Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An eating success and a cooking failure

Let me start off by saying that eating at Michael and Megan's is always a treat...


Both are a delight to be around and Michael is a fantastic cook, writer and foodie.

In fact, why not check out his article about stuffed foods in the Cleveland area?

This past Saturday night, my diet took a temporary vacation, as we dined on...

...scallop ceviche...

...and a full-on shrimp boil...

...complete with corn, red skin potatoes, mushrooms, garlic bread...

...and tons of shrimp.

There were three sauces to enjoy...
  • cocktail
  • sriracha mixed with Russian dressing
  • yogurt sauce with hot sauce, chopped garlic and jalapeno peppers, spices
...and I found ways to enjoy them all!

I should also note that I grabbed some garlic cloves that were also boiled with the shrimp and squeezed them on the garlic bread for extra garlic-ness.


The next day, I decided to try cooking something new that I picked up at Heinen's...

...wolffish from Norway.

A mild white fish, it's often compared in flavor to monk fish and lobster.

As directed by an online recipe, I cooked it in parchment paper with garlic, butter and lemon for 12 minutes at 375, but it wasn't done when I checked it.  

I tried 5 minutes more and 5 minutes more...

...until it was eventually cut up and cooked until complete...

...and I realized I didn't care for it.

Ah well...can't win them all.

That evening, before bed, I treated myself to something I did like...

...bananas with almond butter, drizzled with maple syrup and a dash of salt.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mangiamo at Miega: a Korean delight

When I attended a Chinese New Year festival at Asian Town Center for my festival blog (check review here), I noticed a Korean barbeque restaurant called Miega...

...and I instantly wanted to eat there.

I asked Facebook foodies if anyone had eaten there when Crystal of Eat*Drink*Cleveland suggested we check it out together with our better halves.

I was in.

Julia and I decided to get a Bim Bop dish (which we love), deciding on the Hae Mul Dol Sot Bi Bim Bop (rice topped with veggies, seafood that included mussels, squid and shrimp, and red pepper paste in a hot stone pot).

We also got a BBQ dish that required a small grill.


Behold the plate of boneless beef short ribs (with tons of sides and the Bi Bim Bop dish found at upper left)!

It was fun to put the meat on the grill and cook at your own pace.

Plus it was DELICIOUS!

There was a great seasoning and marinade, and it was also really tender.

Overall, Miega was a great experience and fun to be with friends who were kind enough... leave the entire plate of anchovies for me.

They rock!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sardine Patties - an Experiment

Every so often, I get a crazy craving for something rather particular.  This past week, it was for sardine patties.

To go along with my diet, I decided to try and incorporate many healthy ingredients that would come together to form this dish, including....

  • garlic
  • onions
  • lentils
  • carrots
  • great northern beans
  • peas
  • sardines
So far, not too bad, right?

Here's how I did it....

Lentils and carrots cooked in one pan... anchovy, onion and garlic sauteed with olive oil in the other.

Once the onions turned golden, I added peas and great northern beans and let cook for a bit...


...eventually adding in the cooked lentils and carrots.

This mixture would be the base to help hold everything together... I pureed it.

But I wanted a punch of flavor... I blanched thinly sliced bell pepper in juice from a jar of banana peppers...

...and then added it to the mixture, along with capers and fresh lemon juice.

Let me say right here that this mixture was DELICIOUS!!! I probably should have stopped here and just grabbed a spoon.

Even adding the sardines to this mixture and eating it out of the bowl would have been fine.

But, alas, I put the mixture in the fridge for the next day and continued with the recipe.

Originally, I put 3 cans of sardines in a bowl...


...but then I added more (6 cans total) because I knew my dad was interested in trying them.

Eggs were added for binding...


...and that got whisked together...


...along with the previous day's delicious mixture.

Here is where I ran into a problem.  

My diet called for NO grains, breadcrumbs, flour, etc. but I needed something to thicken the mixture so that I could form the patties.

I thought, Well, I'll finely grind walnuts down to a flour...

 ...but I couldn't get them very fine without them turning into walnut butter.

So I caved in...

...adding corn flour...

...and then even adding some breadcrumbs.

On the plus side...

...they shaped easily, held their form...


...and cooked nicely (3-4 minutes a side in a little bit of almond oil).

But they were dense and not as flavorful as I would have liked.

Granted, the nuttiness of the walnuts made them hearty, but I wish I hadn't added so much filler to firm them up.  I also wish I would have added more of the pickled peppers, the capers, many more anchovies (for their saltiness) and less of the sardines (which are rather mild).

I also wish I would have put a dollop of German mustard in the mixture (I simply forgot).

Fortunately, some things were easily remedied when I fixed up a portion for myself.

Between the walnuts and the sardines, you can only imagine the amount of Omega 3's that I'm consuming.