Friday, October 29, 2010

Pork Miso Soup & Hijiki

I made Japanese dishes again with the ingredients I got from Mitsuwa. This miso soup is one of my favorite kind of miso soup. It had pork and lots of different kind of vegetables. It is very popular dish in Japan. Even though we call this "pork soup", I only add small amount of pork to flavor it and used lots of vegetables.

I like eating this soup with rice. This is very satisfying soup and a meal itself. And it is healthy!!

Also, I made another healthy dish with dried seaweed called "hijiki". It has lots of iron in it. Since I feel dizzy sometimes lately, I thought maybe I am lacking some iron so I decided to make this dish.

This is another traditional popular side dish in Japan. I eat this just as side dish but you can also mix with rice or mix with pasta or something like that.

It is dark and I know it does not look too appealing but my husband liked it also. I flavored them with soy sauce, sake, sugar.

I was not interested in those traditional Japanese food too much when I was younger and living in japan but as I get older, I really miss those dishes. I didn't imagine that I would be making these dishes and enjoying very much.

By the way, did you realize that my photos are bit different today? Our camera's shutter button has been broken for a while and we were still using it but the other day it finally broke off so we decided to but a new camera.

This time, we bought something bit more fancy. Initially, we wanted to buy SLR camera but we found out that Sony released this new compact digital camera which quality is as good as SLR camera. Since normal SLR camera is pretty big and kind of difficult to carry around all the time, we decided to but this new kind of compact digital camera.

It has lots of cool features and I am still learning how to use all these features but it is a cool camera and I like it a lot. It has a panorama feature which you press the shutter and move the camera from left to right. The camera takes series of pictures and put them together at the end and make it panorama photo. I was pretty amazed with this feature.

Anyway, I still need to figure out how to use this camera. I hope I will be able to take wonderful photos with this new camera of ours!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things I made a few years ago

Yesterday, I made Okonomiyaki which I make quite often and nothing special to this blog anymore so I would like to upload some of the things I made a few years ago.

First, this is chicken roll with tomato sauce. I don't even remember what I put inside but it looks pretty good. For the side, I made potato gratin which I love.

Next one is corn salad. I think I dressed this salad with cilantro sauce. This salad is very colorful with some red and green pepper. It is perfect summer salad.

This is one of my favorite dish which I made in my life. It is swordfish with coconut curry sauce. When I made this dish, I was so surprised how good it was. I think it was a recipe from Wolfgang Puck. I was sure that I will be making this dish more but I realized that I haven't made it since then. It might be time to make it again!

This is safran chicken dish. I think this was a recipe from Giada de Laurentis from Food Network. It was lighter than I thought it will be. It was pretty good. Looks pretty also.

This is pumpkin soup which I made with milk. It is very mild tasting and great for winter season. This dish made me feel cozy and warm.

Last dish is blueberry cheese cake. This is a recipe from my favorite chef Tyler Florence. It is a bite size cheese cake and so yummy and cute!

Sometimes, I like watching some of my old food photos. It motivate me to cook more and try something new. What should I made today? It makes me feel so happy and excited to think about what I am going to cook next!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chikuzenni & Banbanji

Since I bought lots of Japanese vegetables from Mitsuwa, I made "Chikuzen-ni" which is very traditional Japanese dish with lots of vegetables.

I used lotus roots, gobo, carrots, konnyaku, shiitake mushroom and chicken. I but them into small pieces and cook with sake, soy sauce, sugar and mirin.

This is something which is not special at all in Japan but when you live in the U.S. like me, it feels very special since I don't get to eat this too often.

It is very healthy and goes well with rice. I was not sure if my husband likes it or not. It is not his favorite dish but he was eating so I guess it was OK.

I also made something called "banbanji". I think this dish comes originally from China. Basically, it is with steamed chicken with sesame sauce. I cooked bean sprout in microwave, then cut cucumber and add cooked chicken on top with sesame sauce.

This came out really good and my husband loved it. I cooked chicken in microwave with sake and green onion and grated ginger with a saran warp for 4 mins and left it until it gets cold. For the sesame sauce, I used white part of green onion, grated ginger, grated garlic, white sesame paste, vinegar and sugar and some fried garlic chili oil.

My husband and I love this sauce. It was a bit too garlicky so I have to use less garlic next time but it tasted great!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Mitsuwa" Japanese Supermarket in NJ

Last weekend, my husband and I went to "Mitsuwa" which is a big Japanese supermarket in NJ. We come here once in every few months. I love coming to this supermarket. It is just like the ones in Japan. We normally have a long shopping list when we go there.

Every time we go there, we have lunch at their food court. Our favorite is Ramen noodle from Santouka.

I had "toroniku miso ramen"which comes with separate toppings like this.

This is the miso ramen.

My husband had shio ramen. He said that it was so good and he ate it too fast so he kind of burned his tongue.

I love Japanese ramen noodle and this is a chain ramen noodle store from Japan so it was just like eating ramen noodle in Japan.

After we had good lunch, we did grocery shopping. I was able to buy all sorts of vegetables such as gobo, daikon, lotus roots, etc which I can not find normally in my local supermarket.

I also bought some very thinly sliced meat and two different kind of fish. I will freeze these and use them  later.

For dinner, I used one of the meat which I purchased from Mitsuwa. It was already marinated and I just had to saute in a frying pan. We had this with side dish of snap peas and bean sprout.

We had great food and enjoyed our weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rich & Creamy! Banoffee Mess

This is another recipe from Food Network. I was watching "5 Ingredinets Fix" with Claire Robinson and she was making this incredible looking banana cream toffee tart. It had everything I liked so I had to try it. Click here for her "Banoffee Mess" recipe from Food Network website. 

For Graham cracker base, I used the one I bought from Trader Joe's. This graham cracker has cinammon taste and it is rich and quite sweet by itself.

Crumble them with food processor. and mix with melted butter to make the crust.

Then bake in the oven for a little bit.

And the most interesting part of this dish was making toffee from condensed milk. You just boil a can of condensed milk in a hot water for about three hours and condensed milk turns into toffee like this.

After chilling the crust in the fridge, add sliced bananas on top of it like this.

Then spread the toffee and add more bananas and cover with whipped cream.

This is so rich and yummy and made with everything I like so it is difficult to control myself but it is quite sweet so I tried not to eat too much.

Making toffee part takes time but other than that, everything was easy and quick. I loved this! .

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Grilled Eggplant Salad and Sweet & Spicy Short Rib Tacos

I was watching Food Network and found some dishes which I wanted to try so I tried it the other day.
Both of them came out great. I really likes those recipes.

One is a recipe from Bobby Flay who is an iron chef here in America and have a few restaurant. This dish is called "Grilled Eggplant Salad". Click here for his recipe from Food Network Website.

This is how it looks.

You grill eggplant and onion then chopped them and mix with avocado and dressing. It is sweet and tangy and bit smoky. I really liked this salad.

Bobby was grilling outside of course but I tried to grill eggplant and onion inside the house. The kitchen ended up all smoky and I had to open all the windows so I will try grilling them outside next time.

For the main course, I made tacos. This recipe is also from Food Network's show called "Mexican made easy". Mercella Valladlid is a host of this show and she shows how to make Mexican food at home.

This dish is called "Sweet & Spicy Short Rib Tacos" Click here for her recipe from Food Network website. This is how it looks. Warm corn Tortilla and the meat with some sour cream and cilantro. Yummy! The recipe is for 6 people but I made half of it.

This dish is pretty easy to make but it takes some time. She made in a slow cooker on the show but I don't have a sloe cooker so I made it in the oven.

Also, the recipe required Dried Ancho Chiles but I couldn't find them at the store so I bought Dried Chipotle Chilies instead. I researched little bit and found out the Chipotle chili is little bit spicier than Ancho chile so I used just one of them.

First, I browned short ribs in the frying pan. It was already smelling good at this point.

While browning, I made sauce in a blender with onion, garlic, chiles and so on.

When the meat is browned, I transferred in a oven safe container and cover with foil and baked for 3 hours and half.

This is how it came out after 3 hours and half.

Meat is fork tender. I shred them in a bowl.

Skim the grease from the oven safe container and transfer remained sauce to the meat and mix.

Heat up corn tortilla, add meat, sour cream and cilantro.

For my second tacos, I add some of those grilled eggplant salad in it. It was great. I loved the taste combination!

I will definitely make this tacos again. Next time, I will find Ancho chile. It takes a long time to cook but the meat is super tender and it is worth the time. The short ribs were more expensive than I imagines but I think this is a great dish.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Brunch at Williamsburg, Brooklyn

On the weekend, my husband and I went to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to have brunch with our friends. Williamsburg is a very popular area in Brooklyn and many young people live and visit this area. There are lots of cute restaurants and cafes and if you walk to the water, you can see a nice view of Manhattan. I always wanted to visit but never actually did so this was my first time visiting Williamsburg.

I had this egg, potato and toast combo for brunch. The scrambled egg was with homemade sausages and it was really good. Normally, I am not a big breakfast person but this one was really good and I liked it. Though the portion was little too big for me so I couldn't eat them all.... 

When we went to the restaurant, it was pretty crowded but there was no line so we were able to have a seat right away. Plus, we got a really nice table by the open window. The weather was perfect that day. Nice and warm so we had a perfect brunch! When we left the restaurant, there was a long line of poeple waiting for tables. I guess we were super lucky! 

After eating big brunch, we walked around Williamsburg. It was such a nice day and everybody was out enjoying the nice weekend. This is a picture I took from a park by the river, over looking Manhattan. If you look left when you are there, you can also see Williamsburg bridge. 

During the walk, we stop by at this cute coffee shop which is our friend's favorite coffee shop. They made an art with the form. So cute! 

As I have expected, Williamsburg was a wonderful place to walk around and have meals or coffee. I really liked it. I would love to come again. Next time, maybe for dinner because the night view of Manhattan must be spectacular also. 

There were lots of new apartment buildings right by the water over looking Manhattan. It must be really nice apartment but I think the rent or price tag will be really high also :-) 

Anyhow, we had such a wonderful weekend! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Garlic Bread

 I was watching Food Network the other day and Neelys were making garlic bread on their show. It looked really good and suddenly I had to make those garlic bread.

It is very easy to make. Click here for the recipe from Food Network website.

I was supposed to use Italian bread but I used Baguette instead. Also, I didn't have basil so I only used parsley.

Spread garlic butter parsley mixture on bread.

Wrap with foil and into the oven.

Then, take the foil out and sprinkle cheese then put in the oven till the cheese melt.

It is cheesy and garlicky and really good. My husband love bread so he loved this garlic bread. It is really easy to make so I recommend you to give it a try!

By the way, on the weekend my husband and I went to see a contemporary ballet show called "Swan Lake" at NY City Center. This is a modern interpretation of the classic "Swan Lake".

All the swans were male and it was very fun and interesting. We really liked this. It seems like they are originally from U.K. and they will have the show in NY till Nov 7. If you are interested, I think tickets are still available :-)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cute Visitor form the City

Last weekend, one of my friend who lives in Manhattan came to visit me with her cute dog. It was such a sunny nice day and we spent great time walking by the water and talking. The above is her puppy and she is very quiet and well behaved. Her face is so cute that I think it will be difficult for me give him scolding when he did something wrong.

This is when my husband is playing pulling game with him. He normally does not bark at all but when he plays this game he gets quite excited and growl. It is so cute that he comes back with this rubber ball and push it to us asking to play more.

I made Lasagna for lunch. This is my mother-in-law's recipe and normally my husband make this Lasagna but this time I tried to make it myself. It came out really good and I was very proud. My friend loved it also. I think this is a great dish to make when we have some guests.

My friend brought a cake from one of my favorite bakery in Manhattan. The bakery is called Financier and their cake is really good.

She got this beautiful fruit cheese cake. It was so rich and wonderful. We loved it.

I had not seen her for a quite some time so it was great that she came over all the way and we were able to spend time together. We talked and laughed a lot and had a great great time. I hope she will come visit again sometimes!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Torterilli Curry Cream Sauce

Last week, my husband's relatives came to visit us so we went to many places and had lots of fun. I am very glad that we were able to spend some time together!

Anyway, this is something I made before last week. This is another lazy dish because I bought fresh torterilli from the store. I just had to boil them and made sauce for it.

Sometimes I boy Torterilli from Buitoni. Their sausage Torterilli is pretty good. Since it is not too cheap, I normally buy them when they are on sale. I had this in my fridge so decided to make it with creamy curry sauce.

This creamy curry sauce is something my husband make all the time with chicken and rice. I love this dish and I thought this sauce should go well with this Torterilli also.

I was right. This was a perfect combination!

This creamy curry sauce must be popular in Europe since one of my French friend made this sauce with chicken and egg noodle once also. I love this sauce. I think this is a great easy sauce.

I just add heavy cream in a frying pan and add curry powder and salt and pepper. Then, boil them and mix. At the end, I add some lemon juice. I think adding lemon juice make it taste much better somehow.

I think this sauce will be great for some pasta with bacon. I should try it sometimes.

Anyway, for side dish, I made broccoli. This is also a lazy dish since I just cut and wash broccoli and mix with salt, pepper and olive oil then microwave for 5 mins or so until tender, then add some cheese and microwave until cheese melt. That's it. To my surprise, my husband loved this broccoli dish :-)

By the way, I went to William's Sonoma (my favorite Kitchen store) Outlet the other day and bought these books. It was 50% off from the original price and I also had 10% off coupon so ended up 60% off.
What I like about these books is that every single recipe has pictures next to it.

When I when to the cashier to pay for this, the store clerk told me that she also has this book and she loves it. I am so excited that I got these beautiful book for such a great deal. I can not wait to cook something from this book.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Yummy! Seafood Kimchi Tofu Soup

I made this kimchi soup the other day and it was so good that I was really surprised. I had kimchi and tofu in my fridge and I bought frozen seafood mix from Trader Joe's the other day so I wanted to try making this type of soup.

I had this kind of soup at some Korean restaurant and I wanted to recreate the same flavor. I think I came up with something pretty close!

Here is how I made it.

Seafood Kimchi Tofu Soup (2~3 people)


Tofu                       about 400g
Seafood Mix          1cup
Yellow Onion         Large Half
Green Onion           3
Kimchi                    1 cup
Pork (thinly Sliced) about 100g
Garlic                       3 cloves (grated)
Water                      about 4 cups
Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)  2 table spoons
Bonito powder     1 table spoon
Soy Sauce            1 table spoon
Sake                     2 table spoon
Sugar                    1 table spoon
Sesame Oil           1 table spoon
Vegetable Oil       1 table spoon
Chives                  for garnish

1. First, cut the yellow onion into thin slices and the green onion into about 1 inches. Also cut thinly sliced pork into bite size pieces.

2. Heat up vegetable oil in a pot and add pork, yellow onion, green onion. When the pork is cooked, add frozen seafood mix and also add grated garlic and saute.

3. Then, add chopped Kimchi. (You don't need to chop it but I did)

4. When the vegetables and seafood are cooked, add water and bring to a boil. Then add bonito powder, gochujang, soy sauce, sake, sugar, sesame oil. Taste. Add more gouchujang if it is not too spicy for you.

5. Bring it to boil again, then add Tofu and let it simmer for a few minuets.

5. Serve in a bowl with sprinkles of chive. It goes very well with white rice on the side.

I think it will be great if you also add some eggs if you like eggs. Next time, I will try it with eggs. This looks pretty spicy but actually it was not too spicy. It was just perfect spicy level. I was so pleased with this dish. I have to go get more kimchi.

When I make something like this or Kimchi fried rice, I used lots of Kimchi at once so it will be gone pretty quickly. Kimchi is something I would like to have in my fridge all the time!

A few years ago, my husband was not too keen on Korean food but now he loves it! I am so happy. It is funny how people's taste bud change. If you like Korean food, I think you will like this soup. It tastes great from all the great flavor coming out from seafood and pork. Love it!