Yes, we made sushi. It is surprisingly easy and cheap too (you wouldn’t think that, seeing as they cost around $6 a roll in restaurants!) We made 5 rolls, and even Taylor was stuffed. We made a few regular rolls (seaweed on the outside) and a few inside-out rolls (seaweed on the inside).
Makes 4-5 rolls.
1 cup sushi rice
1 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
stuff to put inside (we used avocado, cucumber, green onion, smoked salmon, and shrimp in various combinations.)
nori (seaweed sheets)
Before cooking, rinse rice several times in running water until the water runs clear (this may take several rinsings). Cook according to package directions.
Mix together rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pan. Stir until granules dissolve. Spread the cooked hot rice into a large plate by spatula. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice and fold into the rice by spatula quickly. Do not smash the rice. Let cool. Use immediately.
As far as making the sushi, you better go somewhere else for directions. I should have taken a video or something, but sushi is something I just can’t describe. Search for how to make sushi, you’ll find plenty of sites like this that can do a much better job of explaining than I can!
A few tips: Be sure to use a super-sharp, serrated knife to cut the rolls, our you’ll end up with a squished mess. Don’t stuff your rolls too full, or the seaweed won’t quite make it all the way around. Plus you’ll end up with a really thick roll too big for one bite. I also use half a sheet of seaweed instead of a full one, but you really can’t put very much filling in if you do this.
First of all, ignore this entire recipe except for the peanut sauce. It just might be the best peanut sauce recipe ever.
The veggies were an utter failure. I wouldn’t even be posting this recipe if the peanut sauce hadn’t been so darn good. We don’t have a grill, so maybe they would have been better cooked that way (feel free to try it and let us know how it tastes), but we sautÃ©ed the veggies, and the zucchini got way over done (ie: mush) and the kale was still bitter and chewy. Next time, we’ll use the sauce and add some tofu and maybe some properly cooked zucchini and/or bok choy.
Noodles with Peanut Sauce, Kale, and Zucchini
Makes 6 servings. Recipe from Bon Appetit.
1 cup super-chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup (or more) water
1/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce
1 12-oz package dried chow mein udon noodles
4 large zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
8 ounces green curly kale, thick stems removed
olive oil (for brushing)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Blend peanut butter, 1/3 cup water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, and chili sauce in blender until smooth, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if too thick. Can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill.
Cook udon noodles according to package directions. Drain, Run under cold water to cool. Drain again.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush zucchini and kale with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill zucchini until tender and slightly charred, about 3 minutes per side. Grill kale until brown around edges, about 1 minute per side.
Toss udon noodles, green onions, and cilantro with peanut sauce in large bowl. Divide noodle mixture among 6 bowls. Top noodle mixture with zucchini and kale and serve.
This was a delicious pasta with a ton of flavor! Healthy too (we consider olive oil to be healthy, no matter in what quantity it is used). The original recipe called for swordfish, which didn’t work for us because 1. we couldn’t find it in Kroger, 2. we wouldn’t have wanted to pay the price even if we did, and 3. even if you were going to splurge and buy a nice piece of fish, why chop it up and put it in a pasta that is plenty good without it?
Hence, I give you, Sicilian Penne WITHOUT Swordfish. :)
(If you really wanted some meat, try chicken. It’d go great with this dish).
Sicilian Penne Without Swordfish
Makes 4-6 servings.
1 pound penne pasta
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (plus more to taste)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 1/3 cup
4 eggplant, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups halved teardrop or cherry tomatoes (red, yellow or a blend)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Lay eggplant flat on a cookie cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. Salt generously and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Flip, salt other side, and let sit for another 10-15 minutes. This step draws out much of the liquid as well as the bitterness in the eggplant. Cut into cubes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
Meanwhile, place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, red chili flakes, and 1/4 cup parsley. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the pan and set aside. Season the swordfish cubes with salt and pepper.
Using the same pan, over medium-high heat, add 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil and white wine, let simmer and reduce for about 2 minutes (this is where you’d add the chicken/swordfish/etc to the pan). Turn off the heat. Add the tomatoes, eggplant, cooked pasta, the remaining 1/3 cup parsley and stir. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Take two on our lentil adventure. This one had a very good flavor, but not enough of it. Try tripling the recipe for the dressing with the same amount of lentils, maybe? We tripled the garlic anyway, but that’s not unusual for us. :) We lessened the parsley, added some fresh basil, and served it on a bed of baby spinach instead of the radicchio leaves (who can find those, anyway?)
Lentil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
1 1-inch-thick slice red onion plus 1 cup chopped red onion
3 fresh parsley sprigs plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dried brown lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
8 radicchio leaves or 1 bunch baby spinach
Bring medium saucepan of water to boil. Add onion slice, 3 parsley sprigs and 1 minced garlic clove and bring to boil. Stir in lentils. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Discard onion and parsley.
Stir oil, vinegar, mustard and remaining garlic in small saucepan over low heat until just warm (do not boil).
Place warm lentils in bowl. Add chopped onion, chopped parsley and warm vinaigrette; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon salad into radicchio leaves; place 2 leaves on each of 4 plates. Serve warm or at room temperature.