Sushi Break

 

Tom's sushi.jpeg

(Sushi & Saki photographed by my son)

Some folks love Sushi and others can’t stand the thought of it. How do you feel?

I was skeptical at first.

In The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes where I grew up (Minnesota), the “catch of the day” was generally fried in butter with a mound of sliced potatoes (sizzling in butter) served with toast on the side (slathered in butter.) Goodness, I miss lake breakfasts! (And butter.)

Maybe it’s the buttery texture of Sushi that I love? I haven’t tried making it at home yet — and I don’t recommend that you do — unless you have top-grade fresh fish, razor sharp knives, and your kitchen is as antiseptic as a surgical suite. Sushi is not only an art, it’s a matter of strictest hygiene. I admire well-trained chefs who inspire confidence in both.

My first taste of that delicacy was at a sales convention in Baltimore many moons ago. I wanted to appear hip with my “foodie notions” — plus, I really wanted to try it! It was love at first bite.

Ironically, my son & I never did get to take a Sushi break on my last trip home. We had bigger fish to fry — so to speak. :) More on that in a subsequent post.

 

In the meantime, I enjoy making and eating “wanna be” Sushi-style seafood. The fresher, the better. Gotta love the fishermen in my life. :)

I still love every bite.

Wishing you a flavorful summer. Try somethin’ new! And, let me know your thoughts on Sushi.

Enjoying buttery recollections,

~ Kim

Life vs. Art (or vice versa)

lobster-2

 

 

Aristotle, Plato, Coleridge, and Freud (et al.) theorized that art imitates life. (Mimesis.) In contrast, Oscar Wilde asserted that life imitates art. (Anti-mimesis.) Whichever view you ascribe to, I’m tickled  when the two converge unexpectedly.

(Or, I may have way too much time to “think” in between, lol.)

Take lobster for breakfast and the ensuing sunset later that day.

 

sunset-2

 

lobster-1

No matter in which order they appeared (truthfully lobster did first; it was on my proposed holiday menu), both were delights. Later as the subsequent color schemes became apparent, I was astounded for obvious reasons. I love when that happens!

Earlier I posted that I was enjoying New Year’s food ideas “after the fact” for necessary reasons. Hooray for recipes with no expiration date! Incredibly — not to mention tastily — I was blessed to make this repast a few days hence for breakfast, followed by a skyline that echoed my JOY at the end o’ the day. No coincidence, I “think”.

Many thanks to Buffalo Gals Antiques for the blue-speckled cornbread baker you blessed me with earlier this year; it’s been versatile beyond that and then some! And, to Ally (Boho gal pal) for the plethora of personal and kitchen playthings you bestowed upon moi, xo.

sunset-1
God has been (IS) so good to me this New Year, on my stove and on my plate. Talk about Comfort Food. (Click on the link for more.) I’m blessed to make dinner — or breakfast — and look out our windows at His grandeur. Tickled to share it with YOU too,  xo.

Enjoying life, lobster at whim, art (food or otherwise), philosophy, and sunsets,

~ Kim

Simple Shrimp Boil

Old Bay mug

Most shrimp boil recipes include corn and potatoes (and sometimes sausage), plus they make enough to feed an army. But, I was cooking for one (that’d be me) and I just wanted the “flavor.” The simpler, the better.

Recently I acquired this Old Bay mug (don’t ya love finds like that?) and I knew all I wanted to fill it with were shrimp and rice. (I’ll save the corn and potatoes for company dinner.)

In the time it took to cook the rice, the shrimp were prepped, simmered, and done — nothin’ else to do except spoon a dollop of each into my mug and eat!

Simple Shrimp Boil

(adapted from recipe #262 in 365 Ways to Cook Fish & Seafood by Charles Pierce… and Old Bay, of course)

3 sprigs fresh parsley (save some for garnish)

2 bay leaves

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half

2 strips lemon peel

1/2 tsp. black peppercorns

1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning

1 cup water

1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 lb. large shrimp in the shell, deveined with tails intact

1 cup cooked jasmine rice (prepared per package directions)

1-2 green onions, including tops, thinly sliced

Place parsley, bay leaves, garlic, lemon peel, peppercorns, and Old Bay seasoning in a piece of cheesecloth (hint: I used a coffee filter) and tie with kitchen twine.

Bring water, wine, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add seasoning “bag”; reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.

Add shrimp; cook until pink and just beginning to “bend.” (Beware of cooking them until they curl into an “O” — it stands for overdone!) Drain well and discard seasoning bag.

Serve shrimp atop cooked rice. Garnish with green onions and parsley. Feel free to add a salad or steamed veggies and warm French bread for a complete meal.

Old Bay seasoning

FYI, I peeled the shrimp before serving and shared half with my hubby. (They made a flavorful shrimp fettuccine Alfredo, but he ate the evidence!)

‘Twas the least I could do after he constructed this to make my life easier.

Simplicity reigns at the lake. Ahhhhh…

Ramp.JPG

Enjoying shortcuts to happiness,

~ Kim

Cookware Debut

Fish Poached in White Wine 1

Humor me and hover over the photos…

 

I didn’t realize how dependent I was on my cookware until I had to use somebody else’s… a conflagration of pots and pans with mismatched lids. Gotta love ‘cabin’ cooking!

Since last November every meal has been a challenge and I’ve been doing my best trying to maintain normal life (and meals) with the implements at hand.

This feast, however, was accomplished in my newly arrived stainless steel cookware (with lids that match!) and I couldn’t help but debut it with something spectacular.

Fish Poached in White Wine 2

Who else to turn to but Julia Child?

Fish poached in white wine… ahhhhh, yes… life (and eating) is good.

I love her technique for “napping” the fish with the reduced stock — in this case thickened with cornstarch (due to my gluten issues) rather than a beurre manié.

Nap Time

The best way to share ‘how to’ is for you to check out Mastering The Art of French Cooking from your local library — if you don’t already own a copy — and turn to pages 208-211. (I don’t want to plagarize.)

All I can say was that it was fantastic… and, what a blessing it was to finally have the ‘right’ pan to cook with.

Some things are worth waiting for.

Enjoying reading, new recipes — and cookware!

~ Kim

Salmon Cakes with Lentils & Creamed Peas

I looked at my calendar wrong!!!  (Ever do that?)  My musical endeavors don’t start until next week.  Sigh…

At the risk of hitting you up with three posts in a row (with sincere admiration to those who post every day), here’s “one last one” before radio silence… plus, it happens to be “Fish Recipe Friday” and I thought you might like this.

Fishing has been pretty slow lately and sometimes a girl’s just gotta have salmon.  (Not that there are salmon in our lake — don’t I wish?!)

But with just two of us in the household (and only one who will eat salmon), I often end up with leftovers — even after a single-serving indulgence.  I quickly turned to Food Network for inspiration, whereby I discovered salmon cakes.

I’ve made tuna cakes and, my favorite — Maryland crab cakes — but never salmon.  Unfortunately, my first attempt turned out more like patties than cakes.

Patty cake, patty cake?

(Please disregard the gulley in Cake 2; I taste tested pre-photo)

The original recipe didn’t call for breading, but I rather liked the crunch it added.  (Both versions were delish, by the way!)  After honing my “patting” skills, I pondered what else to serve.

Since we had leftover lentils in the fridge (and only one of us will eat lentils…), I figured toasted pine nuts and almonds would add crunch, too.  Bear in mind, I rarely serve the same dish the same way twice — just call me the Queen of Leftover Conversions. :)

Still, it needed something…

The Salmon Cake and Lentil Tower

Crunchy, meet creamy!

Reminiscent of the tuna hotdish with peas that I consumed by the truckload as a child (and still love to this day), here’s my “grown up” interpretation.  Plus, one can never consume enough legumes. :)

Salmon Cakes with Lentils & Creamed Peas

(Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe on Food Network)

2 Tbsp. butter, divided

1/4 c. green bell pepper, diced

1/4 c. red bell pepper, diced (I used jarred roasted red peppers)

1/2 Tbsp. capers, drained

1 egg, beaten

1/4 c. mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes (fresh is better, but I was out)

1/8 tsp. hot sauce

1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

3/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

3 to 4 oz. cooked salmon, flaked

3/4 c. toasted bread crumbs, divided (I used whole wheat crumbs)

In a large skillet, sauté the peppers and capers in 1 tablespoon of butter until softened; remove from heat and set aside.

Combine egg, mayonnaise, and seasonings in a bowl.  Add salmon, sautéed vegetables, and enough bread crumbs to bind the mixture; stir gently.  (Reserve remaining crumbs for coating.)

Cover salmon mixture; chill for 30 minutes.

Form mixture into cakes.  Dip into reserved crumbs.  Refrain from patting, unless you want “patties”…

Melt remaining butter in a skillet.  Fry cakes until golden, about 3 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towels; keep warm in the oven.

When ready to serve, plate the cakes with lentils and creamed peas or whatever else your lil’ ol’ heart desires (or the “leftover stash” in your fridge yields.)

For each portion, press 1/2 cup prepared lentils into a ring.  (I used a biscuit cutter — whatever works!)  Invert onto serving plates.

Top “lentil towers” with salmon cakes; drizzle with creamed peas.

Salmon Cakes drizzled with Creamed Peas

Guess what?!

I still ended up with leftovers… oh well.

Thanks for bearing with me and see ya next weekend!

Enjoying the exponential properties of salmon,

~ Kimby