Seared Tuna Steak Wrapped in Seaweed

Has January been flying by or what?
Spring semester is starting this Monday for me.  Yikes!  Although, I’m actually pretty excited since I’ll be graduating!

Did everyone have a fun, food-filled lunar new year?  We cooked up a Vietnamese spread for dinner… with PLENTY of leftovers.  I’ll be sure to post about it.

Onto this post’s meal, though.

I saw some beautiful tuna steaks at the store and just had to have them!

I love seaweed paper (nori), either on sushi or as a snack.  It’s great that Trader Joe’s jumped on the bandwagon with roasted seaweed snacks so that I don’t have to go to the Asian markets to get it.  Delicious!

For sushi, however, you want to get the sheets of seaweed paper, not the small snack-size.  Now, this dish isn’t sushi, of course, but it’s the same concept with rolling in nori.

As you can see, there are a few components to this dish, including a couple of fun sauces.  I also served the dish with some brown rice and shredded sautéed zucchini.  Feel free to use white rice and whatever veggie you like.  I just had zucchini I needed to use up.

Once you get the rice cooking (rice cookers are a wonderful thing), get started with the sauces.

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Crispy Orange-Ginger Chicken with Pickled Diakon & Carrots and Cucumber Kimchi

I’ve finally recovered from the holidays.  I had a wonderful holiday season, but I’ve been baked-out (in the culinary sense) and sick, and now I’m back in the game!

I made this meal last night.  The idea started with craving some pickled carrots.  That might sound like an odd craving, but they are quite tasty if you haven’t had them.  Chicken was on sale at the grocery store, and I love an orange-ginger glaze on chicken when I’m going Asian.  Cucumber Kimchi (oi sobagi) was sounding rather yummy, too.

I was cooking for Christina (my gf) and my mom.  The latter of whom can have a picky palate, particularly when it comes to vegetables and spice, so I’m often restricted in my options for dinner with her.  Naturally, I like to push her to try new things, though, which with this included the pickled veg.

Much to my surprise, my mom actually loved the dish, particularly the pickled bits!  That’s a rare result, and I do think this dish turned out quite well, so I think it’s a good one to share with you all after the holiday break.

With Cucumber Kimchi and pickled daikon & carrots

While at the grocery store, they actually had daikon radish, which I absolutely love pickled, so I picked that up, too.  Continue reading

Almond-Cardamom Biscotti

Cardamom: an amazingly delicious spice that too many people are unaware of.

If you are one of those people, you may have had it in chai without knowing.  In fact, I have a recipe for Chai Snickerdoodles coming up that puts such a lovely, refreshing new twist on a classic.

I’ve been familiar with chai for much longer than I’ve been familiar with cardamom, itself.  I often wanted to get some cardamom goodness in the form of gelato, but every time I go, my local gelato joint doesn’t have it in stock.  At the grocery store, it’s a whopping $15 for a regular-sized spice jar of it.  There’s no way I can justify that!

Finally, last Saturday while dining out at Tapas Teatro in Baltimore, I got the hit of cardamom that has eluded me.  On the dessert menu was cardamom ice cream.  It turned out to be vanilla bean ice cream with ground cardamom sprinkled on top.  That was slightly disappointing to see, but after one bite, I was in heaven.  This. Was. Delicious.

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Phyllo Dough Pizza

It wasn’t long ago that I discovered phyllo dough.  I was browsing the internet one day looking for a new idea for preparing salmon.  I came across a recipe for salmon topped with cut asparagus and wrapped in phyllo dough.

I spent at least 20 minutes trying to find the stuff in the grocery store.  Finally, I located a store-brand box of phyllo dough in the freezer section with pie doughs, after looking there at least five times.

As you may know, phyllo dough is paper thin, and a million times more fragile.  It wasn’t pretty getting a thin section cut and wrapped around the salmon.  Phyllo dough and I weren’t off to a great start.

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Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Mushroom with Shrimp and a Smoky Red Pepper Sauce

I made this meal up as I went along.  I had been craving stuffed mushrooms, but the nice large portobello caps have been far too expensive at the grocery store.  Thankfully, I was able to get a pack of two big beautiful ones at Trader Joe’s for just over $2.

Mushrooms have such a great meaty texture that you could simply serve the stuffed mushroom with a salad without feeling like you were lacking a main dish.

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Panko-Encrusted Tilapia with Ribboned Asparagus Salad

This is another meal that’s on the quick and easy side.

I chose tilapia for my fish because it is affordable and mild.  I often buy swai for the same reason.  Check it out next time you’re at the store if you haven’t heard of it.  It’s only $3.99/lb around me, even for the version stuffed with a lobster and crab mix.

I usually cook my fish bare with some seasoning, but we’ve been eating a lot of fish lately, so it was time for a change-up.  Panko is much lighter and crispier than ordinary bread crumbs; it makes a big difference.

I also wanted to do something different with the asparagus I had bought.  I ordinarily cook the spears whole on a cast iron grill pan (which is fantastic, by the way).

I served the dish with a chipotle-sriracha mayo.

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Country-Style Pork Rib with Squash and Sun-Dried Tomato Couscous

I’m glad you made it.

As you can see, I’m just starting things off here, so please do check back often for new content!  Hopefully you’ve already read the “About” page to get an idea of what this place is… about.

Okay, let’s get on with it, then.

I have a delicious meal to share with you.  I chose this meal for my first post because I feel it is a prime example of what this blog represents: simplicity, approachability, and some darn good looks.  After all, I love a fancy-looking plate of food that was a breeze to make.  I promise.  You really don’t even need a recipe.  I don’t even like using the word “recipe” because it’s a bit of an oxymoron in relation to this blog.  I encourage you to use your intuition and personal taste in all things savory.  You can do it!

Without further ado, here’s the deliciousness we’re talking about today:

A country-style pork rib with a squash & sun-dried tomato couscous.  The sliver of cucumber serves a purpose, too.

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