Salmon Loaf

I had salmon for dinner the other night, and while I was looking for a new way to prepare it I came across several recipes for salmon loaf. This one sounded the most flavorful.

Salmon Loaf

Salmon loaf 1

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 3/4 ounce) can pink salmon, drained and flaked
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, finely shredded
  • 25-30 saltine crackers, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 to 11/2 tsp dried tarragon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Remove the skin and bones from the salmon, if desired. I like the extra flavor and texture so I leave them in.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the salmon, onion, garlic, spinach, and crackers. Add the sour cream, milk, and tarragon, and mix well.
  4. Scoop the salmon mixture into prepared loaf pan and pat down until firm. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, broiling for a few minutes at the end if you’d like more color on the top. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before digging in.

This dish is best when eaten within a few days of making it… some of the flavors change as it sits in the fridge, and I’ve found that it doesn’t taste quite as good.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Healthy Across America.

Pickled Shrimp

Though I’ve been quite busy, it’s been mostly laziness that’s kept me from cooking these past few weeks. I haven’t been feeling much culinary inspiration and haven’t wanted to put in the effort required to find recipes I like and go shopping for ingredients. I’m living with my parents during my VISTA term (which ends in like 5 weeks!!) which means that they do most of the grocery shopping, but I often (inconveniently) need ingredients right before or after their grocery trip.

When I first found this recipe I was intrigued, but also a little weirded out. I’ve pickled stuff before, but pickled shrimp just seemed so strange, perhaps because I’d never heard of it here in the good ol’ Midwest. I was going to try this recipe out at a party I hosted a few weeks back, but was unsure of how it would turn out and didn’t have all of the ingredients at the time. Well, I finally got around to trying it and it turned out great. The shrimp were bright and tart, and delicious. I’m sure they’ll taste even better after sitting in the fridge for the next few days (if they last that long).

Pickled Shrimp

Pickled Shrimp 1

 

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup capers with their juices
  • 1 tbsp Mrs. Dash seasoning
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Splash of hot sauce
  • 12 oz cooked shrimp (I used frozen shrimp and defrosted in cool water)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except for the shrimp.
  2. Add the shrimp and mix well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least of 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve chilled..

Source: Adapted from the kitchn

Onigiri

I’m prone to massive Japanese food cravings at odd hours, and had one for onigiri recently. Onigiri are rice balls,

made from white rice formed into triangular or oval shapes and often wrapped in nori (seaweed). Traditionally, an onigiri is filled with pickled ume (umeboshi), salted salmon, katsuobushi, kombu, tarako, or any other salty or sour ingredient as a natural preservative. Because of the popularity of onigiri in Japan, most convenience stores stock their onigiri with various fillings and flavors.

By typester from Kamakura, Kanagawa (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

When I was in Japan I remember seeing  displays of onigiri, similar to the one above,  in convenience stores. I ate onigiri pretty often as it was cheap and tasty, and our food budget was quite small.

Onigiri

IMGP2405

Ingredients

Sushi rice (may be labeled sushi rice or Calrose rice)
Water (to cook rice)
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
Nori
Sesame seeds and/or furikake
Filling options: tuna, salmon, wasabi paste, pickled plums, bonito flakes, kombu (sea kelp), and/or whatever else you think sounds good.

Instructions

  1. Follow the directions on the bag of rice regarding washing and cooking rice. Allow the rice to cool enough so that you can handle it.
  2. Combine cup of water and salt – this will help keep the rice from sticking to your hands.
  3. Dampen your hands in salted water and divide the rice into however many onigiri you’d like to make.
  4. If you want to fill the onigiri, divide each portion into two and create a dimple in the rice. Put your filling of choice in the dimple, and cover with the remaining rice. Mold into whatever shape you’d like – triangles are common.
  5. Wrap the onigiri with nori right before serving so it doesn’t get soggy (believe me – it’s not pretty). You can sprinkle with seasonings now or just before serving.
  6. If making to serve later, wrap tightly in plastic wrap to keep them together, and store in refrigerator.

Check out this great onigiri-making tutorial, complete with pictures.

 

I didn’t have much luck with these – they kind of fell apart on me. But they tasted delicious, and it’s definitely something I will try again in the future.

Source: Inspired by SeriousEats and Allrecipes

 

Pickled Ginger and California Roll Bowl

I’ve found that it’s hard to be very imaginative when using imitation crab meat, so I went looking for some recipes and found one for a California Roll Bowl. It called for pickled ginger, and I being a pickling virgin and having so much fresh stuff sitting on the counter,  decided to make my own.

Pickled Ginger

Pickled Ginger

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces of fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt,
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar

Instructions

  1. You can cut the ginger into chunks and wait until after they’re pickled  to slice them, but I prefer cutting them fairly thin before pickling them, so I used a mandoline (and ended up cutting my finger : ( ). Sprinkle with sea salt, stir to coat and let stand for about 30 minutes. Transfer the ginger to a clean jar(s).
  2. In a saucepan, stir together the rice vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then carefully pour the boiling liquid over the ginger root pieces in the jar(s), splitting up equally if using more than one jar.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool, then put the lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator for at least one week.

Source: Adapted from AllRecipes.com

 California Roll Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup imitation crab meat, chopped
  • 2/3 cup cucumber, peeled, sliced, and cut into approximately matchstick-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado, diced
  • About 1 tsp pickled ginger, chopped
  • 3 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • a bit of wasabi paste (optional)
  • Garnishes: sesame seeds, nori and/or furikake seasoning

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl, adding avocado last so it does not turn to mush when mixed. Sprinkle garnishes on top and serve.

Source: Adapted from SparkRecipes