The tuna dish recipe is compiled from two different websites: The Ravenous Couple and Salty Seattle. Below, Ravenous Couple on the kitchen counter in my iPad. They cannot be beat for stunning visuals and solid instruction.
I buy sushi grade tuna at the Little Tokyo Marketplace, probably my favorite grocery store. I, like The Ravenous Couple, prefer my tuna in small cubes rather than processed within an inch of its life into a sort of baby-foodesque tartare. Not quite as large as I like it cut for a poke, but still quite distinct chunks.
Add Kewpie mayonnaise (mayo with rice wine vinegar and msg), sesame oil, sriracha, finely diced green onions, sesame seeds if you want. One of the diners told me it needed soy sauce, but I personally feel soy saucing this would be overkill. You want the subtle flavors of the tuna, sesame oil, etc. This is decidedly not meant to be a poke.
On the side I serve more green onions, slices of jalapeno and a doctored up kabayaki sauce. I buy the sauce bottled and add generous amount of wasabi paste.
Sushi rice escapes me. Even using the exact directions on the rice steamer, then precisely following step-by-step instructions garnered from several web sites that all rec the same method my rice was way too sticky. For this dish, stickiness was not an issue because you are frying the rice. My nasty old rice would not do for making sushi. This needs to be addressed at some point. Not today.
Nevertheless, I used a mold to get the perfect shape. You can really pack the rice in there tightly to ensure that it stays in one piece when frying.
Fry the rice patties in hot oil at 350F, if using and electric fryer. If cooking stove top, cook at medium-high heat and watch like a hawk turning frequently to avoid overcooking.
You can see below the finished product. I am working at not overcooking my rice in the fryer. You want it crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, not hard like zwieback. Also, I roll some of the rice patties in furikake before cooking, you can see the black and white sesame seeds on the outside.
The set of spicy tuna on crispy rice I assembled at Lily's had very overcooked rice. Luckily Lily's dad loves anything crispy and a little blackened. Between the six of us, we did gobble down every piece with nary a broken tooth, surprisingly.
Better than a kitchen witch.
As a dessert appetizer (K and Lily made carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting as the main course), I threw together almond shortbread dipped in chocolate liberally sprinkled with sea salt. I have been a little bored to death this week with a case of the summer head cold, this entertained me immensely. For the recipe, I consulted with Cookistry blog. Her recipe was easy and flawless.
In my food processor I first blended the dry ingredients (almond meal, salt, sugar, flour), then added eggs and vanilla. I made a double recipe because one of my oldest and dearest friends is coming to town next weekend and she has a soft spot for shortbread. We like to eat it with a glass of heavy handed chardonnay.
Add the butter and pulse until all the ingredients stick together in a homogeneously mixed lump.
Form into a log on plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more. I am keeping the second log until next Saturday.
Cut in quarter inch slices.
Arrange on cookie sheet. The recipe specified leaving some distance between the cookies but I found literally no spreading occurred whatsoever. Take that for what you will.
While the cookies cool, melt chocolate pieces in a double boiler or bain-marie. I simply use a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Very effective.
Worth noting, this was inspired by a little cello bag of the exact same cookie made locally by Valerie Confections and sold at Silver Lake Wine. I am pretty much 100% sure Valerie used better quality chocolate than I did. I used Nestle Semi-Sweet chips. They did the trick and idgaf.
Dip the cookies in the chocolate.
I used parchment to line the sheet for both baking and cooling. Parchment is my only baking trick. I suck at baking and was shocked these came out so well.
Liberally sprinkle with sea salt. I used my chunkiest sea salt short of kosher salt. Fleur de Sel de Guerande.
The food was good, the conversation loving and the baby is happy.