Appetizers, Dressing, Eggs, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Sauces, Vegetarian, Veggies

Nobis Dressing

August 17, 2016

Nobis Dressing

San Francisco is a city that offers superb dining options.  We look forward to returning to our favorite restaurants year after year. While always visiting our favorite places, we enjoy trying new restaurants as well. On our last visit we tried Volta, a French restaurant with Scandinavian influences.  We went for lunch, and it was just divine so we changed our plans for that night and returned to Volta for dinner.  It’s a gorgeous restaurant with a menu that features many appealing dishes.  I chose an endive & watercress salad with nobis dressing as my starter.  The nobis dressing was absolutely delicious: so much so, I contacted the owner Umberto Gibin and asked for the recipe.  He was gracious enough to have his chef pare down the ingredients for me.

Soft Boiled Egg

The ingredient that makes this recipe stand out is the egg.  Poached or soft boiled, either preparation works well.  The egg adds depth and richness to the dressing, along with the tangy mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, chives, and a hint of garlic.  It reminds me of a Caesar salad dressing but without the cheese and anchovies. It’s so good I can eat it right out of the jar.

Poached Egg

Endive Salad with Nobis Dressing

Nobis dressing on endive salad with watercress and radishes.

Grilled Artichokes with Nobis Dressing

Nobis dressing for dipping grilled artichokes.  It’s also delicious drizzled over steamed asparagus.

Nobis Dressing
 
Adapted from Volta restaurant recipe
Author:
Serves: ¾ cup
Ingredients
  • 1 soft boiled or poached egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic (use a microplane)
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground white or black pepper
Preparation
  1. Place soft boiled egg in a 1-pint mason jar or comparable sized container that your immersion blender fits snugly in.
  2. Add the other ingredients and blend with an immersion blender until dressing is thick and creamy, about 30 seconds. If you don't have an immersion blender use a small food processor or blender.
  3. Serve as a salad dressing, dipping sauce for artichokes, or drizzled over asparagus. I bet it would be delicious as a sauce for grilled or pan fried fish, or chicken.

 

Chicken, Dinner, Lactose Free, Mexican, Pressure Cooker, Recipes

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

July 30, 2016

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

We bought a pressure cooker several years ago and each time I use it, I appreciate its usefulness more and more. Some say that with pressure cooking there will be less flavor because of the shortened cooking time involved, but the opposite is true.  Your food actually maintains flavor and nutrients when cooking in the closed environment of a pressure cooker unlike with other longer stove top cooking techniques.  Besides being able to serve fork tender meat such as beef stew in just 25 minutes, pressure cooking keeps the kitchen cool and uses less energy.  Chile verde is one of our favorite dishes.  So Serious Eats, Kenji Lopez-Alt’s version of pressure cooker chicken chile verde was definitely a must try recipe.

Chiles & Tomatillos

Beautiful chiles, tomatillos, onion and garlic go into the pot along with the chicken.  It couldn’t be easier.  It may seem odd that there is no liquid in the recipe, but under pressure all the liquid necessary comes from the tomatillos, peppers, onions and garlic.

Toasted & Ground Cumin Seeds

You’ll get the freshest flavor if you toast and grind cumin seeds, but in a pinch you can use ground cumin.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde Ingredients

All the ingredients go into the pressure cooker.  Seal the lid and in no time at all you will have the most delicious chicken chile verde.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde Tacos

The chicken becomes so tender, it pulls apart effortlessly and makes a great filling for tacos or burritos.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde
 
Recipe adapted from Kenji Lopez-Alt (Serious Eats)
Author:
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed well
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks discarded, rinsed and quartered
  • 1 pound poblano peppers, roughly chopped, seeds and stems discarded
  • 6 ounces Anaheim peppers, roughly chopped, seeds and stems discarded
  • 2 Serrano or jalapeño chiles, roughly chopped, stems discarded
  • 1 medium onion - about 10 ounces, roughly chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup packed cilantro + more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • corn tortillas for serving
Preparation
  1. Combine chicken, tomatillos, poblano, Anaheim peppers, Serrano chiles, onion, garlic, cumin and 1½ teaspoons kosher salt in your pressure cooker. Heat over high heat until gently sizzling then seal pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure and cook for 20 minutes. Release pressure.
  2. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a bowl. Add cilantro and fish sauce to remaining contents of pressure cooker. Blend with an immersion blender and season with additional 1 teaspoon kosher salt to taste (I prefer to keep the sauce a bit on the chunkier side).
  3. Return chicken to sauce and coarsely shred if desired. Serve chicken over rice, in tacos or burritos.

 

Recipes, Salad, Vegetarian, Veggies

Pea Salad with Feta, Mint & Lemon-Dijon Dressing

July 15, 2016


Pea Salad with Feta, Mint & Lemon-Dijon Dressing

This light and refreshing salad is ideal for those days when you want a change from your typical bowl of mixed greens.  Sweet and crisp sugar snap peas are the perfect companion to the slightly peppery radishes, lemony dressing and feta cheese.  Scatter some fresh torn mint leaves over the salad just before serving.  It’s a beautiful side dish to serve at a small dinner gathering this summer.

Thinly Sliced Radish

I’ve been appreciating radishes more and more these days.  They are especially good in salads or served on top of tuna tartare with avocado.  A quick soak in ice water and the radish slices become delightfully crunchy.

Radish Slices in Ice Bath

Hydroponic Watercress

Hydroponic watercress works very well in this salad because of its mild flavor, delicate leaves and stems.  If you are on Maui, our local Whole Foods store regularly carries this item.

Pea Salad with Radishes & Feta - 1 (2)

The sugar snap peas are blanched for 30 seconds then transferred to an ice bath.  Once cool, they are sliced in half to reveal the tender peas within.

Pea Salad with Feta, Mint & Lemon-Dijon Dressing

Pea Salad with Feta, Mint & Lemon-Dijon Dressing
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Dressing
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • Salad
  • ½ cup green peas, defrosted if frozen or blanched for a minute if using fresh
  • ½ cup shelled edamame, boiled for 5 minutes, cooled in ice water
  • 1 small bunch hydroponic watercress, washed and stems trimmed - optional
  • 3 ounces sugar snap peas, blanched for 30 seconds, cooled in ice water and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 small radishes, sliced very thin, soaked in ice water for 15 minutes
  • 1 ounce crumbled feta
  • handful of fresh mint leaves
  • *Drain and place blanched and chilled vegetables on paper towels, carefully pat dry before using.
Preparation
  1. Whisk together Dijon, honey, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. Dressing can be made a day in advance.
  2. In a medium wide salad bowl, gently mix together the green peas, edamame and watercress.
  3. Scatter sliced sugar snap peas and radishes over the top of the salad.
  4. Sprinkle salad with feta and fresh torn mint leaves (tear the mint leaves right before serving as they can turn brown if torn in advance).
  5. Drizzle salad with dressing just before serving.

 

 

 

 

Dinner, Fish, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sandwiches

Grilled Tuna Burgers

July 3, 2016

Grilled Tuna Burger

Tuna (ahi) tartare  and poke in all its variations, are all the rage.  There are also various versions of tuna burgers which incorporate many of the same ingredients as these popular dishes.  This recipe, however,  pays homage to the traditional steak tartare.  It incorporates many of the classic ingredients that are found in steak tartare such as Dijon mustard, capers, shallots and chives.  We love to grill these tasty tuna burgers and serve them on homemade brioche buns with Ina Garten’s tartar sauce.

Fresh Ahi (tuna)

Only very fresh fish makes its way into our kitchen. I always ask if the fish was cut the same morning, if not, I look elsewhere.  Fish can be kept for a few days in the refrigerator and be just fine, but I favor fish that doesn’t sit around for very long.  One of the most unpleasant things I can think of is opening up a package of smelly fish.  So try to find the freshest ahi (tuna) that you can, even if it means taking a trip to another store.

Shallot, Parsley, Chives

Tuna Burger Ingredients

All of the ingredients are mixed up together in a large bowl, then formed into patties.  You can do this a few hours in advance which will help to firm up the patties before you grill them. Place the patties on individual pieces of parchment paper, cover loosely and store them in the refrigerator.

Tuna Burger Patties

Grilled Tuna Burgers

We ate two of the fish burgers for dinner, and the other two for lunch the following day.  Wrapped in foil and placed in the toaster oven to warm up a bit, they were just as good as they were on the first day.

Grilled Tuna Burger

Grilled Tuna Burgers
 
Adapted from Eating Well magazine
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1¼ pound fresh tuna (ahi) finely chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • ¼ cup capers, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce, such as Frank's
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • toasted buns, sliced onion and tomato, crisp lettuce, tartar sauce or mayonnaise for serving
Preparation
  1. Finely chop the tuna. Place tuna in a large bowl. Add shallot, capers, parsley, chives, olive oil, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, hot sauce. salt and pepper. Mix gently until combined.
  2. Divide tuna mixture into four even servings (about 6 ounces each) and form into patties.
  3. Grill tuna burgers over medium high heat for about 4 minutes on the first side so the patties set. Flip and cook 3 -4 minutes on the second side or until they are cooked to your desired doneness.

Appetizers, Dinner, Fish, Japanese, Lactose Free, Recipes

Tuna Tartare with Avocado & Radish

June 17, 2016

Tuna Tartare with Avocado & Radish

Over the years, we have enjoyed many different versions of tuna tartare.  The best have been at favorite restaurants (those from Plouf in San Francisco and BLT in Honolulu come to mind).  However, with this recipe, we are making a version at home which rivals or even surpasses our previous favorites.  It’s hard not to love this tuna tartare.  There’s something about the rich and creamy avocado, silky fish, and delightful ponzu-like dressing.  It all goes together so very well.  And, it’s really the perfect summer meal for a warm day when cooking over the stove or turning on the oven just seems out of the question.  This dish relies on using the best quality sashimi grade tuna. Fresh, well chilled, and cut just this morning type-of-tuna from a reliable source is what you are looking for.  I can’t wait to make it again.

Sashimi Grade Ahi (yellowfin tuna)

Though I usually pay a dear price for the tuna at Whole Foods, I find the quality to be superb.  I always ask the staff at the counter whether the fish was cut that morning.  If it has been sitting around for more than a day, I skip it, and try again the following week. I find it most satisfying when the fish is very well chilled before serving.  Keep the fish in the refrigerator until you are ready to plate and serve the tartare.

Radish

I didn’t eat radishes when I was a child, except for the long and slender daikon variety that is commonly used to make Japanese pickled takuan.  These days I enjoy these pretty red radishes in salads as well as in this ahi tartare preparation.  The secret is to slice them ever so thinly and soak them in an ice water bath for a half hour to really crisp them up.

Chili Oil

Tuna Tartare with Avocado & Radish + Taro Chips

Serve the tartare with taro chips as an appetizer or as an entrée with rice and a side of crispy vegetable tempura.

Tuna Tartare with Rice & Vegetable Tempura

Tuna Tartare with Avocado & Radish
 
A lovely appetizer for a warm summer evening. Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine.
Author:
Serves: 4 as an appetizer
Ingredients
  • Dressing:
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest (from two small or one large lime)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • Tuna:
  • 10 ounces sashimi grade tuna, very finely diced and well chilled
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon minced seeded serrano chile
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • kosher salt
  • 1 large avocado, halved, pitted and finely diced
  • 2 radishes very thinly sliced, chilled in an ice water bath for 30 minutes
  • chili oil
Preparation
  1. Combine lime zest, lime juice, sugar, and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil (this will happen in no time at all). Transfer liquid to a small glass bowl, cover and let cool completely. Strain cooled liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Whisk in soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger. The dressing can be made 2 days in advance. Cover and chill.
  2. Toss tuna with 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium bowl. Add chile and shallot, season lightly with salt.
  3. Mix diced avocado with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt.
  4. To assemble the tuna tartare, you may use a round mold or gently shape the avocado with your hands as I do, onto a serving platter. Arrange tuna over the avocado keeping a circular shape. Spoon some of dressing over the tuna and around the avocado. Top with radish slices and more dressing. Drizzle with chili oil. Serve right away.

 

Breakfast, Dinner, Eggs, Korean, Lactose Free, Pork, Recipes, Rice Dishes

Kimchi & Spam Fried Rice

June 7, 2016

Kimchi & Spam Fried Rice Kimchi and Spam are staples in many households here in Hawaii.  Crunchy, pungent, spicy, kimchi pairs perfectly with a bowl of steaming rice and Korean hamburger patties.  And Spam?  Well, there are lovers and haters, just as there are for cilantro, Marmite, and anchovies…. Everyone I know loves a bowl of homemade fried rice and most would not turn down this version with kimchi, Spam and a perfectly  fried egg.  Spam may look unappealing straight out of the can, but once fried up into crispy little Spam croutons, it pairs perfectly with rice of any kind.  You ought to give it a try!

KimchiThere is an abundance of kimchi choices at the markets.  Use your favorite brand, but choose one that has a medium heat level rather than mild.

Glorious SPAM!Glorious SPAM!  I always chuckle when I see this little guy on the can.

Crispy Fried SpamFrying the Spam until each piece is perfectly crisp makes all the difference.  You won’t be able to avoid nibbling on them before they make it into the fried rice.

Kimchi & Spam Fried Rice

Kimchi & Spam Fried Rice
 
Adapted from Kenji's Serious Eats recipe.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 5 cups cooked jasmine rice (I use my rice cooker and the measuring cup that came with it - 2 cups uncooked rice)
  • 1½ cups finely chopped kimchi, about 325g (kimchi drained with 3 tablespoons liquid reserved)
  • canola oil
  • 1 12-ounce can Spam, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 cups finely diced onion
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • fried eggs, for serving
  • 1 Fresno chili thinly sliced (optional)
  • Sriracha hot sauce, for serving
Preparation
  1. Cook rice and let cool completely. I cook my rice in the morning and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. For this dish it is better to use day old rice.
  2. Place kimchi in a mesh strainer set over a bowl. Squeeze out excess liquid (reserve 3 tablespoons liquid). Finely chop kimchi.
  3. Heat a few teaspoons of canola oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add Spam cubes and cook, tossing frequently, until well browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Wipe out wok.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons canola oil over medium heat and sauté onions until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir fry for 1 minute.Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add ½ tablespoon canola oil to wok. Increase heat to medium high and heat until oil just begins to smoke. Add the rice and cook, stirring and tossing, until rice is warmed. Press rice against the sides of the wok to crisp up (like bibimbap and tag dig). Add onion and garlic mixture, kimchi, Spam, and ⅓ cup scallions tossing with rice to combine. Pour in reserved kimchi juice and season generously with black pepper. Add sesame oil, fish sauce and cilantro. Toss to combine.
  6. Serve fried rice in ceramic bowls, topped with a fried egg, reserved 1 tablespoon scallions, Fresno peppers and sriracha sauce.

 

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