Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:29:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Asian Flavored Sea Salts http://steamykitchen.com/446-asian-flavored-sea-salts.html http://steamykitchen.com/446-asian-flavored-sea-salts.html#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2008 12:34:51 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=446 from Steamy Kitchen food column in Tampa Tribune If I had to just choose one thing, “my killer app” in the kitchen, it would be salt. It doesn’t matter what cuisine I’m cooking, salt is the basis of flavor in a savory dish. Call me a salt snob, but I stay away from the regular table salt, mainly because it ...

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Asian Flavored Sea Salts

from Steamy Kitchen food column in Tampa Tribune

If I had to just choose one thing, “my killer app” in the kitchen, it would be salt. It doesn’t matter what cuisine I’m cooking, salt is the basis of flavor in a savory dish. Call me a salt snob, but I stay away from the regular table salt, mainly because it tastes like crap! The granules are way too fine, the anti-caking agent just sounds gross and added iodine is sooooo 1920’s. The taste reminds me of…um…getting smacked in the face with a salt lick dipped in a vat of bitters?

Normally, I use kosher salt in the kitchen, mainly because of the texture and cheap price. I really like the feel of kosher salt in my fingers as I’m seasoning, and I’ve learned to season by sight, feel and taste. I’m just too lazy to bust out the measuring spoons, because each time, I have to wash and wipe dry the set of awkward, clanging, dangling spoons for fear of tainting the oregano with chili powder or powdered sugar with vanilla extract. How inefficient! Wouldn’t it be cool if spice jars came with twist lids that doled out the spice in teaspoon increments? What a great product idea. And if you steal my idea, at least take me out to dinner. But I digress.

I also use sea salt and serve sea salt at the table. Sea salt is evaporated sea water, and you’d be surprised at how many different types of sea salt there are, Australia’s Murray River pink salt crystals, salt from the tropical salt beds of Bali, grey salt from France and even Hawaiian black lava salt. The colors are naturally occurring and the taste? Imagine standing at the clear, blue water’s edge in the Mediterranean, closing your eyes and letting the crashing waves mist your face. I call that $12.95 for an 8oz vacation!

Normally, because of its price, I reserve sea salt as a “finishing salt” to sprinkle on a dish either at the table or after the cooking process. But guess what I discovered at the market? Affordable sea salt that is shaped and textured just like kosher salt. Look for Alessi Fine Sea SaltAlessi Fine Sea Salt at the market or Pure Ocean sold by Seasalt.com. Pure Ocean is Kosher certified, if that’s important to you. If you see other brands of sea salt at the market, look at the label and make sure that the only ingredient is salt.

So, now that sea salt is finally affordable enough to play with, let’s take it one step further and talk about combining spices and herbs with sea salt to create flavored salts. One of my favorites is orange and lemon zest, which is perfect for summertime dishes and keeps in a jar for months.

It’s great on any seafood, steamed vegetables or grilled chicken. Cut back on the amount of salt that you normally use during cooking and instead, sprinkle the Citrus Flavored Sea Salt on top of the dish to finish. You can certainly cook with the flavored sea salt, but using it as a finishing salt really lets the flavors sing.

The formula is simple – spice or dried herbs + fine ground sea salt. If you’re using fresh ingredients (like citrus zest) make sure you dry them out in the oven first. Other combinations that work well: Chili powder + lime zest; toasted and ground Sichuan peppercorn or even lavender + mint, which is great on lamb or eggs. If you don’t want to make you own, check out

Fusion Sea Salt from Salt WorksSeaSalt.com – they have some fabulous fusion flavors like Espresso Brava (great on steaks), Spicy Curry, Vintage Merlot, Chili Verde, Black Truffle, Thai Ginger, Smoked Serrano and Soy Sauce Salt.

Curry Salt

2 teaspoons curry powder + 1/4 very fine sea salt

Make sure you get the “fine sea salt” when working with a powder spice. If you can’t find the “fine” grind, then just throw it in the food processor or spice grinder and pulse a few times. This salt is excellent on roasted cauliflower!

Sichuan Peppercorn Salt

it\'s a berry from a bush - not really peppercorn

Sichuan Peppercorn or Szechuan Peppercorn is really not a peppercorn at all – its a berry from a bush that will make your tongue and lips tingle and numb when you eat them. Yes, its legal. No, you can’t snort it. When you dry-roast the peppercorns, your entire house will smell heavenly…woodsy, citrusy, earthy…so incredibly aromatic

Sichuan peppercorn salt

Dry toast 1/4 cup of Sichuan Peppercorn in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure you don’t burn the spice! It should take about 5 minutes and you’ll see a bit of smoke. Let cool and grind in spice grinder or food processor and combine with equal amount of sea salt.

Sichuan Peppercorn is great in:

Sichuan Peppercorn Roasted Chicken

Grilled Giant Prawns with Sichuan Peppercorn Dipping Salt


Citrus Flavored Sea Salt

Citrus Flavored Sea Salt

2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons orange zest
¼ cup sea salt (fine)

Preheat oven to 200F. Set a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread out the lemon and orange zest. Bake for 30 minutes or until the zest has dried. Combine with sea salt. Store in covered glass jar on counter.

Wow, this stuff is great on just about anything – chicken, fish, vegetables, pork…I use this salt the most in my cooking because it’s just lifts any dish that I make with a bright, cheerful color and fragrance!

Great with carrots:

Honey Ginger Carrots with Citrus Honey Ginger Carrots with Citrus Salt

Matcha Green Tea Salt

1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder + 1/4 very fine sea salt (you may have to grind your sea salt in food processor or spice grinder if you don’t get the fine sea salt)

Matcha or Maccha is Japanese green tea powder made from the highest quality of green tea leaves. Its a stunning and lovely mossy color which makes such a pretty finishing salt, especially if you use a white plate and also sprinkle some directly on the plate. Matcha powder + sea salt + couple pulses in food processor if you are using course sea salt

You know what is so totally divine? Your favorite chocolate truffle or chocolate bar + dip in Matcha Salt. So very different!

Use with dishes that are light in texture and flavor, like eggs, tofu, fish, since this salt’s flavor is more delicate and subtle. It gives a beautiful floral, grassy, sweet and soothing aroma. You can buy Matcha powder at your local Asian market. Sometimes coffee/tea shops will carry as well. But…matcha green tea powder is not the same as green tea leaves. Ask specifically for “matcha powder.” Its a little expensive. I paid $7.50 for 1.4 oz jar at a Japanese market in Los Angeles (which will last me a long time as I only used about 1 teaspoon in my mixture. Don’t get the super-premium stuff, it would be a waste to use the expensive powder for the salts. Buy online at Matcha Green Tea PowderAmazon (this is the brand I got). Use your leftover powder to make:

White Chocolate Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream White Chocolate Matcha Ice Cream.

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And if you haven’t read this yet:

“WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?” Come read the responses from readers – guaranteed to make you laugh!

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Citrus-Soy Fish Fillet with Soba Noodles + Free Kampachi Drawing! http://steamykitchen.com/297-kampachi.html http://steamykitchen.com/297-kampachi.html#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2008 12:35:33 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=297 Buying fish at the supermarket is one of those things that make me nervous. First off, the only thing I can ever afford is farm-raised tilapia from who-knows-where and whatever the fishmonger has on sale. Secondly, cooking fish is finickier than chipmunk in heat – 60 seconds is all that separates...

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Citrus-Soy Fish Fillet with Soba Noodles

You will LOVE this free drawing, my friends…read on!

Also in the Tampa Tribune

Buying fish at the supermarket is one of those things that make me nervous. First off, the only thing I can ever afford is farm-raised tilapia from who-knows-where and whatever the fishmonger has on sale. Secondly, cooking fish is finickier than chipmunk in heat – 60 seconds is all that separates a moist, tender fillet from a dry, tough, overcooked rain jacket. Do I risk $16.99/lb for a grouper or $24.99/lb for monkfish? If the fish isn’t sushi-grade, is it ok to cook medium-rare? What if the recipe I found in the cookbook sucks and I end up with an inedible dinner? What if I misjudge my timing?

The poor fishmonger watches as I stand in front of the glass case, wringing my hands, calculating the price/risk index for each fish on display. Most days, I’ll opt for nice hunk of salmon, as my pocketbook is comfortable with the ratio of $9.99 per pound x high-fat content that it almost impossible to overcook.

A couple of weeks ago, a company called Kona Blue, overnighted to me a few pounds of a fish called kampachi to try. It’s Hawaiian yellowtail, sustainably raised off the coast of Hawaii at their farms. Like salmon, it’s chock full of Omega 3 oils, so it’s succulent, firm and rich. The best part is that it’s raised in a clean, controlled setting and it’s sushi-grade.

The kampachi fillets were one of the most beautiful, moist fish I’ve ever cooked at home. The true test was that I even accidentally overcooked the fish, because the moment the timer went off, something called, “sibling rivalry” screamed from the other room and demanded my immediate attention.

The price/risk ratio? Well, it’s expensive if you mail order from Kona Blue. $17.00/lb for fillets plus $35 for FedEx. Ouch. But some of the best restaurants in town and a handful of markets carry the fish. Here is a partial list of retailers and restaurants.

Tampa & Sarasota Readers: Tampa, FL restaurants are not listed there, but you can find Kona Kampachi at Roy’s, Bern’s, Sidebern’s, Mise en Place, Lakeland Yacht Club, Grand Hyatt Tampa and the Tampa Yacht Club. I just visited Whole Foods in Sarasota and they LOVE Kona Kampachi. Call or visit them and tell Ryan the fish manager that you want him to order! They have it sometimes, but the more people who ask, the more available the fish will be!

It’s certainly a fish that I’d beg or bribe my local fishmonger to carry.

Free Kampachi Drawing

But, my dear friends, I’ve got a surprise for you. Kona Blue has graciously given me some prizes to give away – packages of super-fresh Kona Blue Kampachi overnighted to 3 randomly chosen lucky winners. The fish is packed with tons of ice packs, and will arrive on your doorstep fresh as ever. I don’t know how much they are sending to you, but I have a feeling it will be more than your entire family can eat in one sitting.

Oh, and since it’s sushi-grade, you can eat it like sashimi with some soy and wasabi.

All you have to do is comment below! Accepting entries until Saturday morning after my morning coffee lunchtime…whenever that will be. Oh, and for my international friends, I don’t think Kona Blue can ship overnight internationally, but enter anyways, and if you win, I’ll personally ship you something nice….a box full of Steamy Kitchen goodies. Maybe some wonderful American spices, sauces, gadgets, books? Dunno yet, but I’ll send something extra special.

:-)

Citrus-Soy Fish Fillet with Soba Noodles

While I used kampachi in this dish, you can certainly substitute with any fish fillets – your timing will be dependent on how thick your fish is. For thin fish like sole, fry 2 minutes, flip and then turn off the heat and let the residual heat finish the cooking. For thicker fish like salmon and kampachi, follow recipe below. Salmon fillets would work wonderful in this dish, as the bright citrus pairs perfectly with the fattiness of the salmon.

A note on the soba: when you boil the water for the noodles, generously salt your water, as you should any pasta. If the soba is well seasoned during cooking, you shouldn’t need much sauce. I don’t like my noodles drowning in sauce – the sauce should just lightly coat the fish and noodles, like in my photo. Now, if you do like a saucy noodles, just double the Citrus Soy Sauce recipe.

serves 4

4 fish fillets
salt & fresh ground pepper
6 oz. dried soba noodles

Citrus Soy Sauce:
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbl lemon juice
2 tbl honey
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine or dry sherry
1 tsp lemon zest

Boil soba noodles according to directions on package, remember to generously salt your boiling water. Drain, set aside. While soba noodles are cooking, combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. The sauce should be bright, sweet and slightly tart. Season fish fillets generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large, non-stick pan with 2 tbl cooking oil over med-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add fillets and fry 3 minutes. Flip fish and fry another 2 minutes, take a quick peek by poking the thickest part of the fish and add another minute if needed. Serve fish over bed of soba noodles. Pour Citrus-Soy over fish.

***

I’m coming to Los Angeles!

Cooking Classes

These are hands-on classes – we cook together! Contact Epicurean School of Culinary Arts at (310) 659-5990 to sign up.

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Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy + Steamy Kitchen on TV http://steamykitchen.com/141-crispy-tofu-with-citrus-soy.html http://steamykitchen.com/141-crispy-tofu-with-citrus-soy.html#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2007 18:13:39 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/12/05/crispy-tofu-with-citrus-soy/ Last month's appearance on ABC kinda snuck up on me - I didn't have time to solicit votes on which blogger dish to cook! Sorry about that, I ended up making Rice & Noodle's Firecracker Shrimp, a dish that I can practically make in my sleep. Well, I practically cooked it in my sleep ...

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Steamy Kitchen on ABC7

Last month’s appearance on ABC kinda snuck up on me – I didn’t have time to solicit votes on which blogger dish to cook! Sorry about that, I ended up making Rice & Noodle’s Firecracker Shrimp, a dish that I can practically make in my sleep. Well, I practically cooked it in my sleep – as I had to wake up at 4:00am to get to the station by 5:30am to be on-air at 6:40am. WHEW!

I’m getting better and better each time I go on. There are so many things to remember when you are cooking live on-air – including looking pretty, sounding intelligent, not cutting my fingers off, not burning the food, timing, pacing, not being nervous, more timing (it’s not like they can cut a news story just so I can finish my damn Firecracker Shrimp!), smiling and LOOKING AT THE CAMERA (ahem.).

Wanna see the video?

I know wonderful anchorman, Ken Jefferson accidentally said that I’m from the “Steamy Restaurant!” :-) Maybe, one day when I have a few million in the bank, I might think about starting a restaurant just for fun. But gosh. I don’t think I’m built for the restaurant industry! But perhaps Ken is foreshadowing my millions gazillions. In that case, thank you Ken! Santa will be good to you this year!


Come take a look – when you get to ABC’s site, click on the VIDEO LINK right above the photo. The site uses Windows Media Player, so if it doesn’t launch, it could be because you don’t have Windows Media Player.

The finished dish photo and recipe – Firecracker Shrimp Recipe

Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy

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Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy

Ahhh…finally a tofu recipe. This recipe is from Eric Gower’s The Breakaway Cook, which is a wonderful cookbook if you enjoy global flavors. In fact, it inspired me to start playing with Flavored Salts (that’s Sichuan Peppercorn Salt, Citrus Salt and Matcha Green Tea Salt.

Sidenote: these flavored salts would make great holiday presents Make different batches and package them up in pretty little containers with a bow. Read through the comments on the Flavored Salt post – readers have such great suggestions for salt ideas like Lavender Salt, Kaffir Lime Salt and Chocolate Salt (for popcorn). Its inexpensive and easy to make – the combinations are endless!

For this Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy, I used panko bread crumbs, ginger, orange, lemon, and of course, my Citrus Salt.

Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy

Eric uses rice flakes to coat, but I only had panko bread crumbs on hand, which I grounded fine to almost like a powder:

Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy

I deviated from Eric’s recipe just a bit. Here is his original recipe. It’s light, tangy and would be great over Mizuna Greens and Arugula for a salad.

Question for my vegan friends – the recipe uses 1 egg yolk to act as a binder, allowing bread crumbs to stick. What would you suggest using to replace the egg?

Question for my Gluten Free friends – suggestions on replacing the panko bread crumbs?

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Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy

Servings: 2-4 as part of multicourse meal Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 2.57.46 PM

For gluten free - replace with the panko and soy with GF alternatives.

Ingredients:

1 large tofu block (firm), drained and wrapped in paper towels
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger (use a microplane grater)
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl mirin
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup panko crumbs, finely ground
salt & pepper
1 egg yolk
Optional ingredients: Citrus Salt, salad greens, Japanese pickled ginger

Directions:

Combine lemon juice, orange juice, soy, mirin, rice wine vinegar and ginger in a small saucepan. Simmer on low for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Taste. Sometimes I like to add a little more zing...and add in just a touch more rice wine vinegar, especially if I'm serving it with salad.

Slice tofu block in half, horizontally, so you have 2 thinner pieces of tofu. Pat tofu halves dry. Arrange in this order: tofu, egg yolk, panko. You can either dip the block in the egg yolk, or use a large pastry brush to brush on a light layer top and bottom. Press both sides of tofu in the panko firmly. In nonstick skillet, heat 1-2 tbl of cooking oil on med-high heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, carefully slide in the tofu halves. Do not let them touch. Fry each side 2-4 minutes until you have a nice, brown crust. Manage your heat - you may have to turn your heat up or down depending on your stovetop.

Arrange tofu on plates, spoon a bit of Citrus Soy sauce on top and garnish with Citrus Salt and Japanese Picked Ginger. Serve over salad greens if you wish!

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Pan-Fried Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi http://steamykitchen.com/16-pan-fried-lemon-ricotta-gnocchi.html http://steamykitchen.com/16-pan-fried-lemon-ricotta-gnocchi.html#comments Mon, 09 Jul 2007 15:29:22 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/07/09/pan-fried-lemon-ricotta-gnocchi/ If there ever was a time when I wondered why I never dated an Italian, it would be now. You see, I slept my way through a culinary education.

Yes, my friends, I whored myself out to learn the secrets of authentic Mexican steak tacos, Vietnamese pho ga, Cantonese steamed chicken, American BBQ ribs, Taiwanese deep fried tofu, Korean bi bim bap, Persian polow, Scottish haggis art of eating out every night, Japanese yakitori, French technique of cooking fish, Singaporean.....hmmm, that guy ...

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If there ever was a time when I wondered why I never dated an Italian, it would be now. You see, I slept my way through a culinary education.

Yes, my friends, I whored myself out to learn the secrets of authentic Mexican steak tacos, Vietnamese pho ga, Cantonese steamed chicken, American BBQ ribs, Taiwanese deep fried tofu, Korean bi bim bap, Persian polow, Scottish haggis art of eating out every night, Japanese yakitori, French technique of cooking fish, Singaporean…..hmmm, that guy was totally hopeless. Oh yes, and the hunky Thai fling who taught me how to make curry paste.

Before that look of “OMG she didn’t!”settles on your face, permanently creating an extra wrinkle on your forehead, let me further explain. No, I didn’t sleep with all of them…just seduced them enough to divulge their secret family recipes. I only slept with them if I needed access to their mothers, grandmothers or grand-auntie for further clarification of ingredients or technique. I mean, really….you can only understand so much of a recipe between moans.

We all know that the best food comes from grandma’s kitchen – so why spend $80,000 going to the Culinary Institute of America to learn from chefs who learnt from other chefs who learnt from someone’s grandma?

I say go right to the source! It takes zero money, less time and I didn’t have to wear a silly chef’s hat while hustling mastering ancient culinary secrets.

One day, I might just have to even (TM) this technique. All I know is that if I ever got my own cooking show, young children and cute puppies would probably have to cover their ears.

What in the world would you call my cooking show…Boy Meets Bimbo? Jaden’s Big O? Barefoot Tramp? Harlot on the Street? Molto Skank? Unzipped? Semi-Whoring with Jaden Lee? The Hungry Hooker? Good Eats with Loose Women?

Oh please laugh.

I’m just joking.

Sort of.

Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi

So I’ve never had an Italian boyfriend. Which is precisely why I’ve never made gnocchi before. I finally decided to experiment, because of this dinner where I experienced the most sensual gnocchi ever in my entire life. I just had to re-create this in my own kitchen. No potato – I used whole milk ricotta. Instead of boiling the gnocchi, I pan fried ’em in butter. And in lieu of a sauce, I opted for simple, bright and tingling: browned butter, lemon and pepper.

I bought one of those wooden grooved doo-hickeys. I don’t even know what they are called. It turns out that since I fried them, I really didn’t need to use the thingamajibber, as the grooves disappeared.

Please try this recipe – I know you will fall in love with this Italian nugget. Slightly crunchy, carmelized exterior gives way to soft, voluptuous, passionate, and soulful interior….just like an Italian lover.

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Pan-Fried Lemon-Ricotta Gnocchi

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
pan-fried-lemon-ricotta-gnocchi

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup freshly grated parmegiano reggiano (plus extra reserved for garnishing)
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon zest (use a microplane grater) (plus extra reserved for garnishing)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted + more for dusting
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (plus extra reserved for garnishing)
1/2 teaspoon finely minced chilli (or red pepper flakes) - adjust chilli based on your tastes
2 tablespoons clarified butter (or just regular butter, but the clarified butter works much better)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

1. Combine ricotta, parmagiano, yolk, zest and salt in large bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour on the mixture, gently turn with spatula a few times to incorporate. Dump mixture on clean, lightly floured countertop. Sprinkle remaining flour on top of the mixture. Gently knead with your fingertips, just bringing together the mixture until flour is incorporated through. This only should take a minute or two. Any longer and you will be over-kneading. *If you are using skim milk ricotta - you may have to use more flour, as there is more water content in skim ricotta.

Dough should look like this:

Gnocchi Dough

2. Divide dough into 4 parts. Take one part and roll into a long, 1" diameter log. Cut gnocchi into 1" pieces. You may use your wooden doobie-bopper or tines of a fork to get those pretty grooves that will eventually disappear after frying anyways.

Making Gnocchi

Making Gnocch

3. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and olive oil. when butter is just lightly browned, add gnocchi in single layer. Fry on one side for 2 minutes, flip. Add chilli. Fry other side for 1-2 minutes. Timing really depends on how big/thick your gnocchi is. Do a taste test - do you taste flour? Not done yet. Does it taste like a beautiful Italian's luscious lips? Then its done. Serve with a sprinkling of lemon zest, parmegiano and parsley.

This post inspired Food Fusion to make this:

You think I’m kidding?

Chipotle Skirt Steak Tacos The Parking Adventures of La Tacqueria

Vietnamese Pho Ga Pho Ga – Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup from T’s Mom

Korean Kalbi & Bulgogi Recipe Korean Kalbi & Bulgogi

Make Sushi Handrolls How to Host a Sushi Party

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Honey Ginger Carrots with Citrus Salt http://steamykitchen.com/127-honey-ginger-carrots-with-citrus-salt.html http://steamykitchen.com/127-honey-ginger-carrots-with-citrus-salt.html#comments Sat, 30 Jun 2007 00:19:44 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/06/29/honey-ginger-carrots-with-citrus-salt/ Fast, easy way to prepare carrots - instantly transform them to "gourmet" by sprinkling with a homemade Citrus Flavored Salt...

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Honey Ginger Carrots

A great use for Citrus Finishing Salt is to pair them with carrots!

Honey Ginger Carrots

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Honey Ginger Carrots with Citrus Salt

Servings: 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 2.51.40 PM

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients:

6 medium carrots, sliced diagonally 1/4" thick
1/2 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger (use microplane grater)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or parsley, mint)
1/2 teaspoon Citrus Salt (or to taste)

Directions:

In a 12" nonstick skillet, bring carrots, stock, ginger and honey to boil over medium heat. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Uncover, poke a carrot with a paring knife. The knife should go through, but you should feel resistance, especially when you try to pull the knife out. Keep uncovered and increase heat to high and allow some of the liquid to boil off for 1 minute. Add butter, thyme leaves and stir to melt butter. Finish with Citrus Salt to taste.

Note: I didn't use the butter in this dish. Figured I had enough fat in the Grilled Garlic Rosemary Steak and Garlic Truffle Fries that I could leave out the butter in this dish.

Another note: Sometimes I use 1/4 cup stock + 1/4 cup orange juice. If you use small carrots or slice them thin, then check the carrots after 3 -4 minutes. I like my carrots with a little bite, so I tend to undercook them.

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Making Your Own Flavored Salts http://steamykitchen.com/125-making-your-own-flavored-salts.html http://steamykitchen.com/125-making-your-own-flavored-salts.html#comments Sun, 24 Jun 2007 06:35:43 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/06/24/making-your-own-flavored-salts/ One of the easiest ways to elevate your cooking to another level is to use flavored salts, or finishing salts. No recipe needed, really. Flavor + Salt = Flavored Salt. REALLY!!! I know you just had...

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Flavored Salts

One of the easiest ways to elevate your cooking to another level is to use flavored salts, or finishing salts. No recipe needed, really. Flavor + Salt = Flavored Salt. REALLY!!! I know you just had a V-8 moment just now (wow. that sure dates me. does anyone know what i’m talking about?!) My latest crush, Eric Gower the Breakaway Cook, writes extensively about finishing salts on his website and even gives you several flavors to try. I like to use these salts in place of regular salt – the flavor I use is dependent on either the type of dish I’m cooking, the ethnic cuisine or a flavor I would like to infuse in the dish. I call these Finishing Salts because most of the time, its exactly what I use them for.

Sometimes a dish just needs a little color after plating and a finishing salt is the perfect compliment flavor-wise and eye-candy-deliciousness-wise. Learn from professional cooks – who often serve food on white dinnerware – and sprinkle a little of your Finishing Salt directly on the food AND the plate. The vibrant colors are shown off against the white and your dinner guests can dab as much as or as little of the salt as they wish. You can make a batch for less than $1….or you could go to a gourmet shop and spend $12 for an itty bitty jar.

Szechuan Peppercorn Salt

Peppercorn Salts

Dry-roasted Szechuan or Sichuan Peppercorn + food processor to grind the peppercorn + sea salt. It’s spelled Sichuan nowadays, but for some reason I’ve always spelled it Szechuan. Anyways, spell how you like.

>>Edit: more detailed instructions: I roasted SZP in a hot, dry skillet until smoking but not burnt. Let that cool a little bit. Dump in food processor to grind to same size as your salt. Then you add your salt and pulse a just couple of times to fully incorporate the flavors together. I like my S&P a little chunky and not like a fine powder. I used equal amts of SZP and sea salt. You can adjust based on your tastes. If you are using a very fine sea salt or just regular table salt, decrease the amt of salt.

Peppercorn Salts

Szechuan Peppercorn is really not a peppercorn at all – its a berry from a bush that will make your tongue and lips tingle and numb when you eat them. Yes, its legal. No, you can’t snort it. When you dry-roast the peppercorns, your entire house will smell heavenly…woodsy, citrusy, earthy…so incredibly aromatic that Chef Kylie Kwong perfumes her restaurant daily with a hot, smoking, dry wok of roasted peppercorns. Add to any dish that needs a little kick in the pants. Cooking Chinese? Sprinkle some Szechuan Peppercorn Salt to finish any dish. I also love seasoning my steaks with this instead of the standard salt & pepper prior to grilling. This can also serve as a dipping salt for fried shrimp.

Fushia Dunlop even recommends using this combination on potato chips! Make them yourself (its very simple with a mandoline) and flavor with SZP Salt while they are hot. Or, dump a bag of your favorite plain chips onto a baking sheet + 375 F for 5 minutes, remove and sprinkle with SZP Salt. Ohhh…how about french fries with SZP Salt at your next dinner party? Nothing like watching the reaction of your guests as their lips tingle and they discover a new taste. You can buy Szechuan peppercorn at your local Chinese market or at Whole Spice, iGourmet, GetSpice (UK), Spice Barn and Spicehouse

When you get your SZP, take a couple of pods and chew – the tip of your tongue will go tingly! Cooking the SZP tames the pepperyness and the numbing quality.

Szechuan Peppercorn Salt

Citrus Salt

Citrus Salt

Grated orange peel + grated lemon peel + let the citrus peels dry a little bit on a paper towel + sea salt Think bright, cheery and light. Finish your shrimp skewers, any vegetables, grilled chicken breasts, grilled salmon with Citrus Salt. Lighten your risotto or steamed rice with Citrus Salt. I’ll be posting soon on a recipe I created, Panko-Crusted Grouper Cheeks with Japanese-Style Risotto and Citrus Salt. Long, fancy name for fish ‘n rice, I know. I need to shorten the name…just sounds too restaurant-y.

Matcha Salt

Matcha Salt

Matcha is Japanese green tea powder made from the highest quality of green tea leaves. Its a stunning and lovely mossy color which makes such a pretty finishing salt, especially if you use a white plate and also sprinkle some directly on the plate. Matcha powder + sea salt + couple pulses in food processor if you are using course sea salt You know what is so totally divine? Your favorite chocolate truffle or chocolate bar + dip in Matcha Salt. So very different! Eric Gower pairs it with eggs and tofu. Use with dishes that are light in texture and flavor, since this salt’s flavor is more delicate and subtle. It gives a beautiful floral, grassy, sweet and soothing aroma. You can buy Matcha powder at your local Asian market. Sometimes coffee/tea shops will carry as well. This is not the same as green tea leaves. Ask specifically for Matcha powder. Its a little expensive. I paid $7.50 for 1.4 oz jar at a Japanese market in Los Angeles (which will last me a long time as I only used about� 1 teaspoon in my mixture). Don’t get the super-premium stuff, it would be a waste to use the expensive powder for the salts. Buy online at Amazon (this is the brand I got). Use your leftover powder to make green tea ice cream. I have all three sitting patiently waiting for my next cooking adventure….you guys have any ideas for other flavors? What would you do with Chocolate Salt?

Flavored Salt

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