Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sauteed Pork with Apple Sauce

When I go to Manhattan, I sometimes stop by this Japanese used book store called "Book Off". This is a popular used book store in Japan and they have branch here in NY! This is great for someone like me since I love reading books especially in Japanese but those Japanese books are quite expensive when you buy them from a regular book store.

Ever time I go there, I buy a few books. One of them is normally a novel from my favorite author named "Kotaro Isaka" then I also buy a few cooking magazines. They sell old cooking magazine very cheap. It might be a magazine from 2002, but I don't really care much since I can always find something interesting to cook in any magazines. Maybe it doesn't work for fashion magazine but it totally work for cooking magazine.

So the other day, I was looking through one of those magazines which I purchased for $1.00 each. The magazine was from 2002 March. In there, I found this fabulous looking pork with apple. Ingredients were easy to get from regular supermarket so I decided to make this dish.

It came out really good. Pork and Apple goes very well together.

And it was quite easy to make. You just have to cook apple in separate pan with sugar and butter. Then, cook pork in a different pan with oil, sage, apple juice, brandy and soy sauce.

My husband loved it also! I am very happy that I found this recipe.

It is in Japanese but if you are interested in, here is the link for the recipe.

I recommend looking through your old cooking magazine or books sometimes. You might find something which you didn't notice before!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Lazy Chicken Curry using Patak's Hot Curry Paste

When I feel lazy about cooking something, I get some help from some products such as these Patack's jarred paste. I had curry paste from them and all I had to do was add meat, onion and diced tomatoes.

This is the paste which I used for this dish.

I used "Hot" but it was not very hot for my taste but it tasted pretty good. This is a great product to use when I am feeling lazy.

My husband loves curry and he also liked this curry. I didn't tell him how easy it was to make it. I think that he believe I spent lots of time making this dish. Well, nothing wrong for him to think that way to maybe I just let him believe that.

Well, I recommend using these curry paste when you don't have time to make indian curry from scratch. I also think that there are some other creative ways to use this paste for some other dishes. I will think about it and post it when I come up with some ideas and trial dish!

I buy Patak's product from my local supermarket. They have many different kinds of paste and sauces. I like most of their products, if you have a chance, please try them :-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tyler Florence's Pasta Carbonara

One of my favorite past is pasta carbonara. I think this dish is very difficult to master and even at restaurant, it is difficult to find one which is completely satisfactory.

I might mentioned this before but my favorite carbonara is from this restaurant in Palo Alto CA called "Osteria". The carbonara I had from this restaurant is by far the best carbonara I had in my life.

Palo Alto is famous for Stanford University and it is very expensive but nice area. I used to live in a surrounding city so I used to go out to downtown Palo Alto all the time.

This restaurant "Osteria" was introduced to my by an Indian lady whom I used to live with. She is a great cook and she has very good taste.

Every time I go back to Bay Area, I visit this restaurant and have Carbonara. I don't know what about this carbonara but I love it and I don't think I can ever make this on my own. So I have to go to California to eat this dish.

Anyway, even though I can not make "Osteria"'s carbonara, I wanted to make Carbonara at home. This time, I used Tyler Florence's recipe. I like many of his recipes.

If you are intersted in making Tyler Florence's Pasta Carbonara, click here for his recipe.

This time, it came out pretty good. Sometimes, I mess up when I add eggs and it becomes scramble eggs but it worked this time and it was very creamy carbonara as it should be.

It is very creamy but there is no cream in it. It has some Panchetta pieces. I love it!!!

This is a pasta dish which I will keep making and someday would like to perfect it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Daikon Miso Soup

I hadn't made miso soup quite a long time and I had daikon in my fridge which needed to be used urgently so I decided to make daikon miso soup.

In Japan, it is quite popular to have miso soup in the morning for breakfast with some rice, fish, egg, etc.
Normally, here in the U.S., I make my miso soup for lunch or for dinner since I am too lazy to make miso soup in the morning but this one morning, I was so determined to have a miso soup breakfast so I made this in the morning. And it was quite quick!

This time, I made it the way I learned from my mom and it came out delicious!

The secret for my mom's miso soup is that she uses half red miso paste and half white miso paste. This does the trick for me. I guess since I grow up with my mom's miso soup, this combination of miso paste is perfect for my taste.

I add some daikon radish, fried bean curd and at the end, I added some chopped scallion. Right after you add scallion into the miso soup, the familiar smell hit my nose and it took me right back to my home in Japan. It is amazing how sense of smell bring you back to places :-)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Easy and Delicious! Japanese Chicken and Egg Bowl (Oyakodon)

This is very typical Japanese dish called "Oyakodon" It means parent and child bowl since ingredients are chicken and egg (parent and child :-)

This is very easy dish to make and I like it but for some reason I forget to make this. So overall, I would say I make this dish 2~3 times a year. I think I should make this more often.

My husband also likes this dish and similar dish called "Katsudon". "Katsudon" is pork cutlet bowl. Instead of chicken, you add pork cutlet. I don't make this at home because if I make pork cutlet, I will just eat it as is. I don't want to add egg and sauce and stuff. So my husband sometime eat this dish in a food court of Japanese supermarket.

Here is how you make "Oyakodon"


Chicken Breast  1/2lb
Onion    2 small
Egg       3
Scallion    3
Sake        3 tablespoons
Tempura dipping sauce   3 tablespoons
Sugar      1 tablespoons
Water      2 tablespoons

1. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sake. Marinade for 1 hour or so in the fridge.

2. Slice onions and add in a frying pan with rest of sake, tempura dipping sauce, sugar and water and cook until soft.

3. When onion is soft, add chicken pieces into the pan and cook.

4. Meanwhile, mix eggs in a small bowl.

5. When chicken is cooked, add eggs into the pan, bring to boil and add chopped scallions.

6. Serve it over hot rice and enjoy!

This is very easy Japanese dish which you can try with simple ingredients. Enjoy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lamb and Pistachio Kofte with Tahini and Pistachio Sauce

I made something new from a book I borrowed from the library. This is the book I borrowed.

From this book, I made "Lamb and Pistachio Kofte with Tahini sand Pistachio Sauce". 

It is something like lamb meatballs but it has dried red currants and pistachio and different kinds of spices in it. The sauce is Tahini sauce with some crushed pistachios. 

It took quite some time to make this dish but it came out pretty good and I was pleased. I also added some Sumac on top of it. I love this spice sumac but I don't get to use it too often and I thought this will be a perfect occasion to use. And I was right. This was perfect combination! 

Normally, I don't like lamb meat too much but for some reason, I like it when it is ground lamb. 

It is fun to cook something I had never made before!! 2012 will be cooking more of the things I  had never made before!! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ina Garten's Chicken with Shallot sauce

 I made this a while ago but I didn't post this so now I am posting this. This is a recipe from Ina Garten from Food Network. I like her recipes. It is clean and fresh and tasty. This is chicken breast with lemony cream sauce with shallots. If you like lemon, I think you will like this recipe.

If you click here, it will jump to the recipe of this dish. 

For side dish, I sauteed some mushroom. I love mushrooms. I can eat bowl full of mushroom like this. My husband is not a big fan of mushroom but since I love it and I use it all the time, now he eats them without saying anything :-)

This chicken looks really good and taste very fresh and sophisticated. I think many people would like this dish. In recipe, it called for skin on boneless chicken breast. Since I couldn't find such a thing at a supermarket, I just used skinless boneless chicken breast but it came out good.

I hope you will try this recipe since it is so easy and simple!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Homemade Christmas Stollen

In Germany, People eat Stollen for Christmas. It has some dried fruits and nuts in it. Some of them even have marzipan in it. It is more like a sweet bread.

I normally don't like fruit cake too much but I love Stollen. When I eat this, I start feel like it is Christmas. You can buy some stollen at regular supermarket here but once you eat the real stollen from Germany, it is difficult to beat the original.

Well, this year, I decided to bake one on my own!

My mother-in-law gave me a recipe and sent me some candied orange and lemon.

So, my husband and I were excited to bake this for the first time.

However, we kind of stuck from the very beginning. The recipe calls for fresh yeast but I can not get any fresh yeast around my house so we decided to use dry yeast instead. We searched the conversion rate for fresh yeast and dry yeast but there were just so many versions and we got so confused.

Finally, we trusted one of them and decided to go with it. Even though it seemed like way too much yeast.

Anyhow, this was the dough we managed to make.

It was very sticky dough and we weren't sure if the dough is supposed to be this sticky.

Well, we managed to make a stollen shape out of it. This is how it looked before we put it in the oven. We were kind of surprised how big this stollen was. Maybe we should had made two stollen out of this.

This is how it came out of oven. It got even bigger! Maybe because we had lots of yeast. Well, it was kind of scary big.

We brushed lots of melted butter and sprinkle with lots of powder sugar. Doesn't it look pretty?

It came out pretty good.

The taste was pretty good but the texture was kind of rough. I would like Stollen which is more smooth in texture. Oh well, it is our first try and we think it came out pretty good for our first try.

This Stollen, you can keep it for a while if you leave it in a cold place.

Well, the first time Stollen baking was an adventure. It was fun but quite a lot of work. I am not sure if we will make it again next year. Maybe I will ask my parents-in-laws to send a Stollen from Germany next year :-)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year to everyone! I really hope that 2012 will be a great year for me and my family and for everybody who is reading my blog!

In Japan, tradition is to eat soba noodle on New Year's Eve. Even though I am in the U.S., I feel like I have to eat soba noodle on New Year's Eve in order to have a good ending of the year and good beginning of the new year.

Here is the soba noodle I made. The shrimp tempura is from Trader Joe's frozen shrimp tempura. I tried this item for the first time but it was actually pretty good! I think I will buy this again since I prefer not to deep fry things at home. (It is a lot of work and lots of cleaning after :-))

My husband's house tradition is having a broth fondu on New Year's Eve. So we invited a few friends over and had broth fondu. The recipe for the fondu broth and the sauces were all from my mother-in-law. She taught me how to make all the sauces and the broth!

Broth Fondu is a lot healthier than cheese fondu and you can enjoy it with different kinds of sauces. We had some vegetables, chicken, shrimp and salmon. The sauces were banana curry sauce, onion ketchup sauce, garlic sour cream sauce, egg pickle sauce and also cilantro mint sauce which my friend brought.

Everything was really good and we enjoyed nice fondu and good conversation.

There were lots of things happened in 2011. I hope we will have a great 2012. I know we will!

Also, I didn't update my blog too often in 2011 but I would like to try updating my blog more often in 2012! Hope you guys will come visit my blog :-)

Have a happy and healthy 2012 :-)