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).