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Posts Tagged ‘purple potatoes’

Okaka mayo, a really fun sauce to say. It’s also a delicious, very Japanese, sauce that’s easy to make. This is a dish that Yuki made the other night.

To start, Yuki steamed some vegetables. Once the steamer got going she put in a couple of baby bok choy, a carrot cut into match sticks, and a handful of green beans.

A few minutes later she threw in some bean sprouts and some fresh shiitake caps. She let everything steam for about 5 minutes or so, just so that the veggies are al dente.

While the veggies were steaming she mixed up the okaka mayo. Okaka is a sauce that is often used for onigiri. It’s simply a mixture of soy sauce and bonito flakes (available at most grocers these days in the Asian section). To that, she squirted in some mayonnaise and mixed it all up in a bowl large enough to hold all of the vegetables. I have no idea what the measurements were. Just taste it and adjust according to your preference.

Then, she got the sea bass going. In a saute pan she melted some butter and added some sliced garlic. She let the garlic cook a little in order for its flavor to absorb into the butter. The sea bass was seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried basil. She cooked it skin-side down first in order to get a nice crisp skin. After a few minutes she flipped it over to cook the top. In total, the fish only needs about 8-10 minutes of cooking. Sea bass stays moist, but you still don’t want to overcook it. It will continue to cook for a few minutes inside after you take it off the heat.

While the fish was cooking she tossed the steamed vegetables in the okaka mayo.

While she was doing all of that, I was charged with the difficult task of potatoes. I melted some butter in a large skillet and let it get ridiculously hot. Then I added thin sliced purple potatoes in a single layer. The hot butter gave it a really nice crust. After about 3 or 4 minutes I turned each slice over and turned the heat down to medium. This allowed the inside to cook while also crisping up the bottom of each slice. While that was going on I sprinkled a little salt and pepper on top of everything.

Everything was served with white rice. It was extremely tasty!

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I stopped by Andy’s Deli the other day, easily one of my favorite grocers in Chicago. While there, I really had no choice but to pick up some of their smoked kielbasa sausages. So friggin good! They have the best kielbasa in town. To serve with grilled kielbasa I made a carrot soup, some white rice, some chickpeas, and no kielbasa would be complete without a dollop of mustard. I used my favorite Boetjes.

For the carrot soup I chopped up three large carrots, half of an onion, 1 celery rib, and 3 cloves of garlic. I sautéed it all in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Then I poured in about 1.75 cups of chicken stock, half a teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon of cumin, half a teaspoon of paprika, and salt. I brought that to a boil, lowered the heat to medium, covered, and let simmer until the veggies were soft (about 15 minutes or so).

After letting the veggies cool down a bit I dumped them all into the blender and pureed it. While it was blending I poured about a half cup of olive oil in to make the soup silkier. I put it all back into the pot, tasted for seasoning, and added pepper. When it came time to serve I simply reheated it.

To make the chickpeas I started by sautéing a quarter of an onion small diced in butter and olive oil with 2 minced garlic cloves. I had a couple of purple potatoes left from the other night so I diced them up and added them. I didn’t stir too much because I wanted the potatoes to get a little crisp. Once they were I added about a quarter cup of chicken stock, salt, and pepper.

Once the stock had reduced by about half I added one can of drained chickpeas. I let that cook for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat. The chickpeas just needed to be heated through.

Once they were I threw a bunch of baby arugula in, turned off the heat, adjusted the seasoning, and let it sit until the kielbasa were cooked.

I threw the kielbasa on the grill. They were smoked so I only needed to char them for texture and to heat them through. Once they were ready dinner was served.

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Last night I made the dinner that my brother-in-law probably would have preferred over Meatless Monday, I grilled up some skirt steak!

I got a steak that weighed about 1.3 lbs. For it to fit in my largest dish to marinate, I had to cut it into thirds. I marinated it in a mix of 6 tbls of soy sauce, 4 tbls of sake, 2 tbls of mirin, 1 tbls of sesame oil, 5 minced garlic cloves, a bunch of chopped cilantro, black pepper, and nanami togarashi. I wrapped it and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour. I took it out about 30 minutes before grilling to bring it up to room temperature.

For vegetables I found these great little sweet onions at Stanleys. I halved them and set them on the upper rack of the grill so that they’d get real sweet but not burned. They also had some great little purple potatoes. I quartered them, drizzled them with olive oil, threw some salt and pepper on, then grilled them as well. They get a nice crisp skin and get real soft inside. I love grilled potatoes! I also cut a couple of red bell peppers into disks. I waited until everything was about 10 minutes from being finished on the grill. Since they were pretty thin, I didn’t want them to burn.

I served everything with some sliced avocado and halved cherry tomatoes. Some cilantro garnish, a beer, and we were set! Yuki had to have some white rice too, she has white rice with everything.

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Sorry it took me a few days to put up this past week’s Meatless Monday. It’s been a pretty hectic week. Plus, I still have posts from Japan that I need to get up as well as other home cooked meals from both me and my wife. Soon enough my loyal readers (all three of you), soon enough.

At any rate, I had some kabocha that I need to use up so I decided to make a vegetarian stew based around it. It’s real simple to make, much like a pot of chili. It’s one-pot cooking at its tastiest.

I started by sweating some chopped onion in olive oil in a large pot. Then I added some ginger and garlic. After a few more minutes I threw some diced carrot and red pepper. Then I added some diced purple potatoes.  A few more minutes and then I finally added the star of the stew…the kabocha. You don’t want to cut the kabocha too small because it will start to become mushy and melt if you stew small pieces for too long (same with the purple potatoes).

After the kabocha was in there for about 5 minutes I seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, and a little curry powder. Then I poured in about a quarter cup of orange juice and a half cup of water (I added a little more later because it absorbed and evaporated a little quicker than I anticipated, no worries, you can always add water). Once that all came to a boil I turned the heat down to a simmer, covered, and let stew for an hour.

After the hour was up I threw in some lentils then covered it for another 15 minutes. Then I added a can of drained brown beans. Once the beans were heated through I turned off the heat and threw in a handful of chopped fresh parsley and squeezed a half a lime in.

I was just going to serve it as is with some bread on the side, but Yuki decided it would taste better with angel hair pasta. That sparked an idea. Instead of angel hair we should use udon noodles! The problem with that, though, is that we didn’t have any udon. So, angel hair it was.

The beauty of a stew like this is that you can really do anything you like. Vegetables you want and any seasonings you want. Just make sure the flavors will compliment each other. The only think really missing from this dish was nice, juicy, tender chunks of lamb!

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We picked up some pita bread yesterday so we decided to make some vegetarian pita sandwiches for Meatless Monday. The beauty of something like this is that you can fill them with absolutely anything! We went with a more Middle Eastern flavor.

I sliced a Japanese Eggplant into quarter inch thick slices. I also sliced one large red pepper and one large green pepper into quarter inch slices. On a baking sheet I drizzled some olive oil and laid them all on. Then I drizzled some more olive oil on top of the veggies and sprinkled them with salt, pepper, paprika, and cumin. I roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Then I took the eggplant off the sheet and put the peppers back in for another 5 minutes.

While those were roasting I sautéed some diced purple potatoes in olive oil for about 10 minutes to color the surface. Then I added some chopped onion and garlic and sautéed for another 7 minutes. After that, I added a half cup of chicken stock. Scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan I mixed in some salt, pepper, paprika, and cumin. Then I added a drained can of chickpeas and let it simmer until the liquid was almost completely evaporated. After turning off the heat I added the juice from one lime.

I put a couple of pitas into the oven while it was still hot for a couple of minutes to warm them up. After slicing the top off I filled them with all the goodies plus some tomatoes and avocados I sliced. Then I shoved some cilantro into whatever little crevice wasn’t filled yet.

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