Salmon from Jordan and Liz and paleo snacks from Caroline and Jose!
Salmon from Jordan and Liz and paleo snacks from Caroline and Jose!
Red Miso Soup with Lobster
Wagyu Beef and Kimchi Dumplings
Steamed Rice with Furikake
Another look at Alden’s steak.
A several months ago, I earned enough Open Table points to get me $20 off any Open Table restaurant bill. Since a bunch of the points were earned when Alden and I went out for lunches in River North, I thought it appropriate that I take him out to use my check.
We decided to go to Roka Akor, a fancy schmancy sushi restaurant and Japanese robata grill that we probably wouldn’t go to at dinner because it would be too expensive. It was a bit expensive even for lunch, but at least we got $20 off. We both decided to get the Roka Akor Business Lunch ($24 each), which includes red miso soup with lobster, Wagyu beef and kimchi dumplings, spicy crispy butterfish sushi rolls, steamed rice, and your choice of an entree. The entrees offerred were salmon teriyaki with pickled cucumber, cumin BBQ pork loin with shaved vegetables and cilantro, grilled seasonal vegetables with truffle soy butter, a 6 oz. prime beef filet or prime skirt steak. The steaks were $6 more. Alden went all out and got the steak. I got the salmon.
Everything that we had was pretty good. My salmon was very tasty and the portion size was larger than what I expected, for sure. Alden gave me a piece of his steak and it was flavorful and tender. I’m not a huge steak person, but it was really good. The pickled cucumber wasn’t too pickled, really refreshing. I also really liked the butterfish rolls and could see coming here for sushi and not even getting things from the grill. I thought the dumplings were alright. Not the stars of the show. The miso soup was pretty good too, but not outstanding.
I never had food cooked on the robata grill (high-heat method of searing and cooking using expensive, imported binchotan charcoal from Japan) and it was great. The grill area at Roka Akor is really pretty and it’s wide open so you can see the cooks using this unique grill. I would come back to Roka Akor, but probably only for a special occasion dinner. Just because I’m sure it tends to get swanky at night and the dinner prices can get expensive, but the food was great and the service was good, as well.
Chop Chop Salad: Iceburg, Romaine, Diced Beets, Hearts Of Palm, Celery, Onions, Carrots, Tomatoes, Pepper Medley, Corn & Gorgonzola, Cucumbers, Kalamata Olives, Apple Smoked Bacon, Red Wine Vinaigrette
Grilled Salmon Salad: Herb Dusted Scottish Salmon Filet, Wild Greens, Orange Supremes, Red Onions, Candied Walnuts, Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Citrus Vinaigrette
Jess and I tried a new (to us) place for lunch: Eatt. I liked the look of it on the outside. When we went in I didn’t expect it was going to look like a diner with booths, but the inside was nice too. We both got salads. As you can see, they were gigantic. I wished I’d asked for dressing on the side so I could have taken my leftovers home without them getting wilty and gross. I liked my salmon salad, but the waiter recommended I get my salmon cooked medium, and I did.. when it came out it was definitely not cooked all the way through. I ate the edges, which were tasty, but I couldn’t eat the middle parts. Still, I’d go back.
While browsing for a new way to make fish I came across this recipe for miso-glazed salmon. It was very quick and easy to make and came out super tasty. The glaze caramelizes and is really flavorful without overwhelming the salmon. Here’s a video of the preparation techniques, if you need a bit more confidence in the kitchen.
To make it a meal, I made some gyoza and edamame and Dallas made rice. The only downside of making the miso-glazed salmon was that I had to buy this whole 12 ounce package of miso when the recipe only needed 2 tablespoons. I guess it’s an opportunity to find some more miso recipes.
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons miso (soybean paste)
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange fish in a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon miso mixture evenly over fish.
Broil 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting twice with miso mixture. Sprinkle with chives.
This post first appeared on Chicagoist.
With the warmer weather upon us, we’ve been outside exercising more and not really into the heavier meals we enjoyed during our winter hibernation. What we’ve been digging is a well-made salad for a meal, but salads can get really repetitive and boring if you’re not careful.
Our issue has been that we’ll make one great salad and then keep making it until we’re so sick of it we either can’t stand the sight of salad just throw random things from the fridge into a bowl, top it with dressing and it doesn’t mesh. So, we’re declaring this to be the summer of salads, one in which we really try to execute many different delicious salads with flavors that compliment each other. And, of course, when we find some good ones we’ll share them with you.
Our first salad winner this season was this grilled-salmon salad with a homemade tomato vinaigrette. We found the slight spiciness and sear of the salmon was perfectly offset with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the tartness of the vinegar and goat cheese. The pine nuts added a great crunch. If you set the salmon on the top of the salad still warm and then mix it all up, the goat cheese will melt and get very creamy, which we loved.
Oh, and at first we were a little put off by making our own salad dressing, but seriously, it took about 5 minutes. So easy and tasty, it’s worth the extra effort. We paired this salad with a sunny deck, a glass of Riesling and a stack of unread magazines. Perfect.
1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned salmon fillet, cut into 4 equal pieces
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
8 oz. salad mix
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 c. minced green onions
1/4 c. pine nuts
Rinse salmon and pat dry. In a bowl, mix brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place salmon in bowl and rub pieces all over with spice mixture. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Lay salmon on a barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, until a thermometer inserted in center of thickest part reads 140°, 6 to 8 minutes total.
Meanwhile, divide salad mix equally among four plates. Place a piece of salmon on each mound of greens. Drizzle salads equally with tomato vinaigrette and sprinkle evenly with goat cheese, green onions, and pine nuts. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 4 servings
1 c. diced firm-ripe tomatoes (about 8 oz.)
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced shallot
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
In a bowl, combine tomatoes, vinegar, oil, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Makes about 1 cup