Ever wonder how I got my name - Nicole Sauce? It's from the band... Played around with Windows Movie Maker - it was one of the most frustrating two days of my life. Every change I made, I had to restart the program, so the transitions are not exactly as I would like, but here is Sauce's first video...
OK, I am playing around with YouTube and thought I would embed this video for kicks - unfortunately the song cuts off at three minutes. Or maybe that's fortunately . Sushi Days to continue soon...
Since the key to great sushi, besides finding the fish, is getting the rice just right, I usually start the day by making Inarisushi. This is a fried bean curd pocket stuffed with rice.
The folks over at Electric Gourmet actually explain how to do this from scratch, but I just buy the pre-seasoned, fried, canned version. They also have some interesting rice preparation tips, but I try to keep sugar out of most things and make my rice as follows (No steamer here):
Making Sushi Rice
- Read the package to find the proper ratio of rice to water.My package calls for 1.25 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. It also says that one cup of rice yields enough rolls for two people. After rolling most of the yield from cooking two cups of rice, THREE of us decided that they meant two large and very hungry railroad workers. The leftovers fed me lunch AND dinner the next day.
- Wash and drain the rice until no more milky white liquid pours off.
- Combine rice and proper amount of water in a sauce pan.If you feel like adding 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar to each cup of rice, put the vinegar in the measuring cup first, then finish off the measurement with water.
- Cook rice and water on high until it boils, stir it to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan, then reduce heat to low and set time for 20 minutes.On some electric stoves, I turn the burner off because it retains so much heat that simply bringing the rice to a boil, then turning off the burner is enough.
- Cool rice by running it under cold water or cooling it in the fridge.Some people warn of cooling rice in the fridge, but I have never had a problem. I just make sure it is well covered so it doesn’t dry out.
- Fluff the rice. Once the rice is done, check it for consistency.
Good sushi rice is sticky, but not gummy or TOO sticky. If it is gummy, you probably cooked it too long. If it is too sticky, reduce the amount of water you use.
Inarisushi the easy way
- 1 can of pre-made bean curd wrappers
- 1 cup rice
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
Mix the vinegar with the cooked rice. Stuff rice into the bean curd pockets, fold the flaps in to close the pocket, and place on a tray with the fold side down.
Tip: If I am going to refrigerate these for later use, I drizzle the extra bean curd marinate over them to keep the moisture in
Fried Bean Curd Pockets
Stuff the rice into the pocket - do not press too hard or the pocket will tear.
Fold the flaps down.
Place the Inarisushi on the tray with the folded side down.
A little something to get us in the mood for sushi…
Bellaire Rd. Home to Houston’s Chinatown. In this part of town, even the road signs are translated.
Richard (my temporary roommate) and I hit the Welcome Market, which caters to the Chinese population here and found enough stuff to try a Japanese favorite: Sushi.
The Basics for Rolling Sushi
- Sake (Sushi is just no fun without it)
- Nori (The roasted seaweed sheets you roll sushi in)
- Sushi rice (Always best to have the right kind of rice)
- Soy sauce
- Wasabi in a tube (I am too lazy to make it from powder this weekend)
- Rice vinegar
- Plastic Wrap
- A bamboo rolling pad
- Cheap Nori is harder to roll than expensive Nori, but the most expensive Nori is also not the best to roll with. Get smaller amounts of different brands and decide for yourself which you like best.
- If you coat your bamboo roller in plastic wrap, it is way easier to clean later.
- There are many flavors of Sake and some are served warm, others cold. If you have the change, get several small bottles of different grades to try them out.
- Sushi really is best made with Sushi rice – and you need to cook it right or you will have a rolling challenge. A rice steamer gets the best results, but following are instructions for making it in a pot since I have no steamer in our temporary Houston dwelling.
I am still laughing over this post from Lannae's blog.
By Nicole Williams / in Recipe / January 18, 2008
That's right. Houston. For 4-6 months. The country livin' dream is on hold for a little while.
Mark drove me down here and helped me settle in, then took the car back up to the Holler leaving me in Houston with Mighty the Cat and a bicycle. While together, Mark and I managed to try a few Mexican places and discovered the lovely green salsa of Houston.
From the Homesick Texan's blog, a recipe for this divine creation:
Ninfa’s Green Sauce
3 medium-sized green tomatoes, coarsely chopped (you can substitute yellow if you can’t find green ones, but never use red)
4 tomatillos, cleaned and chopped
1 to 2 jalapenos, stemmed and coarsely chopped
3 small garlic cloves
3 medium-sized ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
4 sprigs cilantro
1 tsp. of salt
1 1/2 cups of sour cream
Combine chopped tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (tomatoes provide the liquid), reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Place tomato mixture with the avocados, cilantro and salt in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a bowl and stir in sour cream.
Makes 4 to 5 cups
Looks like we'll try to make this in the Holler soon! I am happy to see that it does indeed include avocados. I was starting to get an identity crisis each time I tried to call this yummy sauce "Guacamole" and got corrected.
Photo from Wikimedia who states the following: Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
Once again, it is time to bake a chess pie as we are invited to a friend's house for dinner. This is my favorite recipe from about.com:
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon white cornmeal
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
PREPARATION:Whisk together the eggs, sugar, melted butter, cornmeal, buttermilk, salt, and vanilla. Blend well and pour into an unbaked 9-inch pastry shell. Bake in at 375° on the bottom rack of the oven for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake 20 minutes longer.
The only adjustments I make are to cut sugar content in half and add 1 shot of bourbon. It is a hit every time!
In anticipation of an upcoming co-cooking event with two new Nashville friends, we brought two racks of lamb into town from the Holler. Unfortunately, with the holidays in full force, we have not managed to get together to cook the racks.
In honor of a certain birthday boy, lamb ended up on the menu for the evening. Much to my surprise, there was another two racks of lamb kicking around in the freezer. I am not certain how our lamb ended up with four sets of ribs, but we will leave that musing to another day.
I decided to try this recipe: Roasted Rack of Lamb.
Trimming the meat was a little weird and it seemed like I was cutting away some good chunks of meat, but it looked right when it was done.
Using the above recipe, I first caramelized onions, added a dash of red wine, then seared off the lamb. We had to cook it for about 23 minutes until it reached 130 degrees. Because our lamb is free range and grass fed, it has less fat than other sheep. Therefore we added fat in the form of two strips of bacon. Pigs meat sheep. j/k
It got served on a bed of cabbage with a potato carrot puree. It was fabulous.
Potato Carrot Puree
- 3 potatoes (squared)
- 4 carrots (squared)
- 1 onion (squared)
- 1 tablespoon dill
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- Enough water to cover the squared veggies
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons cream
Combine all ingredients except the cream, turmeric and dill in a sauce pan and simmer for about 25 minutes or until finished. Add turmeric and dill and simmer for 5 more minutes. Pour into blender, add cream and puree. Salt to taste.
Since this is a cooking AND technology blog, it is time for a little rant.
In the role of hiring manager on behalf of one of my clients, I recently posted a part time job announcement. I got many resumes from people who had clearly not even bothered to go to the website of the company to see what the place does. Worse, the cover letters I received were mostly canned ones. Many applicants did not go so far as to bother to customize their canned letters. They left the terms "your company" and "the position" as is, rather than to translate them into the actual company name and position name.
As a hiring manager, I infinitely prefer the 4-5 sentence email explaining why the applicant wants to work at OUR company over some stupid canned collection of meaningless words that some professional job coach thinks will get you an interview. It won't with me.
COME ON FOLKS!
If we are going to pay you $15 or $20 per hour for a job that a temp agency would give you $8.50 to do, is it not worth your time to put a little work into a cover letter?!
Maybe go to the website and learn about what we do?