Recipes and Entries
|Posted on April 17, 2014 at 7:15 PM||comments (0)|
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|Posted on April 9, 2014 at 2:15 AM||comments (0)|
I got my first order of bamboo shoots from Penryn Farms. Last year, I wrote a story about their bamboo shoots in Zester Daily (here is the link). This year's shoots are particularly tender and delicious. I got so excited, I contacted Penryn Farms' Laurence Hauben and asked her if she would be interested in hosting a soba workshop, using Penryn's spring produce like this bamboo. She loved the idea. We are doing the workshop at Laurence's house on April 27 from 11-2pm. Here are the details. (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/laurence/1454e395f7434d23" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Market Forways). Penryn farms is up in the foothill of the Sierras. It is a small farm, about 5 acres - but he has a treasure full of citrus trees, pears, persimmons and a bamboo forest. I have never been there but their persimmons and bamboo shoots are superb. Penryn's bamboo makes me think of my girlhood days in Kamakura - spring bamboo digging with my grandmother.
|Posted on April 7, 2014 at 7:45 PM||comments (0)|
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|Posted on March 4, 2014 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
I have been making anko - azuki bean paste all morning. This is my second batch. I like the way the mound of paste is forming a peak, like a mini- mountain. That was where I wanted to be. Still moist but firm enough to hold a form. The first batch came out drier. I cooked it too much, and this can happen very easily if you are not careful.
Anko, Azuki Bean paste, comes in smooth, creamy and coarse texutres. There are also whole bean anko, which leaves the beans entirely intact. The version I made is semi mashed. I am planning to make Daifuku, using this anko base. The anko will rest until they have cooled down. Hope, I don't eat it all before I make Daifuku. The anko keeps in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
360 grams of Azuki beans, washed and soaked overnight
250 grams cane sugar
Pinch of salt
Bring beans and water in a saucepan and cook the beans until the water starts boiling.
Discard water, and pour fresh water in the pan. Bring to a boil again, and repeat the same step of
discarding the water. Now start again with filling up the pan of beans with water but this time,
just let the beans barely soak in the water. Trun heat to medium and cook the beans until they are soft. Test severa
time for doneness.. If the water exposes, replenish more water. When the beans are soft enough to smash with your
fingers and they are is no hard core, the beans are ready.
Process the beans in a food processor until they are chopped but not pureed.
Put the bean paste in the pot and add half the sugar. Mix well over high heat. Mix for a few minutes,
then add the rest of the sugar. Be careful not to burn the bean paste. The paste is done when you can scoop it up,
drop it on a plate and it forms a peak, and stays put.
Use bean paste to sweeten your desserts or eat straight with a spoon or dilute it with water and make a sweet dessert soup.
|Posted on March 3, 2014 at 1:30 AM||comments (0)|
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|Posted on March 1, 2014 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
It's been pouring for two days. How we needed this! It's coming down again, as I write. Rain or shine, Kinchan stays put in her cozy place. Occasionally, she gets up to observe the rain. That's plenty of exercise for a 16 year old cat.
|Posted on February 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on January 24, 2014 at 11:15 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on December 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM||comments (3)|
My own mother never made miso soup for breakfast, even though it is part of a traditional breakfast in Japan. But when we moved to the US in the 70s, she yearned for good miso. One day, she cooked a pot full of soybeans and blended them to make a mushy white paste, to which she added salt and koji, a miso starter made from fermented rice, and created a huge mess in the kitchen.
The resulting miso was kept it in a lidded clay jar in the cool and dark corner of the garage to ferment for years. I used to sneak in there and stick in my finger to lick the thick, grainy paste that looked like mud. Later, when I was much older, I realized I was snacking on a healthy protein, minerals and vitamin-rich live food.
Miso comes in various shades of white and red varieties. Red (aka) miso like sendai and haccho are dark brown in color, and robust in flavor. Miso can be made by mixing fermented rice, koji, salt and grains, including barley, wheat, and legumes like fava beans and azuki beans. White (shiro) miso pastes like saikyo are yellow in color, lighter and sweeter than red miso paste, and made primarily of koji. My miso soup is hearty. I like to have a variety of vegetables from the land and sea. You can experiment with different types of miso. Some are saltier than the others, so when making miso soup, always taste the soup and make adjustments. I always keep a variety in the fridge and some fermenting in the garage. I let my whim dictate which miso to use for my breakfast miso soup.
Miso Soup With Fava Beans, Zucchini and Tofu
3 1/2 cups Dashi
3 1/2 to 4 tablespoons Mugi, Koji, white or red miso
1/4 cup, cooked and shelled fava beans
1/4 block -tofu, diced in to 1/4 -1/2 squares
1/2 zucchini, sliced thinly, 1/8 inch thick
1 scallion, sliced thinly, 1/8 inch thick
Bring the Dashi and the turnip o a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and add the zucchini for a couple of minutes.
In a small bowl, dissolve 3 1/2 tablespoons of the miso paste in a few tablespoons of the warm Dashi. Add the mixture to the saucepan. Taste and add more miso paste, Dashi or water, depending on how strong the soup tastes.
Add the tofu and fava beans and simmer for 1 minute. Turn off heat.
Pour the soup into individual bowls. Garnish with sliced scallions.
|Posted on December 7, 2013 at 12:50 AM||comments (0)|
As a child, I used to love looking inside my grandmother's pale green kitchen cabinet of seasonings and utencils. It was an old cabinet that my mother tried to get rid of, but my grandmother rescued it, and put it in her kitchen to store food. My brother stuck war plane stickers on the glass. Grandmother had everything she needed in that cabinet. It was like a treasure box. My pantry is not in one place like hers. I keep my salt, pepper, sugar and soysauce on my kitchen counter. The bottled staples like soy sauce, sake, mirin (sweet rice), and rice vinegar, and the oils, are on the shelf next to the range. The dried staples - bonito flakes, seaweeds, noodles, and beans fit snugly in one of my kitchen drawers. At least everything is within reach, except my aromatic fermented nuka pickles and miso, which I keep in the garage. All my grains and flour are kept in the fridge or freezer, year round to ensure freshness.