Miso…hungry!

Have you ever had days when the hours flash by so quickly that by the time you’ve stopped spinning and finally have the chance to catch your breath, you realize that you’ve been running on fumes and that you are now officially…HANGRY?  Considering that I do not have that many mouths to feed (yet), this worries me a little…how am I going to feed co-dependents not so keen on fumes for sustenance?

All silliness aside, I have slowly been working on my repertoire of quick meals, precisely for these HANGRY times.  It also helps to be less than 10 minutes from a decent grocery store with organic produce.  Even in NYC, I was among the few denizens who did not routinely order delivery, to the consternation of my roommates.

One of the items I always have in my pantry is miso.  Made from fermented soybeans, miso is chock full of protein, vitamins, and minerals and adds a salty, sweet, earthy, and savory dimension to sauces, marinades, and soups.  It lends itself well to both traditional and modern cooking, and is extremely versatile.  I used it to make a quick side dish to pair with my Pan-Seared Sake Sea Bass the other night, and it made one hangry MD much happier after a long day.

IMG_3219 IMG_3218

Miso Butter Glazed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 16 oz variety of mushrooms – wiped clean and sliced if larger (e.g. crimini, oyster, shiitake)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced with white and green parts divided
  • 1 tbl white (shiro) miso
  • 1/2 tbl water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Instructions:

  1. Heat well-seasoned wok over medium heat.
  2. Melt 1 tsp butter and stir-fry white scallion parts and mushrooms, allowing some time between stirs for the mushrooms to get some color.
  3. Combine miso, water, and sugar.  Add to mushroom and white scallion mixture, tossing to coat.  Sauce will thicken slightly.
  4. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp sesame oil, toss in sliced green scallions, and remove from heat.  Serve immediately.

IMG_3239

Pan-Seared Sake Sea Bass with Ginger and Scallions (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz sea bass filet
  • 2 tbl canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 1/4-inch slices of ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • ~2.5-3 tbl sake
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, julienned
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly on diagonal, green parts only
Instructions:
  1. Bring sea bass to room temperature by leaving out on the counter for at least 10 minutes prior to cooking.  Season liberally with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Add oil and heat, adding smashed garlic clove and slices of ginger to infuse the oil while it is heating.
  3. Once the ginger and garlic are fragrant, sear fish, skin side down, about 6 minutes, or until skin is golden and fish is 3/4 cooked.  Baste a few times with oil in the pan.
  4. Lower heat slightly to medium, turn fish over and cook 2 minutes more, until just cooked through.  Transfer to heated plate and keep warm.
  5. Remove ginger and garlic used to infuse the oil, add julienned ginger to remaining oil and lower heat while ginger cooks for ~10-15 seconds.
  6. Deglaze the pan with sake, scraping up browned bits.  Remove pan from heat, add scallions and stir to wilt slightly.  Spoon scallion and ginger mixture over the sea bass and serve immediately.

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bunch asparagus
  • olive oil
  • lemon zest
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Wash asparagus and trim tough ends.  Pat completely dry.
  3. Toss with just enough olive oil to coat.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Grate fresh lemon zest over to taste.
  5. Roast until crisp-tender, ~10-15 minutes.

Oven baked crispy soy ginger chicken wings

J continues to be flummoxed by how little I know about American football, despite growing up in the U.S.  He simply shakes his head at my clueless look when he runs around talking about first downs, field goals, and blahblahblah.  Fortunately, we can meet in the middle:  he watches football and I spend that time amusing myself by making him snacks like these, which are a slightly healthier version of the ubiquitous chicken wings that grace so many Super Bowl parties.  And maybe, just maybe, learn a little about football.

I’m a little reluctant to clean up the mess that comes with deep frying, so opted to oven-bake these using the Cooks Illustrated method instead.  With this method, fat is rendered by baking them at lower heat and then followed by browning at higher heat, achieving an enviable crispness and moistness that rivals the deep frying technique!

IMG_3109 IMG_3115
(Clearly, I made the salad for me 😉 ).

Oven Crispy Soy Ginger Chicken Wings

From Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book

Ingredients:

3 lbs chicken wings

2 tbl baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

sweet soy ginger glaze (recipe below)

Instructions:

1. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions and preheat to 250 degrees F.  Set a wire rack onto a foil lined rimmed baking sheet.

2.  Pat dry and prep chicken wings and place into a large ziplock bag with baking powder and salt.  Seal and toss to coat evenly.

3.  Arrange the wings, skin side up, on a single layer on the rack and bake on the lower rack in the oven for 30 minutes at 250 degrees F.

4.  Move the wings to the upper rack, increase the temperature to 425 degrees F, and roast until golden brown and crispy, about 40-50 minutes. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking to allow for even browning.

5.  Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before transferring to a large bowl and tossing with wing sauce.  Enjoy hot!

Sweet Soy Ginger Glazed Wing Sauce

Adapted from Ravenous Couple

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 cup thinly sliced ginger

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 tbl low sodium soy sauce

1 tbl fish sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tbl honey

1 to 2 tbl sriracha (may adjust according to taste)

Instructions:

1. In a small saucepan, combine water, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and chile and bring to a boil.

2. Add honey and reduce by half until it has the consistency of maple syrup and set aside.