tbs white miso paste
  • 3 tbs white granulated sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring mirin and sake to a boil. Let the alcohol evaporate for 15 seconds. Reduce heat to medium.
  2. Dissolve miso, bit by bit, into the liquid. Stir continuously.
  3. Increase heat to high. Stir in sugar until also completely dissolved. Remove from heat immediately and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. Pat cod filets dry. Marinate in miso mixture, covered, in refrigerator for 2 days.
  5. Important: Scrape miso off cod! It’s salty stuff. And it’s already been marinating for a few days. You don’t need an extra coating of it. Trust me.
  6. Line baking pan with aluminum foil. Arrange cod evenly across pan. BROIL for 5 minutes or so or until just begins to brown. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes until cod cooked through.
February 14, 2012

Steamed Fish

Happy Valentine’s Day! I don’t have a recipe as this is R’s work. But I believe he got it from Steamy Kitchen.

So he CAN cook… been holding back on me for a couple years now. I suppose I should take that as a compliment, seeing as he’s found no reason to step in in the kitchen. That or a sign of extreme laziness. But for the sake of the holiday, let’s assume the best.

Look! He even made veggies!

January 11, 2012

Open Faced Salmon Sandwich w/ Honey Mustard Sauce

Delicious sandwich.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 egg
  • Four 4-ounce salmon fillets, about 1 inch, no skin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tomato cut into four 1/2 -inch slices
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 8 slices dark rye or multi-grain bread
  • Mixed leafy greens
  • 1 avocado halved, pitted, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained
HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt/pepper
INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Whisk together the mustard and honey in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continuously. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

2. To hard boil the egg, put the egg in a small pot and fill with water to cover the egg by 1-inch. Bring the water to boil and immediately turn the heat off. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for exactly 7 minutes. Drain, rinse under cool water and peel when cool enough to handle. Cut the egg into quarters, lengthwise.

3. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush salmon fillets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and grill for 2 minutes on each side.

4. Toast bread.

5. To assemble sandwiches, first cut each piece of salmon into 2 pieces. Layering leafy greens, tomato, avocado, egg, red onion, grilled salmon and capers on each bread slice. Spoon the sweet mustard sauce on top and serve, opened faced.