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salmon poke recipe

It’s August, and that means it’s the dead middle of the dog days of summer. So what do you do with these dog days? You eat cold fish, that’s what. And not just cold fish but raw fish.

In a recent “MasterChef” episode, Felix lovingly assigned me a beautiful whole salmon. Salmon is one of those fish that I love to eat raw but can’t stand cooked. In the form of sushi or sashimi, I gobble it up. Even smoked, I’ll throw it on some bread with cheese and herbs. But cooked? I can’t stand the stuff. I think it’s dry and foul-tasting. I have yet to taste a cooked salmon that I could call delicious. (This is a challenge for you folks now; give me a cooked salmon that can stand on its own next to some beautiful sashimi.) I groaned when I realized which fish Felix had given me because my mind was immediately sent reeling into oblivion: while I would love to serve the salmon raw, Kaimana from the top 100 had not been given an apron for his out-of-this-world tuna tartare because the judges said serving it raw showed no cooking technique. And so I was torn. I decided to bake a salmon filet but not before slicing off the fatty belly to set aside in case I got the guts to follow my instincts and make a tartare or a roll.

Alas, a big FISH FAIL for me in that challenge. I went against my intuition and served the judges something I myself would hate to eat—breaded baked salmon and rice—while leaving the beautiful salmon belly to rot on the side of the Boos block.

After that day, I learned to never again doubt my instincts, always cook what I love, and not worry so much about what the judges wanted. I figured that if I followed my palate, I would fare better because I’d actually believe in my dishes and have pride in what I put on the plate.

As an “in your face” to salmon, I recently made salmon poke to not only redeem my crappy salmon dish but also to avenge for Kaimana’s raw audition dish. My poke was only a fraction of his tuna’s goodness, but I enjoyed eating it all the same. Obviously you can use ahi tuna in lieu of the sashimi grade salmon—ahi tuna is more common to this dish anyway—but I wanted to put a twist on the tradition.

Poke (pronounced POH-kee) is a common raw fish salad eaten in Hawaii where the fish are super fresh and therefore celebrated. I like to eat my poke on sheets of nori (seaweed), won ton crisps, or sesame crackers. It’s super easy to make and delicious and healthy. The only downside is you’ll have to splurge a little bit to buy the fish but you’ll still be saving lots of dollars making it at home rather than ordering it in a restaurant. Just remember to use a very sharp knife to cut the fish, and employ a clean single slice as to not butcher the beautiful piece of fish you’d just spent $$ on. And remember if the Blind can [not] Cook it, so can you.


Recipe: Salmon Poke

Ingredients

  1. 1 lb. sashimi grade salmon, cubed
  2. 1/2 c. Soy sauce
  3. 3/8 c. Chopped scallion
  4. 1 tbsp. Sesame oil
  5. 1/2 tbsp. Toasted sesame seeds
  6. 1/2 tbsp. Crushed red pepper
  7. 1/2 tbsp. seaweed seasoning

Instructions

  1. In a med. Bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hrs. Before serving.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

smashed purple potatoes

Smashed purple potatoes

Smashingly delicious.

Back in October, I had taken a trip to the Bay area and upon a dinner at Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc Restaurant, I came across these wonderful purple potatoes that were the highlight of my evening meal. They stole the show even next to the Wagyu beef skewers. After returning to home sweet home in Houston, I had to find and cook these purple potatoes myself.

Indeed I found them in the potato section of H-E-B, and John kindly reminded me that he’d suggested I try these purple potatoes long ago but that I was initially repulsed by the idea of my spuds looking like Barney. Alas, I’ve changed my mind.

I was so enamored with purple potatoes that I wrote a Ingredient of the Week post for Eating Our Words, and now I present to you a simple yet delicious method for preparing these smashingly good smashed purple potatoes. Remember, if the Blind can Cook it, so can you.

 

: Smashed Purple Potatoes

 

  1. 1 lb. purple potatoes, scrubbed
  2. 1/3 c. whole milk
  3. 2 tbsp. butter
  4. 1 tsp. salt
  5. 1/2 tsp. pepper

 

  1. In a med. saucepan, boil potatoes in salted water for approx. 15 min. or until tender but not mushy.
  2. Meanwhile, combine milk and butter in a sm. saucepan. Heat to a simmer and set aside.
  3. Drain potatoes and return to low heat to dry.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Line potatoes in a single layer in a baking dish. Using a fork, lightly smash each potato, making sure each potato remains whole. Then in a med. bowl, toss potatoes with buttermilk mixture, salt, and pepper. Re-line potatoes in the baking dish. Roast for 10 to 15 min. or until slightly crispy.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

turkey sloppy joes

Turkey sloppy joe

With all of our fancy feasts lately, I was craving something completely on the other end of the spectrum. I brought it back old school with a variation of the school lunch favorite: sloppy joes. Everyone has memories of their elementary school experience when the hefty, hair-netted cafeteria lady would slop the meat mixture onto their open-faced bun. (Pass on the white milk…chocolate milk, please.)

To make it a little healthier, I used ground turkey instead of the usual ground beef. The original recipe came from ChoppedOnions on All Recipes. It was very simple to make and ready to eat in a jiffy. We ended up leaving the sandwich open-faced and eating it with a fork because, like its name, it was incredibly sloppy.

Also, I’m trying out this recipe plugin John installed for me. Let me know what you think. Should I continue to use the recipe template plugin, or should I stick to my rudimentary HTML skills and just list ingredients and directions the way I did in the Vietnamese chicken curry recipe?


Recipe: Turkey Sloppy Joes

Summary: Original recipe from ChoppedOnions on All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 (8 oz.) can pureed tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown mustard
  • 1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce (optional)
  • 4 burger buns

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook onion and bell pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ground turkey, and cook until meat is well done, about another 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the pureed tomatoes, barbecue sauce, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and chili garlic sauce. Simmer until heated through, about 7 to 10 minutes. Serve on burger buns.

Quick Notes

Try using Stubb’s barbecue sauce instead of, say, KC Masterpiece–it’s got a more robust flavor.

For the chili garlic sauce, use Sriracha brand. It comes with a green lid and has a rooster on the jar. You can find it in Asian supermarkets or in the international food aisle.

Serve with potato salad or chips, and slices of raw onion or pickles.

Variations

The sloppy joe mixture was very runny (hence the name “sloppy). I think I’d prefer a heartier meat filling in my sandwich, so next time, I’ll try using 1.5 to 2 lbs. ground turkey instead of just 1 lb.

Since I used spicy barbecue sauce and spicy brown mustard, I decided to omit the chili garlic sauce. It had enough of a kick as is.

Cooking time (duration): 30

Meal type: lunch

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

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Remember, if the Blind can Cook it, so can you.

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