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  1. Hey all: Thanks for so many great ideas. I think the fried pies would be great for pumpkin and apple. I haven't tried the stove top cooked chicken but would like to try that too - there is a chance I might be swapping microwaves with a fellow teacher who never uses her convection ovens on hers. Yesterday, I did have a good opportunity to use just such an oven at my friend's house - we made pumpkin pies and they turned out splendidly: <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v475/anskov/DSC00001.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a> <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v475/anskov/DSC00008.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a> <a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v475/anskov/DSC00018.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a> I also learned a recipe for a type of miso sauce with yuzu to put on cooked daikon - it was amazing. Cheers! And again thanks for the ideas. Matthew
  2. Hi all, I'm up in Utsunomiya teaching English and really enjoying living in Japan. That said, at this time of year I am getting a bit homesick for all the stuff I love to eat at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I really would like to make some sort of Thanksgiving dinner this year, but have no idea what to do as I am ovenless. I know I can do mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, but not sure about the rest of it - I'm wondering if I can get a chicken breast and stuff it with dressing and tie it and then cook it in my roaster, but not sure how that will work. I am actually going to attempt to make pumpkin pie for our school's halloween party (my boss in bringing in her microwave/convection oven), but for myself, I think I will have to make maybe a pumpkin custard or some kind of dessert like that at my home. Have any of you tried a Thanksgiving meal? What did you do? Ideas would be most welcome. Cheers, Matthew, formerly of Minnesota
  3. Tokaris and everyone: Thanks for all the advice on microwave/convection ovens. I'm excited to hear how the Mitsubishi works. I want to try baking bread and Danish pastry for my fellow teachers. I get paid this weekend, so perhaps I'll go shopping. On another note, I brought Suvir Saran's "Indian Home Cooking" cookbook with me to Japan and this weekend made Lahori style chicken curry, cumin scented rice, and a cucumber raita. I went to a shop in Ueno looking for fresh curry leaves but could only find dry. When I asked Suvir about this, he said fresh or frozen is always preferable. Has anyone had luck finding fresh curry leaves? Is this something Ambika might have? I haven't seen it listed on their site. I also mentioned that Suvir should open a restaurant in Tokyo after he opens his London restaurant. I think it would be extremely poplular here. Has anyone been to Devi in Manhattan? In a word, Amazing. On still another note, I'd love to get together to go out or cook with anyone in the Tokyo area who is interested. Cheers! Matt
  4. Well, I am now in Japan and settled in Utsunomiya. I come to Tokyo on weekends and have had some great meals in both cities. I heard from people here that there are microwaves I can buy that double as ovens for cookie, cake, and even break baking. Has anyone tried this? If so, any reliable brands I should look for? Thanks everyone, for some great ideas on places to go. Torakris, I too packed Indian spices, but neglected to bring curry leaves. I saw your links to different places to order Indian ingredients online - hopefully I'll find some this way. Thanks again everyone!
  5. I just picked up Kazuko and Fukuoka's Japanese Cooking and am excited to try the recipes - I think I'll try a few state side before I get over to Japan. I've been thinking of shipping my karahi to Japan with my cookbooks - then I can use it for both Indian and Japanese cooking. I am enjoying reading all of your posts and am grateful for the advice and ideas!
  6. Small World: Thanks for this link. It turns out that this teacher is at the very school I'll be working at - his blog is going to prove an invaluable roadmap both for preparing to go and with settling in to my new surroundings. I've contacted him and he's been most helpful so far. Thanks again! Matthew in Minnesota
  7. Lot's of good ideas here - thanks for the input and the helpful links! Torakris - I may take you up on the bread baking - when I'm away from it for too long I get to where I just have to bake something! It will make your kitchen smell wonderful - it has espresso, cardamom, cinnamon, and pecans in it, all giving it a heavenly aroma. It also makes excellent french toast and bread pudding. I had heard that having a toaster oven can be helpful, and will look into that. Suzy, thanks for the cookbook recommendations - the Japanese Cooking one I've seen before at Borders when I used to work there - if I remember right, it's relatively inexpensive. I also have Thai and Curry cookbooks in that series that I'll bring along. Torakris - do you pack your spices in boxes and ship them over, or simply make space in your suitcase? It would be fun to get to meet some eGullet members in Japan while I'm there and do some cooking and baking! Matthew
  8. Hello: I have just accepted an offer to teach English in Japan for a year starting in January. I will be teaching near Nikko in a city called Utsunomiya in the Tochigi prefecture. I want a strong element of my experience to food related - both going to recommended restaurants and cooking in my apartment there. I have been told that my apartment will not have an oven, but will be equipped with two gas rings. The corporation I am working with suggested I buy a Japanese cookbook or some cookbook that contains recipes primarily focused around stovetop cooking. I have Suvir Saran's book (Indian Home Cooking), but am not sure how readily available Indian spices and ingredients will be in my city. Can anyone recommend a suitable cookbook for me to bring along? I would prefer Japanese cookbooks, so that I can more readily find the ingredients and get a better taste for the culture's foods. I would also appreciate any good restaurant recommendations for the area around Utsunomiya. I have read that gyoza, although Chinese, is popular in Utsunomiya. At any rate, any assistance people could give me would be greatly appreciated. If you come to Minnesota I'll bake you my Finnish Coffee bread - it smell amazing in the oven. A baker named Matt in Minnesota
  9. Hello all: I just picked up my copy of Suvir Saran's Indian Home Cooking . It's quite simply, amazing. And apparantly USAToday agrees; they have chosen it as one of the top six cookbooks of the season. Here's the link: http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/20...cookbooks_x.htm Tonight I made Suvir's recipes for pineapple rasam and party cauliflower. Both recipes were easy to make, and wonderfully flavored. I cannot wait to try out more recipes. Has anyone else been using it? What are your favorite recipes so far? Matthew In Minnesota
  10. hitchmeer


    Yes, Tana, do try the okra. I've always hated it, but this was excellent. Matthew in Minnesota P.S. Thanks SKChai for the report and the great pictures!
  11. hitchmeer


    I wondered about this as well, but I had seen him mentioned in another review so I assumed that the wine pairings were based on Josh Wesson's recommendations. But yes, I wanted them to mention Bikky as well - he was such a memorable part of my evening at Amma. Matthew In Minnesota
  12. hitchmeer


    Another nod to Amma on the web - and by the James Beard Foundation no less! Here's the link: http://www.jamesbeard.org/dateline/index.shtml Scroll down to the New York heading; you'll find it about three quarters of the way through the paragraph. The food at Amma is described as "a clever fusion of Indian flavors." Kudos once again to everyone at Amma - you all are the best! Save a table for me for my next visit to NYC (hopefully in the spring!). Matthew in Minnesota
  13. hitchmeer


    from what i know of suvir--entirely through conversations on the india forum--i'd guess that nothing that is not meant to be robustly spicy would be robustly spicy. i am looking forward to whenever my next nyc trip will be. i've tried many a ballyhooed indian restaurant in the u.s and rarely found it to be up to the hype or it price points. i get the feeling amma will be the exception. Yes Mongo, Amma is definitely the exception. I'm still savoring the wonderful meal I had there in October. It will be great to get your impressions when you visit. Cheers. Matthew in Minnesota
  14. hitchmeer


    Congratulations once again to Amma! Suvir, you and Hemant should be very proud of your accomplishments. Here's the link for those who haven't seen the review yet: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/03/dining/03REST.html Cheers! Matthew in Minnesota
  15. hitchmeer


    True. I'm hoping to be back in New York over my spring break. I should make reservations now!
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