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How to make sushi

Sushi Rolls

Sushi Rolls - Photo by Chris Auman

I love sushi. I love to cook. So, many years ago – possibly a decade or more – I attempted to make my own sushi. It was not good.

Initially it was slow going, but, through trial and error my creations slowly because editable. I found a really great fresh fish market close by in Akron Ohio, and, eventually, I learned how to make basic sushi rolls (Actually called Maki-zushi) that my wife and friends actually go out of their way to request from time to time.

Let me just say that I do not claim to really know what I’m doing compared to true sushi chefs. I want to clear that up right now. I have great respect for these guys that make endless, perfect, delectable creations on a daily basis while I stand in their shadow and do my best to make something that is simply eatable in comparison. After years of trying to recreate the sushi that I’ve sampled around the area, I do believe that I have the basics down to the point where I really enjoy the final product. But even after years of doing this I still screw it up royally from time to time. In this post I’ll provide some pictures and the basic instructions and tips that I can pass on to help you learn from my many mistakes. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Chris Auman

November 20th, 2010 at 9:34 am

Posted in Recipes

Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce and Pasta

Tonight we had an amazing dinner, even though it was made of the most simple ingredients. Our garden this year is overflowing with tomatoes, so, of course we have to find ways to use them and not be wasteful. There are so many that it would be easy to be wasteful and leave them to rot on the vine – there are that many. We’re finding ways to use them all though (so far). For the last week we’ve had about ten tomatoes sitting on the counter – slowly rotting away so tonight I thought I would make a double batch of marinara sauce and use the lot. After all, we have another dozen tomatoes that are all ready to be picked as we speak so… break out the red wine and lets get started.

After some digging around for a good recipe I found one that sounded simple, yet really good (minus the green peppers that they suggested. What the…?) and I set to making us a dinner to remember. Below is the recipe I came up with (with some modifications). I actually doubled the recipe I found and we actually came out in the end with enough left overs for one (which I gave to our neighbor). So this should be enough to feed a family of 4-6 depending on your size. We also breaded and fried up some of our zucchini too for dipping in the marinara, so we did use more than what was needed for just the pasta.

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By the way, even though this is a stripped down pasta sauce with no meat or fancy things added, the kids loved it! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Chris Auman

September 14th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Recipes

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Fresh Tomato Salsa

salsa

This is the first year that I tried to grow a garden and I’ve actually been very pleased with the results. Actually, some might say that I’ve grown some serious mutant plants that are producing a bounty that is far beyond normal. On this note, I must say that I have a lot of tomatoes. So much in fact that I’ve been left to scramble to find a use for them. You can only eat so many salads and sandwiches. So, I reviewed some of the salsa recipes on my favorite recipe site and made some modifications to come up with a really great recipe which I’ll provide below. This recipe makes a lot of salsa so unless you’re having a party consider cutting this recipe in half or down by one third. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Chris Auman

August 23rd, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Posted in Color Photography,Recipes

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Food Photography – Parmesan Chicken

I was playing around with my camera the other night and experimenting with some low light food photography. The food turned out so good (visually and taste) that I thought it would be good post it here. This might be a start of something! I’ll copy the recipe here and my comments because this chicken was amazing. First, the salad…

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Lemon Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (One lemon did the job)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk everything together. It turned out to be fairly overpowering but good so if you don’t like lemon A LOT I would cut the amount of lemon juice down a bit. At first it didn’t seem like a lot of lemon flavor and then it just hits ya.

Below is a picture of the actual dressing:

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Parmesan Chicken

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Prep time: 30 minutes (definitely take longer if you have time time. Chicken is always better if it’s cooked slow)

6 skinless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1/4 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup OR MORE freshly grated Parmesan cheese – plus extra for serving!
Unsalted butter, good olive oil

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter OR MORE and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

Note: I cooked them really slow since we had some time and they were really tender. As you can see from the picture we cooked them until the coating was nice and crusty brown.

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Abby helping me cook. I learned that she likes carrots but cucumbers are “no good daddy”.

Written by Chris Auman

March 7th, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Posted in Recipes