Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Butternut, White Bean & Sage Dip {#12WksWinterSquash}

Looking for something to do with leftover butternut squash, I decided to work it into hummus-like dip/spread inspired by one of my favorite simple dips; Quick & Easy White Bean and Sage Dip. Combined with my new favorite dipper--homemade Lavash Crackers with Italian Seasoning, it's a tasty and healthy dip--full of fiber, vitamins A & C, and other nutrients.

Butternut, White Bean and Sage Dip
By Deb, Inspired by the White Bean & Sage Dip from “Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it” by Karen Solomon
(Makes about 2 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 cups roasted butternut or other winter squash 

juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, separated
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup loosely packed chopped fresh sage leaves
+ extra leaves to garnish
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place roasted squash, lemon and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth. 

Meanwhile, heat a small pan over medium heat and add olive oil. When hot, add the garlic and chopped sage leaves. Saute garlic and sage until the garlic is lightly browned and the sage is crispy. Set aside.

Rinse and drain beans. Add bean to squash in food processor and pour the warm oil-garlic-sage mixture over the beans and squash. Pulse in food processor until combined but still chunky. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add extra lemon juice if desired.

Garnish with crispy sage leaves if desired. Serve at room temperature with chips, cracker of fresh veggies.  

Notes/Results: Really good--squash and sage pair perfectly of course and the added garlic, along with the brightness of the lemon are a nice contrast. It may seem like a lot of sage but it doesn't overpower at all--it just makes for plenty of flavor. Fast and easy, this is also a great sandwich spread. I would definitely make it again.

This is my Week 9 dish for the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash Event hosted by my friends Heather and Joanne. Feel free to link up your winter squash dishes during the week at the linky below or on any one of the other participating blogs.   

Happy New Year's Eve!  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cauliflower Bisque with Buttered Breadcrumbs: Another Reason to 'Love Soup' for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

If I have a soup *bible*--it is 'Love Soup' by Anna Thomas. With its 160 vegetarian soup recipes, this book never fails to inspire me or give me a great recipe for whatever soup or ingredients I am craving. In this case, I wanted a cauliflower soup--something a little rich and decadent and I found it in the Cauliflower Bisque with Buttered Breadcrumbs. Silky-smooth, perfectly flavored and set off by a topping of crispy buttery breadcrumbs, it's  the perfect soup to snuggle up with on a blustery evening.  

Love says, "When I was a child we often had cauliflower on the dinner table, and it was a glorious sight. My mother would steam a whole cauliflower and then, in the Polish style, at the last moment she would pour buttery sautéed breadcrumbs over it. The browned butter glistened down the dome of the cauliflower, and the breadcrumbs were so delicious that I've brought them back for a return engagement, scattered across the top of this velvety cauliflower bisque."   

Cauliflower Bisque with Buttered Breadcrumbs
Adapted from 'Love Soup' by Anna Thomas
(Serves 6-7)

1 large white cauliflower (about 2 lbs)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 lemon plus more if needed
1 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
2 medium carrots
2 medium stalks celery
1 large yellow onion
3 Tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped (I used 8 previously roasted garlic cloves)
1 tsp herbes de Provence

2 oz fresh creamy goat cheese or cream cheese (I used mascarpone)

Buttered Breadcrumbs to garnish (recipe below) 

Trim the cauliflower, cut the florets in small pieces, and put them in a soup pot with 2 cups water and the vegetable broth. Scrub lemon and slice off a 1-inch long strip of the zest, making sure you don't have any of the white pith, as that turns bitter. Juice the lemon. Add 2 tablespoons of the juice and the strip of zest to the pot, along with a teaspoon of sea salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel, trim, and chop the carrots, celery, and onion. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and add the chopped vegetables, along with the garlic and a half a teaspoon of sea salt. Sauté the vegetables on a medium flame, stirring often, until they are soft and beginning to color, about 20 minutes. Add the herbes de Provence and keep stirring over medium heat for a few minutes longer. 

Add the sautéed vegetables to the cauliflower. Cover the pot again and simmer another 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is very tender. Remove from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly.  

Puree the soup to a creamy, silky consistency, either in batches in a blender or with an immersion blender. Taste, and add salt or lemon juice if needed. Return the soup to the pot, bring it back to a simmer, add the cheese and the last tablespoon of olive oil, stirring gently as the cheese melts.

Sprinkle a heaping spoonful of buttered breadcrumbs over each serving of the soup at the last minute, just as you are serving it. 

Buttered Breadcrumbs
1 cup coarse, soft breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

You can make big, soft breadcrumbs by cutting up day-old bread into cubes and processing them briefly in a food processor. Alternately, you can crumble any soft bread with your fingers.

Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet, add the breadcrumbs, and stir over medium heat for several minutes. As soon as the breadcrumbs begin to take on a toasty golden color, remove them from the heat. Use them warm from the pan, or spread them in a thin layer on a plate or cookie sheet to cool.

Author Notes: Love says that if you want a vegan soup, omit the cheese and add a little more olive oil at the end. Garnish the soup with breadcrumbs sautéed in olive oil instead of butter. Or, use good croutons instead of breadcrumbs. 

Notes/Results: As with all of Anna Thomas' recipes I have tried, this one turned out fabulously with wonderful texture and flavors. There are a couple of extra steps involved in this one--rather than dumping everything in a pot but, it is easy enough and well worth it. The recipe calls for 2 ounces of goat cheese or cream cheese but since I had leftover mascarpone, I used that and it melted in perfectly. The topping of breadcrumbs is an excellent contrast to the velvety soup so I recommend making extra to stir in as you get toward the middle of the bowl. I would definitely make this again.

It's very quiet in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week with everyone caught up in the holidays but we have Mireille of Chef Mireille's Global Creations, here with a savory bowl of Tomato Chickpea Soup. A perfect meal after the dental work she has been having, she says, "After the novocaine wears off, it still leaves me feeling quite lethargic with a tender mouth. However, hunger pangs still start a few hours later, so nothing hits the spot like a bowl of soup. I have been making every combination of soup imaginable. This is from BBC Good Food's recipe portal. This is a fabulous recipe portal full of many health conscious recipes. ... The yogurt adds a nice tang, for a well balanced, flavorful soup.

Thanks to Mireille for joining in. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share--just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week and a wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Fudge Puppies (or Maybe Fudge Buddys?) from "Sprinkles" for Food 'N Flix's December Pick: "Elf"

If Elf can't get you at least slightly into the holiday spirit, few things will. So, despite it not being exactly a 'foodie' movie, I was excited to see it as our Food 'N Flix December selection, hosted by Elizabeth at The Law Student's Cookbook.   

It's the story of Buddy, accidentally brought home by Santa, raised by Papa Elf at the North Pole and never quite fitting in with the other elves because he actually is human. Finding out that he is adopted and his birth father is (HORRORS!) on Santa's "Naughty List"--Buddy sets off for New York City to meet him. Buddy's naive and very exuberant spirit and excess of holiday cheer make him not quite a fit for the human world either and he causes all kinds of funny chaos. 

Elf is one of my very favorite holiday movies and I watch it at least once each holiday season. Directed by Jon Favreau, in addition to Ferrell (at his joyful, child-like best as Buddy), it has a stellar cast including Bob Newhart, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Edward Asner, Peter Dinklage, and even Amy Sedaris. It's the reason that whenever I see a mall Santa, I have to stop myself from going up to him and saying "You sit on a throne of lies!" If you don't know that quote, don't be a Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins and just watch the movie already!  

For my dish inspired by the film, I looked to a cookbook that I received for review: Sprinkles: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts by Jackie Alpers. Since Sprinkles has all manner of candy, sprinkles and sparkling sugar over anything everything you can imagine and, as Buddy says, "We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup"--it seemed like a cookbook he would enjoy.  

Paperback: 144 Pages 
Quirk Books / October 2013

Author Jackie Alpers, photographer, cook and food stylist from Jackie's Happy Plate blog, has created a colorful cookbook full of interesting and tasty uses for different types of sprinkles--sure to please children and the 'inner child' of any candy lover. Besides the assorted cookies and cakes toppings, you can add them to drinks and cocktails rimming glasses with Mix-and-Match Cocktail Rims or making Sparkling Stone Fruit White Sangria. Create swizzle sticks for hot and cold beverages like Rock Candy Garnishes or Hot Chocolate Stir Sticks coated in crushed candy canes. You can also top your own Gingersnap Cookie Butter or Homemade Pop Tarts. Alpers even teaches you how to make your own homemade Sprinkles, Fondant Pearls, Rock Candy and different sugars. 

I wanted to pick something sort of breakfasty for Elf and found Sprinkles-Stuffed French Toast, Belgian Pearl Sugar Waffles, Fancified Donuts and Happy Day Pancakes served with I ❤ Sprinkles Butter and Sparkling Syrup (Buddy would love the syrup.) In the end, I went with Fudge Puppies--which according to the book are a popular state fair food. I have not been to a fair in ages but from a little research, I guess they usually consist of Belgian waffles on a stick dipped in chocolate and then dipped or rolled in all manner of toppings. Alpers says she likes to make her fudge puppies in miniature and serve them in cupcake liners. Rather than the hassle of making waffles, I went the easy route and bought some Van's Minis--little chocolate chip waffles than can be popped into the toaster. I think these treats are something Buddy would enjoy for breakfast or any time--probably with a generous dousing of his beloved syrup. ;-)

Fudge Puppies
Adapted from Sprinkles by Jackie Alpers
(Makes 24)

6 Belgian waffles or 24 mini waffles
8 to 16 oz chocolate (dark, milk, semi-sweet or white)
1/2 cup sprinkles of choice (or crushed peanuts or candy canes or other fun toppings)
whipped cream
maraschino cherries or large candies for topping if desired

Toast waffles. If using larger Belgian waffles, cut into fourths. Melt chocolate in microwave or a glass or metal bowl set over simmering water, stirring frequently.

Line work surface with parchment paper and using a fork or tongs dip each waffle in chocolate to coat in a smooth, even layer. Then dip in sprinkles, peanuts or other toppings of choice. Place on parchment paper to cool and set.

Transfer cooled fudge puppies to cupcake wrappers. Top with whipped cream and more sprinkles and toppings if desired. You can decorate them further by placing a maraschino cherry or piece of candy on top. (Note: You can also insert skewers into the waffles, then freeze for 30 minutes to help waffles stay on their sticks. Remove from freezer when ready to dip into chocolate and decorate.)  

Notes/Results: Obviously I need to hang out at fairs because fudge puppies are quite tasty with their crisp little waffles coated in thick chocolate. I used up my random partial bags of chocolate chips so these are a combination of dark and semi-sweet vegan and regular chocolate. I half-dipped them as that was shown it the picture in the cookbook and I think dousing the entire waffle in chocolate would be overkill. If you live in a warm and humid climate like me, they may need to spend a bit of time in the fridge to set up and, I would also forgo the whipped cream--especially if I was serving them outside. (As you can see in some of the pictures, it doesn't hold up that well and gets *blobby*--even when going on the cold dipped waffles straight from the refrigerator. Ah well... it didn't hurt the taste at all.) I did sprinkle a few of my fudge puppies with crushed candy canes and although not quite as *pretty'* as the sprinkles, they were my favorites to eat. Quick to make and fun to eat, I think these are worthy of being called "Fudge Buddys"--I would make them again. And, I look forward to trying more sprinkle-laden recipes from Sprinkles.

Thanks to Elizabeth for hosting this holiday round! If you missed this month's Food 'N Flix deadline (12/29) and you love food, films and foodie films, join us in January for one of my favorite 80's movies--The Breakfast Club, hosted by Eliot's Eats.

Note: A review copy of "Sprinkles" was provided by the publisher in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts, opinions and experiences cooking from it are my own.
Whatever way you celebrate, have the happiest of holidays! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sesame and Soy Butternut Bites {#12WksWinterSquash}

Here's a tasty little Donna Hay appetizer that is perfect for your holiday pupu platters. These little squash bites have a sweet and salty sesame flavor and would go well with a glass of something bubbly for the New Year.  

Sesame and Soy Butternut Bites 
From Entertaining by Donna Hay 
(Makes about 24 pieces

1/2 small sweet pumpkin or winter squash
olive oil
sea salt
3 Tbsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil
1Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Chinese cooking wine (shao hsing) or sherry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F./200 degrees C.

Peel squash, cut it into bite-sized pieces and toss with olive oil and salt. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until they are tender.

In a large frying pan, combine honey, sesame oil, sesame seeds, ginger, soy sauce and wine or sherry. Allow mixture to simmer until it is quite syrupy. Add pumpkin to fry pan, a few pieces at a time and toss to coat. Remove the pumpkin from pan and place pieces on a baking tray line with parchment. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees F./150 degrees C. Return pumpkin to oven and bake for 5 minutes.

Serve warm with toothpicks.

Notes/Results: These little warm-from-the-oven bites of butternut squash pop with flavor. The sesame, ginger, honey and soy are an excellent compliment to the sweetness of the squash. You could use any winter squash--I am think kabocha would be nice. Because I am lazy, I used already peeled and cut butternut from the grocery store which made these a snap to make. If planning on several pupus, you could get these ready to go--roasted, coated in the sesame-soy mixture and sitting on the lined tray--then pop them into the oven until warm when you are ready to serve. I will make these again.

Tis' the Season for holiday-friendly party foods at I Heart Cooking Clubs. You can check out the Donna Hay recipes everyone made by going to the post and checking out the picture links. 

This is also my Week 8 dish for the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash Event hosted by my friends Heather and Joanne. Feel free to link up your winter squash dishes during the week at the linky below or on any one of the other participating blogs.   

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Potato and Chickpea Soup with Roasted Garlic & Saffron for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I had a lentil and barley soup all planned out for this week. Then I saw the two potatoes and three heads of garlic that needed to be used up soon. I decided to roast up the garlic and add some of it to a potato soup with chickpeas, paprika and saffron along with what veggies I had in the refrigerator crisper drawer. The result--a simple, tossed together soup with a sunny color and lots of flavor.

Potato and Chickpea Soup with Roasted Garlic and Saffron
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 4 Servings)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 medium-large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 head garlic, roasted, garlic squeezed out (see Notes/Results below)
4 cups good veggie broth + 2 cups water
1 large pinch saffron
1/2 (heaping) tsp smoked paprika
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 
salt and black pepper to taste 

Add olive oil to soup pot and heat over medium. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook for about 6-7 minutes, stirring as needed until onion has softened. Add potatoes, roasted garlic 'paste' and veggie broth, then stir in smoked paprika and saffron (Break up the saffron 'stigmas' with your fingers slightly.) Add canned chickpeas and bring soup to a boil. 

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes--until vegetables are tender. If desired, puree a cup or so of the soup and stir it back into the pot or use and immersion blender to slightly thicken the soup.

Taste and add sea salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. 

Notes/Results: Soups like this are my favorite--healthy and satisfying and a great way to clear out the leftovers. The roasted garlic is the superstar in this dish--with its mellow not sharp flavor so don't skip that step. (I do mine in foil packets with the top cut off slightly and drizzled with olive oil--425 degrees for about 35 minutes. Then I squeeze the garlic paste into a container for the freezer or fridge if I think I am going to use it up quickly. It's perfect spread on bread or mixed into mashed potatoes.) I love saffron and smoked paprika with potatoes and chickpeas-they make it rich and 'dress up' a plain, basic soup. This one satisfies the belly and the soul--I will make it again.

We have some spectacular soups and a couple of delectable salads waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week--let's take a look.  

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes shares warming Spicy Chicken and Tortilla Soup and says, "Even though food bloggers are loathe to repeat recipes, chicken tortilla soup is just something that I have to have over and over again.  It’s probably one of my favorite soups.  It’s the perfect combination of soup and toppings.  I always top all my tortilla soups with sour cream, avocado, shredded cheese and cilantro and then serve with tortilla chips.  Some people like to break up their tortilla chips and drop in the soup, others like to just eat them along side – so I never add them ahead of time.

Heather of girlichef brings a spicy bowl of Menudo (Red Chile Tripe Soup) and says, "Menudo is touted for it's ability to help cure a hangover.  This is due to its high Vitamin B content.  I'm guessing that the chile-laden broth probably aids in helping you sweat it out a bit, too. Whether that's a Mexican urban legend or not, I don't know.  But ask any Mexican you know how to cure a hangover, and menudo will be the answer.  Alongside a big glass of water for hydration, it definitely couldn't hurt. Or you could choose to go hair of the dog.  You know, if that's more your style.

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food has Chicken Barley Soup on the menu this week and says, "Cook (more of) this on Sunday, and there will be leftovers for another easy weeknight dinner the week ahead. Soup or light stew, a comforting and satisfying dish to have, especially during the cold winter months. ... In this dish, barley adds the magical touch of thickening the soup quite a bit, turning it to a stew.

Mireille of Chef Mireille's Global Creations has both a soup and a salad to share this week. About her Triple Corn Rasam she says, "Rasam is a traditional South Indian soup, flavored with a souring agent - usually tamarind and/or tomato. It can be made in a variety of flavors - everything from pineapple to lemon to fenugreek. The soup is usually very thin with few whole ingredients often served in a glass - in fact the English translation is usually referred to as pepper water, however I used cream style corn for a slightly thicker rasam."

 Mireille's second entry is an Indian-American mash up, Paneer Potato Salad. She says, "This started out as a stuffed potato recipe I was following from a cookbook, however none of my potatoes could be utilized for the recipe. ... It was an Indian recipe I had been following so I already had grated the paneer and needed to utilize it as well. Therefore, this Indian spiced potato salad was created. I guarantee you've never had a potato salad like this before...combining Indian spices with an American classic!"

Janet of The Taste Space is here with a Holiday Salad with Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette. She says, "We have made this holiday-inspired ruby red dressing a few times after Emma suggested it. It adds a gorgeous colour to your salad and the delicious sweet-tart cranberries in the dressing is balanced by orange juice and maple syrup. ... Pictures here with lettuce, dried cranberries, pecans and pumpkin seeds, I find it pairs amazing with brown rice or curried chickpeas to make a complete meal. Apples and cucumbers make a nice contrast, too."

Thanks to everyone for joining in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy holiday week! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Giada's Creamy Tomato-Basil Dip with Lavash Crackers

I am a dip fan. Give me bowl of something delicious to scoop up with a chip or cracker and I am happy. Make it a warm dip and I am happier still. this simple Creamy Tomato-Basil Dip from Giada's Feel Good Food is right up my alley. Savory and cheesy on the crisp lavash crackers, it's perfect for a holiday pupu platter. 

Giada says, "Lavash is an unleavened Mediterranean bread that's super flat, even flatter than pita. It makes great chips. The dip evolved from a pasta sauce I used to like as a kid: in a pinch one time, with guests on their way. I repurposed the ingredients as a dip and everyone loved it! Leftovers make a nice accompaniment to chicken." 

Note: I made a few small changes in red below--adding powdered garlic and fresh basil to my dip and some Italian seasoning and black pepper to my crackers. I used some of my leftovers on pasta and it makes for an excellent sauce too. 

 Creamy Tomato-Basil Dip with Lavash Crackers
Adapted from Giada's Feel Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis
(Serves 6)

1 (9 x 12-inch) piece of whole wheat lavash bread (I couldn't find whole wheat & used the regular sandwich flat breads at my local supermarket)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
(For my chips, I added about 1 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning, a light sprinkle of sea salt & a few turns of freshly ground black pepper)
1 cup tomato-basil sauce
(To my sauce I added 1 tsp garlic powder and 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil)
1/4 cup (2 oz) crumbled creamy Gorgonzola cheese, at room temp
1/4 cup (2 oz) mascarpone cheese, at room temp
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Cut the lavash into 1 x 4-inch strips. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet in a sangle layer. Drizzle with olive oil. (I then sprinkled the chips with my seasonings.) Bake until crisp, 5-6 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

In a medium saucepan, bring the tomato sauce (+ garlic powder and fresh basil) to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the Gorgonzola and mascarpone until incorporated.

Pour the dip into a serving bowl and serve the chips alongside

Nutritionals: Per Serving: Calories: 159, Protein: 5g, Carbs: 12g, Fiber: 2g, Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: 4g, Sodium 327 mg

Notes/Results: This is a great winter party dip--warm and full of flavor. The mascarpone mellows the Gorgonzola and the result is just a rich cheesy flavor so this would be a good one to sneak by your blue cheese haters. ;-) The jarred sauce I had on hand was not particularly chunky--I will choose a chunkier sauce next time. I wanted to add some extra flavor so I added the powdered garlic and fresh basil to the sauce which I liked. The lavash crackers were perfectly crisp and I liked their thinner texture more than homemade pita chips--I will definitely make them again.

After I filled my dip bowl, I had some left in the cooking pot and I cooked up a couple of servings of spaghetti and stirred it into the dip with just a bit of the pasta boiling water--yum! I would make it just to eat with pasta. 

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and a chance to make any Donna Hay dish or a dish from any of the previous IHCC chefs. Check the linkys on the post to see the different dishes everyone made.  

Happy Aloha Friday!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Miso-Grilled Salmon with Brown Rice and a Simple Sesame-Cucumber Salad

There is almost always a container of white miso paste sitting in my refrigerator, ready for a quick soup,  to be mixxed into a sauce or dressing, or added to a marinade/paste for fish. This Miso-Grilled Salmon is an easy recipe from Simple Dinners by Donna Hay. It calls for firm white fish but since I had salmon fillets in the freezer that's what I used. 

Donna recommends serving it with jasmine rice and a simple cucumber salad with a toasted sesame seed dressing. I switched my rice to brown for a little extra fiber and tossed together a cucumber salad of my own. The salmon turned out tender and succulent and it made for a satisfying but not heavy dinner.  

Miso-Grilled Fish (Salmon)
Adapted from Simple Dinners by Donna Hay
(Serves 4)

4 (200 g / 7 oz) firm white fish fillets, skin off
1/4 cup white miso paste
2 Tbsp caster (superfine) sugar (I reduced to 1 1/2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp finely grated ginger (I used 1 1/2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp water
steamed jasmine rice and lemon wedges to serve

Place fish on a baking tray lined with parchment. Combine miso, sugar, ginger, oil and water and spread over the fish. Allow to marinate 10-15 minutes.

Preheat grill or broiler and  over high heat and broil fish for 6-8 minutes or until just cooked through. Serve fish with steamed rice and lemon wedges and a simple cucumber salad with toasted sesame seed dressing, if desired. 

Simple Sesame-Cucumber Salad: I used my mandoline to slice a local cucumber very thinly, then marinated the slices in a mixture of olive oil, rice vinegar, a touch of sesame oil, a small drizzle of honey and a generous sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. I also added some fresh cilantro when I placed it on the plate. No real measurements--everything to taste. 

Notes/Results: Excellent! The miso paste really locks in the moistness of the fish and gives it a great savory-sweet flavor with warmth from the ginger. I did reduce the sugar slightly and upped the amount of ginger that I used in the marinade (noted in red above). I would have liked to have my salmon a little more blackened on top but my oven has been a bit *funny* lately so I moved the rack down one notch as I had visions of my gas broiler element flame catching my salmon on fire. ;-) Still, the salmon ended up cooked to my liking on the inside and still had that nice slightly crispy miso crust. Yum! It was perfect with the nutty, slightly chewy brown rice and crisp, tangy cucumber salad. I will make this again.

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and a chance to make any Donna Hay dish or a dish from any previous IHCC chef. Check the linkys on the post to see the different dishes everyone made.

***Book Giveaway!***

Do you like to read? Do you like well-written mystery/thrillers with strong female leads? There's still a chance to enter my giveaway for a copy of The Seduction of Miriam Cross by W. A. Tyson, to one U.S./Canada-based blog reader. It's easy to enter--just go to my review post here, and leave a comment by this Thursday, Dec. 19th on that post telling me about one of your childhood career dreams. ;-)