spam musubi

One of my favorite ways to eat spam is in spam musubi; a Hawaiian dish which is basically a block of gorgeously fried spam pressed on or in between rice and then wrapped with a strip of seaweed. No, I do not know what spam is – and I do not want to know because this treat is wayyy too delicious to give up! Feel free to add additional ingredients to customize your musubi. As you can see in the picture below, I’ve added some eggs into the mix, along with a sprinkling of Bubu Arare (Rice Crackers) for crunch and a line of Kewpie Mayonnaise because I can, because I wanted to, but mainly because it just takes the musubi to a whole another level!

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Ingredients:

  • sushi rice
  • spam
  • seaweed
  • scrambled egg (optional)
  • bubu arare (optional)
  • kewpie mayo (optional)

Directions:

  1. First you make a batch of sushi rice following this sushi rice recipe.
  2. While the rice is cooking up, remove the block of spam from the container (this might require a ton of banging) and then cut them into 1/4 inch slabs. Fry these slices of spam in a flat stovetop pan until they are seared and crispy on both sides.
  3. When both the spam and the rice are ready, scoop enough rice to cover half of the seaweed (or all of it!) and place the spam on top of the rice. Layer on any additional optional toppings you desire.
  4. To finish, roll the spam in a similar fashion as you would following these sushi rolling tips and seal with rice. Easy and yummy!

musubi

 

 

 

 

 

black bean rotini fiesta

With the weather finally warming up again, I’m starting to think about my summer bod more and more. For me, this involves contemplating dusting off my running shoes and hitting the streets – yet to happen – and collecting all of my willpower to resist the sugar and butter cravings that I’ve been letting myself succumb to over the holidays. To fight the cravings, I’ve been filling up my grocery cart with fruits and vegetables to make me feel guilty about eating anything else when there’s plenty of good produce slowly deteriorating every day in my fridge. I think it’s working? Though what would I give for a cronut right now…

Anyways, out of curiosity, Phil and I had purchased a bag of organic, gluten free black bean rotini from Trader Joe’s that has been sitting on our pantry shelf for a few weeks now. I didn’t know what to do with it for a while, but seeing the peppers, tomatoes, and red onions in our fridge inspired me to put together a fiesta-themed dish because black beans –> Mexican food –> fiesta! At least that’s how my train of thought went.

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Ingredients:

  • black bean rotini
  • sausage or chorizo, coined
  • bell peppers, medium dice (the more colors the better!)
  • grape tomatoes, halved
  • jalapeños, small dice
  • red onion, diced
  • corn, cooked and off the cob
  • peas, cooked
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • any blend of cheese for topping

Directions:

  1. Cook the rotini as per the instructions on the package and drain when al dente. In the meantime, get your knife work done for all of the vegetables.
  2. Heat up some oil in a pan and lightly sear the sausage or chorizo.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the rotini, sausage or chorizo, bell peppers, grape tomatoes, jalapeños, red onions, corn, and peas with enough olive oil to lightly coat the rotini. Season to taste with salt while tossing.
  4. Top the black bean rotini fiesta mix with any blend of cheese to finish.
  5. Get your party on.

back with a bowl-geance

Hello world! I’m baaacckkkk~ And finally able to spend some time in my own kitchen again! For those of you who may not know, the past few months I’ve been working first as a garde manger line cook for the main dining room at the one-Michelin starred NoMad restaurant before being selected to join their bar team (responsible for one of the best burgers in the WORLD according to Bloomberg). Not taking Chef up on his offer to join the team after my ICC Externship and making the conscious decision to leave the restaurant and not pursue a career as a professional chef is bittersweet. For me, although I loved working in the kitchens of a fine-dining restaurant (one that’s also internationally known for its chicken), I also love life. And unfortunately life and being a part of society AND having the time to put into the relationships that I deeply care about just wasn’t feasible for me with the hours I was working. Let’s be real, we’ve all heard that work-life balance as a cook is pretty much nonexistent, but that was something I didn’t truly understand until I was one. Even on the occasional Mondays or Tuesdays that I had off of work, I didn’t spend the day frolicking in the sun as I thought I would, but instead slept in before spending the rest of the day nursing cuts, burns, and sore muscles – symptoms that somehow miraculously disappear though as soon as I put on my kitchen clogs and chef’s whites.

There are many factors that went into this decision, but in the end, I just wasn’t willing to sacrifice enough to pursue what I had thought was my dream career. So although I am a little lost right now, at least I know that I am in the right field and hands-down want to continue working with food. Tomorrow I will be flying out on an adventure to Vietnam to spend some time with two of my loves, but when I’m back, you will find me sniffing the streets of NYC for good food and my next culinary journey! For now though, I’m finally back to functioning on normal daylight hours, and back with a bowl-geance.

Please continue reading for the recipe for this dinner bowl featuring brown rice, roasted carrots & broccoli, seared sausages, scrambled eggs, and semi-dehydrated plum tomatoes.

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cucumber & lime honey water

Have a spa moment at home with this refreshing cucumber & lime honey water! The trick to is combine the honey with some hot water in advance to get the honey to integrate quickly into the drink without you breaking a sweat stirring or shaking.

drink

Ingredients:

  • lime (lime wedges optional for garnish)
  • cucumber slices
  • honey
  • water

Directions:

  1. Melt as much honey as desired into some hot water.
  2. Combine the hot water with cold water.
  3. Add the cucumber slices (as many as you want to taste!) and squeeze the lime juice into the water.
  4. Let chill in the refrigerator for ~1 hour or overnight and enjoy!

roasted brussel sprouts

Roasting in the oven is one of my favorite ways of cooking brussel sprouts! The prep time is only a matter of minutes and the end result is an oh-so-satisfying nutty and crunchy bite. My advice to you on this dish is SEASON AGGRESSIVELY. Salt makes all the difference.

brussels

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tomato fondue

When you have a bunch of ripe tomatoes at home, make a tomato fondue! From my experience, Roma tomatoes (a plum tomato of Italian origins) work wonderfully. It’s an easy recipe that makes a great bedding, filling, or topping from fish to eggs~

fondue

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easy toast breakfast

The thing that I love about toast for breakfast is that it’s so easy to make in the mornings and hardly takes any effort to jazz up with toppings! There is no one way to make toast and you can put anything, really ANYTHING, you want on them.

bread

For the above, I used vanilla Greek yogurt and peanut butter with flax & chia seeds for the spread and topped them with tiger figs, yellow nectarines, and bananas.