2016 Will it be THE year?

Happy New Year guys!

I’m pretty sure I’ll still be dating everything XX/XX/15 till February. Let’s be honest, I try to get my goals (**not resolutions!**) started but when they start to waver, I tell myself, well, I can start when it’s Chinese New Year. And that’s usually in February. So 3 weeks to get started on habits isn’t too bad right? They do say it takes 28 days too successfully create habits!

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Mr. Technical

With that said, I apologize for not updating my blog. Well, there are a few reasons. At first I blamed Shaun, because while I enlisted the help of said FiancĂ© to proof my first blog post (he was an Editor at Road & Track Magazine for 10+ years), he also RIPPED IT APART. Now, clearly I don’t remember doing that to his writing when I read his work…but damn, did he fix all my grammars; my comma’s were in the wrong place; there were too many comma’s; <insert> semi-colon here. Blah, blah, BLEH. My voice now became Shaun’s voice at which point I’ve lost all readership. I kid, I kid. He’s an engineer so the technicality comes out in him. Plus, I live to eat, he eats to live and there is no place on the blog for him.

So that’s the first excuse, Shaun ripped my blog apart therefore I’m afraid what he’ll do to future posts. But that’s not true. Most of my time has been consumed with 3 if not 4 jobs (can blogging be considered a job? that would make it 5). First job is ER RN at a Level 1 Trauma center with 110 plus beds. Second job is ER RN at a small community hospital with 25 beds. Third job is at a well known bakery called Sister Pie in Detroit notoriously known for their Dance Breaks and unique flavored pies. Fourth job is cooking/baking for Instagram posts. And fifth job should be all the bread pop ups that I’ve been doing. In between I try to squeeze in 4 mile runs so I can try to still claim to be a runner. I really have to focus on Job 1 & 2 as they actually PAY THE BILLS. Job 3 is the outlet for the stresses of Job 1 & 2. Job 4 is fun and well hey, it’s my culinary outlet and really WHERE I WANT TO GET PAID but for now, I’ll settle for đź’™LIKES!

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Mason Boy. Yeah, he’s not this runt size anymore! 

So here’s to 2016…

  • Work on making “Mighty Made” as a legitimate bread making business. (paperwork boggles my mind!)
  • Pick up more hours at Job 2 (they say I only ‘visit’ with all the Princess shifts I pick up there 👸🏻)
  • Go home to CAli at least once this year. My parents miss me. So do Future in-laws. But I miss the Mason Boy more.
  • Run the Flying Pig Half Marathon because I obsessed with pigs and am convinced I need a Pig Metal.

So while I don’t have a recipe to post for you today, I can direct you to the Ultra amazing Michael Ruhlman whom I idolize but he does not know who I exist. But fortunately I’ve met Amelia through Lisa at Sister Pie and she happens to be his right-hand woman! Check out his page for my Savory Lamb Pie, because we all need savory with the sweet!

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Tell me some of your 2016 goals!

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What took so long?

Cá Nướng Cuốn Bánh Tráng (Grilled Whole Catfish)

Cá Nướng Cuốn Bánh Tráng (Vietnamese Grilled Salmon)

2010: The year I always forget.

2010: The year we moved back to Southern California because Michigan is too.friggin.cold.

2010: The year I really proclaimed myself a Foodie.

So what took me so long to write this post? As with most things, I have a Type A /slight obsessive/compulsive mentality where if it’s not perfect, I won’t even attempt it. And every time I begin to think about it, I cringe. “Is my blog going to be like every other food blog out there?”, “Are they going to understand my tone? my voice? my excitement? my dismay? Will they get me?”

Cá Nướng Close up

Cá Nướng Close up

Who cares, perfect I am not. But in my 3rd decade, its time to start compiling my life’s adventures. My passion, whatever they were in my teens, my twenties, now thirties, be it today, tomorrow or just for that hour. Some of you like it and **LIKE** my posts, so here goes the story of @mightyinthemitten!

Cá Nướng Cuốn Bánh Tráng (Grilled Fish on fresh Rice Paper)

Cá Nướng Cuốn Bánh Tráng (Grilled Fish on fresh Rice Paper)

I’ve learned to trust my gut as an ER Nurse–a skill I learned when after 100 patients tell you what their complaint is doesn’t match with what they LOOK like. Um, 10/10 pain but you’re chatting on your cell phone laughing at Bruce Jenner’s Caitlyn Jenner’s hairdo? Yeah, no. Doing the kidney stone dance when you’ve never had a kidney stone but claiming your pain is 5/10 because you’re too stoic to admit you’re about to keel over and die? Yeah, ok.

So last week my gut told me “My Thy, you haven’t had fish in a while. And you’re not taking your fish oil for those omega-3’s (we tout is so good for us).” So I made Cá NĆ°á»›ng Cuốn Bánh Tráng which is Vietnamese for Grilled Fish wrapped in fresh rice paper. Typically you want to use catfish but cleaning and scaling that bad boy is too much work when Costco has Fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon with no added FD&C Red No. 40. This recipe comes together with a little bit of chopping and dicing, slathering and roasting that you wished you had eaten more fish. Wait, you can now!

Salmon wrapped in herbs ready for the fish sauce dunking

Salmon wrapped in herbs ready for the fish sauce dunking

Recipe Notes: Vietnamese herbs are found at most of your ethnic restaurants and knowing their names and which ones go with what dish is an art. I didn’t just know that Fish Mint, Cilantro, Mint, and Vietnamese Perilla accompany Romaine/Butter lettuce in the spring roll. It was years of eating Vietnamese dishes and learning there’s a set of herbs that go with set dish. If you can’t find these herbs, at least buy mint and cilantro because it adds the ‘fresh’ in fresh spring rolls. The scallion oil is not to be missed. It’s the universal Vietnamese condiment, along with fish sauce of course. And yes, the recipe is called “grilled” but it’s actually roasted in the oven but you sure can grill it!

Cá Nướng Cuốn Bánh Tráng (VIetnamese Grilled Salmon)

Serves 4-6 depending how big you roll your spring rolls. My dad likes burrito size. Mom not so much.

Ingredients:

2-3 lb Wild caught Salmon

Marinade: 

1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 TBS olive oil
2 tsp of fresh ground pepper
2 TBS ginger
2 TBS garlic
2 TBS shallots
2 TBS minced lemongrass
Additional 1/4 cup honey for lathering the fish

Toppings: 

1/4 cup Crushed salted roasted peanuts Scallion Oil

Mo Hanh Scallion Oil: 

3-4 TBS olive oil
1 bunch chopped green onion
pinch salt

Accompaniments:

Rice Paper
Vermicelli Noodles
Fresh herbs: Mint, Fish Mint, cilantro, Perilla
Sliced thin cucumbers, pickled carrots & daikon (do chua)
Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce for dipping
Directions: 
  1. Rinse salmon and blot dry with paper towel. Set aside on foil lined half baking sheet.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients and mix well. You may or may not have extra depending how generous you are with the marinade and how big your fish is.
  3. Lather 1/4 cup of honey onto salmon and let sit for 10 mins. Then slather marinade all over salmon making sure it’s covered completely but not drowning in marinade.
  4. Cover and marinade 1 hr minimum to 4 hrs.
  5. For the Mo Hanh Scallion oil: heat oil in sauce pan on medium heat. Drop a few chopped scallions in oil. It should sizzle and stop. We’re infusing the oil not frying the scallions. If it sizzles, add all the chopped scallions and stir for ~30 seconds and remove from heat. Add pinch of salt. Set aside.
  6. After marinading and before roasting, allow fish to come to room temp (or at least close to it.) As long as your fish isn’t drowning in marinade, use the same half baking sheet. If not, foil-line a half baking sheet and transfer salmon to new sheet. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  7. Bake salmon for 10 -15min or until the fish is just cooked but still a little pink in the center.
  8. Transfer fish to serving platter or serve straight off the half baking sheet.
  9. Top generously with Mo Hanh Scallion Oil and crushed roasted salted peanuts. Traditionally, this dish is served family style in rice paper roll with fresh herbs and dipped in Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce.

Cooks Note: I was out of Vermicelli but typically Vietnamese Spring rolls must include this.