Scallops, Swiss Chard, Shiitake, Macadamia Yuzukosho Dressing

scallops with warm chard shiitake salad

I improvised this Japanese-inspired scallop recipe for a weekend lunch last week with some super fresh local scallops I got from Fresh Direct. My mom sent me a huge box of oranges from Arizona, so you will see that I will be sneaking orange into my recipes this month. The recipe below serves two.

Ingredients
6 large dry sea scallops
Juice and zest of 2 oranges
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons of miso (use white miso or a mild brown miso)
1 handful of roasted macadamia nuts (I got these in Hawai’i when I was there last month)
1/2 teaspoon of yuzukoshō
1 scallion, chopped
1 dash of turmeric powder (optional, it gives the dressing a nice color and it’s good for you)
Olive Oil
1 bunch of rainbow Swiss chard, sliced into ribbons
1 handful of fresh shiitake, sliced
Butter
Salt & Pepper

Method
1. Wash the scallops, pat dry, and generously salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Prepare the dressing in a blender using the following ingredients: citrus juice and zest, miso, macadamia nuts, yuzukoshō, scallion, and a glug of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a pan and add a bit of olive oil. Sauté the shiitake until they start to take on some color. Then add the chard and stir until it starts to wilt. Turn off heat and set aside.
4. Sear the scallops in plenty of butter.
5. Divide the chard the shiitake mixture onto two plates. Top with 3 scallops each. Drizzle some of the dressing on top. Serve immediately.

Miso Masala Stew

misomasala

I improvised a big pot of this hearty vegan stew for Dinner with Ideas, which I hosted at my place last weekend. The photo above doesn’t really do the dish justice, but it was the only shot I remembered to take.

In any case, like most of my recipes, no precise measurements here, but basically it’s a pretty standard Indian-style dal base crossed with a blast of Japanese umami. Here’s how to recreate it at home (this recipe feeds 10-12 people):

0. Before you start, cook about 1 rice-cooker cup each of steel cut oatmeal and brown rice in a rice cooker with plenty of water. You can do this the day before.

1. Sauté 3 chopped onions in plenty of oil (I used a mix of coconut and extra virgin olive oil). Take your time with this, it can take 30-40 minutes on a medium heat. The onions should be golden brown before you proceed.

2. Toast and grind up about 2 tablespoons of dhaba masala and mash up in a mortar and pestle with a good handful each of fresh ginger and garlic. Toss this mixture in with the onions and fry until the garlic takes on a roasted (and not raw) flavor.

3. Add in a big can of chopped tomatoes, some chili peppers and paprika to taste. Also add about a handful of chopped, reconstituted dried shiitake and a piece of kombu. Stir for a bit to combine and let brown/reduce.

4. Add 2.5 cups of dried red lentils and the pre-cooked brown rice and oatmeal. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 45-minutes to an hour or more.

5. When the lentils are nice and soft, add 2 bunches of kale sliced into ribbons as well as 3 heaping teaspoons of good quality miso (the miso is salty, so don’t over salt beforehand. Stir and cook until wilted.

6. Before serving, add a bit of something acid to bring all the flavors to life even more. You can use one or more of the following: fresh squeezed lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and/or some Sonomic vinegar. Adjust spices to taste. Top with some minced scallions and/or cilantro.

Dinner with Ideas

Above: Dinner with Ideas participants around the table. Below: Robb models some miso masala leftovers in a reused coconut manna jar.

robb models miso masala

 

Weird Ghetto Umami Dinner


Ok, I’m going to share my ghetto umami dinner tonight: Canned octopus in olive oil (drained), lime juice, a squirt of organic mayo, a dab of Grey Poupon, a clove of chopped garlic, a shake each of smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper. Washed down with a glass of box wine left over from Justin, my housesitter when I was in Brazil. It tastes like the ugly bastard stepchild of some weird Japanese izakaya fusion creation meets the kind of midnight munchies food I used to make with Caio in Barcelona back in the day. There is also the right kind of tender octopussy goodness that reminds me of the awesome octopus moqueca I had in Itaparica, Bahia last month with the kids from Capoeira Angola Quintal.

BareBurger Review

I wrote this review of Bare Burger in the Village on Yelp back in September, but it got filtered for some reason.  I’m not a frequent Yelper, but I am a real person.  #AlgorithmFail!

Finally, Bare Burger in Manhattan!

After nearly two months of making almost weekly treks to the original Bare Burger in Astoria, they have finally opened their Village location. And the quality is just as good.

Even though I visited on their first day, just about everything was up and running smoothly. The space itself is large and airy, with a huge garage door that opens onto a deck of outdoor seating. According to the waiter, almost everything is built from recycled and locally sourced material. The lights, which they get from a local artist, are made of old spoons and glass milk jugs.

I got my old favorite, the grilled pineapple burger with bison, and it was great. The fries and onion rings combo is as delightful as it is greasy. And the shakes, well, are amazing. (I had peanut butter and jelly). Service was prompt and courteous. They made a small mistake with my burger (wrong bun), but they corrected it very quickly, so no big deal.

All in all, I would say Bare Burger is an excellent addition to the local scene. We have plenty of burger places around, but they don’t offer exotic meats like elk or bison and their burgers not organic, which really makes a difference at Bare. Can’t wait to introduce friends who were too lazy to make the trip to Astoria.