A Nice Bistro Inspired Lunch

Well since I am set to move in a few weeks, I am at the point of trying to empty out the refrigerator and freezer to the bare minimum so new ideas and recipes are somewhat based on what meats/fishes I may already have versus just going to the store and grabbing some stuff. This lunch is inspired by both my experiences as well as reading about various bistros and my own wackiness to create a little piece of that at home.

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Yes I know, I am missing the typical carafe of water that many bistros leave on the table. Will have to change that one soon 🙂  I went with an in between not too fancy, not too drab set-up and since I already had the chalkboard for kid’s photo-shoots it provided the proper touch as numerous European bistros utilize them as menu tablets in part due to the fact of an often changing menu based upon local food/produce available at the time.

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And now, on to the part you all want to hear about…the food.

The main entree was a Ribeye steak which I had rubbed with salt, pepper and coated with very small diced up pieces of squash (a nice fall take). I then put the oven on broil at 250 and put in to my liking (I don’t know about you but I am a medium-rare kind of guy). Towards the end, I then put on some pieces of shaved Grana Padano to further enhance the flavors of the crust.

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On to the side dishes. In the bowl I had created a simple blend of fresh spinach leaves sauteed in butter with some pine nuts and fresh squeezed lemon. For the second side dish, I created a mashed yam concept done with the addition of pumpkin seed oil and a honey based glaze on top.

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Some Japanese Noodles, some Shrimp, and a creamy sauce- Converging Cuisines

Sometimes you have to break away from the ordinary or the normal traditional way of making a dish to get what you are looking for. In this particular instance, I used Japanese Soba noodles but made a dish with a European flare.

Sometimes I like to make rich hearty sauces, however I don’t always want to bog it down with some form of heavy pasta. In this particular case while rummaging through the cabinets, I came across a package of these Japanese Soba noodles. These turned out to be a good choice for numerous reasons- they were nice, light, and thin, and also they only had to be in boiling water for about 6 minutes and they were done.

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For meal prep, I started by peeling the shrimp and asparagus and then tossed the shrimp in first with some clarified butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice, coriander seeds, and chopped basil leaves. Partway through I then added the asparagus and cooked until tender. This combination I then put on the side until further use.

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The sauce was rather quick, rather simple. A base of heavy cream, I then thinly cut up some Asiago and after making it into small cubes I tossed it in the heavy cream. I also added some lemon juice, cracked peppercorn, capers, and smoked ham (cut into very small pieces)- used the ham almost in the sense as some recipes call for anchovies where its just to add that salty flavoring but here also a little smokiness.

Proceeded to cook on medium heat until it started to thicken up a little bit all while stirring. At this point, I then added into the mix the shrimp and asparagus combination and cooked for a few more minutes until everything was hot. Then Put some noodles on the plate, scooped some of the combination on top and used a spoon to add some extra sauce.

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Enjoy.

No recipes- Just some Sushi

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This post is really just to display some various sushi rolls and types. Mixed variety of tuna, salmon, ans scallop rolls with various vegetables as well as vegetable rolls with some mango as well as some sashimi with salmon caviar.

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Enjoy.

Fall-Seasonal Crab Cakes

If you had missed my post from the start of the weekend pertaining to Wolffish stuffed with crab and a nice crab-horseradish sauce, you can find it here. With the crab meat which was leftover, I decided to make some crab cakes, but tailor them to a more fall like flavor.

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I wanted to go with more earthy, hearty type flavors so I went with some crushed pistachios to start and added in some acorn squash (I had sauteed first with some oil, onion, and green pepper minced up).

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Other seasonings I had used included sea salt, cracked peppercorn, fresh rosemary and basil, and some ground mustard. To hold the shape I mixed egg directly into the batter and formed balls in my hand. Unlike some traditional forms which use breadcrumbs throughout, I formed the cakes first and then coated only the outside with plain breadcrumbs. I then proceeded to saute in a pan with a combination of olive/grapeseed oil.

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The rolls (which were purchased from my local Wegman’s bakery) were a nice hearty pretzel roll. For a sauce, I combined fresh horseradish root, some mayo, some cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, and blended together to make a nice aoli style topping. I also accented the sandwich with some radicchio lettuce.

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Enjoy.

Wolffish with some Crab and Asparagus

Not too long ago on one of my trips through Trader Joe’s, I had stumbled upon a fish that I do not typically see all too often- Norwegian Wolffish. The last place I recall seeing this on the menu was a while back at BoneFish Grill where they have it with creamed spinach, etc.

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For my liking, I had taken the filet and stuffed it with a combination of crab meat, flaked asiago cheese, salt, pepper, and some lemon juice. I then pan seared it in some oil on both sides and baked on low heat.

In a small saucepan, I chopped up some fresh horseradish, added some basil, rosemary, crabmeat, and olive oil and sauteed for a few minutes. I then added in some heavy cream and made into a sauce to top the fish off.

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Next on the menu was the side dish. I went a tad out of the box on this and utilized both asparagus as well as “smoked bacon.” The smoked bacon is not bacon like grocery store style but actual slab piece of pork put into a smoker- really does not need to be cooked at all. I wrapped the asparagus in the smoked bacon (after I had peeled the asparagus) and cooked until tender. I then removed the asparagus, diced the pork into smaller pieces and added some citrusy accents to then pour over the asparagus.

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Overall, a nice combination of flavors having the strong flavors of the horseradish and asiago with the fish and crab and some citrusy and salty combinations paired with the asparagus.

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Enjoy.

Soon to come—crab cakes with the extra crabmeat 🙂

Hybrid Danish

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Hybrid Danish

Just a quick picture of my hybrid danish/scone. Utilizes a dough more utilized with scones but I added the touch of a cherry jam/mascarpone mixture which is more reminiscent of a danish. Nice meal whether its a day like today- a little cooler and some rain Or tomorrow- may have some sunshine and can sit outside and enjoy it with a cup of coffee.

Salmon Risotto

The other day I was in the mood for Salmon but was thinking of different solutions to make it a bit differently as a dish. At first I was thinking some variation of a creamy pasta dish but when I saw the Arborio rice in the cabinet my mind just clicked.

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Usually for me in the past, when it comes to risotto I typically stayed away from the heavy, rich variations that have become the norm even though very traditional risotto is not prepared that way. However, for this I made the exception.

After heating up the risotto the first liquid addition was 1 1/4 cup white wine. Subsequent additions was a combination of water and cream (except the last addition which I used a little single malt whiskey- add some smokiness to go with the Salmon).

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Separately, I had prepared the Salmon and Asparagus in an olive oil-garlic based blend with some additional seasoning. In another bowl, I was reconstituting dry Morel mushrooms in some water and heavy cream.

Shortly after my last liquid addition, I threw in the morels as well as the addition of Asiago Cheese that I had diced up into small pieces (when it comes to cheese I typically buy the wedges). A few minutes later, the Salmon and Asparagus were folded into the risotto which was then cooked for a few extra minutes to rid of any excess liquid and to make a nice creamy end point.

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Enjoy.