Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sushi @ home

Hand rolls are an easy dinner, and a fun way to eat!
We are lucky in Seattle to have Uwajimaya, a Japanese supermarket that sells blocks of sashimi grade fish for great prices!  Hand rolls are easy to prepare, and satisfy that sushi craving without going out and spending lots of money!
above clockwise from 12 o'clock, unagi (eel), salmon, scallop, cucumber

What you'll need from the store:
  • sashimi grade fish
  • nori (seaweed) sheets
  • short grain rice - very important to get the right rice!
  • rice vinegar
  • wasabi
  • recommended additions to your meal: iced cold japanese beer and/or instant miso soup packets
1. make the sushi rice!  I followed the recipe below.  Now, I have to say  there are some strict rules to making authentic sushi rice...but I'm lazy - this is how I make it without all the fancy tools.
  •  make the rice, 1 cup dried rice will be enough rice for hand rolls for 2 people.  I use my rice cooker...I have no idea how to make rice without one.  I tried once, while studying in Rome. And between me, my 2 other Asian American roommates, we ended up with burnt dried rice.
  • while you're waiting for your rice (on quick cook setting it takes about 20mins), make your sushi rice mixture.  For 1cup dried rice, you need to heat:
                                               - 3tbsp rice vinegar
                                               - 1.5 tsp sugar
                                               - a sprinkle of salt
  • let this mixture cool
  • when the rice is done, spread it across a non-metal plate.  the vinegar might react on a metalplate and it will taste like ICK.
  • pour the mixture over the rice and "fold" it in using your rice paddle.  do not smush the rice.  it helps to fan the rice while you do this to ensure the rice doesn't eat to moist and saturated and cools down.  I asked my sous-chef - aka hungry boyfriend- to come fan while I folded.
2.  cut up fish in strips.  you can prepare cucumber or other fillings too to go with your hand rolls
3.  cut your nori sheets in half - hot dog style - so you have long rectangular pieces.
4.  make yourself a hand roll and eat!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

cooking! crab & ricotta stuffed pasta

this meal includes 2 of my favorite basics + a new recipe


crab & ricotta stuffed pasta w/ mushroom cream sauce
pasta:

  • 1 tub ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 lb canned crab (1/2 can)
  • 1/2 lemon
  •  5-6 basil leaves
  •  black pepper
  •  lasagna pasta sheets
  1. boil water, cook pasta sheets, drain, and set aside
  2. while waiting for pasta to cook make filling: mix ricotta, crab, lemon juice, minced basil, black pepper.  it will be dry to mix, but when you heat the filling the cheese will soften, melt and become creamier
  3. there are 2 ways to make the pasta:
          rolls: place stuffing along short end of lasagna sheet, and roll up in a tube

          packets: place one sheet of pasta over another to make a cross. add filling to the middle and fold
                        up opposite ends to enclose a square packet.

sauce:

  •  1 1/2 cup of sliced crimini mushrooms
  •  1 small shallot, sliced
  •  chicken broth
  •  cream
  •  optional cornstarch
  1. saute shallots in olive oil over medium high
  2. when shallots are softening, add mushrooms.  let them sit in the pan until they release their water content and soften.  mix mushrooms in with shallots
  3. add chicken broth to desired amount of sauce liquid
  4. once sauce boils, add 1 cup cream.  if you want a thicker, cream-like sauce, whick 1tbsp cornstarch into cream before adding to sauce

pan seared salmon
  1. season salmon fillets with salt, pepper & a little lemon juice.
  2. heat pan to medium-high with olive oil
  3. when hot, add salmon top down.  let sear until the pink cooked color has "crept up" 1/3 the thickest part of fillet.
  4. flip so skin side is on pan and continue cooking.  when the pink cooked color has crept up to 1/2 way mark, remove from stove and let rest 5mins before serving.

sauteed green beans
  • 1 small shallot, sliced
  • chicken broth
  • 2 servings worth of green beans, tipped
  1. start shallots in pan with olive oil on high
  2. add green bean and toss frequently
  3. when green bean change to dark green color but are still firm, add salt to taste, and enough chicken broth the cover bottom of pan
  4. let beans cook while frequently mixing
  5. after 7-10mins the beans will have soften and are done.  use any remain sauce created from broth on the finished salmon