Thursday, May 26, 2011
Well, I am a deep-fry virgin no longer. I dunked my battered yams into that sizzling oil like a seasoned veteran. Somewhere mid-fry, I realized the irony of trying to increase the health of the sushi with brown rice, while stuffing it full of yam tempura. The yam rolls were delicious - however, due to the extra fiddling I think that tempura will be making only special appearances in my sushi roll line-up. The brown rice sushi was great - health notwithstanding, I loved the flavour and texture, and will definitely be making this swap in the future (I forgot to tell Mike about the brown rice and I don't think he noticed).
I do have a thanks to give: a big shout out goes to my elastic-waist maternity pants- I think I ate the baby's weight in sushi tonight. Of course, you can't make yam tempura without some sampling.
Brown Rice Sushi
I don't have a recipe per se, there are many guides to making sushi a la google. However, here are some tips.
I used this method to make the yam tempura.
For the brown sushi rice I cooked 2 cups of calrose brown rice, which I find has a stickier grain, and added sushi vinegar and salt to taste (sushi vinegar is just rice vinegar, sugar, and salt).
Just before you roll your sushi it's time to cut up your other filling options. Tonight I sliced avocado and cucumber to go along with the yam. For other sushi dinners I mix and match lots of different fillings: matchsticks of carrot, egg omelet cut into strips, crab, shrimp, smoked salmon, thinly julienned red peppers - you can be as creative as you want. I have to confess I have never used raw fish, I love it at restaurants but I'm too nervous at home.
Again, if you've never made sushi before just google the directions for how to put it all together, there are lots of good step-by-step photographs out there. Here's what I do:
It's time to roll baby! Place your nori sheet on the mat, then spread over enough rice to cover the sheet up to about an inch from one edge. Press the rice onto the nori with water-moistened fingers, and also wet the rice-less edge. Put your fillings a few inches up from the bottom of the mat and roll up toward the moistened edge. You want to be give the mat a good squeeze as you go so that your sushi is nice and compact. Next slice. I like to keep my pieces thin - particularly as we have small mouths around the table. I have a fabulous serrated bread knife that Mike gifted me a few years ago and it slices a clean piece of sushi.
Finally serve with soy sauce to dip. I love pickled ginger on the side, and it lasts forever in your fridge. If you like wasabi it will also last indefinitely in the fridge - you can also buy it in powdered form and add water to make a paste as you need it.
One final question for all those more experienced deep-fryers - how to dispose of the leftover oil?
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I'm not ruling out a 3am tryst with Will and Kate tomorrow morning - I'm not setting my alarm, but if I happen to wake up during the wee hours, I might just have to get a quick sneak peak in. What I can guarantee is a more timely wedding recap over leftover oat currant scones with raspberry jam and tea for breakfast.
Without an ounce of English blood in me, I have still always been a royals fan, or more specifically a Princess Diana fan. Many royal weddings were staged through my childhood - Rachel, you'll recall the dress-up box dress that was my bridal couture - white polyester with a red v-neck collar. Poor Brent was forced to marry his big sister on multiple occasions.
So in honour of this Royal occasion, I give you a good British tea treat- oat and currant scones. These are indeed 'fab' and need only a good smear of butter, but the raspberry jam took them over the top. I had pictured a slightly more serene lunch of scones and tea today - however, Coby received her second time out this week, and unfortunately it occurred mid-scone. After devouring her piece of cheese, she had moved onto her brother's. His refusal was met with a firm chomp of his finger. Definitely not royal behaviour.
Oat and Currant Scones
adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour, regular or white whole wheat (I used white whole wheat)
1/4 cup sugar (I used brown)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup salt
2) Cut in (until resembles bread crumbs):
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup currants (or raisins)
1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
4) Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and then add to the dry ingredients:
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk (I added 1/2 T lemon juice to regular milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
5) When the dough is evenly moistened (I needed to add an extra tablespoon of milk to my dough as it was a tad dry), pat the dough into a large circle and cut into 8 wedges. These make a good sized breakfast scone, you could also divide the dough in half and make two circles, each with 6 wedges for a smaller tea-sized scone. Ensure the scones are aprox 1 inch apart on your baking sheet.
6) Brush the tops with milk or cream and sprinkle with course sugar.
7) Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown, take a few minutes off for smaller scones.
These are best warm, though I can assure you I will be enjoying my scone leftovers while watching the pageantry tomorrow morning.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Spelt Carrot Muffins
Topping (this is half the amount of topping Kim uses. I thought it sufficient.)
1/4 cup spelt flour
1.5 Tbsp brown sugar
pinch kosher salt
1.5 Tbsp butter
Dry 1 cup spelt
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups corsely grated carrot (use the food processor:)
1/4 cup melted and cooled butter
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 cup buttermilk
For the topping: Mix the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
For the muffins: Sift the dry together. Mix the wet together and fold into the dry. Scoop into a greased muffin tin (makes nine). Top with the topping, pressing the topping gently into the batter.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.