Sunday, June 9, 2013

Finally...Something New

This may not be japanese cuisine but it is still a tasty dish.

Irish Cabbage Rolls
Inspired by Diners, Drive-ins and Dives segment on Galway Bay Pub

Pickling Spice added to pre-corned (spiced) packaged beef

Spice amount can vary due to number of beefs you're working with. These amounts work well for 2 point cuts and 1 flat cut corned beef.

Prepackaged Corned Beef, point cut or flat cut (your choice)
3-5 lbs russet potatoes (Adjust amount to size of beef. Figure about 1-1/2 lbs of potatoes to 1 lb of meat. Do not substitute red or yukon gold! You need the high starch found in the russets.)

Pickling Spice
Dehydrated Onion                          2 TBSP
Mustard Seed (Yellow)                   2 TBSP
Black Pepper, Ground                    2 TBSP
White Pepper, Ground (or whole)    2 TBSP
Chili Pepper                                    2 TBSP
Allspice (whole)                              2 TBSP
Granulated Garlic                            2 TBSP
Cloves                                            2 TBSP
Black Pepper, Whole                      2 TBSP
Coriander                                      2 TBSP
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes           2 TBSP
Bay Leaves                                    4-6 Leaves

Dipping Sauce
2 cups Mayo
4 oz Stone Ground Mustard
3-4 oz Heavy Cream
Salt & Pepper
2 Tbsp Ground Yellow Mustard
2 Tbsp White Vinegar (or add to taste)

Boil 5-1/2 to 6 hours. Let cool to room temp than strip fat from meat. Chill stripped meat several hours or overnight.

Clean and boil potatoes till soft. Mash with butter.

Cut out core from cabbage and boil for 15 minutes. Let cool.

Mix up dipping sauce. NOTE: The more liquid in the dipping makes the beef and potato filling softer and more difficult to cut through the cabbage leaf without it forcing the contents out of the roll and all over the plate.

Chop cold corned beef and mix with mashed potatoes. Mix beef and potatoes with the dipping sauce. Add just enough sauce to bind the meat and potato mixture together.
Gently work cabbage leaves apart from the head. Fill leaves each with a portion of beef and potatoes. Roll up filled leaf, folding in edges as you go.

Steam for 10 minutes.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Peach Sorbet

OK...While I have dropped off the face of the planet for quite some time, I now return with newer recipes.
This one I got from a cookbook that had been loaned to me by my brother. Sadly, I cannot remember the name of the book or the author. There was a recipe for a fresh fruit sorbet that is really easy to make. The biggest thing was to use frozen fruit of your choice to make it. Since my hubby likes peaches, I decided to make a peach version. So without further ado....

Peach Sorbet
1 package of frozen peach slices
Superfine sugar
Peach nectar

Toss the frozen peach slices into the food processor. Add the sugar. Try a quarter cup to start with. Each batch of peaches is going to vary in sweetness. The same with the peach nectar. Pulse the fruit until it becomes small pieces. Stop and taste the mixture. Add more sugar and juice as needed to make a fairly smooth paste. Peaches can be fairly tart so it's up to you to decide how sweet versus how tart to make your puree. Once your desired sweetness is achieved, transfer puree into a freezer safe container. You could also fill dixie cups and add a stick to make your own ice pops.

Other fruits can also be made into sorbet like oranges though it takes time to remove individual segments from their membranes. It's worth it though because few supermarkets sell orange sorbet in this area. You probably use orange juice to make. For other fruits use apple juice since it have a fair light flavor that won't overwhelm your choice if you can not find a matching nectar. Check your local European-style market for additional fruit nectars.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Seasoning for Fish

Recently I had some ahi tuna steaks to cook but I didn't want to use teriyaki sauce on them. I'd felt that these steaks deserved something more or at least different. So in rummaging through my cabinates, I stumbled across some dried lemon peal or zest. Since lemon and dill often go well with fish, I'd thought I might use them to flavor my tuna steaks. So after spraying the pan with cooking spray and rinsing the fish, I began by sprinkling the tops of the tuna with the dried lemon peal, followed by the dill. That should have been it but I got the feeling that there should have been more to it. Remembering that I had two limes, I dug them out and squeezed their juice over the fish. Finally, I added a pat of butter and baked the steaks according to the cooking notes on the package. The result was wonderful and tasty with a tanginess from the citrus. It will require a bit of adjustment to fine tune the flavors but I'm willing to experiment.

Ingredients Used:
Dried lemon peal (you may have go to a specialty spice shop to find this. Once I've finished with my initial 3 ounces I'm gonna have to go looking for it as the place I initially got it from doesn't carry spices any more)
Dried Dill - easily available in your local supermarkets usually in bulk.
Fresh limes - about 1 lime per steak
Butter - just a pat per steak

That's it. I have found that my dried dill seems a bit tasteless, perhaps grinding some in my spice grinder will release the flavors or I can try fresh dill, if available the next time I cook this.

I did try this on salmon filets but it didn't seem to work as well as with the tuna. That said, perhaps stick to using this on white or light colored fish.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lazy Tonkatsu

Aka...breaded pork cutlet. Usually I purchase boneless pork chops and butterfly them to make tonkatsu. Well...I just made a batch using pork cube steaks. The first main benefit of using the cube steak was not having to butterfly the meat. I was able to open the package and start breading the steak. Time saved there. The only real difference was the texture and my hubby felt that it was slightly better than the normal butterflyed chop.

Result: I'd rather save time so I'll make this again using the cube steak.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lazy Milk Tea

Even though I've perfected the recipe for homemade milk tea sometimes I'd rather not have to go through the effort. So I figured that I could achieve the same things with premade tea and evaporated milk. I chose evaporate milk over condensed milk because all of the premade teas available for purchase are already sweetened. I tried this with the Snapple Peach Tea and Snapple Lemon Tea, 1 gallon sized and a 15oz can of evaporated milk. After drinking off a bit of the tea from the bottle add about half of the can of milk to the tea. Shake well. You'll have to shake or stir the tea if it sits for any appreciable amount of time. The milk solids tend to drift to the bottom of the bottle.

Result: the peach tea milk tea was tolerable, not spectacular. Now the lemon tea was a different matter. The lemon flavor was so strong that the milk virtually neutrallized the black tea flavor, leaving the lemon behind. It was so awful that I couldn't drink more than half the lemon milk tea.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

McCormick Style Poultry Seasonings

I cooked a whole chicken with stuffing this past weekend. So I decided to make my own version of the McCormick Poultry Seasoning. The back of the label lists the ingredients as: black pepper, thyme, sage, rosemary, sweet marjoram, and nutmeg.

My ratios are as follows using whole dried spices:
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary (actually just a little bit less than a teaspoon...dried rosemary is pretty powerful)
2 teaspoons sage
3 teaspoons sweet marjoram
Approximately 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg (could have been a bit more)

Place all these spices into a coffee grinder that you dedicate to spices only and grind fine.

Results: should cut back the sweet marjoram by one teaspoon, it was too strong. Bite could have also been from the unknown measure of nutmeg. I'm not too sure

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Milk Tea

I've been a big fan of Kirin brand Milk Tea but my local Japanese market quickly sells out of the stuff not matter what size it happens to be (1.5 liter or .5 liter bottles. I've been dragging my feet on making my own. But with rumors that the product was gonna be restricted for some STUPID reason by some jacka$$ who thinks they know better than I should be eating or drinking have prompted me to start experimenting. That and basic costs of a 1.5 liter when available. You see it costs about $7.00 for the 1.5 liter bottle and $2.35 for each half liter bottle. Several bottles adds up quickly.
Now Aldi has all the ingredients available pretty much all the time.
Dry Milk Powder $6.00for a 25.6 ounce box
100 Black tea bags for $1.99
4 lbs of sugar for approximately $1.99

I have made 4 batches thus far and I expect to get another 3 or so out of the box of milk powder. A batch consists of 1 gallon of milk tea that easily fills 2-1.5 liters bottles and a 20 oz bottle with about another 2-2.5 cups left to drink.

So lets add up the basic costs for just the one home made batch...
2x$6.99 + 3x2.35 = $22 or so with taxes.

The cost of my batch is approximately $5.99 + $1.99 + $1.99 = $10.50 - 11.00 for all the ingredients and about $2.75 a gallon for 4-1 gallon batches. And since 4 batches hasn't used up all of my ingredients it will probably get even cheaper as I make more batches.

So if you can live with the slightly different taste of the generic black tea, it's certainly worth making your own.

My experiments with ratios and brewing time/style are as such:

BATCH 1:hot water brewed 10 tea bags which was allowed to cool overnight without refrigeration. Added 2 cups of milk powder and 2 cups of cactus honey powder (cactus honey powder is a Japanese sweetener)
BATCH 1 Result: Very noticeable tea flavor, nice mouth feel thanks to the high amount of milk fats, noticeably sweet but not over-sweet

BATCH 2:cold water brewed 10 tea bags in fridge for 24 hours. Added 2 cups of milk powder and cactus honey.
BATCH 2 Results: almost the same as batch one but the tea flavor wasn't as strong. Felt like I could cut back on milk powder and get same results.

BATCH 3:cold water brewed 10 tea bags in fridge for 24 hours. Added 2 cups of milk powder and 2 cups of white sugar.
BATCH 3 Results:Overwhelmingly sweet. Forgot to cut back on the milk powder.

BATCH 4:cold water brewed 10 tea bags for 24-36 hours. Tea looked rather weak might need to go back to hot brewing or add more tea bags. Added 1.5 cups of milk powder and .75 cups of white sugar.
BATCH 4 Results: Haven't tried it yet will have to add results later