Kitchen Integrity

All Posted Recipes:
I have tried it!
I like it!
(Or I tell you my stupid mistakes)

February 17, 2015

Taiga Salmon

This is not identical to the Russian dish of the same name, but it's a close recreation that's both tasty and easy.

*note... I used a baking stone because this salmon dish was always served on a hot stone in the restaurants we visited, and it does seem to make a difference in how well everything bakes. But I'm certain this recipe would work with a regular baking dish or jelly roll pan (that's a cookie sheet with sides, just to be clear).

What you need:

Large salmon fillet

Potatoes Au Gratin, boxed instant (I think we used "Idahoan")

---ingredients necessary for boxed potatoes (typically water, milk, butter)

Tomatoes, sliced

Fresh dill, chopped

How to do it:

1. With a baking stone already in oven, preheat oven according to box instructions. Our box indicated 450°.

2. As oven heats, prepare potatoes. When ready, grease stone with light spray of olive oil. Rinse salmon, place on stone and lightly spray salmon with olive oil. Place potato dish on middle rack and salmon stone on rack directly under potatoes.

3. Bake 20 minutes or as indicated by box instructions.

4. When potatoes are finished (ours had five additional minutes after sprinkling parmesan), remove from oven along with salmon stone. Pat up any excess oil from stone with paper towel if necessary. Spoon potatoes onto salmon and garnish with tomatoes and dill. Serve.

October 18, 2013

Steamed Sticky Rice

The process of sticky rice takes time but not a lot of effort or attention. There are a few steps to it, but don't let that be daunting! There's no special skill involved...unless you're some mad chef who wants to turn it into a special art form. (I'm sure it has happened). But if you just want yummy sticky rice done right? Tada!

I'm no expert on sticky rice (except maybe as a taster?), but I've compiled instructions for steaming sticky rice because there wasn't a satisfactory recipe that answered all my questions. I had to use several sources to put everything together. It worked! So here it is, all in one spot, at least to my preference.

There are different ways to steam rice if you don't have a basket and pot or stacking steamer pots meant for sticky rice, but this is meant to be more informative on the traditional--if not authentic--method. Check this out if you want a very accessible way to steam it! 
Some sites say you can boil the rice, and it may be somewhat sticky...but that's not the way to get the best sticky rice! Steaming is the way to go! :)

What you need: 
sweet thai rice (sanpatong)
steamer basket
steamer pot
cheesecloth (optional; improvise if you want to save yourself the hassle of cleaning your basket)
medium-sized pot lid
water or thin coconut milk

soak 3-12 hours at room temperature (not in fridge)
20-40 minutes steaming
5 minutes standing

room temperature (authentic bamboo rice keepers are awesome, but I don't have any!)
lightly wrapped (see end of post)

room temperature, warm or hot (but not blisteringly hot)

Now! To business! 
You need the right kind of rice. It should be glutinous rice (don't confuse that with gluten; it just means sticky). Sweet thai rice is what I'm accustomed to, and I like it just fine. Sweet thai rice, sanpatong, looks like this:
 See how it's very white and puffy looking?
I looked specifically for "sweet" and "sanpatong." Beyond that, I really couldn't judge brand name...

You need to soak the rice first for 3-12 hours. I chose to soak mine overnight; the longer the rice soaks, the better! I placed 4 cups of rice in a tupperware covered with 2-3 inches of water above the level of rice. I poured just a little coconut milk in there, too, but since that's so sweet I kept it quite diluted. I couldn't find information about whether to cover the rice while it soaked, so I went by gut instinct and covered it for its overnight bath. We live in Arizona, and even though the nights are chilly this month, I didn't want everything to evaporate! It worked-- so I'd say go ahead and cover it.

UPDATE: Recently made sticky rice again, this time soaking it all night and much of the day (in plain water). Steamed it about 40 minutes, maybe a little more. Like it even better! :)

After soaking, drain the rice. I used a mesh strainer as well as some mesh fabric to drain the rice.
*If you don't have cheesecloth, a very thin dishtowel or even a coffee filter will do. It just needs to be fine enough to allow steam to pass through! Furthermore: if you don't use a cloth, just make sure you soak the bottom of the basket in warm water for a long time to loosen any bits of rice. You might not even have much rice stuck on it to deal with anyway!*
Then I put some water in the steamer pot and set it to boil. Use a few inches of water, enough to last the steaming time and not so much that it touches the basket. Here's the thing-- the water never got bubbly-boily, but there was plenty of hot steam coming up, so I considered that good enough for steaming the rice. That's when I put the rice, in its mesh fabric, into the steamer basket and on top of the steamer pot. I covered it with a pot lid like so:
The fabric is bunched under the lid, not that you have to do that.

The rice can steam for 20-40 minutes. I think it's done when it forms a ball nicely as you pull the fabric and tilt it back and forth a bit. I set my timer for 10 minutes so I could turn the rice halfway through the cooking time. 20 minutes worked great for my rice.
After it was finished steaming, I placed the rice still in its mesh fabric into the strainer on top of a tupperware to catch extra draining.
...I twisted that just for fun...

If you used a bamboo basket, you should rinse it thoroughly and then let it air dry absolutely well. Wiping it dry isn't sufficient, and you've got to avoid mildew or mold. I took advantage of the sun and set mine to dry on the clothesline!
I think that's a pretty sight. :) For some reason.
The rice sat for a few minutes before I couldn't resist nabbing a bit.
It made a little ball perfectly! It's perfectly delicious, too. I have to admit I was worried the coconut milk would make it too sweet, but there's just a subtle hint of the coconut flavor. To store mine until dinner tonight (teriyaki chicken--I know, Japanese and Thai--don't judge me! I'm a Westerner!), I'll loosely wrap the mesh-tied rice in plastic wrap and a thick, clean dish towel. Good enough to keep it warm and still let it breathe a bit.
So I've read that putting the rice in the fridge is far from ideal because it turns the rice into a hard rocky clump. But I've done it before to help it last longer, and you can reheat it in the microwave on medium power with a damp paper towel/dish towel draped over the rice ball (if it's a big ball, break it in half partway through heating, and don't overheat). It works. Otherwise, room temperature will suffice! As for precise storage time? Probably no longer than a day or two at room temperature, and I'd say no longer than 3 or 4 days in the fridge for the best taste. Be aware that that is my guess-by-experience.

January 18, 2012

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

This syrup converted my husband to French Toast. It trumps regular syrup any day (even the pure maple stuff). It's amazing on desserts, too--you'll see. It's soooo delicious. 

Buttermilk Syrup
printable version
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick real butter (1/2 cup)
2 TBS corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients but vanilla in a very large pot. 

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low (but adjust as necessary to keep it bubbling). Cook, stirring constantly for 8-9 minutes. 

After all the stirring and bubbling, remove from heat. Give it one last stir, and it will condense into this: 

Makes about 2 cups. Mmmmm!!!