Thursday, August 14, 2008

For Natalie (Book Club Recipes!)

Last night I hosted our girls' monthly book club at my house, and naturally I used it as an excuse to try out some of the tasty-looking recipes I have been collecting off of various blogs! My friend Natalie asked for the recipes, so here they are! This first one is a recipe I got from my coworker. It is SOOOOO good. The recipe makes a lot, and is great for a party! It's the perfect summer salad - it tastes just like a California Roll!

Sushi "California Roll" Salad

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons rice vinegar* (not seasoned)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (preferably unhulled*)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled ginger*
4 scallions, cut lengthwise into thin 1-inch strips (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1 large seedless cucumber (about 1 pound), quartered lengthwise,
cored, and chopped
2 sheets nori (paper-thin sheets of dried seaweed)*
1 avocado (preferably California)
1/4 pound surimi (mock crab legs) if desired, sliced thin

For dressing
2 teaspoons wasabi (Japanese green horseradish) powder*
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons ginger juice (squeezed from freshly grated gingerroot)

*available at Asian markets, natural foods stores, and some supermarkets

Into a large saucepan of salted boiling water stir rice and boil
10 minutes. Drain rice in a colander and rinse. Set colander over a kettle of boiling water (rice should not touch water) and steam rice, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, 10 to
15 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).

While rice is steaming, in a small saucepan bring 1/4 cup vinegar to a boil with sugar and salt, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and remove from heat. In a dry small skillet toast sesame seeds over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and fragrant and transfer to a small bowl.

Transfer rice to a large bowl and stir in vinegar mixture. Cool rice and stir in sesame seeds, remaining 3 tablespoons vinegar, oil, ginger, scallions, carrot, and cucumber. Salad may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before proceeding.

Dry-roast nori, 1 sheet at a time, directly above moderate heat (gas or electric burner), holding it at opposite corners and moving it back and forth, until it turns bright green, 30 seconds to 1 minute. With scissors cut nori into thin 2-inch-long strips.

Peel and pit avocado. Quarter avoado and cut crosswise into thin slices. Add avocado to salad with surmimi if using and two thirds of nori strips and toss well.

Make dressing:
In a small bowl stir wasabi powder into hot water and stir in cold water, soy sauce, and ginger juice.

Serve salad sprinkled with remaining nori strips and drizzled with dressing.

July 1994


This next recipe I got from Picky Palate. These little Turkey Club Sandwiches were delicious!
I ended up bringing all the leftovers to work today and gobbled them right up! The brie cheese, arugula, and fig preserves really added a unique touch to an otherwise ordinary sandwich.


I found this recipe for Mediterranean Bruschetta on my friend Kat's blog. They looked so yummy and original, I had to try them! They were quite a hit, though I still have plenty to nibble on when I get home! :)


This Squash and Zucchini Tart looked delicious over at Cooking and Booking. Turns out it is a version of Ratatouille. I DO like tomatoes, so I made one tart with them and one without. I thought it was good, though I think I like the veggies better on their own than with a crust. I have a bunch of leftover squash slices, so I think I'll fry them up with a light flour coating, salt, pepper, and some olive oil. Mmm...


Anyhow, thanks for coming last night, girls! I had a great time! :)

1 comment:

arugula afficinado said...

those toothpicks are awesome. when i was little i used to take those "fancy" toothpicks home. i'm not quite sure why b/c i always ended up throwing them away.