Saturday, June 28, 2014

Crunchy Beef Nori Rolls

Soooo...I'm not a fan of sushi, but this was an interesting (and inexpensive) use of ground beef and sushi wrappers.   The dried seaweed was less than $2.00, so turned out to be a cheap and elegant-looking entree!

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 c. chopped shallots 
  • 1/4 c. scallions or green onions
  • 3/4 c. diced carrots
  • 1/2 c. diced dried shitake mushrooms, reconstituted or 4 oz. can of mushrooms, drained and diced
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic ginger paste or 3/4 Tbsp. of freshly grated ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • Nori Paper (Roasted Seaweed) 
  • Oil for Frying
  • Sweet Chili Sauce for Dipping

Prep:  If you're using dried mushrooms, you need to...

...soak them in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to reconstitute them.
Inside a shallot
Prep: Beat your eggs

Prep: Peel fresh ginger, if you're not using paste

Prep: Grate the ginger, however coarsely or fine you'd like

Ginger, after grating

(Cook's Note:  All of the recipes I saw for this used RAW ground beef.  But, since I took my meat out late night and wasn't going to assemble these until the next afternoon, I PRE-COOKED my meat in a skillet, just until there was no pink.  Then stored in the fridge overnight.)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Add more egg(s) as needed to achieve a sticky but not overly dense consistency.

Place Nori on a flat surface with the smoother shiny side down.

If you can tell, one side of the nori paper might be shinier and smoother than the other.
Place the shiny/smoother side down on your work surface. 

Spread a thin layer of meat filling over the Nori.
When adding the meat filling, do NOT go all the way to the edges
or your roll won't seal well and will probably fall open during frying.

Roll the Nori into a tube, like you would a sushi roll.  Use water to seal the edge, if necessary.

To help seal the roll, dab your fingers in a little water and ... fingers along the seam.

Press roll seam lightly together to seal.  

Fry immediately in a hot pan with the edge side down. For shallow-frying, use about a 1/2 of oil in the pan or you may deep fry as well.
Using metal tongs, turn the rolls evenly and carefully,  until all sides have been browned.  It is suggested that you also cover the cooking pan with a lid to make sure the meat inside has been cooked via steam.

 Once the Nori is slightly brown and crispy on all sides, the meat should be done - about 2 minutes per "turn."   (Cook's Note:  I used pre-cooked beef, so my cooking time was a few minutes less, but it was still important to fry it long enough to cook the raw eggs that are in it.)
Use Metal Tongs instead of a fork to turn the rolls while cooking.
Also use the tongs to remove them from the pan, as to prevent tearing or splitting.

Drain fried rolls on a paper towel.  Let cool a few minutes before cutting. 

Slice into 3-4 pieces each and serve with sweet chili sauce.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Shrimp and Andouille Sausage With Asiago Grits


A very yummy twist over the traditional Shrimp & Grits...

Main Entree Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 pound Andouille sausage, diced
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Asiago Grits (Recipe follows) 
  • Garnish: chopped fresh chives

Prep:  Grate the Asiago
Prep: Cut up your Andouille Sausage (Dice or slice into 1/4" -1/2" discs)

Main Entree Preparation

Peel shrimp; devein, if desired.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add sausage, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Add shrimp, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. 

Remove shrimp and sausage mixture from skillet.
Add cream, broth, and wine to skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Thickened sauce

Stir in cheese and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
Add black pepper and Asiago cheese

Stir in shrimp and sausage mixture. 

Serve over Asiago Grits. Garnish, if desired.

Grits Ingredients

  • 2 (14-oz.) cans chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 1/2 (8-oz.) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Grits Preparation

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Gradually whisk in grits.
Shake grits into boiling chicken broth GRADUALLY and whisk constantly in order to avoid lumps.

Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes or until thickened. (*Cook's Note: If you use "quick grits" instead of the traditional kind, please adjust cooking time according to box instructions.
Grits should be thick enough to stay on a whisk or spoon without dripping off.

Add cheeses (asiago/parmesan and cream cheese) plus the pepper, stirring until melted.

Place your grits at the bottom of serving dish, and spoon the shrimp/sausage sauce over it.