Ahi Tuna Benedict

Can you tell that I’m missing my Hawaii vacation? The food was so good. I had this ahi Benedict and I am determined to remake it.

  • 1/2 cup precooked rice (sushi rice would be best)
  • Furikake
  • Oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 shiso leaves
  • 1/4 lb sushi grade ahi tuna, sliced into 1/2” thick slices
  • Arugula micro greens or other peppery micro greens
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sriracha mayo

Mix furikake with rice to your liking. Divide rice into 2 balls and smash to make a cake. Pan fry in neutral oil like avocado until golden on each side. They should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Set on a paper towel.

Poach both eggs.

Assemble benedict with rice cake on the bottom, egg (sprinkle with salt), shiso leaf, avocado, tuna and micro greens. Top with fresh cracked pepper. Serve with sriracha mayo on the side along with a vinegary side salad.

Enjoy!!

Blistered Shishito Peppers

I love the roulette experience of eating these. You never know when you might get a spicy one. These are such an easy appetizer that can be done in less than 10 mins.

  • Fresh shishito peppers (~25)
  • Avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • Flaky salt
  • Furikake, optional
  • Ranch dip, optional
  • Togarashi, optional

Heat a cast iron skillet on med/high until water drops sizzle and evaporated quickly.

Toss peppers with oil to just coat.

In a single layer with sufficient space between each pepper, put peppers on hot skillet. Let sit 2-4 mins until brown and blistered. Turn and blister the other side. Note, it will get a little Smokey so keep your exhaust on.

Once blistered, you want the peppers to remain a little crunchy. So don’t over cook or they’ll get too soft and unpleasant. Remove from skillet and toss with salt and any other toppings of your choice. Serve with dipping sauce or plain.

Enjoy!

Spicy Ahi Poke

I posted a poke recipe before and it’s great. This time, I tried making a version we recently had in Oahu called the CA roll poke. It’s the perfect combination of fresh and decadent. Make this and eat it over rice or salad.

Spicy Ahi Poke on the left, other poke recipe on right
  • 1/2 lb sushi grade ahi tuna, diced into 1/2” chunks
  • 1/4 cup kewpie mayo
  • 3 TBSP Sriracha
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1-2 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 hot house English cucumber, super thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced into 1/4” chunks
  • 1-2 TBSP tobiko

Mix mayo, sriracha, soy sauce and sesame oil. Taste and adjust to your liking (it will mellow a bit).

Combine tuna, veggies and sauce. Do not over mix or you’ll have smashed tuna and the avocado pieces will disappear

Refrigerate for at least 20 mins or up to 1 day.

Serve with shiso leaf, pickled ginger, and furikake, over rice or salad and wasabi lotus chips on the side if you can find them.

Jalapeño Poppers, Baked

Made these for the 4th of July and am looking for a BBQ event to bring them to so I can side swipe a few between drinks. It’s the perfect “over served” food. Bacon-y, kinda spicy, cheesey. Sooo good. In fact, I bet we could doctor them up to look Halloween-y. Ok. Time for some creativity, ya’ll. Whatchya got? P.S. The mix is damn good on toast under some avocado sliced.

  • 12 jalapeños, half and seeded
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 head roasted garlic (optional)
  • 10 stalks of chives, cut into 1/4” lengths
  • 6 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled

Move rack to middle of oven. Line baking pan with foil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Make filling by mixing all but 3 TBSP of the crumbled bacon. Cut jalapeños, deseed and demembrane.

Use a spoon to fill the filling into the jalapeño halves. Try to keep them upright (sometimes that requires leaning one up on the other-don’t worry though, they’re ok sharing space).

Cook for 20-25 mins or until bubbly. Sprinkle remaining bacon on top (I actually pressed the bacon into the jalapeños).

It’s like molten lava coming out of the oven. Use all the impulse control power you have to wait 10 mins until trying one. Trust me. Then enjoy!!

Shanghai Lumpia

I went to make Lola Momma’s lumpia recipe and did a quick search to find the ingredients. What? Nothing found. How have I never put the recipe in here? Welp, I winged it because she was asleep since she’s in the PI and we’re in the US and it was a midday project. Everyone says I did it. And the photo is proof that it was good. We couldn’t even get a pic, they went so fast.

Ate them before we could get a photo
Too much filling in this one by a third.

Mix all the filling ingredients together until well incorporated. It should no longer look like separate ingredients but more like a paste.

Set up your rolling station. You will need a bowl of water, a cutting board to roll on, a plate for lumpia you’ll fry, a couple of ziplock bags for lumpia you’ll freeze. A paper towel for any wiping and great music. (Lola Momma suggests a piping bag for the mix but I haven’t tried it yet)

After the filling is mixed and you’re set up at your rolling station, it’s time to get your wrappers ready.

The wrappers like to stick together. Pull apart a stack. Sometimes the edges are really stuck or kinda hard. I just trim off all the hard edges on the stack. Then I cut the wrappers in half.

Pull off individual wrappers. It’s important to cover the wrappers you’re not using with a damp towel so they don’t get dry.

Put about a half inch wide of filling across the bottom of the wrapper. Roll it up trying to avoid air bubbles. Wet the sealing end of the wrapper with water using your finger dipped in the bowl. Once rolled, cut the lumpia in half.

Freeze some (making sure they’re not touching until frozen). Fry others.

Enjoy with sweet spicy dipping sauce.

Green Goddess Salmon with Crispy Potatoes

I’m holding on to the last glimmers of summer with this fresh dinner option. When a meal is loved by all the family members we say, “definitely put this on the menu” for our make-believe family restaurant that we’ll never open. This meal got that stamp of approval.

The perfect last bite with crispy skin

Green Goddess Salmon with Crispy Potatoes

  • 2 lbs salmon cut in 2 pieces
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, zested and then thinly sliced
  • 3 TBSP plain yogurt
  • 2 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 3 TBSP capers
  • 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Blend basil, garlic, anchovies, lemon zest, yogurt, and mayo until thick and uniformly green. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and set back in the fridge.

Heat a medium pan on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Salt salmon fillets on both sides. Layer top of salmon with thinly sliced lemons. Add to pan salmon, skin side up, lemon side down. Cook for 5 – 7 mins depending on thickness. Flip to skin side down and cook until salmon begins to flake when pushed on. Remove skin (it should come off easily). Cook the grey side of the salmon. Set aside. Add back in the skin and cook on both sides for an additional 3 mins each. Set salmon skin on paper towel to drain.

While salmon is cooking, heat another pan on medium with olive oil and add potatoes and salt. Potatoes should sizzle gently. Cover. Cook until crispy on the edges and tender inside (approx 15 mins). 1 minute before serving, add capers so they get a little crispy too and season with pepper.

Serve a slice of salmon with skin on top, dressing on the side with potatoes and any other veggies.

Enjoy!!

Peach Pecan Loaf

Today is all the breads with fruits day. Bread #2 is this pecan peach loaf. It freezes really well. You’ll just want to save the frosting until after it thaws. This bread is great for breakfast, brunch, or even a snack. Adults and kids loved it.

This was the half I thawed on the counter and then dressed in white. So good.

Peach Pecan Loaf

Adapted slightly from Life Love Liz

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped unsalted pecans
  • 2 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a loaf pan and line with parchment paper to easily pull the loaf out of the pan later.

Beat eggs and sugar together until fluffy. Then add eggs, extracts and milk. Mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients. Then fold in the pecans and peaches.

Full loaf pan and bake for 50-60 mins. Check on doneness with a toothpick. It took me much longer than 60 mins but I had to be careful about burning the bottom.

Once done, take out of the oven and let it sit for 10 mins. Then take out of the pan and cool.

Once cooled add frosting of 1/4 powdered sugar and a tsp of milk. Add more milk if you want it thinner or more powdered sugar if you need it to be thicker. Drizzle over loaf and serve.

Enjoy!!

Lentils = Protein

It’s hard to get my mostly-fresh-fruit-and-veggie-eating littles to consume protein too. They love eggs and red meat and salmon – sometimes chicken, if it’s fried. But that will cover like 6 of the 4000 meals that need to be made … in a day. (Doesn’t it feel like the meal prep and dishes are just one continuous stream throughout the day right now? Pepper in some laundry and then it’s already time to go to bed.)

Anyway, they love this lentil (kinda) soup recipe. I say kinda because there isn’t a bunch of broth. If you like yours more broth, just add a 1/2 more around 20 min mark in the cooking process. And the kids don’t know about the anchovies!

Lentil (kinda) Soup

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup black lentils (or any other that you have), rinsed
  • 1/2 large onion, diced super small so kids don’t notice
  • 2 carrots, diced super small because of picky children
  • 4 anchovies in oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I’ve started buying the kind in the jar because holy crap this is a lot of cooking we’re doing these days)
  • Cumin to your liking (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • Good amount of salt to your liking
  • Olive oil
  • Pickled jalapeños for the grown ups as a topper

Kid approved.

Start a medium pot with a good amount of olive oil (2-3 TBSP? Sure). Heat on medium/low. Add onions, carrots, garlic and anchovies. Melt down the anchovies so you don’t see them as whole pieces anymore. They should just add color to the veggies. After they cook for a few mins, add a dash of salt and cumin. cook for another 5 mins being sure to not burn.

Add the rinsed lentils and broth. Bring to boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer with the cover on until the lentils are tender. Salt to taste.

Lots of toppings go great with this from fried eggs to pickled jalapeños to avocados and sour cream to all of the above.

Enjoy!

Kimchi Fried Rice

Remember those miso turnips that I made the other day? Leftovers found their way into this kimchi fried rice and it was perfect. Also, if you’ve got a pork chop or steak or chicken, grill it right quick and add that on the plate too. This can be a main meal or just a side to your protein. It’s tangy and spicy and the perfect amount of probiotics. I ate mine with a fried egg on top because – chickens in my backyard are laying, laying, laying.

Kimchi Fried Rice

  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
  • 1- 2 carrots, cut Julianne
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • Precooked veggies of choice, I used miso turnips
  • 2″ knob of ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup kimchi (I love either makin my own or buying from Wise Goat Organics)
  • Canola oil
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP gochujan (we use it on everything. Make this a staple)
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP kimchi juice
  • Toppings of choice (fried egg, nori, black sesame seeds, green onion, steak…all of the above)

In a bowl, mix gochujan, soy sauce, sesame oil and kimchi juice. Set aside

Heat a bit of canola oil in a large skillet. Cook onion, carrots, garlic and ginger. Until tender. Add rice and kimchi and pour over gochujan mixture. Fry for 2 mins.

Note: The key is sauce to rice to veggie ratio and everyone has different preferences. I like a slightly sticky rice with lots of veggies. But, you’re the chef. You decide what’s best for you.

Serve as a side or main. Top with whatever you fancy.

Lola Momma’s Picadillo

My MIL was supposed to come back to the states this month from the Philippines for her annual 3 month stay. But it’s too risky to get on a plane. She’s going to stay home. We miss her so much. So, I made one of my favorite dishes that she makes when she comes. It’s so comforting and sweet. Serve it up over rice and maybe top it with a fried egg. It can be eaten any time of day. Enjoy!

Lola Momma’s Picadillo

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4-5 baby Yukon potatoes or 1 large Russet, diced into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 orange or red bell pepper, diced slightly smaller than potatoes
  • 2 carrots, diced into littler cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup raisins (I know, trust me)
  • 1,5 – 2 cups water
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar

In a medium pot, begin to brown the ground pork. Add the garlic midway through and cook until pork is no longer pink. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 min. Add potatoes, raisins, carrots and enough water to cover the veggies. Simmer until cooked through adding more water as needed. Add fish sauce and sugar to taste.

Enjoy comfort in a bowl.