Archive for October, 2010
Acai has become really popular in the US in the last few years. The first time I had an Acai bowl, I didn’t really like it. Every place that sells it makes it differently. Years later, my friend Pam, started a business to sell her Brasilian version of the Acai bowl out of a yellow sunshine wagon. She made it for AM and I one Sunday before we went for a hike and OH EM GEE! I fell in love! It was so delicious! (more…)
Whenever we go grocery shopping, we always check out the seafood section to see if they have wild salmon. 99% of the time, farm raised salmon is stocked. No thanks, we’ll pass. However, when there is wild Alaskan salmon, sockeye or king, we pounce. There is a big price difference between wild and farm raised but the benefits of wild far exceed the extra dollars. There are reports out there of a company trying to obtain approval from the federal government to offer genetically modified salmon. Basically, they pump the salmon with hormones that the salmon grows to full size in half the time. Here is some information on genetically modified salmon. This sounds scary.
Anyway, the last time we saw wild salmon, we purchased a big slab. It was probably about 2 pounds. We cut the piece into two and cooked it on two separate nights. The first night we had baked salmon as AM likes to prepare it. The second night, I decided to do something even simpler. I pretty much pan fried it with some seasoning, capers, and white wine. It was delicious and super healthy!
Salmon does not take long to cook, about 20 minutes or so. It is one of my favorite things to cook because it is so easy and quick. You can place the salmon on a bed of mixed greens with your favorite vinaigrette dressing for a healthy and super tasty dinner.
PAN FRIED WILD SALMON WITH CAPERS (QUICK & EASY)
(My own recipe)
Serving size: 2
1 16-ounce piece or 2 8-ounce pieces of wild salmon fillet
1/2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Dash of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of capers
2 tablespoons white wine
1. Heat oil or butter in a saute pan on medium high heat.
2. Season the salmon with salt, pepper, parsley flakes, and garlic powder on both sides.
3. When the oil is hot, place the salmon fillet on the pan with skin side down on the pan.
4. Add white wine and capers to the pan.
5. Cook the salmon for about 10 minutes and flip the salmon.
6. Cook for another 10 minutes and flip the salmon again. Cook the salmon until the center is light pink. It does not have to be fully cooked through or else the salmon will be too tough.
7. Transfer the salmon to a plate (or on top of a bed of mixed greens) and add a lemon wedge before serving.
We have homemade pizza nights once in a while. We hosted them at our apartment in the past, but our place is so small that to share with our group of friends, it would be a really cozy dinner party. We decided to have another pizza night and one of our friends, Lubuw, graciously hosted the event at his place in Hawaii Kai. It was perfect! Open kitchen with lots of counter space really made making the pizzas that much more enjoyable. Thanks, Lubuw!
I prepared the dough the day before and I wanted to try another recipe than the pizza dough recipe I used in the past. I got my hands on a Vera Pizza Napoletana recipe written by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture that was translated from Italian to English. Well, if it is the official Neapolitan pizza dough recipe, I must try it! It is simple because the only ingredients are flour, water, salt, and yeast. That is it!
The recipe calls for Caputo Tipo 00 flour. It is a hard flour to find and only should be used if a 900-1,000 degree F brick oven. Unfortunately, I do not have such an oven. For a conventional home oven that maxes out at 500-550 degrees F, a mix of bread flour and all purpose flour works better. So I used 3 cups of bread flour to 1 cup of all purpose flour.
Another crucial part of the dough making process is something called autolyse. It is leaving the dough alone for about 20 minutes after adding water to the flour to let the dough absorb the water properly.
After the autolyse process, the yeast and salt are added, and the dough is mixed some more. The comes the first rise of the dough for about two hours. After that, you can cut the dough into individual pieces, either three or four smaller pieces. Splitting the dough into three will get you three 14″ pies. Splitting the dough into four pieces will get you four 10-12″ pies.
I actually made two batches. I split the first batch into four pieces and the second batch into three pieces. You can really stretch the dough pretty thin. The next step is to create an outer “skin” to create surface tension. One method used to create this skin is the keyhole method. Basically you create a “keyhole” with your thumb and pointer finger and you push the dough through. See pictures below for visual illustration. It is easier to see it than explain it in text.
With the other dough recipe I placed the individual doughs into ziplock bags. However, after extensive research, I learned that this should not be done. Instead, the dough should be placed in individual plastic containers with lids. This is so that when you take the dough out when you are ready to roll out the dough, you can just turn the container over and shake the dough out in one round piece. In the ziplock bag, the dough ends up sticking to the bag and because the bag is floppy, you end up tearing the dough and the dough loses its structure. Also, do not use a rolling pin to roll out the dough! The rolling pin pushes out the bubbles in the dough. The bubbles keep the dough tender and are crucial for the dough to puff up in the oven. Otherwise you get a really tough dough.
There is a technique where you flat out the dough in the round with your hand and then do a stretch and turn method with your hands. I was actually able to roll out the dough pretty easy this way. AM tried throwing the dough in the air and without tearing it, he was able to stretch the dough out enough for a pie. It was awesome! Plus he had so much fun doing it!
This is a great pizza dough recipe and I will use this one from now on. Maybe one day I’ll be able to own a wood burning brick oven and make perfect pizza. One can dream…
VERA PIZZA NAPOLETANO DOUGH
(Adapted from Forno Bravo)
3 cups bread flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups water
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1. In a bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the flours together.
2. Add the water and mix with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
3. Autolyse process: let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
4. Add the salt and yeast.
5. On the “2” setting of the stand mixer, mix the dough for 5 minutes with a dough hook.
6. The dough should be really wet at this point. Pour the dough onto a floured workspace. Use a wooden spoon to scrape all the dough out of the bowl, if necessary.
7. Lightly knead the dough for a few seconds.
8. Take the sides of the dough, pull to the middle, and pinch together.
9. Take the opposite sides of the dough, pull to the middle, and pinch together.
10. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl setting the seam side down.
11. Cover the bowl and let dough rise for 2 hours. The dough should double in size.
12. Take the dough out of the bowl and place onto a floured workspace. Cut the dough into three or four individual pieces.
13. Keyhole method: create a “keyhole” with your thumb and pointer finger. Push the dough through the hole (see pictures above) and once all the dough is pushed through, pinch the top together. Repeat for all the pieces of dough.
14. Lightly oil individual plastic containers and place each dough into its own container. Cover the containers with the lids.
15. Place the container in the fridge for overnight. One hour before rolling out, take the dough out and let rest.
Recipe note: The dough does not have to placed in the fridge overnight, but let the dough rest for one hour before rolling out.