Many of you may not know this, but I, the owner of a food blog, do not have a kitchen. I have a microwave, rice cooker, and toaster oven. Needless to say I have to get pretty creative in making dishes without resorting to eating garbage ramen or things of the like. I’ve been eating A LOT of miso soup and today I just was not feeling misoey, I wanted Japanese curry, which is kind of an amalgamation of several different curries formed into one delicious powder. While it meets the standard of a traditional English(Indian) Curry by having cumin, coriander, and turmeric it also has a slew of spices like cardamom, fenugreek, ginger, and probably six or seven more spices. To make a normal Japanese curry you would make a beef or veal demi-glaze(beef or veal stock reduced into super concentrated beef or veal sauce) and then blend in the curry blend so you end up with a ridiculously unctuous sauce that coats your whole palate with curry goodness. SOOOOOOoooo, instead of making it a palate coating ultra heavy served over beef delight I just changed it up and made it into a lighter dashi based soup.
Good old English Cream, it makes its own delicious dessert, sauce, and is the base for ice cream. So this recipe is just a standard recipe to make a no frills creme anglaise. The cool part is that you can really customize a creme anglaise to be whatever you want it to be, if you add chocolate chip cookie dough at the end then put it in an ice cream machine. . . cookie dough ice cream. . . just saying, think of the possibilities that you can play with here. Add chocolate and then whisk it in a bowl over an ice bath until you have an insanely delicious pudding. The recipe today is to make a maple creme anglaise that would be a decadent replacement for your favorite pancakes, or better yet you could make a waffle with chunks of bacon in it, turn this creme anglaise into an ice cream(adding bacon to it also) and serving the two with some more maple syrup. NOMNOMNOM BACON
BACON MAPLE CREME ANGLAISE (and ice cream)
1cup – Heavy Cream
1cup – Whole Milk
1/2cup – Granulated Sugar
6 – Eggs, Yolk Only
1tsp – Vanilla Extract
*optional* 1tsp – Cinnamon, ground
*optional* 1/4cup – Maple Syrup
*optional* 6 slices – Bacon, cooked til crispy and crumbled
Get a mixing bowl with ice, and a smaller mixing bowl to put on top of it, and have a strainer/colander ready next to it (a fine mesh strainer would be best)
In a small sauce pan combine the cream and milk with vanilla extract over medium heat
Bring to a simmer
In a separate mixing bowl combine the egg yolks and sugar, whisk until they become glossy and ribbon-like(about 3 minutes)
When your milk/cream is simmering remove from heat and whisk 1 cup at a time into the egg yolks until half the mixture has been incorporated, then return the mixture to pan
While continuously whisking the sauce return the pan to medium heat and whisk over the heat until it reached about 160 degrees, don’t let it come to a simmer you’ll start scrambling the eggs. This step should take around 5 minutes, and the sauce will thicken to the point where it coats the back of a spoon and holds a line drawn with your finger(this state of thickness is called nape)
Pour the creme anglaise through the colander/strainer into the bowl over ice
At this time add the bacon, cinnamon, and maple syrup, then whisk for about 5 minutes until it has cooled to around room temperature. You can fully chill and serve it, but to make it into an ice cream you just pour the creme anglaise into your ice cream machine after it’s been fully chilled!
If making the ice cream, serve on a waffle then drizzle with maple syrup and crumbled bacon
I’m just going to step up to the plate and say out loud that I am a hot sauce fiend. It’s one of the reasons I love Korean food so much, spicy makes the world amazing. Honestly, making your own hot sauce is really easy, kinda awesome, and completely customizable. So far I’ve made sesame mango hot sauces, green and red jalapeno sauces, and am about to embark on a new blended hot sauce. There are only three base ingredients that are one hundred percent essential to the process, peppers, salt, and vinegar, after that you can really add whatever flavorings you want to impact the sauce. Pretty much what you’re looking for is a double fermentation process. You’re going to start out chopping and salting your peppers to bring out the liquid in them, this liquid is going to ferment over night. Then you’ll agitate the whole mixture by using a stick blender(or working in a blender in batches) to make it smooth. Then it can be thrown into a larger container and mixed with the vinegar, cover, and keep in a cool dark place. I’ve only ever done this with the lid fully on during the second fermentation period, but I’m thinking about experimenting with using a cheese cloth lid to let the bacteria causing the fermentation to breath, potentially making it stronger and deeper in character. Anywho, here’s a nice sample recipe for a delicious “buffalo” inspired red hot sauce
1/2# – Peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped (1/4# Red Jalapenos and 1/4# Red Fresnos)
2tbs – Salt
1 1/2c – Distilled White Vinegar
When finished roughly chopping peppers, add salt and thoroughly combine. The reason you’re roughly chopping, and breaking the cell walls is to force the peppers to release more liquid and making the fermentation happen faster
Leave the salted peppers for around 12 hours, I left mine for almost 19 and it wasn’t too sour or powerful
Use an immersion blender or a regular blender(working in batches) and pure the pepper until it’s as smooth as you can get it
Add the vinegar, and stir to combine, if you have the immersion blender you can blend again after adding the vinegar.
Place peppers (covered with lid) in a cool dark area of the house for 11 days. After four days taste the sauce every day, when it hits the flavor profile you’re looking for throw it in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process.
At the end of the process you can blend the whole thing again, at which time you have an important decision. Do you put the peppers through a cheese cloth and only retain the juice? Do you pour the peppers through a china cap large whole strainer and let a little sediment get in your sauce, or do you just serve it as it is? I like straining it and using the left over jalapeno pulp with brown sugar and lime to make a nice crust for a white fish, dressed with a drizzle of buffalo sauce. No way is wrong, so play around.
Just a note, you can play with your flavors by increasing/lowering the amount of vinegar you use. If you taste it and it’s more spicy than tart you can add more vinegar, and vice versa. Play around and make it your own!
*To make it in to a delicious buffalo sauce, just combine with an equal portion of melted butter and whisk to combine while bringing to a simmer, about two minutes.
It was taco night, and my friend Lark made this INSANELY DELICIOUS Asian style slaw. It was so good I put it on all my tacos and had it as a side too! It’s bright and refreshing, spicy and crunchy, and the toasted sesame oil gives it a great unexpected nuttiness.
SPICY ASIAN STYLE COLESLAW
2cups – Cabbage, 1/8″ sliced (both red and green)
1tsp – Soy Sauce
2tbsp – Sriracha
1/2 – Lime Juiced
2-3tbsp – Toasted Sesame Oil
2tbsp – Apple Cider Vinegar
2tbsp – Rice Vinegar
2tbsp – Brown Sugar(light)
1tbsp – Gochujang
1 – Jalapeno, 1/4″ dice
Combine cabbage and jalapeno, toss to combine
Combine all dressing ingredients, whisk until gochujang and sugar are fully dissolved
One of my favorite food cultures in the world is Korean. With the introduction of peppers via Japan via Portugal they developed one of the most unique and delicious flavor profiles in the world. One of the best things in the world is Gochujang, it’s a red pepper paste mixed with glutinous rice and fermented soy beans(miso). It can be found in a lot of Korean cooking, and for good reason, it has a nutty earthy heat to it with a palate pleasing texture. Korean food also gained a spot in my heart for their ability to make tofu taste amazing, and today’s tacos are based off a marinated or braised tofu dish called dubu jolim (or jorim, have seen it both ways). When making this with friends for a taco night, we decided it wasn’t salty enough, but adding more soy sauce could over power the flavors so we added crumbled cotija cheese and it really turned it into something amazing. These Korean inspired delights are vegan and vegetarian friendly, but I guarantee carnivores will destroy them also!
SPICY COLD TOFU TACOS
1 package – Small Corn Tortillas
8oz – Firm Tofu, 1″ cubes
2 – Green Onions, white and some green parts sliced thin
1/3cup – Crumbled Cotija Cheese (feta may be substituted)
2tsp – Sesame Oil
1tbsp – Soy Sauce
1tsp – Grated Ginger
2tsp – Grated Garlic (2 smaller cloves)
2tbsp – Gochujang (Korean pepper paste, no substitutions, available in Asian Markets, Kochujan in Japanese markets)
2tbsp – Kimchi Liquid
Garnish – Kimchi sliced into ribbons
Garnish – Green Onion julienne
Garnish – Chopped Cilantro
Garnish – Lime Juice
Spread tofu out on paper towel or tea towel and cover with more towels and drain/dry for about 5 minutes
Combine all ingredients and whisk until Gochujang is fully dissolved and garlic/ginger are well incorporated
Place tofu in a mixing bowl with cotija cheese, cover with sauce and fold very gently, then sprinkle with green onions, drizzle with additional sesame oil if you desire
Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat and toast tortillas lightly until pliable
Place 1tbsp of the tofu mixture in tortilla, top with garnishes of your choosing, and enjoy!
Don’t mind the TV remote in the photo, it’s natural. Anyways, I’m currently eating vegan for the week and have wanted to try out some dashi variations. Dashi is the traditional Japanese stock that is the base of most of the cultures sauces and soups. Dashi is traditionally made with kombu, a type of kelp loaded with delicious glutamate, and katsuoboshi or bonito flakes, a dried, smoked, cured, smoked, dried, smoked, cured, aged fish. Basically you turn a fish into a brick then you shave it as if you were widdling wood. Though while Buddhism was being introduced to the country people started adopting vegetarian diets and the dried mushroom dashi was born. That all being said, I wanted delicious miso soup and this hit the spot!
SHIITAKE MUSHROOM MISO SOUP
2qt – Water
1 – 3×4″ Kombu Chunk
4-5 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
3tbs – Aka(red) Miso Paste
2oz – Firm Tofu, 1/4″ dice
1 – Green Onion, sliced 1/8″ thick
1tsp – Vegetable Oil
Soak kombu in water 30 mins
Remove kombu and heat until just barely simmering, remove from heat
Return kombu and add mushrooms, let sit 30 minutes
Remove kombu and mushrooms, slice mushrooms into 1/4″ strips
Bring dashi stock to a simmer, using a wooden spoon, stir in miso paste until fully dissolved, then taste and add more if needed
Saute sliced mushrooms in olive oil 3-4 minutes until lightly caramelized
Drain on paper towel, then add mushrooms, green onions, and tofu
Tzatziki aye? That yogurty delight commonly found on your falafel or gyros? That’s right, it’s a traditional Mediterranean mezza side dish. Mezza are the small plates that accompany your main dish, they can be anything from fresh and/or pickled vegetables, dips like hummus or baba ghanoush, and fried or baked breads. It’s similar to Banchan in Korean culture where you can find kimchi, japchae, and various other marinated/pickled veggies, fish cakes, so on. All that you really need to know is that they’re one of the best things that ancient cultures have offered to food in all of history. It pairs well with a multitude of of dishes as either a dip or a sauce, and it’s very similar to the Indian dip/sauce raita which is done with toasted or fried cumin and mustard seeds. It’s very simple to make, it takes less than fifteen minutes to finish, and could just be that missing component of your grilled sandwich with feta and green olives. Just saying. . .
1qt – Greek Yogurt
1 – Garlic Clove, Minced
1tbsp – Salt + 2tbsp more
2 – Lemons, Juiced and one of them zested
1/4cup – Fresh Dill, Minced
2tbs – Cold Pressed Olive Oil
3 – Persian Cucumbers, 1/4″ Diced (you want about 3/4cup)
2tsp – Ground White Pepper
In food processor or blender combine the following – yogurt, garlic, 1tbsp salt, lemon juice – pulse for 20 seconds until garlic is thoroughly blended
Dice cucumbers and place in a strainer over a bowl, sprinkle with the 2tbsp of salt , stir and let sit for about 10 minutes. Squeeze out the juice and taste, if too salty sprinkle with some cold water and squeeze again, but don’t mash.
Pour the yogurt into a mixing bowl and fold in the dill, cucumber, white pepper and salt if needed, as well as half of the lemon zest
When serving sprinkle a little olive oil and the remaining lemon zest with a little mince of dill