Crispy Pan Fried Snapper with Strawberry Tomato Salsa

This recipe is interchangeable with any of your preferred fish proteins, including shellfish-like scallops! I occasionally add cubed granny smith apples if I’m roasting salmon steaks; the tartness of the apple cuts through some of the fat in the salmon for me. I also introduce lots of lime wedges when I pan-fry a crispy battered white fish—whatever method of cooking is your fav, be sure to top off with this tasty summertime salsa. Try the recipe below I made for red snapper; it’s delicious! 

You’ll Need:

4- 6 oz pieces firm Snapper

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1 medium green apple, cored and diced (optional)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and diced

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, torn right before use

2-3 tablespoons neutral-tasting extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon knob of butter, cold

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 limes, cut in wedges

Here’s How:

Cut and combine the berries, tomatoes, and apples if you use them into a small bowl, tear in the parsley, and add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a little olive oil, add rice vinegar. Toss. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Set aside.

Make three small slices into the skin side of each filet to prevent it from curling up while cooking. Salt and pepper the fish front and back. 

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and a knob of butter until melted. Add the fish filets skin side down and cook until the fish is crispy. Depending on the size of your filet, this should only take about 6-8 minutes. Gently flip the fish and cook until the flesh is opaque for an additional 2-3 minutes. 

Remove from the pan and tap tap on a paper towel to remove any excess cooking oil. 

Serve warm topped with strawberry salsa and lots of lime wedges! 

Makes about 4 servings

Kumamoto Oysters with Watermelon Granita, Cucumber and Serrano Chili Paper 

Back in the day, when I was shlepping jobs to get through culinary school, I was an Oyster Shucker in a fancy seafood restaurant. I always slurped down a few of my own at the end of the night. So many varieties, but my favorite remains the petite Kumamoto oyster, and now I am sharing my favorite way to enjoy them. Nothing like a fresh, sweet, succulent oyster topped with my fresh cucumber; melon granita.

To make your life easier, prepare the melon granita ahead of time— and store it in the freezer for up to one week. This recipe is a delicious variation on a classic mignonette.

Kumamoto Oysters are not only delicious, but because of their deep-cupped shells, they are great for holding delicious sauces and toppings, plus they are classic for their petite meats accompanied by a very mild brine perfect for a first-timer! Kumomoto Oysters have a distinctly sweet flavor with a lovely honeydew finish. One of my favorites !

Gigi Shucking Kumomoto Oysters

You’ll Need:

8 ounces of sweet watermelon, cantaloupe or honey dew. Washed, peeled and cut into small dice

10-12 ounces of watermelon (for the granita)

1/2 fresh lemon, zested and juiced

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1-2 dozen fresh Kumamoto oysters, scrubbed well

1 english cucumber, peeled de-seeded and cut into small dice- about the same size as the melon

1 spring fresh baby thyme leaves

1 fingerling lime,

Fresh edible flowers

1 Serrano chili, cut paper thin

Crushed ice

Here’s How :

In the bowl of your food processor puree the 10-12 ounces of melon until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a 5-by-9-inch  non-reactive small shallow glass pan. Discarding any solids. Stir in lemon juice, and zest add a pinch of salt. Taste, and adjust seasoning with additional salt if necessary. Cover and freeze until firm, a minimum of 3 hours, scraping with a fork every hour.

When completely frozen, scrape it again until fluffy. Set aside in the freezer while shucking oysters. Once oysters are cleaned and shucked and arrange on a bed of crushed ice, or rock salt and fresh sea grass for garnish.

Remove watermelon granita from the freezer and top each oyster with about 1 teaspoon each, making sure to place on the narrow end of the oyster shell. Top with diced cucumbers, a fresh baby thyme leaf, and a few beads from the fingerling lime. Complete by topping off with a paper thin slice of serrano chili.

Serve immediatly with Ice Cold Vodka shots, petals of edible flowers and micro-green to complete.

Refreshing Lavender Lemonade with Butterfly Pea Flower

While all types of lavender are edible yet English and Provence varieties are widely for cuisine. If you use fresh garden buds, make sure they are free from pesticides. I’ve added organic dried butterfly pea flowers for the subtle violet color. The flower buds are steeped with sugar and hot water to make a rich blue-colored sugar syrup. The color-changing effect begins when the acidity from the lemon is introduced, the blue infusion becomes violet, and eventually, magenta as more lemon is introduced. If you can’t find Butterfly Pea Buds, try using organic Blue Spirulina powder.

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Butterfly-pea flower tea, commonly known as Blue Tea, is a caffine free herbal tea, or tisane, a beverage made from a decoction or infusion of the flower petals or even whole flower of the Clitoria ternatea plant and derived from a common plant to most South East Asian countries. 

Butterfly pea flower tea has been brewed for centuries but only recently been introduced to tea drinkers outside the indigenous area. Butterfly pea flower tea gains its distinctive tint from the deep blue color of the petals that have made the plant a popular dye for centuries. One aspect of the tea is that the liquid changes color based on the pH level of the substance added to it; for instance, adding lemon juice to the tea will turn it purple.

Clitoria flowers or blue tea flowers are used for their supposed medicinal properties in Ayurveda.

You’ll Need: 

About 20 sprigs of freshly picked and rinsed lavender bud flowers or 2 tablespoons of dried culinary lavender flowers

3 cups white, granulated sugar or Monk fruit

3 cups water

1 – 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

1-gallon ice-cold water

lots of ice

1/2 – 3/4 cup Organic Butterfly Pea buds 

Here’s How : 

In a small saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. In the meantime, trim the lavender flowers from the stems and place them in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl. Add the sugar and gently rub the lavender buds into the sugar until fragrant and well distributed.

Pour the boiling water over the lavender sugar and stir with a spoon until the sugar has melted. Add Butterfly Pea Flower buds. Cover and infuse for a minimum of 60 minutes. 

Fine strain the lavender-infused syrup into a serving carafe or pitcher, reserving 1 cup to adjust sweetness later. Chill.

Stir in the lemon juice and the additional ice water. You will begin to see the acidity of the lemon react to the Butterfly Pea Flower, and the color will change from a beautiful blue to a lovely lavender. The more acid you infuse, the more you will see a profound change in color.

Taste and adjust with the reserved syrup. Add ice to the serving glasses.

Garnish with sliced lemon and long sprigs of lavender. 

Fun Variation: 

Fill service glasses with ice. Pour the cooled Butterfly Pea and Lavender sugar syrup into each glass, filling about halfway. Follow with a lemon and water mixture over the top, and watch the color change happen! Where the lemon meets the syrup, the color will change from blue to lavender or stir to combine the two colors until pink is achieved throughout!

Makes over a gallon

Watermelon and Bergamot Orange Coolers

We can trace bergamot’s origins back to Southeast Asia. Currently, thsi sour citrus is grown in many parts of the world, today its prominence comes from the town of Bergamo in southern Italy. This citrus has a soothing scent, spicy taste, and broad range of uses. Research on bergamot oil has uncovered multiple benefits. I adore it so much and can’t get enough of it.

Make a pitcher of these refreshing coolers on mid-summer afternoon for a refreshing Mocktail! Later, turn up the heat by transforming this recipe into an informal cocktail by adding a shot of vodka, rum, or tequila!

You’ll Need:

1 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon, cubed and frozen

3-4 tablespoons fresh limes, zested and juiced

1/4-1/2 cup fresh begamot, zested and juiced, or 8 drops DoTerra, bergamot essential oil

3-4 cups sparkling water

2-3 tablespoons Simple Syrup, or to taste

Watermelon wedges for garnish

Lime wedges, bergamot, or mint leaves for garnish 

Monk fruit ( a natural sugar substitute) for rimming the glass (optional

Ice cubes 

Vodka, Rum or Tequila (optional)

Here’s How:

Wash and cube the melon. Place the cubes in your freezer for a minimum of one hour. 

In your standing blender, combine the citrus juice with the syrup and the iced melon cubes. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust syrups if you’d like it sweeter.

Assemble coolers by moistening the rims of the glassware by gliding a fruit wedge across the tops of the glasses, then dip the moistened rims into a dish of monk fruit, sugar, or salt if your feeling wild. 

Add the watermelon puree halfway. Top with sparkling water to fill. Stir in Vodka, Rum, or Tequila, and garnish with long straws, watermelon wedges, lime wheels, bergamot, or mint leaves!

Variations:

For a deeper flavor substitute 1 tablespoon of simple syrup for maple syrup.

The Difference Between Buckles, Cobblers, Crisps, Grunts, and Slumps, and More!

Finally, summer fruits are here! The beginning of the warm weather season, signaling a good time to inventory and restock your pantry with fresh spices and your favorite extracts to complement fresh fruit at peak flavor. After locked down for the past year, we all need a little bit of the outdoors. I love to enjoy seasonal hand fruit, but I also long for those bubbling, baked sweet syrupy fruit-packed baked goods with crunchy tops. 

Let’s get into it. Which to make? Buckles, Crisps, Cobblers, Grunts, or Slump? And, without confusing you even further, there is also a Sonker, a Betty, and a Pandowdy. Oh, and one more thing, these are all interchangeable with the seasons. 

So, what are they, and what are their differences? 

They all feature all the charisma of pie, minus the hurdles that come with constructing one. Rather than crossing your fingers with a pie crust, you place everything in a dependable casserole dish. I like to think of all of them as deconstructed pies. 

The Buckle’s claim to fame has been said to bridge the gap between crumbles and coffeecakes. Buckles are very moist cake batters made with fruit mixed and poked in and then generously topped with streusel. (A delicious crumbly topping of flour, butter, and sugar.) Some modern recipes add spices and chopped nutmeats to their streusel. Yum! Buckles get their name from their topping’s buckled appearance. Sometimes they’re called crisps, which is crazy, and it adds to the blur. 

GruntsAKA slumps, are baked or sometimes stewed fruits topped with a rolled biscuit dough. Like cobblers, the technique for completing a grunt is much more systematic than dropping or spooning it over fruit, like a pie crust topping. Honestly, it’s just a bit more informally arranged with biscuit dough and clarifying; it’s a topping made with a rolled-out slab of biscuit dough, not pie crust. 

Crisps and cobblers are the most notable members of the baked fruit family. They also can have a variety of filling combinations. Both envelope baked fruit with some sort of wild, free-form carb topping. Their names differ based on what type of topping is applied and the apparent visual composition of the dish. 

Crisps get an oat, or flour, butter, sugar, and optional nut meat-type mixture sprinkled on, then baked. My quick and dirty dessert if I need one. The fruit cooks into a delicious underlying compote during oven time, and its syrup bubbles up like a slow drizzling volcano through a few areas in the crumble topping. Topped with cold Vanilla Ice Cream, it’s almost better than an entire night’s sleep.

The Cobbler’s name comes from its sometimes cobbled-looking texture, developing from the spooning or dropping the biscuit or batter atop the fruit filling rather than spreading or rolled out dough topping. A good indicator of a Cobbler is the visual structure-Just look for notable gaps between the crust.

And to confuse you a little further, I’m just gonna throw in a Sonkers. Ha! Don’t worry, it’s typically geographical. This delectable hails from Surry County, North Carolina, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Produces more of a syrupy texture—than a conventional cobbler. The Sonker is typically paired with a vanilla cream sauce locals call “dip,” and it is generously coated over the finished dish.

Did I mention there’s also a Slump? Yep, this sweetened fruit-cooked dessert is usually topped with dollops of dough and cooked on the stovetop, not the oven. The individual serving sort of slumps on the plate in a not-too-recognizable design, consequently the name and served with heavy cream. 

Oh, and don’t forget about a Betty! A baked pudding, so to speak. Betties are succulent: alternating layers of sugar, spiced fruit, and buttered bread crumbs with a bit of fruit juice to moisten the whole shebang. I’m drooling typing this – then Betty is baked until brown and crispy on top. I like to throw a little booze in my Betties.

All of these should not be confused with a Pandowdy, but they often are. A Pandowdy is sliced apples or other fruits tossed with cinnamon, nutmeg, a little clove, dotted with and butter, sweetened with molasses or brown sugar. The topping is a biscuit-like dough, rolled out and placed on top like a payer of pie crust and baked. The difference is, halfway through the baking time, the oven is opened, and the crust is cracked! Yes, you hear me right. The baker proceeds to press the half-baked biscuit dough into the melange of bubbling sweet syrup. This technique is called “dowdying.” Pandowdies are served straight from the oven drizzled with warm with heavy cream. Perfect for date night. Wink… wink…

I just can’t, I can’t go on. I’m going to pass out from the thoughts of these desserts. Stay close by, I’ll be posting a few of my favorite cobbler and crisps recipes soon, just like the one below.

Oh, and make sure to try them, and let me know which is your pick! I have a feeling the upcoming summer will be abundant in all good things! 

Best,

Gigi 

Homemade Chocolate Cake with Candy Cap Mushroom Frosting

Candy Cap mushroom, also known as Curry Milk Cap mushroom, is a peculiar mushroom variant often used as a natural sweetener and flavor enhancer in various desserts. Yes, you’ve read that right, desserts.

Highly obvious by their scent, which has been compared to maple syrup or butterscotch. It’s signature sweet scent may be quite faint in fresh mushrooms but becomes stronger as it dries. As a matter of fact, drying it indoors can produce an aroma strong enough to perfume an enclosed space for days. If you buy them fresh, be sure to dry them before use to intensify your infusions. I made this recipe for my friends over at Far West Fungi Co. And its Candy Cap season- I’m excited!

Candy Cap season moves fast , so don’t wait. Call Far West , tell em Chef Gigi From KSCU 103.3 FM sent you.

The San Francisco Mushroom Store

1 Ferry Building Shop #34San Francisco CA, 94111Phone: (415) 989-9090 Store Manager: Naomi Wolf

The Santa Cruz Mushroom Store 

224 Laurel St. #A101Santa Cruz CA, 95060 Phone: (831) 226-2626
Manager: Ian Garrone

You’ll Need: 

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans

3/4 cup good quality Dutch processed cocoa, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup neutral-tasting cooking oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling coffee

Good quality cooking spray

Candycap Mushrooms from Frosting ( See recipe below)

Here’s How:

Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees, spray and flour three 8-inch round baking pans, tapping out any excess flour. Place on a lined sheet pan and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the granulated sugar, flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

In a separate bowl, crack and mix the eggs into a slight scramble and add to the dry ingredietns with the milk, oil, and vanillla beat the ingredients on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the boiling coffee and continue to mix for an additional minute. The batter will appear thin. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly, about 2 cups or approximatly 16 ounces in each cake pan.

Bake the cakes on sheet pans for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean or the cake slightly bounces back to the touch. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, turn the cakes right side up, and let them cool completely.

Make the Candy Cap Mushroom Frosting.

Candy Cap Mushroom Frosting

You’ll Need: 

1 1/3 cups good quality Cocoa, sifted

3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1/2 cup whole milk or cream

8 ounces of unsalted butter

2 ounces of dried Candy Cap Mushrooms from Far West Fungi Co.

Here’s How: 

In a small saucepan, heat the cream and the mushrooms until a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to steep for a minimum of an hour to over-night. Cool to room temperature. Strain and discard solids.

In the bowl of your standing mixer, beat the butter until velvety. Add the cocoa, and alternate between confectioners’ sugar and infused milk beating after each addition until you achieve a thick, but spreadable consistency. If a lighter frosting desired, add additional cream, a little at a time, until you’ve reached your ideal texture. 

Place a single cake layer on a platter or cake stand and spread a good amount of frosting on top. Place the second cake layer on the first and frost the sides and top. Garnish with chocolate truffles or meringue mushrooms with candied pine and roasted, crushed almonds or hazelnuts or a combination.

Sweet Bunny Bread

Billowy soft, enriched with both eggs and butter, slightly sweet. Great for breakfast with butter and jam or a welcomed Sunday Brunch. I can eat this all to myself. Sigh!

I’m looking forward to springtime and chocolate bunnies, so why not shape our bread into something to remind us sunny days are ahead. This recipe will yield a few bunnies, depending on how big you make them. The ingredients will fill your stand mixer to the brim, so use your largest quart-sized mixer or a handheld mixer fitted with a dough hook and a colossal mixing bowl.

You can also form this dough into any shape you like. Including a beautiful braided Brioche.

You’ll Need

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1/2 cup honey 

1 package quick-rise yeast about 2 1/4 teaspoons

7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

8 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cup, unsalted butter, softened, about 3 sticks 

Garnish

Hazelnuts or chocplate kisses for eyes

Sliced almonds for teeth

Here’s How

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the water and honey and sprinkle the surface with the yeast. Set aside and allow the yeast to reactivate until frothy. If your yeast is fresh, this should only take about ten minutes. Just make sure to use closer to room temperature ingredients cause if it is too warm, you can kill this tasty little organism. In the meantime, fit your mixer with your dough hook. 

In another medium bowl, sift the salt and flour. Toss to combine.

When the yeast is frothy, add the dry ingredients in a few batches, adding the egg in between flour additions. Allow your mixer to knead the dough until it forms a shaggy mass, about 4-5 minutes, add melted butter slowly. The dough will be super slippery but don’t worry; it will soon come together in a dough ball. 

Turn out into a sizeable clean, and oiled bowl and allow to rest covered for about two hours in a draft-free area of your kitchen. This dough is very sticky to use after the initial rise; dust your hands well. I prefer to allow the dough to rest in the fridge overnight. Once it is chilled, it is effortless to handle. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. So, easy, peasy. 

Shaping the Dough

Preheat your oven to 350′ F Degrees, and then line baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. 

Divide the dough into 1-ounce pieces for the nose’s side and 2-ounce pieces for the ears, prominent nose, feet, and upper paws. 3 ounces for the head, 5 ounces for the belly, or like me – take your best guess. 

Roll all the pieces into balls on a lightly floured surface. Gently shape them. ( We don’t want to take all the billowed Co2 gas out the yeast has formed by possibly over manipulating the dough at this point. )

Move on to shape the dough ears with your hands or a rolling pin. You want the ears to be a bit thick; if they are too thin, they will be out of proportion after baking. Gently brush the bunnies with egg wash, and attach all body parts. The egg wash will act as glue and hold them together. Press chocolate kisses upside down for the eyes. 

Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 15 minutes; this will help bunnies keep their shape, and then bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown if any part of the bunny is over-browning mid-way through, quickly cover loosely with foil. Test for doneness by looking for no spring back on the belly—careful not to indent your work. 

Let the bunnies cool slightly on the baking sheet. If desired, you can use a pastry brush to brush them lightly, brush the ears’ interior, round belly, and tips of toes with melted butter, and then deliberately sprinkle with granulated sugar.  

Have fun! 

Spring Cruffin

Locked up in 2020 for so long and the anticipation of warmer weather, I’m beginning to feel like a Sping Cruffin! Uhhh, Yes, I just wrote that. That’s how long Ive been in the house. Covid go away already! Like the Cronut, a modern-day mash-up of croissant-doughnut pastry invented by New York City pastry chef Dominique Ansel, this is a Cruffin – a combo of, yes, you guessed it, a croissant and a muffin! Perfect for upcoming Spring brunch menus!

You’ll Need

3-4cups all-purpose flour sifted

2 tablespoons dry yeast

1 teaspoons salt 

2 teaspoons sugar 

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 egg 

1/2 cup currants, mixed raisins or dried fruit, rehydrated in water or brandy. ( optional )

1/2 -1 stick of softened butter set aside (for filling) 

Additional Ingredients for Baking

Non-stick cooking spray and flour for dusting the pan

Powdered sugar for dusting 

Special Equipment

Tall Specialty Cylinder Baking Vessel or Coffee Can

Here’s How

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the water, milk and sprinkle the surface with the yeast. Set aside and allow the yeast to reactivate until frothy. If your yeast is fresh, this should only take about ten minutes. Just make sure to use room temperature ingredients cause if it is too warm, you can kill this tasty little organism. In the meantime, fit your mixer with your dough hook. 

In a medium bowl, sift together the sugar, salt, and flour. Toss to combine.

When the yeast is frothy, add the dry ingredients in two batches, adding the egg in between additions. Allow your stand mixer to knead the dough until it forms a shaggy mass, about 3 minutes. Add the plumped dry fruit and toss the hydration liquid; unless your dough looks dry add Add the butter and allow the mixer to knead your dough for an additional 5 to 8 minutes. The dough should look smooth and spring back to your touch. 

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm location to rise for about 45 minutes. 

After your dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a clean non-floured work surface and roll roughly into a 13 x 8 rectangle. Spread the dough with softened butter roll it up into a log.

Cut the roll through the middle, twist the bottom end and, fold it up in half, and twist the bottom again, fitting it deep into a generously greased and floured coffee can or cylinder baking vessel. Rest it again covered for 30 minutes before baking.

Bake in a preheated 350″f Degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until puffy and golden. 

Remove, cool slightly, and remove from the vessel. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy.

Variations:

Add any dried fruit you like- dried, blueberries, peaches, pears, plums, or dried apricots. Just make sure to chop them into bite-sized pieces first and rehydrate in some liquid. The best place to purchase these are at Napa Nuts in Northern California. They have the best-dried fruit and nutmeats I’ve ever used in my career. 

Try adding pecans, walnuts.

Use cinnamon or sugar filling for a twist. 

If you want a deep savory flavor, add sea salt on the butter or everything bagel seeds.

Portion dough into equal-sized pieces instead and use a muffin pan instead. 

Have fun with this one! I certainly did! 

Charred Black Garlic Chicken Skewers with Grilled Flatbread and Tzatziki

Black Garlic is hitting the food scene in America hard, and it’s about time. If you have not tried it, you are certainly missing out. You will love the mellow, robust garlic flavor containing the benefits of umami. You’ll pick up some fruity notes like ripe dates, and a finish of smoked caramel. My Friends at Momiki Inc. sent over a few bottles of their new sauce for me to try. I loved it. It’s perfect for grilling marinades or adding to your salad dressings. Momiki’s Umami Black Garlic sauce in this recipe contains all the great flavors that pair well with grilled foods. You are going to love this!

You’ll Need:

2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and cut into pieces

1/4 cup Momiki’s Umami Black Garlic Sauce  portioned in two

1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1/2 lemon juiced

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch Cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and Pepper 

Grilled flatbread or Naan

Tzatziki Sauce

Special Equipment: 

Wooden Skewers ( soaked in water overnight 

Here’s How:

Salt and pepper the chicken. In a medium non-reactive bowl, combine 1/2 of the Momiki’s Umami Black Garlic Sauce, yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir well. Place the chicken in the marinade and toss to coat. Store the coated chicken in an air-tight container within the refrigerator a minimum of 8 hours up to overnight.

About an hour before you are ready to cook, remove the chicken from the cooler and bring it close to room temperature. Thread the chicken pieces onto a lightly-oiled-skewer and lay them on top of a foil-lined baking sheet. 

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grill grates until glossy. Immediately place the marinated chicken on the pre-heated grates and grill undisturbed the first 8-10 minutes. Carefully turn the skewers over and continue to grill the chicken until golden brown and charred in some areas. Cook to an internal temperature of 165’F / 74’C. 

The last 4-5 minutes of grilling baste the chicken with the remaining Momiki’s Black Garlic Sauce. Transfer the skewers to a platter. Garnish elaborately with chopped chives, dill, or parsley.

Serve with grilled lemon halves, freshly grilled flatbreads, and chilled tzatziki sauce. 

Makes approximately 6-8 servings

Japanese Grilled Tacos with Momiki Black Garlic and Spicy Yuzu Scallion Salsa

Crafted in Miyazaki, Japan, Momiki Inc is famous for their black garlic and has a new line of healthy sauces containing Japanese staple condiments. Soy sauce, mirin, and sake with hand-crafted kombu-shiitake mushroom broth. The mature taste, of black garlic and the citris addition makes it incredibly versatile for all kinds of cooking styles, most of their line plays exceptionally well with grilled foods!

You’ll Need

2-pound flank steak

1/2 cup Umami Black Garlic Sauce from Momiki  ( portioned in two ) 

Fresh ground cracked black pepper

Kosher salt to taste

Spicy Yuzu Scallion Salsa ( see recipe below

12-14 small white corn or flour tortillas, lightly toasted on the grill

12-14 slices of mild Havarti cheese 

Pickled Daikon Radish ( see recipe below

1 bunch garlic chives, chopped 

Microgreens for garnish or cilantro

Here’s How

Remove the steak from packaging and puncture all over with the tins of a fork. Place in a shallow dish and marinate ( reserving the other 1/4 cup ) of Momiki’s Umami Black Garlic Sauce. Marinate a minimum of 30 minutes up to 2 hours. Right before cooking, allow the steak to come close to room temperature.

Preheat the outdoor grill to high heat. Season the beef with cracked black pepper on both sides. Lay seasoned beef across hot, oiled grates and do not disturb the first 4-5 minutes. This step will help you achieve a deeply caramelized sear. Flip, reduce the flame to medium and continue the cooking until the desired internal temperature. I like mine medium-rare. 

Douse with the remaining 1/4 cup Black Garlic Sauce, a minute or two before pulling off the heat. Remove to a cutting board, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

While the steak is resting, reduce the heat on the grill and place white corn tortillas on indirect heat exposure ( no flame zone. ) Spritz with a little water to steam. Add cheese, and close the grill lid for 30-40 seconds or until cheese melted and tortillas are warmed. 

Slice the beef, and assemble the tacos by placing the meat directly on the melted cheese tortilla, slather the Yuzu Scallion Salsa and top with Pickled Daikon, cilantro, or your favorite microgreens. 

Yuzu and Black Garlic Scallion Salsa

Delicious Momiki Inc. Black Garlic Products from Japan

You’ll Need

1/2-1 small Serrano chili, cleaned and de-seeded

3 bunches fresh scallions, sliced thin horizontally

2 teaspoons neutral-tasting oil 

1 bunch garlic chives chopped

1 English cucumber, de-seeded and cut into small dice

1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and fine dice ( optional )

1 teaspoon or to taste Momiki’s Hot Yuzu Black Garlic Sauce  

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper or to taste

Here’s How 

In a small bowl, combine the chili pepper, scallions, chives, cucumber, red bell pepper, lime juice, and Yuzu Black Garlic Sauce. Whisk in the oil. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper or more citrus. Place salsa into an airtight container and pop into the fridge until ready to use.

Pickled Daikon ( Optional )

You’ll Need

1 large Daikon, sliced paper-thin

1 cup apple cider vinegar 

2 tablespoons sugar 

Pinch of salt

10 peppercorns 

1-2 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

1 Birds Eye Red Chili ( optional )

Small glass container with a tight-fitting lid for packing

Here’s How

Add the sliced daikon, peppercorns, and garlic to a glass mason jar, and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt, and heat stirring just until the salt and sugar dissolve about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the garlic cloves and chili pepper. Gently pour the brine over the radish and seal the jar, allow the liquid to cool. Seal with a tight-fitting lid, and place in the refrigerator for minimum 30 minutes before eating. The Daikon may be stored chilled for up four weeks. 

Assemble

To assemble a Taco, lay one or two pieces of the juicy grilled steak on top of the melted cheese, top with sliced grilled steak add scallion salsa and pickled daikon, fold over to make a taco. 

Variations: skip the pickled Daikon and serve with Cueso Fresco ( mild mexican cheese ), a classic Pico de Gallo, or Charred Grilled Onions!

Enjoy!

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