Entries Tagged as 'restaurants'

Tuna Sushi Rocks my World

So, I celebrated another birthday recently.   Yep, 25.  Again.  What?  I’m good at 25, I’ve got several years experience, and I’m sticking with it. ;)   But that is totally not what I wanted to talk about.  What I *did* want to share with you is this recipe I recreated  from the (awesome) restaurant we went to to celebrate for sushi…My Gawd, you guys…this place was just incredible…top floor of the Reina Isabel Hotel, panoramic views of the ocean and beach and islet and all of it’s twinkling glittery lights at night.  The place is called La Parrilla (click here for pics and stuff), and the food was just out of this world.  Fusion is probably the best way to describe the menu…Asian flavors combine with Peruvian and Italian influences to create some of the most fantastic flavor combinations…they also offer local dishes, and fresh fish selections according to season.  To start, we decided upon the tuna sushi, and both of us just went nuts.  I knew this one would be gracing our table at home pronto.  I even kind of impressed my own self with how close I was able to come to the original. heh :D If you like tuna sushi, you are going to love this one, folks.  It is dayumed good.


1/4 cup sweet soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Mirin
sesame oil to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon or so)
2 cups prepared sushi rice
3/4 pound (300 grams) sushi grade tuna
1 ripe avocado
sesame seeds to garnish
chopped cilantro to garnish (I didn’t have any, so I skipped it, but it really does go great with this, so I recommend adding it if you have some)


Prepare your rice and let cool.
Be sure that you specify to your fish monger that you will be eating the fish raw, you’ll want only premium sushi grade tuna for this.
Prepare the sauce.
Mix soy, vinegar, Mirin and sesame oil.
Prepare each sushi plate, chopped avodado on one side, tuna slices in the center, rice at the other side.
Drizzle sauce over tuna.
Garnish with sesame seeds (and cilantro if using).


4 cucharadas de salsa de soja dulce
4 cucharadas de vinagre de arroz
1 cucharada Mirin
aceite de sésamo al gusto (utilicé una cucharadita de café aproximadamente)
2 vasos arroz de sushi ya preparado
300 gramos de atún para sushi
1 aguacate maduro
semillas de sésamo para adornar
cilantro picado para adornar (no tenía en casa, pero si tienes, te lo recomiendo, el sabor es fantástico)


Preparar el arroz y dejar enfriar.
Asegúrate de que avisas al pescadero sepa que vas a comer el atún crudo–solo quieres máxima frescura para el sushi.
Preparar la salsa.
Mezclar la soja, vinagre, Mirin y aceite de sésamo.
Preparar cada plato de sushi, aguacate picado por un lado, atún en tiras por el centro, y arroz al atro lado.
Rociar el atún con la salsa.
Adornar con semillas de sésamo y cilantro
A comer!

My First Restaurant Review: Restaurante Tehran, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Gosh, I have been meaning to start reviewing restaurants since the start of the year…where has the time gone?  I guess we all get busy living life and raising kids and keeping house and posting about food and recipes, though, right?  Or is that just me?  Really?  Just me?  Putting everything else on the back burner?  LOL  Well, whatever, I am getting started on that project now.  Better late than never. ;)

Tehran is one of our favorite places to dine in Las Palmas.  The food is excellent, and the service is impeccable.  Their website is here: http://www.restaurantetehran.com/index.html

I’ve been meaning to write this review for quite some time, now…Tehran.  Owned and operated by sister and brother team Ety and Oran Ghafary, this restaurant is a gem. 

eti and oran 

Let me begin with the food…the FOOD!  Everything we have ever ordered at Tehran has been excellent.  I’m not just saying that, either.  Every single plate has been a veritable dining delight.  We often begin with an array of appetizers, falafel, Iranian sausage, pirashqui (meat and vegetable pies), shirazi (cucumber, tomato and mint salad) or tabbouleh (parsley, tomato and mint salad), hummus and papad (crispy and spicy lentil flour discs) and stuffed grape leaves, but we’ve also had the joy of trying the babaganush, kufte and yogurt mint “soup.” 

The falafel is delightfully crispy on the outside and tender inside. 


The sausages are tender and mouthwatering, made of lamb with various herbs and bathed in a delicious herb sauce.

 iranian sausage

Pirashqui is amazing…tender, flakey, homemade pastry (Tehran has their own pastry chef), filled with herbed spinach, or ground meat with vegetables, folded into adorable little parcels and baked to perfection.  The Shirazi is usually my go-to salad, with diced cucumber, tomato, onion and mint in a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette, though the tabbouleh is a close second. 

The hummus at Tehran is unbelievably smooth and creamy, and incredibly flavorful, the perfect balance of chick peas and sesame, garlic and lemon. 


The stuffed grape leaves are one of my favorites…tender ground meat with rice and herbs, delicately wrapped in a grape leaf, and bathed in a delicious tamarind sauce. 

stuffed grape leaves 

And those are just the appetizers, folks.  Let’s get to the main course!

We usually order the “Cholo Kebab Sultani,” which I think means “Sultan’s Kebab.”  It is aptly named.  This amazing plate, comes with one ground lamb kebab, seasoned with herbs and lemon, and another tenderloin kebab, lightly seasoned and grilled to perfection.  In the center of the plate is a hearty portion of basmati rice, cooked to fluffy perfection.  Now comes the best part—the rice is then combined with a roasted tomato and an egg yolk by your server, mixed right at your table, and then topped with a generous sprinkle of sumac. 

sultans kebab 

There are several types of kebab on the menu. 

chelo kebab 

I’ve tried a couple of the chicken ones as well, and was thoroughly impressed with both the chicken with saffron and lemon,

tehran kebab 

and the tandoori chicken kebab.  Kebabs are not the only main course offered, however.  Their rice dishes are incredible…my favorite is called “Adas Polo,” which is a type of pilaf combining basmati, lamb, dates, and other ingredients to be a veritable feast for the senses.  Vegetarian selections are also offered, but being a meat kind of girl, I haven’t yet tried them. 

Now the dessert!  Their house specialties and absolute perfect finish to any meal, are their baklava:


and their Iranian ice-cream, which is made with saffron, pistachios and rose water.

Oooooh!  And don’t let me forget the after dessert, dessert!  Tehran makes their own currant liqueur, which is simply delicious, and simply dangerous.  It’s so good going down, that you may not realize the alcohol content! lol

licor de guinda

Now most of us go to restaurants because of the food.  I do too, but I am very particular about service.  While dining out, I expect the server to be attentive without being overly invasive…I can honestly say that I have NEVER been disappointed with the service at Tehran…quite the contrary…the hosts and servers are respectful, attentive, friendly and go out of their way to anticipate your every need and/or whim.  I feel like the folks at Tehran are practically family…they make us feel right at home…we even have our own special table.  (we sit at this same table every time we go…this pic?  Was taken over 2 years ago, when Sammy was still a tiny little tyke.  (not even a year old)  He’s 3 1/2 now. lol)

So if you are ever in Las Palmas and are looking for a fantastic dining experience for a very reasonable price, look no further than Tehran.

Pizza with Shrimp and Pesto is totally the Besto!

What?  I totally speak Spanish.  I’m serious!  haha  Sorry, I’m just in a cheeky mood(not *those* cheeks), I guess–must be the heat.  LOL  This recipe has a bit of a history….WAY  (Ok, maybe not WAY…just *way*) back when, I lived in Minneapolis, right near Loring Park and the Walker Art Museum…I loved my neighborhood.  I loved that it was close to Uptown, and close to Downtown…and one of the restaurants I used to *Really* love was the Green Mill Too on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown.  I swear, you have not lived until you’ve tried their pizza, or had drinks at the Oyster Bar!  :D   If you are interested in their story, you can find more info here: The Green Mill Too.  Anyway, back to the food!  One of my absolute favorite things to order was their extremely deep dish shrimp and pesto pizza…SO freaking good.  I mean, even better than SO freaking good!  So, I had to start making my own here, since the last time I checked, we still don’t have a Green Mill ’round these parts.  Sigh.  Maybe one day. 

shrimp and pesto pizza

My version doesn’t have the extreme deep dish crust, but I think you’ll find that it’s darned good anyway. ;)


1 pizza crust (use you favorite recipe, adding garlic powder, basil and oregano to the dough, and be sure to sprinkle your pan with cornmeal before placing tossed crust onto it)
1 cup (more or less according to taste) pizza sauce (stir all ingredients and allow to meld for 2-3 hours):

-4 ounces (100 grams) tomato paste
-1 cup water (more for a thinner sauce)
-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
-garlic powder to taste
-dehydrated onion to taste
-salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
-1 tablespoon oregano
-1 tablespoon basil
-1 teaspoon fennel
2/3 cup pesto sauce (process everything in a food processor until fairly uniform):


-4 cloves garlic
-1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (to toast pine nuts, just toss them in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and aromatic)
-1 large bunch basil (by large, I mean about 2 cups leaves), stemmed
-1 large bunch parsley, stemmed
-1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
-salt and cracked black pepper to taste
-extra virgin olive oil to taste

1-2 cups grated mozzarella cheese to taste
1 pound shrimp, cleaned and deveined, brushed with olive oil


Preheat oven to 500ºF (260ºC).
Par-bake pizza crust for 5-7 minutes.
Spread sauce over crust.
Sprinkle pesto over sauce.
Sprinkle grated cheese over this.
Now arrange the shrimp.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

curried pumpkin soup 

1 pound fresh pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 beef double boullion cube (Knorr)
3 tablespoons curry, or more to taste
water to cover vegetables
salt and pepper to taste
cream and chopped cilantro for garnish


In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat.
Add garlic and lightly brown, then add onion and celery and sautee until just tender.
Add in remaining vegetables and give it a good stir.
Add seasonings and water–just enough to cover the vegetables…you want a nice thick soup after pureeing.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.
Simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Puree soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor (in the latter case, it’s best to allow the soup to cool a bit to avoid burning yourself).
Garnish with cream and cilantro and serve hot or cold.


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