Miso marinated black cod

Miso Marinated Black Cod Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

2 tablspoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1.5 tablespoons sugar

2 black cod fillets, about 1/2 pound (230 g) each

Bring the sake and the mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the miso until dissolved. Turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Slather the fish with the miso marinade and place in dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to steep in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

To cook, preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets but don’t rinse it off. Bake the fish for 10 to 15 minutes. To finish, turn the broiler on and watch carefully as the fish caramelizes and turns slightly golden. Remove and enjoy hot.

Fish Pie! Sorta..

I am feeling incredibly rough around the edges still — so exhausted, so drained, just so tired. I don’t know if it’s because of last night’s sleep study that made me feel so beaten but it just seems like I can’t kick this since we got back from our trip.

This afternoon I went to do my chest X-Ray that Fam Doc ordered — though highly unlikely, the worry is that with my complaints of chest pain and difficulties breathing lately, I might have a case of "invisible pneumonia". He’s not thinking that it’s what I’m suffering from, but it can’t hurt just to check. He also did a throat swab because The Hubbs’ been sick for two weeks and my throat’s been kina meh and my nose has been spewing all sorts of nasties. He doesn’t ever want to be lazy with me and he’s quite happy to bombard me with all sorts of tests just to make sure we don’t ever miss something.

After I did the X-Ray, I decided to make a trip to the North Sea Fish Market so I could pick up some stuff for dindin. I was watching SORTED videos and decided that Fish Pie just sounded like a good idea. I have a few different versions of fish pie that I’ve perused, mostly from Jamie Oliver & Nigella, and I’ve always been curious as to how it would taste since it seems like such a strange concept to mix fish with a cream sauce and top everything with lots of mashed potatoes like you would for a shepherd’s pie. Jamie’s Happiest Fish Pie has always been a recipe that I’ve wanted to try making, but Nigella’s Nursery Fish Pie is a pretty enticing, too.

The biggest thing with fish pies is that there’s just so much work to make one, it seems! You have to boil potatoes to make a mash, you need to make a bechamel sauce, blah blah blah… Which I guess is why I was rather attracted to SORTED’s version of fish pie.

I’ve been watching their videos for over a year now and I am really impressed by the stuff these boys can churn out. Their whole goal is to making meals fun, easy, affordable and tasty. Their format is especially geared for the young adult-uni student crowd who tends to live off takeout and crummy ichiban noodles. The videos & recipes are easy, affordable, and absolutely polished from start to finish — and the boys are all super cute with British accents, to boot! Gotta like that, right? ;)

I admit, I didn’t have all the ingredients on-hand, so I doctored the recipe somewhat with Jamie’s version, Happiest Fish Pie, and it came out pretty darned tasty! The only thing I am disappointed about is that I should have considered making some garlic bread to go with it because there wasn’t much in terms of starch/carbs in this recipe compared to the others, where mashed potato’s on top. I should also mention that I’ve just had a bowl, leftover, for latenight snack and I added to it macaroni and extra cheese. Verdict: Very awesome and to be honest, probably tastier than the original…. but then again, I guess I’ve just turned my fish pie into an upscale tuna mac with the addition of the noodles, eh?

Fish Pie

1 onion, chopped
2 rashers bacon, chopped
knob of butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp flour, heaped
1 – 1 1/2 cups milk
1 small fillet of cod, cut into large chunks
1 small fillet sole, cut into large chunks
1 small fillet of salmon, cut into large chunks
smoked paprika, salt & pepper, to taste
handful of Ritz crackers, crushed
chunk of parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400°F
Mix half the grated parmesan with the crushed crackers and set aside.
In large frying pan over medium heat, fry bacon for a few minutes until some of the fat renders out, but isn’t crisp or completely cooked.
Add onions to the pan and cook until soft, letting everything get sticky on the bottom of the pan, but not burning.
Add garlic & cook until fragrant.
Add just a few small splashes of water to help deglaze the pan, then add butter, stirring well until melted.
Sprinkle bacon-onion mixture with flour, stirring until well combined. Cook until flour is slightly golden brown.
Add milk about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well until smooth, letting sauce come to a bubble.
Add a generous pinch of smoked paprika and season well with salt & pepper to taste.
Add the fish pieces, stirring well to coat, along with the parmesan cheese, and let mixture bubble for a minute or two.
Pour the whole mixture into a small casserole dish, sprinkle with the crushed crackers & parmesan mixture on top.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes until the crumbs turn golden and the fish sauce is bubbling.

Bagna Cauda

I have to admit, as much as I really like cheese fondue, bagna cauda is probably higher on my list of fave fondue dinners to be had with friends.

Rewind a few years ago — one summer’s night, possibly autumn (I can’t recall exactly, you can go through the archives and find the specific evening I am referring to), the bunch of us decided to get together and finally have dinner at The Grizzly House. It’s fantastic fun, not to mention greasy as all hell from the ridiculous numbers of diners partaking in oil fondues. The only problem is that it’s also a rather expensive night out to be had even if you’ve planned in advance for it.

One of the most memorable things that everyone took away from that evening, that always sticks out in everyone’s minds, when we talk about The Grizzly House, is the bagna cauda. If you love garlic and are willing to have your spouse smell just as garlicky as you do when you go to bed that night, this is the best meal to be had.

In my opinion, fondue (of all kinds) is probably one of the best meals spent around a table with good friends, with good food, and good conversation. In fact, I think the main purpose of fondue is for you to intentionally slow down and catch up with people you care about. It’s just a meal that becomes so incredibly satisfying — it feeds your heart, your soul and your stomach. Cheesy, aren’t I? ^_-

Anyhow, I’ve written about the bagna cauda recipe a couple of times and I’ve found that each time we make it, we’ve discovered tastier ways to consume it. The first bagna cauda night was back on New Year’s Eve; it was just a five of us and we didn’t really have many dunkables since it was our first go at the recipe. Our second run at it was for the annual Robbie Burns night party at J & R‘s and it was a huge success with the whole gang in attendance. That was the first time we made the full recipe, but the nibbly options were still pretty sparse since I didn’t do the selecting of dunkables.

Tonight, however… Tonight was absolutley phenomenal. As per usual, I over provided. There was enough food to comfortably feed six people. I am now familiar with how much food to buy that will feed six people for fondue in the future. In the end it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the leftovers will amply provide D & K with at least a good meal or two to be eaten sometime later in the next few days so they won’t have to cook. Being new parents is still taking its toll and they could use an easy meal or two that requires no real thinking or prep work.

I don’t know why, but it gives me warm fuzzies knowing that I am preparing a meal that my friends (and family) are eagerly anticipating. Standing there in D & K‘s kitchen doing the prep work while chatting away with K and occassionally telling her what she needed to do to help was a really great evening for me. It was the same as when I made Thanksgiving dinner with J last month — the companionship, the conversation, the sharing of knowledge, all of it, it makes me incredibly happy and grateful that we have friends to do this with.

This meal, compared to Thanksgiving, is of course a lot less taxing on my energy reserves seeing as it’s technically all prep with practically no cooking involved. Most of it’s just washing and chopping veggies, a little bit of blanching if the veggies are harder, and then setting them into serving bowls. Other than that, I only needed to be peeling lots of garlic (2 heads! Ya. Rly.) and dumping it into my mini-chopper until I had a nice coarse mince, and then opening and blitzing 4 cans of anchovies and mashing 3 tins of sardines. All of that was dumped into my incredibly lovely fondue pot along with 1 1/2 cups of extra virgin olive oil and 1 cup butter to be melted into one incredibly thick, heady, fragrant and intoxicating bath. Since my fondue pot’s electric, I just put all the ingredients in at the same time and let it get all melty together as opposed to heating everything up on the stove beforehand and transferring it when it’s time to eat.

As to our dipping options for the night? I bought SO many vegetables and I’m really pleased at the selections I made:

Red & Yellow Peppers, sliced into batons
Carrots, sliced into wavy coins and blanched
Zucchini, cut into half moons
Kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
Sweet peas, in their pods
Belgian Endive
Grape Tomatoes
Baby Potatoes, cold roasted (leftovers)
Roasted Chicken Breast, cold
Cheese & Asparagus Ravioli, cooked al dente
French Bread

I’m am actually incredibly impressed at how well everything went with the bagna cauda. The crispness and sweetness of the peppers was incredibly refreshing to cut the oiliness of the fondue. Same thing could be said about the sweet peas and the grape tomatoes. I think I might forgo the carrots next time around, but when it comes right down to it, even they were pretty tasty when swirled around in anchovies, garlic and butter. The kale was a pleasant surprise because it had great texture to chew on. The Belgian endive’s bitterness was tempered very nicely by the bagna cauda and ended up being the most perfect vehicle to scoop up the anchovy and sardine mush at the bottom of the pot. The baby potatoes made for a nice carb/starch alternative, though they should preferably be served warm, for future reference. The roast chicken breast was bought pre-made and was a great choice because it wasn’t raw and there was no risk of eating something undercooked or “contaminating” the fondue. The ravioli was a brilliant suggestion that was recommended to me when I put out a request for fondue ideas earlier in the week. And one can never go wrong with a loaf of french bread to mop up all the wonderful goodness left on your plate.

Tonight was probably the most veggies I’ve ever eaten in one sitting and I am eagerly anticipating the next time we can do fondue night with friends… Preferably with six people in attendance ^_^

Bagna Cauda

1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 heads garlic, minced
4 (2 oz.) cans anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, drained
3 (4 oz.) cans sardines packed in olive oil, drained
1 cup butter

In a mini food processor, mince garlic and chop anchovies.
Place the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan and heat gently until butter’s melted.
Add the anchovies, garlic and sardines.
Mash sardines gently with a potato masher, if desired.
Cook and stir gently until well blended and frangrant, 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer to fondue pot.
Serve warm with lots of veggies and lots of bread for dipping.

What to eat for lunch when you’re stuck at home worrying…

…Sardines with avocado on toast.

I am rather surprised at how awesome this really does taste. I like sardines, but I tend to find them very mooshy and bland, which to me, isn’t really good eats. I was watching an episode of Good Eats last night and this is the recipe that I picked up with a couple of changes because of what I had in the pantry.

Sardines with Avocado on Toast

2 slices of whole wheat bread
1 avocado, halved
1 can of water-packed sardines, drained
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
dried parsley
lemon pepper
lime juice
fleur de sel
fresh pepper

Toast two slices of bread until they’re nice and dark brown.
Meanwhile, add olive oil, vinegar, parsley, lemon pepper and some lime juice to a bowl and mix well.
Gently add the sardines and toss to coat in marinade. Leave for a few minutes to marinate.
When toast is done, drizzle olive oil over top of each slice.
Top each slice of bread with 1/2 an avocado, mashing gently to cover the whole slice of bread.
Spread the avocado with 1/2 the sardines per slice of bread and gently mash to cover the whole slice.
Dribble a few drops of lime juice over each open-faced sandwich and sprinkle generously with fleur de sel and grindings of fresh pepper.
Serve with a big bottle of lemon water.

Yum yum yum…

Last night we had Mom & Dad over for Family Dindin.

Noodles with chili & garlic

I made one of Dad’s super faves — steamed mussels & clams with chili noodles. Ordinarily we don’t have clams, but Mom bought them at T&T and decided to add something new to the mix, otherwise it would’ve just been all mussels, which is totally A-Okay with us. Mom found out she’s not a huge fan of clams because of the sandiness that was still inside some of them.

I don’t believe I’ve ever posted a recipe for the mussels, now that I think about it.

Both dishes are practically identical ingredient-wise as well as in the cooking. There are no measurements, to be honest, because I’ve only ever made this by tossing stuff in as I go along. Just to give you an idea: When it’s me doing the shopping, if I remember correctly, I buy about 5 lbs of mussels and it feeds 4-6 people, assuming you’re having other stuff to eat with it. For added variety, I’ve also added really large shrimp, in the shell, to the mix. I didn’t ask when Mom dumped the seafood into the pan, but I ~think~ there was about 2lbs of mussels and maybe another 1-2lbs of clams this time.

OH and whenever I make this, I use my roasting tin. Just because it’s super ginormo and makes it so everyone has equal ease of access to the pot when eating together at the table. ^_^

Mussels & Noodles
Mussels & Clams, well cleaned
1-2 cups of chicken broth
1 onion, sliced finely
garlic, lots, chopped
dried chili flakes
dried parsley
garlic powder, to taste
salt & pepper
extra virgin olive oil
parmesan cheese
baguette, for sopping up seafood juices

* In a large pot, bring water to boil for pasta and cook til it’s to your liking, save some cooking water.
* Meanwhile, get the largest pan you own on medium, and heat a good few glugs of olive oil.
* Once oil is warm, add in half your sliced onions and half the chopped garlic, cook until soft and fragrant.
* As the onions and garlic are cooking down, season with salt & pepper and a large palmful of dried parsley.
* Add a small palmful of crushed, dried, chili flakes and stir well. WARNING: DO NOT INHALE fumes, they burn!
* Dump in the mussels & clams, stir everything around to get coated in all the tastiness.
* Pour in the chicken broth and clamp on a lid and leave everything alone to steam until everything opens up.
* Meanwhile, back at the ranch… As you’re waiting for the mussels & co. to steam, if you timed things correctly, the noodles should have just finished cooking and are now sitting waiting.
* Cook the remaining onions and garlic in a few glugs of olive oil, adding slightly less chili and parsley until soft and fragrant, in the same pot you cooked your noodles.
* Add the cooked spaghetti to the pot and mix well, lubricating with a little reserved pasta water if needed.
* Season with salt & pepper.
* Make sure to taste your noodles at this point — if it’s not quite the right garlic-y-ness, season with some garlic powder.
* Your mussels should all be opened up at this point and ready to be brought to the table.
* Serve the noodles with parmesan cheese and some additional olive oil, on the side.
* Ladle over some of the mussel juices for added yums and don’t forget the baguette for sopping up all the juices!

Successful salmon dinner

I have to admit, I don’t actually like salmon much. I’ve always found it rather excessively dry and or fishy tasting. If I do eat salmon there are less than a handful of ways that I enjoy eating it — sashimi/sushi (#1), wrapped in bacon, steamed fish heads/tails/collars. I’d like to say that I like to eat it when my mom just salts, peppers and drowns it in butter before baking, but the truth of the matter is that she cooks it until it’s dried out, and for me, that doesn’t make for good eats. My brothers enjoy it that way, but then I think they try and scoop up as much of the butter puddles as possible for their salmon when eating.

So here’s the weird thing: Monday morning, when I was driving down to the lab for my monthly bloodwork, I saw a big huge sign for Co-Op saying that wild salmon was on sale for $2.50/kg. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be of interest for me, but summer seems to be a good time to experiment with cheap and abundant foods.

Yesterday, I went shopping with mom and we stopped at Co-Op and were told that the truck delivering the salmon never arrived, it seemed to have gone missing. Boo for me :( So we eneded up going to Superstore to see what they had on offer. I eventually got myself a small piece of fish (about 350g), just enough for dinner and a little bit for leftovers, but certainly not what I was hoping for, which was a couple of nice sides that I could slice into individual portions and freeze for the next few months, and certainly not nearly as cheap as what Co-Op had been advertising.

Since seeing that sign on Monday for the cheap salmon, I made it my mission to find a recipe that would make the fish moist and super tasty. While I do enjoy the bacon-wrapped salmon that I’ve made in the past, I’ve never quite been able to make it so that the meat doesn’t dry out, so it’s something I’m going to have to work on.

So this is what I found: Baked salmon with capers

Served with: Spaghetti with garlic oil & pancetta

And a side of: Stir-fried broccoli

Three words: Oh. My. Wow.

Really, that amazing. I had it in my head that I wanted to make poached salmon, I don’t know why, but I did. I figured a moist-heat method would be a better plan for the salmon, given I really do like my steamed fish heads. At first I thought the recipe ~was~ poached, but after re-reading it, it turned out to be baked… at least that’s what the recipe states.

I am glad to say that because the fish is cooked in a foil pouch, all the moisture is retained from the veggies and so it ends up being essentially a steamed dish in the end. So yummy.

Here are the changes I made:

Salmon with Capers
Salmon filet (~350g is what I had)
Olive oil
2 Green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp Capers, rinsed
1 Tbsp Fresh dill, chopped
Lemon Pepper
4 Tbsp Butter

– Preheat oven to 400F.
– Lay a sheet of tin foil out, large enough to completely enclose the fish.
– Oil lightly with olive oil and place salmon on top, skin-side down.
– In a bowl, combine green onions, capers and dill. Set aside.
– Generously season salmon with lemon pepper (until you can’t see the salmon!)
– Top the salmon evenly with a thick layer of the onion-caper-dill mixture.
– Lay butter on the greenery and wrap the fish tightly so nothing can escape, but leave room to spare on top for steam to circulate.
– Put package on cookie sheet and throw into oven for 20 minutes.
– Be careful of hot tin foil and steam when opening fish package for serving.

As to the spaghetti, the only change I made was to halve the recipe, use real garlic, and season with garlic salt and lots of pepper in the end. Because I only used half the pancetta, there wasn’t enough saltiness for my liking, hence the use of the garlic salt… and I think I might be addicted to pepper in my pasta, so I used lots of fresh ground pepper in the recipe before serving, too. I’m so glad we have leftovers, it was really tasty — especially with the broccoli!

I will definitely be making this again.

Tonight: Prime rib steak currently marinating in olive oil with lemon zest, fresh thyme & rosemary + kosher salt & lots of pepper. Hoping that we can BBQ that sucker on the little baby hibachi tonight. ^_^ I have 2 potatoes that I was considering baking and serving with sour cream and green onions, but I’m thinking that I might want rice…? I dunno. Will have to see what The Hubbs feels like.

Gloomp! Gloomp! Went the Little Green Frog One Day…

I made a rather awesome dinner tonight — I made quinoa-lentil-salmon cakes! I don’t know why I’ve never thought to make fish cakes for dinner before, but I’m super-duper proud of the results and The Hubbs even said they were tasty! Considering I’ve been feeding him somewhat bizzarre meals, depending on what my body’s craving, I would say that this was a success definitely worth repeating in the future.

Admittedly, it was all made of leftover stuff in the fridge, but I’m still amazed and impressed. It’s a rather ridiculous mouthful of words, but the salmon cakes came out nice and fluffy, flavourful and even better with a squodge of tartar sauce and ketchup on the side.

Total tangeant, that is sort of back story to the recipe: On the weekend, during my stoned Chapters shopping excursion with The Hubbs, he got me The Best of Chef at Home. In it there were a couple of recipes that I had been keeping in the back of my head as something I’d really like to try — the first was for Potato Salmon patties and the second was for Mushroom Lentil Burgers. At least that’s what I think they were called, I don’t have the book right in front of me to reference.

The biggest issue with the burger recipe is that The Hubbs is allergic to ‘shrooms, so I will probably never get a chance to taste it — it just looks so incredibly tasty and mushroomy! The potato-salmon patties are a simple enough recipe that you could just knock it off in your head without actually needing a proper recipe. My problem is that I rarely ever have potatoes on hand in the house because I can’t seem to cook them before they go bad! So we’ve resorted to having instant potato flakes in the house *shameface* The other option has been to picking up a package of heat & serve mashed potatoes from the produce section of the grocery store, which is actually really tasty with no weird ingredients added at all.

So for the last while, I’ve been having this ‘thing’ for lentils and I’m trying to come up with dishes that The Hubbs would hopefully enjoy. I’m kind of wanting to get into having one “meatless” meal a week, but I’m coming up blank. I’ve found that I really like lentils when they’ve been cooked in the rice cooker along with the rice. I’ve been using this as my base method of cooking when making those Zatarain’s boxed rice side dishes and then I add all sorts of tasty additions like a cup of frozen veggies and maybe some leftover bits of meat to help round out a one pot meal… but the boxed mix always has SO-MUCH-SALT!

Last week, I tried using the same method to make 1 cup quinoa and 1 cup red lentils (and by ‘cup’, I’m referring to the measuring cup that came with the rice cooker, not a 250ml capacity measuring cup). The quinoa I’ve had sitting in the pantry for awhile, not quite knowing what to do with it until this idea struck — I rinsed everything in a colander until it ran clear and then I left it alone to drain for a good couple of hours before throwing it all into the rice cooker. To the cooker, I added a scoop of organic(!) vegetable soup base for flavour, a generous scoop of minced garlic, some dehydrated onion flakes and a bag of frozen leftover roast beef chunks. I think I also seasoned it with a little bacon salt and generous amounts of pepper, then set it and forget it. I enjoyed the meal, but The Hubbs found it too bland for his liking, so it stayed in the fridge until I could come up with a good way to recycle it into something tastier.

So in the fridge today, I found some leftover mashed potatoes from when I had made my second attempt at pot roast (which btw, was SO fail, so disappointed), and of course the generous quantity of bland tasting quinoa+red lentil mix. I always have some type of canned fish in the pantry, so making fish cakes is not a difficult meal in the making. Current pantry stash includes: salmon, tuna in olive oil, herring in tomato sauce, smoked oysters and sardines.

So here’s my recipe with guesstimated ingredient measures. Really, it was literally “throw it all together, give it a little shout, and that’s what it’s all about!” …Errr… I spent a couple hours this afternoon with Baby Skywalker, singing really silly songs, my appologies.

*ahem* Onwards.


Salmon Cakies

1 can salmon, drained, bones removed
2 cups leftover quinoa-lentil mix (leftover beef chunks, discarded)
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
1 egg, beaten
dried dill, garlic powder, pepper, to taste

* With an egg masher, mash the quinoa & lentils to help loosen it up and discard the leftover beef chunks. Set quinoa aside.

* In a large bowl, break up the fish to remove the bones (my fave part: nom on them!) and mash it up until it it’s well flaked. Season the fish generously with dried dill, garlic powder and pepper, to taste.

* To the seasoned salmon, add the leftover potatoes, the lentil & quinoa mixture and the beaten egg. Mix everything together, using the masher if necessary, until it’s completely homogenized. It will be a pretty wet mixture!

* Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lliberally spray parchment with cooking spray and divide the fish mixture into 6 decent sized patties. I suppose if you wanted, you could roll the patties in panko for extra crunchy goodness. Place the fish cakes, well spaced apart, on the lined pan and liberally spray the tops with the cooking oil before tossing them into the oven for about 20 minutes.

* After 20(ish) minutes in the oven (until you can smell them!), turn the temperature up to 425F. When I checked on them after the twenty minutes, they didn’t seem quite hot enough, so I put the cakes back in, but only for as long as it took for the oven to heat up to the higher temperature. Once they had the few extra minutes at 425F, the bottoms had crisped up nicely and the tops felt more firm and definitely hot in the middle.

* Serve the fish cakes with tartar sauce and ketchup on the side.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm carbs….

I’m making a risotto with havarti and topping the whole mess off with garlicky shrimp’n’scallops.

This better be damn good considering I’m dumb enough to be slaving over a hot stove in hot weather for it.

(Sometimes I really have no common sense.)

The recipe I’m using has been adapted slightly from Nigella’s Cheddar Risotto in her Express Cooking Book.

Only changes I made was to omit the white wine and replace with equal volume of broth, and use havarti instead of cheddar, because I felt like it.

I’m serving this big pan of starchiness with garlicky shrimp’n’scallops on the side.

I was going to make some steamed green beans as well, but now I’m just feeling hot and lazy from heat.

Cross your fingers, I hope it’s yummy.

Spicy Fish Soup

So I had a conversation with Mom earlier about craving fish head soup. I was watching some Japanese soaps the other night and one of the episodes had fish head soup as part of the story line.

I don’t know what the ingredients are, but I do know that there’s fish in it and it’s asian. Mom makes a pretty decent rendition of a spicy Korean fish soup that would certainly hit the spot, but apparently today would not be that day.

Late this afternoon, I got a call from Mom. She and Dad had run all the way over to Billingsgate Seafood Market to pick up some halibut pieces so I could make soup tonight. Notice: Not head, but the off cuts that are supremely meaty and flavourful and not pretty to the average consumer who isn’t used to eating anything other than a really pretty filet or steak.

After she told me the news, they were going to run to Stupidstore to pick up what remaining ingredients I would need to make dindin while they went about their merry way to Spa Lady. My original thought was that I would make an easy seafood chowder and had them pick up all the ingredients for that recipe: canned tomatoes, leeks, onions, shrimp, scallops, and mussels. What showed up on my kitchen counter was all of the above plus a carton of tofu. What in the hell was I supposed to do with that!? Turns out Dad is craving the spicy Korean type of fish soup and usually Mom throws in some cubed beancurd with the mix.

So I thought about my fish while I was waiting for the solid three pound block to defrost in the microwave. I went back to my original recipe for fall chowder, looked at a recipe for Maeuntang that I had bookmarked and then I also took a gander at a recipe for Jjamppong that I hadn’t noticed before.

Looking over all three recipes, I came to the decision that I would be making a spicy azn-esque fish soup. It’s an amalgamation of the two Korean recipes, but really it’s just me dumping things into the pot that I have on hand.


* I’ve taken off as much of the easily removeable fish meat as I could, cut it into large chunks and set it aside in the fridge.
* In a big ass monster pot with a little veg oil, I’ve stir fried some thickly sliced ginger and a llittle garlic.
* Once fragrant, I added half a large sliced onion and two leeks sliced into half-moons.
* After the greens have softened, I added the 3 large chunks of meaty fish bone, covered it all with cold water, and about 1Tbsp of instant dashi stock, let it come to a boil and then simmered for 30 minutes.
* While the broth bubbles away, I mixed about ~1Tbsp of chili flakes with ~1Tbsp of veg oil in a small bowl, then decided it just didn’t look right so I added a little chile con limon to the bowl. Don’t ask what possessed me to add the two together, it just looked like the right consistency. I used to have a bottle of Korean red pepper flakes and I was so excited to use it but when I looked at the unopened jar, it’s either the flakes are all covered in dust(??) or it’s all furry with mold. Not cool.
* Since Mom & Dad aren’t going to be here til about 730pm, I’m actually letting the broth simmer on super low until about 15-30 minutes before they arrive.
* So when Mom& Dad actually get here, I’ll stir in the hot chili mixture, a can of drained and very well rinsed sliced bamboo shoots, toss in some of the frozen shrimp, mussels and lastly some cubed tofu.
* Since there’s no salt added to the soup, I’ll taste and see if it needs some oyster sauce, fish sauce and black pepper like the jjamppong recipe calls for.

I really, really, really hope it tastes good considering it smells pretty yummy just as it is and I’m totally bastardizing every recipe under the sun.


I’m rather excited.

The Hubbs and I went out to run a couple of errands after he’d seen Max Payne with Brit BIL & their older brother. He didn’t care for the movie, but he went to spend time with his brothers.

I’m ready to start a new project (weather’s turning colder now) and I have a few things that i think I may be capable of tackling: 1) Pac-Man scarf — done in intarsia and 2) Bacon scarf — just simple stripes.

I am rather embarassed to say that when we went shopping for yarn at Crack City, I’m using cottons for the intarsia bits, I bought the wrong colours. I don’t know what I was thinking, but they are not going to be the right colour ghosties. So the scarf will end up being a “bootleg version” of the real thing, as grar suggested. In order for me to get this pattern underway, I also needed to buy a pad of graph paper so I could sketch out the pattern and visually see what would go where. I printed off a guideline off of Sprite Stitch, but the squares are so tiny that I can’t see anything properly.

I have high hopes that this is going to work, have my fingers crossed, and will be saying a little prayer to the crafting gods that this will be successful.

After finding what we were looking for, I wandered around the store a little while The Hubbs checked out to see what new movies were released for his perusal. Ever since I tried steel cut oatmeal for breakfast, I’ve been on the lookout for a ~2qt non-stick pot I could use to cook it in for the morning. Unfortunately for me, everything’s cheap & flimsy or way more than I want to spend. Much to my absolute delight and surprise, I found myself a 2 qt slow cooker…. for SEVEN BUCKS! Slow-cooked oatmeal FTW!! ^_^

I’m excited.

The dishwasher’s on and when the load’s done, I’ll be able to set the slow cooker up to cook my first batch of oatmeal in a month. SO. EXCITED.

In the meantime, I am digesting a very very tasty dindin that came about from rifling around in the deep freeze earlier in the week and having been the recipient of a spare, unopened bag of coleslaw. FISH TACO NIGHT!!

Unfortunately our normal grocery store does not carry corn tortillas, so we made do with small flour tortillas, sour cream, the last 3 pieces of battered fish, the bag of gifted coleslaw (for taco greenery) and a small green salad on the side. It was a super simple dindin that was remarkably filling and satisfying, paired with a glass of milk. The Hubbs was craving tartare sauce and ended up eating his fish taco with it. I wiped my last bite of taco in his leftover sauce and it was just not quite right for me… definitely not what I recall from last summer ^_^


Not Quite Authentic Fish Tacos

2 pieces of battered frozen fish (ours was haddock)
2 small flour tortillas
sour cream
grated cabbage

– Bake fish according to package directions.
– When fish is ready, place on top of flour tortilla, top with sour cream & handful of grated cabbage.
– Wrap fish in tortilla and nom.

(I can’t believe I just said nom.)