Recent Cooking Experiments

I’ve been having a bit of fun in the kitchen lately, and thought I’d share a couple of the resulting meals. Inspiration came from friends Jess and Joanna, respectively.  Please check out their blogs for other fun miscellany!

On Thursday evening I decided I needed to use some tomatoes from my mom’s garden immediately, as they were perfectly ripe.  I remembered Jess’ Doublemint Dinners post on tomatoes and replicated the dish from memory.  Here’s the gist:



Turn tomato upside down and make slices most of the way through.  Insert thin slices of cucumber into every other cut in the tomato.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on top, and put in the oven at 350°F for about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, put slices of Havarti cheese in remaining cuts in the tomato, and put back in the oven just until melted.



Serve with grilled steaks, goat cheese-stuffed squash blossoms (dipped in backyard fresh eggs and rolled in Panko), and a margarita on the rocks with salt.  (Next time, I’ll also try the recipe Jess posted for what looks to be an incredible margarita!)



My other noteworthy culinary experiment from the past week utilized my new musubi press.  Joanna made some surprisingly delicious Spam musubi while we were at her family’s beach house at the beginning of the summer, so I had to try out the process myself.  I got a press that was twice as long and half the width / height as Joanna’s (whose was designed to perfectly accommodate a slice of Spam) and I am glad I got this smaller, longer model: the resulting “sushi” is more bite-sized.

I made not only the traditional Spam musubi, but also “sushi” with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and avocado, as well as some made with smoked oysters and cucumber.  By the end of the night, I ended up making a batch of delicious musubi with all the leftovers from the evening.  All varieties had a generous sprinkle of furikake on top, and were enjoyed with soy sauce.  (I have already picked up wasabi powder, pickled ginger slices, and rice wine to up the ante for future sushi dinners!)  The musubi press is a super-simple method for creating sushi, and I got mine from Amazon.


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