Monthly Archives: June 2013

From the Sea Pt 2: Salmon and Smashed Potatoes

salmon and potatosI have decided that one of my summer goals should be to eat more seafood. It is the perfect thing for these hot new york summer nights as it all cooks quickly and is nice, light and healthy. Cooking fish is not hard but for the longest time it has been something I have avoided for whatever reason. I think it stems from, just as other meat, the fact my schedule is never concrete so if I buy something and cant cook it that night it might go bad and I typically don’t have time to spend on such things on a week night. I realized though this is crazy with seafood because if I buy it the day of and cook it that day it does not take long at all and is a nice variation to my diet.

With all that being said my one of my favorite fish has to be Wild Caught Pacific Salmon. Being born and raised on the west coast I have spent a majority of my life all to spoiled with the ability to go to the coast on occasion and come back with fresh salmon during the salmon season. So when I some nice looking Alaskan Sockeye Salmon at the store last week I decided to pick some up for my weekend dinner. As I have not cooked fish in a long time I thought I would go for a simple preparation of pan frying it with a crust and make some potatoes that I had around to go with it.

While I did not write down exactly what I did I have included a short guide of what I did below. But regardless of how you decide to prepare it start including more seafood in your diet, its delicious and good for you! Also if you are unsure what to buy and want to know its impact on the environment and safety for your consumption you can always check the Monterey Bay Aquariums Seafood Watch Site.

salmon and potatos

CORNMEAL CRUSTED SALMON WITH SMASHED RED POTATOES

Please remember this is not a real recipe just more of a guide, use your own judgment when cooking

Serves 2

SALMON:

1 lb Salmon

Cornmeal

Chili Powder

Salt

Olive Oil

Butter

Cast Iron Pan

Plate/ Bowl for breading

POTATOES:

6 Red Potatoes

Miso Paste (I used brown miso)

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Baking Pan

Mixing Bowl

Foil

The Procedure

POTATOES:

Preheat the oven to 350F

In the mixing bowl add your washed red potatoes with their skins on and add a bit of miso paste and olive oil to the bowl and mix to cover the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour Potatoes out into a baking pan and cover with foil

Place in the oven and cook until potatoes are soft enough to smash with as large spoon.

Remove from the oven once soft and using a firm grip on the spoon smash each potato

SALMON:

In your breading bowl add in your cornmeal, salt, and chili powder.

Place your salmon in the breading mixture flesh side down and make sure everything is covered with the cornmeal mix

Preheat your cast iron pan and once it is hot add your butter and olive oil

Once the oil is warm place your salmon in the pan flesh side down.

Let it cook until the crust is crispy then flip over and cook skin side down until the salmon is cooked through.

Remove from heat and plate with the potatoes.

salmon and potatos

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From the Sea Pt 1: Mussels

Mussel DinnerThis past week has been a long and painful one. It started with a great trip to Atlantic City for my sisters birthday but I managed to catch a bit too much sun at the beach and got the most awkward sunburn ever and I never used to burn… I guess I have been spending too much time indoors over these past few years that my body does not know how to react to the sun! Then on Thursday I managed to loose my wallet while taking my jacket out of my bag while crossing the street after work. I have dropped things on the street before and I have always had someone point it out to me but not this time. I notice when I was going down to the subway with the plan in my head to go to Whole Foods and get Mussels for dinner but the lack of money and a metro card but a huge damper in that. I still have not had anyone contact me about my wallet so I figure at this point it is as good as gone. Thankfully I had no cash in my wallet and the only real important thing I lost was my drivers license but I have a passport until I deal with getting a new one which is bound to be a big pain since I had a CA ID but I now live in NY…. but that is life I guess.

So on Friday I decided to try again and went a bought Mussels to make for dinner. I really enjoy the simple preparation of mussels with white wine and bread so that is what I decided to make and while it will no bring my wallet back to me it did end my work week on the upside. So Next time you have a bad week maybe you will think about making this super simple recipe that is both fancy seeming and delicious. The perfect pick me up for whatever is keeping you down.

MUSSELS IN WHITE WINE

Serves 2 for dinner

Adapted from ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’

2lb bag of Mussels (make sure to choose mussels that are stored on ice and are mostly closed if they are open see if they will close and stay closed)

1 1/4 cup of your favorite reasonable priced white wine ( I used a nice Pinot Grigio)

7 Sprigs of Fresh Parsley (2 Sprigs chiffonaded for garnish)

3 Cloves Garlic Chopped

2 Bay Leaves

1 Large Stock Pot w/ lid

Bread to serve with the mussels

Mussel Dinner

The Procedure

Clean your mussels off by scrubbing them with a brush under cold water and removing any of the ‘beard’ that is on them

In a large stock pot combine the white wine, 5 whole sprigs of parsley, Garlic, and Bay Leaves.

Turn the stove on high and let the wine mix come to a boil and let it boil for a minute or two.

Pour in the mussels and cover with the lid.

Let the mussels steam for about 4-5min

Check to see if the mussels are all open and turn off the heat. If any mussels did not open throw those away.

Serve portion mussels into 2 large shallow bowls and pour over the mussel broth, garnish with parsley and serve with bread.

Mussel Dinner

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Wednesday

Sunday in the city

Its been hot and humid and rainy in New York recently and all that together has made me one unproductive person… I have so many things I have been wanting to make and cookbooks to review (Recently Burma: Rivers of Flavor, Vegetable Literacy, and The Latin Road Home have fallen into my possession, to name a few) but this weather has just sucked up all the energy I have. As this most annoying slump continues, which hopefully my upcoming trip to Portland Oregon will help break, I figured I might as well post this hilariousness I recently ran across on the web.

French Press of Bel Air

THE FRENCH PRESS OF BEL AIR

Need I say more?

Happy Wednesday!

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Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled Pork Sandwich

In the past month I have grown a small obsession with everything Hawaiian. I think it started with reading the article in the newest Lucky Peach (Issue 7: Travel – Spring 2013) “Things Were Eaten Part Three: Hawai’i” which follows Ray Choi and Christina Tosi as they eat their way around Hawaii. The idea to make Hawaiian inspired food and have a Tiki Hawaiian Luau themed party have been floating around my head for a while but the Lucky Peach article I think was the catalyst for actually making something. For now I just made sandwiches I think it would be really fun to have a Tiki Luau party this summer with all sorts of Hawaiian inspired food and Hawaiian Bark Cloth clothing… We will see if that actually transpires but until then tasty food is good.

After pursuing the internet for some cooking inspiration I decided that I wanted to make Hawaiian inspired pulled pork sandwiches. Since a large portion of the Hawaiian population is of some sort of Asian decent I decided to go with a bunch of Asian flavorings for the pulled pork. When you look at the below ingredient list for the pulled pork you will see that there is a lot of ingredients that may not be common to an American refrigerator but everything I happened to use were things I had on hand. Feel free to substitute as desired but I think the particular mix of sauces and Miso that I used create a nice body of flavor and pretty much everything should be available at your local Asian food store or a specialty market. For the sandwich rolls I wanted to go with a sweeter Hawaiian roll that uses Pineapple juice as one of the ingredients which makes for a good balance to the salty savoryness of the pulled pork.

HAWAIIAN PULLED PORK SANDWICHES

Makes 10 Sandwiches

1 Recipe Asian Pulled Pork (See Below)

1 Recipe Hawaiian Sandwich Rolls ( See Below)

1 Avocado Sliced (Optional)

Homemade Mayonnaise or Aioli… or store bought if you want but homemade is so easy and tasty

TO ASSEMBLE

We are just making a sandwich nothing special here… Cut your just baked bun in half and put your Mayonnaise on both the top and bottom bun. If you wish put a few slices of Avocado on the bottom roll (I highly suggest this it adds a great depth of flavor and richness to the sandwich) put the pulled pork on top and sandwich with the top roll and serve!

Pulled Pork Sandwich

ASIAN PULLED PORK

3 lb Pork Shoulder

1 Tsp Whole White Peppercorns

1/4 Tsp Whole Szechuan Peppercorns

1 Tsp Worcestershire  Sauce

1 Tsp Fish Sauce

1 Tbsp Shiro Miso

1 Tbsp Red Miso

2 Tbsp Sake (optional)

1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar

1 Tbsp Sriracha

2 Tsp Sambal Chili Paste

Dark Soy Sauce – To Taste

Salt

Dutch Oven or Cast Iron Pan

Medium Sauce Pan

The Procedure

Ideally you should purchase your Pork Shoulder at least a day in advanced of when you plan on cooking it. When you get it home salt it liberally then wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. By salting in advance you make sure that the meat is well seasoned and it helps break down the tough muscle tissue a bit which will make a more succulent pulled pork.

On the day you are going to make your pulled pork take out your Pork Shoulder and let it sit out for an hour or two to come to room temperature. This helps the meat cook more evenly.

While your meat is coming to temperature grind up your White Peppercorns and Szechuan Peppercorns. You can just use regular pepper but if you have access to white pepper and Szechuan peppercorns they add a nice depth of flavor to the finished meat.

Preheat your oven to 200F.

Once meat is to temperature disperse your spice mixture evenly to both sides of your Pork Shoulder and place the shoulder into your dutch oven or cast iron pan. Cover with the Lid or Foil and place in the oven

Cook at 200F for 6-8 hours until cooked through and you are able to pull it apart with a fork.

When the Pork is cooked through and tender take the meat out of the pan and let rest covered on a cutting board for about 30 min to an hour.

While the meat is resting make the sauce for the pork

In the medium sauce pan add all of the remaining ingredients except for the Dark soy Sauce (Worcestershire  Sauce, Fish Sauce, Shiro Miso, Red Miso, Sake, Rice Vinegar, Sriracha, Sambal Chili Paste) and heat on low.

Mix until the Miso Paste is dissolved and the mixture is warm, then turn off the heat.

Now that your Meat has rested pull it into shreds using two forks. One to hold the meat and one to shred with.

Take all the shredded meat and mix it into the sauce you just created, making sure to incorporate all the sauce into the meat. Finish with a bit of Dark Soy Sauce to your taste and to supplement the moisture of the meat mixture.

Serve as desired.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

HAWAIIAN ROLLS

I used the Hawaiian Sweet Roll Recipe from i heart eating for my Hawaiian Rolls with a few adjustments. Mine did come out a bit dense and I think there are 2 factors for that one is I halved the amount of Yeast used because 2 packets seemed excessive and I did not wait for the Pineapple juice to come to room temp so the yeast did not bloom properly. I would suggest to follow the recipe as is but reduce the sugar to 5 Tbsp total so they are not so cloyingly sweet. I want to work on perfecting my version so for now follow i heart eating’s recipe and just form them into 10 Sandwich rolls instead of 20 dinner rolls.

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Playlist for June

Teepee

Ah June the real start of summer. The start of beaches, barbeques, parties, and endless fun. June is a month full of hope and fresh starts to get in the mood with these grooves for June! (More food soon I promise!! May has not been the ideal month but June will be better!)

Check out the playlist June 2013 on Spotify!

1. Misirlou – Single Version ; Dick Dale& his Del – Tones

2. GO! – feat. Karen O ; Santigold

3. Hava Nagila ; The Challengers

4. Summer in the City ; The Lovin’ Spoonful

5. A Cause Des Garçons ; Yelle

6. Bamboo Banga ; M.I.A

7. Sunshine Superman ; Donovan

8. Shimmy Shimmy Ya ; El Michaels Affair

9. Dead Bodies ; Air

10. Nicotine & Gravy ; Beck

11. Kool Thing ; Sonic Youth

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