This was a great dish to see out what is hopefully the last of the cold winter ugh. The local farmer’s market has a good winter potato mix (which is how I got this lovely roasting potato mix), and the miso I already had in my fridge, so this was pretty cheap and simple to put together.  

Plus, the coating is a pretty good blend of flavors. I ended up doubling the quantities for the coating because I had more potatoes than planned, and I liked the coverage that I got more. If you end up having closer to the original quantity, then I would recommend halving the quantities for the miso, sesame oil, and brown sugar.

Miso Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1 lb roasting potatoes, quartered (mine was a bit closer to 2 lbs, original recipe recommends small new potatoes)
  • 8 oz button mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 t minced ginger
  • 6 T white miso
  • 4 T brown sugar
  • 4 T sesame oil
  • (optional: chopped parsley and sesame seeds for garnish)

Preheat your oven to 400. Mix together your garlic cloves, ginger, white miso, brown sugar, and sesame oil with a whisk in a large bowl, and add your mushrooms and potatoes to the bowl and toss to coat them. Transfer your potatoes to a large skillet or baking dish (I used the latter) and roast for a half hour, stirring at least once (If you have closer to 2 lbs of potatoes, throw it in for closer to an hour). Add parsley and sesame seeds if you so choose, but otherwise, enjoy, and spite the cold!

In true Wisconsin fashion, the rest of fall appears to have decided to just fuck off and winter has just decided to show up early. Earlier in the week, we had our first hard frost and some of the leaves on the trees were still green when it happened.  I woke up to a carpet of green leaves covering my entire backyard.

The abrupt drop into cold, plus the rising levels of stress at my current job, mean that it’s time to break out the heavy duty soups, and this is one of them.  I had to table this soup for about a year, cause I associated it with being really sick (like, flu sick), but there’s been enough time to break the association, hopefully. EDIT: NOPE.  Fuck you brain.  Prepping the carrots takes a lot of legwork, but it’s worth it.

I also added a small dash of cinnamon and cardamom at the tail end of this recipe; as far as I can tell, it turned out pretty good, and doesn’t clash/overwhelm the other flavors.

Carrot Soup with Miso and Sesame

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 large onion (I used half), chopped
  • 7 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 c vegetable stock (get a 32 oz box of it and you’ll be good)
  • 1 T ginger, peeled and grated
  • .25 c white miso paste
  • drizzle of sesame oil

Peel and slice your carrots (this will take a while, I got probably closer to 2.5 lbs from the farmer’s market, and this took the better part of 45 minutes), and follow it up by chopping your onion and smashing your garlic. By the time you start your garlic, heat your olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add your carrots, garlic, and onion, and cook for ten minutes, until your onion is translucent.  Add your vegetable stock and grate the peeled ginger directly into the soup.  Cover, and then bring to a simmer, and simmer for a half hour, until your carrots are fork tender.

Pour your soup into your blender in batches (I did about an equal amount of carrots and stock each time, in two batches), and puree, from low to high. Again, be sure to only fill up your blender about 60% of the way, otherwise, soup will come flying out, and there will be pain and suffering.  Add the pureed soup back to your pot.

Now, the original recipe recommends whisking together the miso paste and a half cup of the soup in a separate bowl. I probably should’ve done this.  Instead, I just added it straight to the soup and stirred vigorously.  The soup still turned out great.  Then add your salt and pepper to season, and stir in your sesame oil!

It was tasting a little on the bland side still at this point, so I added the cinnamon and cardamom to experiment, in very small dashes, and it seemed to warm things up a bit and not clash horribly with the other flavors. Will fully report back on this.

I had some extra salmon from the Japanese glazed pan-seared salmon I made last week, and wanted to use it up before it went bad.  The recipe I used was originally made for use with scallops, but honestly, it works pretty well with the salmon; I just pan sear it, and then make the sauce and pour it over the seared salmon.  I also give more detail in my directions than in the original recipe, as it assumes you know certain things.

Maple-Miso Salmon

Ingredients

  • salmon
  • olive oil
  • .25 c rice vinegar (reduced from original recipe bc I didn’t have .5 c on hand)
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 T white miso paste

Heat your olive oil over high, and pan sear your salmon, cooking for three minutes on each side, enough to leave the center still good and pink. 

Reduce your heat to medium high, and add your vinegar, maple, and miso, stirring with a whisk to get the miso paste to combine into the maple syrup and vinegar.  It may not fully combine, and that’s okay.  Simmer, until reduced and thickened.  

Pour your sauce over your salmon, and enjoy!

EDIT: But make sure your salmon is still good first. That’s important. Urk.

So, a few weeks ago, I went on a bit of a cookbook buying spree.  One of them was Everyday Harumi.  This recipe is towards the end of the book, but from what I can tell so far, it’s very interesting, and will be quite yummy (I already had some of the miso gratin sauce, and that is amaaaaazing).  I substituted tilapia for the halibut, because the latter is expensive, and didn’t use the leeks, because I forgot to get them (whoops, they won’t be listed in the recipe).

Worth every bit of sweat that was induced making it in a non ventilated kitchen on a day when you don’t have AC in your house and there’s a heat advisory.  (PS: It also only has the oven on for 20 minutes, otherwise seriously, don’t do what I just did in the conditions described above.)

Tilapia and Eggplant Miso Gratin

Ingredients

  • 3 T salted butter
  • .5 c flour
  • 1.25 c milk (I used 2%)
  • 1.25 c heavy whipping cream
  • 4 T awase miso (combination of white and red miso, I did 2 T red and 2 T white)
  • 2 T mirin
  • 1.5 T sugar
  • 10 oz tilapia filet (book recommends halibut, but that’s kinda expensive)
  • medium eggplant
  • .25 c olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz mozzarella to top (book recommends grated, I did sliced)

To make the sauce, melt your butter over medium heat in the saucepan.  Add your flour and make a roux (thickening agent), continuously stirring  to combine and make sure it doesn’t burn.  Once combined, gradually add your milk, stirring continuously so it doesn’t become lumpy, and turn your heat to medium high (or slightly higher) to bring it to a slow boil.  Then, add the whipping cream, miso, mirin, and sugar in order, thoroughly mixing, and then set it aside.

Cut your tilapia filet into 2.5ish inch pieces, and score your eggplant with stripes, and then cut into .75 inch diagonal pieces.  Soak the eggplant pieces in water for a few minutes to reduce bitterness, and then pat them dry.  While they soak, preheat your oven to 400 (or 375 if it runs hot.)  Heat your olive oil over medium high heat and fry your eggplant, until tender.  Remove from the skillet and add to your casserole dish, and then add your tilapia and brown it for a few moments, and season with salt and pepper, and add it to the casserole dish as well.

Pour the miso cream sauce over the eggplant and fish, and then put your mozzarella on top.  Cook for about 20 minutes, until your mozzarella is melted.  If you mozzarella is sliced like mine, put it on something to catch it (like a pizza pan) in case it spills over.

And then, enjoy!

NOTE: Chop eggplant up smaller.