Vegetable Curry, a book and recipe

vegetable curry

(recipe follows) Several years ago the love of my life, Hiro, gave me an unexpected birthday present: A curry cookbook written in both Japanese and English. Until then I had never made Indian food — curry had just never occurred to me. He didn’t know me that well at the time but mine is the personality that when I do something, I devote myself to it and so I bought every single ingredient in the index from Asafoetida to Yogurt and went to work page by page, which created some friction in our… Read More

Candied Pumpkin Pie

You can candy most anything with slight adjustments for the fruit or vegetable. It all starts with an idea of what you’d like to do with the finished product. Here we have candied kabochya, a Japanese pumpkin, much denser than the American varieties. Here, I simply sliced the pumpkin and put it in a plastic ziplock bag with leftover orange syrup for two weeks. I did this to show you how hands free candying can be. During that two weeks, twice I poured the syrup into a pot and boiled it for… Read More

Apple Strudel Your Way!

(recipe follows — red text areas are links) I started working with Filo shortly after starting this blog (you might remember some of the teaser posts). I couldn’t bring myself to publish anything I’d written. I was unsatisfied with the pictures I took and unsure how to present filo dough in a way which would peak your interest, especially as an undeserved reputation as being difficult to work with. Filo needs just three ingredients: Flour, fat, water. To that you can add salt for flavor or stevia for sweetness. The principles for… Read More

The Onion Sandwich — Caramelized Onions

(recipe follows) People who comment or send me mail tell me I can improve my blog by talking more about my life. From their advice I have been adding bits and bytes. A part of my life story I never speak about is poverty: I grew up poor. After my parents divorced my mother and I were so poor we couldn’t afford a vacuum. My mother borrowed one every couple of months from her half-brother’s wife. (To clean the carpet we used the back side of tape.) We were poorer than most… Read More

Sautéed Spinach for (can you guess, yet?)

(recipe follows) Sautéed Spinach is one of those dishes best made as improve. Knowing what flavors suit spinach, you combine flavors that match whatever you’re having it with or in. You can use frozen spinach, but fresh is of course better. You can use the whole leaf, but stemmed, spinach is smooth and creamy in the mouth. If you dislike spinach, it try it freshly stemmed quickly cooked quickly with these flavor combinations. Western: Bacon, garlic, onion or shallot, lemon juice or vinegar Indian: Cumin, garlic, lemon juice or yogurt or creme… Read More

Candied oranges

  (recipe follows) Yes, I really do curl up on the sofa reading “gode” “cookery” books or food histories. Two summers ago I spent two weeks in Provonce retracing Julia Child’s footsteps. So, yeah, I’m kinda single these days, but I can apply what I’ve learned from medieval cookbooks to make some of the best candied fruits you’ll ever eat. Candying fruit was something I taught myself through trial and error by following the directions from 16th century manuscripts. Much later I learned the science behind what I was doing and was… Read More

Daikon salad, and then some

(FIVE recipes follow) Well, spring is here. Soon I won’t be able to hide. Pre-blog, I was exceptionally organized. I discovered David Allen a decade earlier and his program made all the difference. Blogging — and then photography — introduced unknown unknowns into my life flow and my over-organized world is now piles of ToDo all over my apartment, on my computer, in my Dashboard. What to do? Well, I finally made myself reorganize. I set goals. I made lists. I decided deadlines. I programed automated alarms into my computers to get me… Read More

Raw Apple Pie Your Way — Play with your food!

(recipe follows) When I was younger my credo was to try everything at least twice (in case I got it wrong the first time). Keeping an open mind this way, I learned — and shaped — my preferences. With food, over time, I developed a leaning towards the healthful. Even when cooking with butter, or cream, or sugar, or meat in my mind I work through variations. One fairly new approach I’ve been thinking about is raw food. Interestingly, dehydrating foods under 118 degrees Fahrenheit is still considered raw by many which,… Read More

Tofu Steak with Sautéed Enoki Mushrooms

(recipe follows) Shortly after I arrived in Japan I met my new best friend turned roommate, Shawn. At that time, just after university, we were each earning between five and six thousand USD per month teaching English. We had a four-bedroom apartment in Sapporo, Roller Blades, free-time and lots of greenery — life was good. It was spring, hormones were high and Shawn was crushing on a pretty girl with waist length raven hair. The weight pulled her head back so she walked deliberately, with total control. She agreed to a dinner… Read More

Daikon Steak

(recipe follows) I was watching a Japanese cooking program many years ago in which a wizened chef placed six thick slices of daikon in a large cast iron skillet filled with hot olive oil and cooked them until they browned, which took over an hour. My thighs expand just remembering it. A quick lunch or supper for me borrows from his idea. I lightly coat the bottom of the pan in sesame or olive oil and fry boiled daikon on high until the bottoms brown, between five to ten minutes depending on… Read More

Daikon and tofu steaks with sautéed mushrooms and leek

Simple and easy to make the whole meal has fewer than 400 calories and can be made fat-free. This post will link to the recipes tomorrow, sorry M. R. 😉 For Daikon steak, click here. For Tofu steak, click here.

Play with your food! Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi

(recipe follows) A classic Indian dish, Aloo Gobi is cauliflower and potato cooked with regional variations on spices. Here it’s presented in phyllo dough which has been rolled over a hollow cylinder of wax paper and foil. After baking, the foil is removed for a flakey shell to fill. Here, I placed the Aloo Gobi at either end with several chunks of lamb in the center. Phyllo is traditionally rolled with butter between the layers. To keep with the Indian theme I used melted ghee and in the variations olive oil, canola,… Read More