Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sho-yu Tomago

Title: Sho-yu Tomago
Tags: breakfast, sides

1 egg
1 tbsp soy sauce

Hard boil some eggs. My hardboiling method is this: Put the eggs in enough cold water to cover. Heat up the pan while rolling the eggs around - this makes the yolk stay in the middle. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan, and leave for 10 minutes. (I read this in the Julia Child book that is being given away over on Just Hungry.)
Drain the hot water, and cool the eggs rapidly under cold running water. Peel the eggs. Try to keep the surface unscathed. (The batch I made above have a few nicks.)
In a pan large enough to hold all your eggs comfortably, heat up some plain soy sauce. Figure about a tablespoon per egg.
When the soy sauce is foaming up, lower the heat to about medium, put in your eggs, and roll them around to coat them as evenly as possible. Keep rolling them until the pan is almost dry and the eggs are a chestnut brown. (To make darker eggs, use tamari soy sauce.)
Let cool before packing for bento.


Carrot Sesame Salad

Title: Carrot Sesame Salad
Tags: sides

2 medium carrots
3/4 Tbs. lemon juice, OR 1 Tbs. ponzu
1/2 tsp. sugar
Pinch of dashi granules or konbu powder (you can leave this out)
Pinch of salt (omit if you are using dashi granules)
A dash of soy sauce
1/2 Tbs. dark sesame oil
1 Optional: Some roughly chopped parsley

Peel the carrots, and shred them with a coarse grater.

Put in a bowl with the chopped parsley. Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well. The flavor mellows if you can let it rest for an hour or more (overnight is good).

And..that’s it! Just drain off some of the juice when packing into a bento box. I do recommend putting it in a divider cup. (The leftover juice is very tasty, so you could add it to a green salad as dressing.)

Variations and Notes
Add a tablespoon or so of toasted sesame seeds.
Add some julienned red chili pepper for a spicy version.
Note about ponzu: This is a citrusy vinegar/condiment available at Japanese grocery stores. It has a tart, refreshing flavor. (It’s also been rather trendy in the restaurant scene for a few years.) It makes a great salad dressing base.
Buy sesame oil at an Asian store. Some health food stores may have untoasted (raw) sesame oil, which may be better for you but does not have the flavor of toasted sesame oil, which should be a medium to dark amber in color, not clear or yellowish.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sweet Maple Carrots

Title: Sweet Maple Carrots
Time To Cook (in minutes): 15
Tags: Dinner, Side Dishes

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Bring all ingredients to boil in heavy large skillet. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer until carrots are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover; cook until juices are reduced to glaze, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
You can remove the carrots after the initial simmer, and reduce to a glaze, then add carrots back in and mix.

Yields: 6 servings

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cream Cheese Frosting

Title: Cream Cheese Frosting
Tags: Dessert

8 oz cream cheese (cold from fridge)
2 tsp vanilla
5 tbsn butter softened
2 cups powdered sugar

mix cream cheese, vanilla, and butter on low.
slowly mix in powdered sugar
add more powdered sugar to taste

Sausage & Egg Casserole

Title: Sausage & Egg Caserole
Time To Cook (in minutes): 60
Tags: Breakfast

1 pound bulk pork sausage
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
6 slices white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown and crumble sausage; drain and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs; add milk, salt and mustard. Stir in bread cubes, cheese and sausage. Pour into a greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Yields: 8

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sweet Potato Bao

Title: Sweet Potato Bao
Time To Cook (in minutes):
Rating (1-4):
Tags: Breads, Dinner, Lunch

1 kg plain flour
3 to 4 medium sized sweet potatoes
250 g sugar
1 tsp of salt
12 g dry/instant yeast
600 ml warm milk

1. Boil sweet potatoes until soft. Remove the skin and smash it up.
2. Melt sugar in hot milk. Make sure milk is warm (not hot, as it will kill the yeast) and stir in yeast. Put to rest until the mixture is foamy top. (Aprox 5 to 10 mins)
3. In a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, sweet potatoes together. Mix while adding the milk mixture slowly.
4. Knead until soft and smooth. Let the dough to rise until double the size. To speed up the rising process, place the dough in a pot and close the lid. Place is a warmer location.
5. When ready, cover hands with flour and shape balls from the dough. Place the balls on squared baking paper.
6. Bake for 10 minutes at 220C or steam for 10 minutes.

The dough should not turn out too dry. The dough should be sticky to the hands to make softer and moist buns. Over your hands with flour to make the shaping of the balls easier. You should also mix liquids in step 3 only. Adding water in the dough at the final stages will make the bun tighter and hard.

If you prefer drier buns, bake them. Steam the dough for moist buns. You can apply egg wash or milk to the dough for baking to have a nicer looking skin for the buns. I didn't put any for mine because it was for my stomach only hehehe. I'll make prettier buns if I'm giving them away. If your buns burst out during baking or steaming, that means you have used too much yeast.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Next enter a title like so:
Title: Cranberry Orange Sauce
Tags: dinner, holiday

1 bag cranberries (12 oz)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier, for example)
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp grated orange rind

Combine first eight ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat, simmer, stirring frequently, until cranberries have popped and the mixture has thickened slightly - around 10 minutes. Set aside and cool slightly. Stir in orange zest.

Yields: 2 1/4 cups

Beef Stroganoff

Title: Beef Stroganoff
Tags: dinner

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 tsp flour
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 sliced medium onion
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 can (10 3/4-ounce) beef broth
1 can (10 3/4-ounce) cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 .. Salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to taste
1 .. Cooked egg noodles

In a large skillet, quickly brown beef in the olive oil and butter. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste and mix well. Remove the beef from the pan. Add the onion slices and mushrooms to the pan drippings. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion is tender. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour. Put the steak back into the pan with the onion and mushrooms. Add the mushroom soup and beef broth. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, covered. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the sour cream the last few minutes, right before you serve. Serve over cooked noodles.

Yields: 1 1/2 cups

Cranberry Delight Spread

Title: Cranberry Delight Spread
Tags: snacks, appetizers

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp grated orange peel
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 box of favorite crackers

In a small mixing bowl beat cream cheese, orange juice concentrate, sugar, orange peel, and cinnamon on medium speed of electric mixer until fluffy.

Stir in cranberries and pecans.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Garnish as desired and serve with crackers.

**you can soften cream cheese in microwave for 15 to 20 seconds on high**

Yields: 12 servings