Eat! Lansing

October 25, 2009

Cranberries – A Change of Pace

Filed under: DIY — dkastner @ 8:33 pm

This summer my wife and I have been growing vegetables in our own garden.  This means we’ve been eating out a lot less and eating a lot more vegetarian meals.  Not necessarily because of the recession, but because we’ve discovered what a joy it is to be at least somewhat more connected to the land through what we eat.

So, for a change, I’ll be posting a recipe because it was just too good to keep to ourselves.

Tonight we just finished a dinner of roasted chicken (roasted alongside carrots and parsnips), broccoli, and a cranberry sauce.  We ate one of the breasts and we’ll be freezing the rest for chicken salad, BBQ pizza, or whatever and we’ll slow-cook the bones and leftover morsels in water to make our own chicken broth.  Quite a few meals from a $4 chicken!

What stood out tonight was the cranberry sauce.  We took a recipe from epicurious but it turned out we were missing some key ingredients.  Namely, the cinnamon sticks and the dried cranberries.

The original recipe calls for a cub of ruby port.  However, I used about a 1/4 cup of Cerise (cherry port) from Chateau Chantal (on Old Mission Peninsula along Grand Traverse Bay – you can find it at Dusty’s Cellar) and 3/4 cup of some 10-year Tawny port.  Tawny ports are aged in oak barrels, so they have a subtle oak taste, but they’re a bit sweeter than ruby ports.  We out of cinnamon sticks so I substituted two Tazo cinnamon herbal tea bags.  We were also out of dried cranberries so I used some golden raisins from Trader Joe’s.

The result was a sweet compote of cranberry goodness.  It was great with the chicken!  It was so good we put it on some vanilla ice cream.  I could even envision it on some oatmeal or yoghurt.

Also, my neighbor informs me that Foods for Living sells whole, free-range, organic chickens for $2.40/lb.  Not bad!  Our Meijer chicken was $0.99/lb, but I’d gladly pay $1.40 more for a sustainably-grown chicken.

IMG_0047

The colors in the picture are a little off, but you get the idea (thanks, iPhone!)

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October 8, 2009

Maru Sushi and Grill

Filed under: Best of, Japanese, Okemos, Sushi — Jack Lumanog @ 8:41 am

Maru Sushi & Grill
5100 Marsh Rd., Okemos, MI 48864-1195
(517) 349-7500
Lunch: Monday – Saturday, 11:30a – 2:30p
Dinner: Monday – Saturday, 4:30p – 9:30p and Sunday 4:00p – 9:00p

My wife and I have been meaning to head out to Maru Sushi & Grill for a while now.  We finally made it out there last month when we had a babysitter. Just from outside appearances, Maru doesn’t look all that kid friendly as it looked like mostly couples eating there for dinner. (Not meant as a criticism – more as a helpful tip for those diners with kids.)

As we entered Maru, we were warmly greeted by the hostess and by nearly everyone working behind the sushi bar.  Our server was very attentive and let us know that we had about 5 minutes left before the sushi happy hour was over.  We quickly scanned the specials and ordered a tuna roll and crab roll – both on special at half off. Not a bad deal at all and both wonderfully delicious. (Half off sushi happy hour specials run from 4:30pm – 6:00pm daily, Sun 4:00p-9:00p.  Daily specials are announced via Facebook and Twitter.)

After the initial excitement of taking advantage of a deal wore off, it was on to examine the menu.  We started with the tofu appetizer.  I did not read the description all that carefully and didn’t realize until it came to our table, that the tofu was uncooked.  It was artfully presented in a bowl with ponzu sauce, green onions and some other embellishments.  The flavor was there, but I was not all that thrilled about the cold, slimy texture of the tofu.  My wife, on the other hand, loved it and it was a nice start to the meal for her.

I enjoyed the tuna maguro and salmon sake from the sashimi menu. Absolutely perfect on both counts. My wife went with the Ocean’s Eleven specialty roll which consists of: salmon, cucumber, sprouts, kampyo topped with albacore, and avocado with spicy oyster glazed salad (organic greens, carrots, cucumber, asparagus). My wife is not a fan of spicy food and didn’t realize this was a pretty spicy dish on account of the sriracha chili sauce that was the secret salad dressing. Fine by me, it was more for me to enjoy.

A few folks around us ordered the hibachi grills.  They came out beautifully prepared but at $19 and up for teriyaki chicken, it seems a bit pricy for fried rice, assorted meats and veggies.  The most expensive item in the hibachi offerings is at $26 for steak and shrimp. But, the plates coming to the neighboring tables were just beautiful!

That’s another thing about Maru.  As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you can’t help but be amazed at the attention to detail in this place!  The decor is very sleek, modern with lots of clean lines. I found myself just looking all around the dining room impressed by how beautiuful this place was. 

Finally, Maru is the recent recipient of a liquor license.  They offer a full bar with some delightful wines by the glass.

I highly recommend this place to you for the food offerings and for a beautiful place to relax and take in a nice dinner. If you can make it for sushi happy hour, your wallet will thank you for it as well.

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