Tuesday, December 27, 2011

No Turkey, No Ham but great holiday stomach stuffers

Ok, I did eat plenty of Turkey and Ham this Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. 
But the other dishes we created for our holiday potlucks made the party.

Cioppino, better when homemade 
Bite sized chicken/eggplant parmesans 
Potato, sour cream, caviar 
Fried wontons cups filled with goodies,
Pluots, persian cucumbers, red onion, masago eggs to the left.
Avocado, spicy tuna, bacon filled on the right. 
Get your pizza stations ready...
My rustic pizza, a little Hawaiian island on the side

2011 was great for me food wise. I learned so many new tricks 
and cooked up a bunch for happy friends. 
Looking forward to 2012. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pomelo, big as my head.

When the weather’s nice in San Francisco, the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building is a perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon and discover new ingredients.

Here’s a grapefruit like fruit as big as my head.

These Pomelos are native to southeast asia, but I’ve tried some during a visit to Florida, so seems like they grow in any warm environments. What I like about Pomelos are they aren’t as bitter or sour compared to a grapefruit and due to the size, the inner meat is much chunkier so you get more for your work after peeling each skin.

Pomelo and Arugula Salad with Scallion-Lemon Vinaigrette.
Refreshing, perfect for a summer dinner matches well with a glass of Chardonnay 
or a Hitachino Nest White Ale perfect with it’s subtle citrus notes.

So simple anyone can make this.
Wash and dry Arugula.
Add slices of red onion for sweetness and contrast
The Pomelo is the main star of this salad. Take bite sized chunks and generously lay on top of the greens.
Any simple vinaigrette dressing would match with this salad.

Here’s my Vinaigrette for this salad

1.5 table spoon Balsamic Vinegar
3 table spoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 stalk Scallion finely chopped
1 wedge of Lemon for juice
Salt, Pepper

Mix the contents in a bowl.
Squeeze the juice of Lemon and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kiwi Sauce- taking fruit to add color and tang to your food

We're supposed to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. People eat their lettuce and tomatoes in salads, maybe cucumbers and carrots, but we often miss out on our fruits.
 Sashimi Octopus and Scallops with Black Masago and Kiwi sauce as topping
served with Fried Wonton Chips as an appetizer.

Every time I cook for friends, I am trying to figure out ways to incorporate fruits into my dishes. While fruit is often associated with dessert, I think it can be prepared as appetizers and main dish components. Fruit salsa dips, diced fruits in salads, grilled fruit.  The sweet, and tangy taste works well in many dishes, and always adds the vibrant yellows, blues, pink tones you may not get with veggies alone.

Today's example is a simple Kiwi Sauce. Adds a tangy sweet layer and works well with seafood and other white meat. I think it can even be arranged into a salad dressing as well.

Baked Seabass on a bed of Daikon Radish and Kiwi Sauce
w/ side of Shrimp and Seaweed flavored Rice

Kiwi Sauce:
Take 1 ripe Kiwi fruit (you want ripe for the sweetness over sour) and cut in half. You should be able to scoop the green fruit out from the skin with a spoon. Chop half a stem of green onions which adds aroma. While you can toss all this into a food processor, why bother with the clean up? I just chopped the fruit long enough (3 mins or so) with a kitchen knife and was able to achieve a sauce like consistency.

Squeeze on wedge of lemon, lime, or any citrus juice. Season with dash of salt and pepper to liking and spoon it over your favorite seafood dishes! This is one easy and unique sauce that your guests will enjoy. For a hot twist, you can always chop in some roasted jalapeno or milder Anaheim peppers into the sauce.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sometimes in a hectic world, you want to just find comfort in the simple foods.

Simple mac and cheese with shell pasta, soy milk, ham, mozzarella cheese.

Use macaroni, shell, penne, any small pasta for that matter and cook to al dente and drain. I like my mac and cheese meaty so chopped up some black forest ham and stirred it in a bowl with soymilk (or milk) Parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese.

For the gourmet touch, take that mixture and put it in an oven safe bowl. Layer the top with sliced cheese and some bread crumbs (panko) and bake at 400F for 5-10 minutes until the top cheese is golden.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tasteful bites

Plum and Octopus Ceviche
Diced Japanese Cucumbers, Plums, Salmon Roe and Octopus.
Take a little salt, squeeze of lime and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
Garnish with Cilantro leaves or chopped Scallions.
Served on asian noodle soup spoon or inside a shot glass.

 Tuna Salmon Tartare in Deep Fried Wonton Cups

Chopped sashimi grade Salmon, Tuna, and Avocado in a bowl.
Add a dash of Olive Oil, Salt, Lime Juice.
Mix well, and spoon into Fried Wonton Cups
Fried Wonton Cups:
Eggroll Wrap placed it in a metal Ladle and slowly deep fried in Canola or vegetable oil.
helpful hint: using chopsticks while deep frying helps the eggroll wrap stay open until it hardens.