- Cook a half package of brown rice fettuccine according to instructions. This is about a handful of dry noodles, which was enough for 3 people for a breakfast, or maybe 2 people for lunch/dinner.
- In the meantime, combine in a large bowl: 1/4 cup unsalted organic peanut butter, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of honey (or brown sugar), 1 minced garlic clove, 2 thinly chopped scallions, juice of 2 limes, chili oil (or sesame oil) to taste, red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste.
- Totally optional, but you can also crack a raw free-range egg into this mixture, or put in a dollop of mayonnaise for extra richness. This morning I used some leftover chipotle mayonnaise.
- When the noodles finish cooking (about 10-12 minutes), drain, rinse, and combine with the sauce mixture. You may need to add some of the cooking water to thin out the sauce.
- Serve with fresh basil, mint, or other fresh herbs or greens that you have around. We had basil and mint this morning. We just ripped up the leaves and mixed them in with our noodles.
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.
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)
1 bunch of rainbow Swiss chard, sliced into ribbons
1 handful of fresh shiitake, sliced
Salt & Pepper
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.
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.
Above: Dinner with Ideas participants around the table. Below: Robb models some miso masala leftovers in a reused coconut manna jar.
This is my first foray into cooking here in Rio where I integrate Brazilian and Japanese influences.
Broccoli and cauliflower florets
Thin slice of alcatra (rumpsteak)
1 small onion, chopped
1 handful of sliced shiitake
1 garlic clove, minced
Tablespoon of soy sauce
Tablespoon of brandy
Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of French grain mustard
Dash of hot paprika
Hot sauce to taste
Freshly ground mixed pepper (black, white, pink, and green peppercorns) to taste – substitute black pepper if that is all you have
Salt to taste
1. Boil broccoli and cauliflower florets in salted water until tender, set aside and keep warm. Reserve some of the water and set aside.
2. Season both sides of the alcatra with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a saucepan and coat generously with olive oil.
4. Sear the steak on both sides. Since the steak is thin, one minute per side is sufficient for medium rare.
5. Remove steak from saucepan and set aside.
6. Using the same pan and oil, add chopped onions, stir and scrape the meat bits to incorporate into the onion and oil mixture. Sauté until the onions wilt and begin to brown.
7. Add the garlic and shiitake and sauté until the mushrooms cook through. Then add the remaining seasonings. Dilute with some of the vegetable cooking water if the mixture gets too dry.
8. Cook the mixture until it reduces to a saucy consistency. If you want to be really fancy, you can whisk in a bit of cold butter, but that is optional.
9. Serve on a plate with the steak, vegetables and sauce on top.
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.