So here's the deal.....there are times when I think Tommy at Catalina Offshore will actually recommend something as a bit of a challenge. Something I haven't heard of....with some hint....in this case it was "the texture is like pork....but the flavor is mild".
I'd really never heard of Cobia....this version was wild caught.
What Tommy told me was "the texture is like pork....the flavor is mild...so go for it smart guy....."
So what I did was a nice seasoning with Kosher Salt, Spanish Paprika, granulated garlic, fresh ground pepper, and Turkish oregano.
The glaze was Balsamic Vinegar and Agave Syrup.
After seasoning, the fish was coated with potato starch(katakuriko) then pan fried.
At the end, you remove from heat and add the glaze.
I haven't done one of these in a while. So perhaps it's time for another recently consumed post. We've been eating fairly simple and grilling and smoking quite a bit. The Missus loves roasted vegetables. But man, it's been so hot....I really don't feel like having that oven on. So what we've started doing is roasting vegetables on our Weber after a grill session. It's get's nice and hot. I'll get some of the small wood chips and soak it in water and throw it on the charcoal.
Using the carry over heat form the grill session, this works out real well. You just need to stage the vegetables.
I'm finally finding the time to cook a bit on weekends. So the Missus get's Her fish again. In recent weeks, the Monchong at Catalina Offshore has been excellent.
But it was the sculpin that Tommy told me that I "had to get" that was the real winnah! I seasoned it with cumin, harissa, ghost pepper salt, etc..... Dusted it with potato starch.
Good lord this was good.
The Missus likes organizing potlucks at work....easy to do when I have to do the cooking, right? So they recently had a Mexican food themed potluck and the Missus had me make my Carne Guisada (with chicken).
Now folks are asking for the recipe......they must have enjoyed it. The Missus came home empty handed.
And, like I said, we've been using the smoker a bit.
It'll take longer to read this post than to actually make this. But first, a word from our legal department:
Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.
Now that we got that out of the way....yes, I use raw eggs...well, egg actually, for this.
I also use an immersion blender and a Ball Jar.
The eggs are either pasteurized or the best we can find - pasture raised and all that. I also use whole eggs, which makes this much lighter than just egg yolks. As for the science; if you love that kind of stuff, get Harold McGee's classic - On Food and Cooking.
I've read where having all ingredients at room temperature, but I've done this with cold eggs and mustard and the results has been fine.
If you've been reading my posts on Portland, you should know that it would only be a matter of time before I made this. The Missus loved the Radicchio Salad at Tasty N Alder so much, we went twice. The Missus wanted to go on our last morning as well, but they opened a bit too late so we ended up somewhere else. I knew that Chef John Gorham, has a cookbook out named after his Spanish inspired restaurant; Toro Bravo. Taking a quick look at the Amazon page for the book; I quickly saw "Radicchio Salad" in the index....so guess what? I bought the book. The recipe for the salad at Toro Bravo is different from what is served at Tasty N Alder. The book version is dressed with a vinaigrette....though I like the idea of macerating onion in the vinegar for added punch. I'll surely use that idea later on. It also uses a tapenade and is served with baguette. The version at TNA is dressed with mayo with slices of bacon; they call it lardons, but it's a pretty wide slice of bacon. All was not lost however, as there were two take-aways from the recipe in the book; using a microplane to grate the manchego cheese, which makes it light as air and which allows the cheese to incorporate itself into the dressing adding another layer of flavor. The second, soaking the radicchio in ice water to remove some of the bitterness. This was key. The Missus had never taken to radicchio because of its bitterness. In addition, I decided to make my own mayonnaise, a light, whole egg version.....which I call my "three minute mayo".....like it says, it takes about three minutes to make and is very light and creamy. I also mixed in 3 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat for that extra kick. I'm thinking you can add some anchovy, or some extra acid component if desired. The Missus enjoys this version.
So here's what I made......four times in ten days!
This is what we had twice at Tasty N Alder.
Radicchio Salad (Inspired by Tasy N Alder):
3 slices thick cut bacon
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (I make my own very light version with whole eggs)
3-4 Tb Rendered Bacon Fat
1 tsp Agave Syrup Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Radicchio (about 3/4 pound)
1 cup Manchego Cheese grated with a microplane
2 boiled eggs crumbled (optional)
- Cut radicchio into four and remove core portion. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Separate leaves and soak in ice water for 30 minutes
- Slice bacon into 1/2" wide slices. Cook slowly to render off bacon fat and let bacon crisp. Let bacon fat cool but not harden
- Combine mayonnaise, bacon fat, agave syrup. Taste and add salt a pepper as necessary. Chill.
- Drain radicchio and spin dry in a salad spinner. It's important to get the radicchio faily dry. This will let the dressing coat it evenly.
I recently mentioned being able to take time for a proper lunch on weekends again. Some of this means doing "component cooking", which is creating parts of dishes that can be put together in different combinations.......stuff that I used to do in a previous life a zillion years ago. Anyway, this is based on another recipe, used to create a sauce that keeps for a week or so and can be used in different ways. The one thing I've learned is to start this in a cold pan, versus dumping all the stuff with butter into a hotel pan over a couple of burners, which is what used to take place way back then. Maitake....or Hen of the woods mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms keep their shape and earthy flavor throughout the process, so this is a good sauce for composing dishes....like say....a Pan seared monchong, smoked potato-brussel sprout saute, maitake - porcini sauce, kinda thing....
Like I learned in my "hannabudda days" of cooking....it's all about prep, though I didn't realize it at the time.
Maitake - Porcini Sauce:
1 head of Maitake (Hen of the Woods) Mushroom, cleaned, trimmed, and separated 1 head of Shimeji Mushroom, cleaned, trimmed, and separated 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushroom 2 cups warm water 2-3 tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tb minced shallot 1 tb grated garlic 1 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp dried thyme salt(truffle salt?) and pepper to taste 3 tb Creme Fraiche
- Steep porcini in the warm water for 20 minutes - Place maitake and shimeji mushrooms into a cold pan - Turn heat to medium high - Allow the mushrooms to carmelize for 3-4 minutes mixing occasionally - Remove porcini mushrooms from soaking liquid - Strain porcini liquid - Add Olive Oil and shallots to pan - As mushrooms soften, add porcini, garlic, oregano, thyme - Once fragrant, add 1 1/2 cup of the porcini soaking liquid - Lower the heat and reduce by at least one-third - Taste and add salt and pepper - Remove from heat and thicken with creme fraiche
No, I'm not calling it "dat kine" Barbecue, because a certain company has trademarked that name. But, much like my Teri Beef recipe, most folks back home have their own version of this.
Over the years, I've come up with a certain formula for this; one-third cup sugar, one-third cup sweet alcohol, one-third cup of a syrup type liquid to one cup of Aloha Shoyu. Oh yes, there's one-third cup of water....grated garlic and ginger juice. The water prevents the product from getting too salty....I've left chicken to marinate in this for up to 36 hours.
Each of the "sweetening" component will add its own little imprint on the dish. Currently, I'm enjoying things a bit sweeter, going with Dark Brown Sugar, Mirin, and Agave Syrup. There's even more you can do with this "base" - like adding guava jelly (perhaps a future post), fish sauce (delici-yoso).....
You get the picture, right?
Local Kine Teriyaki (Barbecue) Chicken:
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 pounds chicken. I prefer boneless legs/thighs. Note that you can double-triple, the amount of sauce. I've done as much as 12 pounds of boneless skinless thighs with four times the marinade. Think in terms of volume rather than weight. You want to make everything is covered by the marinade.
1 Cup Aloha Shoyu
1/3 Cup Sugar - Dark Brown/Light Brown/Turbinado/Palm/White
1/3 Cup Mirin/Vermouth/Dry Sherry/Bourbon
1/3 Cup Agave Syrup/Honey/Mulyeot (Korean Malt/Corn Syrup)/Maple Syrup
1/3 Cup Water
1-2 Tb Grated Garlic 1Tb Ginger Juice
Other Stuffs: 1 Tb Good Quality Sesame Oil, 1-2 Tb Sake ,1/4 Cup Fish Sauce, Scallions
- Combine All ingredients except the water and chicken
- Remove 1/3 cup of the combined sauce
- Add water - Add chicken
- Marinate 6-12 hours
- Grill or saute
- Use the 1/3 cup removed earlier to baste/drizzle on/or to put on rice.
I think I've mentioned that things have been pretty busy recently. After our trip to Seattle, I took only Christmas Day, New Year's, and one Sunday off. This means, either eat out (I even worked almost a full day when we did the 30th Street stumble), or make simple things at home....because, well, I'm kinda fried on certain days. Which means that if I do cook, I just want it to be a simple prep and go......
On the Sunday I took off, I was a smoking/grilling fool. I actually bought a six-and-a-half pound turkey breast, brined it and smoked it.
It took a good long time and I thought it was going to be dry as heck, but man, it turned out really well with just doing an overnight brine in water, kosher salt, brown sugar, and some of my rib rub. I used my standard poultry rub on it, mopped it with apple juice, finished with a combo apple juice and agave syrup.
We actually finished the whole darn thing in a week!
I also smoked some sausages I bought, tomatoes (yummy), potatoes, chicken liver for Da' Boyz.....you name it, I just made sure to use every single bit of those coals up.
Strangely, the Missus's favorite thing was to mix cubed smoked turkey with avocado, extra virgin olive oil, Maldon smoked and sea salt, black pepper, some cayenne and smoked paprika. She could just eat the stuff by itself or on a salad. I tried it one night.....you can tell it's mine since the Missus doesn't eat bread at home.....or even out these days.
I used the turkey in dishes that actually looked like breakfast........like this pseudo hash using the smoked potatoes, Kale and Chard form our yard...and eggs of course.
Sometimes it seems that doing these hash-scramble type dishes for dinner really works out well.
Having everything on hand makes things easy and I'm pretty fast at prep. To the right is a smoked merguez, smoked tomato, smoked potatoes, and onion scramble.
One thing I have missed, is not being to stop by Catalina Offshore. But finally, this Saturday, the Missus requested some fish....so I went to Catalina before heading off to work.
Oh, do you notice the Missus's current favorite veg? Right now, She's wanting Romanesco at least once a week. Coated with sea salt and olive oil and grilled with a drizzle of lemon juice. Stir fried....whatever. It's all about this broccoli that costs a mint. Well, at least we're eating our vegetables, right?
I hope 2014 was a great year for you all. And we send our best wishes for a great 2015 as well.
I worked a bit early on NYE, then headed off to complete was has become a tradition for me. On every New Year's Eve since 2005, I go to the various Japanese markets to check out the Osechi offerings.
Things have changed over the years, it's more of a pre-order kind of thing nowadays and there aren't too many extravagant items for sale on NYE anymore.
In fact, Marukai had almost nothing.
Mitsuwa had some interesting items, but nothing too interesting.
What I really did enjoy about my visit to Mitsuwa was a young couple, the girl, Japanese, the young man, blue-eyed, blond haired. The young lady went down the shelves explaining the significance of each of the osechi ryori items....stuff that I didn't even know! I just stood there and watched, quite taken with the moment.... At the end, she turned to me and gave me a smile and a wave. Nice job!
As usual, Nijiya had the biggest and best selection.......
It has been quite a year for us; Belgium, the Czech Republic, Japan, Seattle....... I have a feeling the this year will be just as interesting.
We'd like to thank you for reading, commenting, and just being part of our little food blog!
Over the last....well, almost ten years now, I've posted quite a few recipes. You'll notice that the number has gone down over the years, because, well, I've pretty much posted on "almost" everything I made as a kid and young adult, and after maybe 150+ recipes where do you go? You'll notice as the recipes diminished, the plain "cooking posts" have increased.
Anyway, there are about 15 or so recipes that get a bunch of traffic; many of them are "local kine" recipes, standards back home in Hawaii. Around this time of the year, I start getting a few hits for my Nishime recipe from back in 2006. Sheesh, do you even remember what you were doing in January of 2006? Nishime is somewhat of a pain to make.......but it's a labor of love I guess and it's a favorite during the holiday season back home....at least it used to be. Not sure about nowadays.
There aren't that many changes. I've just incorporated steps that just seem to make sense to ramp up the flavor. Mom really never went as far.....she probably was as tired of making this every year as I get. The one step missing is the one to make kombu maki. I just tie the kanpyo into strips along with the konbu nowadays....who knows, maybe after reading this, the Missus will request the return of the konbu maki. Also, note that we now will sometimes use chicken thighs, instead of just pork. But we have added pork/chicken bones to the recipe.
Anyway, version 2014 looks pretty much the same.
The flavor has been bumped up a bit. And yes, I still don't buy the frozen premade araimo/satoimo, gobo, or konbu maki. All have preservatives which change the flavor.
Nishime - version 2014:
1 pound sliced lean pork, boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, or a combination of both 1-2 pounds pork bones or a chicken carcass quatered with boiling water poured over to descum 2-3Tb canola/grapeseed/avocado oil 4 cups water 2 - 36" Strips Nishime(not Dashi) Kombu(Kelp) 1 Strip Kanpyo (Dried Gourd) 2 Packages Shirataki 2 Cups Daikon cut into wedges 1 Cup Carrots cut using a rolling cut 2 Cans Takenoko Tips(Bamboo Shoot Tips) 2 Stalks Gobo (Burdock Root) 12-15 Satoimo/Araimo/Dasheen(Japanese Taro) 6 dried Shiitake mushroom 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce 1/4 Cup Sugar 1/4 Cup Mirin 1 Cup of reserved, strained mushroom liquid 1 Cup of kombu soaking liquid 2 Tb Sake 1/2 Tsp salt 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- Place one large pot and one medium pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
- Soak dried mushroom in warm water for 30 minutes
- Soak Kombu and Kanpyo in water for 20 minutes.
- Cut Gobo in half; and scrape "skin/bark" off of root using a spoon. Immediately place in water to prevent discoloration.
- Place whole Araimo in large pot of boiling water and blanch. (Blanching makes the taro much easier to peel)
- If the smell or slight bitterness of Bamboo Shoots bothers you, pour half the boiling water from the medium pot over Bamboo Shoots, drain, cut into slices lengthwise.
- Open the packages of Shirataki (yam noodles) and place in a colander. Pour the rest boiling water over Shirataki to remove the "smell".
- Rinse Kombu and Kanpyo, and strip lengthwise if wider than 3 inches. Tie into knots at 2 inch intervals. Reserve 1 cup of Kombu soaking liquid
- Cut Gobo into 1/2" matchstick lengths. Parboil in water for several minutes (I use a microwave for 3 minutes on high), reserve ½ cup of liquid.
- Remove the Araimo from boiling water, rinse, peel (Be careful if cutting the taro, it is very starchy and slippery), and place in water to avoid discoloration.
- Cut Daikon into "wedges", cut Carrots using a "rolling cut".
- Mince garlic.
- In a large pot or Dutch Oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and pork/chicken/bones and lightly brown
- Add water, all the vegetables(except Shiitakes), sugar, sake, and mirin. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove mushrooms from soaking liquid and slice in half. Reserve 1 cup of soaking liquid. Add to the pot.
- Strain mushroom and kombu liquid.
- Add soy sauce, taste and add salt as desired.
- After 15 minutes, taste, and add mushroom and gobo liquid as desired.
- Simmer until daikon is translucent, but not falling apart.
- As with most stews, this tastes better the next day.
We got back from Seattle fairly late in the evening. I had the following day off, but the Missus had to work some pretty long hours early the next morning. I'm the one that usually goes straight back to work.....we got home after midnight from Japan and I was off to sleep at 3am, then at the office at 6. So I guess I shouldn't have felt as bad for the Missus as I did....She did get a whole night's sleep and all; yet I still felt guilt to have the day off. The Missus had requested, "something good to eat for a change...." She wanted Smoked Shio Koji Chicken, just not wings. She also wanted me to try it prepped three different ways.
While out grocery shopping I had an idea; since the chicken would be a two step process; smoking then deep frying; why not start everything in the smoker, then prep/cook them in different ways....I had all afternoon......
Of course everything started off with the chicken, marinated for in my Shio Koji Marinade for three and a half hours; then smoked for 1 1/2 hours over cherry wood.
While the chicken was going, I sauteed some hickory smoked bacon lardons...removing the crisp bacon and setting my trusty cast iron pan aside. A half hour before the chicken was done, I started some baby white potatoes in a pot. These were done in about 15-20 minutes and immediately plunged into ice water for 5 then drained. I then used a skewer to prick several holes in each potato and set aside.
I removed the smoked chicken from the smoker; recharged some of the charcoal, added one piece of hickroy; I wanted a more assertive smoke flavor for what was up next.
It would be potatoes and cauliflower..... The cauliflower was simply seasoned with coarse Maldon Sea Salt, fresh ground pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.
These I smoked at a pretty high temp for an hour and a half. Meanwhile, I had some brussel sprouts on hand so I sliced a good number of them in half and finely shaved a couple.
I then divided the chicken into three "groups", the first got dredged in some potato starch.
I then removed the potatoes and cauliflower from the smoker....man, it really took on a nice smoky taste. I took a small piece and tried to match it with some flavors....I settled on mint and white balsamic....so I made a sauce.
I threw the sliced brussel sprouts into the smoker, I figured the Missus could use them in salads or other dishes.
I started the oil on my Big Kahuna, almost ten years old and a little worse for wear, but still going strong. First, I fried up the shaved brussel sprouts, it takes a few seconds; then the plain chicken, then the potato starch chicken. The last set was just plain.
I then removed the wok with the oil and put my cast iron pan on the fire to heat up that bacon grease. We'd just had some delicious smashed smoked potatoes at Sitka & Spruce and I wanted to get something close. I put a couple of potatoes in the pan, smashed them down and got both sides nice and crisp.
The rest was just plating. Chicken three ways, smoked cauliflower with a white balsamic-mint sauce, topped with fried shaved brussel sprouts, smoked, smashed potatoes with creme fraiche, bacon, and scallions. And a couple of smoked brussel sprouts and some Japanese pickles.
The Missus just loved the cauliflower and potatoes......