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eG Foodblog: torakris/snowangel - When Pocky meets pad thai....

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I have to admit I really don't know where cream stew (also called white stew in Japan) comes from, my mother never made it and the first time I ever ate it was in Japan.

I have always thought that it was a take on chowder.

In Japan it is made with a purchased roux, that looks like this

gallery_6134_1857_27774.jpg

sort of looks like white chocolate, doesn't it? :biggrin:

A sort of sad story...a friend's mother was suffering from dementia (though not the kind caused by Alzheimer's), and when she was still living at home, she would sometimes eat curry roux thinking it was chocolate. Those rouxs look a little too much like chocolate, in my opinion.

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I have to admit I really don't know where cream stew (also called white stew in Japan) comes from, my mother never made it and the first time I ever ate it was in Japan.

I have always thought that it was a take on chowder.

I guess I always thought of chowders as seafood, of course I did use salmon... :hmmm:

Chicken seems to be the most common protein in the cream stews of Japan, but I find chicken to be too bland especially in combination with potatoes.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

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<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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I'm fascinated to see Irish soda bread making the cut in Japan and pleased to see that you have liberated it from the standard "white" and "brown" recipes.  Your bread looks great... leaving out the cream of tartar is fine if you have another acid (buttermilk or sour milk).

I'm really looking forward to your blog.  I adore Japanese foods and have been a few times (years back), but never to Yokohama.

Since my friend introduced me to the recipe about 2 years ago, I have been making one version or another quite often. It is really a wonderful quick bread that can be thrown together at the last minute, unlike yeasted breads. I really need to learn more about htis bread, I see a new thread in the making!


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

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<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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As I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner I had a sudden craving, for iced tea. Not the good stuff, but the powdered Nestea version. Luckily I have to have a large container (from Costco) in the house as my husband likes to drink it at work, so I made up a large glass. I rarely tough this stuff, I wonder where that craving came from...

It is time for me to head off to bed, it is approaching 9:00pm.... :huh:

Susan should be getting up soon!


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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It's fascinating to see pre-made roux.  I had no idea that such a thing existed.

Is that a kabocha, or a tetsukabuto, in your co-op pile?

It is a good ole kabocha. :biggrin:

The roux is a really nice convenience product that tastes pretty good, of course it is probably full of things that aren't very good for you.

It should be available in your local Asian market!


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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what fun! two of my favorite eg bloggers at once. :biggrin:

the cream stew with salmon looks delicious, Kris. i thought of cream chowder also... although i usually think of chowder as a thicker based cream stew and this looks thin and creamy.

i wonder... is the base of the roux wheat flour, corn starch, rice flour, soy...???

and maybe i'm way off base, but is it unusual to have cream dishes such as this in Japan?

happy blogging! looking forward to this week's entries from both of you. :cool::biggrin:


Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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It took me a little while to find it but I knew we had bottled roux here somewhere.....definatley darker for gumbo though.

http://www.pochesmarket.com/poche_prod/roux.htm

:biggrin:

tracey


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Good morning! It is a dark, dreary and drizzley day here in Minnesota.

Heidi and Diana are both on their ways to school, and Peter and a friend are eating toast with butter.

I'm having

gallery_6263_35_13726.jpg

Coffee and a couple of Chestnut Crab apples.

Minnesota has a rich apple tradition, and the University of Minnesota has been instrumental in developing different varieties. You can thank the U of M for Honeycrisp apples.

Chestnut Crabs are not often available for sale; many orchards have a very few trees which are generally planted for polination purposes.

I don't really care for sweet apples that much, and the chestnut crab is nice and tart, with a hint of sweetness. And, they are just the right size for a bite or two; no half-eaten apples for kids with these! Peter has been packing two in his backpack every day for a snack. We are at the end of the chestnut crab season.

My other favorite apple is the Haralson. This is a tart apple, which is great for eating. The Haralson is also very popular among Minnesota bakers. There are a couple of orchards that have restaurants and a large bakery business, and they keep all of the Haralsons for their own baking purposes.

As soon as Peter and his friend have left for school, I'm off to the farmer's market.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I pick Hide up from pre-school at 2:00pm. today he was a little bit more exuberant than usual. It took me a couple of minutes to notice the special yellow patch pinned to his suspenders.

gallery_6134_1857_17754.jpg

this patch with a picture of a rabbit means that tomorrow is his turn for usagi-toban (essentially "rabbit duty"). This means I have to make lunch for the rabbits tomorrow...luckily they are not very picky some cabbage and carrots will suffice.

It has been fun watching Hide grow during the time from one blog to another. :smile:

It is time for me to head off to bed, it is approaching 9:00pm.... :huh:

Susan should be getting up soon!

The time difference is a cool feature of this Tag Team Foodblog. We get to be entertained round the clock! :biggrin: Sweet Dreams, Kris. Good Morning, Susan .....Hope I got that right. I returned home from California last night, only a three hour difference, and I'm having a hard time keeping myself oriented to time. :wacko:


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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What a difference a day makes. Yesterday was sunny and 85 degrees (F). Had I not had to finish some outdoor painting, I would have gone to the farmer's market then.

So, after breakfast today, I went to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. It is much "sleepier" on the weekdays, and there are usually only about three dozen vendors, but there is no traffic and the shopping is much easier. The missing elements on weekdays are craft items, cheese, bread, meats.

We have had a remarkable summer and fall. By this time, we almost always had a hard freeze, which eliminates many of the things I saw today. Summer, spring and fall vegetables were all present. I really should have taken more pictures! I plan to return on Thursday because I'll be nearby and stock up for the weekend. Knock on weekend, we won't have a hard freeze on Wednesday night.

Anyway, I did take some pictures:

gallery_6263_35_42667.jpg

There is a topic on this forum about cilantro roots, and so I took a picture of what's pretty typical at the farmer's market. They also sell dill with the roots attached.

Pepppers and little eggplants , anyone? The big bushels of little red peppers are $10.00.

gallery_6263_35_43142.jpg

Brooks, this one is for you!

gallery_6263_35_15827.jpg

Green and purple okra. They were also selling them by the gunny-sack full.

So, this is what I came back with:

gallery_6263_35_46111.jpg

Sorry the picture is a bit blurry. Red bell peppers, romaine lettuce, little Yukon Golds, broccoli, tiny shallots, long beans, white onions and what I think is young ginger (in the front on the left side). If this is young ginger, what should I do with it?

I also got a peck of sort of sad looking tomatoes which I think I will roast with olive oil.

My next stop was The Wedge, the largest and "fanciest" of the coops in the Twin Cities. The Twin Cities, as I recall, has the largest number of coops per capita in the U. S. I really prefer some of the other coops; the Wedge is no longer a funky coop, but looks pretty corporate.

But, I was in the area. So, I bought:

gallery_6263_35_22048.jpg

A baguette for dinner tomorrow night (what's the best way to store it today?), some dried beans, sea salt, Hope Butter, Newman's Own salt and pepper pretzels (a favorite of mine, and hard to find here) and some flour that was called "Duram Seminola Flour for Pasta." I'll have more questions about that before Monday.

So, what should I fix for supper? I have chicken thighs and legs. One thought I had was to cook the chicken and do a sort of Vietnamese-inspired garlicky, gingery, slightly spicy sweet sauce with fish sauce in it. Stir fry broccoli? Suggestions solicited, please! I will be gone to Diana's volleyball game between 4:00-5:15 pm and would like to have dinner on the table not long after 6:30 pm.

I'm off to take care of some laundry and forage in the fridge for lunch so I don't eat all of the pretzels!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Oh my . . . This is going to be fun.

Susan . . . you are tweaking my farmer's market envy. I would roast the brocolli. That is a lot of flavor for little work. I am always up for "little work." :biggrin:

Kristin . . . That "roux in a chunk" is really interesting. From time to time, I get ambitious and make up little marble sized balls of flour and butter and put them in the freezer to use for last minute thickening of sauces. I do buy the roux in a jar to keep on hand. I had no idea that the concept of roux existed in Japanese cooking.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Susan and Kristin I'm so looking forward to this! I mean I owe to Susan my knowledge and now love of Larb! and I would never have tried pokey were it not for Kris. Can't wait to see what I learn this week!

Kristin I remember from one of your other blogs that you do a group Costco run? Do you still do that or do you just use your co op now?

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I've never used ginger as young as that I bought today. What a joy. Took my mushroom-shaped garlic smasher to a knob of it and voila!

I'm wondering if I could plant part of it and get it to root and grow?

This ginger is a revelation.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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One thought I had was to cook the chicken and do a sort of Vietnamese-inspired garlicky, gingery, slightly spicy sweet sauce with fish sauce in it.  Stir fry broccoli?  Suggestions solicited, please!

I can't believe you are thinking about cooking an Asian-inspired chicken and stir-fried broccoli. I planned to do this recipe and a stir-fry of broccoli (unless Russ could find Chinese broccoli) for dinner tonight! The Susans are on the same track.


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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i wonder... is the base of the roux wheat flour, corn starch, rice flour, soy...???

and maybe i'm way off base, but is it unusual to have cream dishes such as this in Japan?

I never really look at ingredient lists on these kinds of prepared foods, you know 'what you don't know can't hurt you...', but I have pulled the box out of the trash and these are the ingredients:

beef fat, flour, pork fat, suagr, powdered milk, salt, cheese, spices, chicken stock, yeast extract, kelp extract, onion paste, mushroom paste, vegetable stock, then the rest conssits of various amino acids (probably msg), preservatives, flavorings and colorings.

The Japanese love cream!

It is quite expensive here though 200ml (3/4 cup) is about $4.

Besides the obvious dessert uses it is often added to stews (both cream and beef) and soups as well as cream based sauces for western dishes.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Glad to see you blogging again Kris, I so enjoyed that tempura at the Heartland Gathering in July.  Any chance we'll see Tempura again?  I have such an irrational fear of frying.

Oh and what goodies from Ohio did you bring back to Japan?

I did do good with that tempura'd zucchini blossom, didn't I? :biggrin:

gallery_13151_1516_10032.jpg

I don't do a whole lot of frying, but I haven't decided all of my menus for the week yet so it may make its way into the plan.

Things I brought back from Cleveland were too many to remember. :raz: I did get some nice things during my visit to Amish coutry like maple sryup, various spices, etc. Then I bought other things thata re hard to find here: instant espresso, double concentrate tomato paste in a tube, rapid rise yeast, wheat bran, etc.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Good morning!  It is a dark, dreary and drizzley day here in Minnesota.

Sorry Susan, I must have sent the bad weather over there... :sad: This morning as well as yesterday is just as you describe. I just checked the weather forecast and it currently looks like rain everyday except for Friday. This is not good as we have a couple outdoor activities planned. :angry:

I am so jealous of your farmer's market, I can't wait to see your dinner tonight.

Those young ginger roots are great, they are very popular in Japan though we normally eat them raw instead of in cooking. I like to scrape of the skin, then put them (leaves and all) into a glass of ice water to chill their bite and then I eat them by dipping the root in miso dip.

here is a picture of a dish we had at a restaurant a little while back

i8374.jpg


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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I had no idea that the concept of roux existed in Japanese cooking.

not in traditional cooking, but in everday home cooking it is used quite a bit. The Japanese curry rice is almost always started with a very similar block of roux as is beef stew and a dish that is called hashed beef, that is sort of like a stroganoff.

Another very similar convenience product here are demi glace sauce and white sauce (like bechamel) in cans and retort pack. The line-up from Heinz Japan


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Kristin I remember from one of your other blogs that you do a group Costco run? Do you still do that or do you just use your co op now?

Yes we do, we still go at least once a month. Our next trip is sceduled for 10/18 just in time for us to pick up pumpkins and candy for our 2nd annual halloween party!


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

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<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Young ginger - stand it in the fridge in a glass of sweetened seasoned vinegar (sugar, salt) - it will keep well and turn an intense pink.

Torakris, do you use those cream roux much? Ever used them for soups? They seem to be about a once-yearly event in my family!

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Torakris, do you use those cream roux much? Ever used them for soups? They seem to be about a once-yearly event in my family!

My family really loves cream stew so in the cooler months it gets made at least once a month. I usually add some pureed kabocha to give it color and a nice flavor but I am saving my kabocha for later in the week.

I use it only for stew and have never tried soups with it. I make clam/cod chowders quite a bit but I make it from scratch and have never thought to use this packaged roux. One time I tried to make the cream stew from scratch without the roux and it just didn't taste the same, probably the msg. :raz:


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

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Forgot to add that I have been nursing an iced coffee for about an hour now....

The kid have eaten a couple slices of the walnut raisin bread from yesterday and I will eat breakfast after I take Hide to school.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

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      Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)!
      I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country
      A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh
      I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case):

      This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view
      The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week.

      It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer
      Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time
      Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located:

      Head ööd! [Good night!]
      I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!
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