Sunday, May 24, 2009

jalapeño dill lotus chips with spicy honey yogurt

i bought some fresh dill the other day with no idea of what i would do with it. all i could think about was grippo's hot dill pickle chips, an admittedly lesser but still under appreciated member of the grippo's family. i don't know how it works in the rest of the country, but if anyone in louisville, ky (that's america btw) asks you to pick up some bbq potato chips on your way over, you better show up with grippo's. i think about them way too much. yummmm. anyway, hot dill chips--i had some lotus root hanging around, so why not? i whipped up a little yogurt dipping sauce, and it turned out to be a lovely snack.

ingredients for chips
20 cm lotus root, sliced (1)
6 sprigs fresh dill, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp jalapeño powder

ingredients for sauce
2 tbsp plain sweet yogurt
1 tsp sriracha chili sauce
1/2 tsp honey

(1) 蓮根, れんこん

i got the sriracha at yamaya in takaoka. everything else is from e-town in kosugi.

i made this while listening to this american life

let's go!
1. mix olive oil, dill, jalapeño powder, paprika, and garlic powder together in a bowl.

2. i used pre-sliced lotus root, but if you buy it fresh, follow the steps 1 & 2 in this recipe to prepare it. pat it dry with a paper towel.

3. add lotus root to olive oil mixture. toss until fully coated.

4. place lotus root in a single layer on a baking sheet.

5. broil in your fish drawer on high until golden, about 4 or 5 minutes.

6. place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. sprinkle with salt and extra jalapeño powder as needed.

7. for the dipping sauce, strain yogurt (as described in step 1 of this recipe). mix sriracha and honey into yogurt.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

glass noodle salad with lotus root, burdock, & black sesame

burdock root is one of those items in the produce department that took me forever to use, mostly because it looks decidedly undelicious, all hairy & dirty brown, but also because I wasn't sure how I was going to fit a meter of root into my tiny refrigerator. i'm so glad i came around. scrape that scary outside layer off, and you are left with a taste and texture like no other--earthy and sweet, soft and crunchy at the same time. i won't even get started on how healthy it is; a quick google search will blow your mind. it's basically medicine.

so of course it had to go in this yummy salad. i'm such a texture fiend sometimes, and this mix--crisp veggies, chewy cellophane noodles and tofu, and crunchy sesame seeds--really did it for me. and pretty too! i love it when food is such a total experience. anyway, check it out.
100 g cellophane noodles
80 g fried tofu
(2), sliced
1 small carrot, julienned

20 cm burdock root
(3), julienned
5 cm lotus root
(4), thinly sliced
large handful green beans, in 5 cm pieces
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
juice from 1/8 lime

30 mL (adjust according to taste) soy ginger marinade

(1) 春雨, はるさめ (2) 油揚げ, あぶらあげ (3) 牛蒡, ごぼう (4) 蓮根, れんこん (5) いりごま黒

i got the lime from a.l. plaza in kosugi. everything else is from e-town in kosugi.

i was listening to
thievery corporation--abductions and reconstructions while cooking this.

let's go!

1. for both the burdock and lotus root, you have two choices: fresh or pre-cleaned and cut in a little bag. if you buy them fresh, you'll need to take a couple extra steps. for the burdock root, rinse well under cold running water while scraping a knife along the surface to remove the dirt and fibers. don't go nuts here--the peel has a lot of flavor, so leave some on. for the lotus root, remove the peel with a paring knife. for both, cut and immediately soak in 2 cups of cold water & 1 tbsp vinegar for about 5 minutes. then blanch (i'll explain this in the next step). obviously, it's easier to buy the prepared roots, but sometimes you just want to spend a little quality time with your vegetables before you eat them.2. blanch your green beans (and burdock & lotus root if necessary). the purpose of blanching is to make your veggies more tender and enhance their flavor. first, boil water (add 1 tsp salt for every 3 cups water). get a big serious rolling boil going--you don't want the boil to stop when you add your cold vegetables. throw in the green beans and let them cook for about 3 minutes (about 1 minute for burdock and lotus root). drain in a colander and immediately plunge into an ice bath. this is important. if you don't do this, your veggies will keep cooking and you will have a soggy, not as flavorful salad. keep them in the ice water for 5 minutes. 3. cook your noodles according to the package and cool down in cold running water.

4. toss everything together in a big bowl.


blood orange tahini salmon

like most of my dinners, this one started with a random purchase. i was wandering aimlessly through the produce section, past the 5000 yen melon gift sets and on into the "exotic" section, when i was hit with the smell of a blood orange. i love blood oranges, how strong they smell, their beautiful color, their subtle hint of berries. it's a fruit that's fun to just tear into, smearing and dripping the red juice on my hands and face and whatever i'm wearing. there were only two on the shelf, both sporting a half-off sticker, meaning they were super ripe and going home with me. the first i ate in the manner described above, the second i juiced for a salmon glaze.

i know, i know. i did salmon last time. it's just so yummy and cheap, i can eat it every day. i promise i'll cook a different kind of fish for the next recipe. this is good, though. you won't be sorry.

3 salmon fillets
50 mL blood orange juice
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp grated ginger
lime juice
rock salt

the olive oil is from yamaya in takaoka. the lime is from a.l. plaza in kosugi. the tahini is from peace street kitchen in toyama (you can also find white and black sesame paste at the supermarket. it'll be next to the beans and seeds, usually in the seaweed/salt/wheat gluten aisle, in a jar or tube that says ねりごま or ごまペースト, 白 or 黒. it will be more bitter than tahini, and you might need more honey).everything else is from e-town in kosugi.

let's go!
1. rub the salmon fillets with lime juice and salt. set aside.

2. warm the blood orange juice, tahini, honey, and ginger in a small saute pan, stirring until smooth. set aside.

3. place the salmon on an oiled pan. broil in your fish drawer for 3 minutes. remove, turn over and brush with the glaze. return to the broiler for 2 minutes, or until flaky.


soy ginger marinade

i should have added this long ago. we used something like this in a restaurant where i used to work, and i just started putting it on everything. well, not everything, but i know it's good on seafood, tofu, potatoes, and all kinds of veggies. ingredients
200 mL soy sauce

100 mL salad oil (like canola)

50 mL sesame oil

1 tbsp course grain mustard

2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp garlic paste

1/2 tsp salt

let's go!

put everything into a squeeze bottle and shake well. it'll separate, so you'll need to shake it before using it each time. i like things pretty salty, so i toned it down a bit, but you still might want to play with the recipe. these proportions will give you a pretty strong mix; you can dilute it with a little salad oil if you use it for a green salad.