here and there

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Smoked Salmon Sushi Squares!

Some times the beauty and simplicity of a recipe just grabs your imagination and from the first time you make it, it becomes one of those recipes that you can see evolving and changing everytime you make it.  Such is this recipe for Sushi squares that I have been wanting to do it for some time.  Everyone got involved in making this recipe from my son who use to work in a Japanese Restaurant and my daughter in law who loves sushi!

Everything is assembled in a square cake pan that has been lines with saran wrap.

 This was our first attempt and garnished with sesame seeds and onion scallions

 Since the sushi is sandwiched between plastic wrap, it makes it very easy to pull out of the pan once chilled and easy to cut the sushi pieces.

 This was my second attempt, using day old sushi sticky rice and with less than 2 cups available, the pieces were not as firmly packed as when the rice is freshly made, so using lettuce as wraps became an interesting but delicious solution.. I had used sauté shrimp which also was difficult to pack firmly along with the slices of pineapple.. Fresh Pineapple and shrimp was most delicious. I would suggest using the shrimp after the pieces are cut as  garnish.

The carrots in this case were cut using a special tool to make thin strings or pasta of carrots.

My youngest grandchildren using chop stickes!

A Japanese friend was most appreciative for the squared sushi recipe and here are some of the ideas she shared:

Talking about Sushi
I usually buy Japanese rice(or Korean rice) at the Oriental section at grocery store. If you can't buy it, Italian rice is sticky too. (Calrose Rice or Short grain Rice)

You can cut Nori sheet in half size to make more variety of sushi.
Ideas to add layers... I can think of ...

-Smoke salmon, Cucumber and Cream cheese
- Baked Yam or Yam Tempura and Cucumber
- Crab, Avocado,Cucumber and Mayo
- Can Tuna, Mayo, (Spicy sauce), lettuce and Cucumber  

- Cooked Shrimp with Mayo or Shrimp Tempura and     Cucumber (with spicy sauce)
- Omelet, Crab, Avocado, Cucumber, lettuce and Mayo

So many variation you can do! You can put Ham, Chicken and Beef too. 

Here are her tips on cooking sushi

When I make Sushi rice, I put less water. Because you will add Sushi Vinegar to make little bit wet rice.

Making Rice( I do)
I put same amount of 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of water
(Just little less water)
Start high heart  to Boiling, turn down low heart 15-20 minutes. Do not stir and do not open lid until cooked

I make Sushi Vinegar my self.

Make 1Cup of Rice
-1 1/2 tbsp Rice vinegar
-1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt

Boiling all ingredient (just need to melt sugar and salt)
Pure in to hot rice


Glazed Pork Hocks in Beer with Sauerkraut

Glazed Pork Hocks in Beer with Sauerkraut 

This is a recipe that appeared in one of the early Canadian Living magazine, which was filled with recipes and crafts with little advertisement.. I had made this recipe when the magazine first came out and  was very pleased with the results.
I did remember that beer and brown sugar were part of the recipe but not that Tomato juice was also part of the recipe. I used my turkey roaster which was a big mistake as with all the incredible smells as the hocks cooked slowly in the beer and tomato juice, those that walked by the roaster would take a peak.  Because of this, the hocks were not as glazed as they were the last time I made this recipe and the hocks had slowly cooked in the oven. 

 A jar of sauerkraut was rinsed in cold water and added to the hocks with caraway seeds.  The hocks were eaten the next day after being heated up.  They were delicious!

Left over meat was stripped from the bones and heated.  It was served on top of toasted olive bread with grilled mozzarella cheese and pickled dill beans! The sweetness of the caramelized onions and sauerkraut was delicious!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Robin sign of spring

Once again, the Robin that tried to get into my kitchen last year to nest, is back. She keeps flying into my window and has become so used to seeing me she doesn't fly away when I take her pictures close up or open the garden door and try to shoo her away

Last year she was most  persistent and kept flying into the window for a few weeks. I thought that my tomato plants were attracting her as they were right by the window.

Cinnamon Roll Buns

Not sure why I had frozen sweet dough in my freezer, but after letting the dough thaw out in my refrigerator overnight, I rolled out the dough into a large rectangle, covered  the dough with brown sugar, tons of cinnamon and butter.  I also added whole almonds that had been toasted. Rolled up the dough and cut into about 2 inches pieces. Added the rolls to a prepared pan and baked at 350 for about 30 minutes.  

You don't need to use sweet dough which has eggs, butter and sugar in the dough.  My Mom use to use her regular bread dough that did not have eggs or butter and little sugar. I actually prepare these rolls to the ones made with a sweeter dough.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Green Curry Sauce

Green Curry Sauce

Into my food processor went:
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 of a white onion
  • handful of fresh Cilantro
  • piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoon of lemongrass
  • 3 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • pepper
  • 2 large jalapeño and one green chile 
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coriander and cumin, each
  • lime, whole

I will let it mellow and then decide what to do with the sauce.  I think it may need some sweetness but will decide before I use it.. The sauce has a lot of heat from the peppers!  Adding coconut milk may be a great solution!

In Wine and Food magazine

On Jean-Georges Vongerichten's most recent trip to Bangkok, he ate at a small restaurant where the waitress set out bowls of curry sauces alongside platters of cut-up raw vegetables, herbs and rice noodles. (You could also serve chicken or fish.) Customers assembled their own meals. At home, Vongerichten now offers several curries at the same time because he likes the balance of sweet, spicy and herbal flavor

The amount of sauce that the above makes is over a cup.. too smoking hot with the one chile pepper.  I used about 3 Tablespoons of the green curry sauce and about half a tin of coconut milk.. I find that the coconut milk loses it's flavour as it cooks so I added more at the end to keep that coconut taste.  I used 3 frozen chicken breasts, 3 tablespoons of the green curry sauce and about a half a tin of coconut milk.. I baked the chicken in a covered dish at 375 for an hour.  I pan steamed some Shanghai greens.. The Shanghai greens were packaged with garlic, oil and Oyster sauce.  They still had to be washed well. I usually do not buy packaged items as more costly but since these packages where being cleared out out at 50% off,   they were worth the price.
The chicken was lovely.  But I still have tons of the sauce left over. Considering freezing small portions for other dishes! Oh Dear! Just when I am trying to clear out my freezer!