Friday, December 25, 2009

Miso Soup and Sushi Christmas Lunch

Chestnuts roasting by an open fire.... Not so much

Lunch this year is Miso Soup and Sushi

Miso Soup is very Japanese, but not so common in the U.S.

Exceptionally simple to make, the most important thing is the Miso. We use Hacho Miso, from Eden Organics

6 cups water, bring to boil
Add one leak, sliced thin.
Reduce heat to medium
After 5 minutes, add carrots (I match stick them). Simmer another 5 minutes.
Add 1 lb cubed tofu (I let it drain for an hour before hand), reduce heat to low
After 3 minutes, scoop out some of the broth into a bowl, and mix in 5 tbs of Miso - stir, then add back in.
Simmer for 2 minutes - serve!

Sushi -

First, make the rice in a rice cooker. No rice cooker? Buy one - you will thank me later. Buy one with a real top that locks down - not a glass top one.

Ingredients - well, this is Wisconsin, so no raw tuna (unless you can find someplace that sells frozen sushi grade). We use cooked shrimp, smoked salmon, cream cheese, carrots, cucumber, wasabi, toasted sesame seeds in a variety of combo's.

It's easy to roll - check out you tube

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bandit Pinot Grigio

Other reviews at - my take?

Drinkable. Convenient. Used it in Coquille St. Jacque, and then served the rest with it for our Christmas Eve Dinner. Slightly thin, some mineral, little bit of sweetness in the mid palate. Finish ok. Reasonable acidity, not very fruity (which is ok) not too sweet. Say - an 82

Monday, December 21, 2009

Burrito's as Big as your Head

Tonight is Burrito as big as your head night.

We will pressure cook some chicken thighs
We will convert the left over Red Beans from last night to Refried Beans (add cumin and cook down more)
And make some Chipotle Lime Rice (sort of)

Wrap it all up in Del Rey Burrito tortillas as big as your head (with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and cabbage) it should be great.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Red Beans (and Sweet Potato) and Rice

Well, it's Red Beans and Rice again this weekend - the family loves it.

Somewhat different - Daughter #3 is not a fan of ham/sausage. So, an almost vegetarian version.

I started with this recipe, but added some variations, not the least of which, it may be meatless, but it is not vegetarian.

To start, I like to chop my vegetables - I don't mind if you can see the celery in my RBnR. The onion cooks down, but the celery has a tendency to maintain it's shape and color. That works for me.

Second, I cut the spices way down because my family won't eat it spicy.

Third, and our family favorite - Sweet Potatoes! I add 1 sweet potato, 1 inch dice when cooking. It gets very soft, and starts to disintegrate. It also adds a little sweetness to the RBnR.

And finally, I use chicken stock instead of water. That pretty much kills the vegan thing.

I have never used the liquid smoke before, but it works well in this - i think because usually the ham hock and/or bacon usually carry that. - Side note - Why do so many vegan dishes do things to fake the meat? Answer - because meat is good.

Oh well, I will fry up some smoked sausage to serve on the side - it's all good, my daughter's happy, and so is everyone else.

Red Beans and Rice - truly a great dish.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Red Beans and Ricely Yours

Louis Armstrong signed his letters that way as an ode to N'awlins.

Louisiana is home to a lot of great food, but I have to admit, I love red beans and rice, even if I am a born and bred Wisconsin boy.

A good recipe is here - my changes are...

Use Chicken Stock rather than water
I use Tony Chachere as my seasoning -
I also use Turkey Smoked Sausage (just can't find the real stuff up north)
I prep the beans by bringing them to a boil, then off heat and covered for an hour.
I then drain them and start cooking.

I also serve the hot sauce on the side - the rest of the family is a little shy of heat.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Asia Pacific - Good Chinese Buffet, But...

New Chinese Buffet on the east side of Eau Claire, by JoAnne Fabrics/Office Depot/Office Max.

Excellent selection of food, Sushi Bar included, many seafood dishes for Friday Dinner (shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters, squid,crawfish, salmon, very little of that fake fish stuff) and the food tends to be better prepared than your average buffet. Not sure on the selection during lunch, weekdays.


The second time we were there (Friday night, not crazy busy), the restaurant was not that clean - napkins on floor, food spills in dining area not swept up quickly, entry way muddy (hey, it is wisconsin, but did you ever hear of a mop?)

Makes you worry about the food cleanliness. I will go again because of the huge seafood options and SUSHI BAR, but if it is not clean, I may leave.

Asia Palace on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Arnie's Dog House - Nothing to Bark About

Arnie's in Munster, Indina - not the best place ever for a dog

When in the Chicago area I like to get a dog - hot dog that is. Preferably a double dog (2 dogs, one bun) with everything. AKA Chicago Style. And then Cheese Fries.

I often hit Arnies's, but my last visit was disappointing, to say the least.

Now a real chicago dog has some very specific ingredients - and Arnie's was missing some, replaced others - not good. It should be a steamed all beef hot dog on a poppy seed bun, with:
1. Yellow Mustard - pass
2. Bright Green Relish - fail (not florescent)
3. Fresh Chopped Onions - pass
4. Two Tomato Wedges - fail
5. A Pickle Spear or Slice - pass, but it was on the side, not on the dog
6. Two Sport Peppers - FAIL - they used peperoncini
7. A Dash of Celery Salt - fail

They use Vienna All Beef (or so the sign says), but the overall - pathetic.

And the fries were no hot shakes either.

Arnie's Dog House on Urbanspoon

Good Coffee, TERRIBLE food

Cattails Coffee - Marshfield, WI.

They serve Alterra Coffee - perhaps the second best coffee you can buy (just behind Just Coffee), but if you reversed the two I would not be offended.

Cattails brew it alright (could use more coffee) but the food - a crime what they sell

How do they make scones - 4 easy steps

1. Open Freezer
2. Take out Box
3. Place premade scone on serving tray
4. Sell

$2 for a dry, tasteless, nasty scone.

Free Wifi. Good Coffee. Terrible Food.
Cattails Coffee on Urbanspoon