Salmon With Matcha Noodles and Kinda Dashi Broth

Ok so in the past I’ve gotten bad about feeling the need to do some intense diet and exercising for the new year. I usually lose weight for a while, but end up feeling restricted, overworked, and not very happy by Summer. Instead for 2020 I’m going with a goal of “happy food.” I aim to cook what’s making me happy in that moment no matter how weird or out of my normal culinary zone it may be. I’m on a new path of chasing after happy dances.

That being said, like many of you this holiday season got me jacked up. Spiked hot cocoa, tons of red meat, and all the latkes I can eat are really cool, but I needed a major reset button to start 2020 feeling fresh and clean.

One of my favorite things to have in the morning is a huge mug of matcha to get me perked up and ready to go, which was the jump off point of this dish. The surrealistic pondscape consists of some of my favorite clean flavors: salmon, cucumber, nori, roe, and dashi. The effect is a really cool combination of oceany flavors from the fish and dashi with the earthiness of matcha to create something that feels very nature inspired.

Even though we’re in the middle of winter the lightness and freshness of this dish can’t help but make me feel like spring is around the corner. Another cool perk is it can be served at any temperature and still work.

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Spice Crusted Garlic Butter Shrimp

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Shrimp is one of the key items in South Carolina food culture. Growing up one of the main spots for my family vacations was Charleston. For those of you who have never been Charleston is a beautiful town filled with a rich history that is as old as America itself, and they also boast some of the best food in the world in my opinion. Since Charleston is on the shore you can find beautiful coastal style dishes in almost every restaurant. Think she crab soup or shrimp and grits. Every time my family would travel to Charleston we made sure to eat every bite of shrimp that was available to us and we would even get coolers full of shrimp from seafood markets to take home with us. The shrimp there is that good.

For this dish I was inspired by memories of Charleston, South Carolina. I wanted to create something with beautiful shrimp, but really turn the volume up on the flavor to create a fiery, yet decadent shrimp. I crusted the shrimp in some of my favorite spices like old bay and lots of garlic powder. Then I combined oil, butter, and garlic in the pan to create a sort of garlic butter, and then cooked the shrimp in the garlic butter for extra oomph. I paired these shrimp with my tomato basil cream pasta, recipe found here. This created an incredibly well rounded dish. The shrimp had spicy and garlicky notes while the pasta balanced it out with the sauce’s creaminess and sweetness of the tomato and basil. This pairing worked incredibly well, but I think these shrimp could go with any manner of dishes. They would be beautiful next to a steak for a surf and turf, orwould be delicious with polenta for a play on shrimp and grits. There are so many options for these little flavor bombs, plus the cooking on them is super easy to boot!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Start by mixing the garlic powder, cayenne, black pepper, and old bay together. Heat the oil and butter over medium high heat. While your oil and butter heats up toss the shrimp in the spice mix. Once the butter is melted add the garlic and give it one minute to cook. After that minute add your shrimp to the pan. The shrimp should take about two minutes to cook on the first side and one minute on the second side. The spices should form a nice crust on the shrimp. For serving I topped my pasta with the shrimp and garlic from the pan, and then topped the whole plate off with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. It does not get much easier or more delicious than that!

Recipe Remix: Chicken Piccata

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For tonight’s dinner I decided to take one of the recipes I recently blogged about, chicken piccata, and attempt a new preparation of it. For my last chicken piccata I dredged a boneless, skinless chicken breast in a flour mixture and pan fried it. The fried cutlets were paired with a simple sauce of chicken stock, white wine, lemon juice, capers, and butter. The last preparation was a very classic, on the nose version of this Italian classic. Although the classic piccata is one of my favorite dishes to both cook and eat today I was feeling experimental.

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Recipes in Action

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Earlier this week my best friend who lives several states away informed me that he was having a small dinner party type thing. I said good for him, but he immediately got flustered and said he needed help. He has had my spicy chicken alfredo before and loved it, and it only made sense to send him to my post with the recipe. He was grateful for the help but very nervous at the same time. To be honest, it made me very nervous because this was the first time that someone else would be cooking one of my recipes.

Well as soon as he had the chicken hit the pan he messaged me to tell me how amazing the house was smelling. Throughout the process he continuously called, snapchatted, and texted me updates. It turns out that neither he nor I had any reason to be nervous. He sent me the above photo of his recreation of my dish and informed me that the pasta was a massive hit and everyone absolutely loved it.

This was such a thrilling experience for me because like I earlier mentioned, no one’s cooked one of my recipes before. All the dishes I’ve made have been viewed almost as enigmas among my closest friends. It made me so happy that my best friend who constantly talks about how much he misses my cooking was able to successfully recreate one of his favorite dishes at home, and even happier that he was able to share the dish with people that he cares for deeply. It definitely felt like my “Ina Garten Moment.”