Monday, July 2, 2012

Mack Attack!!!!

I was having a bit of a Mack Attack - in this case I had a frozen package of Japanese salted mackerel in my freezer that I've been wanting to cook. Since I just got a new indoor grill, I thought this would be the best way to test it out.  I also grilled some tofu. 

A few important tips on cooking with salted mackerel:
  • Don't salt it. Not even a little bit!!!!  Otherwise, it will be too salty to eat. It's already salted. 
  • Salted mackerel has a very, very fishy smell and taste.  It's an oily fish with loads of Omega-3 fatty acids, so its incredibly good for you.  To reduce some of the fishy smell, I take my fish out of the package,  lay it on the cutting board and blot it dry with a paper towel. Be careful, it tears easily!  Then I brush on a mixture of sake and grated ginger. (both sides)  Let it sit for 15 minutes, then blot it off with another paper towel. You want the surface to be as dry as possible.
  • Brush both sides with some oil. I used olive oil.  If you're worried about sticking, you can wrap the fish in aluminum foil instead of grilling directly.
I made a quick sauce with soy sauce, grated ginger, honey and sesame oil.  I brushed this over both the grilled tofu and the mackerel while they were cooking.  My meal is finished off with some grated daikon (which goes great with mackerel or other oily fishes), some pickles, wakame soup, and a bowl of rice with a pickled plum sitting in it.

This is a very healthy meal - lots of protein and heart healthy fats! Unfortunately, it also has loads of sodium, so keep this in mind if you're watching your sodium intake.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Other fun things....

I sewed a new dress for my niece, Addi.  She picked out the fabric for this dress - I think she has really great fashion sense!

Unfortunately, she was also very sleepy and in a bad mood when I took this I had to take another one. I recently had a girl's day with my niece Addi, including Princess Time (we went to salon and got our nails done) So, Addi was eager to smile when I took this picture:

My nephew Aidan, however, was a bit jealous of all of this girl time. So, I decided to take him fishing. (I'll definitely take Addi fishing too, but she's a little young... plus I'd like Aidan to be able to fish with minimal assistance from me before I add a second kid to the equation) So, the first time, Aidan didn't catch anything. But the second time we went, he caught a fish!!!!

It was a catfish! It was just big enough to take home, luckily. Aidan looks very happy with his fish!!!!

When I took the fish outside to clean it, both kids wanted to watch.  So this turned into an impromptu fish anatomy lesson.  Thankfully, there are no pictures!  But every time I talk to Aidan, he asks about going fishing.  Addi wants to go too!!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Okonomiyaki Flavored Boca Burgers

This was quick and lazy, because I was hungry and didn't want to spend a lot of time making something to eat. I was watching a documentary on El Bulli, the 3 star molecular gastronomy restaurant in Spain that closed last year.  So, although I was lazy, I was feeling a bit inspired.

I had two Boca Burgers to work with.  So, I decided to make them okonomiyaki style.  I warmed them in the microwave, and topped them with okonomiyaki  sauce (well, really takoyaki sauce, but it's basically the same thing), aonori powder and Kewpie brand mayonaise.  I wanted to add Bonito flakes to the top, but I couldn't find them in my pantry (note to self, time to clean out the pantry!)

So, here's my creation! What do you think?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Korean Soul Food

I absolutely love Korean food. Lately, I've really enjoyed making spicy, flavorful Korean stews. Originally I stuck with the recipes from Maangchi. If you've never heard of her, go immediately to her website. Now. You can read mine later.... this woman is the goddess of Korean cooking and you're bound to love her as much as I do!!!!

So, I did a modified version of her gamjatang recipe. Except, I didn't have most of the fresh ingredients, so I left out the perilla leaves, napa cabbage and bean sprouts. I did have a package of Korean extra soft tofu, so I added this instead, along with some chopped up kimchi. So I guess this stew is a combination of gamjatang and kimchi jigae. I just called it delicious, and the perfect thing to eat when you're fighting off a sinus infection!

Here's a picture of my stewpot, happily simmering away.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dinner with a toaster oven, mostly...

I was EXHAUSTED but very very hungry tonight.  I also didn't want a lot of dishes to clean.  So, I decided to make good use of my toaster oven and a package of aluminum foil to make dinner.  I had a lovely maitake mushroom and some shiso leaves that I really needed to use.

So, I decided to combine the maitake with shitake, some fresh garlic, a little sesame oil, butter and sake, and roasted it in aluminum foil in my toaster oven:

While I was at it, I decided to cook some wild salmon as well!

I drizzled salt on the shiso leaves and let them sit for a few minutes.  Then I wrapped them around the salmon filets, and drizzled them with a little sesame oil.  The salmon joined my little mushroom friends in my toaster oven.

I decided to pair this with some homemade nukazuke.  These are daikon and gobo (burdock) room that I pickled in rice bran.  The bed of rice bran is known as a nukadoko.

It's a Japanese method of pickling - I used to watch my grandmother making these when I was a little girl.

The finished dinner below... I decided to make some udon noodles in a quick broth.  I topped it with beni-shoga (red pickled ginger):

Everything came out pretty tasty... except I think I left the nukazuke in the nukadoko too long.  It was a bit sour tasting.

On an added note, all of these photos were taken with my new IPhone 4S. It takes awesome pictures!