Homemade Sushi

Again my sister in law braved the strange foods and helped me get over my fears of sushi making too.
We gathered the supplies: nori (seaweed) wrappers, sushi rice, sushi vinegar and spices, and several sushi fillings.

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I will admit that the firsf three rolls I made I refused to take a pictures of. They were that bad.
Which brings us to common mistakes #1: overfilling nori with rice and other fillings. Results include not enough to wrap and seal roll and/or ingredients busting out the ends.

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After getting a good tight roll, I discoverd common mistake #2: Learning a gentle hand and cutting with a sharp knife. This is what ruins most of my rolls. I squeezed the rolls too hard or the knife would mash instead of cut.

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I tried making a rice on the outside roll. They were extremely difficult for me because it was harder to slice into the nori after the knife got sticky from the rice.

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By the end of the evening I had eaten a lot of mistakes and had some yummy lumpy rolls to eat.
Recently, I tried making sushi for a lunch my house. Kit can be odd about non-steak-&-taters meals so I was worried at first. He loved it!

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These are traditional sushi rolls with raw fish. I had to consider my budget when making this lunch. The fillings for my sushi were canned flakey crab and cream cheese. I took canned tiny shrimp and marinated them in lime juice, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. The result was a spicy shrimp roll. The ginger was perfecto.

Which leads me to my final sushi making tip and the best advice we heard from the dozens of youtube videos we watched. Give yourself a break. The best way to make good sushi is keep trying. It proves itself too, my second attempt at making sushi for Kit and me was a huge sucess. I had to eater fewer dud rolls than the first time.
Can’t wait to try different ingredients and give it another whirl.

Have you ever tried sushi making at home?
Have any tried and true tips you want to share?

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Food Fotos

I have been trying to think of a lovely theme or nice way to tie my photos together for a blog. However, they would all be super short and simply saying: Hey, this is that one thing that I ate for dinner. And that sort of nonsense is for Instagram [which I also have].

So here are several food pictures of things I have been eating recently. If you’re interested in a recipe for it please let me know.

plate fish.rice.brusselI know this picture is a little fuzzy, my apologies. I was starved and wanted to eat immediately. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a good picture of it unless I snapped one right away.
We had fish with Catalina seafood rub, spiced rice from scratch, and Brussels sprouts coated in butter and nutritional yeast. This meal was orgasmic!

I followed this recipe as a basis for my plans, with some changes:

Soaking up the liquids--but not quite done

Soaking up the liquids–but not quite done

Tomato Rice Recipe Ingredients

  • Oil to saute
  • Onion – 1 large diced
  • Ginger Paste & Garlic minced – Eyeballed (1.5 tsp and 2 TBSP)
  • Chilli powder – eyeballed it
  • Dried red pepper flakes – eyeballed it
  • Curry powder – eyeballed maybe 1 TBSP
  • Bay leaves – 2 leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Tomatoes – 1 can diced
  • Can of black beans – rinsed and drained
  • Rice – 2 cups uncooked jasmine
  • 3 cups of water or chicken broth
  • NONE of the other ingredients listed on the website.

Saute onions with spices and a dab of oil. Add tomatoes, beans, rice and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is gone and rice is tender.

20131129_181217Don’t forget to make hill billy paella with your leftover rice. We cooked up chorizo and shrimp to put into it this time and served it on a bed of fresh greens. So much yummy!

20131128_113618I made entirely too many rolls for Thanksgiving, but it was good to share them for more family anyway. I made roughly sixty rolls and they made it to two family functions. The left-left overs are in my freezer now. I hope to pull them out for a good hearty soup night this winter.

20131128_113631Just take a gander at those luscious rolls! Next time want to brush them with egg or milk to give them a right nice sheen. Although, as pictured above they are perfectly appealing. Have I ever shared my fun bun recipe? I feel another blog coming….

Who Knew Fried Rice was SO Easy

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Who knew? Even though I have made fried rice before, I always seem to forget how ridiculously easy it is to make at home.
I have been told that day old rice or leftover white rice is the best to use, but I’m not sure why. Perhaps it has had the opportunity to harden a touch and won’t mush as you cook it again.

The ingredients, more or less

• 3 tbs sesame oil OR dump some olive oil in the pan and about one tablespoon of sesame seeds

• 1 large onion, chopped or diced

• 1 TBSP minced garlic

• 3 carrots, peeled and grated

• 1 large green pepper, chopped

• 2 eggs, slightly beaten

• 3 cups cooked white rice (day old or leftover rice)

• 1/4 cup soy sauce

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Directions

-Saute sesame seeds and garlic in oil in a large wok or large bottom soup pot.

-Add the onions, green pepper and carrots. Add any veggie you prefer really. Most people do the frozen veggie mix of peas and carrots.

-Move all the veggies to the edge of the pan (make a hole) and scramble the eggs in the middle. When they are fully cooked, mix everything around.

– Lastly add the rice and soysauce. I added less than the 1/4 cup the recipe called for and I thought it was perfect. Just remember that is is easy to add a bit more soysauce than add a cup more of cooked rice.

-I added a tablespoon or two and mixed it all around to see if I needed more soysauce or not. Since everything is cooked, go ahead and taste it as you go to make sure it is the way you like it.

Kat’s Kentucky Paella {Recipe Revealed!!}

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Edit: Recipe loosley inspired by this one.
Paella=pah-EH-yah.
The double L is pronounced like the Y in ‘yet’.
Paella is a Spanish dish with the main players being rice, saffron and different types of meats. Typically a mix of seafoods, chorizo, or chicken.
To me, it is a Spanish version of jambalaya. Don’t tell either ethnic group I said that, it was not meant to be a slight on anyone’s cooking.

I wanted to make something special for our 2nd wedding anniversary. For my version of paella, I cut some corners that helped me save time in cooking, but definitely did not show in the final product.

I used pre-spiced box rice mixes rather than plain white rice. And I used paprika in place of saffron. Initially, I wanted get fancy and use real saffron, but there were no grocery store options under $18. Maybe next time, Mom mentioned she had some saffron in the back of her spice cabinet somewhere.

Kat’s Kentucky Paella

• Two 12 oz. boxes of jambalaya rice mix (Tony’s or Zatatan’s)
• Water and oil/butter as called for on box

• 2 large chicken breasts
• 8 oz Smoked sausage, kielbasa or chorizo. (I used half a link of smoked sausage)
• Salt, paprika, and poultry seasoning to taste

•Olive oil for pan
• 1 Sweet onion, chopped
• 4 large garlic cloves, minced
• Paprika, salt and pepper to taste
• One 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

• 12 oz fully cooked/cleaned small salad shrimp
• Olive oil
• Paprika
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Step One
-Follow directions on jambalaya rice boxes.
-At the end of the cook time, do not worry about complete tenderness or all water being cooked away.
-Allow rice to rest.

Step Two
-Sprinkle chicken breasts with poultry seasoning, salt and paprika.
-Grill chicken and smoked sausage. Note: You could also bake or pan fry these meats, whatever you prefer. Basically, get it cooked up!
-Once fully cooked, chop up meat into preferred (bite sized) pieces and mix into cooked rice pot.

Step Three
-Toss spices, minced garlic and chopped onions into a large wok or skillet with olive oil and cook until transluscent.
-Add undrained can of diced tomatoes and cook for about five minutes.
-Dump skillet contents into pot with cooked rice and combine well.

Step Four
-Dump shrimp into skillet.
-Cook for about five minutes.
-Mix shrimp into rice pot reserving 1/3 or 1/4 of the shrimp for a topping.

Step Five
-Dump rice, veggies and meat into casserole dish.
-Top with reserved shrimp
-Cover and bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.

Happy Cooking!
~Kat
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Day 338: Hillbilly Korma

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Pictured: Onion, spinach, okra, and spices cooking down.

It has only been in recent years that I have become decent at judging the time it takes me to fix supper and have it ready at a certain time. I still gauge my time poorly and have supper ready to.early or late.

Last night I got supper ready about 15 minutes early, but that is only because Kit got home late. Besides with a simmer sauce the longer it stays in the pot the better it will be.

I boiled a whole chicken (mostly thawed) with some salt. Sautéd two medium sweet onions until translucent then added a few handfuls of chopped okra and just over 1 cup of frozen (thawed) spinach. Dash of salt, garlic powder, and two pinches of dry curry powder (I love this Sharwood’s brand).

When the chicken was ready, I deboned about half of the little boiler chicken and threw the bite sized pieces into the pot with vegetables.
Finally, I added a whole jar of Sharwood korma sauce (mild) and a half can of coconut milk to stretch out the jar sauce.
I turned the pot to low until we were ready to eat.

Basmati rice cooked while the veggies were cooking. Then I just stirred the rice, turned the heat off, and left the lid on so it would stay warm and moist.

I was worried the okra would go super slimy but they were perfect. One bag fewer in the freezer without having to batter and fry them! At least the okra is forcing me to be a bit creative.

Day 321: Onigiri {Recipe Revealed!!}

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First time trying to make onigiri! I have honestly never eaten them so I doubt mine taste very authentic, but we thought they were tasty.

I did a lot of internet research and found out that most of the rice we use in the states is long grain. Sushi or rice balls (onigiri) takes short grain glutenous rice. Take a closer look at rice.

I had some friends tell me you can do it with other kinds of rice but I trusted the internet pros for my first time. I can jack with the recipe more when I am comfortable.

There is a lot to preparing the rice. Washing, resting, soaking, cooking, and more resting. These are the instructions I followed: At Just Hungry blog.

There is a weirdness (typo) where she talks about temps to cook rice. I am legit and make my rice on the stove top.
So here is the clarification:
I boiled high, once the rice started bubbling (boiling), I started a timer for 1 minute, lowered to medium heat for 5 minutes, then lowered to simmer for 10 minutes. I put on my tight light after I reduced to medium heat and had to stuff my hands in my pockets so I wouldn’t lift the lid.

Also, let it be known that I added 4 tablespoons of a dried vegetables packet to my rice. It soaked with the rice for an hour. I don’t know the proper name of it because I got it at an international food store.

I did let the rice cool with a towel on top of it for 15 minutes. It still burnt my fingers when I began working with it. More fluffing sufficiently cooled it.

My fillings were drained can of tuna mixed with pepper and mayo, and crispy crumbled up turkey bacon.

I laid out my fillings, nori wrap (cut into smaller pieces), pot of rice, plate for the finished product, and a shallow bowl with salt and cool water in it.
I washed my hands and got to work. By the time I was nearly finished I had figured out (through trial and error) how to make the triangle shapes. This picture helped somewhat.

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Thank you, resource.
Here was another helpful link on how to make the onigiri. Pay particular attention to coating your hands with salt water or frequently cleaning them to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to you.
Just Bento also has a fantastic FAQ page.

As you can imagine there was much squealing and dancing when I finished. I was literally holding my breath through most of the rice cooking.
The hubster was skeptical of a meal not consisting of plain old meat n’ taters, but he was a champ and ate three onigiri. He preferred the turkey filling and I loved the tuna.

Day 232: One Pot Meal

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Same old foods but in a new way.
I begged my friends to tell me what to cook and briefly went over the few things I had in my cupboard. They came through.

This is one of those Mash foods or one pot meals. I associate it with foods eaten on trail because we typically kept dumping ingredients into a pot until we had a relatively balanced meal.

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What I ended up using:
1 lb sausage, browned
1 box of Zataran’s Spanish rice, cooked
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can yellow whole kernel corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (in addition to the one I added to the rice box).

This was very, very yummy. Even Kit liked it and he is a little more skeptical of recipes that I can’t label with a proper name.