08/25/2010

08/25/2010

Medium: Pastel on Paper

Okay! I drew this. I’ve been looking through my drafts and I found this. I was hesitant about posting it – or anything I’ve done, for that matter – because I was thinking, “what if it sucks? what if people notice it sucks? what will I do then?!” Well, what does it matter. Some people will think it sucks, some people won’t. That’s just the way it will always be. As for me, I like it.

SPAM& Pineapple Fried Rice

Hooray! Finally. I have been wanting to make this fried rice since the summertime. I was planning on doing it in college, but as I think I have mentioned in previous posts, college is busy. I have things to study, friends to make, and sleep to catch up on. And on top of that, I have a meal plan that I was required to purchase that involves $10 meals. Ten dollars? Are you kidding me? What if I just want some soup and crackers? That’s some $10 soup and crackers. And if I miss a meal? That’s a $10 value, already paid for, that I missed. So I can’t afford to miss a meal. No sir, I won’t be saving money by making my own food (at least until I live off campus), I’ll be wasting it.

Well anyways, I finally got around to doing it. It needs some improvement, sure. It was a first-try, experiment. Didn’t turn out bad though, although the best part was the SPAM. I really like SPAM, I think it is absolutely delicious. Is it just a “West Coast thing?” Or an Asian thing? Who knows. One thing’s for sure, you can expect more SPAM related posts in the future, hopefully sooner than later.

And a note on the fried rice in its current state. I think that maybe next time I won’t cook the Pineapple as long, if at all. And I probably won’t cook it with the SPAM if I do cook it, as it kind of took on a taste of the SPAM, which I didn’t really care for… I think it’s best if the Pineapple tastes like pineapple and the SPAM tastes like itself. Also as I mention below, I haven’t found out an “ideal ratio” of seasonings yet, I’ll let you know when I do. However, I would try next time adding some sugar to the Pineapple Juice + Soy Sauce instead of at the end, and seasoning it with Soy Sauce and Salt, if needed later.

SPAM& Pineapple Fried Rice

Oil

1 Can SPAM, chopped

4 to 5 Eggs, beaten

1/3 cup Pineapple Juice

2 tbsp Soy Sauce

4 slices Ginger

1 clove Garlic

2 to 3 cups Fresh Pineapple, chopped

About 5 to 6 cups Cooked Rice

1 cup Green Peas, cooked

4 to 6 Green Onions, sliced

For Seasoning

Soy Sauce

Fish Sauce

Sugar or Agave

Sesame Oil

Salt

_

Lightly coat a pan in a little Oil and fry the chopped SPAM until slightly browned. Remove the SPAM and set aside. Add the Beaten Egg and allow it to cook, without scrambling (you can add a little Salt to the egg now if you would like). Once cooked, remove the egg and set aside.

Add the Pineapple Juice, 2 tbsp Soy Sauce, Ginger, and Garlic to the pan. Allow this to reduce for several minutes, then add the SPAM. Stir to coat the pieces evenly. Add the Pineapple pieces* and cook for several minutes (the original idea was to glaze the SPAM and carmelize the Pineapple, but I don’t think that the carmelization really worked). Remove from pan and set aside, discarding ginger slices and garlic.

Coat a large pan or wok with oil. Add the Cooked Rice, breaking up any chunks. Add the SPAM, pineapple, cooked egg, and Green Peas. Mix to combine thoroughly and break up the egg pieces, and making sure that the rice does not burn. Add the Green Onion, as well as the Seasonings (all or some) to taste**. If you would like, you can mix in some more fresh Pineapple now too.

*You can also choose not to cook the Pineapple pieces here, and simply add all or some of them at the end when you mix in the SPAM, peas, etc.

**Sorry about this “to taste” business. I haven’t found a specific magical ratio yet, but I’ll update when I do.


Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings

The second, very tasty, of the two New Year’s Eve Pu Pus. I’ve included a picture of the cooking sauce in this one. Feel free to bask in its Hipstamatic-ed out glory.

Image

Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings

From Oryori Two

2 lbs Chicken Wings

1 cup Cornstarch

Seasoned Salt

Garlic Salt

3 Eggs, beaten

3/4 cup Sugar

1/4 cup Water

1 tsp. MSG (I omitted this)

1/2 tsp. Salt

2 tsp. Soy Sauce

1/4 cup Pineapple Juice

1/4 cup Vinegar

3 tbsp. Catsup

_

Disjoint the Chicken Wings in half and shake in bowl with the Cornstarch, Seasoned Salt, and Garlic Salt. Then dip into the beaten Eggs and deep fry until golden brown.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. While the Chicken is frying, combine all remaining ingredients and cook on the stove until the sugar is dissolved.

Arrange the fried wings in a baking pan and pour the Sauce over them. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Turn the wings over and bake another 15 minutes. Serve.

One-Bite “Hiki-Niku Age”

For New Years Eve, we began our Pu Pu making with two recipes from an “Old Church Lady Book,” as someone put it (please don’t take offense, Church Ladies). I love this book, I found it in my Grandma’s kitchen. There is a second one, but she doesn’t have it… but who knows, I may pick it up off Amazon someday.

Anyways, the first of these two are little Japanese Meatballs, “Hiki-Niku Age” apparently. I have no idea what that actually means so let’s hope it means little meatballs! Here [is] are some pictures taken with my phone (sorry for the quality, but how good can phone pictures with no natural light be?) and a recipe. [I looked at the pictures again and just couldn’t bring myself to post them. Way too yellow and a bit blurry/ out-of-focus. Just imagine bite-sized meatballs with rainbow toothpicks through them on a nice plate? Great.] Enjoy ’em.

One-Bite “Hiki-Niku Age”

From Oryori Two

For the Meatballs

1 lb Ground Beef

1/4 tsp. Grated Ginder Root

1 tbsp. Soy Sauce

1 tbsp. Sake or Sherry Wine

1 tsp. Salt

2 pieces Green Onions, chopped fine

3 Shiitake Mushrooms, chopped fine

1 Egg

1 tbsp. Potato/ Corn Starch

For the Sauce

3 tbsp. Soy Sauce

3 tbsp Sugar

3 tbsp Sake or Sherry Wine

Cornstarch mixed with Water

_

To make the Meatballs, put all Meatball Ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Make small meatballs about 1 tbsp in size. Fry in about 6 tbsp Fat, turning carefully.

To make the Sauce, bring all Sauce Ingredients to a boil, thickening with the Cornstarch and Water mixture. Add the Meatballs to the sauce to coat and serve.

Homemade Yogurt

Is it just me or is Greek Yogurt a bit too expensive for the average college student to be buying regularly?

Fortunately, I can now make Greek Yogurt! Fabulous. It’s super simple, the only tricky thing is getting the temperature right. And it’s so much cheaper! All you need is milk, a little sugar, a scoop of already-made yogurt, and a bit of time. Then your set. Set to have all the Greek Yogurt that  you could ever want! Buah hahaha ha ha !

Please note: the image above is just plain yogurt. To make it “Greek Yogurt,” you will need to strain it through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel for an hour or so, until it’s thickened.

Homemade Yogurt

4 Cups Milk (I used nonfat)

2-3 Teaspoons Sugar

1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt (I used Fage), room temp

_

Heat the Milk over the stove until just before boiling point (I generally let it heat until it gets a little bubbly/ foamy on top). Turn off the heat and stir in the Sugar. Let the milk cool until it is lukewarm – this may take 20-30 minutes.

While your milk is cooling, put your Yogurt Starter into the container that you are planning to make/ keep your yogurt (You may want to move this container to the space where you are going to let your yogurt set, although I don’t think that this is necessary*).

Once the milk has cooled, slowly pour the milk into the yogurt while stirring. You don’t need to super-stir, just enough to get the two mixed in with each other. Set the container somewhere warm, where it will not be disturbed (you do not want to be moving the yogurt around while it is setting), and wrap it with a blanket.

Now you just wait. The yogurt needs several hours to set. This can take anywhere from 8 hours or 18+ hours depending on the warmth of your space. Once it’s set, it will have the consistency of yogurt (although I think that usually it does set a little more in the fridge). It won’t look runny.

From this point, you can enjoy your yogurt as is, or strain it to make it a little thicker.

Peas and Carrot Paratha

Is it just me or is the smell of freshly made Naan delicious? I know that this isn’t Naan (although hopefully I will be making that sometime in the future) but it smelled like it, just as good. You can eat it the same way that you would have Naan, with curries or chutneys, etc. I’ve been frying up an egg with some onions and wrapping that up in the Paratha that I’ve had left over, which makes for a pretty good breakfast or snack. They’re best hot, freshly made, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend eating them cold – they’re just not as tasty.

And I apologize for the lack of any really good pictures. I don’t really have many dishes, and the only natural light in my dorm is on top of the heater by the window! So that’s why all these pictures are super close up and on top of a paper towel. Please bear with me.

Peas and Carrot Paratha

From SharmisPassions

1 &1/2 Cups Flour

2 Large Carrots, grated

1/4 Cup Green Peas

1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds

2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Onion

1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste*

Pinch Ground Turmeric

2 tsp Chili Powder*

1 tsp Garam Masala

1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves*

Salt, to taste

2 Tbsp Oil, plus more as needed

*I didn’t have these ingredients, unfortunately, but they are in the original recipe and you should use them if you have them!

_

Cook the Peas, in a pressure cooker or pot with water, until soft. Set aside.

Heat a little oil in a pan with the Cumin seeds. Once the seeds “crackle,” add the Onions and Ginger Garlic Paste and sauté until it turns slightly brown. Add the Grated Carrots and continue to cook until they no longer smell raw, 3-5 minutes. Add the Turmeric, Chili Powder, and Garam Masala, and mix well.

Add the Cooked Peas and mix into the carrot mixture, smashing the peas a little. Add the Salt and mix. Turn off the heat and mix in the Coriander Leaves.

In a separate bowl, add the Flour, Salt, and 2 Tbsp of Oil. To this, add the cooked vegetable mixture. Slowly add water while mixing to form a smooth dough. Divide the dough into several 7-8 equal sized balls and set aside to rest for at least 15-30 minutes.

Roll out each of the balls into thin disks. Cook each side on a heated pan (or dose tawa, if you have one) for about a minute. Drizzle a little oil on each side, and serve warm, by themselves or with a curry, raita, etc.

 

 

 

 

Japanese Curry over Rice

Buah haha-ha-ha! I have cooked something! I have finally cooked something in college!

I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought that I would be a crazy cooking machine. I thought that I would have all this time to cook. I thought that I would have to cook in order to survive here. Boy was I wrong. No time, no need. The homework, meal plan, and attempt to have some form of social life took care of it all. It’s sad, really. I struggle to find time on my weekends or weeknights to cook and even when I think that I can, something comes up. Sometimes it’s homework, or an activity for a class. College is so time consuming.

This curry was nice though. It doesn’t require fancy ingredients and is pretty simple to make. Just allow for an hour or so to cook plus some prep time in cutting everything up. It’s a nice comfort food, reminds me of the boxed Golden Curry that my mom buys. The only issue with this curry was that halfway through making it I realized that not everyone would appreciate the smell and that I had made the whole floor smell like it… ha. Sorry, guys. Made my night a tasty one though!

Japanese Curry

Adapted from No Recipes

For the Curry

2 tsp Oil

2 Large Onions, sliced

2 Chicken Drumsticks*

3-4 Carrots, cut thickly on diagonal

4 C Water

1 Large Potato, cut into large chunks

1 Small Apple, peeled cored and pureed or grated

Salt, to taste

1 tsp Garam Masala

2-4 Roma Tomatoes, cut into large chunks (eighths or quarters)

1/2 C Peas (I used frozen)

For the Roux

3 Tbs Butter (I subbed Oil)

1/4 C Flour

2 Tbs Curry Powder or Garam Masala

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper, or to taste (I didn’t have any but spicy curry is always nice!)

Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

1 Tbs Ketchup or Tomato Paste

1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

*I only had two Chicken Drumsticks to use today. You can use a larger amount of chopped Chicken, Beef, Shrimp, Tofu, etc. It’s really up to you.

_

Heat the Oil in a large saucepan and add the Onions. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Turn up the heat to high and brown the Chicken.

Add the Carrots and Water, bringing to a boil. Skim off any foam or oil off the top. Once it has reached a boil, lower the heat and add the Potatoes, Grated Apple, Salt, and Garam Masala. Simmer until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through and the meat is tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the roux: melt the Butter or heat the Oil over medium low heat. Add the Flour and Curry Powder, stirring constantly to form a thick paste. Mix in the Cayenne and Black Pepper well. Add the Ketchup and Worcestershire Sauce, continuously stirring to combine fully. Continue to cook for several minutes until the roux begins to crumble. Set aside until the vegetables are ready.

Just before the potatoes and carrots are done, I added in the Tomato chunks and let them cook a little. Add two cups of the liquid from the Curry to the roux and stir until the mixture is smooth, a minute or two. Pour this mixture into the big pot and stir gently to combine and thicken the mixture. Add the Peas and heat them through.

Serve with cooked White Rice.