Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Tonight I met my friend Michelle for dinner at Osaka, a delicious hibachi grill and sushi bar.  It can be kinda pricey for the meals, but you can go a la cart for a reasonable price.  And the food is amazingly yummy!  : ) 

I started off with something new for me - a peanut roll.  It's a california roll (avacado, crab & cucumber) battered & deep fried w/ a savory peanut sauce over top.  I used a light soy sauce to dip.  I'm not a fan of the wasabi, a little too spicy-hot for me. 

From the flash that looks like chicken, but it's actually a tastey soy/teryaki salmon with fried rice.  I normally prefer a wood-grilled salmon, but this had a good flavor! 

And there was enough leftover for lunch tomorrow!  : ) 

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Thursday's Cooking Class

I have been a pretty bad Food Blogger, huh?  It's not that I haven't had interesting foods to share.  It's just that I keep forgetting to take pictures!  I need to get back in that habit.  So, to make up for it, and to hopefully start back up at my regular bloggity blogging... Here are two ACTUAL recipes, which I don't normally do.  We had a cooking class at work the other day, where Chef Brandon whipped these two dishes up for us to nosh on.  Let me tell you, they were AMAAAAAZING!  And really easy - he made them in about 10 minutes (to be fair, the chicken was already cooked for the entree). 

Spinach & Strawberry Salad

4oz fresh spinach
12 fresh strawberries, stemmed & cleaned
2 oz hazelnuts, roasted & chopped
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 orange, zested & juiced
1oz fresh basil
olive oil to taste
salt & pepper to taste

In a small sauce pan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil and lower to a very low simmer.
Reduce the vinegar by about 2/3 or until a slightly syrupy consistency and cool.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, orange zest, orange juice and olive oil, season w/ salt & pepper and toss lightly to coat everything thru.  To serve, arrange spinach on a platter or individual plates, place the strawberries next to the spinach, drizzle the strawberries w/ the balsamic reduction & sprinkle everything with chopped hazelnuts & basil.  You can also serve this delicious salad with fresh mozzarella or goat cheese, or with a piece of grilled chicken for a light dinner. 

YUMMY!  : ) 

Next up...
Curry Pan Roasted Chicken Breast w/ a Ragout

4-5oz chicken breast, skinless
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stemmed & sliced
2 cups frozen peas, thawed (you can substitute soybeans, they're very good!)
2 T. fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium lime, zested & juiced
1 T. Madras or yellow curry powder
1/4 cup corn oil (or any neutral flavored oil)
Salt & pepper to taste

In a small sauce pot, toast the curry powder over low heat until just fragrant.  This will take only 2 or 3 minutes.  Pour in the corn oil and bring to a light simmer, immediately take off the heat and allow to cool.  Pass thru a strainer and reserve (the curry oil will keep for many months in the fridge).  In a shallow baking dish, lay out the chicken breast and rub with half the ginger and garlic and just enough of the curry oil to barely coat.  Let marinate in the fridge for 2 hours (overnight would be better).  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Heat a large saute pan over high heat and season your marinated chicken with salt & pepper, add just enough oil to the pan to coat the bottom.  Add chicken to the hot pan, do not crowd the chicken.  Brown & sear to acheive a nice brown crust.  Once the chicken is browned on one side, flip & put into the preheated oven to cook through, to 160 degree internal temp.  Rest, covered for 10 minutes. 
While chicken is cooking, you can make the ragout.  Heat a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, add just enough curry oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the rest of the ginger and garlic, saute until just fragrant and fold in mushrooms.  Cook mushrooms until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes, fold in the peas or soy, season w/ salt & pepper, lime zest & lime juice.  To serve, arrange the chicken breast on a platter or individual plates, top w/ ragout & drizzle with remaining curry oil. 

Whew!  Okay, after writing all of that out, it doesn't seem as easy as I said, but really it is!  You can tweak the perparation any way you like, and the ragout whips up in minutes! 

Let me know if you try it & what you think!!  : )