Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tofu tuna patties and mashed..... What?

So my very good friend Professor P wants me to go on her primal / paleo type diet. Somehow, she bullied convinced me into trying it for just 30 days. It's only a month! Well, it's been 4 days and dammit, I want a Cup O'Noodle! Don't judge.

Anyways (I'm paraphrasing here), the whole point is to avoid grains, sugar and processed foods (including soy). Therefore, you have to cook your own food. Wut? o.O Not that I mind it, I really get bored of leftovers, like more than once, and I'm bored. I'm taking a lot of liberties and I think Prof P is letting me slide and ease into it for the first month by letting me have my soy and my cheese. CHEESE!

So, last night, I made some comfort food, tofu tuna patties. I mostly followed the recipe I found here:
http://cookinghawaiianstyle.com/hawaiian-recipes?view=recipes&layout=detail&id=828
But I eliminated the sugar and the ginger. I remember when we made this at home, we would dry the tofu by squeezing it in a dish towel, but I went the compression way with a heavy bottle of water. The tofu definitely needs to be dry to make this hold together; I really should have gone with the dish towel method but I didn't want tofu bits stuck in the towel loops. This came out a bit sweeter than I remember, but maybe it was the oyster sauce. I don't know if we put any seasonings in these, but we did eat them with shoyu (soy sauce). Something to ask mommy.

But here are the patties!


Normally, I'd nom these with rice, but no rice! GAAAAAAAH what will I do? I found recipes online for cauliflower rice, but I was honestly too lazy to put the food processor together so I went with mashed cauliflower instead. Let me preface this by saying I am not a fan of cauliflower just because it smells funky. You know what I mean. I've cooked it before (bf from Holland loved it so I pulled it off one day).

There are a ton of variations between recipes, so this is what I did:

1 head cauliflower, washed, drained and cut into florets (the bigger ones I cut into quarters and I also peeled the tough outer skin off most of it)

Put florets into 8"x8" glass baking dish (the one for brownies), cover tightly with cling film and microwave for 10 minutes. No water, no salt. Kind of watch it towards the end so the cauliflower doesn't burn and be careful when removing the cling film for the steam. Poke one of the larger pieces with a fork, it should be soft enough where the fork slips in (called "fork tender").

Throw some butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder on and whizz that cauliflower with a stick blender! I recommend moving the cauliflower from the baking dish to a bowl so you can blend it properly instead of making a mess all over like I did. :) Hehehehehe

I didn't add anything like milk, cream cheese or sour cream. Just that damn cauliflower! How does it taste? pretty damn good! Nothing like cauliflower and it doesn't smell like feet. Wut? It's a bit sweeter than mashed potatoes, but it has a nice texture once it's been blended and it's creamy. I can imagine how good this would be as a baked potato substitute with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions and bacon bits! Hmmmmm :)



So yup, 26 more days to go......................

Monday, September 10, 2012

Misoyaki butterfish

Sorry, it's been a while since I blogged; I completely blame my Google+ addiction.

I rarely cook for myself, but this is something that if I want it, I have to make it. Luckily, here in Hawaii, I can buy this ready-to-cook in the Japanese food store, but it's really easy to do yourself as long as you can wait 72 hours ;)

Here's the typical recipe, I picked this link because he has pictures and an explanation of what butterfish is:
http://onokinegrindz.typepad.com/ono_kine_grindz/2004/06/imbb_misoyaki_b.html

I always grew up calling it butterfish, but from reading on the interwebz, it might be called black cod outside of Hawaii. It's an oily fish with a distinctive fish taste. I'm thinking if you don't like salmon, you probably won't like this. It's much oilier than salmon. It sometimes reminds me of unagi. The bones are large enough where you wouldn't accidentally eat them and it's better to cook the fish on the bone so your filet remains a filet. Fillet? Too early. You'll find this in many bento boxes along with a piece of chicken katsu or roast pork.

I prefer to bake mine in a foil lined pan for ease of clean-up. Burnt sugary miso is near impossible to get off a  pan. I lined the pan with foil, added sliced onions (I absofreakinglutely LOVE cooked onions), sprinkled the onions with salt, pepper and a splash of soy sauce, then plopped the miso butterfish on top. I added a bit of water and covered the pan with another foil sheet so the fish would steam. Put it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes so it would cook through (I don't like my butterfish rare, it's a squishy texture thing). Once the fish and the onions appeared cooked, I cranked on the broiler to high and made roasty-toasty caramelization on the top. The burnt bits are really good. You don't need the onions, I just LOVE onions so I added them because I know they would help keep the butterfish from sticking and I would have vegetables to eat. I really wanted a garden salad, but meh, such is life. I poured the pan drippings all over everything once done.

Yeah, it's not the prettiest, but if you had to make a monochrome meal, this would be it ;)