Friday, November 27, 2015

Tonkatsu (Breaded Pork Cutlets)


Cut off anything you don't want to eat from:

5 pork cutlets

Marinate them for 30 minutes or more in:

2 T sake
2 T soy sauce
2 minced cloves garlic

You will also need:

flour
cornstarch
2 eggs
panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
canola oil for frying

Put about ¼ C each of flour and cornstarch in a disposable plastic bag. Scramble the eggs in a bowl. Put about 1 C bread crumbs in a disposable plastic bag.

Take the cutlets one-by-one and first coat them with the flour/cornstarch, then dip them in the eggs - repeat this step (flour and egg) if you want to make the coating more crunchy - and finally coat them with bread crumbs. Push the bread crumbs on firmly so they stick. 

Heat about 1 cm of canola oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan. As always, the oil is hot enough when the ends of a wooden chopstick put into the oil bubbles. 

Carefully place a couple cutlets in the oil. When they are golden brown on the bottom, turn them carefully and brown the other side. Drain on a grill over newspaper. 

Serve with rice. These go nicely with Japanese curry, or sliced in an obento.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake, with mocha cream filling and vanilla cream frosting.
Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Line a 9X13" pan with parchment paper. You will need 4 bowls for making this cake.

Bowl #1 -

Melt over hot water:

2 oz unsweetened chocolate (approx. 60 grams)
(OR use 6 T cocoa powder + 2 T butter, no need to melt)
5 T boiling water

When the chocolate is melted and mixed with the water, set it aside to cool.

Bowl #2 -

You will need 1¾ C cake flour. I never use cake flour, instead I do the following:

Place in a 1 C measuring cup:

1 T + 2 t cornstarch, fill the rest of the 1 C measuring cup with all-purpose flour
¾ C flour

Sift flour/cornstarch together with:

3 t baking powder
¼ t salt

Bowl #3 -

Cream until soft:

½ C butter (110 gm)

Add and cream until light:

1 C sugar

Beat in:

4 egg yolks (Place the egg whites in a clean bowl for later.)

Add the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating with:

½ C milk

Mix until smooth after each addition.

Add:

1 t vanilla

Bowl #4 -

Whip until stiff:

4 egg whites

Fold them into the cake batter.

Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Be sure the cake is completely cooled before frosting.
To make the frosting, whip:

200 ml heavy cream
 
and add approximately:
 
1-2 T sugar
¼ t vanilla
 
For filling, separate a little of the cream, and add approximately:
 
2 t cocoa powder
1 T sugar
½ t Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
 
Those add-ins can be varied as you like. If you can prepare ahead of time, try this filling:

Mix together:

2 oz bittersweet baking chocolate - melted
1½ t butter
(2 T cocoa powder + 2 T sugar)
1 C whipping cream

Leave covered, in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Whip until stiff.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Chicken Tagine

Chicken and eggplant tagine with apricots and caramelized walnuts
Make marinade by blending together:

1-2 cloves garlic
1 handful fresh cilantro or ½ T dried cilantro
½ t dried ginger
½ t white pepper
½ t salt
1 T olive oil
1 t lime juice


Cut into quarters, and marinate for 2-3 hours:

3-4 chicken thighs or breast (preferably boneless)


Lay in a thin layer in a heavy-bottomed pan (or tagine pan, if you have one):

½ onion, thinly sliced

Place the chicken on top, and dot with:

½ T butter


Cover the pan tightly and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, place in another pan and heat gently:

½ T butter
1 T honey

When that starts to bubble, add:

⅓ C walnuts

Stir around gently until the walnuts are caramelized, then place them on waxed paper or tinfoil. 

Using the same pan, add:

⅓ C water
1 T honey
⅓ C dried apricots
dash cinnamon

Bring to a gentle boil and allow the water to evaporate. Stir from time to time until the apricots are plump and the liquid in the pan becomes paste-like. Remove from heat and set aside.


Now, back to the chicken. At this point, you should see water in the chicken pan. Turn the chicken pieces, mixing up the onions and chicken so that the chicken is on the bottom of the pan. If anything sticks, add 1-2 T of water until it loosens. 

Add:

1-2 eggplants, sliced about twice the size of the chicken pieces

Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the apricots and extra liquid to the chicken/eggplant mixture. Cover and allow to cook for a couple more minutes. Add the caramelized walnuts. Toss throughout the pan thoroughly and let sit for another minute before turning the heat off. ;

Serve over couscous or saffron rice (saffron rice is my favorite).

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tiramisu


To make this, first set aside:


36-40 ladyfingers (If you need to make them, the recipe is at the bottom of the page.)

Mix in a bowl and set aside:


2 C espresso (It's OK if it's a little warm.)
1 T sugar
¼ C Baileys or other coffee liqueur


Place in the top of a double boiler and beat for 5 minutes or until tripled in volume:

4 egg yolks
½ C sugar

⅓ C Marsala wine, any dry sweet white wine, or sherry

Remove the bowl from the heat and add:

2½ C mascarpone cheese

Put in a clean bowl and beat until stiff peaks form:

1 C heavy cream

Mix carefully into the mascarpone mixture.


Now, to build your Tiramisu.

Use a large 9x3" glass pan or 8" square pan and start with a layer of ladyfingers. Dip the ladyfingers in the espresso mixture then layer into the bottom of the pan. Once the base is covered, add about ⅓ of the mascarpone mixture and smooth it out. Lay a second layer of dipped ladyfingers on the mascarpone then add a second batch of the mascarpone. You should have just about enough for a full three layers. Garnish it with some cocoa sprinkled on top.

Let the tiramisu set in the fridge for about an hour before serving. This can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Ladyfingers

5 large eggs

⅔ C white sugar
1 t vanilla
1 C of flour
¼ t salt
¼ t cream of tartar (if you have it)

Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF).

Separate the eggs, putting the whites into clean bowl. Set them aside. 


Beat the yolks and half of the sugar until they become thick and pale or about 5-10 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Sift the flour over the yolks but don't fold it in.

Take the egg whites, and mix in the salt and cream of tartar (if you have it). Beat until peaks begin to form, then add the rest of the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the whites are glossy and fluffy.

Fold the whites into the yolk mixture in two batches carefully, so as to not deflate either side.

Put the batter in an icing flute (or a bag with a hole cut in one end) and squeeze tube shapes onto parchment paper about 1 inch apart. (They should be about the size and thickness of your middle finger.) 


Bake for 8 minutes, or until they are firm and light brown. Let them cool for a minute or so before removing them from the parchment paper. Cool on a wire rack for an hour. 

These will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week, or you can freeze them in an airtight freezer bag (separating the layers with parchment paper).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pesto Chicken Pasta


Chicken

Cut in half horizontally:

2 chicken breasts

Place on parchment paper along with:

2-3 garlic cloves

Fold the parchment paper over on top of the chicken and garlic, and pound with a rolling pin until 1 cm thin.

Heat in a frying pan:

1 T olive oil

Spread the smashed garlic evenly on the chicken breasts. Cook the breasts until done on each side. Set the pan aside. When cool, cut into manageable slices.

Pesto Sauce

Place in a blender and mix until smooth:

¼ C walnuts (lightly roasted)
10 fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1½ T olive oil
1 t lemon juice
½ t salt
¼ C pan drippings

Cook according to package instructions:

300-500 gm noodles

Drain and rinse briefly.  

Place the noodles back in the pan, pour on the pesto sauce and mix until all the noodles are coated. Serve on plates and top with chicken, pepper, and basil leaves.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Seaweed and Cucumber Salad


Slice very thinly:

1 cucumber (about 1 C)


Place in a bowl and sprinkle on:

¼ t salt 

Mix in the salt. Set aside for 20 minutes. Then drain and squeeze out the excess moisture.

Meanwhile, soak in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes or so:

2-3 T dried cut wakame (seaweed)

Drain and squeeze out all the water.

Mix in a small salad bowl:

1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t sugar
1
½ t soy sauce 
¼ t sesame oil

Add the vegetables and mix. Serve right away, or store in the fridge for later.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Eggplant Tempura with Spicy Sauce


Soak in water for 10 minutes:

eggplant, sliced to your liking (3cm rounds, slices, whatever)

Remove from water and pat dry.

While the eggplant is soaking, mix the tempura batter:

⅓ C white flour
⅓ C cornstarch
⅓ C sake
enough ice water so the batter is the consistency of a thick white sauce

(The colder the batter, the crispier the tempura. Sometimes I mix in ice cubes until the correct consistency is reached.)

Heat in a heavy-bottomed pan:

Canola oil

When a drop of tempura batter placed in the oil bubbles and comes up to the surface immediately, the oil is hot enough. The oil should remain 170º-180ºC (340º-360ºF) throughout, so be careful not to add too many pieces at the same time as that will reduce the oil temperature.

Dip the eggplant pieces one at a time in the batter and deep fry until golden. Drain over newspaper. (Pat off excess oil with a paper towel.) Arrange on a serving plate.

Make the sauce in a microwave safe bowl:

1 t finely grated ginger
1 t finely grated garlic
¼ C soy sauce
¼ C mirin
1½ T sugar
1 t tobanjan (Chinese hot chili sauce)
2 T apple cider vinegar

Heat for 30-60 seconds in the microwave. Add:

1 T minced green onion (negi)

Pour over cooked eggplant. Serve.

This sauce can also be used for as a topping for tofu, fried fish, fried chicken, spring rolls, etc.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pad Thai


Another amazing recipe from Marianne's kitchen.

150 gm wide vermicelli
2 large chicken thighs
(or breasts)
¼ t white pepper
3-4 T oil
1/3–½ C Pad Thai sauce (recipe below)
3 garlic cloves
1–2 shallots
½ t ground chili pepper (or 1 fresh chili)
6 chives or 2 green onions
1 C of bean sprouts
2 eggs
handful fresh cilantro or ½ T coriander
ground peanuts, bean sprouts, and cilantro (for garnish)

Put a small pan on to boil for the noodles. Meanwhile thinly slice the chicken and sprinkle with the white pepper. Set aside. 

Mince the garlic, shallots, and chives. 

When the water boils, turn off the heat and put the noodles in. Leave the noodles in the hot water for about 5 minutes or until soft enough that you can wrap one in a figure 8 around your fingers. The noodles should be white at this point. Drain and set aside.

Set a wok on the stove at the highest heat. Put 3 T of oil in the pan, and add garlic, shallots, and red pepper (if you are using dry coriander add it now). When the garlic and pepper become fragrant, add the chicken so it is a single layer in the bottom of the pan. When it begins sear, flip. Then add the noodles, then the Pad Thai sauce. Flip the noodles and chicken several times. You want to let them get a little crispy and the liquid in the pan to evaporate. 

When all the liquid is evaporated and the noodles have started to turn clear, add the bean sprouts and stir. Add the chives, then toss. 

As soon as there is no more liquid in the pan and the noodles start sticking to the pan, push all the noodles to one side. Add 1 T of oil, and crack both eggs into the pan. Break the eggs up a bit and scramble them. Put ½ of the fresh coriander on the noodles, and wait till the eggs are a bit cooked. Mix it all together and leave it on the heat until all the liquid dries up. There should be crispy bits on the bottom. 

Garnish with cilantro and ground peanuts if you want. 

Pad Thai sauce

¼ C fish sauce
¼ C brown sugar
3 T tamarind paste
(or lime juice or vinegar)

Place in a saucepan and cook for about 5 min or until it coats a spoon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes with homemade rolls.
Another marvelous recipe from Marianne.

8 oz (about 1 C) crab meat (Be sure to pick through and remove any bits of shell, etc.)
1 t Old Bay seasoning (mainly celery seed, salt and pepper)
½ t dried spicy mustard
¼ t black pepper
2 T mayonnaise
1 egg
2 green onions, minced
2-3 T bread crumbs (you can use any leftover bread)
(4 T cornmeal)
(Oil for frying)

Squeeze all the liquid out of the crab meat and mix in all ingredients (except cornmeal). Let it sit for at least 1 hour.

Shape into mini crab cakes (about 6 mini cakes) and roll in cornmeal (if you just want to bake them, skip this step). 

Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry crab cakes until browned on each side. If you prefer to bake them, bake at 180ºC (350ºF) for about 15 minutes or until browned.

Serve on toasted buns with Mango Aioli and any fresh vegetables you want.

Mango Aioli Sauce

Place in a blender and mix until smooth:

¼ C mayonnaise
2 T diced mango
(you can use fresh or frozen)
dash salt
dash black pepper (to taste)
1-2 cloves garlic
¼ t hot pepper paste
dash of mirin or honey (depending on how sweet or tart the mango is)

You can add or subtract any of the ingredients to taste. Let sit for an hour or so before serving. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

German Chocolate Cake


Marianne's adaptation of recipe from the Joy of Baking.

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Butter/flour three 8 inch pans.

Sift together:

2¼ C all purpose flour
¾ C cocoa powder
1½ t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt

Place in a double-boiler, or met carefully in a microwave:

½ C (110 gm or 4 oz) baking chocolate (I prefer close to 70% cocoa)
1 C coffee

When chocolate is melted, add:

1 C buttermilk (or put 1 T vinegar in 1 C milk, leave for about 5 min, then add)

In a separate bowl, cream until fluffy (about 5 minutes):

1¼ C butter
2 C sugar

Add one at a time, and mix well after each addition:

5 large eggs

Add:

1½ t vanilla

Now, to mix it all together. Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients in 3 parts, ending with dry. (If you want to use the egg whites left over from the frosting, whip them till fluffy and then fold them into the batter now.)

Divide the batter among the pans and bake for about 35 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in their pans for at least 10 minutes, until the sides loosen a bit. Then remove, and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Coconut Pecan frosting:

Mix together:

1 C pecans, chopped and toasted
1½ C coconut
½ t vanilla

Put in a pan over low heat, and stir until thickened:

1 C evaporated milk (if you use sweetened condensed milk, don’t add any sugar)
1 C sugar
3 egg yolks
½ C butter
dash of salt

Pour the evaporated milk mixture over the nuts and mix. Let it cool either in the fridge or on the counter for an hour or so.

When the cakes are completely cooled, layer the cake and frosting. Let the cake sit for at least 3 hours before serving. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Panang Curry

Marianne's beautiful Panang Curry

1½ T panang curry paste
1 T peanut butter
½ medium sized onion, sliced
300 gm thinly sliced chicken (or beef)
2 regular Asian eggplants (if you can get the little round ones, those are even better)*

1 can coconut milk - left to sit so it separates
¼ t chicken bouillon

(2-4 T water)
½-1 T brown sugar (preferably palm sugar)
1 T fish sauce
Dash lime or lemon juice
(red chilies, if you really want to spice it up)
(
fresh holy basil or regular basil for garnishing)
Rice

*Other vegetable options are sliced kabocha squash, red pepper, or whatever else you think would be good. Keep in mind that harder vegetables take longer to cook, so if you use squash or carrots, put them in after the coconut milk. You can always take them out and set aside when done, so they don't turn to mush if you still want the broth simmer and cook down.

Place the coconut cream (from the top of the can) in a pan over medium heat. Cook gently until it begins to separate, then add the onions. When the onions are clear, add the panang curry paste and fry it till fragrant. 

Add the chicken and stirfry until the outside of the pieces turns whitish. Add the peanut butter (only if your panang paste doesn’t contain peanuts), the rest of the coconut milk and the bouillon. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, then add the fish sauce and sugar to taste.  

Add the eggplant and/or other vegetables. Continue cooking over a low fire until everything is cooked and the sauce reduces a bit. It should look like a thick stew or curry. Turn the heat off, and add the dash of lime juice, chilies, and basil to taste.

Serve over fresh rice. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sushi

The 4 stages of making salmon, avocado sushi, our favorite.
Prepare Sushi Rice.

While the rice is cooking, get your toppings ready. Use whatever thinly sliced topping that you like, such as:

Salmon or tuna sashimi, cut against the grain
Steamed shrimp
Yakiniku-style beef
Tamago-yaki
Avocado
Onions
Green onions

When the rice is cooked and you've mixed in the sugar, dashi or salt, and vinegar, then it's time to form your little sushis. They should be pretty small, as the toppings are the stars of this show.  

Once you've formed the rice into oval-shaped balls, spread them with a little wasabi, if you like, and then lay on the toppings.

Serve decoratively (of course) with wasabi and soy sauce. To eat, mix a little wasabi with soy sauce in a small dish, and carefully dip just a bit of the topping into the sauce - not the rice because it will soak up the sauce and mar the flavor.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sanshoku-Gohan (Rice with Three-Colored Toppings)


Meat

Put in a heavy pot or frying pan:

1½ T sake
1 T light soy sauce (usukuchi) or regular, if that's all you have
1 t brown sugar
1 t finely grated ginger

Bring to a slight boil and add:

250 grams minced chicken

Stir and break up meat until cooked and most of the liquid is gone. Turn off fire and set aside.

Eggs

Mix in a bowl:

4 eggs
1 t sake
1 t light soy sauce (usukuchi), or regular
1 t sugar

Put about 1 t sesame oil in a frying pan, heat, and scramble the eggs. Remove from pan and set aside.

Greens

Use any vegetable you like, such as:

Green Peas, boiled until soft
Sesame Spinach
Shelled edamame, heated in microwave

Serve rice in each bowl, and place the meat, eggs, and vegetables on top. Garnish with:

Pickled ginger (Amazon sells it here.)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pizza


Makes 4 pizzas.

Crust

Put in bread machine in this order:


250 ml water

1 scant teaspoon salt
1½ T olive oil
250 gm bread flour
150 gm all-purpose flour
100 gm whole wheat flour

Make a well in the center of the flour to add:


2 t yeast


Set machine for pizza dough. When done, divide the dough into 4 equal balls, and set them aside to rise for 20 minutes.


Sauce

Sauté in 1 T olive oil:

1 T finely minced garlic

½ finely minced onion
¼ t basil
¼ t salt
½ t sugar
1 small bay leaf

Add:


1 can (400 gm) chopped tomatoes

1 T tomato paste

Simmer until thickened. Taste and adjust the seasonings if you like. Allow to cool before using. (If you prefer the sauce to be smooth, blend it when it's cool.)


Toppings


The secret to a good pizza is to use toppings and cheese sparingly.


Thinly sliced: garlic, onions, mushrooms, black olives, tomatoes, peppers (red, green, yellow), potatoes (first lightly sauté in a small amount of olive oil), ham, chicken, sausage, and whatever else you would like to try. 


Mozzarella or other grated pizza-type cheese.


Putting it together


Roll out the dough on a floured surface until very thin and a good size for your baking pan, tray, or pizza stone, if you have one.


Preheat oven to 190-200ºC (375-390ºF). If you are using a pizza stone, put that in the oven to preheat as well.


Cover the rolled dough with a light coating of sauce, then add the toppings. Do this for each ball of dough. You might want to use a variety of different toppings for each pizza.


Bake on a parchment-lined oven tray, or directly on a pizza stone, for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Peanut Butter Brownies


½ C butter (110 gm)
1 C sugar
2 eggs
½ t vanilla
¾ C sifted flour
scant ½ t baking powder
scant ¼ t salt
3 T peanut butter
3 T cocoa powder
¼ C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Melt the butter by placing your metal mixing bowl in the preheating oven. While you do that, get your other ingredients ready.

When the butter is nearly melted, take it out of the oven and mix it around until it all melts. Whisk in the sugar, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla.

Sift the baking powder and salt into the flour and mix around. Add to the wet ingredients. 

Divide the batter into two bowls. Add peanut butter to one half, and cocoa and chips to the other half.

Put the different batters in a checkerboard pattern in an 8" square pan lined with parchment paper. Swirl and spread with a knife or spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Egg-in-a-Hole


a slice of bread
butter
1 egg

Put the bread on a cutting board, and press a glass cup into the center to make a hole. Butter one side of the bread. 

Heat frying pan over a low flame. 

Place the bread, buttered side down, on the heated pan. Put a little bit of butter into the hole so the egg won't stick. When it's melted, carefully break the egg into the hole. 

Place the circle of bread, butter side down, beside the bread in the pan to toast it.

While it's cooking, carefully butter the top of the bread.

When the egg is cooked enough to turn it, slide your spatula under the egg and turn over the bread and egg as one. (Flip the little circle, too.) Cook the egg to your desired doneness. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Inarizushi (Sushi in fried tofu pockets)


Serves 4-5

Rice:

2 C raw Japanese rice (In the US, I used Koshihikari)
3 T apple cider vinegar
2
½ T sugar
¼ t salt

1-2 T sesame seeds

For abura-age preparation:

6 pieces of abura-age (thin fried tofu), cut in half to make pockets

 C dashi stock
1 T sugar
2 T mirin
3 T soy sauce


pickled ginger (Amazon sells it here)

While the rice is cooking, rinse the abura-age, and then simmer, covered, in mixture of dashi stock, sugar, mirin, and soy sauce for about 15 minutes. Move the pieces around once or twice during cooking to be sure all get flavored. When cool, drain, and set aside.

Mix vinegar, sugar, and salt together. While lightly stirring and fluffing the cooked rice, sprinkle on the vinegar mixture. Keep fluffing and sprinkling until all is used. The rice grains should each be shiny and not clumped together.

Mix the sesame seeds into the rice.

Form the rice into little rounded rectangles just the size to fit into the pockets. Put them on a flat surface and pull the abura-age down over them, one by one. Turn them right side up. Serve with pickled ginger.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rich Chocolate Roll Cake


Adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe.

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).

Sift together:

½ C + 3 T flour
½ C sugar
½ C cocoa (as always, Van Houten) 
1½ t baking powder
¾ t salt

Whisk:

3 eggs
2 t vanilla 
½ C grapeseed (or other mildly flavored oil)

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients and set aside.

Whisk:

4 egg whites (room temperature are easier to whisk)

When the whites have formed soft peaks, add:

¼ C sugar

Whip until firm. Fold the egg whites, little by little, into the batter. Bake in a parchment paper lined pan for 12-15 minutes, or until cake springs back gently when touched in the center.

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife and gently turn the cake over onto a rack. Get a tea towel, and sprinkle on it a very light layer of fine-grained sugarLay the cake on the sugared towel, roll it up carefully, and put it on the rack to cool.

When the cake is cooled, unroll it, remove the towel, and fill with chocolate whipped cream. 

200 ml whipping cream
2 T cocoa powder
3 T sugar
(2-3 t coffee liqueur, Irish cream, espresso, whatever you like)

Whip cream, and when it is nearly done, add the other ingredients. Whip until fairly firm.

Fill and re-roll the cake. Finish with the seam side down. Cover with whipped cream into which has been added a little sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract.

If you want, you can cut a diagonal across the cake (before final icing) and make it into a log shape.