Soy salmon

Like the self-respecting grown-up that I am, I spent the last month indulging in pretty much every kind of food and drink that is bad for you. And now, I’m trying to eat all the greens, in a desperate attempt to get my body to forgive me. I haven’t been able to give up the carbs and I never will, but there has been minimal meat, lots of vegetables and always a poached egg.

This is one of the slightly more involved things I made last week (which tells you a lot about the levels of effort around here). I fancied some salmon as apparently those omega-3 acids are good for you, but the rest pretty much fits the pattern. The recipe below is intentionally/lazily (delete as appropriate) vague, as I never really measure things like garlic or chilli. More fun that way.

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Soy Salmon

Ingredients:

salmon fillets (one per person), cut in slices if you like
soy sauce
brown rice vinegar
fresh ginger
chilli flakes
garlic
one spring onion per person
rice or noodles
vegetables of your choice
one egg per person
black and white sesame seeds

Marinate the salmon in soy sauce, rice vinegar, some chilli flakes, ginger, and an indecent amount of garlic. Add also the white part of the spring onion, thinly sliced.
Set the rice to boil. Rice noodles or udon would also be good here.
Cook the vegetables — I stir-fried mushrooms and boiled some cavolo nero.
Heat a small amount of sesame oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the salmon, together with the marinade. When it’s done, mix with the vegetables, serve on your carbs of choice and top with a poached egg, the green part of the spring onion in slices, and sesame seeds. Feel slightly healthier than before.

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Rice Pudding (Greek #10)

Ah, hello beautiful feeling of achievement! Sometimes I forget how good you feel. Both in my work and in this blogging business (alright, hobby) I got myself into, days can go past when nothing feels right. Food that isn’t worth writing about and maths that doesn’t mean anything no matter how hard you squint, or scale, or both. Today isn’t one of those days, I think. The sun helps too.

But is a bowl of rice pudding worth blogging about? And how challenging can it be to qualify as part of a challenge?

Well, I haven’t cheated. I’ve never made rice pudding before, not the Greek kind, not any kind. And this is about me learning, right? And it was totally worth it because when I tasted it, it made me feel like a kid again. It was exactly right. Now, you might like your rice pudding a specific way, and I don’t blame you. This one is the one I grew up on. It’s a bit different to English rice pudding; first of all, it’s supposed to be eaten cold. It tastes better cold. And secondly, you sprinkle cinnamon on top. No nutmeg, no jam. It’s got to be cinnamon.

The recipe comes from the Greek Delia as I like to think of her, or Vefa as is her real name. I’ve changed quantities a bit as I didn’t like it as sweet and I thought the amount of cornflour was a bit on the extreme side.

Greek Rice Pudding (adapted from here)

Ingredients (makes 6 portions)

1/2 cup rice, washed
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups milk
1 tsp cornflour
1/3 cup sugar (or up to 1/2 cup, depending on how sweet you like it)
vanilla extract
ground cinnamon

In a pot, bring the water to boil and add the rice. Cover and let it simmer until all the water has been absorbed. In 1/4 cup of the milk, add the vanilla extract and the cornflour and dilute. Bring the rest of the milk to boil (or warm up in the microwave which is what I did) and add it to the rice, together with the sugar. Let it simmer for about 20 mins. When it’s done, thicken it by adding the cornflour-milk-vanilla mixture, bring to boil and cook for another 5-10 mins while stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Let it cool and split it into 6 bowls. You can keep them in the fridge until you serve them.

You know the thing I said before about cinnamon? Don’t listen to me and my food pedantry. Rice pudding is the easiest and friendliest and least pretentious pudding in the world. Have it with whatever you fancy!

Doing these 10 Greek recipes has actually been harder than I initially thought- I cook Greek stuff all the time and it was quite tricky (but also very exciting!) to try and come up with things I hadn’t made before. You can argue that a couple of the things I made were just borderline acceptable, but it was fun and I learnt stuff! Next country is going to be India because a bit of spice is going to help us get through the end of the winter. I’m really looking forward to it; in the meantime, if you would like to have a look at the other Greek dishes I made, here’s a list:

Spetsofai
Stuffed Onions
Lihnarakia
Beef with Aubergines
Ladopita 
Cheese and Salami Pie
Pork Souvlaki
Homemade Pita
Rabbit Stifado