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torakris

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by torakris

  1. Well I made them!!! Absolutely wonderful, both my friend and I devoured them loving every bite. I used regular coconut milk, shaking the can well before using, butter did not really detect a coconut taste. Actually no one taste was prevalent they all just blended. (Can you tell why I will never be a food writer, or any type of writer at that?) I also had almost no juice left over at the bottom of the bowl, maybe just a little more than a teaspoon. The rest of lunch was equally fabulous. The soup, winter squash soup with lemongrass and coconut milk, complimented the crab well. I felt it could have been helped by a little kaffir lime leaf (coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal yet no lime leaf?) The small amount leftover is going to be made into a Thai style curry with chicken, mushrooms, onion, chiles and of course a couple lime leaves thrown in. The mint chocolate mousse was beyond words and all I can say is get Nigella Lawson's new book NOW!
  2. torakris

    Okra

    Growing up in Cleveland, I had no experience whatsoever with okra until I moved to Japan in my 20's. Here in Japan it is particularly revered for its sliminess and most recipes actually make the most of it. Of course there are lots of slimy things over here. There only way I prepare it that it is not slimy, is an Indian recipe I use for "dry" okra (sookhi bhindi) were they are sliced (about 1/2" thick) and then "sauteed" with lots of oil and spices.
  3. torakris

    Avocadoes

    Avocados have got be one of my favorite foods. They go with almost everything, I can make a kind of avocado salad to match whatever type of cuisine I happen to be cooking. My most often used avocado in an instant dish is avocado slices with wasabijoyu (mixture of soy and wasabi paste). I also love avocado soups and sandwiches (multigrain bread with avocado, sprouts, lettuce and grainy mustard, Ia dd smoked salmon if I ahve it in the house. I also love the combo of avocado and sashimi/sushi, sometimes I wish the california roll would become popular in Japan. The price have come down quite a bit, less than $1 a piece so I buy them almost every time I go to the store.
  4. torakris

    Krispy Kreme

    It seems to be in the talking stages currently, they are in ties with McDonald's? It seems it is McDonald's that is bringing them here. The only Donut shops we really have are Mister Donuts (is this American?) The prices range from 90 to 140 yen per donut ($.75 to $1.20) and the stores seems quite popular. However the one nearest me has just closed with a KFC being put in its place. The most recent American import, Starbucks, has taken over this country and they are now on every corner.
  5. I have never been to a Krispy Kreme store and actually I had never even heard of them until a month ago when there was a thread about them right here on egullet. Now I just heard (through an e-mail group I belong to in Japan) that they are coming to Japan and everyone in the group is going crazy with anticipation. What makes them so different from the Mister Donut that we have here? I checked their locator page and the closest to Cleveland (I will be there in Dec.) is near Akron, is it worth the drive? I do enjoy donuts, especially coconut, no creams for me. On a side note here, just after the Krispy Kreme thread ended a Japanese friend of mine brought me a print out of an e-mail she received from a friend who is living in Kentucky. The e-mail seemed to be a mass mailing announcing the arrival of the new krispy kreme calendar. She said she looked in every dictionary she had and couldn't figure out what Krispy Kreme was and did I know. Thanks to egullet I did! If it had been just a couple weeks earlier I might have been as confused as she was.
  6. torakris

    Boiled Beef

    Well after reading through this thread for the first time, I have one question: Did anyone actually try to make the boiled beef? If so how was it? My first experience with boiled beef was in Ohio's Amish Country, where it is a very popular buffet dish. I found it very bland as it was served with nothing. Then a couple of month's ago I made a beef pho from a recipe in Hot Sour Salty Sweet, oxtails were boiled until tender and the meat was later dipped into a salt and pepper mixture moistened with a little lime juice. Absolutely delicious!!
  7. Thanks for posting this, My friend and I will be making it tomorrow at our Thursaday Cooking Session. A good friend and I get together every Thursday and make lunch for ourselves (usually two dishes and a dessert) using recipes that for one reason or another we wouldn't make for our family. We used to try to have Dinner/BBQ's together once to twice a month and try out new recipes there, but between the 2 of us we have 8 kids under the age of 6 and it just tended to get chaotic. So so we do Thursday lunches when we each only have one child with us. So anyway I have decided to make this crab recipe and pair it with winter squash soup with lemon grass and coconut milk (from Deborah Madison) and for dessert a mint chocolate mousse (from Nigella Lawson). Thanks again and keep the recipes coming!
  8. torakris

    Dinner! 2002

    Why do I also seem to be making the same thing as everyone else? We also had a beef stew last night, with emphasis on the beef. Satueed onions, carrots, and celery, add large chunks of beef, bay leaves and about 1 1/2 bottles red wine. Simmered for 4 hours then added some demi glace (sp?) sauce to thicken it a bit. Tossed in some boiled potatoes and and button mushrooms sauteed in an ungodly amount of garlic. Served with Red oakleaf salad simply dressed with EVOO and red wine vinegar Popovers fresh from the oven (made from the incredibly delicious recipe out of Fine Cooking's Apr/May 2002 magazine) Of course my husband and 3 children all had to eat the stew Japanese style, over rice.
  9. torakris

    Dinner! 2002

    According to the way Madhur Jaffrey describes "forbidden "rice (Chinese Black rice), they sound to be the same, or at least they are used in similar ways.. I aslo have always heard the term "forbidden" rice when black rice was being refered to.
  10. Nice to know that others love to clean up as much as I do. I put off buying cast iron for years because of the clean-up/seasoning factor.
  11. While I was in Kappabashi (cook's heaven) this weekend for their annual sale, I picked up a very large Lodge cast iron fry pan. Then today I pop into egullet and have found out how to season it with out even having to do the search myself. The directions said to heat it the oven, but since it is too big for my small oven I wasn't sure what to do. Now I am going to heat it up on th egrill along with the monster cast iron dutch oven (for camping and BBQ's) that my husband picked up a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for doing most of the work for me! Now if someone wants to come over here and start up the grill..................
  12. torakris

    Dinner! 2002

    Monday evening: Roast chicken with lemon (Marcella Hazan), I read about it here, somewhere, and decided to give it a try, absolutely delicious. The very few leftovers there were are going into a chicken sandwich today. Risi e bisi (rice and green peas) made from a recipe from Nigella Lawson's new book Forever Summer, this has become a new family favorite, my kids were actually trying to lick the pan clean that I made it in!! I even used frozen peas and bouillion cubes, can't imagine how much better it would taste with stock and fresh peas! Mushroom and parmasean salad with lemon and EVOO dressing Pear tart for dessert, not homemade but not bad (gift from MIL)
  13. Are zaatar and sumac the same thing? Nigella Lawson's new book calls for zaatar quite a bit and I wasn't sure what it was.
  14. Is it better to keep them in the fridge? I keep mine in a terra cotta container and they seem to last for quite a long time. Of course garlic never stays very long in my house.
  15. I think I have this exact same knife, or at least one extremely similar. I use it for all the same things you mentioned and since I don't own steak knives, it does double duty at the table knife. For my husband that is, I use the paring knife. Someday I will break down and get a nice set of tableware.
  16. torakris

    Cold Meat

    cold meatloaf sandwiches!
  17. torakris

    Yellowfin tuna steaks

    My most recent tuna steak preparation: Sauteed some veggies, don't remember exactly which but probably bamboo shoots, red pepper, and some type of mushroom, add a can of coconut milk and some Thai red curry paste. Season with salt and pepper, throw in some lemon grass and kaffir lime leaf and simmer until the veggies are to my liking (still crunchy). In a cast iron grill pan I seared the tuna steaks ,that had been seasoned with salt and pepper and rubbed with a little canola oil, until rare. Cut into slices and placed atop the curry that had been placed in shallow bowls, sprinkled some basil on top.
  18. torakris

    Dinner! 2002

    No I haven't yet I have actually seen very little in the stores this year, and most of what I have seen is either from China or Korea. A couple weeks back we were on a road trip with some friends and there was a stand on the side of the road selling matsutake. We pulled off and were surprised to find it was imported from China!? I haven't heard anything yet but I wonder if they are having problems this year?
  19. I love my book In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley. At close to 700 pages it is quite large, and considering that the first 370 pages is a guide to ingredients and techniques it is quite definitive. The 150+ recipes run the gamut from something a kid could do to something that I would have to buy every single ingredient at a specialty store. For a quick chocolate fix I make her All in the Pan Chewy Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Butter Icing. The entire cake is mixed together in the pan it is to be baked in and it calls for no eggs, butter or milk ( I don't make the frosting though), so it can be made on those days when you have absolutely nothing in the house. Then there are some middle of the road recipes like Toasted Hazelnut Pound Cake and Tarte au Sucre d'Erable (Maple Sugar Pie). Then for those that are up to a challege ther are things like Guava Cheescake with a Cashew Ginger Crust and Sweet Polenta Crostini with Mascarpone, Raspberries, Pistachios and Wild Forest Honey. I have been very happy with the results and her brownies and blueberry muffins are the best I have ever made. The only downside it that is doesn't have too many pictures, but it does have some great charts, such as a pan substituion chart, flavor pairing chart, ingredient substitution chart and conversion charts.
  20. torakris

    Dinner! 2002

    No I am not Jin, but you are right on about kaiseki. It is a multiple course traditonal meal utilizing the both the seasonal foods and meibutsu (local specialities?) as well as using various cooking techniques (raw, steaming, grilling, simmering, deep frying, etc). Right now in Japan you will see a lot of focus on matsutake and well as other mushrooms, chestnuts (kuri), and sanma (saury pike?). As to the miso soup, I was thinking about it as I was preparing miso soup for dinner last night. There are miso based soups that are always sauteed first, however they are not referred to as miso shiru. One, kenjiru, is a multiple ingredient miso type soup. Various veggies, such as carrots, onions, satoimo (type of taro?), daikon, gobo (burdock) are sauteed with a little oil, usually sesame, and then dashi is added. After simmering for a while other foods such as tofu, aburage and konnyaku are added. The miso used for this is always the most common golden/brown variety. Another soup is tonjiru, almost the same as kenjiru but with the addition of thinly sliced pork sauteed along with veggies. Garnishes for both of these could consist of Japanese negi (cross between a scallion and a leek?), mitsuba, and or shichimi.
  21. torakris

    Dinner! 2002

    Today was avery busy day and so I prepared a very simple dinner. Fusilli with raw tomato and ricotta sauce (excellent by the way!) salad of baby greens with a simple homemade garlic vinagrette various ice creams for dessert.
  22. torakris

    Dinner! 2002

    As with Jinmyo, I was also surprised by your method of miso shiru (miso soup). I have never sauteed things to be used in miso soup and with EVOO? Interesting. I might give it a try. Far from traditional but hey, if it tastes good. What is corn miso? I have never heard of it.
  23. torakris

    italian way with rice

    Jack Bishop in his book the Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook has a recipe for boiled arborio rice with mozarella and herbs that is very good. There are other ercipes for boiled rices including a pest rice, a rice salad, and baked arborio rice with marinated artichoke hearts. I think I might give this last one a try later this week.
  24. torakris

    Dinner! 2002

    Every fall here in Japan I can find these little squashes about the size of a baseball and they are yellow with orange striping. I don't think they really have a name here as the Japanese don't actually eat them, rather decorate with them. I find them absolutely delicious! I cut them in half, place them cut side down on a buttered baking tray and roast until tender. They become wonderfully carmelized and need nothing more than a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Kabocha is pretty much the only squash offered here and I roast it the same way only longer. Occasionally I have seen spaghetti squash, only they call it somen kabocha. somen being the thin Japanese noodles.
  25. As long as the restaurant allows it, the decision should be up to the parents. My 3 children under the age of six would never fall into this category of well behaved for more than 1 hour. Usually 30 minutes max for my 22 month old. This one thing I love about Japan, since babysitting is unheard of in this country, the children go everywhere with the parents. I have never been to "really" nice restaurants with them, but have never even gotten a second glance when walking into a decent restaurant. Of course I would prefer to dine with out them...... On visits to the States however I have had nastly glances from child free couples at even "family style restaurants" like Tony Romas and Applebees. I think it really depends a lot on the culture of the country you are dining in. I would never take my decently behaved 6 year old to a nice restaurant in the US. It reminds me of the time I took my 11 month old on a trip from Japan to Hawaii in First Class. Even though she was very well behaved I had nasty looks the whole time (all from the non-Asians) for even bringing her there. I could just tell some were waiting for her to do something, so they could say something to me for ruining their flight.
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