Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuna Sashimi Bowl

I love sushi, and it used to be an almost weekly meal for me when I lived in NYC. I love it.  This sushi bowl combines the delicate flavors of sushi with the fresh, delicious, colorful concept of "bowls" that are oh-so-popular. Let's be honest - the stuff you get in the grocery store that is hours - even days old - just doesn't cut it. It defeats the whole purpose of having sushi - the textures, the simplicity, the freshness. But, for most of us, we don't have 10+ years to train as a real sushi chef.  But we can have the same types of flavors, textures, and freshness in the comfort of our own kitchens. Still with me? Let's talk tuna. Literally.

Get the best possible quality fish that you can. Go to your local fishmonger (if you have one) and ask what's good and sushi quality. You might end up with salmon, you might end up with yellowtail. Make sure it's the best quality, and make sure that it's sustainable. Take it home, and whip up this simple yummy marinade!

1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp rice vinegar OR white wine vinegar
1 tsp mirin OR 1/2 tsp honey

Now put it in a zipper bag with your fish, push all of the air out (but don't squish the fish!) and seal it. Store in the fridge for an hour or so while you prep your veggies and cook your rice! I recommend using a short grain sticky rice or sushi rice - it will hold together really well so that you can get a bit of everything in each bite.

Some of my favorite vegetables to prep are crunchy bean sprouts (marinated using the same recipe as above), lightly steamed spinach dressed with salt and sesame oil, and creamy avocado. The sky is the limit - use your favorites and make it sing with color and flavor! Then, take your fish out of the marinade and slice is against the grain delicately. I recommend 1/4" thick slices, using a sharp serrated knife and cutting in one smooth, slow motion. Don't saw back and forth - if you can't cut with one slice, get a sharper knife!

As a "dressing" or topping for your bowl, you can use good quality soy sauce,or mix up another little batch of the marinade recipe. Sriracha or gochugaru (spicy Korean chili powder) are a great additional of heat, and spring onions (scallions) add a fresh bite to the dish! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Meal in a Jar: Roasted Vegetable Panzanella!

Ok, I'm a total sucker for anything served in a jar. There, I said it. But jar lunches, besides being adorable, are also extremely practical for anyone who is meal prepping for a week ahead, or wants to transport a meal or salad without mixing everything together until it's time to serve.

Panzanella is basically a fancy Italian word for bread salad. Yup - bread salad. I took a leftover half of a baguette, made some quick and delicious croutons, and tossed them in with sweet roasted vegetables and a 30-second vinaigrette - tadaa! Lunch (or dinner), any day of the week. If you're entertaining, you could easily double or triple the recipe and serve up a big platter, topped with sprigs of fresh basil. Don't be afraid to improvise using whatever you have on hand - I had some fantastically sweet organic cherry tomatoes lying around, so I threw some of them in, and roasting only intensified their natural sweetness. Such a satisfying and unbelievably easy meal!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Smoked Mackerel Quiche

Summer is drawing to a close, but warm weather still finds its way up North every now and then, teasing us with sunshine and the ability to put the cardigans away for a few days. It's the one time when a filling, hearty, warm meal just won't do; enter the quiche.

We probably have quiche at least once a month in the spring and summer months. The produce in season right now lends itself really well to these toss-it-all-in meals, it's light yet filling, and can be eaten hot or cold (leftovers for breakfast are amaaaaazing). It's the all-purpose meal of champions, with an "anything goes" ease.

I know I'm a bit late posting this recipe but one thing leads to another and *poof* time to catch up on photo editing and recipe posting. Chloe's first tooth came in last week and it has been the most sleepless time in my life since she was a newborn. What a trooper, though. And thank God for those homeopathic chamomile teething crystals (when we finally found out about them and bought some) - worked a charm and I didn't have to resort to using some chemical/painkiller-filled gel in my baby's mouth. Win-win-win all day long.

They say our bodies tell us what they need by the food cravings we have; I was craving oily fish and wanted mackerel, so I must have needed vitamin D and Omega 3's. If you're not a mackerel fan, smoked trout or salmon would also be delicious! And since the fresh pea season has since ended, trust me, frozen will do just fine.