Saturday, February 28, 2009

Shaved Fennel and Golden Beet Salad

I made a simple salad using thinly shaved fennel and beets that were cooked and tossed in to a simple vinaigrette. The fennel was sliced very thin using a Madoline and placed in cold water to crisp up, then dried with a salad spinner. The beets were cooked whole till tender then peeled and diced, the dressing was made with just sherry vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Miso Cod with Mushrooms and Soba Noodles

One day I am cooking Latin and the next day its Asian, that's part of whats fun in cooking. Tonight I made a dish inspired by the cooking of the Japanese American Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, miso glazed cod is his signature dish and I recreated the cod with the addition of Soba noodles, mushrooms and bonito soy broth.
The glaze is simply made using equal parts of miso paste, sake, brown sugar and mirin rice wine, its simmered till thick and spooned over the fish before a few minutes under the broiler to cook the fish and caramelize the glaze.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Taco
Tomatillo Salsa

Cabbage & Lime Slaw

A favorite food that I eat often are Baja style fish tacos. The Baja influence is that in the warm coastal region of Mexico, cabbage is used as a garnish for the tacos because it is a sturdy green that will stay fresh and crunchy in the warm environment. The city of San Diego in Southern California is famous for its fish tacos, but I stay away from the deep fried fish and spicy mayonnaise based sauce that is common there, I prefer using a lime vinaigrette to dress the cabbage and simply grilling or sauteing the seasoned fish. I used a spicy green tomatillo salsa and plenty of fresh avocado in mine. For the fish I recommend using Mahi because its firm and its meaty texture holds up really well on the grill as well as being delicious. These tacos are simple to make with only a few ingredients, you will be able to taste all the amazing flavors and textures.

Cabbage slaw
shaved green cabbage
sliced yellow onion
chopped cilantro
fresh lime juice
vegetable oil

1. Make the lime vinagrette with he juice of one lime and 3 Tablespoons of oil.
2. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Mix all ingredients together.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pan Seared Sea Bass with Wild Mushrooms

There is a common technique of cooking meats in most restaurants, you first sear your fish or meat in a hot saute pan, then put the pan in a hot oven to finish cooking. This is how you get a golden crust on the meat while retaining the moisture. I used this simple method of cooking for a beautiful fillet of Pacific sea bass. I poured a dash of extra virgin olive oil into a hot saute pan, when it starts to smoke it is hot enough, place a salt and pepper seasoned fillet gently in the pan, after about a minute or until you can see it starting to brown, flip over and place into a 400 degree oven to finish cooking. I served the fish on a mound of caramelized onions and spooned a quick saute of wild mushrooms and herbs over the fish. Simple and very good!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Post Number 200

I have reached two hundred posts on this blog, it is a lot of fun to write about the foods I discover and eat. I have been keeping track of all the places in the world that my readers come from and I want to thank you for following my all my food adventures. I am going to continue writing about food and plan on documenting more foods from my travels, Greg

Tropical Fruits

I got the urge for warm weather fruit in the middle of winter. I have tried star fruits a long time ago and decided to buy some again to show my kids, they have never seen or heard of it. I picked up a mango for them to try also, they love them and I wanted them to try a different variety called a Manila mango. The manila is a little smaller with a yellow coloring when ripe. The reason why people like this variety more is because it is less stringy in texture then the conventional mango's you will find in the store. The star fruit gets it name from its five long segments that form a perfect star shape when seen from the end. It has a smooth waxy skin with a taste very much like Asian pear, there is not much to eat on this expensive fruit and its use is more for its looks then taste.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Easy Crepes

Crepes are no longer difficult to make now that we have non stick pans, its really easy to make paper thin crepes that will slide right out of the pan. They can be made sweet for desserts with the addition of sugar or left savory with maybe a creamy and rich seafood filling.

1 cup flour
1 whole egg
milk as needed, to thin batter
dash kosher salt
dash sugar
powdered sugar
Maple syrup
Lemon wedge


1. Make the crepe batter by mixing the egg with the flour, then slowly whisking in the milk till smooth, season with the salt and sugar. (A blender works real well)

2. Heat a 6 inch nonstick pan and spray or brush a thin coat of vegetable oil on surface.

3. Pour 1 ounce of batter in pan, tilt the pan so that it coats the whole bottom of pan evenly.

4. After about 30 seconds, peel and flip the crepe over (you will see the edges start to brown when its ready to flip)

5. After cooking about 5 seconds its done and will slide right out the pan.

Serve hot with maple syrup and powdered sugar dusted on top, try with a squeeze of lemon, it is amazing.
Yield = 12 crepes

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup, Asian Style

On a rainy winter night which has not happened much this year, I decided on making big bowls of steaming hot soup. It had all the components of a standard chicken noodle soup, but with a special Asian twist. I used lots of fresh grated ginger, soy sauce, miso paste and lo mein noodles.
This soup could be easily made without chicken if desired, some of the ingredients like miso, bonito and lo mein can be found at better stocked or Asian markets.

2 whole organic chicken legs, skinless
1/2 onion, sliced thin
3 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
2 clove garlic, sliced
1 knob peeled ginger, grated
1 quart water
1 tablespoon dark miso paste
1 big pinch bonito flakes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
6 oz dry lo mein noodles, precooked
chopped cilantro and scallions for garnish

1. Make a broth with the chicken, water, soy sauce, bonito, miso, simmer till chicken is tender.

2. Remove chicken and shred the meat, strain broth.

3. Saute the vegetables, add the broth and return the chicken to the pot, simmer 20 minutes.

4. Divide the noodles into four preheated bowls, ladle the soup over and add garnish.

Note: Other soup options could be using crisp bean sprouts, fresh basil and chili sauce.

Yield = 4