Culinary Delight #13: Citrus Salmon Salad

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I was in the mood for something light and summery, so I threw a bunch of random things together and it ended up a delicious (and mostly healthy) burst of flavor. It helped that I picked up fresh salmon from the Japanese supermarket… soooo yummy!

Anyway, I was really bad about measuring exact quantities. I guesstimated based on what I thought would taste the best and what I wanted to dominate (mostly citrus.) In a small mixing bowl, I combined the following ingredients in order of decreasing amounts:

– Grapefruit juice

– Lemon juice

– Olive oil

– Soy sauce

– Minced garlic

I soaked the salmon chunks in the bowl for about 10 minutes, then sprinkled them with lemon pepper and baked at 375 for 20 minutes. They were perfectly flaky and juicy!

Meanwhile, I laid out a bed of organic spring greens and topped with

– Sliced peppers (red and yellow)

– Chopped tomato

– Mandarin oranges (the only thing out of a can!)

– Feta cheese

I forked the salmon into flakes and added to the pile of veggies and cheese, then topped lightly with the remaining marinade mixture and cracked pepper.

Seriously… flavor explosion!! Chuck and I both loved it 🙂

Culinary Delight #12: Egg, Bacon, & Basil Breakfast Pizza

Generally, Chuck is the Breakfast Master. He is capable of whipping up pretty much anything and it will be delicious. Since he is gone, I resort to the basics (cereal and yogurt), but the other morning I was feeling adventurous. I found a recipe on Pinterest that looked relatively simple, in addition to delicious. As it turns out, it was messier and more awkward than I anticipated, but it ended up being totally worth it in the end. Besides, if the recipe had included a bit more detail, I would have known what to expect and it probably wouldn’t have been such an ordeal. It literally listed ingredients (not quantities) and said combine. So, I am re-writing it for those who are like me, and less adept at “just winging it!” 🙂

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Ingredients

1 tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls
4 large eggs
8 bacon strips
Basil leaves
Shredded cheese (as desired)
Pepper

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a cookie sheet (original recipe said to leave it ungreased, which was disastrous. I am still trying to salvage my poor cookie sheet.)
3. The Pillsbury rolls should naturally unwrap into a set of 4 squares (or rectangles – whatever.) Lay them out on the cookie sheet.
4. Lay 2 strips of bacon on each square. I cooked the bacon first, but the original recipe didn’t specify if that was necessary. If anyone knows that bacon can adequately cook after being baked in the oven, please let me know, as it will save a step for next time! Plus, I hate cooking bacon.
5. Crack a single egg over each square. THIS was the extra messy part. Try to keep the egg centered and not on a bumpy bacon-y part. It’s okay for the liquid to run all over the place, onto and in between other rectangles, but the yolk should stay on the dough.
6. Sprinkle cheese of your choice (I used shredded 4-cheese Mexican because that’s all I had). Be generous, if you love cheese like me! 🙂 Next time, I will be adding crumbled feta.
7. Tear up basil leaves and sprinkle (or strategically place.) Top with some cracked pepper.
8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until “pizza” is golden brown.

I feel like this is the type of thing where you can customize however you’d like. I bet it would also be delicious with avocados, for instance, or tomato, not to mention any combination of herbs or cheeses. I think next time I will also add olive oil for a tad more moisture. Some parts were a little dry for me!

What’s in Our Kitchen: the Okinawa Version

Chuck and I both love to cook, and now that we find ourselves in a completely different culinary environment, we are eager to discover the ways in which we can concoct new recipes and experience new flavors. Of course, we also want to know where to shop for the best ingredients for the flavors we already know and love! For instance, I will never tire of Chuck’s deep dish pizzas 🙂 The Commissary here is sufficient for some things, but it’s small and pretty boring. I will probably only go there for things like cereal, milk, pasta, and some meat. Luckily, the local grocery stores out in Uruma are a real treat! I don’t know what 95% of it is, but the 5% I do know is fantastic, fresh, and relatively local (even if the squishy raw seafood with eyeballs and tentacles on display freaks me out!) Better yet, we found a farmer’s market within walking/biking distance, with all sorts of fresh fruits, veggies, and flowers. It was just a quick trip in the middle of a rain shower, so I didn’t take many photos, but I couldn’t resist snapping a quick pic of the pineapples adorned in pink ribbon below…

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We brought home our goodies and whipped up some dinner: seared tuna in a homemade ginger-soy-lemon-garlic sauce served over a bed of fresh greens and accompanied by fresh avocado and tomato. Delicious, and healthy too! photo2 (9) We also got Japanese eggs, which are very large, brown, and don’t require refrigeration. In fact, the U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that refrigerates its eggs. We also treated ourselves to a delicious item from the dessert section of the Japanese grocery store – the half-eaten chocolate log pictured below. We don’t know what it is exactly, so Chuck calls it “Dragon Poop,” naturally. Appetizing, right? Right.

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In conclusion, I was particularly tickled to find out that while most Japanese produce is regional, they still import their oranges from the good ol’ US of A. I guess you just can’t beat Florida citrus! 🙂

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Culinary Delight #11: Ginger-Tomato Salmon with Coconut Jasmine Rice

#tbt to last night’s dinner! Ginger-tomato salmon with coconut jasmine rice. I think it’s a keeper!

Coconut jasmine rice (Start making this first):

1 cup jasmine rice (though I had basmati rice handy and used that instead)
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp sesame oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 cup pre-sliced green onions
1/4 tsp sea salt

Place the rice, stock, coconut milk, and oil into a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 18-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Fluff with a fork, then stir in the salt and green onions.

GInger-tomato salmon

2 cloves garlic (I just threw in a heaping teaspoon of minced garlic)
2 tsp ginger paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 lb salmon fillets, skin removed
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup pre-sliced green onions
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat a large saute pan on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Place garlic, ginger, stock, and coconut milk in pan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, season salmon on both sides with salt and pepper.

Add tomatoes and salmon to the sauce, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 8-10 minutes, basting fish with sauce occasionally, or until the salmon is 145 degrees (or opaque and separates easily). Place salmon and sauce on rice, then sprinkle with green onions and serve!