Sunday Night Feast

A lot of you know I enjoy cooking.  I'm actually not too bad at it, either.  (I even had a recipe published in Cooks Illustrated.)  Cooking for myself, though, is just kind of boring.  On the weekends, however, when my daughter is with me, I like to do special things from time to time. Tonight I gave her the choice of a four cheese pizza (parmesan, mozzarella, fontina, and provolone) or sushi.  She picked sushi.

She doesn't like nori, so typically I make her a couple of rice balls with a dollop of almond butter laid out on a plate with mandarin orange slices arranged in such a way that the entire thing looks like a flower.  Tonight I wanted to try something different, though.  Tonight I wanted to blow her away and show her something totally unexpected.

Part of the appeal of sushi is the presentation.  How it looks is just as important as how it tastes.  Her sushi was gonna look like nothing she had ever seen before.

For myself I made two rolls with baby shrimp and green onions -- my standard.  I usually use a chili paste, as well, but decided not to tonight.  For my girl ... well, I could only work with three ingredients per her request.  Sushi, almond butter and soy sauce (I also served her cherry tomatoes on the side).

I made her a winged dragon.  It stretched across the length of the square plate.  It had a round head with soy sauce sprinkled on it and two green onions for horns (I removed them after she saw it because she does not like green onions).  The body was twisted into an "S" shape with wings.  The body had almond butter down its spine, while the wings had almond butter and soy sauce on their tips.

I made her close her eyes while I put the plate in front of her.  When she opened them, her mouth dropped open and all she could say was, "Awesome!"

"Pretty cool?"

"Pretty cool.  I never thought you could do this."

"I did."

The smile on her face made it all worth it.  Highlight of my day.  I asked her what she wants next time, and she's requested a panda.  "It may be hard to do," she said, "but I think you can make it work."

I'm already planning it out ...

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