Crazy for Some Sushi!

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Sunday night has become watch party night for Walking Dead for my foodie friend and I. It’s a much anticipated night throughout the week as we’ve challenged each other to explore foods from different cultures. This past Sunday was Sushi night! Little did my friend know that I have a cheating contraption that makes it oh-so-easy. Used previously, it worked splendidly yet again. And our sushi was delicious. Both last night and today for lunch.

This contraption is about the oddest thing you’ll ever see. It looks like a caulking gun with a plunger on the end. Basically, you open it up, put the rice and your goodies in, then close it and push out the sushi on to your nori paper. Then roll it up and cut it up

. And it eliminates trying to make the perfect little roll by doing the hard work for you. It took a little bit of exploration to find the nori in this little southern town – I actually had to go to Nashville to get it, at Whole Foods no less. Then I got some wasabi paste and pickled ginger at Publix, along with the tuna and swordfish we used. The tuna was expected, the swordfish came from a suggestion from the fish monger there – he said it was commonly picked up by other customers because it was a milder fish with a flavor similar to Mahi Mahi (which I actually like). It was surprisingly delicious.

We did up the fish three ways – raw, with a tiny dribble of sesame oil for a smoky flavor, and with some lemon-garlic powder and sea salt. I think the third one took the cake in flavor. Although they all tasted great. Our other ingredients included carrots, cucumber, avocado, bell pepper and radish. All chopped in to little bitty slivers. It took some knife skills, let me tell you. And rice? Use the rice cooker – not the stainless pot. It burns when you don’t stir it up and you have an electric stove. Thankfully we salvaged a majority of it. And then make sure you mix in that dribble of rice vinegar for the perfect sushi flavor.

I also made a yummy asian slaw to go with this – though we didn’t get that far – I might have forgotten it in the fridge because the sushi anticipation was killing me and we had been munching on the sashimi already… I sent him home with some so that it didn’t go bad in my fridge and I had some with my lunch. I think letting it sit made it even better. It had some of the same ingredients: cucumber and carrot, with the addition of cabbage, bean sprouts and tangy green apple. I then dressed it with lemon juice (to keep the apple from turning brown), and a vinaigrette made with a tiny bit of mayo, agave, sesame oil, rice vinegar and spicy garlic mustard. Yum.

Zombies and sushi… how is that not the perfect combination??? Fish has the same texture as “BRaaIInnnsSSss!!!” And yes I know I’m an odd bird sometimes.

Roasted Veggie Lasagna

In an effort to find something super tasty for dinner with Lady Luck, I found this – pulled from BunsInMyOven.com, a blog I read all the time.

There, it was called Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas, but after careful deliberation, we decided that lasagna is layered, and enchiladas are rolled. This dish is layered. Therefore, it can’t be an enchilada.

There are so many veggies in this dish it’s ridiculous! There’s cauliflower, three types of peppers, two types of potatoes, corn and spinach. Oh yeah, there’s also cilantro infused salsa, tortillas and sooo much cheese! I love it! It’s spicy and crunchy and savory and amazing! Lady Luck was doing back flips over the flavor.

This is so simple too! Chop up all the veggies, and roast them with olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper in a dish for 30 minutes. Then layer in a casserole dish starting with the cilantro infused salsa (we actually used salsa verde), then cheese, then veggies, spinach and corn tortillas. Repeat process. Simple, right?

To go on top, we made up some guacamole, and got some sour cream, and topped it with green onions. I’m pretty sure Lady Luck and her daughter couldn’t wait to dig in again the next day because I got a very happy text message.

For dessert, we put together a twist on sopapillas, and it satisfied the sweet tooth rather well. Mix an 8 ounce package of sour cream with a cup of sugar and some vanilla extract. Open a tube of croissants, roll it all out together, and then layer the cream cheese and put another rolled out layer of croissants on top. Pinch the edges together, top with melted butter and cinnamon sugar and bake until golden at 350 degrees.

Repeatable? Definitely.

Accidentally Amazing

Why is it, that every time I make something that is absolutely to die for delicious, it’s completely on accident?

So this concoction was made solely so that I could get rid of some of the veggies that I had stocked in the fridge before they went bad. The end result was accidentally amazing.

Pasta – check. Asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, scallions, bell pepper and garlic, all chopped to about the same size, tossed in basil, rosemary, dill (lots of it), parsley, and a pinch of cayenne. Sauteed in garlic butter, then placed to the side. I saute spinach in garlic butter, then toss the rest of the veggies back in with it, because the spinach only takes a tenth of the time.

Before this all got started, I grilled up some sweet Italian sausage and got the water boiling. Let that drain before mixing it, otherwise it makes the veggies greasy. Oh! And don’t forget to pay the salt tax to the veggies either.

Toss everything together with cheese, and enjoy. Again and again…because I happily ate this three days in a row.

Find the recipe here.

A dish I’ve never made before

Meatloaf! And oh my goodness was it tasty. I would have like to follow mom’s recipe, but I thought I’d create my own. I have found that there are enough variations of meatloaf out there that they kind of become a family tradition of how they’re made. So I thought I’d start my own tradition. Unfortunately, this particular recipe from my noggin didn’t quite make the cut. It needs some tweaking. It almost tastes like it’s missing something. Couldn’t figure out what though. I’m not going to post the recipe, because it’s not mastered yet. I foresee a lot of meatloaf in our future. I may even try making meatloaf bites so I can make lots of different variations!

But here’s what I did anyway: I mixed ground turkey with bread crumbs and an egg. That’s the base. I added minced garlic and diced onion. Although my onion wasn’t small enough. I think also, I might try cooking up the onion and garlic to release the flavor just a little bit. I added in some green bell pepper, minced nice and small. Then lets see…in went some parsley and oregano, about a teaspoon or two of both. Two teaspoons of horseradish, a couple splashes of Worcestershire, a splash of lemon juice, a teaspoon of dried ground mustard. And then I put ketchup, bread crumbs and Parmesan on top before putting it in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. What’s really cool is that it was perfectly cooked. Not too crispy and not pink at all.

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Meatloaf with corn. Also served a salad on the side.

Anyone have any suggestions for additions?