Sunday, April 5, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries, Day 17, Sushi !

"The way you do anything is the way you everything"

Wake, meditate, practice, coffee, meal plan, eat, enjoy my company, or my partner's, write, take a bath, rest, watch a movie, indulge in something sweet and maybe some wine, sleep. Rinse, wash and repeat. It's been ok, somedays it's been soothing and satisfying to be out of routine of going out and allowing for the pleasure of staying in. But yesterday I couldn't settle into anything, I felt I had lost my muse, my inspiration, felt scattered and not particularly vibrant, and so I noticed that, accepted it and waited for it to pass, compassion for myself. Each day brings a gust that aims at teetering even the most practiced mind, invite it, welcome it. Teach your practice to be steadier.
Today my partner said....why not get dressed up today? Date night? That was it, the care and mindfulness we choose to take with anything we do, say or think is really the way we do, say or think everything, so let's pay attention. I meditated, walked the dog, took in the deep green hues the rains of spring are bringing forth, returned, showered and got dressed up!

There is no more mindful practice of cooking and plating than creating sushi, the decorative designs creating almost sacred geometric patterns with placement of each ingredient, it is much like the Tibetan sand mandalas.  I brushed my eyelid with a burnt umber shadow, the mirror revealed the contrast between the blue iris and brown umber lid, a plump coating of  black mascara and a swish of clear gloss and my face was defined differently. A pair of stilettos, white bodysuit and black gauchos, my french grey linen apron donned and my posture changed to reflect the  poise and elegance of show horse. I sauntered to the kitchen, he caught me off guard and I coquettishly raised a stilleto in the air like a classic pin up girl and flashed him a smile as he snapped a photo, forever memorializing this moment.  I think both about the absurdity of all of this and how my inner child loves the attention, mainly from him. 
 I examined the Albacore steak, let it sit to take the chill off and dry it before coating it with a generous brush stroke of a wasabi, mirin, and homemade mayonnaise paste. 

At each step of the process, opportunity for trying. I brought in a sweet cherry blossom and it found it's way into a small appetizer of the albacore sushi grade tuna with a mirin, ginger, and  amino acids ( gluten free soy sauce) . I could have stopped there, the seared wasabi crust balanced the cool raw albacore, the drizzle a fragrant trinity, undertones of orange, subtle sweetness and zing of freshly grated ginger.

I laid out a sheet of Nori and began composing, rolling and slicing little round worlds of color,  land masses in greens and pinks surrounded by a sea of white contained within the thinnest sheet of deep green black. They did look like planets to me. I continued creating planet upon planet with, slow roasted beets, cucumber, avocado, and I even made a variation of a buffalo albacore roll with a hot sauce drizzle and crushed potato chips.. not sure I enjoyed that much fusion but it was fun.  Find the joy in everything, create a practice of discipline in all that you do.

Albacore Sushi Rolls

1 Sushi grade albacore loin ( Whole Foods) 
3 sheets Nori seasweed wraps
1 cup Nishiki rice
1 Avocado sliced in batons
1 Cucumber sliced into batons
( I had leftover beets too) 
wasabi paste
pickled ginger
black and white sesame seeds
2 tbsp amino acids or soy sauce
2 tbsp Mirin
freshly grated ginger

for the wasabi paste:

1 tsp wasabi paste
1 tbsp homemade or store bought maionnase
2 tsp Mirin
1 tsp freshly grated ginger

Put 1 cup of Nishiki rice and 1 1/2 cups water to boil, when boiling simmer and cover 10 min. Add a dash of Mirin when done and keep covered off the heat until you need it.
Make your wasabi paste, dry the tuna after letting it sit outside the fridge for 10 minutes. coat the tuna and sear, high heat 2 min each side careful not to burn.  Please don't cook all the way through, we are only trying to sear the outside surfaces and keep the tuna raw.
arrange your batons of veggies and even if you don't have a bamboo sushi roller, as I don't, no problem, just roll carefully pressing from the center to the edges as you go. Lay the rice in thin sheet in the center of the Nori extending to the edges, delicately build tuna, avocado, cucumber additional wasabi paste and sesame seeds, tuck and roll. Important to have a sharp knife and consistently clean it between slices. Don't worry about the wild ends, they are the abstract versions of your sushi rolls!!
Origato cos hai mas!!

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