Friday, March 19, 2010

Cod with Miso


I try to have fish at least once a week and I usually end up buying Cod in the store, especially if it is fresh.  Today I wanted to try something different.  I always like Black Cod and Miso sauce when I am out at a restaurant and they have it on the menu, it is light and tasty.  And if it is prepared right it melts in your mouth.  So I went out on the Internet to try to find something similar to prepare with my fresh cod file I had at home.  I came across a great little blog called Rasa Malaysia and in her blog she had this recipe called Black Cod with MisoI adjusted it for my tasting and it turned out great.  With this cod I served Udon noodles and Brussel Sprouts with Black bean Sauce.

Please let me know your cod recipes, I am always looking for new ones to try.

Cod with Miso

Adapted from: Rasa Malaysia


1 fresh cod fillet about 1 lb cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
4 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix the marinate ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and set aside while you prepare your side dishes.  
Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
Preheat a frying pan.
Place the fish on the frying pan and lightly grill on both sides until the surface turns brown.
Transfer the fish fillets to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Heat the remainder of the marinade in the frying pan and use as extra sauce.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


This is a perfect brunch.  If you are having people over or if you are doing a shower this is a perfect dish you can prepare the night before and just cook it in the morning.  One of the hardest things with brunch is to keep the eggs warm or get up early enough to cook and prep in the morning and that is why I love things I can prepare the night before.  Not only that; Quiche makes an excellent left over the day after.  You can put almost anything you want in a Quiche, but the below recipe is my favorite.  They key to this Quiche is to cook the pie crust with Dijon mustard, that is what I think makes the delicious flavor of the whole thing.  Here is a link to my pie crust recipe.

Let me know what you like to put in your Quiche.



Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 50 Minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


1 Pie Crust
4 ounces spinach
¼ cup mushrooms
¼ lb meat bacon or ham
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
½ cup cottage cheese
½ cup other cheese
3 eggs
1 cup cream
Dijon mustard


Prepare pie crust at 450 F for 10 minutes with some Dijon mustard on it. Then let cool.

Prepare mushroom, spinach & meat with nutmeg, basil, butter and salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle half of the cheese on the bottom of pie shell, then meat, spinach, mushroom combo, and then rest of cheese.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs and light cream, nutmeg and pepper until well mixed but not frothy.
Pour into pie shell. Sprinkle top with nutmeg.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden and center is firm when gently shaken. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.

If the top of the quiche gets brown before the middle is done. Lower the temperature and let it cool slowly.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pie Crust

This pie crust was one of the first things I learned to make.  I put it in my first handmade cookbook and I still use this recipe today.  The key to a great pie crust is to use butter not shortening (I don’t even know what it is) I like the natural stuff.  And ice cold water! Yes, you have to use ice cold water.  I usually make a few of these and then freeze them to have it handy.  I use this pie crust for pies and also for my Quiches


Pie Crust

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


6 tbs butter
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbs Cold water
1 cup All-purpose flour


This is for one 9” pie crust.

Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter using pastry blender until all the flour is just blended into form pea sized chunks. Sprinkle water one tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with fork until dough will form a ball. Flour rolling surface and pin lightly. Roll dough into circle and trim one inch larger than upside down pie plate. Loosen dough carefully. Fold into quarters. Unfold and press into pie plate. Trim edge even with pie plate. Flip into pie plate. Moisten pastry edge with water.

Bake at 425 F until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Potato Gratin

I love potatoes, baked potatoes are probably my favorite but whether baked or fried, roasted, or boiled I still love potatoes. I don’t know why maybe the Scandinavian in me or the way I grew up; we had potatoes with almost every meal.

This time I am making potato gratin.  Gratin is from the French language in which the word “gratter” meaning to “to scrape” as of the “scrapings” of bread or cheese, and gratiné, from the transitive verb form of the word for crust. Cooking au gratin is a technique rather than exclusively a preparation of potatoes, such as a gratin dauphinois, and many other foods may be prepared in this way, including various meat and pasta dishes. Usually when you cook au gratin you use breadcrumbs, however I do not like that technique, also when you make gratin dauphiniois you do not use cheese, again not my technique.  I like my potatoes prepared with cream, onions, garlic and cream.

A good potato Gratin should be crispy on the top and bottom and have a rich, cheesy taste. If you look closely at your gratin upon taking it out of the oven, you will notice the cream has turned into a curdled, cheese-like substance. This is a most desirable trait in a gratin, as the potatoes absorb water from the liquid, you get a concentration of fat and protein, just as you would with fresh cheese curds.

Then other folks add all kinds of things into their gratin, anything from adding yams, broccoli, cauliflower, scallops and many more.  I like mine simple.  But if you have a good gratin recipe with other ingredients please share, I am curious to try it out.

Potato Gratin


½ lbs Potatoes
2 tbs butter
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup Emmental cheese
¼ cup Gruyère cheese
½ onion
1 Garlic clove
White pepper
Optional ¼ cup of chicken stock

Peel potatoes (if you wish) and slice them into thin slices.  I usually boil them for 5 minutes to make sure they are evenly cooked. 

Then butter your pan and lay first layer of potatoes down.  Then put the onion and garlic on top of that.  Then salt and pepper and then half the cheese. Then put another layer of potatoes down and then some more salt and pepper. Pour a little chicken stock as well if you wish for taste otherwise just pour the cream over the potatoes and then the rest of the cheese on top, I like it both ways without or without the chicken stock.

Put it in the oven 400F for about 30 minutes

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If you only had a weekend in Seattle where would you go and eat?

Picture from Roger Reyes Photostream

Recently I got an email from someone that was coming to Seattle just for the weekend and wanted restaurant recommendations. This is very difficult because the restaurants I think should all be in the Seattle downtown and not only should they be in good locations, but the food should be memorable.  That is so hard to narrow down.  Especially since one of my favorite restaurants is located outside of Seattle, Café Juanita which is in Kirkland. So if you are staying downtown, want walking distance to your places, and you only have a few days in Seattle I would recommend going to some of the following places:

Serious Pie – Excellent Pizza, does not take reservations so go early but it is also open for lunch.  Best pizza in Seattle.
316 Virginia St. (bet. 3rd & 4th Aves.)
Seattle, WA
Serious Pie on Urbanspoon

Matt’s in the Market– Local food great atmosphere.  Highly recommend for a fist time visitor.
94 Pike St. (1st Ave.)
Seattle, WA
Matt's in the Market on Urbanspoon

Canlis – Excellent Food but very expensive. Also need a taxi for a few minutes.  Or you can take the SLUT
2576 Aurora Ave. N. (Halladay St., south of Aurora Bridge)
Seattle, WA
Canlis on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Zoe – Excellent food, also the same owner as Quinn’s.  
2137 Second Ave. (Blanchard St.)
Seattle, WA
Restaurant Zoe on Urbanspoon

Shiro’s Sushi – Favorite Sushi Place in Seattle.
2401 Second Ave. (Battery St.)
Seattle, WA
Shiro's on Urbanspoon

Campagne or Café Campagne – Excellent French Food great place for brunch or lunch.
86 Pine St. (1st Ave.)
Seattle, WA
Cafe Campagne on Urbanspoon

Dahlia Lounge – Local place good solid food and order the donuts for dessert.
2001 Fourth Ave. (Virginia St.)
Seattle, WA
Dahlia Lounge on Urbanspoon

Le Pichet – French little bistro great for breakfast or lunch.
1933 First Ave. (Virginia St.)
Seattle, WA
Le Pichet on Urbanspoon

Tamarind Tree – Excellent Vietnamese Food.  Probably need a taxi from downtown but should only take a few minutes.
1036 S. Jackson St. (12th Ave.)
Seattle, WA
Tamarind Tree on Urbanspoon

Wildginger – If you can’t go to Tamarind tree then go here.  It is a large place and always very crowded but the food is really good. This is Asian Fusion type of food and not Vietnamese
1401 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101-2105
(206) 623-4450
Wild Ginger on Urbanspoon

If you are scrolling through Pike Place market and you just want to grab a sandwich go to DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine in Economy Market Building and then go to Daily Dozen Doughnuts right outside for some fresh warm donuts.

Hope you enjoy your time in Seattle.  Let us know where you went and what you thought.

For Seattleites, what would your list be if you only had a weekend in Seattle?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mixing Bowl

Picture from Bed Bath and Beyond


One day I was cooking at my uncles and needed a bowl, I just picked up this bowl to use for mixing, and it wasn’t moving from the counter top.  I just thought wow what a great bowl, this is stable and just awesome.  After that weekend I went to Bed Bath and Beyondand bought myself a set of Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls.  I have other bowls in my kitchen but only for serving, these are the only bowl that I use to prepare things in my kitchen, they are solid, durable and VERY stable.  This is a must have kitchen gadget and also a great gift for someone.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Schnitzel is a traditional Austrian dish and is a popular part of Viennese and Austrian cuisine.  It reminds me driving on autobahn as a kid stopping at these little German restaurants on the way and having this delicious schnitzel. Most of the time Schnitzel is served with lemon and potato salad.

The word Schnitzel is believed to come from the word der Schnitz which means a slice or a cut, similarly Schneider means a tailor.

To prepare schnitzel you can use veal cutlets, thin cut pork loin chops or chicken if you wish, it is really up to you.  The preparation is the same.

Today the store didn’t have veal cutlets so I decided to use think cut pork loin chops.

With your schnitzel I recommend either roasted potatoes or potato gratin and mushroom sauce.


Ingredients – Marinade
½ cup white wine
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Soy sauce
Black pepper
1 tsp rice vinegar

1 egg
Bread crumbs

Pound your cutlet to ½ inch thickness then let them sit overnight or a few hours in the marinade.  When you are ready to prepare dry them off from the marinade batter them in 1 egg beaten and then cover them in bread crumbs.

Heat up your frying pan with some butter and vegetable oil, wait for it to get hot and then lower to medium heat and put your cutlets on your frying pan.  About 1 ½ minute on the first side and 1 minute on the other side.   You can put them in your oven to keep warm or serve right away.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Norm’s Eatery & Ale House Review

My dog turned 6 this week and we have always wanted to take him with us when we go out and eat, so we tried out Norms.  We also invited his other friends and met for Friday night happy hour at Norms.  3 couples and 3 dogs.  I didn’t know what to expect at first but the place was great.  Most folks that go there have dogs with them, the dogs are very well behaved too.  No barking or fussing.  The décor has dogs all over, some are cute some are very funny.  We got a booth and the dogs are even allowed to sit with you on the seat.  Ther is a menu for the dogs too but we didn’t order any of that.

The food and the happy hour is pretty standard, with $3 drafts and $5 appetizers. We tried a bunch of different things, their hummus platter, chicken wings, potato chips, beef sliders, coconut shrimp. I think the hummus platter and the sliders were the best.

The food is not the best but the place is still great and you get to enjoy it with your dog.  I would definitely go back.  On top of that the staff is very friendly.

Norm’s Eatery & Ale House
460 N 36th St (Francis Avenue N)
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 792-5572
Norm's Eatery & Ale House on Urbanspoon



Friday, March 5, 2010

Roasted Potatoes

I love roasted potatoes; I think it goes with almost everything. I think the trick to roasted potatoes are choosing the right kind of potatoes.  I like fresh potatoes, and they are hard to find.  Usually you find them in a farmers market but if you can’t find them get fingerling potatoes.  Those are great potatoes. You can also add any spices you want, for this dish I chose marjoram.


Roasted Potatoes

 350 F

1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
½ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Marjoram
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 lbs of fresh fingerling potatoes

Boil the fingerling potatoes for 10 minutes.  But the potatoes in half and put them in a bowl.  In the bowl pour the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and marjoram and mix it all up make sure all the potatoes are covered. But the potatoes on cookie sheet and into the oven for about 30 minuets or until brown.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Swedish Pancakes “Pannkakor”

Swedish Pancakes or in Swedish pannkakor [pannkakoor] are very common in Sweden, it is really a type of bread that gets fried in a frying pan.  Traditionally pancakes are eaten on Thursdays in Sweden after you have pea soup. Those pancakes get served with lingonberry and whipped cream.

I grew up with pancakes in Sweden with jam and whipped cream, usually you can find pancakes or waffle stands in Sweden and get fresh pancakes with jam and whipped cream.  Those are my favorite but there are many ways of eating your pancakes and many different types of filling.

Here are some filling examples that I enjoy:

Sugar & Cinnamon
Jam and Whipped cream
Banana, sugar & cinnamon
Apples, sugar & cinnamon

Let me know what your favorite filling is.

Swedish Pancakes

Yields: 10-12 pancakes | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Bake Time: 20 minutes

3 eggs
1 ¾ cups flour
3 1/3 cups milk
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1 tbs vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs butter

Mix the eggs and a little of the milk.  Add the flour, sugar, salt and vanilla.  Then add the remainder of the milk.

Warm up the frying pan with a little bit of butter. Pour in the batter, about 1/2 cup per pancake. Let the pancake stiffen before you turn it and let it become golden brown before it is done.  Also stir the batter before you pour  the next batter to make sure the flour isn’t sitting at the bottom.

Use one of the following fillings and then roll your pancake and enjoy.

Sugar & Cinnamon
Jam and Whipped cream
Banana, sugar & cinnamon
Apples, sugar & cinnamon

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