Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fast Food Takes Time

I can’t believe I let this much time go by without posting. It’s not for lack of material – I’ve been cooking and cleaning like a mad-woman in between lots of menu work for the catering company and trips to the gym. I’ve been cooking a lot more lately because I am trying to avoid processed food and the hubby and I are carb-cycling (to some degree anyway). So I’m preparing food for almost every meal as well as snacks. You don’t realize how much prepared and carry-out food you’ve been relying on until you try to prepare all of it yourself. I’m exhausted!

Part of the strategy over the last few weeks has been to pack all of our lunches and plan all of our meals, while at the same time stockpiling the freezer with portioned meals so that we will have ‘convenience meals’ ready to go in the future. So far I’ve made two batches of beef stew, turkey muffins, veggie burgers, metric tons of blanched kale, sautéed spinach, vegetables and sweet potatoes. Then a balance of meat and veggies get portioned into one-meal sized pyrex dishes that can go straight from the freezer to a microwave at home or at work.

So Friday I made a double batch of Brian Boitano’s Seafood Sausage with Miso Mustard so we could have a low-carb dinner and then have some seafood meals to add to the frozen stockpile of options. It starts with blanching some savoy cabbage leaves, cooling them in ice water and removing any thick stem.

The recipe calls for a carrot and cucumber salad to go on top of the finished sausages, but my honey doesn’t like raw vegetables, so while I had water boiling I went ahead and blanched snow peas…

and grated carrot for a cooked ‘slaw.’

Here he is cutting the salmon into chunks for the food processor. Such a handsome sous chef!

I suggest pulsing half of the seafood in the processor and then just giving a coarse chop to the rest of it so that the sausage has chunks of salmon, scallops and shrimp.

My sous chef isn’t a big fan of mustard and I didn’t have the mirin, so I strayed from the recipe there as well and made a miso, wasabi dressing that I thinned and sweetened with some honey, apple juice and a little rice wine vinegar.

Then you combine all of the seafood with ginger and garlic – what could go wrong? Nothing, so roll it all up in the cabbage leaves. Put about a heaping quarter cup of seafood onto the bottom third of the cabbage leaf. I find it easiest to put the cabbage leaf upside down and start at the bottom so the seafood is contained before I get the the part of the leaf where the stem has been cut out.

Start rolling and and then fold in sides.

Steam the cabbage rolls, make a cut down the top, and sprinkle with your veg salad and drizzle sauce.

The sauce makes it.

Then I portioned them out into pyrex dishes for the freezer so that the next time I have a busy day and want to eat healthy I still might find time to get a blog post done!



Seafood Sausage with Miso Mustard

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


Miso Mustard:
3 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp miso paste
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp wasabi paste

Seafood Sausage:
1/2 lb salmon, skinned, chopped
1/2 lb scallops, chopped
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 egg white
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mirin
1 tsp ginger, chopped
1 head savoy cabbage, leaves picked
1/2 cup carrot julienne
1/2 cup cucumber julienne


- for mustard whisk ingredients together and set aside
- for sausage add all ingredients but cabbage, carrots and cucumber to a food processor with a blade. Pulse until mixture is blended but still chunky.
- boil a large pot of salted water and add cabbage leaves to blanch for 30 seconds. Transfer them to cool in an ice bath. Remove leaves from the bath and arrange on a sheet tray lined with a kitchen towel.
- put a cabbage leaf onto a work surface. Halve the large stem in the middle so that it is thin enough to be rolled without the stem breaking. Spread 1/4 cup of the seafood mixture over the bottom 1/3 of the cabbage leaf. Tightly roll the leaf up half way. Fold the sides of the leaves inward toward the center of the roll to keep the filling contained. Tightly roll the sausage up the remaining way. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- set up a bamboo steamer, vegetable steamer or a colander over a pot of simmering water. Arrange sausages in the steamer and steam until they are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- slice each sausage lengthwise 3/4 of the way through, leaving the bottom in tact. Split the sausages open and top them with the julienned carrot and cucumber. Drizzle with the mustard.

Recipe courtesy of Brian Boitano/Food Network

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