On one visit to a Japanese restaurant, I got adventurous and ordered a tempura-battered sushi roll. They called it the Volcano Roll. Each bite was drizzled with their sauce: something, I imagine, like a mixture of Sriracha hot sauce and horseradish or something... I was hooked. I love sushi, and I. love. spicy. stuff!
     I've been aching to make sushi lately, but I also wanted to figure out a way for my husband to eat it. (Because, as we all know, men from the south don't eat raw fish. Period.) So I opted to replace fish with chicken, cooked, of course, and made a super simple tempura batter to fry it! HE LOVED IT!!! He thinks it's better than my Tex-Mex Eggrolls (check that under Cilantro Week)!
     My advice: make these! PRONTO!

REDNECK SUSHI (Tempura-Battered Chicken Sushi)

2 small chicken breasts, pan-fried in sesame oil & sliced into thin strips
2-3 cups sushi rice, cooled
1 package dried seaweed sushi wraps
1/2 cucumber, seeded, sliced lengthwise & julienned
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded & sliced into thin strips
1/4 white onion, sliced thinly
4 ounces cream cheese (optional)

Cook sushi rice. Set aside to cool. Pan-fry the chicken and set aside to cool. Cut and lay out vegetables for easy assembling. Flatten a large spoonful of rice against one half of a sushi wrap. Arrange strips of chicken and veggies horizontally on top of rice. If desired, form chilled cream cheese slices into strips (like rolling a piece of clay) and place along with chicken and veggies. Tightly hand roll the filled wrap. Wet slightly with water, roll in brown rice flour or regular all-purpose flour. Dredge in tempura batter and fry in peanut oil at 350 degrees.
Fry approximately one minute on each side and set aside to drain. 

Tempura Batter:

1 cup flour
1 egg
1 cup ice water, a couple ice cubes
Just before use, mix all ingredients until just blended. A few lumps are acceptable.

LOOKIT! One of my photos was published on The TODAY Show's BITES Blog!!! 


What a lovely honor!
     When Karly and I set out on a 26-week Secret Ingredient Cook-Off, we had no idea exactly what we were getting into. First, we individually made lists of ingredients we thought we'd like to work with. Then we picked our favorites. Where we duplicated each other's answers, we threw in the odd ingredient. Finally, our Facebook fans chose one last ingredient, and there you go. 26 weeks. 6 recipes a week. 156 DISHES!!
     So you can rightly imagine how ready we were for a break. This week, I have started a sort of cleanse. No carbs, no sugar. Blech. Who likes that? But apparently my body does, because it's the only way I ever lose any weight. 
     On the KP Facebook page, I'm outspoken about health issues and eating right, but if you saw me, I would not look the part. I weigh a whole lot more than I'd like to, and that needs to be fixed. PRONTO. But I have a couple of hurdles to meet: I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Sydrome) and I have Systemic Candidiasis. The prior is a hormone/insulin thing, and the latter is a bad yeast that colonizes in the intestines. Both conditions contribute to obesity, and they make it very difficult to lose weight, so you see how I can get very frustrated, very easily.
     Today, I made a Cleanse Lemonade: water, lemons, maple syrup, and cayenne. Sounds simple, and it pretty much is, but since I am worried about pesticides, I had to prepare my lemons. How so?

     If they're not organic lemons, or any other citrus fruit, they're covered in pesticides. So I boil a pot of water and let the lemons sit in the water for about thirty seconds, then drain on a towel. After a minute, the pesticides begin to leave a residue. When that happens, I dunk them again for another thirty seconds. I repeat, 2-3 times, until I don't see any more white residue on the lemon skins. Clue: if you ever use citrus peel for cooking, do this process first. The pesticides will "pervert" the taste of your dish.

     Next, I peel them all, setting the rinds aside to roast and grind for later use. The lemons I run through the juicer. 6 lemons makes me a little more than 1/2 cup of juice.
     I have a 32-ounce drink - uh, thing - and I pour the 1/2 cup of juice in there, add about 1/4 cup pure organic maple syrup, 3/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (from my garden! Dried and ground), and water to the top! Done. Lemme tell you, my cayenne pepper is HOT, so I have to drink it fairly quickly, because it only gets hotter, the longer it sits there.

     Long story short, here's the Cleanse Lemonade:
     32 ounces pure water
     1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
     1/4 - 1/2 cup pure organic maple syrup
     3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Lemon peel just out of the food processor...
     As for dealing with the rinds, I run them through the food processor for about 40-60 seconds. Then on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, I set them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. About halfway through, I open the oven door and leave it open until the lemon bits are dry. 

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