Thursday, March 15, 2012

From my kitchen: Miso-Ginger Glazed Salmon

I found this recipe snooping around on  I was looking for dinner inspiration and after seeing how simple this recipe was I bought some Sockeye Salmon and green onion from the New Pioneer Co-op and headed home to get started.  I already had most of the ingredients the recipe asks for so it was a quick store trip.    

Green onions are always a welcome addition to many asian based glazes/marinades.

Whisking the miso glaze

The finished product!

Steaming salmon straight out of the oven

You can always add more glaze after the Salmon is done with the reserve the recipe tells you to put aside.  I left the amount of glaze I started with the same and added more diced green onion and sesame seeds.

The salmon took about 10 min. to cook in the oven on broil.  

I served it with white rice and sauteed spinach for some greens.

This recipe was quick and simple.  The glaze was about five ingredients and the cooking took about 10-15 minutes.

Here is the recipe if you want to attempt it: 

  • Vegetable oil, for coating the aluminum foil
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup red miso paste
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger (from about a 2-inch piece)
  • 1 salmon side (about 3 1/2 pounds), skin on and pin bones removed
  • 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with vegetable oil; set aside.
  2. Whisk the mirin, miso, brown sugar, soy sauce, and ginger in a medium bowl until combined. Reserve 1/3 cup of the miso mixture in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Rinse the salmon under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels, and place on the baking sheet skin-side down. Using a sharp knife, score the salmon with parallel 1/4-inch-deep diagonal cuts spaced 2 inches apart.Brush the salmon with all of the reserved 1/3 cup miso mixture. (If the side of salmon is longer than the baking sheet, tuck the tail end of the fish under itself after the miso mixture has been applied.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Set a small fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl and strain the remaining miso mixture. Discard the solids and set the strained sauce aside.
  5. Remove the fish from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap. Broil the salmon on the baking sheet, rotating once or twice, until it’s just opaque in the center and a golden brown crust has formed, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle with the scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately, passing the strained sauce.

**Special considerations: I used two fillets of Sockeye Salmon instead of a side of salmon but the glaze was still the perfect amount.  There were no pin bones so I didn't have to worry about that.  I only had sweet white miso so I used that instead of Red Miso, there was no noticeable difference.  I thought I had some Mirin but I was and used 1 Tablespoon of Rice Vinegar instead.  I also did not bother straining the remaining miso glaze.

I basically used what I had in my kitchen to prepare the Salmon.  I only had to buy green onion to complete the recipe.  The salmon turned out perfectly moist and the glaze was sweet enough without being overpowering.  I had some leftover miso glaze so I am marinating pieces of cod overnight to use up the rest of it.

Thanks recipes!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Our end in Iowa City

Bittersweet but not really.  Winter here is beautiful but it is also cold.  You can sometimes live with the cold with heaters, coats, and mittens but I will definitely miss the beauty of a fresh coat of snow lightly powdering the yard of our first house.  I will miss the sun shining through snow covered branches. But mostly, I will miss trudging through it hearing the crunching under my snow boots. 

I went around the house this morning snapping pictures of our possible last snow fall in Iowa with my 50 mm f/1.8 lens that I rarely get to use and here are some of the photos.  This lens takes amazing photos that pinpoints the focus at times leaving you with a beautiful blurred background and sometimes foreground.

Narrow focus 

Sun peeking through

Snowy branches

Solar lights

These tree saplings always remind me of dancing garden eels at the aquarium

Our overgrown fire pit 

Browning yard foliage

Always a good picture

This reminds me of movement

Wela was looking for me and found me

Lonely twig on our snow covered deck

There is still life in there

Snow laden branch
Striking contrast

Our adventure here in Iowa City is slowly coming to an end.  Wela and I have made amazing memories here and it will be hard to move away from what we have known for the past four years here together.  We are eager to start making new memories and having other great adventures.

Here's to you Iowa City.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Journey back to the States :(

We left Athens for our first leg of our journey back to the States.  Our first stop was to Frankfurt, Germany.  

We flew on Lufthansa...Just another airlines that we wanted to fly on.  It is a German airline and it was fit flying to Germany on it.  Our flight was delayed an hour because of course we flew on the first day of the Ground Crew Strike in Frankfurt.  Luckily, we had a 7 hour layover before our flight to Dublin, Ireland.

We found that every international flight/airlines except for British Midlands Inter from Dublin to London provides free food and soft drinks.  Lufthansa does you one better they also give you free alcohol!  We both got trays of rice and meatballs, a roll, cheese, brownies, and water.

We also both had a bottle of German beer.  You could get beer, wine, or soft drinks for FREE!!! 

We also got coke and apple juice.  They are really generous on this airlines.  They give you two drinks if you want them.

This is a view of the Swiss Alps that we flew over to Germany!

We had great seats for all the flights in Europe.  We were always towards the front of coach in front of the wings.

Here is our Lufthansa airplane.

We arrived in Frankfurt Flughagen (airport)!

We had about a 6 hour layover by the time we got off the plane so we hurried to the post office to get some stamps and jumped on a Metro to the city to get some dinner.

There is still a Woolworth's in Germany!!!

We went to dinner at Adolf Wagner off of the Schweitzer Platz metro stop.  

This restaurant is located down a lit alley through a small courtyard.  

This place was packed with locals and we happened to come on a day they were celebrating Carnivale so a lot of people were dressed up.

They are known for their Apple wine (Apfelwein) so we had a couple.  For a 1.80 euros a piece!

We ordered two meals that came with salad.

We also ordered the Schnitzel (Breaded pork) with fried potatoes...It was so good and filling!

We also ordered Frankfurt style Grilled Pork Shoulder with potatoes and brown gravy.

Both of these dishes were hearty and delicious and a very welcome meal for our brief stop in Germany.

Wela and I are professional metro riders after this trip to Europe.  This is our train back.  Although everything is in German it was nothing compared to French, Italian, and Greek.

We found our way back to Frankfurt Terminal 1

Our tickets from Frankfurt, Germany to Dublin, Ireland

On our flight from Frankfurt to Dublin we were fed again with this delightfully refreshing Greek style salad and crostini.  We also both got white wine, apple juice, and coke :)

We had an 11 hour overnight layover in Dublin so we booked a room at the airport hotel the Clarion hotel.  It was a nice room that I didn't get a picture of because I collapsed on the bed.

We were starving when we got to the airport so we bought a Full Irish Breakfast at the airport restaurant Harvest Market.  It was a huge breakfast: Fried or Scrambled eggs, steamed tomato, grilled mushrooms, black and white pudding (blood sausage), two pork sausages, and a huge mound of ham,  and two slices of toast...It comes with a drink for 11.50 euros.

Wela wants me to mention that he had scrambled eggs not a fried egg.  Of course, we both chose tea because it is delicious here!


We got through security, US pre clearance, and more security in time for our flight.  We cut it close because we got to the airport late, sent out a few more postcards, and had to get our Irish breakfast on...

Here are our tickets for our flight back

Our Aer Lingus place back :(

Our last glimpse of Ireland before heading over the clouds.  We can't wait to make the journey back.

In our comfy seats getting ready for our 8 hour flight back.

We had more Brit Vic Ginger Ale!!! We also saved a couple to bring back...muwhahaha!

Wela chose the Chicken casserole for lunch/dinner and it came with a tomato pasta salad, a roll, a brownie, water, and a cup of more tea!

I had the Beef Bolognese Pasta.

Delicious tea before the cream and sugar is added.

Flying over Ice floats along the bottom of the Arctic circle between Ireland and North America

It was a beautiful deep blue sky that faded into white

We had some snacks on the plane.  We got these Nutella Schoko Bons at a vending machine in Germany for 1 euro.  We thought they were like Whoppers but they are filled with a nutty creamy mixture.  So good!

Before landing they passed out this little snack of a Fruit Scone with jam and butter and more tea!

We finally got below the clouds over Lake Michigan.  The sunbeams coming through were amazing.

The Chicago shoreline

After arriving at O'Hare we had about 7 hours to kill before boarding the Mega Bus to Iowa City at 11pm.  We caught the hour long train into the city and stopped at Giordano's for dinner.  We tried to milk our time there as much as we could but the waitress was antsy and we realized that no one does two hour + dinners here.  

We had a Greek salad.  Not really what a Greek salad is though.  But good.

We also had a Traditional Giordano's stuffed pizza half sausage half black olive.  It was so much food and I was exhausted I at only one and a half slices.

We ate very slowly and kept refilling our drinks trying to prolong our time there.  Our waitress came over a lot to check on us.  It was definitely different from Europe where you have to flag them down if you want to leave.  It is nice to be back but part of me wishes that I was still in Europe, having another adventure with Wela by my side.  

Here's to our next adventure!