September 30, 2010

Miso Black Cod

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What's the most buttery, soft, moist, tender fish you've ever had? Got it pictured in your head? Is it dancing around in there, tantalizing your very being with its fishy power? Now throw that out the window! That fish in your head is nothing compared to black cod (or more correctly referred to as Sablefish).

But black cod just sounds so much better, right? I don't blame Nobu Matsuhisa for choosing that name in his Black Cod with Miso dish.

Anyway, it's almost indescribable how yummy it is. I'm not articulate enough to tell you how fantastic it truly is, so I hope you'll venture out to make it on your own. Enjoy!


Oh, and it was the signature item in our Japanese night. Everything was absolutely outstanding, and not at all from my own doing. Other featured items included Kabocha, pork gyoza, fresh tofu, green beans, spicy tuna avocado sushi, pear sake, and Dorayaki. Perfection.

September 24, 2010

Dorayaki (Japanese Filled Pancakes)

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Japanese filled pancakes. Or as we like to call them: Dorayaki! Hehe how fun!


They're just so cute and delicious. Sweet azuki beans sandwiched between moist little pancakes. Such a treat.


Perfect for breakfast on the go, perfect for dessert, or perfect for a snack. Dorayaki! Enjoy!

Dorayaki (Japanese Filled Pancakes)

Yield: 14-28 Dorayaki
Ingredients
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 180g self-rising flour
  • 1 can sweet red beans
Cooking Directions
  1. Beat eggs in a bowl and whisk it, then slowly add in sugar and continue to whisk very well.
  2. Add milk and honey in the egg mixture
  3. Add sifted flour in the egg mixture gradually until the mixture becomes smooth.
  4. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let it stand for 30 minutes
  5. Heat a non-stick pan on medium low heat.
  6. Pour a scoop of the batter in the pan to make it a small pancake. (I used 1 tablespoon as the scoop size)
  7. Turn over when bubbles appear on the surface (about 3 minutes) and cook the other side for 40 sec to 1 minute max. (Like a pancake!) The pancake should have 1 side with coffee color and another side with pale brown color.
  8. Place the cake on a wire rack and let it cool.
  9. To assemble the Dorayaki, look for 2 pieces with about the same shape and side.
  10. Place 1 scoop of sweet red bean on the pale yellow side and cover with another cake with the same side.
**Optional: If the pancakes seem too thick to eat two of them with red bean inside, simply slice them in half (as we did with some) and fill with red bean. Voila!

Recipe courtesy of Masakan Istimewa

September 20, 2010

Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin)

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If you love kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), then you'll die for this recipe of Kabocha Nimono.

Kabocha is in fact a type of squash and not a pumpkin, so if you're having trouble finding it, buttercup squash can be substituted since the two are from the same family. Kabocha is generally sweeter and sometimes softer than buttercup squash; however, I wouldn't let that stop you! The dish is so tender and delicious you may end up eating a whole one by yourself!


We ate this as part of our Japanese night (as you can see in the photo). It goes with just about anything, I say.

There are a couple ingredients some folks might not be familiar with, so please ask. Take dashi, for instance. Dashi is a base stock used in some Japanese cooking. It is comprised of water, dried kelp, and bonito flakes. However, water with some salt or seasoning can be used if you don't want to make dashi. See? I'm full of useful information. Enjoy!

September 15, 2010

New (but not improved) Frozen Yogurt

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Ah, you win some, you lose some. Sometimes experimenting doesn't quite work out the way you'd hoped. But that'll never stop me! *Fiendish laugh*


This is just a greek yogurt that I was hoping would stay creamy when frozen. Turns out that even if you add way way too much rum, it's a no-go. Ah well. Such is life. So let's keep at it, creating more odd combinations to delight and surprise our senses! *Fiendish laugh*

September 10, 2010

Moussaka

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I cannot take credit for this at all whatsoever. Full credit for this elaborate and highly delicious (seriously scrumptious!) goes to my significant other. How she does it I'll never know. Perhaps to her chagrin I've put her in charge of all moussaka from now on. That's what you get for cooking great meals!


Moussaka is kind of like a Greek version of lasagna...except better! Mostly because it lacks the foolish pasta that can get in the way of a really good lasagna. You know what I'm talking about. Since I'm not privy to the details of how this was made, let's just move on to the good stuff (the recipe) and see if you can figure out how to not eat the entire dish at once. Enjoy!

Moussaka

Yield: 8-12 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 eggplants, peeled and cut into half-inch slices
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • salt, to taste
  • white pepper, to taste
  • 1.5-3 cups parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Cooking Directions
  1. Lay the slices of eggplant on paper towels, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside for 30 minutes to draw out the moisture. Then in a skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. Quickly fry the eggplant until browned. Set aside on paper towels to drain.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the ground beef, salt and pepper to taste, onions, and garlic. After the beef is browned, sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg, herbs and parsley. Pour in the tomato sauce and wine, and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, and then stir in beaten egg.
  3. To make the bechamel sauce, begin by heating the milk to about boiling. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Remove from heat and gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly until it thickens. Season with salt, and white pepper.
  4. Arrange a layer of eggplant in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover eggplant with all of the meat mixture. Cover with remaining eggplant. Pour the bechamel sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the nutmeg.
  5. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

September 05, 2010

Light Turkey and Veggie Pasta in Garlic Olive Oil

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This is the first dish I ever learned how to cook on my own. It's a shame that I'm only getting around to it now, though it has been a while since I made it last.


I was just starting out in the working world, going to college, and having to fend for myself out in the world. Luckily, I worked for a family friend at a small business, and she took time out of her day one afternoon to teach me how to make one the simplest pasta dishes she knew (but also something that could impress the ladies, if I remember her reasons correctly).


So this dish was thrown together in front of me in under 15 minutes. I was so shocked! Not only because it was so delicious, but because it looked great too. It's very light but packs a lot of flavor. A couple ingredients can, and have, been changed over the years (like turkey and sometimes the veggies), but the core of it remains the same.

I must stress one thing here: you MUST get freshly grated parmesan for this. It makes all the difference. Enjoy!