Sunday, August 12, 2012

Salmon, Snapper, and Tuna Sushi

I have recently become inspired after watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi, my new favorite documentary film. I highly recommend this movie to everyone, especially if you are at all interested in food. It is about a 90-something year old sushi chef named Jiro who has been making sushi for 75 years. His restaurant is located in a subway station in Tokyo, Japan and has received three Michelin stars. Experimented with some sushi tonight. I bought salmon, tuna, and snapper at Whole Foods because they are good raw and arrived at Whole Foods this morning, so they were (probably) the freshest. The salmon actually tasted the best. I didn't do much thinking outside the box in terms of filling for the rolls mainly because I have only made sushi once before, and I remember having a frustrating time doing it, so I just stuck to simple stuff. With the help of my family, I used cucumber, carrot, avocado, and fish for the fillings.

It all tasted great and I am real excited to make it again.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer Squash and Chicken Penne with a Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

I came up with this dish knowing that we had leftover chicken from last night and fresh summer squash from the garden. The sauce (Lemon Garlic Butter sauce) is very similar to the sauce that I use when making shrimp scampi, but without the shrimp. Not a very photogenic presentation, hence why I only uploaded one photo. 

Summer Squash and Chicken Penne with a Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

3 summer squash, sliced into thin rounds
cooked chicken, torn by hand into bite size strips
1 lb penne
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
10 leaves fresh sage, minced
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced (should be equal amounts sage to rosemary)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
slightly less than 1/4 cup vermouth
juice of 2 lemons
kosher salt
ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Bring water to boil for pasta. Salt liberally with kosher salt. Cook penne until just al dente, about 10 minutes. In large frying pan sauté the squash until just translucent with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Remove from pan. In same pan cook the garlic over medium heat until just light brown. Add butter (cut into chunks). Once butter has melted add vermouth, lemon juice, and herbs and simmer for three minutes, stirring throughout. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain penne and immediately transfer to pan with butter sauce. Add the torn  chicken and cooked squash and stir/toss to combine over medium heat for several minutes to allow everything to become hot. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Simple Tomato Salsa

This simple tomato salsa was one of the things that I was able to concoct while at a cabin in the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York this past week. Basically all you have to do is carefully mix together a small dice of fresh ripe tomatoes, onions, orange (or yellow/red) bell pepper, a little hot pepper (I used a jalapeño, but a serrano pepper would also work fine), minced garlic, some parsley or cilantro, and a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil. 
There is no strict "recipe" for salsa. There are endless combinations of different ingredients and proportions that you can use.