Sake-steamed Mussels

This is something sort of different for us. I’ve never cooked mussels before, but when I was choosing a recipe to make from Steamy Kitchen’s new book, I felt like trying something outside my comfort zone. I also knew Jack would never expect this, and I like to surprise him every now and then.

Surprise… mussels are so easy. 6 ingredients and about 5 minutes later we had perfectly steamed mussels in a fancy aromatic sake broth. I made some soba noodles to go along with them (and to soak up more of the broth – no sake goes to waste in our house).

Some other recipes from the book I’m excited to try are: sriracha sauce (as in – not from the bottle), blackened tofu with ginger ponzu-sauce, and the kimchi omelet.

the giveaway is now over

Miso-citrus Cod en Papillote

Miso-citrus cod en papillote //

I’m so happy that my orange aversion is over, because I’ve been cooking (and craving) citrus like crazy lately. I love this parchment paper method because the bright flavors infuse together so wonderfully.

Miso-citrus cod en papillote //

I found this purple bok choy, isn’t it so pretty? Of course, you can swap in regular bok choy just the same…

I poured a tangy orange-miso sauce over everything before wrapping it up… baked it and unwrapped. I know, it looks fancy, right? But really, it was so so easy…

Tuna Cakes with Yuzu Yogurt

I’m a little bit (more) obsessed with Ottolenghi since coming back from London. I’m kicking myself for not picking up a copy of the new cookbook, Jerusalem, while we were there (I didn’t realize it wasn’t out in the US yet and, well, books just aren’t very packable). So last weekend I sat around and bookmarked a whole bunch of recipes from his column on The Guardian. He just has so many unique ideas.

This one is going into the category of “I’ll-probably-make-this-over-and-over-until-we’re-entirely-sick-of-eating-it.”

You can’t exactly tell from the photo, but it’s like tuna tartare formed into a patty and then lightly seared on each side (so it’s still rare in the middle). I crusted mine with panko and sesame seeds, which is really the only alteration I made to the recipe.

Also in the mix is fresh ginger, soy sauce, shallots and sesame oil, cilantro and mint. I love a good yogurt sauce, this one is mixed with grated cucumber, yuzu (or you could use lime juice), and black mustard seeds.

The night after I made these, I also figured out a tasty chickpea version using similar ingredients… I’ll post that one very soon, so just hang tight vegetarians.

Since I hardly adapted a thing, click here to go over to the recipe post on The Guardian.


Green Papaya Salad

I’ve been dreaming of making a green papaya salad for awhile now… I just don’t see them (the unripe not-sweet green kind) around too often.

A few weekends ago Jack and I ventured out to the MT Supermarket, a ridiculously huge asian market that we’d somehow never been to. If you live here in Austin, have you been there? The only way I can describe it is that it’s maybe the asian grocery equivalent to IKEA. Super overwhelming… fun but probably only because it was our first time… and make sure you are highly caffeinated before you go.

Among other treasures, I came home with a green papaya.

Using a julienne peeler, (I know another gadget – sorry!), I sliced thin uniform strips of papaya… tossed them with some chopped veggies and a light dressing made up of scallions, herbs, lemongrass, a big splash of coconut milk and a few squeezes of lime.

If you’re serving this as a side dish, feel free to stop there. Since this was our dinner on this  particular night, I made it a more complete and filling meal by tossing some shrimp on top… some baked or grilled tofu would also be delicious.


Tomato coconut shrimp curry

I feel funny posting this one because I know a decent amount of you readers are from London. I’ll let you know that the last time I was in London I ate my weight in curries. And when I came home from that trip I didn’t step foot into an Indian restaurant for at least a year. I knew that the local places I once frequented just wouldn’t compare. (This kind of all-or-nothing behavior drives Jack absolutely up the wall). However, I did take to making more Indian-inspired dishes at home.

A few nights ago I had some leftover coconut milk that I wanted to use up. And I had this yogurt sauce leftover (from yesterday’s post). So coconut curry it was…. made up entirely of ingredients that I already had in my kitchen (always love when that happens).

If you’re not into shrimp, feel free to use tofu, chickpeas and whatever combination of vegetables you like. The sauce here is super versatile, and really delicious with the cilantro-yogurt sauce. I realize the ingredient list looks long here, but once you just measure out the spices, the rest comes together rather quickly.