On Monday you may have noticed two posts went live at the same time; it wasn’t supposed to happen, but it did! Doesn’t matter how many times I checked it! Sigh.
Happy New Year dear readers. I hope you enjoyed bringing in 2014 with gusto and good eats! We entertained long time friends over a quiet trivia-filled evening. We served Tapas style food in the living room in front of our ever-so-quickly drying out Christmas tree and wood fire in the fireplace. This was the menu:
• Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Roll-ups
• Lobster Tails with Drawn Garlic Butter
• Smoked Salmon Mousse in Cucumber Cups
• California “Sushi” Slice (recipe below)
• Cheese Plate, Cranberry Sauce, Chestnut, Mushrooms & Cognac Pâté
• Fruit plate of grapes, strawberries and chocolate.
In early December we hosted a pot luck dinner party with our Trivial Pursuit Cottage friends. The three couples brought various components for a delicious meal and we thoroughly enjoyed everything; there was a delightful butternut squash soup, our contribution of the Guinness Stew with butter biscuits and last but not least, an enormous and decadent baked raspberry cheesecake! It was totally delicious and gluttonous. The hors d’œuvres was a beautifully presented smoke salmon sushi square with wasabi mayo and capers which really made me want to recreate it for New Years Eve. Because I’m already using smoked salmon for another tapa, I decided to reinvent it. It’s easy to assemble and the presentation has a lot of bang for the buck, and it tastes lovely too!
California Sushi Slice
- 1 cup uncooked sushi rice
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 sheet roasted sushi seaweed
- 1 avocado (very ripe) (~160 g give or take)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 110 g Flake Style Surimi (crab flavoured pollack) roughly 1/2 package
- thinly sliced English cucumbers (use a mandolin to get thin even slices, mine worked out to 5 slices and I had cucumber left over)
- 1 tsp wasabi (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup Mayo
- 2 tbsp toasted white and black sesame seeds
- Line an 8″ x 8″ (20cm x 20cm) square baking pan with plastic wrap so that two opposing sides come up over the sides of the pan a bit (to be used as handles to lift out of the pan).
- Cook the sushi rice according to directions. Add 1 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar and mix well. Allow to cool and then press an even layer of cooked sushi rice into the bottom.
- Sprinkle evenly with the sesame seeds.
- In a small bowl, add the ripe avocado and I tsp lemon juice (to prevent browning) and mash with a fork. To the mashed avocado add roughly torn surimi and mix well (you don’t want huge chunks, but smallish bite-sized bits) and spread this onto the seaweed layer evenly.
- Cut the seaweed into strips about 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide then pile the strips into a neat pile and cut into smallish strips (I did this because it can be difficult to bite cleanly into it) and spread an even layer over the rice.
- Top with the thinly sliced cucumber and refrigerate covered with plastic wrap until firm.
- Meanwhile mix the wasabi and mayo well, set aside (add to a small plastic squeeze bottle). Arrange the sliced cucs on a couple of folded sheets of paper towel to dry them a bit (~5 minutes).
- Once the squares are firm, remove from fridge, lift out of the pan using the plastic wrap and slice into even slices or squares. Remove plastic wrap and plate. Dot with wasabi mayo and serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers, may be kept one day before rice hardens too much or made one day in advance.