Recipe: Teriyaki Grilled Salmon

Oh My Gawd, Yum.

Growing up on the water of the Puget Sound, I ate salmon a lot as a kid. Too much, probably, because now I am insanely picky about it. Generally, I can’t stand it. I was spoiled. Truly spoiled.

So when I find a recipe for grilled salmon that actually tastes great–by MY crazy, spoiled, highly privileged standards–I get excited.

This is such a recipe.

This recipe has been modified from one at  allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup sesame oil (vegetable oil if you must)
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 c brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 (6 ounce) salmon steaks

DIRECTIONS:

In a large resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container, combine the first six ingredients; mix well. Set aside 1/2 cup for basting and refrigerate. Add salmon to remaining marinade; cover and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours, turning once if in pan. Drain and discard marinade.

IF USING BROWN SUGAR: first mix all ingredients over low heat to dissolve the sugar, then continue as outlined above.

If using oven: Place the salmon on a broiler pan. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 5 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade; turn and broil for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Brush with marinade.

If using grill: Preheat grill on med-high heat; using fish cage, cook on each side approx 5 minutes or until flakey, basting occasionally with the marinade, until done (flakey).

Recipe: Coffee Flavored Ice Cream

Michael Cassidy’s “Teach Me to Surf Sugar Daddy”–or–a very special piece of art.

When Matt and I were dating, he lived in Hawaii and I was stateside. We saw each other every few months, and every time it was a vacation. A perfect, romantic Hawaiian vacation. that may be a total exaggeration–he was a newspaper editor and reporter; I was still a college student. Hawaii on No Money isn’t really Hawaii as postcards and TV would have you think of it, but we still had a lot of fun on the beach and enjoying the more affordable treats, like ice cream and looking at art studios.

On the North Shore of Kaua’i, where some of the best surfing and beaches in the world are, there is also a fantastic little boutique with local artists’ work.

I fell in love with this piece of art. Cheesy, pin-up  “art”. It was perfect; it was hilarious yet aspirational and although I’ve seen many, many paintings and original works of truely “great” art in my life, it was this one that I kept thinking ab0ut, remembering and wanting.

It made me smile. It spoke to me.

Or maybe it was the way Matt spoke to me, saying, mocking, “Teach me to (insert random hobby) Sugar Daddy”  in a sultry, over-the-top manner that made me smile.

We were still joking about it, talking about it, when we stumbled in to a fabulous little ice cream shop just off the beach.

…Turns out I have great taste–in food. Not so much in art. They served Kona coffee-flavored ice cream with chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and coconut flakes… just amazing. Breath taking…also clothes staining, as I learned from spilling it all down my shirt from laughing so hard at Matt’s “Sugar Daddy” jokes and the idea of me–ME! — a Sugar Mama.

A few years, vows, a kid and a house later, Matt tracked down this piece of art and gave it to me for our 4th anniversary.

He still has to teach me to surf.

This recipe comes from my personal bible, allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream

DIRECTIONS

In a saucepan, stir sugar, cornstarch, coffee and butter until blended. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool completely. Stir in condensed milk. In a mixing bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form; fold into milk mixture. Pour into a 9-in. square pan. Cover and freeze for 6 hours or until firm, checking to stir once the it has started to freeze over and stirring every 1.5 hours after that. At that point, add whatever chunks you’d like–chocolate pieces, nuts, go crazy.

Recipe: Steam Buns

 

When I was 15 I traveled the world.

I ate mostly french fries and cheese sticks, but occasionally an exotic edible looked bland enough I’d muster the courage to try it. I had, after all, a sick aversion to spice. ..And I was in SE Asia… *shaking head at lameness of it all* I lost a lot of weight from just flat-out refusing to eat.

Enter Chinese Steamed Buns, a godsend.

The first one I had was at a market and only because my friend, Annelise, insisted. Hard. She promised I’d like it. She swore.  She said it was the best thing ever. And, dammit, it was lunch time. We HAD to eat something.

But there were no french fries or cheese sticks in sight.

So I caved. I gave in and tried a new food. I was instantly glad I did: Annelise was right.

I’ve spent 15 or so years since looking for a decent copy of that yummy little filled white poof ball. I’ve finally found it. And I’m so excited to share it. It is, after all, possibly the single most important dish in my culinary evolution: its the dish that got me to eat something other than french fries and cheese sticks. To not be afraid of new things. To trust the advice of friends. To embrace novelty. To just be in the moment.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: you will need a wok and steam plate, like this

This recipe comes from the always fabulous allrecipes.com

To read a fantastic account of one person’s love for the perfect steamed buns, click here to go to exilekiss

FOR THE BUNS:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup warm water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix in 1/2 cup warm water, flour, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and vegetable oil. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  3. Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board. Knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts, and place the piece you are not working with in a covered bowl. Divide each half into 12 parts. Shape each part into a ball with smooth surface up. Put each ball on a wax paper square. Let stand covered until double, about 30 minutes.
  4. Bring water to a boil in wok, and reduce heat to medium; the water should still be boiling. Place steam-plate on a small wire rack in the middle of the wok. Transfer as many buns on wax paper as will comfortably fit onto steam-plate leaving 1 to 2 inches between the buns. At least 2 inches space should be left between steam-plate and the wok. Cover wok with lid. Steam buns over boiling water for 15 minutes.
  5. REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will drip back onto bun surface and produce yellowish “blisters” on bun surfaces. Continue steaming batches of buns until all are cooked.

 

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces chopped pork (the fattier, the better)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can shrimp, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook chopped pork in a wok over medium heat. After 3 minutes of cooking add chopped shrimp if desired. Cook until pork is no longer pink. Drain, season with salt and set aside to cool.
  2. Mix together green onions, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine, oil, sugar, and pepper. Stir in minced meat. Stir in water and mix thoroughly. Chill in freezer for 2 hours, or in refrigerator overnight to firm up and blend flavors.
  3. Prepare dough for Chinese Steamed Buns.
  4. Shape dough into balls. Roll each out into a circle, (like Won-Ton wrappers). Put 1 tablespoonful of prepared meat mixture in the center of each circle, and wrap dough around filling. Place seams down onto wax paper squares. Let stand until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  5. Bring water to a boil in wok, and reduce heat to medium; the water should still be boiling. Place steam-plate on a small wire rack in the middle of the wok. Transfer as many buns on wax paper as will comfortably fit onto steam-plate leaving 1 to 2 inches between the buns. At least 2 inches space should be left between steam-plate and the wok. Cover wok with lid. Steam buns over boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will drip back onto bun surface and produce yellowish “blisters” on bun surfaces. Continue steaming batches of buns until all are cooked.

Recipe: Shrimp Alfredo

I love shrimp.

I also love cheap.

More than anything, though, I love easy.

This recipe has all three of those key ingredients. It’s on tonight’s menu because I happen to have all the ingredients already on-hand. Gosh, I just LOVE that.

This recipe for Shrimp Alfredo starts with a recipe from the always-fabulous, nearly fool-proof allrecipes.com (it is really a wonder I still own or use tangible cookbooks anymore)…but there are a few key changes to the recipe that I think make all the difference between “OK” and “YUM”

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (12 ounce) package linguine pasta (or whatever you have handy)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons diced onion–or add an entire onion diced, depending on taste.
  • 8 teaspoons minced garlic (or more, to taste)
  • 40 small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cupe white wine
  • 1 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • a few shakes of red pepper flakes
  • OPTIONAL: add a diced red bell pepper and/or mushrooms (highly suggest portabello mushrooms!)
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup romano cheese
  • OPTIONAL: some chicken pieces
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley, or add some dry parsley to the sauce and call it good.
  • 4 slices lemon, for garnish (I’m not even going to bother with it)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan. Saute onion and garlic over medium heat until tender. Add shrimp; saute over high heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove shrimp and set aside so as not to over cook. Stir in half-and-half, milk, wine, parmesan, red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Add a tablespoon of flour to help thicken if you need to.
  3. Place pasta in a serving dish, and cover with shrimp sauce. Sprinkle with black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.