Asian Twist, Miso Bliss – Miso Glazed Sea Bass




Appetizer Scallops in butter lemon sauce

The New York Times posted this great little recipe!  We’ve served it a few times now & its always a hit!

Our starter was Sea Scallops in a white wine sauce:

1. Heat oil in heavy skillet over high heat.

2. When oil begins to smoke add scallops.
3. Sear each side for one minute or until each side is golden brown.
4. Add 1/2 cup of wine and lower heat to medium.
5. Simmer for 2 minutes.
6. Remove scallops from pan.
7. Add remaining wine and lemon juice,and garlic.
8. Bring to a boil and reduce by half.
9. Add butter, parsley and season with pepper.
10. Place scallops on a plate and smother with sauce.

Miso Glazed Sea Bass

  • 1 1/2 pounds sea bass, mackerel or cod, skin off, and cut into a dozen 2-ounce slices
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 tablespoon red miso
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt
  • 1 pound tender mustard greens or spinach, stemmed and washed
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Pickled ginger, for garnish


1.Lay fish slices in a shallow glass or earthenware baking dish. Put white and red miso, sake, mirin, soy sauce, ginger and sugar in a small bowl and stir well.
2.Dot half the miso mixture evenly over fish, then rub with fingers to lightly coat slices. Leave to marinate 10 to 15 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
3.Beat egg yolks into remaining miso mixture. With a spoon, smear tops of fish slices with this egg-enriched mixture. Bake on top shelf of oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until fish is firm, then place pan under broiler to glaze. Broil 1 to 2 minutes until topping begins to brown. With a spatula, transfer fish to serving platter.
4.Meanwhile, bring 4 cups well-salted water to a boil in a wide stainless steel skillet. Add mustard greens and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Drain in colander, rinse briefly with cold water, then press out excess water with wooden spoon. Transfer to serving dish. Drizzle with sesame oil and garnish with thin slices of pickled ginger.
4 servings

CauliflourBok ChoyComplete Meal with puree cauliflour Miso Glaze Sea Bass Shitaki Mushrooms Yellow and Orange Peppers


Kiss the Summer Goodbye Dinner Party

Light up the BBQ! This menu was a taste of everything summer, a great collaboration between friends of wine, food and Misnikks Music.  It’s worth a mention how James served his chili shrimp, on a long strip of butcher paper across the centre of the table! Cool idea, easy to serve and easy to clean.  The meal to follow was a trio of rib-eye steaks, Korean BBQ ribs, mashed potato latkes, fresh Ontario pea pasta with burrata cheese & a summer corn and avocado salad.  Thinking back we’re still full from this meal, and its March (wah wah).  The variety of wines we sampled were spectacular and the view from Moez’s condo was unforgettable that evening.  Great night Ladies and Gents.

Dinner Party Collage photo


Cooking Class in Priano – Hotel Tramonto d’Oro

KulinaryKate is back! The next few weeks will seem like am overload of posts so get ready and get inspired.  I’ve recruited a new addition to the team, NarrativeNikki, she helps out in the kitchen as a sous chef and now on the blog as an editor and writer.

KulinaryKate and NarrativeNikki came to realize their shared passion of cooking and culinary experiences while traveling through Italy this past summer. We thought it fitting to start off with our experiences there in a cooking class.  If your ever so lucky to be in this area you must pay a visit to Carmine and Ciro at the Tramonto d’Oro (

Susur Lee’s “Lee” restaurant Toronto

Many many years ago now, I had the pleasure of eating at Susur in Toronto – a one of kind to Toronto in it’s day…10 years ago asking something like $150-200 per person for a 10 course tasting menu.  My best friend “Pap” and I treated ourselves to a birthday dinner (we both have birthday’s in April) at Susur.  I still remember this meal – what an impression it made on me.  Some people aren’t impressed by the detail and fussiness put into a 10 course dinner at $150-200 a person (especially the length of time it takes to consume all the courses) but I am enamored by it!  Worth every penny to me – meal, memory and experience (Susur was even in the kitchen that night and came out to meet us and sign our menu’s).

Susur has since closed but a more casual Susur Lee restaurant called LEE remains in it’s space at King and Portland.  All these years have gone by but I’ve never ventured to try Lee – to be honest, I always thought I’ve experienced the mecca of Susur dining, why would I downgrade at this point?  Stupid, ignorant me…I recently joined friends who were dining at Lee – although I didn’t join them to have a meal (i joined as they were in the middle of dinner), I tried bites of dishes that come to the table (Singapore Slaw, slow braised beef, cheeseburger spring roll) and everything was so fantastic, I went back the following night with another group of friends (all who had never been either) to experience a full meal and other items on the menu.  Everyone really enjoyed the meal…every dish was delightful.  My only criticism is in me – for waiting so damn long to check this place out…and the even better part – it’s no where near $150-$200 a person!!!

P.S.  Best to go with at least 4 people so it’s easy to share large dishes and order multiple items.  I went with 5 people (2 men, 3 women).  Our waiter suggested we order 8-10 dishes, we ordered 7 and it was more than enough…start with less and order more if you need it.

Patria Restaurant Toronto – another Charles Khabouth establishment…

I will start this post by saying that the “Toronto Life Best Restaurants of 2013” list is out and Patria has made the cut.  I often think this list is more of a owner/chef popularity contest but Patria was pretty good so I’ll give them that.  It’s refreshing to see a restaurant open in Toronto with new cuisine than what we’re used to…and to do a good job at preparing it.  Patria has great ambiance, the wait staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and all the food we ordered was delicious (you could skip the olives and spiced almonds).  The spicy oil was a special request (and not nearly spicy enough – I like heat that gives you hiccups)!  I struggled with the wine a little – (I know nothing about Spanish wines) but with a little guidance from the sommelier, he found us a couple bottles we were happy with and so the night went on…Buen provecho!

Congratulations Rich & Anne! Let’s Eat! An Asian inspired meal to celebrate…

This past Friday night, I hosted a little dinner party for 2 friends of mine who recently got engaged.  I thought this was the perfect occasion to open a couple impressive Napa Cabs so I started planning a menu.  I had a prime rib in the freezer I wanted to cook but I’ve had prime rib with this particular group of friends the past few times we’ve cooked a meal so I needed to change it up!  The bride to be doesn’t eat red meat, so I needed to think of an alternative main course as well.  I decided on seared tuna and figured I’d serve this with an Asian inspired sauce and therefore I thought I’d frame my entire meal with the Asian theme in mind.  I decided to marinate the prime rib (found a rib eye steak recipe which I used for the prime rib), chose to cook quinoa as my starch, and then I prepared two salads (cucumber/mango and a cabbage slaw) and a hot vegetable side dish – broccoli.  Every thing turned out very well but the show stoppers were 2 dishes – the seared tuna and the roasted broccoli.  I know what I do well and I know what I doesn’t turn out so well.  When I say the tuna and broccoli were phenomenal – this is no exaggeration!  And as luck would have it, they were probably the two simplest dishes I prepared that night.  I’m already planning on cooking these dishes again when I’m back in Florida with my family in a couple weeks.

I did a lot of prep the night before the dinner party and even the morning of, before going to work.  When I was toasting the sesame oil for the quinoa on Friday morning, a fire started in the sauce pan and grew in size in seconds. I panicked, put the sauce pan in the oven to try to contain it and called 911 (my intention was to ask them how to safely attempt putting the fire out).  By the time the fire dispatcher came on the phone, the fire burned itself out but she sent firemen to my condo regardless.  3 HOT (of course) firemen can knocking on my door , came in to have a look in the kitchen to make sure all was under control and then asked me curiously what was on the menu for my dinner, so I gave them a peak in my fridge to see all the preparations I had made so far.  They were very impressed!  Ha!  Quite an eventful morning all before 8am!

Five-Spice Quinoa with Toasted Almonds

Five-spice powder is a seasoning that usually includes star anise, cinnamon, licorice root, fennel, and black or Sichuan pepper. It plays well against the slight nuttiness of quinoa, a grain that is rich in protein. Toasting the quinoa in a little oil adds a pleasing nuance of flavor. Serves 4 to 6

For the sauce:
4 cups vegetable broth
1-1/2 Tbs. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl.
2 cups quinoa
1-1/2 Tbs. olive or canola oil
3 Tbs. minced scallions
1-1/2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan with a lid over medium-high heat until very hot, about 20 seconds. Add
the scallions, ginger, and five-spice powder and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the quinoa and
Five-Spice Quinoa with Toasted Almonds – stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. The quinoa should be tender to the bite. Remove from the heat, uncover, and fluff with a fork.
If the almonds aren’t toasted, cook them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden
brown. Let the quinoa cool slightly and then stir in the toasted almonds. Taste for seasoning, adding salt or
soy sauce if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature as a staple dish instead of rice or couscous.

Asian Marinated Prime Rib

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 6 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 rib eye steaks
  • In a small bowl, combine first seven ingredients; mix well to blend.
  • Place prime rib in a bag (I used a clean plastic grocery bag) and pour marinade over the roast.
  • Seal and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  Turn roast every 8 hrs or so so each side sits in marinade for hours.
  • Cook roast for 15 minutes at 450 degrees and then reduce to 325 degrees and cook until roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees (my 6lb roast cooked 1.5 hours at 325 degrees – on top of the 15 minute sear)

ASIAN ROASTED BROCCOLI (this recipe is SO easy and out of this world amazing)!

2 heads on broccoli, cut into florets (or at least 4 cups of florets) – you could probably substitute broccoli with asparagus, brussel sprouts or rapini


3-4 tbs chili-garlic paste (i didn’t know what this is so I used Srirach Hot Chili Sauce)

1 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs soy sauce

3 tbs veggie oil

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp fresh garlic

Mix marinade together in large bowl. Add in broccoli to coat. Spread on a pan and roast at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until edges are golden.  I doubled the marinade recipe because my heads of broccoli were very large.

Snappy Cucumber Mango Salad

Serves 4

For the most refreshing salad, place your mangoes and cucumber in the refrigerator for a few hours before making the salad so that they’re nice and cold. The fresh ginger adds some zing to the salad, but if you’d prefer it to be a bit more mild just leave it out. (Find a tutorial on how to peel and store fresh ginger here.)

2 ripe mangoes, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced

1 English cucumber, peeled or partially peeled (see note below), halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced

1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger, optional

1 tablespoon honey or coconut nectar

pinch of sea salt

In a large bowl, toss together all of the ingredients to combine. That’s it!

Serve immediately.

Pan Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger and Lime
Ingredients2 big handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, sliced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, grated
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Pinch sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (6-ounce) block sushi-quality tuna
1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled, pitted, and slicedDirectionsIn a mixing bowl, combine the cilantro, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir the ingredients together until well incorporated.

Place a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the tuna generously with salt and pepper. Lay the tuna in the hot oil and sear for 1 minute on each side to form a slight crust. Pour 1/2 of the cilantro mixture into the pan to coat the fish. Serve the seared tuna with the sliced avocado and the remaining cilantro sauce drizzled over the whole plate.

Asian Coleslaw

2 tbsp. sesame seeds
4 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. sugar
2 cups (about 1/2 head) shredded red cabbage
2 cups (about 1/2 head) shredded green cabbage
2 cups (about 4 carrots) shredded carrots
kosher salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste


Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer seeds to a small bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, vegetable oil, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine shredded cabbages and carrots. Toss to combine. Add vinegar mixture and toss to coat. Season with kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste.

To serve, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

The Chapel Grill – Naples, Florida

On my recent trip to Florida, my last dinner out was at a restaurant with my Mother.  We decided to go to the new Chapel Grill downtown.  It’s a classic Floridian style restaurant, with great food, lots of selection on the menu, outdoor seating (covered with heat lamps if necessary) – a good choice overall.  Check it out if you are in the Naples area soon.

Creamed Spinach $4.1 ~ $8.2 Baby spinach with double cream & a splash of pernod.

Creamed Spinach $4.1 ~ $8.2
Baby spinach with double cream & a splash of pernod.

Plank Roasted Salmon $25.6 Bourbon maple glazed, Dijon mashed & grilled asparagus.

Plank Roasted Salmon $25.6
Bourbon maple glazed, Dijon mashed & grilled asparagus.

Lobster à la Minute  Market Pricing 1½ pound Maine lobster prepared steamed or butter poached.

Lobster à la Minute Market Pricing
1½ pound Maine lobster prepared steamed or butter poached.

Coco Loco Caribbean Calamari $11.9 Coconut milk dredged flour dusted tubes, chorizo & squash with a 
roasted garlic aïoli.

Coco Loco Caribbean Calamari $11.9
Coconut milk dredged flour dusted tubes, chorizo & squash with a
roasted garlic aïoli.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes Trio $13.5 Louisianan rémoulade, Old Bay aïoli & garlic onion jam.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes Trio $13.5
Louisianan rémoulade, Old Bay aïoli & garlic onion jam.

Pretzel Bread

Pretzel Bread