Sunday, December 28, 2014

yuzu-ginger tropical-fruit crumble (gluten free)

No oven? Here's another microwaveable crumble that I put together recently. The heat from the doubled-up ginger and the tang of Japanese citrus were perfect for winter.

You'll need:

1/4 banana per person, chopped
1 can tropical fruit: papaya and pineapple
1 can mandarin oranges
3 small yuzu (Japanese citrus), juiced (I'd use the peel too)
1 1/2 c. almond flour
3 large pieces crystallized ginger, finely diced
1/4 c. flaked coconut, finely chopped
pinch of salt
1/2 t. powdered ginger
3 t. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/4 c. butter or coconut oil, softened

Do this:

Drain the canned fruit (keeping a bit of the juices on hand) and add it with the bananas to each individual ramekin (or a larger baking dish if you're doing it all together). Add a wee bit of the canned juices to each bowl along with the yuzu juice and peel.

Mix the dry ingredients (including the coconut and crystallized ginger) in a large bowl and then work the butter in with your fingers until it's a crumbled, knobbly texture.

Cover each bowl with some of the crumble mixture, then cover and microwave each bowl about two minutes (depending on your microwave's power--mine is 700 watts).

This would be perfect with a rum sauce and/or whipped coconut cream. Eat with your favorite Japanese train spoon.

seasonal fun food bits and pieces

With no oven, I had to be creative with the frozen turkey I found (amazing that I could locate one!).

I didn't use a recipe, but I did add olive oil, butter, Himalayan pink rock salt, cracked pepper, garlic, onion powder, sage leaves, rosemary, chopped celery and leaves, and fresh bay leaves (about 4 or 5) from my friend's tree. I also added about a cup of Japanese sake. I cooked it while still partially frozen, so on high overnight and then low throughout the next day. I think I could've done it on low the whole time though.

Who knew a slow cooker could brown a bird? 
J-Bean had the wonderful idea to use some of my homemade cranberry sauce to make microwave mug muffins to go with our sausages for Christmas breakfast. Yum.
The extent of my Christmas "baking" this year: mix cream cheese, a tiny bit of powdered sugar, and rum-soaked and chopped candied orange peel, and stuff it in de-pitted dates. Top every other one with a walnut or sprinkle of nutmeg. I got rave reviews.
And you must have some popcorn while you're watching "White Christmas," right? I have a big beautiful tub of my favorite red miso from Okazaki, thanks to my friend Ayako. I had the brainwave to use it on popcorn, and found this recipe online after a quick search. Basically you melt butter, beer, and miso together and pour it on the popcorn (I did not add the extra spices). It was amazing!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

taco rice

Taco rice, an Okinawan tradition. Japanese short-grained sticky rice on the bottom, then taco meat, and top with your choice of goodies. Eat in a bowl with a spoon.

I'm pretty sure I've posted this before, but we've gotten back into the habit of eating it weekly again. 

I season my meat with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, garlic, onion, and a little bit of Worcestershire sauce.

Monday, December 15, 2014

wintry vegetafull-bacon soup

Warming, full of herbs, and riddled with bacon. What more could you ask for on a snowy day after a bout of shoveling?

These are not specific amounts--just enjoy playing in the kitchen! 

You'll need:
  • cooking sake
  • bouillon or stock
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • sage
  • bacon
  • turnips
  • red peppers (the sweet ones, like bell peppers)
  • potatoes
  • kabocha (or regular pumpkin would work too)
  • celery stalks + leaves
  • leeks
  • carrots
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil 
  • garlic cloves 
  • milk (I use soy because I don't have access to almond, but you can use dairy of course)
Do this:

Chop the veggies and bacon as small as you have time for--the smaller they are, the quicker they cook. Add them to a stock pot and sprinkle with olive oil. Saute a few minutes if you have time, or if you don't, go ahead and cover them with stock (or water + sake + bouillon powder or cubes) and add the rest of the ingredients. I would only put in enough liquid to just cover everything because you want this thick and creamy.

Bring to a boil and cook till everything is tender. I use an immersion blender to blend it all right in the pot, but you can use a regular blender if you have it.

Lastly, add some milk to taste.

Rx: Keep a jar of this handy and enjoy whenever you need an elixir of heat in your system.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

honey, they're yuzu carrots!

Mmm, mmm, zingy carrots! This is not a specific recipe, but it's officially now one of our favorites. A friend gave me some organic yuzu (a kind of Asian citrus) that her friend grew, and I needed to use them up quickly. I just boiled boiled some carrots in plain unsalted water, drained them, and then tossed in a bit of butter, honey, and freshly squeezed yuzu juice.

I served them with curry chicken in coconut sauce, and we all ended up dumping the rest of the carrot juices over our chicken dish. No waste! And lots of yum.