Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Rigatoni With White Bolognese

Rigatoni With White Bolognese, is one of my favorite Pasta preparations. We have made this many times. You can find the recipe on our blog of: March 30, 2017. Click the date to get the recipe. Then make it!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving - Hold The Turkey!

Brussels Sprouts Steeped in Olive Oil and Fish Sauce
Doshi Baked Bread

Pureed Beets with Yogurt & Za’atar

Two types of Poke

Pork, Oh Yum!

Mushrooms and Vegetables 


Pat Torching his Potatoes

Black Beans

A table of Desserts!

We had 12 people for Thanksgiving dinner. We were very lucky, the weather was quite warm that night and we were able to eat outside on the deck. By popular demand they did NOT want Turkey but desired Roast Pork instead. We made Cuban Pork  Everyone contributed to the meal. We have a wonderful  Cuban Restaurant just down the hill from us: El Cochinita, and we purchased 3 sides from them: Rice, Black Beans and Maduros (Sweet Plantains).  You can get the recipe for the Cuban Pork from our blog of: June 13, 2011 . Click the date to get the recipe.

We started with an appetizer that we made and everyone loved. We will make again: Brussels Sprouts Steeped in Olive Oil and Fish Sauce. It easy very good! You should try it! We also made Pureed Beets with Yogurt & Za’atar. This is a delicious spread. You can find the recipe on our blog of: November 23, 2012. Click the date to get the recipe.

It was a great night of friendship, wine, food. We all gave thanks to Robert Mueller!

Bar Snack Brussels Sprouts Steeped in Olive Oil and Fish Sauce

New York Times

This recipe does not include quantities for an excellent reason. At Prune, in New York, we started with a pound of brussels sprouts for dinner but ate them all while still prepping in the kitchen and then increased to two pounds and ate those as well, before we even sat down. Now we make them to be eaten standing up on purpose. Set out on the bar for parties, where you’d expect to find olives; they never last there either.


Kosher salt
Brussels sprouts, trimmed at stalk end
Extra-virgin olive oil
Vietnamese fish sauce


1.            Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and season with coarse kosher salt until as salty as the sea. We encourage you to actually get a spoon and taste the hot water for salinity. It’s the only way to know what you’ve got in the pot.
2.            Add the brussels sprouts, and cook for about 10 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Still firm but not al dente.
3.            Drain sprouts, and quickly transfer to a heatproof shallow bowl, and while hot, douse them with good-quality olive oil and sprinkle fish sauce over them judiciously. Stir, and taste one. Add another splash of fish sauce, if needed, and let the sprouts cool completely, resting and steeping for an hour or so, before serving at room temperature.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Goan Shrimp by Flashlight

Goan Shrimp dinner on the deck when there are no lights. We ate by battery powered lanterns. Reminded me of Japan.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Gain Shrimp

Everyone should have a "go to dish". Something to make that is not difficult, super delicious and always a hit. Goan Shrimp is definitely one of ours. I love it every time we make it! Then I love eating the leftovers. You can find the recipe on our blog of: August 9, 2008. Click the date to get the recipe.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Salmon Eggs Gone Wrong and Cod Cakes

Baby Rice

Frying Cod Cakes

Salmon Roe

Delicious Rice, Not so Good Roe

We saw this recipe for Cod Cakes in the New York Times and decided to make it. In Japan we had some wonderful dishes of Salmon Eggs over flavored Sushi Rice. We asked Nate from McCall's Meat and Fish if he could obtain for us some fresh Salmon Roe. We have never used fresh salmon eggs before, the eggs were always in a jar. Nate handed me a bag of Roe and when I removed them from the bag, they were all connected by a stringy netting. I should have figured out at that point that something was wrong. I simply cut the eggs off from the netting.

When we were in Japan we purchased  Baby Sushi Rice. The rice isn't for babies, but is what we would call new rice or first harvest. It supposedly is the best rice.  We then used Nobu's recipe for Vinegared Sushi Rice from his cookbook: Nobu the Cookbook. The rice was delicious. Unfortunately the Salmon Eggs weren't. We now realized they have to be cured first. Oh well live and learn. I am sure we will get the Roe again and prepare them correctly. 

Vinegared Sushi Rice
Nobu the Cookbook


Makes 14-3/4 cups

Sushi rice (called aharl) makes 14 cups
4-1/2         cups short-grain rice
4-1/2         cups water
Sushi rice vinegar (called sharl-zu) makes 1-1/2 cups
1       cup red vinegar
2       tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sea salt
1       tablespoon mirin
10     tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1-1/2         inch square sheet konbu


1.            Cook the rice: Rinse and rub the rice in repeated changes of cold water until the water turns from cloudy to clear. Drain in a sieve. Add the water to the rice in a heavy, large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 5 minutes. Finally, turn the heat up to high for 10 seconds. Remove from the heat and let the rice sit for 15 minutes. Alternatively use an automatic rice cooker.

2.            Make the sushi rice vinegar: Simmer 3/4 cup of vinegar, sea salt, mirin and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Do not allow it to boil. Add the konbu and remove from heat. When cool, add the remaining vinegar because heating tends to destroy its bouquet. This will yield 1-1/2 cups of sushi rice vinegar, which is the minimum possible yield. In this recipe only 3/4 cup is used. The basic rice-to-vinegar ratio is 6:1 or 1 cup of vinegar for every 6 cups of uncooked rice.

3.            Transfer the freshly cooked rice to a wooden Japanese rice tub or a similarly wide and shallow container. Pour 3/4 cup of the vinegar mixture all over the rice. While the rice is still hot, mix quickly with a rice paddle or flat wooden spoon, using a slicing motion. Leave to cool. Use the rice before it becomes too hard.

The amount of water used to cook the rice will vary slightly according to the season. Less water should be used with newly harvested rice.

Red vinegar is made with sake lees and is the preferred choice of sushi chefs because of its sweetness. Substitute regular rice vinegar where necessary.

Cod Cakes
New York Times

Cod cakes are terrific with cod, but can be made with any white-fleshed fish. Poach the fillets in bay-leaf-scented water, then flake the cooled meat into a New Englandish mirepoix of sautéed onions and celery. Eggs and cracker crumbs will help bind everything together below a drift of spice. Make sure to leave some time to chill the resulting patties in the refrigerator – the cold will help them set up so they don’t fall apart in the sauté pan. A light smear of mayonnaise on the exterior of the cakes before you fry them will encourage the most glorious crust. Serve with a thatch of green salad, a bowl of chowder or a neat pile of slaw.


4       peppercorns
1       bay leaf
1       lemon, cut into eighths
1       pound cod fillets, or other white flaky fish
2       tablespoons unsalted butter
2       ribs celery, trimmed, peeled and diced
1       medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced
2       cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1       heaping tablespoon mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
      easpoons Dijon mustard
2       eggs
1-½  teaspoons kosher salt
½      teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2       teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, or to taste
1       ‘‘sleeve’’ unsalted saltine crackers, crushed, or 1 heaping cup panko bread crumbs
½      bunch parsley, roughly chopped
¼      cup neutral oil, like canola

1.            Fill a shallow, wide pan with high sides with about an inch of water, and set it over high heat. Add the peppercorns, bay leaf and 1 section of the lemon to the water, and allow it to come to a bare simmer. Place the fish into this poaching liquid, and cook, barely simmering, until the flesh has just begun to whiten all the way through, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Using a wide spatula, carefully remove the fish from the water, and set aside to cool.

2.            Empty the pan, and return it to the stove, over medium-high heat. Add the butter, and allow it to melt, swirling it around the pan. When the butter foams, add the celery, onions and garlic, and sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables soften and the onions turn translucent, then transfer them to a large bowl.

3.            In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, salt, pepper and seasoning salt (or paprika and hot-pepper flakes), then add this mixture to the bowl with the sautéed vegetables, pour the crushed saltines or bread crumbs over them and stir to combine. Add the parsley, and stir again.

4.            Flake the cooked fish into the binding sauce carefully, keeping the flakes as whole as you can manage, then gather them into small balls, and form them into patties, 4-6 for a main course, 6-8 for an appetizer. Place them on a sheet pan or platter, cover loosely with plastic wrap and transfer them to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set.

5.            Set a large sauté pan over high heat, and add to it the neutral oil. When the oil is shimmering, remove the fish cakes from the refrigerator, and carefully sauté the patties until they are golden brown, approximately 4 to 5 minutes a side. Work in batches if necessary. (A small smear of mayonnaise on the exterior of the patties will give them a crisp crust.) Serve them alone, or with greens dressed in a lemony vinaigrette, with the remaining wedges of lemon.