Sunday, October 10, 2010

Miso excited

Sometimes I have no inspiration for what to make for dinner. And by sometimes, I mean lots of times.

I dunno why. I read 293,021 blogs and should come across ideas all the time. And I do. For example, I currently have over 50 dishes on my “recipes to make” list. But sometimes, even those recipes don’t call out to me.

The other day, I was having one of those uninspired days, so I decided to use this hilarious website I told you guys about a while back for some suggestions.

This is what it said to me:

Yes, it not only makes a suggestion for you (by linking you to an Epicurious recipe), 
but also “kindly” allows you to get other suggestions if you are not 100% satisfied.

And it was quite fitting that they suggested miso chicken for me, because miso slaw was one of those 50 recipes on my to make list!

So I decided to miso it up one night and make both my miso chicken and miso slaw recipes.

Ginger + garlic + miso = simple and flavorful marinade

Both were easy and good. But will I make them again? Hmmm, not sure. Possibly the slaw but not the chicken (as written).

I love love LOVE miso soup but I don’t like miso as much when it's used as a marinade/sauce. The chicken came together in a jiffy and had a lot of flavor, so I liked it a lot. I just didn't love it.  I think next time I'd make the chicken with a little less miso. It was just a little too salty and overpowering for me.

But hopefully I haven't completely turned you guys off from trying it for yourself though- it's definitely a matter of personal preference- and my taste buds are a unique beast at times. (I'm also much more critical of my own cooking, so who knows, if someone else had baked this for me I'd probably think it was 10 times better...)

I did however prefer the miso when used in the slaw. Really unique flavor that I can't completely explain. (Yes, right there is one of the few moments you will see me at a loss for words!) Again, I just think I'd use a bit less miso. Enough for the flavor but not so much that it takes over the dish.

Mountain 'o veggies

But hey, that's what experimenting with food is all about. You just gotta keep trying new things to find those few that you absolutely love. It's kinda like dating actually. Whether you end up making a recipe once and trashing it or whether you fall completely in love and end up making it a million times, you always learn a little about yourself in the process...

Buen Provecho,
Jackie

And now, time for a tip from yours truly...
The Problem: The recipe for the slaw makes a lot more dressing than I think it needs. Plus, I was just making this salad for one, so I didn’t want to prepare the whole thing and have it get soggy after a short time.
The Solution: Put all your salad components in a big Tupperware. Then put your dressing in a jar. When you want some slaw just put some in a bowl and top with as much, or as little, dressing as you want.


Click for recipes...



Miso Chicken, from Epicurious

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 oz each)
1 teaspoon canola oil

Marinade
2 tablespoons miso paste, or less to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons light sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions

1. Place chicken in a shallow dish. Combine marinade ingredients with 1 tablespoon water; pour over meat. Chill, covered, 1 to 2 hours.
2. Remove chicken from marinade; drain excess. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until no longer pink in the center, about 4 minutes per side.

Miso slaw, adapted from The Kitchn


Note: I think the amount of dressing this recipe makes is too much for the slaw. But it depends how drenched you want it. If you're not sure, make the whole dressing recipe but don't add all of it to the salad components right away. Remember, it's easier to add more dressing than it is to take it away...

Ingredients

1 package Trader Joe's broccoli slaw

1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
4 cups chopped spinach
shredded cabbage (I used the 12 oz? bag from Trader Joes)
1/2 cup finely chopped roasted almonds, optional


Miso dressing
1/3 cup rice vinegar

3 tablespoons yellow or red miso
1-2 large garlic cloves, peeled
 and minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used a lot less mayo for more of a "dressing" feel than a "coleslaw" feel)

Directions

1. Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Blend ingredients for miso dressing in a blender, food processor, or just mix by hand.
3. Drizzle dressing over the slaw and toss to mix.

Note: If you want the salad to keep for a long time (i.e. more than a few hours) keep the slaw and dressing separate and prepare salad fresh as needed. 

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