Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sushi 101

I tried making sushi again. Refreshing my memory with tips and recipes from the Education Center at the Food Service Warehouse site.

Instead of making sushi rice from scratch (always a daunting task for me!) I cheated a little and used some leftover brown rice I had. Just added sushi vinegar to it and it was acceptable. Not easy to work with but I thought it tasted great.

I also tried shrimp and vegetable tempura. Super yum. Joe really enjoyed it.

My mis en pas. All the ingredients ready to go.

Prepping the brown rice. Using a wooden rice spoon and wooden bowl helps absorb excess moisture from the rice.

California roll ready to be rolled on the sushi mat.
I used crab with a "k". My apologies. But fresh crab isn't in our budget!

California roll.

Tempura batter and panko crumbs ready. I read once that the chef at Nobu suggests making the batter as cold as you can so that your tempura is light and crispy. Martha Stewart actually adds ice cubes into her batter. 

The batter recipe was basically:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
-1 egg
- 1.5 cups ice cold water
- 1 tsp Baking soda
After dipping the shrimp/veggies in the batter, I then rolled it in panko.
The panko adds an extra crunch that I love.

Shrimp cleaned and deveined and veggies ready to go. I try to use vegetables that will hold up to frying.

Temperature of the oil is important. You don't want it too hot and burn everything before it has a chance to cook through and you don't want it too cool so that the tempura becomes greasy. 340F- 360F is a good temp. Remember that the oil temp will drop once the food is added to the oil, so keep the thermometer handy so that you can gauge the oil temp.
I love my "spider" spoon. Great for skimming and fishing out food from hot oil. Fry the veggies first then the shrimp. That way your oil isn't fishy, making the veggies fishy.

Shrimp tempura rolls. My favorite maki roll!

Tempura ready to eat. SO good. 
I used a store bought tempura dipping sauce and it was very tasty. So much easier than making from scratch.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Recipe Inspirations

Joe brought home some of these nifty pre-measured spices and recipe cards from  McCormick®  for me to try. So far I've made the Quesadilla Casserole, Garlic Lime Fajitas and Apple and Sage Pork Chops. All were good, very easy to make and a great "go to" for last minute dinners or if you just can't be bothered looking up a recipe or figuring out what to cook. Basically, they are a "cooking for dummies" kind of concept. Perfect for a harried mother of three!

The Garlic Lime Fajitas were really good. Perfect spice with a bit of zing.

The best part is that you can add as much or as little of the spices as you like. I don't particularly like oregano, so I only added half the suggested amount to the Quesadilla Casserole

We're looking forward to making Shrimp & Pasta Primavera on Friday.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Get your Irish on..

Here is an easy peasy recipe for corned beef brisket with potatoes and cabbage. A simple dinner that is even better the next day in sammies or a corned beef hash (we went with the latter).

Beef from Welch's butcher in St. John. Throw everything in a crock pot and 8-hours later...voila! Instant Irish soul food. The recipe can be found on the Family Circle website.

And forget the green beer. Make a Bloody Mary with Guinness instead. You won't be disappointed!

Happy St. Patty's day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Asian Cuisine Resource or a.k.a the blog post with a million links.

So, a few weeks ago I got this email inviting me to enter a contest to win over $1200 worth of copper pots and pans. I didn't have to think twice about it. Hello, COPPER pots and pans. I have been lusting for copper pots for as long as I can remember. Incidentally, they would look so good in our newish kitchen. Copper accessories really go fab with our cabinets and the granite that we have. But I digress.

Like everything else in life, there is a catch. To enter the contest I have to post a blog entry promoting a new resource devoted to Asian cuisine - the Asian cuisine section on Food Service Warehouse (FSW). Lucky for me, a lot of you like Asian food and even luckier I love to cook Asian food. 

So I headed over to the FSW site, (you can too by clicking on any of the many links on this post) . 

The site is like the mother load of everything Asian. Seriously, they sell almost every type of wok you can imagine - check out this link for woks. There is also everything from Asian cookware, tableware, equipment, utensils and even decor. 

What I found really great was Asian cooking education articles in the Education Center. I especially enjoyed learning about all about sushi - including making a sushi roll and the etiquette of eating sushi.  I learned that is is polite to have your chopsticks parallel on your plate and not crossed. I always did that instinctively, but now I will do it out of proper manners.

I hope you check out the FSW site, and let me know what you think! The welcome feedback - good and bad.

I'm off to try and make some California rolls. Photos to come.
Kanpai and arigato!