Happy New Year!
First off, lets get down to the important stuff. I’ve made a resolution: You’re going to hear a lot more from me in the next year. I’m going to try to make a recipe a week this year once I get some things off my schedule. I’m not sure what is going to happen in the next year, but I’m damned well going to try hard. Stick around and see what we’re in for!
Mine is off to a good start, first we had a new years party – they did not request people bring snacks, but it ended up being a pot luck. You’ll find more on the pot luck below.
My work has also recognized the hard work I’ve put in, and given me a raise! that plus the fact that I get 20 vacation days this year means i’m in a position i’ve never been in before: I’m completely capable of taking a vacation this year! I want to do Vancouver i’m thinking- it’s a shame that I have not been out there yet and there are a few events I want to take in.
Now, as for the potluck… I don’t do pot lucks simple. I have a theory for them:
Since I have celiac disease and cannot eat gluten, I have to really watch what I eat. When I go to potlucks or events, frequently there will only be one or two items that I can eat. Sometimes, there is nothing but this is getting less frequent. Therefore, I work my butt off to bring something that I am not only proud to serve my friends, but would LOVE to eat!
This time I decided to make maki rolls! Making sushi is a fun, and creative process that is simple to learn but hard to master. Personally, I avoid using raw fish etc because I live in a landlocked province. Fly fish in from the coast? Really? When I can change up my recipes and make it just as delicious using local goods??
These maki Rolls are stuffed with Cucumber, Avocado, Bacon, and a chilli-mayo that I made- and they turned out both pretty AND delicious. I know I know.. Avocado’s aren’t local. BUT, they are a really good source of heart healthy fats and I freaking love them so give me a break!
You will need:
Rice wine vinegar
gluten free soy sauce ( or other if you’re one of those wheat eaters)
CHILLI MAYO: for every 1 tbsp sambal oelek I use 3tbsp REAL mayo made from EGGS, some chilli powder, a dash of gluten free soy sauce and a few cranks of the spice weasel. Keep an eye on the mayo, it’s getting harder to find a real one these days. Should really only be egg yolk, vinegar and oil +spices, and it has WAY more flavour than the mass produced brands, but not the shelf life. The Spice Weasel ( thank you futurama) is a pepper mill filled with black peppercorns, dried chilliflakes, some kosher salt, some garlic salt, and a few other spices that I keep secret. It’s one of my secret ingredients that I add to everything! In lieue of spice weasel, some diced garlic or garlic powder ( small amount) will give it the kick you need!
Sushi Rice: for every 1 cup of Sushi/Zushi rice use 1.25 cups of water. Make as you would regular rice in the rice steamer. Afterwards cover and set aside to cool ( in front of a fan or on the front porch in winter etc). In a small container mix together for every one cup of rice, 1tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 3tbsp UNSEASONED rice wine vinegar. Sugar may be substituted for Honey, and it tastes awesome that way. I add a crank of spice weasel to this mixture, but traditionally you would not. While the rice is cooling ,sprinkle this mixture over it and fold the rice until it is mixed through. FOLD instead of STIR so that you do not wreck the consistency of the rice! Keep covered with a damp cloth, it’ll be ready when it’s cooled down. Gotta be patient because hot sushi rice might burn you, and you want to keep the ingredients as chilled as possible to retain good quality!
Filling: Cut your cucumber into strips. I measure the side of a nori to figure out how long I’ll need them and then make squared sticks of cucumber – about 1cm squared.
Peel and cut your avocado into strips as well, same thickness as the cucumber, put them in a bowl and toss wiht a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar to prevent them from browning on you.
Cook your bacon, then cut them into strips of the same size as the other ingredients.
Set out a sushi mat (bamboorollers avail at grocery stores, typically around where the other materials are)
Cover sushi mat in plastic wrap, making sure a small amount folds over to the back side
put nori wrap on plastic wrap
put small layer of sushi rice on the bottom 3/4 of the nori, using a wet hand or a spatula to get it on there
put small layer of chilli may on the bottom 1/3 of the sushi rice, please be sparing. A huge flaw in a lot of rolls is too much mayo!
Put cucumber strip on bottom edge of rice, line avocado right beside it, line bacon beside that. should cover left to right completely.
Slowly pull up the bottom portion of the roller and use it to compact the line of filling. then use this to assist you in rolling the sushi up – should be instructions on the use of the mat on the container it came from.
Watch that you do not roll the plastic wrap into the sushi.
Moisten the top part of the nori that does not have rice on it
Continue to roll, use matt to help you. The wet nori should stick to itself sort of like closing an envelope, and then you can use the matt to assist you in getting the roll into a good shape. Having a uniform roll takes practice, don’t feel bad if they fall apart!
Use the plastic wrap to wrap up the roll, and put it in the fridge.
Continue until you have used up the rice you have prepared, and the ingredients.
Once the rolls have chilled for a few minutes – I like to leave them in there until just prior to service, get a CLEAN knife, sharpen it with a steel, get it moist, and slice throuhg the plastic wrap to produce rolls. You should then be able to peel the plastic off of the individual rolls. You could do this first, but it is much more difficult to slice the rolls neatly and cleanly if they are not wrapped. Wash your knife between rolls – the rice starch really impedes your ability to cut and ingredients will stick ot it, ruining the beauty if your rolls.
Serve on a pretty platter with Soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.