Monday, September 3, 2012

Boiled Peanuts with Star Anise

You can’t get any fresher than this. Straight off the branches, these peanuts are so good. They don't taste or feel like roasted peanuts at all but more like a crunchy bean. These are great just to snack on or toss them into salads or cook them with rice.
It's a little labor intensive since the peanuts have to be shelled but you can delegate this task to your kids…


Boiled Peanuts Recipe:
2 pounds of raw peanuts in the shell resulted in about 5 cups shelled with skin on
3 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
4-5 star anise

bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes or until tender but still crunchy, strain, cool and keep refrigerated and enjoy it chilled

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Padron Peppers blistered with Furikake

When I first saw these peppers a few years back, I was so sure it was the Japanese Shishito chile pepper.  They are so similar, you can definitely swap out when the padron chile season ends and the Shishitos come to market.  Same simple preparation and such a peppery flavor with a tender texture.  Usually they are quickly deep fried or pan fried in olive oil and tossed with sea salt.  Great served as an appetizer, one biter finger food.
I thought I'd give these a little Asian twist and sprinkled a version of Furikake seasoning.  This is a Japanese seasoning which comes in numerous variation but generally contains sesame seeds, crumbled nori, dried bonito (fish) flakes, chile powder, salts, dehydrated egg and msg.  So I made my own variation:

1 tbsp    sesame seeds, toasted and crushed
1 each   nori sheet, crumbled
pinch    dried bonito flakes, chopped
1/2 tsp  sea salt
1 tsp     orange zest

Crumbling nori sheet is messy so use a bowl larger than you think you need and the only way I know how to do this is by hand.  I think toasting the sheet lightly over a flame gets it crispier and easier to crumble.  Of course, as most things, you can buy it already crumbled but it's like toasting and grinding spices, you can do just as much as you need.  And I also prefer the larger flakes of nori... which by the way has endless applications.  Sprinkle on eggs or better yet, fold into omelets; rice, salads... More on nori/seaweed in a future post.

Generously sprinkle the seasoning onto pan fried peppers as soon as they are done.  Seasoning is also great on hot steamy rice with a fried egg... yum!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Macadamia crusted Opah with vegetables and Red Curry Sauce

I know, I know.  It's been too long since I've worked on my blog.  What can I say?  Been so busy but one thing I realized is that you're never too busy, just gotta make time for the important stuff.

Bob's been wanting to learn different preparations for fish so this is his first lesson, crusting/breading. 

Macadamia crusted Opah with vegetables and Red Curry Sauce
4 servings

1-1/4 lb   Opah fillets (or any other firm white fish, like mahi mahi)
to taste    Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup    Flour, All Purpose
1 each     Egg, beaten with 2 tbsp water
1/2 cup   Panko Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup   Macadamia Nuts, Raw, chopped fine
2 Tbsp   Coconut Flakes
1 tsp       Black Sesame Seeds
2 Tbsp   Cilantro, fresh, chopped
2 Tbsp   Olive oil

Cut the fish into 4 servings.  Season each with salt and pepper.  Place flour in a shallow bowl/pan, in another bowl set up beaten eggs, in the third bowl your breading: mixture of panko, nuts, coconut, black sesame seeds and cilantro.  Place each fillet in the flour, one at a time, and cover well.  Shake off excess, we don't want any flour taste, just enough so that the egg will stick to the fish.  Next, dip the fillets into the egg mixture.  Drip off excess.  Then coat each fillet with the breading, get as much on there as possible.
Place each prepared fillet onto a baking pan.  Drizzle olive oil over the fillets.  Roast in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, depending on thickness.  Best way to tell if the fish is cooked is to give it a squeeze - it should feel firm.  Next best thing is to sacrifice a piece and cut into it.  Cook to medium well. 

I served this over sauted eggplant, zucchini, potatoes and baby boy choy with red curry sauce.