Thursday, March 26, 2009
As yummy as those dishes turn out - especially when it is Ryu making them - I truly think that this leftover rice could be used as an ingredient in cookies. Maybe in place of coconut? oatmeal? OK, those are my only two ideas. I think it would result in a chewy "mochi" cookie.
What do you think? Do you have a cookie recipe using rice? If so, DO SHARE! The only one I've found calls for blanched almonds, flaked coconut, egg whites...well, those things are not part of my larder or my idea of Kantan Cooking!!!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
A retired male student, who is the new cook in his family, was afraid I would let Ryu starve - especially when I told him about the lunches I fixed, and gave me a cookbook on making lunches. No pictures. As I "read" this recipe to make sure I got all the important points for you, I noticed it said that "if you put something sweet in a lunch box, it helps the eater to relax." I didn't say I understood it. I said it said it. I always DID like a cookie in my lunch bag, though!
SOBORO BENTO (Lunch)
100 gm. ground chicken
4 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sake (surely white wine or water would suffice?)
2 tsp. sugar
Mix it all well (the meat is still raw!). Then cook it in a fry pan till the meat is all broken up into TINY pieces and much of the sauce has cooked down.
1 tsp. water
dash of salt
dash of sugar
Mix it all up. Heat up the frying pan. Use a tad bit of oil if you need to. Pour in the egg. Grasp 5-6 chopsticks in your hand at once (that's what it SAYS in the book!) and stir away at the egg. This cooks it while breaking it up into TINY pieces like the meat. I have been known to use a small metal whisk for this job with adequate results.
This obento should have three colors - that's how to WOW people. Any green veggie will do. I tend to use my spinach with gomae recipe.
Now, (for those new to obentos) put rice in the box (Tupperware stuff works too.) Then divide it into thirds and cover with the three toppings. I always double/triple the recipe as needed.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I was inspired to try some yeast products this weekend by Heather and her crumpets, and Coffeegrl and her Artisan Bread. I hope to also make those crumpets, artisan bread as well as bagels! I've made bagels and crumpets before...in Japan...many many years ago. I look forward to trying them again. And, the artisan bread? We'll see if I can do it.
Along with the yeast products, I plan a batch of oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies and a batch of scones 1/2 with candied dekopon, 1/2 with candied ginger with ginger sugar on top. Mmmm! I wonder how long my energy and frenzy will really last!
On to the English Muffins. I decided to try these because my crumpet recipe describes crumpets as kind of a non-turned over pancake or kind of like an English Muffin. And I thought - ENGLISH MUFFIN? I've never thought of making those. I found a few recipes, and chose this one because the picture looked so yummy! With one little change, we had great English Muffins for breakfast this morning. Ryu said, "They look like English Muffins!" Well, there you go!
This recipe called for two beaten egg whites. HAHAHAHA! I don't own a mixer and beating egg whites must have a purpose greater than mixing them into bread with a ton of flour. So, I substituted those egg whites with a whole egg and that was that! Worked fine.
Here is another interesting recipe for English Muffins from Alton Brown at the Food Network (in terms of the cooking method). However, I don't have cooking rings or tin cans to use in their place, so...I did the cookie cutter method above. But, this recipe looks like it takes less time, so next time...I'll probably try it!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I received a four pound jar of peanut butter (see Scotcharoos), and am determined to enjoy it rather than hoard it. Jun had a peanut butter sandwich yesterday and loved it. Today, we had a meeting for Mamas at church, so I decided to try another peanut butter recipe. I was out of eggs, so this was perfect!
The site is called Peanut Butter Lovers. They have ALL kinds of peanut butter recipes! I'll have to try a few more, I think! Entrees too!
Abigail saw this recipe and "tweaked" it with .... CHOCOALTE! Click HERE to see her version!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
So, it was with comic relief that I realized I didn't NEED glasses to use this flavor pack from Tammy in Ukraine. As it is all written in Ukrainian or Russian, it wouldn't really matter how many pairs of glasses I found, I still wouldn't be able to read it!
It is supposed to be for veggies, Tammy said, but I sprinkled it over pork too. It has a salty chicken consume-like flavor. Soooo good!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
to make these SUPER DUPER yummy bar cookie-like snacks! Please forgive my poor photography, and documented inability to melt chocolate and butterscotch chips! The results were great, in spite of my downfalls! In fact, my hubby, who "doesn't eat much sweets" said that these were too wonderful to be homemade and should need to be purchased in a store! YATTA! (Means "yay" for me!!!)
Jun loved the making of the Scotcharoos...
And, couldn't get enough of that GREAT CEREAL! Sugarless and milk-less, to go with her clothes-less state of dress.
Now, for those who might live in a place where some of these ingredients are hard to come by...like Japan, I'll give you some ideas for substitutions at the end! So, read on!
In a saucepan, melt:
1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
When it reaches a bare boil, remove from heat and add:
1 cup peanut butter
Stir tell melted and blended.
Pour over, and mix into:
6 cups of Rice Crispie cereal
Press firmly into a well buttered jelly-roll pan, with a well buttered spoon/spatula.
1/2 pkg. chocolate chips
1/2 pkg. butterscotch chips
Spread over the top. When set, cut and EAT!
Now, I am not sure if Karo syrup and Japan's "gum syrup" are interchangeable. I kind of think that "gum syrup" is too watery. So, if I were doing this with ingredients I could find in Japan, I would take two packages of marshmallows (in the candy section at the super), and melt them with a bit of butter in a deep fry pan When melted, I'd mix in 1/2 cup peanut butter. I'd semi crush a box of cornflakes, and mix it all together. I'd probably use a well buttered round or square cake pan. Then, sighing sadly at the lack of butterscotch chips, I'd buy a few milk-chocolate bars at my local convenience store, melt them, and "frost" the top of the cookies. It wouldn't be exactly the same, but...it'll give you the chocolate peanut butter, crunch, YUM!, without waiting for the next trip home, or without breaking the bank finding the imported ingredients here.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
But...other than ginger, I have been doing some citrus candying too. The first was yuzu. (Please click the link and scroll down to the SECOND picture. It looks much yummier!) A very popular - and pretty expensive (over $2.50 per piece of fruit at my market) fruit. And...it was SOOOO wonderful.
Next, I tried lemons - as they were on SALE - two for a dollar. Those peels were quite hard to prepare, and, though it turned out alright in the end...maybe I won't make this again.
Last week, our friend Kaoru, who plays with Jun on Friday afternoons while I teach a bit, brought dekopon. Click the link for a picture. The peel smelled sweet and orangey, so I took a bite of the raw peel. "THIS," I said, "needs to be candied! It is DELICIOUS." So, I proceeded to do so. And...Let's just say I was shocked to see how expensive these also are in the store, as I so wanted to make MORE AND MORE of it. (three for 6 dollars).
Here is my basic method of making
Candied Citrus Peel
- Peel the fruit
- Use a spoon or paring knife and scrape/cut away all of the white membrane
- Cut the peel in thin strips
- Boil the peel in a bit of water for 5 minutes (to take away some of the natural bitterness)
- Drain and rinse the peel
- Return peel to pan, and add the same amounts of sugar and water. 1/2 cup or 1 cup. (The syrup from the yuzu was OK to use, but the Dekopon was too bitter, so don't make too much and waste sugar, I say.)
- Bring sugar, water, and peel to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, and keeping an eye on it. Don't let it boil hard, but don't let it stop simmering either.
- Cover a cooling/baking rack with a mesh cloth/net (check your laundry section at the 100 yen store), and fish out the peel pieces and drain/cool on the rack. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Roll each piece (using fingers as they are cold) in sugar (I use Japan's wet sugar), and place on a dry rack/net, or a plate.
- Let air dry for 1-3 days, of course sampling them daily to see if they are the "firmness" you like. Also, turn them over each day if they are on a plate.
- Store in a covered container in the fridge (don't know if you have to, but...I just do.)
This stuff is way too good! My Japanese FIL, nephew, and husband all loved it. Picky men that they are! And Jun keeps asking for it...but we are clean out!!! Sad smile.
Do you "candy" anything? If so, what? And, what method do you use????