Trying-to-be-patient Brown Butter Brioche

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0297It’s always interesting to see what the Twelve Loaves baking group decides on as a January theme. This is a time of renewal, of fresh beginnings, of starting again or trying again or reestablishing. Last year they asked for simplicity, prompting me to try my hand at sourdough, made by weight rather than volume measurements. This year, they asked for something a little more poetic but just as abstract: bake a loaf inspired by a New Year’s resolution.

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0292I knew immediately I would make brioche. One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2015 is to be more patient. While this would be a good goal in any area of life (or perhaps all of them), for me, it’s very specific. I want to be more patient with Lucy when we take our daily walk. My dog-daughter will be twelve years old in the spring, and though she’s still very energetic and quite healthy, she has slowed down over the years. Some of this is age, but some is insistence on getting what she wants. For her, our outing is not a walk. It’s an extended sniff. She wants to stop at every bush, at every bench, at every blade of grass, it sometimes seems. This can easily push a two mile walk into an hour-long endeavor.

Fall and Winter 2014-0915Like most of us, though, I’m a busy person. At least I feel like I am. When I get home from work, after a brief decompression (read: Facebook and a snack), I want to walk Lucy, do a final check of my email inbox, and get on with cooking dinner. Ultimately, I want to get these things done so I can changed into pajamas and deposit myself on the couch. Sniffing every blade of grass impinges on this plan, so over the past year or so I found myself getting frustrated, and even quite angry when Lucy stopped, and stopped, and stopped again.

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0265Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0266Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0267Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0268In November I was getting ready to snap at her about such a stop, and instead I stopped. Chelsea, she’s a dog. This is her daily chance to get outside and experience the world. She doesn’t understand what I’m even asking, let alone why I’m asking, and all my impatience is doing is making us both feel bad. And really, what’s the damage to my schedule if I do let her have an extended nasal examination of the things she’s most interested in? All told, three, maybe five minutes.

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0269I can handle that.

So I am trying to be more patient with her, gently encouraging her to hustle along rather than snapping at her. I’m delivering commands in a calmer voice, and letting the sniff session go on an extra few seconds before delivering that command at all. I’m not at total karmic peace with the extra time spent yet, but I’m working on it.

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0275Brioche is my bread project, then, because it’s a loaf that requires patience. Rich with eggs and loaded with butter, brioche is the “cake” from the famous quote misattributed to Marie Antoinette. To integrate the massive quantities of butter the loaf requires, most recipes detail a process of bringing the fat to just the right temperature and incorporating it into the dough a maddening single tablespoon at a time. Too cold, and the butter won’t mix in. Too warm, and it will collapse the dough into a soupy mess. Too much at once, and the dough will get greasy and separate unpleasantly. It takes, typically, a 20-30 minute knead time to get the gluten chains in the flour tangling nicely and then incorporate all of that butter. After this, a long, slow, cool rise time is required, in part to build flavor, in part to develop structure, and in part just to make it easier to handle – that butter has to chill down before the dough can be manipulated successfully.

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0270Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0271Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0272By the time you are finally ready to bake the thing, a brioche has usually been under construction for the better part of a day, if not two (sponges and overnight refrigerated rises are common). But the result – a spongy tender, light-as-air crumb inside a deeply browned crunchy crust – is remarkable. It reminds me of challah, another egg-laden loaf requiring multiple rises, but is more finely textured and even a bit richer. If your gourmet burger arrives on a deeply, perfectly rounded bun so shiny it looks lacquered and leaves a sheen of fat on your fingertips when you set it back down on the plate with a sigh, you’ve had brioche. It’s a frequent choice for a truly decadent french toast, and I was prepared, with a cringe, to sink myself into making it.

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0273When I looked around at recipes for points of comparison, I came back, as I often do, to Cooks Illustrated, which featured a practically fool-proof take on brioche. To combat the frequent problems associated with the quantity and temperature of the butter, recipe developer Andrew Janjigian opts for a no-knead approach, relying on a combination of gentle folding of the dough (see photo series above), and time, to stimulate gluten production. The very wet dough brioche requires works well for this method, because the moister the dough, the better the enzymes in there activate the gluten. Janjigian explains that this no-knead method leads to another benefit: since we aren’t kneading the dough, we can’t spend 20 minutes mixing in all the butter. Melting it and stirring it in all at once works just fine.

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0277As I read his explanation of the changes he’d made from the original and recognized the ease involved compared to the traditional procedure, I was almost sold. A small part of me protested that this might be cheating – that if I was really making something to represent the resolve to be more patient, I should go with the typical long knead, slow-and-steady incorporation of butter, and force myself to avoid shortcuts. But in reading the recipe again, I realized this was still going to be a long process. Even before chilling the dough overnight, I would need to perform a series of folds on the sticky, wet mass I’d created to help activate the gluten. Using large chunks of my Friday and Saturday to put this together, attend to timers, coordinate myself through the rising and proofing process, and get through the agonizing final two hours of waiting for the baked loaves to cool enough for slicing, was going to take plenty of patience. I’m only human, and it’s only January. If I’m going to be successful in this resolution, baby steps might be the way to go.

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0278Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0279Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0280Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0281The nail in the coffin, though, was when I checked Joe Pastry’s version of brioche. He suggests pumping up the flavor by using brown butter. Since I was already going to be melting the butter, this was clearly the right thing to do. Tiny speckles of toasted nuttiness running through my dough? Yes, thanks. Now, please.

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0282Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0283Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0284Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0285Well, not now. Two long, patient days from now. But at the conclusion of those days, slicing through a softly shattering crust into a pillowy yellow interior laced with bits of brown butter, it was all I could do to eat each slice in more than one bite. Because, you know, patience.

Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0288Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0289Serving suggestions: there’s not much you shouldn’t do with brioche. It can be a bit soft for a sandwich, but makes glorious toast and french toast. My recipe is for one regular loaf and 8 small or 6 large buns, and we used the bun shape for veggie burgers. Because they are more compact, the buns hold up to rough handling a bit better than the slices, so feel free to load them with pulled pork, or crab cakes, or egg salad, or whatever moves your taste buds most deeply.
Food Blog Jaunary 2015-0296

Trying-to-be-Patient Brown Butter Brioche
barely adapted from Cooks Illustrated
makes 1 loaf and 8 small or 6 large buns
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks)
½ cup room temperature or slightly warm water
⅓ cup sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
7 large eggs, divided (but not separated!)
3 ¼ cups bread flour
1½ teaspoons salt + a pinch
  • Day one: melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan, preferably not with a dark bottom (it makes it easier to see the butter browning). As it melts, it will sputter and foam up. The foam will eventually subside, but shortly thereafter it will get foamy again. At this point, tilt the pan a little bit (carefully) to see the bottom – little specks of solids should be getting golden-brown. Let them get golden and then chestnut brown, then turn off the heat and set the pan aside to cool. These little dark bits are what makes it brown butter.
  • While the brown butter cools (pop it in the fridge for a few minutes if you are nervous about the temperature), combine the water, sugar, and yeast in a large glass measuring cup or a medium bowl. Stir well, then set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the flour and salt in one bowl (a large one), and 6 of the eggs in another (a small one will do). When the yeast mixture is bubbly and smells like warm bread, add the whisked eggs and stir to combine. Whisk in the cooled brown butter, then dump the whole wet mess into the bowl with the flour and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until no flour streaks remain. It will be a damp lump that looks more like thick cake batter than like dough.
  • Cover the bowl of dubious dough with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Uncover the dough and pull up one edge with your fingertips (sprayed with non-stick spray or lightly coated with oil, if you’re concerned about stickiness), then fold that edge over the middle of the dough ball (see photo series above). Turn the bowl 45 degree and fold again. Repeat the process until you have made 8 folds.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat this folding and rising process every 30 minutes for 3 more times (so you’ll do this folding process 4 times over the course of 2 hours). This helps activate the gluten without the labor intensive kneading process. After the fourth and final folding circuit, replace the plastic wrap and stow the bowl in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Day two: remove the dough from the refrigerator and relocate it to a well-floured board. Divide it into four pieces. Working one at a time, pat two of the pieces of dough into about a 4-inch round. Around the circumference of the dough, fold in the edges toward the center to form a clumpy ball (see photo series above). Turn the dough ball over and form your hand around it like a cage, then roll gently with very little pressure in light circles on the board to form a smooth, taut round (see Joe Pastry’s excellent tutorial if you need help with this). Repeat with the second piece of dough.
  • The remaining two pieces are for the buns. Divide each of them into equal thirds or quarters, depending upon whether you want 6 or 8 buns. Repeat the flattening, folding, and shaping process with each of these smaller dough pieces, then cover all dough rounds with plastic wrap and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  • Grease one loaf pan and one baking tray (or line it with parchment paper). After the dough balls have rested for 5 minutes, flip them to expose the seam side and repeat the flattening, folding, and shaping process with each one. This creates a finer, more uniform texture in the final product – a step worth doing.
  • Place the two larger balls into the loaf pan, pressing them gently into the corners. They will rise and merge into each other while baking. Place the 6 or 8 smaller rounds on the prepared cookie sheet. Cover both loosely with plastic wrap and leave to rise until almost doubled in size – this should take 1½ – 2 hours. Even after this rise, the loaf may look a bit puny. Don’t worry; it rises quite impressively in the oven.
  • Half an hour before baking, be sure your oven rack is in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350F. Cooks Illustrated suggests placing a baking stone on the rack to preheat along with the oven, perhaps to create a more even shot of heat.
  • When the loaf and the buns have nearly doubled, beat the final egg with the pinch of salt. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the loaves with the egg mixture. Set the pans in the oven (on the stone, if you’re using one), and bake until the tops are golden brown and the internal temperature registers 190F. This will take 18-20 minutes for the buns, and 35-45 minutes for the loaf. If you can remember, rotate the pans halfway through baking.
  • Once cooked through and shiny golden on top, transfer pans to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove from pans, return to wire rack, and cool at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.

Lemony Leek Meatballs

I’m sure you’ve been waiting with bated breath for this post. I’ve made you yearn for it for half the month already! But I didn’t want to announce my intent without something to show for it, and now I finally have a triumphant opening act. Can I get a drumroll? The project I’ve decided on for 2015 is…. meatballs.

Food Blog January 2015-0230Meatballs appear in almost every culture. Albondigas find their way into soup in Hispanic cooking. Chinese meatballs are often steamed or boiled. Keftedes are Greek, kofta or kufteh appear in Middle Eastern dishes. A Swedish version coats very small rounds with a sumptuous gravy and serves them with potatoes and lingonberry jam. The classic American meatball, which is in fact of Italian origin, nestles amidst a mound of well-sauced pasta.

But they aren’t just, as the name suggests, balls of meat. Many meatball recipes combine different types of ground meat to maximize flavor but also adjust fat content. Very lean ground meats, like veal, which some meatball preparations use for its flavor, are often combined with something like pork or fattier beef to ensure tenderness and structural integrity. Bread in some form, whether dry and powdered or fresh, springy crumbs, is a frequent ingredient in a meatball. Though this could be to stretch the meat content (think bread crumbs as “filler” in a crab cake), it also absorbs fat and creates a lighter final product – “light” meatballs are often texturally prized above the dense thickness of a meatloaf, for example.

Food Blog January 2015-0222Most meatball recipes also incorporate some sort of aromatics, and sometimes eggs, to the mixture. This isn’t a mere unflattened hamburger; it’s a creation unto itself, and it needs some backup singers to really make the performance impressive. Onions or garlic, sweated or sautéed before incorporating, are common additions. Herbs, parsley perhaps the most common, are also frequent meatball interlopers.

Food Blog January 2015-0220In deciding on meatballs as my project for the year, I am challenging myself with ratios and with flavor combinations. Ratio-wise, the quantities of meat to bread crumbs to eggs to seasoning must be considered; I want a meatball with good structural integrity – it can’t fall apart during cooking – but I also want something light and springy, not tough and dense. Thus quantities, but also mixing and cooking techniques, must be mastered. As for flavor combinations, this isn’t a dish where you can taste a little at a time. It’s not a slice of roast pork that you can eat with or without the vegetable side. Everything in that little sphere must mingle well. Every ingredient must belong, with nothing extra and nothing missing.

Food Blog January 2015-0221I must admit that I am not a huge fan of the most common meatball incarnation in this country. The planet-sized spheres that arrive, drowning in marinara, balanced uneasily atop a plate of spaghetti, have never thrilled me. But outside that standard, pasta-draped option, I love a good meatball. I hope you do too.

So here’s the challenge: once a month, I will present you a meatball recipe. I have some ideas already, but I’m starting myself out gently with a few recipe adaptations before I strike out into unpracticed territory. And if you have any meatball ideas you’d like to see actualized, let me know in the comments or send me an email! I’ll happily cook something up.

Food Blog January 2015-0225For the opening act, I looked no further than Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi in their stellar cookbook Jerusalem. I love this volume. When I bought it for myself last year, I gave up marking recipes I wanted to try with a post-it note because, let’s face it, that’s just not helpful when you are marking almost every page. But the Lemony Leek Meatballs, curiously filed in the vegetable section, stood out. First of all, as Ottolenghi and Tamimi note, they are packed with a staggering quantity of leeks which, despite the beef that makes up the “meat” component, really do emerge as stars in the dish. Secondly, the sauce, chicken broth spiked with a tremendous dose of lemon juice, sounded so bright and aggressive with flavor that I just wanted to drink a mugful.

Food Blog January 2015-0226I wasn’t disappointed. The meatballs sear up golden and aromatic, and as they simmer in the sauce they soak up its acidity and turn it into something outrageous – an intensely savory lemon caramel coating around fragrant pyramids (mine wouldn’t stay round). The leeks and beef are a stellar combination, and the addition of fresh bread crumbs as well as the gently pulverized leeks keep the meatballs light and fresh, probably why they are classified as an appetizer or starter in Jerusalem.

Food Blog January 2015-0228I’ve made a few changes from the original, a dicey business with beloved traditional recipes like many of these, but they are minor. Rather than steaming the leeks, I’ve sautéed them gently in a mixture of butter and olive oil for extra flavor. To keep with my project theme, I’ve maintained the ball shape, rather than flattening them into patties as Ottolenghi and Tamimi direct. Finally, as I’ve noted below, I increased the number of meatballs – rather than 8, as in the original recipe, I’ve done 12, and really you could easily make 16 from the same amount of mixture.

Food Blog January 2015-0236Forewarning: this is a lengthy process. Like, if you are really on top of your game and quick on the prep and ready to multitask, “lengthy” means about two hours. The leeks must be cooked down first, which takes a good 20 minutes, and then cooled. The meat mixture, once it’s formed into balls, must be chilled for a full half hour to ensure that they stay together in the pan. After searing, the meatballs simmer in the rich, tart broth for another half hour, and then must cool a bit, as they taste better just warm or at room temperature than scaldingly hot out of the pan. All this means you are looking at almost two hours of prep and cooking time – not onerous, particularly because half an hour of that is just cooling your heels while your meatballs do the same, but worth noting before you charge in hoping to have dinner on the table in the blink of an eye.

Serving suggestions: tuck them into warm pita or naan with the yogurt and perhaps a few slices of cucumber, or sit them on a bed of fragrant couscous shot through with toasted nuts and green onions, or maybe some finely chopped dried apricots. Add a sprinkle of good, tart feta to the top for some extra zing.

Lemony Leek Meatballs
adapted from Jerusalem
serves 2-3 as an entree, 4-6 as part of an appetizer plate
NOTE! Takes the better part of 2 hours
6 large trimmed leeks, root end and dark green portion removed
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
9 ounces ground beef (just over ½ a pound)
scant 1 cup bread crumbs (1-2 slices)
2 large eggs
1¼ cups chicken stock
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
⅓ cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • Slice the trimmed leeks in half lengthwise to form long half-cylinders. Rinse well, being sure the water gets in between the layers, where dirt can be hidden. Shake off and slice across into ¾ inch slices.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and ½ teaspoon salt, and clamp on the lid. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until the leeks are completely tender but not browned.
  • Drain leeks in a colander, pushing them against the sides with the flat of a wooden spoon to press out some of the water. Leave to cool, then squeeze out any residual water with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Dump leeks into a food processor and pulse a few times until well chopped, but not mush. Place them in a large bowl with the ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and use your fingertips to gently combine the ingredients into a homogenous mix. Try not to overwork. The final mixture will be quite soft.
  • Gently form the mix into 12-16 equal balls and refrigerate 30 minutes (this gives the bread crumbs some time to absorb some of the fat and liquid in the mixture, and helps these delicate, soft meatballs stay together).
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in the same large skillet (wipe it out first if there is leek detritus lingering). Gingerly add the meatballs, being sure they don’t touch, and sear until golden-brown on all sides (2-3 minutes for each side); you can do this in batches if necessary.
  • Now, pour on the chicken stock – it should come about halfway up the sides of the meatballs; maybe a bit higher. Add the lemon juice and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then pop on the lid, turn the heat down to medium or medium-low, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the lid and cook for a few more minutes, if necessary, until almost all the liquid in the pan has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.
  • Serve the meatballs just warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of the yogurt and a sprinkle of parsley.

Carrot Ginger Soup with Coconut and Turmeric

I threw away my bathroom scale today. Before you applaud me, this isn’t some kind of new-year-new-me-self-acceptance resolution. No, it’s because unless we have had a 46 pound ghost living in our bathroom for the last month, the scale has stopped working. No amount of fiddling with the dial on the bottom has had any effect, aside from bulking up our imaginary squatter to 77 pounds.

Food Blog January 2015-0205Though I realize there are probably many videos, tutorials, and step-by-step Pinterest boards devoted to fixing this problem (how to evict your imaginary scale-ghost!), I decided it was easier to just throw it away. Then I went out and had chicken and waffles for lunch.

Food Blog January 2015-0210All that being said, it is the time of year when, if we’re invested in this sort of thing, we tend to pay a lot of attention to what our bodies look like and what we put into them. Usually that involves eating less and eating lighter, which is ironic and unfortunate, because so many places in the country this January are having such a harsh winter. We need comfort, we need warmth, we need rich food to sustain us through snow and low temperatures (well, perhaps not in Los Angeles).

Food Blog January 2015-0199The answer to both of these problems seems, to me, to be vegetable soup. I don’t mean a minestrone type concoction, with chunks of various veggies floating in broth, but a pureed soup, featuring a single vegetable star, with minimal back-up supporters and just a bit of spice to keep things interesting. After a recent episode of Top Chef on which one of the contestants made a deep, sunset inspired roasted carrot soup, I knew what my star would be.

Food Blog January 2015-0201Carrots work well with many flavors, but ginger is a particularly nice pairing; carrots are sweet and hearty, and ginger is a warm, spicy kick that keeps it bright. Rather than chicken stock, which I find can muddy flavors a bit, I opted for water as my liquid, with a generous splash of coconut milk to add some richness. Then, on a whim I’m pleased I followed, I sprinkled in a good teaspoon or two of turmeric, which bolstered both the orange glow of the carrots and their earthy flavor.

Food Blog January 2015-0213As I watched my pureed mixture burble in a pot, I started thinking about texture. I’d stopped short of pureeing the carrots to total velvet smoothness, but I still wanted something crunchy to break up the potential monotony of my soup. During the pumpkin madness of autumn, I experimented with some yet-to-be-perfected turmeric-spiced pumpkin bars that featured a pistachio and walnut crumble topping. Pistachios seemed like a good choice again here, and to play with the hint of citrus flavor they carry, as well as add a slight sourness the soup might benefit from, I tossed the nuts with lemon zest before sprinkling them over my vivid orange lunch.

Food Blog January 2015-0209Despite our less-than-wintery weather, this was a comforting, warming bowl. Roasting the carrots brings out their sweetness and concentrates their flavor, but the spices keep it dancing between decadent richness and brightly refreshing. I used some leftover naan to mop up the edges of my bowl, but a crusty piece of baguette or hot pita would, as you might expect, be just as nice.

Food Blog January 2015-0214This is a thick soup – almost passable as a vegetable puree, and you can play with it as you please. Add more or less liquid, replace the pistachio and lemon topping with another toasted nut, or lime zest rather than lemon, or maybe even fried sage and crumbled gingersnaps, to play with the fresh ginger in the soup. My quantities here produce an assertively gingery mix – reduce to just a teaspoon or two for a milder spice.

Food Blog January 2015-0207

Carrot Ginger Soup with Coconut and Turmeric
Serves 2-3
1 pound carrots, tips and tops removed, peeled if desired (I usually don’t – just scrub them off)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon grated ginger (or less, to your taste)
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
additional salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup roughly chopped, toasted pistachios
2 teaspoons lemon zest


  • Preheat the oven to 425F while you prep your carrots. Remove their tops and tips, then split down the center for two long half cylinders. On an aluminum foil lined baking sheet, toss the carrot halves with the olive oil and the ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper for a gleaming, even coat. Roast in the 425F oven for 40 minutes, until nicely browned and quite tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • For a standard blender: add the roasted carrots, coconut milk, water, grated ginger, and turmeric to a blender and blend until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. As noted above, I chose to leave mine with a little texture, but you can blend until completely smooth if desired. Pour the mixture into a medium pot.
  • For an immersion blender: add the roasted carrots, coconut milk, water, grated ginger, and turmeric to a medium pot with high sides (otherwise the soup spatters a bit during blending) and blend with an immersion blender until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. As noted above, I chose to leave mine with a little texture, but you can blend until completely smooth if desired.
  • For both methods: once the soup is your desired consistency in the medium pot, place it over medium-low heat until it is heated through. Be careful – because this mixture is thick, if it comes to a boil it will spit.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve topped with a scattering of chopped pistachios and lemon zest.

Photo Friday

Back on the horse, and with some shots from our Christmas “dinner.”

Fall and Winter 2014-0053We do a meal solely of appetizers in the evening on Christmas day, an arrangement that allows us to try out a number of new dishes, and keep on eating all night, since it’s only small bites…

Fall and Winter 2014-0031Fall and Winter 2014-0027We’ve done this for so many years that we covered all the standard appetizer ideas: deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms, spinach dip, all manner of bread and cheese… so we’ve had to start working with themes. Last year it was stacked snacks. Two years ago it was all stuffed, well, stuff. This year we rolled everything, and our table was jammed with spring rolls, eggplant rollatini, cannoli and roulade for dessert, and an experiment: two kinds of sushi rolls.

Fall and Winter 2014-0026One contained ahi, avocado, and radish. The other enclosed smoked salmon, avocado, and a wasabi-spiked cream cheese.

Fall and Winter 2014-0035My sister and I are completely virgin sushi rollers, so we didn’t really know how much filling to include. This, combined with our enthusiasm for the ingredients and the anticipated end product, led to two burrito sized rolls of sushi.

Fall and Winter 2014-0036Fall and Winter 2014-0040Still, they were quickly gone…

Fall and Winter 2014-0045My fish-face.


* all photos this post courtesy of N. My hands were covered with sticky rice through most of the process. Thanks, sweetie.