Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Homemade Fresh Crab with Avocado and Asparagus rolls  
and Mascarpone Crawfish with sauteed squash rolls
I have been on the worst sushi kick lately. It's all I want to eat these days. So naturally, I wanted to try and make some myself. I figured it wouldn't work out just because I've been led to believe that it is too hard for any non-sushi chef to do at home. First of all, that is soooo false. It's a lot easier than it looks and it also tastes just as good, if not better, than the stuff at the restaurants. This is especially true because I was using real crab instead of that imitation stuff (which I will probably use when I go back to school and no longer have papa bears credit card at my grocery disposal - not to mention amazing fresh crab available whenever you need it). The rice is also incredible. I also don't want to make any other rice ever again. I did use "sushi rice" though and not the authentic stuff, which apparently is a faux-pas but whatever. I thought it was good.
I also just got a new camera for Paris, so this is the first post I've done testing it out. I think the pictures came out pretty orange-y yellow, which I really don't like, but I think I just need more practice. It's a new kind of camera that's basically a cross between a point and shoot and a DSLR. i'm afraid I might regret not getting the DSLR but this wasn't exactly cheap either so I'm going to jump of a bridge if I don't get the hang of it soon. I spent my entire spring semester saving up for this beast so it better be worth my while!

Sushi Rice
2 cups uncooked glutinous white rice (sushi rice)
3 cups water
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Mascarpone Crawfish with sauteed squash rolls
1/2 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
1/2 tablespoon sour cream
about a cup of partially cooked crawfish
1 teaspoon crab and shrimp boil (caution, this stuff is spicy...I learned the hard way...)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Julianned and lightly sauteed green squash 
salt and pepper
*sushi rice
*seaweed wrap

Fresh Crab with Avocado and Asparagus rolls
about 1 cup fresh crab meat 
about 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (next time i'll use the light stuff, but this is what we had in the fridge)
Half of an avocado, slide in strips
1 or 2 asparagus 
*sushi rice
*seaweed wrap 

Set up your sushi station
Start by making sure you have a glass of ice or super cold water next to you. The rice is extremely sticky and it gets hard to work with when it starts sticking to your fingers rather than the seaweed. I also had to make my seaweed sheet smaller because it was a little to long for the size roll I wanted to make. If you seaweed is fresh, you should be able to fold it back and forth two or three times and then crack it. If not you can also just use scissors. 

Also make sure to put plastic wrap in between your seaweed and the bamboo rolling thing. This makes it much easier to unroll and the rice also doesn't stick to the bamboo.

Scoop the rice with your hands and press it down onto the seaweed with your fingers. Try not to overdo it thought because your rice will start to look like one mushy mass. I made sure to go a little bit over the long edges so when I rolled it and they came together they would stick better.

Flip the seaweed and rice over so the seaweed side is exposed but the plastic wrap is still underneath.
Also make sure the plastic wrap and bamboo is lined up close to the edge of the seaweed it comes together when it is time to roll it up.

For the avocado and crab roll, in a small separate bowl, gently mix together the mayo and crab. Then place 2 rows of thin avocado stripes, then your asparagus, then your crab mix. Then you can start to roll your sushi slowly, while moderately pressing down on the roll to tighten and secure the insides.

Carefully unwrap the roll, making sure the two sides have met and are sealed. If they don't quite come together, you can easily sprinkle a little more rice and re-roll it a bit so it stays closed.

Use a serrated knife (a regular chefs knife didn't work for me) and slowing cut your sushi. Make sure they aren't too thin, because then they will fall apart when you try and each them.

Mascarpone Crawfish with sauteed squash rolls 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pistachio Ice Cream

For this recipe I used Jeni's best Ice cream base and then added my own pistachio paste that I ordered off of amazon. Pistachio paste is what we used at sucre to make the pistachio ice cream, so I thought buying it would be the simplest way rather than making the paste myself. It's also a lot cheaper than buying and blending them yourself, which would probably cost at least 20 big ones. I bought this one, and I also had a lot left that I can use for other things (like a chocolate pistachio tart perhaps?) I also thought it would provide the most pistachio flavor, because some recipes just soak the pistachios in the base during the cooking process and then strain them out, which doesn't leave an amazing color or texture like the paste does. I think it came out great, but it was also super rich. You couldn't eat an entire cup of this even if you tried. least I couldn't...

Homemade Pistachio Ice Cream 
This recipe is pretty much the same as the vanilla bean recipe from the previous post, however in this one I added vanilla extract and pistachio paste instead. Adapted off of Jeni's best ice cream base.

2 cups milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 ¼  cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup pistachio paste

Before you start cooking, set up your stations:

(a.) In one small bowl, wisk together 1/4 cup of milk and the cornstartch

(b.) Place the 3 tablespoons of cream cheese in a bowl and set aside.

(c.) Open plastic bag with edges folded over set over a large bowl filled with ice (the ice should melt a bit during the cooking. you can add a bit of water to it later if it isn't ice bath ready by the time you are ready to cool your ice cream)

(d.) In a 4-quart sauce pan (at least - believe me I made this mistake and it was a hassle trying to switch pots in the middle of to follow...) Add the remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, salt and pistachio paste and wisk together until somewhat incorporated (it should turn a very faint green - the color shows up more during the cooking process)

(e.) 4 minute timer ready to go

NOW you can start cooking (and this is actually the quick part)

1. Over medium high heat, cook the mixture until it comes to a rolling boil. Boil for exactly 4 minutes.

This is when I realized my pot was too small and had to turn off the flame and switch immediately....surprised it didn't make a big difference as to the cooking process. but it did take a bit for the pot itself to get hot again

2. Pour in the cornstarch slurry and mix well. Bring back to a boil and cook for 2 more minutes then remove from heat.

3. With your small measuring cup, scoop out about 1/4 cup or more of the hot mixture and pour into the cream cheese bowl. Mix very well and then pour it back into the main pot. Stir well until thick.

4. Pour the hot cream into the plastic bag over the ice bath. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or until completely cold. If you don't want to freeze right away, you can also put the plastic bag in your fridge for up to 3 days.

5. Freeze according to your ice cream makers instructions (I do it for about 25 minutes)