Thursday, May 26, 2011

Adventure in Dinner

[Sweet potatoes sauteed in butter with ginger and salt]

So, my housemate Julian who normally does the cooking, is gone for the summer! But Simon and I remain, as he's working a sales job and I'm interning at the Immunology lab at school.

Do I look legit or what? Well, this is only in the case that I have to go to the mouse room, which is where guess what, the mice are kept. But yeah, it's an unpaid internship but I'm learning a lot and everyone at the lab is really friendly and helpful.

So onto my main point, my summer blog will probably feature a lot of food and not so much in terms of lolita, which costs a lot of money, which I won't be earning, what with the aforementioned unpaid internship. But if something interesting crops up I'll probably post about it anyway.

[Pad Thai with Sugar snap peas: delicious sugar snap peas, although I cheated and the pad thai sauce did come from a jar...]
So, while I prepare dinner anywhere from 5-7 days a week, I'll take some pictures and some disasters or successes and yammer on about them, because honestly I could talk about food forever.

Curry! I love all forms of curry, including coconut milk base and other types, but my favorite is probably japanese curry, if only because that's what I grew up with and it's a comfort food. And easy! Although I wish I had yellow pickled radish to go with it...

Anyway tune in next time for "dinner or disaster?" because I am entirely convinced one day my stove will just implode or something.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Farmer's Market Love

-Salad mix and sugar snap peas - 5$
-Pepperoni and Cheese bread loaf - 5.50$
-Peonies - 10$
-Sweet potatoes (3) - 3$
-Spearmint - 2$
Total: 25.50 plus my 4$ breakfast (vegetable and egg brioche... so good)

A pretty good haul. The sugar snap peas are amazing. Didn't see / taste any good strawberries, which was a shame. I can't wait until the figs come in season!

What's your favorite flower? Mine are Peonies, my mom had a beautiful peony in her garden at our old house, from 7 years ago.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Food, food, and more food

Our 2nd placing entry in the student iron chef contest~! We were sooo close, but like last year, we lost to the group of asian girls. Curses. In addition to the spiral chicken we made cucumber salad (which failed because they gave us american cucumbers, not the seedless english cucumbers we needed) and ginger sweet potatoes (which looked delicious and I never got to taste any, sadly). The prize was santoku chef knives, which is pretty handy, if we didn't already have so many knives. But then again, you can never have too many.

Also sorry for the lack of updates. I've been stupidly busy doing absolutely nothing since I started break. Well, not absolutely nothing... I am swiftly making my way through the books in the Song of Ice and Fire series as well as eating myself to death at my parent's, right before I have to return to my university to begin working in the lab as a slave / unpaid intern. Such is the life.

Summer is upon us, in this particular hemisphere. What are you summer plans?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spiral Chicken Recipe

One of the dining halls at UVA hosts a student Iron Chef competition (well it's really just a cooking competition, nothing like my favorite cooking show of all time) but it's pretty fun and we get to use the sweet stuff in the industrial dining hall kitchen. Last year my team took second place with Mango Chicken Curry. This year we're going for broke, and came up with this ... thing.

Spiral Chicken

skinned boneless chicken breast (big ones preferably, for roll-ability)
green (spring) onion*
fish sauce
soy sauce
hot sauce (of the Sriracha variety, preferably - something with chilis and garlic)
sake (or rice cooking wine)*
corn starch
rice or corn chex cereal (for breading) or Panko if you aren't allergic to wheat like my housemate, haha
oil (for deep frying)

1. Prepare the chicken by cutting it to ¼ inch thickness, and tenderize/flatten with a meat mallet to make rectangles about 3”x7”.
2. Prepare the filling by combining the spring onions, 1 egg, ¼ cup of chex mix and 1 tbsp of fish sauce in a blender until it becomes a thick paste. Add some hot sauce if you like things spicy. Add more chex mix if it isn’t thick enough to be spreadable.
3. Spread the filling along the surface of the chicken and then roll it, and secure with a toothpick.
4. Prepare the sauce by combining soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar in a 3:3:2:1 ratio in a pot. Heat until boiling on the stove, add about 1 tbsp at a time of corn starch (mixed with cold water to dilute) and stir until thick consistency is acquired.
5. Coat the chicken roll in beaten egg wash. Roll in finely crushed Chex cereal seasoned with a little salt and pepper. When oil has come up to temperature, cook for about five minutes. Cut in half so you can see the spiral and return to oil to finish cooking until just done through. Do not overcook.

Dipping or serving it with the home made teriyaki sauce (or store bought is fine too) really does the trick :D The competition is today, so we'll see how the judges like it!

Oh and y'all should check out Ada's giveaway here!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Turtle Bread and Flowers

Melon pan shaped like turtles! This Japanese Baker sells shoku-pan and curry and melon-pan

Super gorgeous flowers. I wish I had a garden so I could plant them. Or a nice place to display them, but I'm actually not big on cut flowers.

Sweet hat; Awkward face

My haul from today! Salad greens, wildflower honey, strawberry rhubarb jam and shoku pan! (I froze half because I'm the only one in my apartment who eats bread :| )

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Red Bean 'Brownie' Recipe

16 oz. sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour works too, its what I used)
1 can of Red Bean Paste
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup of sugar (to taste though)
2 cups of milk
Option: nuts

Mix all the dry ingredients first, and then add the can of red bean paste. Stir, and then gradually (by 1/2 cupfuls) add the milk until everything is wet. The batter should be very stiff though. Here's a semi helpful picture of the batter:

You can add nuts, I added some crushed hazelnuts because they were on hand. Pour into a 9" square greased baking pan and bake at 375 for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool. Then cut up and eat!

Credited to my mom ;D

This isn't a real brownie / anything that remotely resembles a cake, as you can tell from the picture. It's closer to 'mochi' or dduk, in korean aka, sweet rice cake, mixed with sweet red beans. AND it's gluten free! Very chewy and delicious.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Five for five II: Return of the bento

I got a "perfect score" again this week :D So I thought I'd share them today (a little late)

Monday: Duk Buk Gi (Korean spicy noodle dish I've mentioned here)
1 Boiled egg (it helps when my mouth hurts because its so spicy >w<)