Monday, August 31, 2009

Sesame Dressing

We had only been married a little time before Ryu told me he liked Chinese food also. Wow! Learning to make Japanese food as well as Chinese - I recruited his help. We bought a Chinese cookbook at the 100 yen (Dollar) store and have used it and used it!

This is the Sesame Dressing for one of the dishes (whose name I can't remember or READ!)

The cookbook is Bon Cook #23 Chinese...Something. The recipe is on page 48.

Anyway, this is Ryu's dish to make, but, we are on a chicken eating frenzy, so I am always looking for ideas. The other day I decided to boil a chicken breast, tear it into shreds, steam some green beans and cut them in half, and pour this sauce over it all. We were ALL (meaning, Jun too!) in heaven!

Sesame Dressing

3 Tbsp. White Sesame Seeds - grind these up in a food mixer you can later add wet ingredients too for ease in preparation. (I'm sure you could use black too. We used roasted white ones.)
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Sesame oil
1/2 tsp. rayu (very hot oil. We leave it out when Jun is eating with us - ALWAYS - though we love it!)

After grinding up the sesame seeds, add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. This is the first time I used our food grinder/mixer. Ryu does it by hand. Do as you wish, but I will always use our cheapo frustrating mixer after this! So easy!

This is great over chicken and pork. Also, over steamed veggies like broccoli, green beans or spinach. It would also be great over a salad or chilled tofu! Of course, you can adjust the flavor/sweetness to your liking, too! Try it!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

This summer I have been playing with making frozen yogurt. It began with wanting a lemon dessert and having no lemons! I had a small can of lemon pop, mixed it with a small carton of yogurt and froze it! A great sherbet! Even better when I added sugared crushed raspberries!

From there I (and Jun) forged into uncharted territory - for us. The latest recipe-less yogurt was banana, cinnamon, peanut butter yogurt. As strange as it sounds - it was healthy and pretty good.

However, the time had come to start Googeling Frozen Yogurt recipes. And chocolate was the flavor we NEEDED! I found a cooking blog called Chocolate and Zucchini. I like both of those, and, actually, my grandmother used to make wonderful chocolate zucchini bread and it was just like cake, but...I wasn't sure what I'd find here - frozen yogurt with zucchini?

But, no! She has a wonderful recipe for Chocolate Frozen Yogurt.

However, her pantry and fridge are a little more exotic than mine. I would love to try the REAL ingredients, are my humble substitutions.

Good quality bittersweet chocolate - the remaining box of too bitter chocolate in the cupboard supplemented by some of those semi-sweet chocolate chips I am hoarding.

Creme fraiche or heavy cream - Jun kindly allowed me to use some of her milk. It is 3.6% milk fat. That's about has heavy as our kitchen gets.

Raw cane sugar - I suspect I could find this in Japan, but haven't. I used regular old white, cheap, moist sugar.

Good quality unsweetened cocoa powder - I hoard this too, but I used my Hershey's cocoa. That's as good quality as we get here.

Sea salt - Ummm. Not sure where ours came from, but Ryu bought the cheapest he could. Now I have a whole kilo of wet (a pain to use and unable to be shaken) salt. (Actually, now that I think of it, I forgot the salt! Oh well!)

Natural Vanilla Extract - Good old imitation here, though would LOVE some of the real thing!

Greek Yogurt - Well, I have no idea what makes yogurt Greek, and have only seen Bulgarian yogurt here - and I'm sure it isn't Bulgarian, though Kotoshu has been on some of the commercials for it and HE's Bulgarian. Instead I bought the cheapest low fat yogurt at the store. I hate to eat it, but don't mind it in my yogurt concoctions. However, first I drained it (thanks for loaning me your coffee maker/filter, Ryu) to make it a bit thicker.

I used a cooking method I thought was easier. I combined the yogurt and vanilla in the freezer container. I put the dry ingredients in a small sauce pan and made sure the cocoa was lump-free. Then I added the milk and stirred constantly over very low heat. When the chocolate was about 1/2 melted, I took it off the heat and kept stirring till it was all melted and mixed in well. Then I poured it slowly into the yogurt while Jun and I stirred.

The blogger, Clotilde Dusoulier, gives good advice on how to be sure the frozen dessert is sweet enough and how to make it without an ice-cream maker! Good common sense advice!

I made half batch, as we are only three. Each time we stir it, we taste it. And we love each taste so far. I hope there is some left for dessert tonight!

I will be visiting this food blogger often, I think!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mexican Chicken

My husband commented on my "strong arm" in the arena of cooking this week. This means, I've made some things that he likes and that fill him up!

I thought of waiting and measuring and all that stuff to give you this recipe, but...this is Kantan (simple) Cooking, so - here is the recipe in its simplicity.

I need to add that it was inspired by this recipe for Mexican Burgers that we LOVE and often make in little meatball sizes for obentos and dinner!

Mexican Chicken

2 whole skinless and boneless chicken breasts cut in bite-sized pieces
1 splash of milk
1 Tbsp. or so of taco seasoning - if you have it
1 bag of flavored taco chips. We get them for 100 yen at the convenience store. Crush them up into tiny pieces.

So, take the pieces of chicken, throw them in a bowl. Salt them a bit. Splash with some milk (2 Tbsp?) Add the taco seasoning, and mix it in well. Put it in the fridge if you have time, and let it set for awhile for the seasonings to soak into the meat.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Roll each piece of chicken in the crushed taco chips and toss into an oven safe pan. If they need to be layered - that's fine. If you have chips leftover, sprinkle them over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.

I "garnished" this with well drained yogurt - fake, but yummy, sour-cream like topping, and chopped green onions. I could see some salsa over it as well, or tomatoes and shredded lettuce. If one had cheese in the fridge, I'd sprinkle a bit of that over the chicken before baking and Mmmmm.

Very SIMPLE - but, it's summer, and the hubby loved it, and I don't want to forget about it. My Japanese Mama friends' reaction? Very good and "You COOK with taco chips???" I love to shock them as often as possible.