Friday, April 29, 2011

Soy Ginger Salmon

Happy Friday! Happy Royal Wedding Day!

This recipe is inspired by the way my Mom used to always prepare Salmon. It's comforting and familiar and involves baking the mild orange fish in a ginger, soy, teriyaki and lime based marinade. I was pretty "lazy" last night and only took two photographs of my ingredients / prep work. That being said, there isn't a whole lot to this preparation. And sometimes ingredient photos are a pain in the butt.
At least we have some pretty looking green and yellow peppers. Seasoned with salt & pepper and sauteed in a little olive oil the simple preparation compliments the range of salty, sweet and garlicky flavors in the salmon recipe I will do my best to detail from memory below. The amount of ingredients are generally proportionate to the size of the piece of fish. I had about a pound.
Ingredients
1/2 cup Soy sauce
2 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, grated
1 lime, juiced
1 lb salmon fillet
1/2 green pepper, sliced lengthwise
1/2 yellow pepper, sliced lengthwise
1 cup jasmine or white rice

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the first five ingredients in a baking dish. Add the salmon and marinate for about 15 minutes, brushing the marinade over the piece of fish a few times to coat the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through - it should flake to the touch of a fork. As the fish bakes the marinade will take on a sticky glaze like quality.Meanwhile, I sauteed my peppers and simmered a cup of jasmine rice on the stove. The salmon would also work well with a pairing of asparagus or green beans, or whatever crispy green vegetable you had on hand or happened to be craving. The fish and peppers are filling on their own, but I'm partial to a fluffy forkful of jasmine rice, maybe even doused in a little more soy sauce. The soy and teriyaki sauces mingle to form a flavorful base for the mild fish accented with bright bursts of lime and potent ginger. The fish itself is flaky yet filling, and not to mention a healthy dose of Omega 3s.It has been awhile since I enjoyed cooked Salmon (I eat sashimi or smoked more often these days) but it used to be a staple in my weeknight meal rotations. It actually used to be my favorite fish, but I ate it all the time at restaurants and cooked it so much that eventually it was too much of a good thing!I'm glad I thought to bring it back. Plus, it's super easy to make. Did you see how small that list of ingredients was? And I had lunch leftovers! Salmon heats up quite well the next day. What's your favorite type of fish to cook?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bosphorous

Good morning friends! Has it been awhile since I've posted a restaurant review?! I recall the last time I went out to dinner was over a week ago and my wallet thanks me for that! Excitedly, I didn't have to reach too deep into my pockets this evening as the menu sampling at Bosphorus was compliments of the house. I think you know me well enough to know by now I'm honest when it comes to my feelings about the food and experience, whether it be comped or I whether I paid top dollar. So with that little disclaimer, lets get this Turkish feast underway.Opened this past January in Inman Square, Bosphorus serves authentic Turkish Cuisine in a setting defined by warm rust colored walls, dim lighting and striking cloth canopies. Rows of dark wooden booths with backs cushioned by red, beige and brown fabric appear uniform and cozy on one side and a long polished bar boasting illuminated arches fills the length of the space on the opposite. The stunning interior leaves a lasting first impression and the service and cuisine follow up in similar form. The hospitable General Manager named Hakan was on hand to explain the dishes served and to answer the questions of our inquiring party which included Elizabeth, Meghan, Michelle, Emily, Megan and myself. While I know very little about Turkish food, I was eager to learn by tasting. Heads up: lots of eggplant offerings, lamb dishes, grape leaves, kebobs, tangy yogurt sauces and whipped humus spreads jump out from the pages of the rather heavy and elegant looking menus.
What else jumped out on the menu was a decent selection of Turkish Wines. Our waitress was knowledgeable and helpful to recommend both reds and whites to satisfy our cravings. She described your standard Turkish red wine as dry and recommended the Yakut ($8 glass/$32 bottle) siting its similarities to a Rioja. I drank two glasses and felt this was a balanced red (indeed dry) that paired well with the bold flavors of the food.First, we were served a basket of soft chewy pita bread alongside a fresh tomato and red pepper based dip with a kick.It's the Turkish version of chips and salsa! I learned the brightly colored paste is called Ezme and in addition to a base of spicy tomato and red pepper it is made with onions, green peppers, walnuts, parsley, olive oil and spices.
There was a generous amount of pita in that basket and we continued to enjoy slices alongside dueling vegetarian platters prepared with the chefs selection of mezes and appetizers. Mezes included a thick yogurt dip made with strained yogurt, walnuts, garlic, olive oil and mint called Haydari and a classic Humus made with mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Front and center is a meze bowl of Kisir which is fine ground bulgur (cracked wheat) mixed with parlsey, scallions and tomato paste. Missing in action (far right corner of the large photo) is an Artichoke Salad combining artichoke hearts and fresh vegetables tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.To the left we have Mercimek Kofte which is a thick paste of red lentils made with cracked wheat, green onion and parsley, wrapped in crisp lettuce. To the right is Patlican Ciftlick a whipped eggplant puree containing red and yellow peppers and lemon juice stuffed in a tomato. My favorite of the many offerings were the Zeytinyagla Sarma which are grape leaves stuffed with rice, bulgur, pine nuts, black currants, onions and herbs. I loved the way the savory rice meshed with the sweet bite of currants.
From Imam Bayildi which are baby eggplants stuffed with tomatoes to Zeytinyagla Dolma which are grilled green peppers stuffed with rice, pine nuts, currant, onions and herbs, I'm definitely getting a feel for the common ingredients of Turkish food; some of it more familiar than others. I like what I'm discovering.There is more good food where that platter came from. We shared three generously portioned entrees beginning with the Bosphorus Kebab ($23) a braised lamb shank wrapped in eggplant served with herbed vegetables in a flavorful tomato based sauce. The dark lamb meat was incredibly tender, falling off the bone into a cradle of soft eggplant. We've had a lot of eggplant at this point!The Sebzeli Guvec ($18) proves a comforting casserole of mixed vegetables featuring potatoes, eggplants, mushrooms, carrots, celery and peppers. Bulger Pilaf and a tangy yogurt sauce accompanied.And finally, an incredibly satisfying plate of pan seared chicken breast stuffed with spinach and mushroom called Sultan's Chicken ($20). Almond slivers and dried apricots added welcome bites of texture and contrast to the juicy chicken and creamy potato puree.
After all that, we were treated to desserts! I was enamored with the offerings, especially this bowl of Asure a.k.a. Noah's Dessert ($8) a festive pudding of cereal grains, chickpeas, beans, dry fruits and nuts. Chickpeas in dessert? I know it sounds odd, but those little chickpeas tasted like they were made for this this dish. Next to this bowl of biblical legend sat Kunefe ($9) which is another strange on print but memorable on the palate combination of shredded phyllo dough filled with fresh mozzarella cheese, baked and topped with syrup and shredded coconut.Lending a delightfully soft and crumbly texture, Sekerpare ($7) is baked semolina and almond pastry soaked in sweet lemony syrup. A more widely known dessert of the region - Baklava ($7) layers finely ground pistachio within syrupy phyllo dough for a sticky sweet finale.

I adored both these traditional confections. You'll definitely want to save some room for dessert here! I'm warning you in advance because if you couldn't tell from the photographs, those entrées are plentiful.
Dinner at Bosphorus was serene and calming, which I can attribute to the zen like glow of the polished atmosphere and the hospitable staff. The dishes served showcased exciting preparations with flavorful ingredients and proved this seemingly lesser known cuisine is not limited to only the adventurous eater, but to anyone who can appreciate traditional flavors of the Mediterranean. The menu has enough variety where you can play it safe with a good old Shish Kebab and some Baklava or hopefully be enticed by something new and unfamiliar.
Bosphorus on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lower Cape

Temperatures on Cape Cod on Easter Sunday reached the upper sixties which means it was warm enough to be on the beach in a tank top! I took full advantage.Mom, Adam and I road tripped about the Lower Cape, visiting a number of beaches on the Atlantic side in the beloved towns of Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. (With a little Commercial Street thrown in for good measure.)Cahoon Hollow Beach, Wellfleet Ballston Beach, Truro (North and South Pamet Roads) i love this house.i feel bad for this one.Erosion in full effect :(Swells. I'm actually not sure why the water is so dark and green. Seaweed influx?Race Point Beach, Provincetown Followed by a picnic lunch and some Right Whale sightings at Herring Cove Beach.After we had our fill of beach explorations we wandered around Commercial Street. We browsed the shops...Had a photo op with the matching blue fence...(We somehow wore the same color.)And drank some drinks at the Top Of The Pot Bar at The Lobster Pot over looking Provincetown Harbor.They make a phenomenal Bloody Mary with black peppercorn, lemon peel & pepperoncini infused vodka (spiciest ever!) and homemade Bloody Mary mix. Even though 5:00 seemed too late for one, I couldn't resist. Adam drank a Cape Cod Cherry Soda which was an interestingly sweet blend of Plum Vodka with cranberry juice and ginger ale. It was so nice to spend such a gorgeous day on Cape Cod, especially before summer tourist season kicks into high gear. I was so not ready to return to the city and back to work!
Lobster Pot on Urbanspoon