Monday, August 10, 2020

savoury tuna-sweetcorn pancakes with pickle-y carrots

 



I bought a gluten-free baking mix from our local Japanese grocery store that can be used for okonomiyaki or fried chicken, and sometimes I use it for these savoury muffins that I conjured up a couple years ago. These tuna and sweetcorn pancakes were a surprising hit! I was imagining a cross between a British tuna-sweetcorn sandwich and Japanese okonomiyaki, and these were birthed. The boys have asked for them again this week.

You'll need: 
  • 300 grams gluten-free baking mix plus the called-for water
  • salt and pepper
  • dried parsley
  • sliced green onions
  • 4 small cans of tuna, drained
  • 1 large can of corn, drained
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise for the recipe, plus more for topping if desired
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Do this:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the baking mix plus the amount of water that it calls for. Then stir in the tuna, corn, salt, pepper, dried parsley, sliced green onions, and mayo. Fry as you would for regular pancakes, in a little oil on a hot frying pan. 

In a separate small bowl, mix the grated carrots with the already-whisked olive oil, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and a bit of salt.

Plate up the pancakes with a spoonful of the carrot salad, a drizzle of more mayo, and sprinkle some dried parsley over the top if desired.

oatmeal-banana thumbprint jam cookies


These "flourless thumbprint breakfast cookies" are such easy cookies to make, even after dinner, in a few minutes. You just need oatmeal, bananas, and your favorite jam. 

Here you go! 

You'll need:
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 3 Tablespoons chia seeds or flaxseed meal (you can leave this out if you don't have either)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • jam
Do this:

Preheat your oven to 180 C and line a baking pan with parchment/baking paper. Pulse your oats in a food processor, but don't grind them into a powder---leave a few whole oats. Mix with all the ingredients except the jam. Make them into cookie shapes and press a little indention into each cookie to spoon a bit of jam into. Bake for about 11 minutes.

An easy dessert with some yummy flavors. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

fudge babies


I can always count on Elana's Pantry to provide me with good and easy recipes with ingredients I usually already have. These fudge babies were outstanding and so simple to make.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 cup dates with pits removed
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened fair-trade cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/4 sea salt
Do this: 

Throw it all into a food processor until it becomes a paste and then roll into balls. That's it! 

They taste dark, rich, and almost alcoholic. 



Thursday, July 2, 2020

my egyptian friend sally's chicken, mahshi, and molokhia


I had to go looking for these treasured photos and finally found them in our July 2017 folder! All that time I had been wanting to blog about my Egyptian friend Sally's absolutely delicious chicken, mahshi (rice-stuffed vegetables), and molokhia dip for bread made with moroheiya (mallow leaf, which is amazingly grown in Egypt and Japan both). It was a fabulous meal, but what is more, they are fabulous friends and we really miss them now that they have moved back to Egypt. 


Sally generously made a feast for all of us that day! 

I still have my notes that I took, but it's been three years so I hope I got it all down correctly.

Take out the innards from a whole chicken, wash the chicken with water, then pat it down with flour, salt, and vinegar. Boil the chicken in water with two onions (one chopped, one halved) and two carrots (peeled and cut in big chunks), salt, black pepper, garlic, and 5 bay leaves. Boil about an hour, until you stick the chicken with a fork and no juices come out of the chicken. 

Rinse 3 cups of rice. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan, then fry with 1 chopped onion, 1 teaspoon white sugar, then add in the rice with black pepper, coriander powder, and Magic Garlic Salt. 

Wash and take all the leaves off the stems of the moroheiya. Set aside.

Add 1 can of tomato sauce to the rice and stir. Turn off the heat and add fresh chopped and washed chervil and coriander leaves. 

Prepare your vegetables for the mahshi: two big tomatoes, 3 eggplant, 8 small Japanese green peppers (piman). Cut tops off the piman but leave a bottom on each, cut eggplant in half and hollow out. Stuff the piman and eggplant 7/8 of the way up with rice mixture. Stand up in the rice cooker. Take the 2 firm tomatoes and scoop out the inside over the piman and eggplant in rice cooker. Stuff the tomatoes 3/4 up with the rice mixture and then put the tops back on. Put the two stuff tomatoes on top of the piman and eggplant. Add about 10 ladles of chicken stock from the pot that you cooked the chicken in. Set on normal rice cooker setting.

Put the moroheiya in the food processor and pulse till very finely chopped. 

Take the chicken out of the pot and drain. Put on a plate. Add about 2 cups of the chicken stock to a small pot and add the moroheiya, salt if needed, and whisk over very low heat. Whisk in two minced cloves of garlic and then take off the heat. 

Save the rest of the soup stock for other things.

Add 2 teaspoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a small frying pan. Add in about 6 or 7 minced cloves of garlic and cook until dark yellow, but not brown. 

Add crushed (but still chunky) dried coriander in with the garlic then add to the moroheiya. Whisk again over low heat. 

After the chicken has cooled a bit, cut it into chunks and remove the skin. Rub with ketchup, sprinkle with lemon pepper, put the chicken pieces in an oven-safe pan, and cook at 200 C for about 15 minutes. Then grill/brown the top for 10 minutes. 

Serve the chicken on a platter, the stuffed vegetables on a plate, and the moroheiya dip in individual bowls for dipping bread slices. 

I'm warning you--it's absolutely delicious. And writing all this up has really made me miss Sally. Sally, friend, thank you for your generous heart and your warm friendship. 

sirniki: russian cottage-cheese pancakes

One of our sons did a project for his geography class, and he included a recipe for these Russian cottage-cheese pancakes called sirniki. He and his brother made them together, and they were so good that they wanted to make them again the other day for a second time. They served them with butter and jam.

You'll need:

  • 500 g cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 70 g butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • jam and/or sour cream
Do this:

Mix the cottage cheese, eggs, salt, and flour (the boys used an electric mixer), then drizzle in the butter and mix again. Stir in the raisins, heat up a frying pan, toss on a pat of butter, roll each pancake into a ball and roll in flour, then fry and smash down with a spatula as you go. Serve with sour cream and/or jam, or butter and jam.

Dad's evaluation: "Very delicious! The contrast between the sweetness and the saltiness of the cottage cheese was great!"

Eleven-year-old brother (he just recently turned twelve): "Very addictive."

Sunday, June 21, 2020

father's-day chicken


What do you do when the father in the house asks for turkey but you have none? Chicken it is! Use your slow cooker for some really tender and juicy meat.

You'll need:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 stick celery with leaves
  • 2 onions
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • fresh and/or dried herbs (rosemary, parsley)
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • Japanese cooking sake
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt, pepper, olive oil, butter
Do this: 

Slowly cook all day and then serve over garlic mashed taters. So yummy. 

gluten-free pineapple-ginger crumble


All I needed was a couple cans of pineapple and some kitchen staples, and voila! 

You'll need:
  • 1.5 cups rice flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons canned pineapple juice (just set the juice aside when you take the pineapple out of the can)
  • 2 cans pineapple
Do this:

In a mixing bowl, stir the rice flour, oatmeal, butter, ginger powder, baking soda, egg, pineapple juice, and honey. You'll probably have to dig in and use your fingers to turn it into a crumble topping. Sprinkle chunks of the topping over the pineapple and a bit of the pineapple juice in a baking dish and oven-ate it for 25 minutes at 170 C. Enjoy with a little more of the pineapple juice sprinkled over the top, and have a glass of water or tea to help with the ginger kick.



Tuesday, June 16, 2020

gluten-free spicy mexican chocolate muffins (with rice flour)



I had just bought 5 kg of rice flour and I wanted something chocolatey and spicy, like Mexican hot chocolate. A little Google search later, here we are. And as per usual, I have changed things slightly to reflect my family's tastes. 

You'll need:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour
  • 1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I use fair trade!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use organic soy)
Do this:

Using an electric mixer, whisk the butter and sugar till fluffy, then add in the eggs and beat again. Chuck in the rest of the ingredients and blend till smooth and rich. Disentangle the beaters from the mixer and lick that goodness right off. 

Bake on 170 C for about 13 or 14 minutes. After they've cooled, if you want to sprinkle with some powdered sugar, I won't stop you. A glass of milk to go with wouldn't go amiss. 


Sunday, June 14, 2020

oatmeal-tofu pancakes


My friend Sanae posted this recipe in Japanese on her Instagram account, but I'm not sure of its origin. We enjoyed it, and below is the final form I used, with a few little Mamatouille tweaks.

You'll need:
  • 240 g oatmeal
  • pinch of salt
  • 300 g soft (silken) tofu
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 ml soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 apple, peeled and finely diced
Do this:

Add everything except the apple to a blender and blend till smooth. Stir in the apple and fry up on a griddle in a bit of grapeseed oil (or oil of your choice).

These were delicious with dabs of butter and warmed maple syrup. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

gluten-free ground-beef stroganoff


I gathered a few ideas here and there to use what I had on hand to make ground-beef stroganoff. One of the boys says this is one of his favorite meals now. These are approximate measurements, so use what you have in your kitchen and adjust it to your taste and what ingredients you can procure in your country.

You'll need:
  • mushrooms of your choice (I used Japanese bunashimeji, or white beech mushrooms)
  • 600 g ground beef
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 cup water + 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 cup soy milk mixed with 2 tablespoons katakuriko (potato starch), or you could use cornstarch or flour
  • 1 cup soy yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • cooked rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes to serve
  • sliced green onions for garnish
Do this:

Saute your butter with the onions, garlic, and mushrooms till soft and a bit browned, then add the beef, mustard, salt and pepper, and water and bouillon cube. When everything is cooked through and has simmered a little bit, add in the soy milk mixed with katakuriko (potato starch), and then the yogurt and parsley. When it's thickened and has cooked for a bit, serve over rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes and add sliced green onions on top for garnish if desired.

This is a new surprising addition to our menu rotation, which I conjured up at the last minute tonight because I decided I wasn't in the mood for what I had originally planned. It was a hit of Russian, American, and Japanese fusion. And maybe a little French from the Dijon mustard. 


Monday, May 4, 2020

chocolate-tofu brownie muffins


Because we're all pretty nutty anyway, I usually make them without the walnuts (I love them in; my kids don't).

These are called "Easy Brownies" (in Japanese, though) in my favorite dessert cookbook, Heta Oyatsu (which translates to something like badly-made snack, or unhealthy snack, which is opposite to what the book is actually about!). I don't think I've even ever made them as brownies as the recipe stipulates; it's easier just to do muffins. And nobody complains.

I've changed the recipe just slightly--it calls for coconut oil but I use grapeseed, and I put in less sugar and no honey. Also, the batter tends to be too dry so I splash in some soy milk as needed. My son Matthew made them with me for the first time tonight, and he was surprised that I usually whisk by hand--he got out the electric mixer and they definitely came out creamier.

You'll need:
  • 300 g soft (silken) tofu
  • 150 g rice flour
  • 50 g almond flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 8 g baking powder
  • 30 g rum (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g grapeseed oil
  • splashes of soy milk as needed
Do this:

With your electric mixer, mix the tofu on its own, with a splash or two of soy milk, until it's creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend together till well mixed. Spoon into muffin cups, and bake for 10 minutes on 170 c and then about 5 minutes longer on 160 C. 

Serve with tea and chocolate-induced happiness.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

gluten- and dairy-free apple-walnut pancakes

(photo by my son Joel)

This comes by way of one of my favorite wedding gifts from one of my favorite professors--the More-with-Less Cookbook has been well loved and used in our household since 2001!

Since I received the book way back then, I've had to change my eating habits, so I've amended this recipe to be gluten- and dairy-free--I also spiced it up!

You'll need:
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) ground ginger
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup diced apples
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Do this:

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and combine the liquid ingredients well in a separate bowl, then pour into the dry ingredients and stir. Then add in the apples and walnuts and cook as per usual for pancakes. We had them for dinner one night, along with some sausages! 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

yuzu-ginger (or fig syrup, or mixed berry) almond-flour thumbprint jam cookies





I've used various recipes for thumbprint cookies over the years (from Elana's Pantry to Spunky Coconut), but this time I wanted something simple and totally quick. This recipe from Power Hungry fit the bill.

(And since I've made this, the price of almond flour has doubled in Japan, so last night I tried again with a mixture of almond flour, rice flour, and katakuriko, which is potato starch. I'll post that different recipe below this one.)

You'll need:
  • 1 cup almond flour 
  • 2 tablespoons Okinawan brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • jam of your choice
Do this:

Mix the dry ingredients together and then add in the water. Drops by spoonfuls on to a baking sheet and then wet a measuring spoon between making an indention in the top of each one. Drop a dollop of jam into each well and bake at 350 F/170 C for about 12 minutes.

(The above photo is some fig syrup given to me as a gift, which I used in some of these cookies. I also tried some strawberry jam, and some homemade yuzu (citron) jam from a friend, who has her own yuzu tree.)

Here's an optional recipe from Spunky Coconut, which I tweaked! The texture is a bit different, a bit thicker and heavier than the above all-almond-flour one.

You'll need: 
  • 1/3 + 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup rice flour
  • 1/3 cup katakuriko (potato starch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 egg
Do this:

Mix the dry ingredients separately than the wet ones. Then mix them together and mold into the thumbprint cookie shape and add your jam. Bake at 350 F/170 C for about 12 minutes. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

quick and easy pickled radishes

I'm always ready for radishes!

I found this recipe here and am determined to keep it on hand always. My version is slightly different, so here you go.


You'll need:
  • radishes, thinly sliced
  • several cloves of garlic, sliced
  • red pepper flakes (I put these in an empty tea bag to put into the jar--you can buy these fillable tea bags at any Japanese supermarket)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I used Okinawan brown sugar because that's what I keep on hand)
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
Do this:

Fill your jar with radishes and garlic, alternating layers, then mix the liquid and sugar and salt together and pour over the top. Stuff the tea bag with red pepper flakes down in the side.

Put in the fridge for half an hour or so and then devour! 


Friday, January 3, 2020

paleo carrot cake with cashew "cream cheese" frosting

I've made this a number of times now, including for our "see you later" party for our Vietnamese friend Ha Vinh:


It's a beautiful cake on its own and doesn't even need frosting, unless you want to go whole hog (or whole cashew!). 


I just made it again on New Year's Day, this first and beautiful day of 2020.


Reading War and Peace with a piece of carrot cake: perfect! 



The recipe came into our kitchen via The Roasted Root here, and the cashew frosting was from their website too (make sure you soak your cashews overnight the night before). 

For the cake, I left out the coconut, which I can't have, and I substituted 1/4 cup katakuriko (Japanese potato-starch flour) and 1/4 cup rice flour instead of the 1/2 cup tapioca starch called for in the recipe.

Enjoy, but be warned, this cake takes some time to put together. 

For the cake itself, you'll need:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup katakuriko potato starch 
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (or instead of the katakuriko and rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 cups grated carrots (I do this in my food processor)
Do this: 

Blend everything except the walnuts, raisins, and carrots, then add those in at the end and stir by hand. Pour into a 10-inch springform pan that's been oiled and lined on the bottom with baking paper, then bake at 170 C/350 F for at least 40 minutes. Check the whole cake to make sure it's not squidgy in any area. Allow to cool.

For the frosting, you'll need:
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and then drained and patted dry with a towel
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Do this:

Add the cashews into a food processor and blend for a number of minutes until a thick paste forms. While the processor is running, drizzle in the remaining ingredients until smooth. Frost your cake, top with chopped nuts or whatever you like, and share with friends and family.