white asparagus wrapped in japanese eggplant

white asparagus, japanese eggplant

white asparagus wrapped in japanese eggplant
with a chiffonade of shiso
served over mizuna
spicy lemon miso dressing
blistered shishito peppers and grape tomatoes

white asparagus

Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! host the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group, a fabulous monthly event for “sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations.”

The 5 Star Makeover theme for April is a special seasonal ingredient, White Asparagus.

“For a brief two weeks at the end of April, the prized white asparagus is in season. In Germany, this mini-season is celebrated with a mania not to be missed, and every restaurant in on the tradition offers a special menu, called a Spargel Karte. These menus include anywhere from three to thirteen courses, all featuring the tender, sweet, white asparagus. Typical classic dishes include a white asparagus with Hollandaise sauce or a white asparagus soup. We invite you to think outside the box to create a unique gourmet dish featuring white asparagus.”

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FROZEN Halibut? You bet.

Panko Crusted Wild Alaskan Halibut Steak (Previously Frozen)
Shiso Red Jalapeño Ponzu Sauce
Baby Bok Choy/ Sweet Savory Red Miso Broth

how to ROCK the halibut in your freezer
ROCK: (urban dictionary) to use. to make do with. usually to great effect. 

Frozen fish has a new fan, me! We live in Southern California, we can walk to the docks where fresh fish arrives by the hour. Our local markets have fish that is flown in daily. Why in the world would I buy frozen fish? I don’t. I haven’t. Until now. The Alaska Fish Taco Recipe Contest inspired me to create a fish taco recipe using halibut & king crab. The problem: no fresh halibut available. The solution: wild Alaskan halibut steaks – wild, pure, all natural, and FROZEN.

Continue reading “FROZEN Halibut? You bet.”

Black Cod with Miso, Black Radish & Ponzu

Black Cod with Miso
Over Black Radish and Ponzu
Radish Sprout Garnish

Fresh Black Cod, also known as Sablefish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Population levels are moderate and no overfishing is occurring. The life-span of a Sablefish is estimated to be longer than 90 years! More information on habitat and sustainability can be found at FishWatch U.S. Seafood Facts here.

Nobu-style Saikyo Miso
  • 3/4 c. saké
  • 3/4 c. mirin
  • 2 c. white miso paste
  • 1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1. Bring the saké and the mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol.
2. Turn the heat down to low and add the miso paste, mixing with a wooden spoon. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon to ensure that the bottom of the pan doesn’t burn. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
Miso recipe from Nobu: The Cookbook by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. This recipes yields 3 cups. Since we did not use it all for the cod, we tried it the following night with fresh salmon and it was equally impressive.
Rinse the cod, pat dry with paper towels, then coat with the miso mixture. Nobu recommends marinating for 2 to 3 days. Since I only had an hour, that is how long it steeped. And it was still fabulous! Broil the cod under high heat until it browns, then bake at 350° for about 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

Black Radish

Black radish is at its peak in winter. Peel completely and slice into very thin rounds.

It has a lovely interior pattern. The crunchy somewhat pungent radish and slightly salty and citrusy ponzu are a great complement to the caramelized luxurious cod.
Nobu serves his Black Cod with Miso with a simple garnish of a few more drops of miso and a stalk of hajikami (pickled ginger stick).

We served the Black Cod with Miso over sliced black radish and ponzu sauce. Radish sprouts make a lively garnish.
If you are a fan of all types of fish, you will love Nobu: The Cookbook.

Carrot Salad with Red Beans, Miso Dressing

Shredded Carrots, Napa Cabbage, Red Beans,
Snap Peas, Scallions, Sunflower Seeds, Cilantro
Miso Dressing

These beans are Salvadorian Red Beans, quite similar to kidney beans, but smaller. I cook them in water over medium-low heat with a bay leaf, salt, and a smashed clove of garlic. These beans do not need to soak, so they can be ready in about an hour.
Perhaps you’ve participated in The Well-Seasoned Cook’s My Legume Love Affair event? Now in its 14th edition! I am sending my Carrot Salad with Red Beans over to Susan along with hearty congratulations for her on-going super successful event. If you are looking for bean inspiration, My Legume Love Affair is the place to go! It was my pleasure to host the event last May, so many unique and tasty legume dishes were shared here.

Dressing:

  • 2 t. Miso (I use Akamiso, red soybean paste)
  • 1/2 c. Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 T. Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 t. Soy Sauce (low-sodium)
  • 2 t. Fresh Yuzu (or lemon) Juice
  • 2 t. Minced Ginger
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste, and adjust ingredients to your liking as some miso is more salty than others, you might even want to add a little sugar. Toss with shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, red beans, snap peas, sliced scallions, sunflower seeds, and cilantro.

I brought this salad to my friend
Orange House Party
A nice but unfortunately-painted house went on the market. And although the house has many fine features, including a porch with an ocean view, it is, alas, bright orange. My friend Sally McDonald is a fabulous realtor (I bought and sold a house with her) and she is terrific at marketing and entertaining. Here, instead of ignoring the fact that the house was orange, she held an Orange Party, where everyone brought orange food and wore the color orange. She served mimosas and apricot beer. We had a blast, and I especially enjoyed meeting lots of new people from our neighborhood.









A sale is now pending on the orange house!
Could it be as a result of the Orange Party?
Thanks for the great time, Sal!
And hello to all my new San Pedro friends!

Miso Glazed Swordfish, Cannellini Asian Slaw

Miso Glaze
  • 1/2 c. Miso 
  • 2 T. Sake
  • 1 T. Sugar
Thanks to Jenn, The Leftover Queen and the Foodie BlogRoll for the gift of a subscription to Saveur. In the very first issue I received, there were many exciting recipes and ideas including this one of Miso Glazed Fish, issue No. 118.

To accompany Saveur’s miso glazed fish recipe we prepared an Asian-style slaw with cannellini beans and miso sesame dressing.
Dressing:

  • 1 t. Miso (I use Akamiso, red soybean paste)
  • 1/4 c. Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 T. Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 t. Soy Sauce (low-sodium)
  • 1 t. Fresh Yuzu (or lemon) Juice  
  • Black & White Sesame Seeds 
  • Minced Ginger
Whisk first five ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste, and adjust ingredients to your liking as some miso is more salty than others, you might even want to add a little sugar. Add a pinch of minced ginger and a small amount of sesame seeds for color.

Cannellini Asian Slaw
Miso Sesame Dressing

Cannellini beans are tossed with shredded napa and red cabbage, sliced scallions, shredded carrots, radish sprouts. Tossed with Miso Sesame Dressing.
My Legume Love Affair Contribution:  It continues to be one the best monthly events, created by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook. This month hosted by Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska. Say Laurie, I’ve been reading about the eruption of Mt. Redoubt on the Kenai Peninsula, spent some time there in the ’90’s! Beautiful place indeed! Hope everyone remains safe.
Are you a bean aficionado? Make sure to check out Legume Love!

Fresh swordfish steaks are seasoned with fresh ground pepper then coated with Panko breadcrumbs, sautéed in canola oil until a nice brown crust forms. Flip the swordfish and brown the other side.

Spoon miso glaze on the browned crust and cook briefly under the broiler until the miso glaze is caramelized.

Miso Glazed Swordfish and Cannellini Asian Slaw

My dear dear longtime friend Charlotte and her husband Mark are in So Cal for a few days to visit family and a friend (me). 
Charlotte and Mark drove to my town, San Pedro, where we checked out a neat landmark at the Port of Los Angeles: The SS Lane Victory, a WW II cargo ship. Then went back to my house and cooked this miso glazed swordfish, together, like old times. 
You see, she and I met as prep cooks in a restaurant called the Ute City Bank in Aspen, Colorado in 1978. (Over 30 years ago, how is that possible?) We became friends, then roommates, cooked together, skied and partied together and then went our separate ways…pursuing our careers and our lives. And we remain forever forever friends. Love you KH (my nickname for her) Charlotte!

Fresh Sole, Miso Butter, Braised Bok Choy

Fresh Wild Petrale Sole
Sautéed in Miso Butter
Over Braised Baby Bok Choy in Broth
Steamed White Rice

Braising liquid:
  • 1 c. white wine (I like inexpensive, yet still tasty Pinot Grigio for cooking)
  • 1 c. fish stock or bottled clam juice
  • 6 T. butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Toasted sesame oil
Heat the wine, stock and butter on high to cook off the alcohol, turn down to simmer and add halved baby bok choy. Cover. Cook about 5 minutes until the bok choy is tender. Remove boy choy to a platter. Turn up the heat and further reduce the sauce. Finish with a splash of soy sauce and a splash of toasted sesame oil.

Season the fish with salt and pepper, dust with flour and dip in egg. While the braising liquid is reducing, sauté the fish fillets in miso butter. I am showing this bird’s-eye view of my stovetop because I am the proud recipient of a 5 pc. set of SCANPAN Ceramic Titanium Professional Cookware made in Denmark. It is elegant and awesome, the improved non-stick surface allows for the use of any utensil, including metal utensils. A big thank you to Heather and the folks at SCANPAN!
Left: 10 1/4″ Fry Pan – sautéing fish
Front right: 6 1/2 qt. Dutch Oven (comes with cover) – reducing braising liquid
Back right: 3 qt. saucepan (with cover) – steaming white rice
Cast stainless steel handles stay cool longer. The set came with these nifty handle covers, but I found that the handles were fine on their own. Robin and Jimmy over at Caviar and Codfish blog are hosting a Scanpan giveaway. I highly recommend participating! Now, my first foray with the new Scanpan was with scrambled eggs.
The scrambled eggs were extraordinarily creamy. They cooked differently than in my usual non-stick pan. I wish I could explain the difference… the pan seems to me to be slipperier? Anyway, I was very impressed. They soon will have another line available for induction cooktops, can’t wait for that! My favorite way to serve scrambled eggs, I enjoyed it this way at a hotel in Mexico City many years ago. With all things green: cilantro, salsa verde, sliced avocado with lime. Tortillas and coffee too.

Back to bok choy: Alternate the bok choy up and down on a platter. Ladle hot braising liquid on top. Then place the fish on top of the bok choy and serve with steamed white rice on the side.
I am sending this dish over to my blogger friend Simona of Briciole blog as she is hosting Fresh Produce of the Month Event and this month, it’s cabbage! And to my other friend Lore of Culinarty, for her Original Recipe Round-Up. Do check out these fun monthly events.
Miso butter:
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 2 – 3 T. white miso
  • 1 1/2 t. garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 t. fresh ginger minced
Mix all ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor. Miso butter has a complex and intriguing flavor. I used it to sauté this fish, also on vegetables, noodles (great on soba noodles), in corn ramen soup (more on that later), or try a pat of miso butter on your grilled steak.

I am such a fan of this miso butter, I gave it as a Christmas gift. What? You gave butter as a gift? I did, and it was totally appreciated (so I was told), especially in this little pot with lid.