Search This Blog

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Japanese Fusion Hits a High Note on My Table

Let me be honest with you. There are times, as a cook, when you know you’ve dropped the bomb. You’ve hit that magical place of gastronomical heaven. If you’re lucky, it’s a dish. If you’re really lucky, it’s an entire meal. I was really lucky last night.

This is a long one, so stay focused.

First, a snapshot of the warzone. Not too crazy, considering the end result.

Now the full deal.

This is Japanese fusion. Why? Because it’s not 100% Japanese…it’s a fusion of tastes and presentations from elsewhere. The focus is, of course, Japanese. An interesting component to Japanese food is the general simplicity. Minimalistic. I paid homage to the simplicity, but added some ideas of my own.

Now some play-by-play shots (recipes follow)...

Seasoned Carrots with Spring Onion Bows

2 Carrots – julienne

2 TSP Mirin

1 ½ TSP caster sugar (powdered sugar works)

6 Spring onion tops (5 inch green parts)

Mix first three ingredients well and marinate for at least 3 hours. Cut green part of onion at least 5 inches long. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds; let cool.

Line up carrots like a matchstick bundle. Tie a bow around with the spring onion top.

Citrus Miso Sauce

2 TSP miso paste

1 TSP shoyu

1 TSP Mirin

½ juice from lemon

Mix ingredients well.

Peanut Sauce

1/3 Cup crushed peanuts

2 tsp Shoyu

1 TSP dashi stock

1 TSP sugar

Mix ingredients well.

Inari Pockets with Four Ingredients

3 – 4 Large spring onions, chopped

4 – 5 garlic cloves, minced

1 TSP shoyu

½ TSP toasted sesame seeds

6 Inari

Drain Inari well (if using canned ones used for making sushi). Mix the first four ingredients; set aside. Open tofu pockets and stuff with spoonfuls of the mix. Place on foil and in a broiler for 4 minutes. Flip and broil for another 5 minutes.

Pan Fried Taiwanese Sea Bass

1 Taiwanese sea bass steak

2 TSP shoyu

1 TSP sugar

½ TSP sesame oil

1 TSP fresh sliced ginger

Marinate fish in zip-lock bag with all ingredients for 1 hour. Lightly oil frying pan and fry on medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn and fry 4 -5 minutes. Top with sliced green onion.

Daikon Pedistals with Shrimp and Carrots in Bows

1 daikon, peeled

6 ram shrimp, tail on

6 Seasoned Carrots with Spring Onion Bows

4 cups Dashi stock

Cut daikon into 6- 1 ½ inch pieces and drop into boiling dashi stock. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, make your carrots with bows (see recipe). When you have 10 minutes left with the daikon, make your shrimp. For shrimp, salt, pepper and garlic the shrimp, then fry up with 1 tsp of oil.

Arrange diakon on plate. Set 1 bundle of carrots on each daikon. Surround by shrimp. Drizzle Citrus Miso Sauce (see recipe) over. Shake toasted sesame seeds over plate.

Spinach with Peanut Sauce

1 grip of spinach

Peanut sauce

Blanch spinach for 30 seconds in boiling water. Drain and swirl onto plate. Drizzle peanut sauce (see recipe) about.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oven Roasted Brisket with Yam Fries and Pickles

I was out with food coma within 15 minutes of eating this meal...


Preheat oven to 325. Meanwhile, prepare a rub with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, crushed bay leafs, and cumin. Slather it on real good and leave it to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Once it's good, slide it into a Pyrex and pop it in the oven for 2 hours. After 2 hours, drop the temp to 275 for another 2 hours or more. Take it out and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, covered loosely in foil. Slice thinly against the grain.

Yam Fries-

Preheat oven to 500. Peel a good sized yam and cut it into fries. Make a large bowl of ice water and slosh the fries in there about 30 seconds. Rinse for about 1 minute. drain and dry. In a large bowl, glob some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, and mix well. Spray a baking sheet with oil and arrange the fries in a single layer. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning once midway.

BBQ Sauce-

I make my own, but I'm still working on the consistency...a little too thick for my liking, but I hit the taste dead on.

1 onion, minced to almost a paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Whiskey
1/2 Cup Worchestershire
1 Cup Brown sugar
1 can of crushed tomatoes

Fry the onion for 5 minutes, then add garlic for 30 seconds. Add whiskey, then everything else. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 1 hour or more. I'm thinking of either leaving the tomatoes out, or adding a much smaller amount. Give it a shot and let me know.


~ Brock

Algerian Chermoula

Algerian Chermoula is an awesome quick fix for flavor!!

You like a little spice in your life and food's a good way to get it. This mixture doubles as a marinade or topping. I'm gonna try it on a nice cod or some other white fish, but for a quick appetizer, I made it for french bread with Brie.

Full pack of cilantro
2-3 small red peppers
olive oil - 2tsp
juice from 1/2 lime
1 TSP toasted cumin seeds (dry toast in a skillet)
4-5 cloves garlic

Drop it all in your food processor and pulse until it looks appealing.

Check out this guy's recipe...he has a different take on it.

Happy Eating!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Recipes From The Scrutiny

Back in 2004, 2005, and 2006, I worked on a food and wine blog, The Scrutiny, with a buddy of mine. I posted a large number of great recipes on there you should check out, like my Cuban Sandwich, Chinese Salty-sticky Rice, and mushroom and cream pasta.

Check it out.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Inconsistencies on Reports Over Streaming Royalties

On September 23, Betanews reported that the agreement reached between DiMA, NMPA, RIAA and others concerning streaming royalties put a cap of 10.5% "less performance royalties." Betanews reported that the "performance royalties" referred to was for sound recordings. Billboard, on the other hand, claims that the performance royalties referred to in the agreement are for "compositions." That's a BIG difference. Which is it?

We need to see the agreement or details on it.

Mechanical Royalty Rates Frozen by Copyright Royalty Board

The National Music Publisher's Association (NMPA) announced this afternoon that the US Copyright Royalty Board ruled today that mechanical royalty rates will not increase- they will stay at $.091 per song for physical CDs and downloads for the next five years. Apparently, this decision was largely influenced by Apple's recent claim that it would shut iTunes down if the rate increase occurred. This is MAJOR news for everyone involved, because the rate has been in a state of somewhat uncertainty for about two years. Reports of the decision abound online.

An ancillary ruling was that ringtones will incur a mechanical royalty of $.24 (this is a first for ringtones), and publishers may now charge a 1.5% late fee for past due royalties (also a first under the statutory scheme).

Publishers may cry foul (they wanted more). Songwriters may cry foul (they wanted more). David Israelite, NMPA's CEO claims this as a victory for songwriters (I guess he was scared the CRJs might eliminate mechanical royalties or something). Apple is (for now) content, but the most direct benefit of this ruling is for the consuming will help keep music costs down.

Next time you go to iTunes to buy music, be thankful the price didn't just go up.


Mechanical Royalties Could Make History Today (and so might iTunes)

The Copyright Royalty Board is expected to increase the statutory mechanical rate by roughly $.04 today. If it does, Apple claims it will shut down iTunes. That's because Apple will foot the tab that increases the amount of income to songwriters. Apple claims that it won't raise its song rate above $.99 to absorb the new cost, so it would rather shut down.

Hmmm...that's a good one. It holds what, 80% of the digital market? I'd say that's a pretty big bluff. In reality, it probably gives Apple a good reason to change up the pricing scheme to make labels a little happier, since they seem to be pissed that Apple established a monopoly in the digital music market and dropped the value of music so much....without label input as to price.

Either way, it's expected to be a huge day in the music world and I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chicken Skewers

Quick and simple. Tasty and healthy. These chicken skewers fit the bill and take about 15 minutes of energy to make. Here's the plan:

About 10 chicken tenders
1/4 C soy sauce
2 TSP sesame oil
1/8 sugar
1 TSP ground ginger

Place it all in a zip lock bag and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take it out and let it warm up for 15 minutes or so.

If you have an indoor electric grill, us it. Otherwise, I use a cast iron griddle (ridged side). Cook about 7 minutes on each side or until done.

These are great with sweet chili sauce.



Internet Radio Getting Closer to Solving Royalty Problem

Internet radio stations are getting closer to solving their problem of royalty rates. For quite a while, the concern has been that the current proposed royalties would put every single independent radio station out of business, leaving only the 'corporate' trash. CNET reports that the Webcaster Settlement Act passed the House and Senate and is on its way to the President. It doesn't answer the royalty question, but it permits the involved parties to negotiate an agreement towards a lower rate. They have until February 2009.

What will the new rates be? It's anyone's guess, but at least we know it will be lower than the rates everyone's worrying about now. That is, unless the parties don't reach an agreement.