Saturday, June 23, 2012

Salmon with Shitake Mushrooms

Usually when I am hungry and don't have the time to indulge in cooking,  I make fish.  It cooks very fast, almost faster than you have put a simple sandwich together, and it's healthy.  I cooked this on one such occasion and I also took some snap shots so that I could share. 

  • salmon fillet
  • 304 shitake mushrooms sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 asparagus stalks, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup white long grain rice

This dish is good to eat with plain white rice, so if you plan to make the rice too, its best to start that first because that will take the longest time to cook.  

Then chop all the veggies and heat the olive oil in the frying pan.  


When the oil is hot, combine mushrooms and carrots in the frying pan with frequent stirring so that they dont burn.  

Mushrooms will soak up the oil.  Once the pan feels dry again add the sesame oil.  This will give it tons of flavor.  Sesame oil is good to add to dishes even after they've been cooked.  If you make fried rice and stir frys, it's a must have.

After about 5 minutes of frying, the mushrooms will start to get some color.  At this point add asparagus and garlic.  The reason for adding these later on is because asparagus cooks very fast and it would get mushy if cooked for a long time.  As for the garlic, it can burn easily if cooked this long.

Fry with constant stirring for a couple of more minutes.  Add salt, sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce.  Stir one more time and transfer onto a plate.  
 Add more olive oil if the frying pan seems too dry.  When the oil becomes hot, add salmon to the frying pan.  You might want to prepare a cover for it if you dont want it to spray all over your stove.  Fry for 2-3 mintues on each side, but make sure the burner is on high.  Salmon is pretty tasty by itself and doesn't require much seasoning.  I usually just salt it lightly and add just a tiny bit of soy sauce over it.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Strawberry Yogurt

Like fruit yogurt?  Why not make your own.  Its simple.  

Here is what you need:
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Cut up the strawberries in the food processor, or mash them with a fork.

Mix with yogurt and honey.


Stuffed Pepper Craze

How about another batch of stuffed peppers?  You can never have enough of these.

I saw some good looking peppers at the store and couldn't pass them up.  To make things more interesting, I made this batch in a non conventional way.  I added a lot more veggies in the stuffing, replaced ground beef with ground bison, and melted some shredded parmesan on top.  

Here are the ingredients:
  • 6 medium bell peppers
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 slices od bacon, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb ground bison meat
  • 1/2 eggplant, chopped
  • 1 small pack of mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 spears of asparagus
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup rice (mixed wild and white rice)
  • seasoning salt, paprika, chili powder, black pepper

Prepare all the ingredients.  Wash the peppers and core them.  Chop bacon, onions, garlic, asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms and tomatoes.  Do not mix all these ingredients yet.


Start with cooking the bacon on a medium heat.  

Place the eggplant in a microwave safe container inside a paper towel.  Sprinkle some walk on it and mix with your hand.  Microwave for 2-4 minutes.  You want to precook eggplant in this way in order to avoid it absorbing all the oil if cooked with other ingredients.  

While the eggplant is cooking in the microwave, add chopped onions and garlic to the bacon in the pan.  When the onions become translucent, add minced bison meat.  Add more oil if necessary.  The amount of oil will depend on the type of pan you are using.  Stir well and make sure you break up all the clumps of meat.  You gotta work up that appetite.

By the time you break up all the clumps, the meat will be cooked and hopefully look like the picture below.  

Add eggplant.

Add mushrooms.

In a separate pan heat 2 Tbsp oil and fry raw rice over medium heat.  Stir occasionally so that it would brown evenly.  Fry for about 5 minutes.  The rice should be visibly brown.

Going back to the main meat/ veggie mixture- the eggplant and the mushrooms you just put in should cook down.

Find a baking dish that can facilitate your peppers.  You don't want them to be too loose in the dish because they may fall over while cooking and spill. 

Combine rice and meat/ veggie mixture together.  Turn off the burner and allow the mixture to cool a little bit before stuffing it into the peppers.

Finally, add shopped asparagus and tomatoes.  

Using a spoon, stuff the peppers with the ultimate mixture you just prepared.  Add about 1 inch of water into the dish.

Cover and dish and bake at 450F for about 1.5 hours.  You do not have to time this exactly.  If your dish does not have a cover, use Aluminum foil.

After 1.5 hours of cooking, take the lid off and and continue to bake them for another hour.

Grate some Parmesan cheese onto the hot peppers.