Thursday, February 15, 2018

cottage pie (version 18.0)

I don't know how many times I've made cottage pie, but however many times that is, that's how many versions I've developed. This time I made a mixture of kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) and white potatoes for the topping.

You'll need:

  • about 5 small white potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 Japanese kabocha, chopped and with skin left on
  • milk (I used soy)
  • butter (about 2 or 3 tablespoons)
  • salt and pepper 
  • nutmeg
  • ground beef and pork mixture (about 600 grams)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 or 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • parsley for sprinkling
Do this:

Boil the potatoes and kabocha together, then drain, mash, and add some milk, salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg.

In a frying pan, cook the onion, carrot, garlic, and sweet pepper till soft, then add in the ground beef and pork, ketchup, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Cook till the meat is cooked through.

In an oven-safe pan, put the meat mixture in the bottom, spread the mash on top and sprinkle with parsley. Dot with bits of butter and bake for 30 minutes at 180 C.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

belizean meal

This week was Joel's turn to pick his favorite country from the boys' geography encyclopedia and cook a meal based on that cuisine. He chose Belize.

We researched and came up with this menu:
  • rice and kidney beans with pork, coconut milk, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper
  • shrimp ceviche: boiled chopped shrimp, salt, lime juice, onions, cilantro (coriander) leaves, and tomatoes
  • fudge with peanuts and coconut (sweetened condensed milk, white sugar, vanilla, butter, peanuts, and coconut)

Next up: Matthew goes to Germany!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

gluten-free and dairy-free carrot-apple-raisin cake made with kinako and rice flour

My friend Sanae knows that I try to cook without wheat or dairy, and she sent me this lovely carrot-raisin cake recipe from Cookpad (which is in Japanese). It's made with rice flour and kinako, which is roasted soybean flour and has a lovely subtly-sweet nutty flavor.

I double it, and add a few of my own additions, like the apple and warm spices. I make the double version in an 8X8-inch glass cake pan, which I oil beforehand. Here's my Mamatouille version.

You'll need:
  • 120 g rice flour
  • 60 g kinako (roasted soybean flour)
  • 10 g baking powder
  • 2 carrots (about 200 g), very finely grated 
  • 40 g raisins
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped tiny
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons oil (I use grapeseed because of its neutral flavor)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger to taste
  • a little splash of soy milk if the mixture is too dry
Do this:

In one bowl, mix the dry ingredients, and in a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add in the liquid ingredients, including the carrots, apple, and raisins. Combine everything and mix well. I find the batter can be a bit dry, so I splash in a little bit of soy milk if needed. 

Bake at 180 C until done, about 30 minutes or so. It comes out moist and with just the right amount of sweetness--not too much to be overpowering, but just enough to make you feel like you've had a real dessert. And I won't deny that we've each had a slice for breakfast.