Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fried Rice Vermicelli with Pickled Mustard Greens

I saw this recipe for Fried Bee Hoon over at The Malaysian Cuisine (make sure to check out Angie's other blog, seasaltwithfood), checked my pantry, and realized I could make this, stopping at the store only for bean sprouts.

I soaked my noodles for about 30 minutes, but they were still kind of chewy-strange. Perhaps they were old. Maybe I'll boil them next time. The recipe didn't state whether the choy sum was fresh or pickled, but I had a package of pickled mustard greens in the fridge, so I used that. I don't have chicken bouillon, so I used a little of the Better than Bouillon beef flavor I have in the freezer. And I replaced the shallot with onion, just because.

Aside from the chewy noodles (which did soften up more when thrown in with the veggies and sauce), this dish was perfect. I couldn't live without noodles, and throw in some crunchy veggies, and I'm even happier. You could definitely add some meat to this if you wanted. Quick, not a lot of heat involved in the preparation, good hot or slightly warm.

I'm submitting this dish to Presto Pasta Nights, this time hosted by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grits & Shrooms

Lately I seem to get hooked on one particular food, and stick with it for a while. Last time, it was seafood - ceviche, soft shell crabs, clams & mussels. This time, it's mushrooms.

This go-around, I bought a package of baby portobellos. Then I saw Michelle's post on Thursday Night Smackdown, and I had to make grits & shrooms. I sliced up the mushrooms, and sauteed them in a mix of butter and olive oil. I didn't have sherry (!) or arrowroot, so I used a half-a-splash of brandy, chicken broth, and thickened with cornstarch.

On to the grits, I heated up chicken broth to boiling, then whisked in some cornmeal. Simmer, stir, simmer, stir, adding a little water as necessary. I had no cream, and no goat cheese, and my milk went bad, so I used cotija cheese and butter.

Scoop some grits into a bowl, and top with saucy shrooms. Doesn't look like much, but it was delicious.

I would've liked to sprinkle on some parsley, but the bag in the fridge that I thought was parsley was, in actuality, cilantro. And I wasn't too sure about cilantro in grits, even if they were laced with Mexican cheese.

Grits and mushrooms - who knew? Definitely a keeper, and open to endless variations.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

King Oyster Mushrooms Two Ways

I saw these King Oyster mushrooms at the market the other day. Aren't they astounding?

I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted to do with them - so I didn't. One half, I sauteed in butter and olive oil, and sprinkled with smoked salt.

Holy jeebus, these were tasty.

The other half, I egg washed and breaded, and pan-fried in olive oil. Once again, tasty.

Both preparations, since they were so simple, really let the mushrooms' flavor and texture shine through. Meaty, earthy, etc., you know, all those words used to describe mushrooms. Why not just say mushroomy?

Bottom line - if you find these in your market, buy them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Steamed Clams and Mussels

I must be on a seafood kick lately, this makes 3 posts in a row! Maybe my body's craving mercury. Heh.

I decided one day that I wanted steamed clams and mussels. So off to the market, $5/lb, I bought a bunch of each. All my clams behaved well, but I had 1 cracked mussel and 1 that didn't close when I tapped him. Those get tossed. Unless you like feeling like you're going to die.

In a large pot, melt butter, add wine, lemon juice, smashed garlic, salt, pepper (black or red), maybe a bay leaf. You could also replace the wine with beer if you want. Bring it all to a boil, dump in your crustaceans, cover, let steam for 3-5 minutes, uncover, stir, let steam some more. They're done when they're opened. (And by now you all know to toss any that don't open.)

Make sure you have some good crusty bread to dip into the "broth". And a lot of napkins.

Clam on FoodistaClam

Monday, June 14, 2010

Panko Breaded Soft Shell Crabs

Did you know it's soft shell crab season? No? Well, hurry out and buy some before it's too late! (If you live in North County San Diego, Major Market in Escondido has them for $2.59 apiece.)

OK, are you back with your soft-shelled water bugs? Here's what you do. Rinse them off, dry them very well. And I mean very well. Dust them in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip in a beaten egg, letting the excess drip off. Then coat in panko - make sure you've got as much panko on there as you can.

Heat up some olive oil in a skillet, and fry those babies until they're golden. Serve with sriracha-mayo.
 They're also good on the grill - olive oil, salt, pepper, grill, lemon juice. No pics of that, we ate them too fast.

Don't miss out, they'll only be around for another couple weeks!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp ceviche is pretty easy, it just takes a lot of chopping. But it's definitely worth it, if you want something light, fresh, and delicious.
I fried up some corn tortillas cut into 6ths to make my own chips. But that's only because I wanted to use them before they went bad, you can definitely use store-bought chips or tostada shells.

Start with the shrimp - this time, I used a 1lb frozen bag (they were on a 2/1 sale, what can I say?), so defrosted them, brought a pot of water to a boil, and cooked them until just done. Drain, then dump into an ice bath. When cool, chop into little pieces (maybe 6 per shrimp), and refrigerate.

For everything else: Dice 2 tomatoes (I got rid of the seeds), slice up 1-2 green onions, dice about 1/3 of a red onion, and chop up a handful of cilantro. You could also mince a jalapeno or two, but I forgot to buy them.

Throw all the veggies in a bowl, and squeeze in the juice of 2 limes. Add the shrimp, and mix. Dice an avocado, and carefully fold it into the shrimp/veggie mix. Chill for a bit. Serve with chips.