Sunday, October 21, 2007

Shrimp ceviche

Traditionally, ceviche is made by letting the acid in a citrus juice cook the fish. For shrimp, however, you usually cook before adding to the usual ingredients.

The previous morning, we went to the FM and picked up some really good vine-ripe tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, lemons for something else I made. So, with the leftover pico de gallo, I just adapted it and added the juice of about 4 or 5 lemons and the cooked shrimp. Just remember to never overcook your shrimp or else they get rubbery. I've posted my pico de gallo recipe before, so I'm not posting it again.

Bright, clean, very tasty.


Last weekend, we headed on down to Little Tokyo to pick up some sashimi-grade fish. They had a lot of variety, but I picked up some Japanese Hamachi(Japanese Yellowtail) and Pacific Salmon.

I like a ton of different food, but I'd rather eat something like sashimi any day over anything. Why? Well, the bright and clean flavors for one. None of this soaking in soy sauce to mask the delicate and subtle flavors of the fish. Hardly doing anything to the fish or nothing at all and truly enjoying the unadulterated greatness that is raw fish is another. The more simply you prepare any kind of seafood, the better.

We also picked up some fresh Daikon and Japanese cucumbers. Japanese cucumbers are awesome. They're way more crisp and tasty than the normal ones that you find at stores.

Hamachi. Look how awesome that piece of fish is. I forgot to take a picture of the Salmon, but I trust you've probably seen Salmon before.

I first made a Hamachi crudo. Crudo means 'raw' in Italian and when you see crudo fish, it's usually dressed with some olive oil and some acid to cut through the oil and fat of the fish to bring everything together.

-1 piece of sashimi-grade Hamachi
-1 juice of half a lemon
-1 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil
-sea salt
-Japanese cucumber
-A few capers

I made the citronette with olive oil and lemon juice, mandolined the cucumber. I took my sashimi knife and sliced the lovely pieces of Hamachi. Really basic plating, nothing crazy. Hamachi down first, followed by cucumbers, capers, citronette, sprinkle of sea salt.

The next version was Sashimi and that's just thinly sliced raw fish in Japanese.
-half of a Japanese cucumber
-Wakame seaweed

I julienned the cucumbers and mixed them with the Wakame and some sea salt for a quick cucumber salad. I changed the blade on the mandoline and ran the daikon through it for long strings. It would be somewhat of a garnish, but it's also meant to bring a different flavor element to the dish that would brighten it up a bit since I wouldn't be adding any acid.


That was lunch for that day.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Paupiette of Mahi mahi in a Barolo sauce

W here.

Long time no post. J is really busy with her artwork and it's really exciting to see her work evolving into something that she really likes. I'll probably be the one doing most of the blogging from now on in my limited time.

So, onto the food.

I had been wanting to make this dish ever since I saw it on the menu at the iconic Le Cirque(in NYC) on tv. The dish was created by none other than, Daniel Boulud when he was the executive chef there. They only serve it at Le Cirque to VIPs and it's not even on the menu. Pretty impressive. He is a New York Times 4-star rated chef and multiple James Beard award(amongst many others)-winning chef that has been working in NYC for the past 25 years with several highly-rated restaurants.

Here's Daniel's website:

I wanted to test myself and see if I could make it as well as to make a lower fat version that would still be really tasty for us and J's parents, who just got in today from NY. So, having that idea in mind this morning at the farmers market, I bought ingredients that I needed and I stopped off at the store for some fish. I chose Mahi Mahi for this particular dish. Picking out seafood for me is agonizing. I've been fishing since I could barely walk and I know what fresh seafood is and nobody can fool me into thinking their product is fresh when it isn't. I can spot old fish a mile away.

*Sidebar here for those people who buy those pre-marinated pieces of fish, chicken or beef at the store. Do you know what they slop all kinds of heavy marinades and sauces on those things? Well, those are the products that are about to go bad and they need to mask that from your palate. Think about that the next time you get that hankerin' for the 'Cajun Spiced Captain's Choice' seafood you see at the market. If you have the time, please make your food fresh with fresh products because it makes the biggest difference in the world.*

Oh yeah, we're here to read about Paupiette of Mahi.....I took a leap of faith and went with the frozen stuff because the seafood I saw recently at places didn't really entice me to buy.

We also saw some really nice pomegranates and I wanted to do a pomegranate salad to go along with the fish.

Here are some pictures:

Those 2 large fruit to either side of the pomegranate are called 'Sapotes'. The small fruit are pineapple guavas. I've never had those before. My parents always had strawberry guavas in the backyard, growing on the tree.

Pomegranate close up.

The ingredients for the dish.

Barolo, an Italian wine with some chives, shallots and leeks peering at you.

Pomegranate salad.

At long last, the paupiette of mahi mahi.

Sorry for the blurry picture...I has to snap the picture really fast because I didn't want to the fish to go cold. 4 servings was a good amount of work.

The recipe is on Chef Boulud's website and it came out awesome!

My potatoes weren't as browned as how they really should be and that's because I used Ghee. I used 4 teaspoons(20 grams of fat) of ghee for the entire dish.

-1 tsp to cook the shallots, mushrooms and leeks
-2 tsp to cook the paupiettes
-1 tsp to finish the Barolo sauce, which is called 'monter au beurre'. All French restaurants do that to any sauce. Just remember that when eating out :)

The original recipe uses 13 tablespoons(195 grams of fat) of butter! For those who are measurement-challenged, a tablespoon equals 3 teaspoons. I also used a tablespoon of coconut milk instead of heavy cream. This particular coconut milk had 2.5 grams of fat per tablespoon and heavy cream has 5 grams of fat per tablespoon. So, more fat cut out there.

The original recipe also says to strain the sauce, but I didn't because I really didn't want to throw away the fresh mushrooms and shallots I bought at the FM. So, this was a bit more rustic.

Good results tonight and this is something I'll definitely be cooking again to perfect the way I make it. The potatoes were cooked nicely, the fish was very tender and moist. The sauce with leeks beneath it all was delicious.

More soon.


Friday, October 12, 2007

New Gluten Free Trader Joe' Products

I noticed Trader Joe's now has gluten free granola and gluten free gingersnap cookies. I didn't try either since I can't have the sugar. Still it's cool that they are noticing the gluten free market.
I haven't posted much because I have been spending all of my time on my artwork and getting ready to make prints and set up my online shop. I am so excited!
Also I have been still going strong on my all sugar free candida diet. It is going good. I can't believe how much my body felt the withdrawal of sugar especially because the only sugar I had was honey, agave, maple syrup, dried fruits and fruits. I had a kinds of symptoms and was kind of surprised. It just reinforced how sensitive my body is to sugars. I have also been trying to figure out what foods I am intolerant to by rotating them and watching my symptoms. It's not that easy to figure out this way. But so far I am sure that at this time soy, chocolate, peanuts and sesame oil and possibly walnuts give me migraines. Brown rice in any form gives me acid reflux and makes my throat hurt as does coffee. Dairy makes me congested and makes my skin break out as does sugar. Ah, do you want to be me ? :)
Actually all this doesn't even bother me. I don't feel like "poor me" at all. I am just glad I am trying new foods and so many of them are delicious like those turkey lettuce wraps or those buckwheat carob pancakes or that pumpkin squash and sweet potato soup. I feel like I am cooking better than ever. I am learning that when cooking farm fresh foods and "healthy" foods spices are key- the fresher the better and freshly roasted and ground the best. Maybe in the future I'll get a chance to post some photos and recipes.
Be healthy!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I actually liked eating Quinoa!

Quinoa- pronounced keen-wah I believe. My mum and I went around saying it quinn-noah for the like a year because we didn''t know. So now in my mind I always think quinn-noah even though I say keen-wah. I am not sure why we were even talking about Quinoa because I haven't cooked it much at all. The times I have cooked it I haven't really liked it. This recipe I loved though. Yay quinoa! I adapted it from the 101 Cookbooks site
I cooked the quinoa in broth to give it more flavor and I used string beans instead of asparagus, because that's what I had and I used almonds instead of walnuts and eggs instead of potatoes! I also probably used more oil then she did and I toasted the almonds with some oil and a sprinkle of cayenne for a kick. I just love how it is arranged. You should check out the picture on that website, it's just lovely. There are also 28 other healthy gluten free recipes with great pictures.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Just attach me to an IV and call it dinner (+ no sodabread for me but maybe for you)

I am writing from behind the fog of clogged aching ears, clogged sinuses and nausea. No I'm not sick. Is it allergies? Maybe. It all started on Saturday when I decided to try and bake Irish Soda bread.

Gluten a Go Go is having a Baking Bonanza and I thought I would participate. I had made this recipe before and it turned out great, even non-gluten free people loved it. I got the recipe here and just substituted Bob's Red Mill Bread mix ( minus the yeast packet) for the flour. It is so easy and so good. Not your normal sweet with raisins soda bread, this is more like a brown bread.

So anyways, this time since I am trying to avoid dairy I wanted to substitute the buttermilk. I read a bit about it and found some people mixed soy with some lemon juice and let it sit a couple hours. I also read that this worked well because of the high protein content of soy. But soy is one of those other foods that seem to give me migraines. I went to the store looking for a alternative dairy free milk with a high protein content. Turns out the nut milks and rice milk have none or very little . Hemp milk had the highest amount so I got that. In the past it seemed like I could tolerate small amounts of soy so I decided to do half soy and half hemp milk mixed with 2 TB of lemon. Now for the flour -I didn't want to use the normal Bob's Red Mill because it has tapioca starch and potato starch, which I found out from Gluten a Go Go may not be great for cholesterol. Since we just found out Wes has very high cholesterol I mixed some different flours- like sorghum, brown rice, arrowroot, garbanzo and arrowroot. Anyways final result turned out ok, not great and W could really taste and smell the garbanzo and didn't love it. I also noticed after eating a lot I felt really spacey and got a headache. Could it be the soy? Argh.

On Sunday I tried another recipe and changed the flour amount- used more sorghum and used coconut milk instead of soy. This turned out even worse. I found out that sorghum is very gritty. So now I had these two loaves of soda bread that weren't good. I hate wasting food so I kept eating them anyways. Besides I wasn't sure it was from that, maybe I was coming down with something. But I really have not been feeling well as I keep eating it. Today I ate some and felt so nauseous right away. I also have been using stevia and am pretty sure that is giving me headaches because today after I drank a tea with the stevia I got a headache and my ears felt really clogged straight away. But I started not feeling great before I used the stevia also.

Jay-sus I can't stand all this. Now from reading this Candida book and reading over Gluten Free Goddess' post about her allergy testing I realize how food allergies are formed. So be careful with all those brown rice products gluten free kids!
Argh.. it can be really frustrating and I don't even want to think about it anymore I wish I could just attach myself to an IV call it dinner. that commercial. But really I don't want that. I love food. I just need to figure which foods are making me feel crappy so I can try to avoid them once and for all and start experimenting with what I can eat.

Frustrations of being gluten free and having multiple food intolerances

A couple weeks ago I wanted to go out to dinner and was looking for some place to go. I just got so frustrated that I had to spend so much time looking. I long for the time I would just get up and go and eat anywhere. I got so annoyed and frustrated I just gave up on going out. You see more and more it seems that it's not just gluten that bothers me. Other things also do now . I am still trying to pin them down but it seems like soy, peanuts, sesame oil, maybe walnuts and dairy also bother me. Mostly they seem to give me this eye pain or migraines. Other times they just seem to make me really nauseous.
What is going on with me? I see a future of never going out to eat and starving when I travel.
I got a book this weekend though- on Candida. I feel like I have learned more from this book than from any gluten free book so far. So many gluten free books are built around baked goods. I mean this makes sense because it is the one food that Celiacs seem to miss and crave. Gluten free people go gaga over gluten free baked goods. I know I used to feel the same way. I wish I could eat all those pre-made gluten free cookies, cakes and breads. But I can't partake because I have been avoiding sugar for a couple years now and most gluten free products have sugar- even breads, bagels and muffins. Plus the fact is I really don't want to eat tons of baked goods, I didn't before I went gluten free so why should I now? Anyways what I have learned from this book The Yeast Connection Cookbook, is that most people with Candida develop food allergies. This is because a leaky gut allows teeny tiny particles to enter the body and then the body reacts against it, causing an allergy. So it is suggested to rotate your diet every four days to prevent allergies from developing. I wonder if this could possibly be the case of some people with Celiac disease. Many people with Celiac seem to be fine eating anything as long as it's doesn't have gluten. I am totally jealous of these people, at the same time I think a bunch of celiac people develop other food allergies. Anyways in a way I am kind of grateful, it's like my body is forcing me to be super healthy and I feel good about that. It's all about simplicity and going back to the basics of pure gluten -free grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes and sometimes maybe organic natural meats and fish. I am sure I will learn more, I just started to flip through this book. There are more books out there on Candida but this was one of the only ones the nearby Barnes and Nobles store had.
I also found a website that has helped me find recipes and feel less alone in this - It has a forum where people post yeast free meals, most but not all is gluten free and sugar free. Just how I like it.. er need it to be for me. I guess my diet and this blog is more of a healthy eating blog now rather than a gluten free one. Maybe I should change the name. It's going to take me a while to get used to these alternative grains, but when I do I will post up recipes.