Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ambitious Asian Plate: Cod Duet

Ambitious Asian Plate

Scallion Pancakes with Ginger Sauce

Cod Duet, Miso and Tamarind
Spinach and Gingered Forbidden Risotto

I used this recipe for the scallion pancakes. It was much more difficult that it appeared. I found the dough too sticky to roll out and it took a lot of flour to get it rollable. While they tasted really good, they looked horrendous. I would make them again, but use less water in the dough. The sauce was awesome and came in handy later.

I for half the cod I used Nobu's famous miso cod recipe found here. I substituted tamarind paste for the miso and used that for the second half of the cod. I think Chef Matsuhisa would be mortified that I attempted his signature dish. I was not overly impressed with my version, but I think the ingredients I used were certainly subpar compared to Nobu's pantry. I would love the opportunity to taste the original someday (when I win the lottery). The tamarind version was sweet. Too sweet. I also did not like the texture. I think I used too much acid and it “cooked” the fish in the marinade. Would NOT make that again.

The Gingered Forbidden Rice was a delightful accident. Forbidden rice is a black short grain rice grown in China. I sauteed ¼ cup of finely minced shallots in 1 tablespoon of peanut oil and 1 tablespoon of canola. I added the rice and chicken stock. Covered and cooked for 30 minutes. That is the way I originally served it, but it was bland and unimpressive. I then, on a whim spooned a teaspoon of the scallion ginger sauce into it and WHAM! It became the star of the show. I would totally make this again using the sauce from the start.

All in all the meal was a 7.5 out of ten.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Daring New Cooking Endeavor

Well it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. It seems the spring just got away from me. I haven’t stopped cooking though and I’ve had a few amazing successes (and a few terrific failures as well).

One of my big successes was finding a recipe for a Tangerine Beurre Blanc. It was originally paired with a filet of sole and asparagus, but I made it in Montauk for family with pan seared Scallops and citrus scented rice (recommend jasmati). It was AMAZING. This is my new go to sauce for light fish, although I’d wager it would go wonderfully with a chicken or pork. I doubled this recipe and put out some reserved sauce for the guests to use. It all went.

Tangerine Beurre Blanc
1/2 cup fresh tangerine juice (bottled works fine too as does an orange tangerine mix)
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Boil tangerine juice with shallot in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderately low, then whisk in 1 tablespoon butter, whisking constantly. Add remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly, adding each piece before previous one has completely melted, and lifting pan from heat occasionally to cool mixture. Remove from heat and stir in salt, cayenne, and lemon juice.

I’m also really excited to announce I’ve joined a great website called The Daring Kitchen. Monthly they issue a secret cooking challenge to their members. It’s our job to make it, blog about it, and photograph it. What a neat concept. I’m looking forward to my first challenge which will come through on August 1st. I was so happy to find the site. I frequently visit Tastespotting for inspiration and came across a dish that looked like something from Alinea. It turns out it was and that was last month challenge recipe.

I am a huge fan of Alinea and have the cookbook (for lack of a better word) which proudly sits on my coffee table (I’ve read it cover to cove at least twice). I am fascinated by the world of Molecular Gastronomy and no one does it better than Grant Achatz. Reading his book makes me want to go out and buy an Anti-griddle, a complete sous vide set up, and a full selection of modern hydrocolloids. Some day I will make the pilgrimage to Chicago and experience his magic first hand.

Anyway, stay tuned for my daring adventures….. Now I just need some daring diners to eat what I make!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ginger Crusted Salmon with Sesame Peanut Vinaigrette

Ginger Crusted Salmon

Preheat oven to 400 F
2 fillets 6-7 oz. North Atlantic salmon
1/4 cup finely minced ginger
1/4 cup green onion, minced by hand
1/4 cup 90/10 olive oil or peanut oil
1/2 cup sesame-peanut vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups julienne carrots and snow peas
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

Place green onions and ginger in stainless steel bowl, season with salt and set aside. Heat oil in pan until almost smoking, and immediately pour over ginger mixture -- with caution.

Sear salmon fillets until brown on both sides and spread ginger mixture on surface of salmon. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and bake at 400F for approximately 7 minutes, or until cooked through.

Sesame-Peanut Vinaigrette
1/8 cup smooth peanut butter
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/8 cup coarse chopped ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/8 cup sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients in blender at high speed until consistency is smooth. Pour over baked salmon.

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
1 gallon water
1/4 cup wasabi paste
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
salt to taste

Boil potatoes in the water in a large pot until tender (15-20 minutes).
Drain in colander and return to pot. Add cream, butter, and wasabi paste.
Mash and season with salt.

This was AMAZING!  Looks pretty too! I topped it with some crispy leeks for show and served it with a chilled pinot grigio. nice....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Grilled Vegetables in Orange Balsamic Sauce

This is a really simple but tasty dish, use any veggies you like to grill.  You can also use goat cheese if you prefer and serve over couscous instead of pita. Enjoy!

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 fresh lemon)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 

1/2 teaspoon cheveril (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste 

1 large red onion, thickly sliced into rounds 

1 (1-pound) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices 

2 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices 

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 6 pieces 

1 small shallot, finely chopped 

1/2 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles 

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

fresh greek style pita (not the kind with the slit in the middle)


Combine 1/4 cup of the oil, lemon juice, oregano and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add onions, eggplant, zucchini and peppers and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours, or 10 minutes if that is all you have!

Preheat grill. Arrange marinated vegetables in a single layer on the grill and cook, flipping once, until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.  Tin foil is fine.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add orange juice and reduce liquid by half, 6 to 8 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and set vinaigrette aside.  This sauce is amazing for anything! Pour sauce over bowl of grilled veggies.

Brush pita with EVOO an dset on the grill to toast. Portion veggies on to each pita. Generously sprinkle feta over veggie. EAT!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Zucchini Patties with Feta 2 ways

This one is for Susan and Kenny.  They were over my house for Christmas and I promised them I would post this recipe and the one that follows.  Enjoy

Zucchini Patties with Feta 2 Ways

Not low in fat, but absolutely yummy. I've made them a dozen times the first way. I prepared a huge batch of these at work the day before Christmas when Joe Albert, my Chef, decided to roll them in panko and deep fry them. Wow, they were amazing!

2 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (from about 3 medium)

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1/2 cup (or more) all purpose flour

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1/2 cup (about) olive oil

1/2 cup (about) corn oil

Toss zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer to sieve. Press out excess liquid; place zucchini in dry bowl. Mix in egg, yolk, 1/2 cup flour, cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix in parsley, onions, and dill. If batter is very wet, add more flour by spoonfuls.

FIRST OPTION: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons corn oil in large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into skillet. Fry patties until golden, 5 minutes per side, adding more olive oil and corn oil as needed. Transfer to paper towels.

SECOND OPTION: Thanks to my excellent Chef Joe Albert, I know can say that I like these better! Increase the flour by a shy ¼ cup. Form into patties and coat with panko (you'll need a solid 2-3 cups for the whole batch). Heat several cups of canola oil in a large pot or a deep fry machine until shimmering. Place the patties 1 or 2 at a time into the oil for about 3 minutes each or until golden. Drain on a paper towel.