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Sushi Pizza

What to do with leftover sushi rice? Make sushi pizza, what else! Okay, you could also make onigiri but I don't want onigiri today. I want something crunchy and crispy.

I made sushi for Little Shack's lunch and made way too much rice. I also happened to have leftover salmon from the previous evening's dinner so it made perfect sense to plan on sushi pizza for dinner. You can pile anything you want on a sushi pizza. You can throw on some raw fish, cooked fish, leftover fish, pickled vegetables are good, kimchi is great if you like kimchi. If you are vegetarian, you can just throw on pickled veggies and sauce, avocado and whatever else you would normally like to eat in a sushi roll.

It really couldn't be easier:

Heat a frying pan over med to med high heat.

With wet hands, grab a baseball sized ball of leftover, cold sushi rice and pat it down into a patty, much like a hamburger patty. Mix up soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of water (I do about 2 tbls soy sauce to 1/2 tbls sesame oil and then maybe 1/2 tbls water) and brush that on your rice cake. 
Add enough vegetable oil to the hot pan to cover the entire bottom generously. Add your rice cakes soy sauce basted side down(they should spatter and sputter in the very hot pan). Now, brush the the other side with the soy sauce mixture and keep an eye on them. Turn them when the bottom is all brown and crispy, which doesn't take all that long. Carefully flip them over with a spatula and fry the second side until it's brown and crispy too and remove to a plate with some paper towel to blot off any excess oil.

the naked rice cake before you baste and fry

Put your rice cake on a small plate and start to build.

For this version, I topped my rice cake with cooked salmon, some avocado, some pickled daikon, radish and cucumber (also leftover from my salmon dinner the night before). I mixed up some Kewpie Mayonnaise (if you can find some at an asian grocery store that sells japanese food, get it - it's a different flavour than western mayo) with a bit of hot sauce, sirracha - whatever your particular poisin is. Mix it to taste and then, because I didn't make enough to put it in a fancy squeezy bottle, I put it in a little snack back, cut a tiny hole in the end and used that to squeeze it out all over my pizza. I also drizzled some plain mayo onto it. A dollop of tobiko (those little finy fish eggs) and a sprinkle of bonito flakes, and you have got yourself a tasty sushi pizza. I kind of wish that I had bought some Ungagi bbq sauce (I am out) because it needed one more saucey component that wasn't mayonnaise based. The contrast of the crunchy, warm rice cake with the cold toppings is really something that I like a lot. I also like sushi rolls that have deep fried fish in them so you get the same crunch of the hot fish in the same bite as the cool rice.
I do have a recipe for homemade unagi sauce and I might give that a try next time.

I think you could also deep fry the rice cakes to get the same end product as you would get at a japanese restaurant but homie don't deep fry so I simply pan fried them in some canola oil and I was very happy with the results.

It's Friday So It Must Be Soup! Jan 28 is a Dashi Sort of Day

Today is one of those days where I really want someone to make ME soup. I don't feel all that great and I don't want to get dressed or go out or cook one bit but I do need a couple of things so I guess I am going to have to do it anyway. I made salmon last night so I could make Little Shack salmon sushi rolls to take in his lunch today so I have leftover salmon AND leftover sushi rice and that means sushi pizza for supper!

fresh japanese wheat noodle

Leftovers, Not Just For Compost Anymore

Let me just say that going from 0 food blogs to 2 food blogs in just over two months is a bit daunting. If you don't know already, I have taken up a challenge to not repeat a dinner entree recipe for an entire year. Two friend have joined me in blogging about our trials and triumphs in a new blog, no reEATS, Dianne (who is brand spanking new to blogging but who inspired this challenge by starting it up four months before on her own) and Jen, at Piccante Dolce.

One of of my personal goals is to be less wasteful, use my cookbooks more and plan our meals a bit more efficiently. This has led to some meals that have been very tasty and that have consisted of food that would have probably been thrown out before. We are kind of terrible about leftovers and impulsive eating out. I used to take food out and prep it for dinner, only to have Shack call home and say "I feel like spaghetti bolognese at Gio's" and suddenly we were in the car and going out to dinner, my poor dinner forgotten and uncooked in the fridge. Sometimes I would make it the next day but sometimes the same thing would happen the next day as well.
I don't need you to look at me like that, I am painfully aware of how terrible that is and I would hang my head in shame if I could still type without ever peaking at the keys.

So, last night I roasted chicken thighs and beautiful multi coloured carrots. Because Shack had actually ordered pizza at 4pm

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Tomorrow is Little Shack's snack day. Once or twice a month it is our responsibility to bring in the snack for the class. Luckily, there are only ten kids in the class so I don't have to feel like I just want to buy a bulk box of triscuits and a jar of no name jam to throw at them to avoid spending a ton of dough. I usually try to bake something to make up for the times when I get really busy and either forget snack altogether (like I did two weeks ago) or have to run out and buy a bag of clementines and box of crackers on the way to school in the morning.

Its Friday So It Must Be Soup! Jan 21/10

This week I am making a soup to enter into the monthly cooking club challenge at Food Network Canada. The recipe is for Nadia G's Italian Stracciatella with Mini Meatballs, Cheese Tortellini and Baby Spinach. I made a few changes, as usual. For starters, I don't really like store bought tortellini all that much. I didn't have time to make my own pasta from scratch in time this week, so I am made cheese tortellini using won ton wrappers. Store bought tortellini always seem a bit too doughy to me and I never really like the flavour of the fillings unless I am buying homemade tortellini, fashioned by italian grandmothers but I also didn't want to have to spend a ton of money on really good quality pasta when it's so easy to whip them up at home. It just shows you that you don't have to make homemade pasta dough to make stuffed pasta like ravioli and tortellini. I have used won ton wrappers for years for stuffed pasta with great success.

You Smell like Beef And Cheese

You don't smell like Santa. Okay, you will smell like beef and cheese AFTER you eat one of these sandwiches.

It's Friday So It Must Be Soup! Jan 14 /11

Cauliflower Soup with Pecorino Romano and Truffle Oil

Once again, the veggies that I had neglected to eat earlier in the week chose my soup for me. I had two small heads of cauliflower that would stare forlornly at me every time I opened the fridge, begging to be turned into something delectable and worthwhile. They desperately wanted a purpose so, eventually, I had to give in.

After much searching around, I found a recipe that sounded perfect using my Epicurious app on my iphone, Cauliflower Soup with Pecorino Romano and Truffle Oil. I will tell you right off the bat, I had no intention of buying a bottle of truffle oil just to sprinkle on my soup but to my great surprise, I actually had a tiny bottle of it in my cupboard! Someone must have given some to me as a gift and I had forgotten all about it. Some foodie I am.

Pumpernickle Bread

So, I am now 11 days into my year of not repeating any recipes (if you haven't done so yet, check out my new blog ,  no reEATS where three of us try to not make the same dish twice for a year ). Because The Neighbour gave us a big bowl of her delicious beef stew, I don't have to cook dinner tonight but I felt like I should still contribute something new to the meal. The obvious thing  to accompany a hearty beef stew is bread so I got my favourite bread book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking, and looked for a bread that I hadn't made yet. I settled on the pumpernickel bread.

Adventures in Pasta Making Phase 1

For christmas, I finally got my pasta attachment for my Kitchenaid and I could not be happier. Between my meat grinder and my pasta attachment, I feel like my culinary life is now complete. Okay, If you really stop and think about it, I will think of a hundred other things I want in order to complete me but at this point, I could not be more content. Now, if only I could have a kitchen with more than 2 sq
feet of counter space, my life would really be complete. Okay, I lied, I do need a few more things lol.

I am going to admit that the last time I made home made pasta and used my hand crank roller (for the final lasagne in my love 4 lasagne November challenge) that the hand crank came flying off the machine and hit be square between the eyes and left a HUGE , bruised lump. This may have been a deciding factor in Shack's obsessive drive to buy me this lovely treat for christmas. I am a good cook, I make very tasty food but I am a danger to myself in there. You don't even want to hear why we call my chef's knife the Diginator.

It's Friday So It Must Be Soup! Jan 7 /11

Sometimes the only thing that dictates my soup choices are the foods that are going to rot in my fridge if I don't use them up and although that doesn't sound very appealing on paper,  I don't think that it is unique. I rarely plan out a soup and then go and shop for all of the ingredients and that is what happened this week. Soup is THE perfect way to throw whatever you have lying around in a pot with some stock - leftover roasted veggies, fresh veggies, it's all good. Because I had bought a huge bag of carrots to make last week's turkey scotch broth  and we don't eat a ton of carrots as an actual vegetable, I wanted to make sure I used them up. I poked through a few cookbooks and checked online and found this recipe at Taste Space on tastespotting and it was pretty close to what I was looking for. I didn't want anything gingery or overly sweet, which carrot soups can often be. This Moroccan carrot soup was going to be my Friday soup, with just a couple of tweaks and changes:


New Orleans and I am already regretting that there won't be a Day 4 - Day 3

photo by Shack

The plan had been to rent a car for the day and drive out to see a couple of plantations and maybe even continue on to Baton Rouge for lunch before heading home to New Orleans. Unfortunately, the car rental offices in downtown NOLA are opened from 9am to 5pm. If we wanted to return the car later than 5pm, we would have to return it to the airport and find our way back to the hotel and that wasn't much of an option. Keeping the car overnight would cost $30 to park and we could have driven it back to the airport but we would also have to pay another $75 for the entire day. Another unappealing option. So, word to the wise - if you go to New Orleans and want to rent a car for the day, plan more wisely than I did!

photo by Shack

A Fungus Amongus

Little Shack went out with his grandmother tonight to a movie which meant that I could cook something for dinner that he would not like, always an exiting occasion around here. If you are a parent, you know how thrilling that can be - when the kid is away you can watch R rated movies at full volume, eat spicy Indian food and swear at the dog.

Honestly, I can't really complain because he isn't a picky eater and he likes pretty much all the foods we like. When we do eat something he doesn't care for, he doesn't make faces or declare it disgusting or anything but there are dishes I just don't make anymore because I know he will not eat it.

Mushroom risotto is one of those dishes. We love mushrooms but I realize we have just stopped cooking with them all together because Little Shack really dislikes them and they aren't something you can just pick out of a dish as they really impart their fungasy flavour to the entire dish. You are either a mushroom person, or you are not.

New Orleans - Day 2 and NOLA rocks our world


On day two we took a tour of the city so we could get a quick overview since we have been there since 1997 and our son and our friends were visiting for the first time. I have to say, I am conflicted about the visit to the lower 9th ward. I cannot deny that it was moving and fascinating to see the devastation that took place and I am shocked to see that there is almost no rebuilding happening. It's great the Mike Holmes and Brad Pitt are building a few amazing new homes and use design that takes into account that this community lives perilously below sea level, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to what was lost. You would think that Katrina took place 6 months ago when you see what is going on there. It was very, very sad and our driver and guide is of the opinion that the tourism industry is the reason that nobody is rushing to rebuild the lower 9th - there is more money to be made from taking tourists there if they leave it the way it is. I felt a bit dirty to be honest.

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