Tag Archives: Sushi

Q: What do you do when life gives you a lemon (tree)?

A: Make lemon blueberry scones, lemon meringue pies and sushi!

So in addition to my partner in crime (and Colin Kaeppernick), a giant lemon tree welcomed me to CA last weekend. I giant lemon tree filled with lemons. One of the weekend’s top missions was to make use of said lemons.

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As far as I’m concerned, mission accomplished!

Both the scone and pie recipes that we followed were actually really simple. (Note: not so simple that we didn’t have a fair amount of damage control to keep things interesting :-/) An added bonus is that the scones are really a basic recipe that can be flavored with essentially whatever you have an excess of  rotting in your pantry sprouting in your back yard. So, for all of those lemons and oranges and grapefruits and plums ripening on the trees in your back yards…wait….what? you don’t have all of these growing in your back yard? they aren’t right there next to the rose bushes? My god…CK and fresh fruit…some people really do get all the breaks!! Anyway… here are two awesome recipes that will use at least a few of whichever are in season  are on sale at the grocery store 🙂

 

Scones (lemon blueberry)

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Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup raisins (or dried currants) 
1/2 cup sour cream (we didn’t have this 😦 I substituted an extra egg for moisture and it worked out just fine :)
1 large egg

Protocol:

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater (thinly shaving with a large, sharp knife also works…and is more exciting); use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in raisins.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth (or no SC and 2 eggs…see above).
  4. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
  5. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature with coffee 😉

*Note: These can be supplemented with whatever fruits, extracts, spices you’d like. We used zest + juice from 1 full lemon and a handful of fresh blueberries (The recipe actually suggests using dried fruit, which I think this is bull $hit silly. Fresh fruit add moisture, their texture is nicer and their flavor is great. IMHO.) Cranberry orange and cinnamon raisin were also suggested. I would like to try some savory ones too, maybe some with dill or sage or cloves…

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Lemon Meringue Pie

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Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and finely zested 
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar

Protocol:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.
  3. To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust. (DO NOT scale up. Regardless of the number of pies you’re making whip the meringue 4 egg whites — or one pie — at a time. This advise may or may not come from personal experience…
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  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Cool and serve with coffee 🙂

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Sushi Fish

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Ingredients:

Sashimi grade fish (1/3 lb tuna and 1/3 lb salmon)
2 cups sushi rice
3 cups water
1/2 cup Rice vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
garnishes to taste (sliced avocado, cucumber, radish, carrot…bleh…
soy sauce and Chipotle mayo (mayo + Sriracha)
lemon 🙂

Protocol:

  1. Rinse the rice in a strainer or colander until the water runs clear. Combine with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Rice should be tender and water should be absorbed. Cool until cool enough to handle.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, oil, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool, then stir into the cooked rice. When you pour this in to the rice it will seem very wet. Keep stirring and the rice will dry as it cools.
  3. Aliquot rice into bite-sized clumps
  4. Layer garnishes on top of rice
  5. Slice fish and layer on top of rice + garnishes
  6. Further garnish fish to taste

*Note: eating raw fish can be dangerous and can make you painfully, violently and embarrassingly ill. ONLY use fresh sashimi grade fish and consume in moderation.

 

 

 

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See ya suckers!

So last night started as the rare occasion that my other half and I actually put in the effort to dress ourselves in threads that were not totally covered in cat fur and to go out to dinner at a relatively nice restaurant posing as civilized human beings. We were both craving sushi and Masu is a newish, niceish joint not far from home. Perfect.

After a full Saturday of experiments and thesis writing (yes, we know, we are very cool) and the aforementioned preparations we didn’t make it out until about 8:30. When we showed up at Masu the wait was only about 30 min so we grabbed a spot by the panchenko machines and ordered a flight of sake to share. Very nice. We had a spot at the bar by 9 pm as things were starting to clear out and all seemed to be going smoothly.

As we were deciding what to get, a second couple sat down next to us at the bar and also began browsing the drinks and food menus. I’m not sure if it was because we already had 3 glasses of sake in front of us or because we both could’ve really used a booster seat to properly belly-up-to-the-bar but this was the beginning of the end.

We decided what we wanted to get (agadashi tofu–of course, a crunchy spicy salmon roll and a firecracker roll) and closed our menus. Our neighbors ordered their drinks…and received their drinks. Our neighbors then ordered their food. At this point we flagged down our bar tender while he was out on the floor (?) and asked if we could order. He said he supposed that we could and hurriedly took down our order. Weird, but whatever, at least it was in.

So we sat back, hungry but happy enough with our sake and Michigan vs. Syracuse final four game, and chit-chat while we waited for our food…and waited…and watched our neighbors appetizers come…and go…and waited…and watched our neighbors food come…and go…and waited. Finally, we asked one of the other bar tenders what was going on with our order. (The one we ordered from was far too  busy to see our attempts to flag him down.)  She told us that it was busy so we needed to be patient.

Really?

Ok so yes, it had been busy. Fair enough. But now? No. It was not.

So we continued to wait. Our neighbors got their bill…and paid. More waiting. The bar tenders switched out all of the regular menus for the late night version. More waiting…and more being told to be patient. By 10 pm I had gone from hungry to hangry and was no longer in the mood to hear that I needed to be patient. Michigan was having their way with Syracuse and our sake was gone. By 10:15 we were ready to exchange our civilized attire for fur covered sweats and our bar stools for the couch. By 10:16 our coats were on and we were out the door! I can’t say that I have ever just gotten up and walked out of a restaurant before, but I also can’t recall being treated like I’m so totally disposable, if not even a burden.

So now what? This is what —

Southwest Beans by Pizza Mesa

Southwest Beans by Pizza Mesa

One Southwest Beans pizza by Pizza Mesa for pick up, our fur covered pajamas, the couch, 3 episodes of Homeland and our girls…

Pheona the adorable

Pheona the adorable

Queen Penny riding her turtle

Queen Penny riding her turtle

Why didn’t we leave sooner?

Have you up and walked out of a restaurant for crappy service or food? What happened?

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Japanese weekend!

It’s weekend was full of non-thesis writing and non-running fun activities!

Saturday afternoon was spent hanging out with my sister Caeli who is back from Italy for the next 2 weeks 🙂 Then, I spent Saturday night pretending to be a little social butterfly. First, we had our bi-annual Kaznessis group gathering. We are quite the rambunctious bunch…3 parties in 6 years. Whooooo! Watch out! After that, we had Corrie’s 30th birthday to celebrate for the rest of the night. Ian and Corrie went to Costal Seafood in St Paul and bought them out of a variety of yummy sushi fish. I have to admit, I was rathe skeptical at first, but it was a total (diarrhea free) success! They supplied the fish, we brought sushi-fiable ingredients and we went to town making super tasty rolls. I totally recommend doing this if you want to do something a little different for once. Sharpen your knives and clean off your counters!!

Now on Sunday morning, my sushi-filled belly and I headed off bright and early for origami flower folding in Willmar, MN. My sister Anna, her fiancé Cameron and our mama (Anna’s and my mama…Cameron has a different mama…we are in Minnesota boys and girls, not Alabama…) folded flowers for 5 hours. That’s right, FIVE HOURS. But we got them done! What are “them”? Well, amongst other things, Anna and Cameron are doing something quite cool for all of the flowers that they are having in their wedding. Rather than having real flowers, they are having all origami flowers! All of our bouquets, the boutineers and decorations on tables. Now I find it more than a bit ironic that my friend Maroof is actually the one who came up with this brilliant idea (I’m being uncharactistically sincere here, I do think it is a brilliant idea) yet somehow he found himself in an unfortunate circumstance that kept him trapped back at work on Sunday rather than in Willmar folding flowers. Hmmmmm…. We did it though! The four of us made it through. And the very pretty fruits of our labor made it worth it for sure…

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(Note: Aforementioned “other cool things” include wearing chucks instead of formal shoes and wearing a birdcage instead of a veil.)

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