Saturday, October 14, 2017

Broccoli Sprouts


Day 1 
Soak 1-2 T broccoli seeds for about 10 hours.

Day 2 morning and evening
Drain, rinse with fresh water, drain.
Cover with gauze and a rubber band.
Place in a warm, dark place, like under the sink.
Day 3 morning and evening
Rinse with fresh water, drain. Repeat once or twice.
Cover with gauze and a rubber band.
Put them back in the warm, dark place.
The fuzzy bits are roots, not mold.

Day 4 morning and evening
The same routine: rinse, drain, put back.

Day 5 morning
Rinse with fresh water, drain. Repeat once or twice. 
By this time, your sprouts should be pretty good-sized. If you want, take some out and place them in sunlight for a couple hours to get nice and green to use that day. Return the rest to the cool, dark place, covered with gauze.
After sunshine
Day 5 evening
Rinse with fresh water, drain. Repeat once or twice. 

Day 6 morning
Rinse with fresh water, drain. Repeat once or twice. 
Place the jar in indirect sunlight for a couple hours, then cover and refrigerate. 

Tips

  • Broccoli sprouts take 4-6 days to grow.
  • Excess moisture is bad. The seeds should be damp, but not wet. Don't leave any water at the bottom of the jar after rinsing.
  • On day 2-3, when tiny roots appear, they will look fuzzy. That is not mold. If they get moldy, they will smell foul.
  • I rinse mine only morning and evening. Others suggest rinsing them 3-4 times a day. 
  • You can start eating them from about day 4. Just give them some indirect sunlight first to make them green. Direct sunshine might cook them.
  • You may want to start another batch on about day 4 in order to have a constant supply of fresh sprouts.
  • Store finished sprouts in a covered container in the refrigerator. Minimize moisture by removing the brown hulls.
  • 1 T of seeds seems to make about 3 cups of sprouts.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Corn on the Cob


Place an ear of corn, still in its husk, inside a plastic bag. Tie it loosely. Actually, you don't need to put it in a bag, as is works just fine.



Put it in the center of the microwave. Set the timer for 4 minutes, 30 seconds or so less if the corn is small. 



Use an oven mitt to remove the corn from the microwave. You might want to let it cool for a minute. Then, while holding the top, cut all the way through just above where the husks are attached. No need to remove the bag.



Pick up the corn by the top and gently shake. The corn will fall out of its husk, minus all silk.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Strawberry Cheesecake by Marianne

Marianne's beautiful Strawberry Cheesecake

A few notes about making cheesecake with fruit:
  • All ingredients need to be room temperature or you will have a lumpy cake.
  • The amount of sugar you add depends on the sweetness of the fruit you use.
  • You can make a coconut cheesecake by substituting both the fruit and sour cream with coconut cream (and adding a cup or so of coconut shavings or flakes). If you use sweetened coconut flakes, add less sugar.
  • The ratio between eggs/cream cheese/flour is really important. It is 1:1:1. This helps to keep your cake from cracking.
Preheat oven to180ºC (350ºF). Oil or line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Don't forget the sides.

Crust

In a food processor blend:

1½ sleeves of Graham crackers, animal crackers, or whatever you prefer. This should make about 2 cups of crumbs

Add and mix in processor or by hand until the mixture transforms to pea-sized lumps:


½ C butter

Place the crust into the pan and bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Filling

While the crust is baking, blend:

32 ounces cream cheese (907 grams)
¼ C white sugar


In a standing mixer on the lowest possible setting (or mix it by hand), add and mix until smooth:

4 eggs
1 T of vanilla
1 C sour cream


Mix again at a low speed until it is well combined.

Add:

2 C puréed fruit—Mango, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, or whatever. Frozen fruit is fine (but make sure it is room temperature so it will purée smoothly). If the fruit is tart, add more sugar to taste. If your fruit is really sweet, omit the sugar.


Sift in and blend until smooth:

4 T flour


Pour the cheesecake into the cooled crust. Bang the cheesecake pan hard on the counter a few times to get the top of the cake even and to eliminate air bubbles.

Put a pan of water into the oven on a lower shelf. (I use a glass pie pan. If you only have one rack, wrap the springform pan in foil to keep it watertight and put the cake in the pan of water. No one wants a soggy crust.) 


Bake for 15 minutes at 180ºC (350ºF), then turn the oven down to 135ºC (275ºF)—or 120ºC (250ºF) if your oven runs hot. Bake for about 45-50 minutes. 

The key to a crack-free cheesecake is to first bake it in a hot oven and to be sure not to overcook it. To check if your cake is done, use an oven mitt to lightly jiggle the pan in the oven. If the cake is generally smooth and it has a slight jiggle to the center, it is done. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar for 20 minutes. Then move the cake to a counter to cool for an hour. When you can pick it up with a bare hand, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight.

About 2 hours before serving, take the cake out of the fridge and remove it from the pan. It should be firm enough that it easily slips out. Remove the parchment paper (if you used it). To get the paper off the bottom, place plastic wrap or parchment paper on top of the cake, put a plate on top of that, and turn it upside down. Peel the paper off the bottom crust, then place a serving plate on the base of the pan and flip it back over. Leave it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Chickpea and Chicken Curry


This can also be made without chicken.

Heat in a frying pan:

1 T olive oil

Add:

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
200-300 gm minced chicken

Stir fry and break up the chicken. As that cooks, add:

1 T curry powder
1 t chili powder

When chicken is cooked, add:

½ C water
½ t bouillon powder
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Stir around about, turn down fire and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until almost all the water has evaporated. Taste and then add salt and pepper. Be careful, as both bouillon and the chickpeas are already salty.

Serve over rice.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Simple Eggplant Salad


Mix together in a bowl:

1 t soy sauce
1 t apple cider vinegar
1 T olive oil
1 t lemon juice
1 t sesame oil
¼-½ t tobanjan (Chinese chili spice)
1 small clove garlic, finely minced (oroshi)
(1 t tahini)
½-1 t sugar, to taste
salt to taste

Add:

1 steamed Japanese eggplant, chopped

Chill and serve. Top with sesame seeds.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Kimchi Chicken


Slice thinly into bite-sized pieces:

1 large chicken breast (350 grams or so)

Marinate for 30 minutes in:

1 T sake
1 T cornstarch

Heat in a frying pan:

1-2 t sesame oil

When fragrant, add:

½ onion, sliced
chicken

Stir fry until the outside of the chicken becomes whitish, turn fire to low and add:

1 clove garlic, slivered

Stir fry gently until chicken is mostly cooked. Add:

200 grams chopped cabbage (or whatever)

Stir fry until soft. Add:

200 grams kimchi

Stir fry over a low fire for 3-5 minutes. Season with salt (and pepper), as needed. Serve over rice. Top with:

Chopped green onions (negi)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Chocolate Bread


Put in bread maker in this order:

180ml water
1 medium egg (not a big one)
2 T brown sugar
½ t salt
2 T milk powder
40 gm butter
250 gm bread flour
50 gm whole wheat flour

Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in:

¾ t dry yeast

Set bread machine to "sweet bread" cycle. When the buzzer sounds, add:

85 gm frozen chocolate chips (frozen is the key)
40 gm chopped walnuts

When done, remove the pan from the machine and leave it for about 3 minutes. Then gently tap the bread out of the pan. Cool on a wire rack. Slice gently.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Beef and Spinach Pasta

Grated parmesan would have been better, but I used what I had: sliced parmesan.
Mince: 

2 cloves garlic

Chop:

¼-½ C shiitake or other mushrooms

In a frying pan, heat:

1 T olive oil

When warm, add:

garlic
mushrooms
200-300 grams thinly slice beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 bay leaf

As you stir fry that, sprinkle on:

½ t oregano
salt and pepper

When the meat is mostly cooked, add:

about 1¾ C crushed tomatoes

Stir-fry for a minute over a low fire until mixed in. 

While the sauce simmers, cook noodles al dente (until they are ever-so-slightly still a bit hard in the middle). Drain and briefly rinse.

Put noodles in the pan and mix into sauce, along with:

½-1 C fresh spinach leaves
½-1 C fresh basil leaves

Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Stir until well mixed. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Apple Crumble


Preheat oven to 190ºC (375ºF).

Wash, core, (peel, if the apple skins are gross), and slice:

2-3 apples

Place apples in a bowl, and toss thoroughly with:

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ t finely grated lemon rind
a couple sprinkles cinnamon

Grease a baking dish with butter, spread the apples in the dish, and place in the oven.

Now make the topping.

Place in a bowl:

½ C old fashioned oats
scant ¼ C light brown sugar
3 T flour
3 T sliced butter

Mix with fingers until the butter is mixed in and the topping comes together into clumps.

Take the pan out of the oven, sprinkle the topping on, and put it back in the oven. Bake until the topping is browned and crispy, about 30-40 minutes.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Storage


Someone asked me where I keep my bulk-buy goods in my small Japanese kitchen. There is a shelf under my kitchen/dining room table where, as you can see, I keep containers of whole wheat flour, bread flour, oats, rice, open bags of tortilla chips (and cereal, if we have it), and milk powder. The dish cupboard has pull-out shelves for baking items and spices.  




There are trash cans for the different categories of trash:  burnable, plastic, and cans and bottles. If I have overflow from those small cans, there are large covered cans are in the garage. Beside them are labeled drawers for cooking utensils, baking utensils, towels, cloths, extra spices, etc. In a big closet in another room, I have snap-shut trash cans where I keep the wholesale bags of flour, etc. 

Although this kitchen is much smaller, it is way more convenient.