Miso Shrimp with Smoked Salmon, Spinach and Asparagus

I could start with a little “gym” rant this morning…but instead let me focus my attention on giving you a simple recipe and hopefully some straight forward instructions to make this dish.

  • 1 pound of shrimp
  • 3 small slices of smoked salmon, ripped/cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon onion, chopped
  • handful of spinach
  • 3  asparagus spears, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon yellow miso paste
  • 1/3 cup of water

Saute the garlic and onion in butter. Add the thinly sliced asparagus and stir. Next add your cleaned shrimp (I deveined them and cut them into pieces). Cook for a minute or two, careful not to over cook the shrimp. While that’s cooking, mix the miso paste with the water in a small dish. When the shrimp is almost cooked, add the salmon and mix. Add the miso liquid, stirring to coat. Add spinach, and cook until it’s wilted, and serve.

Miso imparts such a nice flavor to this dish. Try it sometime and let me know how it comes out.

Does anyone know if Chris McDougall ran the NYC marathon barefoot or in his VFF? Does anyone know his time?

Be nice today….

Sashimi II

When you have the right ingredients, you can really make yourself  “restaurant” food at home.

I made some more sashimi for lunch today. A quick visit to the Asian market to pick up a few supplies and I was ready. Since I’m mentioning the Asian market, go find yours where you live, you will enjoy it. They are very affordable and once you’ve shown up there a few times, the shop keepers won’t ignore you anymore 😉 It is also a great place to buy unique and cheap produce. I picked up a very large Daikon, scallions and some small fiery fresh peppers.The Daikon has a much better and stronger flavor then the ones I get at the supermarket. Also picked up some good wasabi. One word of caution, asian products liberally use MSG, food coloring, HFCS, and other ingredients you might want to avoid, but they also carry products that DON’T have them, so shop carefully and read labels.

Here some more ankimo. I grated daikon and tossed a few scallions on it. Laid the slices of monk fish liver on top and drizzled with some ponzu sauce and a few more scallions.
The daikon with the ponzu sauce is a tremendous pairing.

I used to eat this little dish below at a very special japanese restaurant in New York. It was a true authentic sushi restaurant where no cooked food was served. It had authentic Japanese protocol, they did not take reservations and they were known for turning customers away when there were many open tables available. They would turn people away, because they had so many regular customers, that they knew for example that a certain customer would come around 7 on a Thursday night. They had no menu’s and no prices. The sushi chefs were unbelievable.Many times when I sat down at the sushi bar they would serve a little dish immediately with out me asking. This was usuallly a bit of salmon, cucumber scallion and some soy sauce and sesame oil. So this is what I tried to copy today.
 
It came out well, I really enjoy the combined flavors.
And lastly, just some salmon sashimi and scallop (Hotategai in Japanese).
I’m not a huge scallop fan, but I love raw scallop. If you eat raw scallop, make sure you buy yourself the freshest you can find. Store in the fridge wrapped in paper towel. The paper towel will get all the moisture out of it and will result in getting maximum flavor.
Now what should I make for dinner?

Sashimi, Salad and a Silly Band Queen

I don’t live in a big city as you know, so my sushi restaurants locally are not the greatest. Don’t get me wrong, they’re ok but just not fantastic. Sadly, they are all pretty expensive. So every now and then I treat myself to an order from Catalina Offshore Products.  (no compensation) They are located in San Diego, and sell some terrific products, including some of the best Uni (sea urchin roe) I have had. When you sign up as member, you will receive emails with specials. I took advantage of one of those specials and ordered some wild California King Salmon. Now the product is frozen, but let me tell you how good this is. I have a friend who is a chef and he laughed at me that I ordered frozen fish. He said “I can order you anything you want fresh”. Yes folks, fresh is better then frozen, BUT…..I brought my “non believing” friend a small sample to try and I can tell you he was blown away.
Take a look at this nice fatty salmon sashimi;

This salmon is so tasty, you don’t even need soy/tamari sauce and wasabi. I had some with and with out. I also put a tiny dollop of garlic chili sauce on the salmon instead of tamari and wasabi dip. Delicious.

I don’t know if you have ever tried this in a sushi restaurant;

This little treat is called “Ankimo
It’s monk fish liver. It is sometimes called “foie gras of the sea”
A bit of ponzu sauce really let the flavors stand out.
A quick home made ponzu sauce you can make (and use for many other dishes) is just adding some lemon juice to your soy/tamari sauce. It makes for a nice change of flavor.
When you order this as an appetizer in a sushi restaurant, it usually costs between $9.95 and $15.95. A whole roll from Catalina costs $15.99. Ahhh affordable sushi/sashimi what could be better?
Life can’t always be filled with the above delicacies, and other days we make do with the basics. Like a salad.
Just a nice lunch salad consisting of romaine lettuce, cucumber, peppers, red onion and salami.
Dressing is just some evoo and fresh ground pepper and a dash of sea salt.
And here my Silly Band Queen
Amazing isn’t it? Some one decides to manufacture some plastic bracelets in all sorts of shapes and becomes a multi millionaire pretty much over night. Has this crazyness hit your area too?
“You can get everything in life you want…..if you will just help enough other people get what they want”

Fish and Sweet Potato Soup

Someone asked me the other day if I like soup. I love soup. I especially love cream and coconut milk based soups. I like the thicker texture. An easy way to make thicker soups is to add some potato.

When it comes to soup, your stock is KEY. Tasty stock = tasty soup (well most of the time anyway)

On Saturday I made fish stock with the shrimp heads and shells I had saved. Making stock is easy and my criteria is as follows; make stock so flavorful, that it can stand on it’s own. Meaning you can give someone a spoonfiul, and they say “hmmmm that’s good soup”.

Try this for fish stock;

Cut onion, celery and carrot (this is called mirepoix in classic French cooking). You want onion to be twice the portion of the celery and carrots. In butter (butter is best here for flavor) cook the mixture. Don’t let it brown, but let it sweat until translucent (onion that is). Now it’s time to get Feel Good Eating creative.
Next I add a  heavy splash of white wine. I let that all simmer a bit. Next I added half a red jalapeno, dill and salt to taste. Let that all cook together a bit, stir. Next add your shrimp heads (or fish head and or fish bones etc). I really like shrimp heads for stock, the flavor is just a tad different then fish head and tail.

Mix all ingredients together well. Now add water. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer. I let it simmer for an hour or so. If there are people in your house that don’t like fish…you might want to have a little talk with them…as this stock WILL make your house smell nice and fishy. When done, pour your stock through a mesh colander. Now you have delicious fish stock to make soups with. The stock should have a dark color to it.

So Sunday I used the stock to make a salmon and sweet potato soup.
In a pan gently heat the stock. Add half of a thin sliced and peeled yam/sweet potato.
Once the sweet potato is soft, transfer to a blender and puree. Transfer back to the pan again and add a splash of heavy cream. Next I opened a can of salmon and mixed that in with the soup, stir and heat.
Dice a bit of red onion. Add a teaspoon of Fage (greek yogurt) and top with the red onion.
Gourmet on a budget. The canned salmon works very well with this.
The stock is perfect for a nice coconut soup too.
Have a great week!