Tonight we’re eating sushi with a southern flare. Our sushi was make with blanched collard greens (instead of seaweed paper), sushi rice, slowly-smothered chicken thighs, and oven-roasted okra. The sushi was served on a bed of spicy onion gravy.
T: wow, Amanda. This was seriously good. I’m excited about this one. Mmm mmm it tasted just as good as it looks!
A: hell yeah!!! i’ve been talking about making southern fusion sushi for nearly a year now. I think i dreamed this one up while procrasting about studying for an exam. finally! sweet victory is mine!
T: and mine. and anybody who makes it. Mmmm. Not only was it the best smothered chicken with gravy that you’ve made to date, but it was so damn fun to eat. It was just really well done. Props! You rock.
A: well thank ya, mister t! i’m super excited that you’re super excited.
T: This makes me really very curious about what other kinds of fusion sushi people are making out there.
A: another one that i wanted to do was a chicken mole sushi. you know how you can get sushi with thin slices of avocado placed across the top? i was thinking the chicken surrounded by the rice with the avocado on top sitting in a pool of mole. it would kind of look like real sushi too.
T: That sounds good too, fo sho. I guess what was so impressive to me about tonight’s meal was not just the clever idea of smothered chicken and roasted okra sushi, but was how well executed it was. The gravy was sooo tasty, the chicken was awesome. The okra rocked. The collard greens were amazing. Mmmm yeah, woman.
A: i’ll admit i was definately happy with the outcome of dinner tonight myself. sometimes smothered chicken just isn’t the most impressive dish in the world. this time i added a tbsp of yellow curry powder and a pinch of nutmeg, and while you couldn’t pick out either of those distinct flavors, they created a beautiful, well-rounded yumminess.
T: yes indeed. I had no clue what was in it but it was super-duper.
A: uh.. i know you didn’t just say “super-duper”
T: what’s wrong with saying super duper? That’s what it was. Ok, it was… fantabulous. how’s that?
A: that’s definately better. when i heard “super-duper” it was like my mother was talking to me. i think that’s one of her favorite phrases. somehow it just doesn’t work for our generation… it’s like “golly gee” or something.
T: don’t worry, I can speak like our generation. That sushi was hell-good.
A: heheh i think you skipped our generation and went on down to the younger generation… i guess that just means you’re one hip mother@#$%er
T: i’m not just a hip mother@!%#er, i’m also a pimp. That’s right. I’m a pimp. I’m so pimp. I’m hell pimp. I hang out with Ashton Kutcher. Ok. I’m not pimp. I’m just trying to be a cool dude.
A: well i’m glad you’re disillusioned to the fact you’re not a pimp. i didn’t want to have to break that one to you. but babe! you’re totally a cool dude. you hang out with me don’t you? we’ve got like, at least one real-life friend. (i swear)
T: that’s right, I do hang out with you… and that makes me your pimp! giggity giggity.
A: biatch….whaaat-ever. just because i do all the cooking and cleaning doesn’t make me your ho, ho.
T: no it’s the fact that I make you give me all your money at the end of the day.
A: hehehe it’s a good thing you don’t know about my secret stash. i’m rich!
T: well… uhh… give it to me. i’m your pimp, remember?
A: oh hayell no! you ain’t my pimp… you just play one on tv.
T: if by “tv” you mean, “tyler-vision,” the happy land in Tyler’s head, yes, I play one on tv.
A: hehehe woah… where did this conversation go! first we’re talking about crazy sushi, now we’re in tyler’s head!
T: ok, now’s a perfect time to get into Tyler’s head about what he thought about the sushi. I give this one a 4.95/5. Great concept, beautiful execution, tasty tasty tasty. What else can I say.
A: wow! i’m truly blown away. i don’t think i’ve ever seen a rating of 4.95 on WWE before! now everything that i make is going to have to compare to this and the scores will certainly fall…
T: that’s why I always go ahead and set low personal standards for myself. You should try that some time.
A: hehehe uh… how’s that working for ya? has it gotten you far in life?
T: umm.. no, it hasn’t gotten me far… but since everyone in my family is totally crazy, I appear to be doing ok.
A: i hear that… who doesn’t have a crazy family….hold on… i’m the “bad-egg” in my family!
T: oh no you are not! be nice to Mandy!
A: oh i’m nice to Mandy… just ask my family i’m sure they would agree! okay… I give this meal a 4.67/5. it totally rocked for me. I just have a hard time rating anything much higher than that.
T: What would it take for you to rate something… say, 4.9/5?
A: children, move on to the next line… it would probablly take a bit of a mouth orgasm for me to rate it a 4.9/5. so far i’ve never achieved one of those… although i’ve been close for sure.
T: Indian food gets me pretty close to a foodgasm. What gets you close?
A: a well cooked rack of lamb…. some indian foods…fresh crab, done well… pretty much everything we listed in the “5 things to eat before you die” post.
T: this is fun. if anybody is still reading this, leave a comment and tell us what gives you a foodgasm/mouthgasm or whatever you call it.
Peace mabibi na mabwana.
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2 thyme twigs
1 beef bouillon cube
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 1/4 cups water
salt and pepper
6 oz okra
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup sushi rice
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 bunch collard greens, stems trimmed and cut in half length-wise
Begin the smothered chicken:
Heat two tbsp olive oil over med-high heat in a large skillet, preferably not teflon unless you have a plastic whisk. While the oil is heating, season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, liberally, on both sides. Once the oil is heated, place the chicken in the pan, and cook for 2 minutes (try not to move it after you first put it in the pan so you can allow the meat to caramelize), then flip the chicken and brown the other side for 2 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, slice the onion. Once the chicken is browned on both sides, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onions to the pan. Allow the onions to saute, stirring occassionaly until the onions start to caramelize, about 15 minutes - do not allow the onions to burn. Once the onions are finished, remove them from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat up to medium and add the butter. Once the butter has completely melted, add the flour. Stir continuously, cooking the flour until the mixture turns a medium. Once the flour is browned, slowly begin to whisk in the water, adding small amounts at a time and whisking until smooth each time until all the water has been added, this is done to prevent clumping. Be careful: the mixture will bubble up rapidly when you first add the water. Add the curry, cayenne, thyme twigs, nutmeg, beef and chicken bouillon cubes, the sauted onions, and the chicken to the pan. Stir. Allow the pan to return to a boil over med-high heat then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the smothered chicken for at least 1 1/2 hours stirring occasionally and flipping the chicken from time to time. If the gravy gets too thick, simply add more water. Once the chicken is tender and starting to fall apart, taste the gravy for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary. Remove the chicken from the pan and cut (or tear) into strips for sushi stuffing.
While the chicken is stewing, make the sushi rice, roasted okra, and blanched collard greens.
Bring the rice, salt, and water to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the rice to steam, covered, for another 10 minutes. Allow the rice to return to room tempurature and use for sushi. Do not refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven is heated, toss the okra with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet. Roast the okra for about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to assemble the sushi.
Blanched Collard Greens:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then salt the water liberally. Add the trimmed collard leaves and blanch the leave for 2 minutes, max. Remove the leaves from the water and set aside until ready to assemble sushi.
Once all the elements of the sushi are ready, roll the sushi by layering a few leaves of collard greens, then a layer of sushi rice leaving a small lip at the top and bottom of the collard green layer(it's easier to work with rice if your hands are wet), a line of chicken down the middle of the rice, and a line of roasted okra next to/on top of the chicken. Roll the sushi and cut the sushi into bite-sized pieced. Repeat with the rest of ingredients. When plating the sushi, first spoon the gravy onto the plate then place the sushi rolls on the bed of gravy. Enjoy!
* How to roll sushi? Check out this tutorial.