Wild Ginger

While in Seattle I thought I would see if we could get into Wild Ginger for dinner. For some reason everything I had read lead me to believe that one must have a reservation long in advance. Turns out that is not the case, at least not on a Monday night. We were escorted right in. They are very helpful in steering you towards the GF menu items. We sat in a very dark corner of the bar and I had several great martini’s. My one bad comment was that it was so dark, that I literally had to use my cell phone light to read the menu as even candlelight wasn’t cutting it, but the wall sconces were not lit.

wild ginger martini

This is a snap of my martini in the light.

What did I have? One of the best meals of my life! I started with their Laska, a spicy bouillabaisse from Malaysia loaded with seafood in a rich coconut broth. Then I had the Vietnamese Prawn and Crab salad served on a bed of watercress with lots of cilantro, ground peanuts, garlic and fried shallots. So fresh and light. I think the crab had been marinating in a sweet and spicy fish sauce base. For my entree (I was splurging here) I had their special: sturgeon with green mango. Michigan’s sturgeon is protected and you never see it on a menu, so I decided it might be my only chance to try it. I was glad I did. This sturgeon was marinated with lemon grass, galangal, garlic, lime leaf and turmeric, then pan fried and served on a green mango salad that had a delicious sauce on it, again, I think it was fish sauce based. It was terrific. It was too dark to really take photos and not look like total geeks, but I think we got one of the salad (albeit not a flattering one) claiming we were celebrating something. My darling BF had the pot stickers and the Wild Ginger Fragrant Duck which he really enjoyed. For cocktails I had Ginger Martini’s; wild ginger infused vodka, pretty much straight up and chilled.

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So, tonight I am attempting to replicated the sturgeon dish with salmon and grill it instead of pan frying. It turned out pretty great, but will need a bit of tweaking. I used salmon as I didn’t have anything super similar to sturgeon (I think a firm thin white fish would work great). I marinated it and then dipped it in coconut flour. Next time I will use rice flour as I think it will crisp up better. The coconut sort of burned a bit due to the fat content. The flavor was great. I didn’t have any green mango, but I will try to make that salad someday. In keeping with the coconut theme, I made coconut rice which is rich and nutty (and not healthy). Broccoli rabe sauteed with sesame oil, ginger, garlic and tamari rounded the meal out. I did make this elaborate lemon grass coconut sauce and put it in the microwave to warm it up and forgot about it until I was cleaning up, so needless to say, the fish didn’t need it.

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Here’s my recipe cobbled together from a memory!

Ginger Lemon Grass Salmon

For the marinade: dried turmeric, dried galangal (use fresh if you can), minced garlic, garlic chile sauce (I use a Vietnamese brand), sweet chile sauce (I use Maeploy from Thailand), chopped lemon grass (I found some chopped, frozen stuff in my Asian market – much easier), fresh ginger (I use a grater to mince it) and chopped lime leaf (I used this from my tree in my house). I rubbed the salmon in the above ingredients and let it set for a couple of hours in the fridge. Then I dredged it in coconut flour and I would use rice flour next time and tossed it in the cast iron pan and next time I would use a nonstick skillet as the cast iron stayed too hot too long. I then squeezed fresh lime juice on it and then added some fresh chopped cilantro and we served it with coconut rice that had been cooked with lime leaf and topped with cilantro.

The forgotten sauce: Coconut Lemon Grass sauce

Coconut milk, shallots, lemon grass, lime leaf, green chile and a dash of fish sauce and a litte water. Cook it all together for a bit and then when it has cooked down, strain it and serve. I forgot the serve part, but the sauce did taste great!

i’m out

Menu Swap for the St Patty’s Day week : special ingredient coconut; Cocktail of the week: Hard Cider

St Patty's Day prep, Irish coffee and bling

Finally, it is the day I wait for all year long: St Patty’s Day. You might think that I gave up partying hard for this day in my twenties (like most) or in my thirties (like the rest) but no! I still plan to do a pub crawl today (albeit with only two pubs) and wear green and loudly shout Irishisms that I can’t spell.

You see, I am a red head. This is a holy day for red heads, esp ones of Irish descent like me (Scottish and German too). This is the day I get to wear my favorite color: green. 80% of my wardrobe is green, so it really isn’t a hard to find something to wear.

What to cook? I alternate between Irish boiled dinner (which sounds so boring) and Irish stew with Lamb every other year now. We started the week off with fish and chips to get that out of my system.

What to drink? Whiskey and Cider of course since there is no gf Guinness and I prefer many other delish stouts to Guinness anyway, even if I can’t drink them. So I have chosen for the pub crawl locations that have cider on tap and whiskey on hand and music to jig to.

Can you tell I am excited?

Here’s this week’s adventure:

Saturday: Southwest Santa Fe: Carne Adovada (pork in red chile sauce) and pinto beans with guac and chips.

Sunday: Irish Coast: Fish and chips

Monday: Irish boiled dinner (although I never once saw corned beef when I was in Ireland) Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. The pressure cooker is already going and then this will go into the crockpot with the rest of the deliciousness to be ready by the time I am pub crawled out.

Tuesday: Asian Pacific: Grilled Salmon and broccoli rabe with garlic ginger. Salmon will likely have an asian flare to it – chile, garlic, tamari with a lemon grass coconut milk sauce or coconut rice to serve with it, or both.

Wednesday: Tex Mex: Pork enchiladas (casserole style with cheese and onions, lots of onions) with cucumber lime salad and Mexican rice and a pina colada with Mt Gay rum (my fav).

Thursday: Thai :Lard Nah with swiss chard and tofu on wide rice noodles. I will have to post this recipe as it is addicting (if you can eat soy).

Friday: German tour of the Rhine : Jagerschnitzel with Riesling mushroom sauce, spaetzle and rot kohl (or some sort of cabbage side) with a dry Riesling

Warning: Any one of these nights might get subbed out for takeout Gluten free Pizza from Mancino’s down the road (yes, finally, but it is 20 min away. They have a GF crust and a spelt crust!). Twenty minutes never seemed so close!

Erin go braugh!

i’m out and doing a jig, a celtic one……

after pub crawling....

Finally, the long awaited knitting update

Yes this is primarily a food blog, but my disclaimer above does also mention knitting, gardening, brewing, etc. So, now for a knitting update. I will just show you in photos. I am not that great of a knitter, but I do enjoy creating something that people can wear with my hands and it is great for couch time with movies, bar time and airplanes. I have been working on this scarf for a friends birthday for a long time, a really long time (one year and 2 months). In fact the first yarn I bought (mohair, that says it all) I started the project with it 5 times and frogged it (ripped it) apart each time, hating the yarn more and more. So, I finally said forget it, gave that yarn to a friend and went and purchased totally different yarn in a totally different color. This scarf is very long and has that nice woolly scent to it. Yarn doesn’t photograph well with flashes, but this stuff has a great depth of texture and color.

purple scarf

There is some requirement out there about cats and knitting and that they must sit on your projects to bless them or something like that.

clara sitting on the knitting

purple scarf


Menu of the week March 10th and Cocktail of the week: grapefruit drops

meyer lemon blooms from my house tree

The pic above is of my meyer lemon blooms on my new “prepare for global warming” lemon tree (Remember, I live in MI, not in CA or FL where this might be common).

I truly have good intentions of posting all about my great trip. I returned to work chaos and it has only gotten worse, it even keeps me up at night. On the bright side, it will be over eventually and I have all of your wonderful blogs and bloganionship (companionship for bloggers) to keep me moving. Thanks for being my food support group.

I am not sure why I had such a tough time coming up with a menu for this week. I think it might have to do with the fact that I ate 95% seafood/shellfish last week and really want to recreate all those dishes and my darling BF really doesn’t care for shellfish (read hates except for crab cakes). So, I keep turning my mind off and on. We went grocery shopping the day after our return and loaded up on greens of all sorts. Swiss chard, broccoli rabe, broccoli, savoy cabbage, arugula, leeks and fennel. The only thing better than feeling good about a fridge full of greens would be to feel great about a fridge full of our home grown greens. Soon! We ordered a tremendous amount of seeds to start indoors and they will be here soon!

Even though it is Monday, I did start this menu on Saturday and just haven’t had time to post it (how is that possible over a weekend?).

Saturday: Comfort food in a bowl

Grass fed beef stew with thyme and braised savoy cabbage. I had never slow braised my cabbage in the oven before, but it was a winner. I ate almost 1/2 a head by myself that eve – luckily it was a small cabbage.


Lunch: Pacific NW fusion

Spicy Mergetz lamb sausages grilled and shrimp risotto (tip: use leftover risotto to make risotto balls and stuff them with a piece of mozzerella, dip them in egg wash, dip them in bread crumbs and fry when you are feeling decadent – see pics of mine (just the balls) on San Pellegrino’s site here and click on Italian Risotto)


Hot and sour soup with asian pork meatballs and rice noodles and homemade spelt (yes, I know it has gluten for those of you new to my post) potstickers

Monday: Italian eaze

Broccoli gratin with a roasted garlic, dijon mornay sauce (kicked up leftover roasted garlic white sauce from pizza night last Friday) and chicken piccata with pancetta (Italian eaze because I just put this dish together so fast, under 30 min and it is in the oven…which is good for me)

Tuesday: Mediterranean breeze

Grilled marinated swordfish with a fresh fennel slaw, GF pesto pasta and broccoli rabe

Wednesday: Pork, the other white meat

Some of our pig share pork chops on the grill (rub yet to be decided) and asparagus risotto (yes, I am on a risotto kick, sorry) and arugula salad

Thursday: on the road for an evening meeting

Friday: Weekend getaway up North with friends at a cottage on a lake in the snow.

And now for the cocktail, the moment you have all been waiting for: My dad and stepmom stopped by on their way back from their Farmer’s Market vacation in Florida (they sold dried cherries from MI at the market there) and brought me about 20 pounds of grapefruit, red navel and normal navel oranges. And, something else extremely cool: A meyer lemon tree and a key lime tree. There was one lemon on the tree already and it is in tonight’s piccata. So the theme this week will be grapefruit. I hope to candy some of the peel and then use it as a garnish for a grapefruit and vodka, we will see. First we have to eat dinner and then go buy cat food.

i’m out