jun 18 2009

Sloppy sushi

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Typical. Of all the times I’ve made sushi, the first time I have a camera at hand, my rice turns out too loose, and the sushi got really sloppy. It was delicious as always, but I’m not too pleased with the pictures. But I’ll post them anyway, I’ll just have to give to photoproof from the next sushi dinner that I CAN in fact do better.

Sloppy sushi

I looooveee sushi. Salmon is my favourite; with avocado, cucumber, and a crazy, totally not authentic mayo-scallion-srirachasauce-mix. It adds just a hint of creaminess, spicyness and crunchiness that I adore, and frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn if it’s not authentic.  My next food project will be to make my own pickled ginger because in the store a tiny less-than-a-cup-sized-jar of ginger costs outrageous 20 Kroner! (~ 4 dollars!).  The fact that my boyfriend can’t help himself from munching the pickled ginger as a snack sans the sushi, makes it too expensive to not try and make it myself.

Sloppy sushi

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jun 16 2009

Back to bloggin, Part III: Salmon with sesame seed crust

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Salmon with sesame seed crust

Usually when I make fish, I go for a quick and simple thai stew version, but this time I craved something more elaborate. I love fried food (who doesn’t ? ) but I hate the deep frying, I’m even apprehensive towards pan-frying. My imagination has a mind of its own, and whenever I’m around dangerous things I picture myself doing the exact opposite of what is safe. Like when I’m frying food in lots of hot oil, I get these images in my mind where I suddenly pick up the pan with mentioned hot oil, flip it and pour it all over myself. I would never do such a thing, I have some self-restraint afterall, but the pictures in my head are quite disturbing and hard to get rid of, so I tend to avoid situations that cause my imagination to go crazy.  So in order to get that lovely crust that comes from deep frying, I searched the net and came up with the idea of making a crust of sesame seeds. It’s really simple, and was a lot less hassle than I thought, except for the few extra dishes to clean afterwards. Here goes:

Salmon with sesame seed crust

Ingredients

  • Salmon fillets, without bones and skin
  • 1-2 cups of raw sesame seeds
  • 1-2 cups of flour
  • 2-3 eggs, beaten
  • Rapeseed oil
  • salt, pepper

Pat the fish fillets dry. Put the eggs, flour and sesame seeds in three separate dishes. Salt and pepper the fish, then dip it in the flour first, make sure to shake of excess flour. Then dip it in the beaten eggs, let drip off a bit, then put the fillets in the dish with sesame seeds, make sure to  cover the fish completely with the seeds. Fry in 1-2 tablespoons of oil at medium low heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, until the sesame seeds start to brown and the fish is cooked to your liking. I like mine almost raw in the middle rather than dry.

For a starchy side dish I cooked 3 small sweet potatoes and 5-6 of tiny fresh almond potatoes with 3-4 cloves of garlic in well salted water until everything was soft. I then mashed up the vegetables with one  fresh clove of garlic, a tablespoon of fresh, grated ginger and a few heaped tablespoons of butter, plus salt and pepper.

To healthy up dinner even further I chopped and sauteed  some vegetables I had in the fridge; red onions, thinly sliced carrots, and a red pepper/capsicum, salted and peppered it, and added a tiny splash of sweet chili sauce to bring out that extra sweetness of the veggies and to complement the sweet potatoes.

I really loved the sesame seed crust on the salmon, and the side courses were wonderful –  this is not the last time I make this! I think it might even be good for entertaining, just look how beautiful it is!

Salmon with sesame seed crust

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apr 28 2009

I’ll have my fish raw, please

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

I’ve had an insane craving for sushi the last month. Last week we got some okay, but slightly dissapointing (tiny!) maki rolls at the neighbourhood takeaway sushi, but that did only make my cravings bigger. Last night I came home early from Uni, completely emaciated since I wanted to get really hungry before dinner, which of course resulted in a totally stupid argument with Tore over something I don’t really remember. After some angry «I don’t even want sushi for dinner tonight!», we made up, and he apologized with a «Can I have some sushi too? «. Of course he could. I couldn’t have, even if I’d tried, manage to eat all the sushi myself. I boiled up 2 cups of sushi rice and made 3 giant maki rolls (rice on the outside) with salmon, spring onions, avocado, cucumber and shrimps. I mixed the shrimps with majonese and Sriracha sauce because I just love that spicy (though not completely authentic) flavour. I was so excited about managing the inside-out rolls (toasted sesame seeds and plastic cling film essential), and so hungry, that we just stood there at the kitchen counter and ate them immediately as  I made them. Yuummmyyy! Sadly, I haven’t gotten around to fix my camera yet, so I have to make sushi again for you to see when it’s fixed..

I found something slightly confusing though, when I was checking the internet for what kind of fish I should use. The Norwegian Fishing Ministry recommends to only use fish that has been frozen at -20° Celsius for at least 24 hours, while at other sites I read about «Sashimi-grade fish», by which I think they meant really fresh fish. But freshness doesn’t guarantee you a fish without parasites, round worms, which is the real issue of concern. All fish have parasites to some degree; fish living in brackish, still-water have more of them (should not be eaten raw) while sea fish and especially farmed salmon have few, or none. Anyway, I didn’t want to take any chances, so I went with a couple of frozen salmon fillets. I sliced them while they were still a bit frozen, which made it easy to get really thin slices. 

As satisfying the sushi yesterday was, today I still had a craving for more sushi, or at least more raw fish. So I decided to make Vietnamese spring rolls with salmon ceviché and shrimps. I soaked the rice paper wrappers in hot water as always, but as a twist I marinated the salmon  in lemon juice, soy sauce, grated ginger and garlic, some salt and sugar, and a tiny drizzle of sesame oil. I wrapped the salmon with shrimps, julienned cucumber and carrot, diced spring onion, sesame seeds, and some slices of pickled ginger. Divine!

Here’s a pic from another time I made Vietnamese spring rolls: 

 

Vietnamese spring rolls

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okt 28 2008

The best salmon dish ever! + some other food-related triumphs

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

I’ve discovered a thrilling new, incredibly tasty recipe for salmon baked in the oven on a bed of baby spinach and leek. I will not take all the credits for this, since I was inspired by a dish Gillian McKeith made during one of her programmes, I think it was «You are what you eat». I watched the show one day, got totally inspired, and made this dish the following day – it turned out perfectly, was super-tasty and very satisfying. I prepared the salmon pretty much the same way as Gillian does in this recipe but I didn’t sauté the leeks before I added them to the pan, nor did I brush the salmon during the cooking prosess. I used fairly small (cheap!) fillets of salmon that cooked so quick that I didn’t have to do anything with them during their time in the oven. They came out perfectly cooked, juicy and flavourful, not dry at all.

The best salmon dish ever

The ginger and garlic gave the fish a remarkable fresh and delicious taste, and I’ll definitely pair those together in another fish dish. I wanted some starch in addition to the vegetables, so I cooked up some  diced sweet potato together with one regular potato, mashed them up with some butter and seasoned the mash with salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic and fresh ginger. Do you see a pattern? Indeed, the mash complemented the fish very well. 

Sweet potato purée..the best mash I've hadSweet potato purée..I adore thee!

On an impulse I drizzled a new spice mix over the lot (from the brand Santa Maria ; Wasabi and Sesame), which worked out very nice!  The next time I will even try to put some real wasabi onto the fish during the baking..mmmmhh!

Santa Marias new Wasabi Sesame spice mix

The finished master piece (I’m getting a hang at arranging my food, don’t you think? (Just say yes, please)) :

The best salmon dish ever

I seriously had to retain myself from gobbling it all up before I took the picture..actually, just looking at the pictures now makes me crave this exact dish. Jeez, me and my cravings.

The best salmon dish ever <- Heaven on a fork

Time to talk about the other triumphs. First, I’ve made sun…uh, oven dried tomatoes! My local vegetable marked had these glorious red cherry tomatoes and I just couldn’t leave them there in the shop, so I adopted them, took them home and roasted them! Slice in half, drizzle with sea salt, fresh pepper and olive oil, in the oven at 100 degrees celcius, about 4 hours, done. Mini-photo series below (click on the pics to make them bigger):

Wonderful cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes, ready for roasting
Oven dried tomatoes <- Look at that glorious, ruby red colour! Just beautiful! I planned to use them in some pasta dish, but I have to hurry, since I’ve already snacked up half the jar…yum!
So, are you curious about my third triumph ? A few nights ago I ate something I’ve never had before, but which I’ve been wanting to try out ever since I read about it in Andy’s great blog (you have to scroll down the page a bit) - ARTICHOKES! Artichokeartichokeartichoke. I heart artichoke. Just a week ago I knew nothing, now I know that I love their subtle flavour, that they are fun to eat, and that artichokes actually are flowers of the thistle family! How often do you eat a flower for dinner? If you’re somewhat like me, you have no idea how to prepare and eat an artichoke; this site  explains it all wonderfully.
My first artichoke!
I made a dip of good balsamic vingar and some mayonaise, which was absolutely terrific, but regular softened butter was very nice too. I can’t quite get over how much fun I had eating this thing with Tore (and Sam, nibbling away like crazy), it must be my inner child that loves the idea of eating a big flower. Just look here, it IS a flower!
Image:Artichokeflower.jpg
Lastly, I want to share a norwegian twist on pancakes with you guys. In Norway, we normally eat pancakes at dinnertime, not for breakfast. They are made without baking powder, just milk, flour, sugar, salt and eggs, and the batter is generally thinner than the american version. To make it even crazier, many norwegians like to have soup with their pancakes. I have to admit, I hadn’t tried this until I met Tore, but I really like it, since pancakes on their own are too sweet on my palate, I like something salty for dinner. Pancakes are one of those dishes that I just can’t bother to make, since they’re time consuming and Tore is more than willing to make them. Instead, I made the soup; a quick soup of little, green peas, fresh from the freezer, I think they’re called petit pois. When Tore visited the Netherlands a long time ago, he had pancakes with cheese on them, and ever since we’ve had cheese on our pancakes too. With sugar and lemonjuice. And my addition today; poppy seeds. Sound crazy, right? But verr d’lish, you should try it.
Pancakes and green pea soup 

Pancakes and green pea soup
Oh, I forgot, we added some bacon to the batter too! Yuuumm….You eat them like this; put sugar, a lemon squize, some poppy seeds and grated parmesan cheese (or any other, sharp cheese) along the center of the pancake, roll it up, and cut into pieces with the help of a fork and a spoon. Yes, a spoon, knives are prohibited. Take one bite of pancake, follow up with a spoonful of pea soup. Mmh-mmh-mmmmhhh!!! I’ll post the recipe when I get around to it or if you send me an mail and ask, right away.
Although this blog is turning more and more into a food blog, I just have to add some pictures of my beloved little chunk of hairy loveliness; my pet rat Sam. Here he is snoozing away on my fake fur blanket, on the couch. Isn’t that little nose just adorable? He didn’t even flinch when I kissed his little head, the sleepy little man.
The sweetest nose there is
And one more (look at that little hand under his cheek! So cute!) :
The sweetest nose there is
All together now: «Aaaaaaawwwwwwhhh!!!»

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