Saturday, March 20, 2021

Hunter's Chicken — easy and delicious Cacciatore



Cut into roughly 5cm×5cm pieces. Remove fat and skin from:

500 grams boneless chicken thighs

Thighs with bones are fine to use, too, but account for the increased weight.

Put in a plastic bag:

¼-⅓ C flour, whatever you need to coat the amount of chicken you are using.
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper

Shake it around to mix. Add the chicken pieces and shake to coat. Set it aside.

Prepare the other ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½-1 C sliced or chopped mushrooms
1 can tomatoes, chopped or whole. If whole, cut them up.
¼-½ C dry white wine
1 bay leaf
⅛ t thyme
½ t basil
1 chicken bouillon cube
salt/pepper

Heat in a frying pan:

2 T olive oil

When hot, shake off any excess flour from each chicken piece and place them in the pan. Fry one side until golden, turn over to fry the second side. Add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Stir around a bit.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Add a tablespoon or 2 of water to the tomato can to rinse it, then pour that in. Stir to mix, cover, and turn the fire down very low. Cook for 45 minutes or so, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. It is finished when the chicken is fall-apart tender and the sauce has thickened nicely.

Serve with pasta, potatoes, rice, or crusty bread.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Focaccia and Pizza


Mix in a bowl:

300 grams all-purpose flour (中力粉 churikiko in Japanese)
8 grams salt

Mix in:

1 t dry yeast

Whisk gently, then add to the flour mixture:

1 t honey
1 C warm water (236 ml)

Mix with a rubber scraper until dry parts are gone and you have a sticky, wet dough. Cover the bowl with a plate and let it rise for several hours until doubled in bulk.

About an hour or two before you want to eat it, put parchment paper in a baking pan, and spread a little olive oil on the paper. Then, as if the dough were a square, pull one side up and over, then another side up and over, then another, then another. Finally, pick up the gooey mass and put it in the pan. Spread it out to reach the sides of the pan. If the dough doesn't spread well enough, let it sit for awhile, then try again. 

Again, let the dough rise until doubled in size. If your house in cold, put it in the oven at 40ºC for 30-60 minutes. Remove from oven and preheat to 220ºC. Use your fingertips to poke holes all over the dough. (Sprinkle on a little olive oil. Maybe 1 T.)

Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

If you want to add relatively dry toppings (thinly sliced mushrooms, garlic, herbs, etc.), do this before baking. 

If you want to use the focaccia as a base for pizza, bake the focaccia as described above until almost golden (19 minutes or so), then remove from the oven. (Turn it over.) Top it with sauce and cheese. Set the oven to grill and place it near the top of the oven for 8 minutes until toasted to your liking.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Miso Salad Dressing

Mix in a blender:

2 cloves garlic
2 T soy sauce
4 T vinegar (rice vinegar, whatever)
1 T white miso paste
1 T brown sugar

While the blender is mixing, slowly pour in:

½ C oil (grapeseed, sunflower, whatever you like)

Finally, add and briefly mix in to chop:

¼ onion

Pour in a jar, cover tightly, and keep refrigerated.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

No-Knead Beer Bread

 

Mix together in a large bowl:

450 gm bread flour (I use about 370 white and 80 wheat)
9-10 gm salt
¼ slightly rounded teaspoon dry yeast

Add:

350 ml beer (one can)

Stir the beer into the dry ingredients and form into a sticky ball of dough.

Put a plate or something on top of the bowl, and set aside (in a warm room, if possible) for 18-24 hours. If you want to leave it for longer, put it in the fridge for a little while to slow down the rising. 

Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface (that you can later pick up — I use a plastic placemat) and use a floured spatula to loosen and pour the dough out onto the floured surface. As if it's a square, pull one side up and over, then another side up and over, then another, then another. Finally, pick up the gooey mass and turn it over. Put a big bowl over it (or a cloth, if you prefer), and let it rise for 2 hours. In cool weather, put it in the oven, set the temperature to 40ºC (104ºF)—my oven has a setting for rising 発酵—and let it rise for 2 hours. Remove dough from the oven.

Place a dutch oven, donabe, or other oven-safe covered pot into the oven and preheat to 230ºC (450ºF). Carefully remove the pot from the oven, sprinkle a little flour inside the pot to prevent the dough from sticking, and gently turn the dough into the pot.

Cover and bake for 32 minutes, then carefully remove the lid, and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Check doneness with a thermometer. The bread should have an internal temperature of at least 96ºC (205ºF). 

Cool on a rack before cutting.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Miso Eggplant


Slice in half lengthwise and score cut surfaces in a criss-cross pattern, about 2 mm deep:

2 Japanese eggplants

Heat frying pan, coat eggplant on all sides with olive oil and fry skin-side down, covered, for 3-4 minutes, until the bottom is browned and it is mostly soft. Turn over and cook the cut side, uncovered, until lightly browned.
 
While the eggplant is cooking, make the miso sauce.

Mix together:

1/4 C miso
2 T mirin 
1 T fine sugar 
1 T sake 

The eggplant can be grilled in the oven or in a fish grill in a Japanese stove. Put a little foil on the bottom to catch any drips, then place the eggplant, skin side down, on the grill. Cover with 1-2 mm of miso sauce. Grill until the sauce is bubbly and lightly browned. 

Serve.

Monday, September 21, 2020

No-Knead Bread

 

Mix together in a large bowl:

400 gm bread flour (I use 300-350 gm white, 100-50 gm whole wheat)
8-9 gm salt
¼ t dry yeast

Add:

290-300 ml water (or beer, or whey—the clearish liquidy part of yogurt), or a combination)

Stir the water into the dry ingredients and form into a sticky ball of dough.

Put a plate or something on top of the bowl, and set aside (in a warm room, if possible) for 18-24 hours. If you want to leave it for longer, put it in the fridge for a little while to slow down the rising. 

Don't be shocked at how wet the dough is. 


Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface (that you can later pick up — I use a plastic placemat) and use a floured spatula to loosen and pour the dough out onto the floured surface. As if it's a square, pull one side up and over, then another side up and over, then another, then another. Finally, pick up the gooey mass and turn it over. Put a big bowl over it (or a cloth, if you prefer), and let it rise for 2 hours.

Place a dutch oven, donabe, or other oven-safe covered pot into the oven and preheat to 230ºC (450ºF). Carefully remove the pot from the oven, sprinkle a little flour in the bottom of the pot to prevent the dough from sticking, and pour the dough into the pot. If you can manage to pull the dough over into a loaf-shape as you do so, great. But the goal is to get the dough in the pot. It will turn out to be awesome bread. Don't worry.

Bake for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the lid, and bake for another 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven. Check doneness with a thermometer. The bread should have an internal temperature of at least 96ºC (205ºF). 

Cool on a rack before cutting.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Chocolate Walnut Bread (for bread machine)


Prepare ahead of time: 

70 grams FROZEN chocolate chips or broken chocolate bits 
40 grams finely chopped walnuts

Place in bread machine in this order:

140 ml cold water (if the weather is hot, include an ice cube)
25 grams egg that has been mixed
20 grams butter
250 grams bread flour (180 grams white, 70 grams whole wheat)
4 grams salt
20 grams sugar
6 grams milk powder

If your bread machine has a separate compartment for yeast, put it in there, if not, make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and pour in:

3 grams dry yeast

Turn the machine on to bake a soft loaf of bread (if you have that setting, if not, use what you have). When the machine alerts you that it is time for additions, first put in the walnuts, then when they are thoroughly mixed in, add the frozen chocolate chips. It may be necessary to take out the dough and mix in the chips by hand. Try to get them inside the dough as much as possible, and not stuck to the outside. Return dough to pan and leave it to rise and bake.

When the loaf is done, remove it from the pan, and cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Easy Chicken Enchiladas


Making the sauce the day before seems to heighten the flavor.

Place in a pot:

2 chicken breasts, skin removed (about 500 grams)

2 cups water
1 t chicken (or other) bouillon

Boil on a low flame, covered, for 5 minutes. Turn off fire, and leave until cool. You will use the broth for your sauce.


Now make the enchilada sauce:


Measure these spices and place in a small bowl:


2 T chili powder

1 minced clove garlic
½ scant t salt
½ t powdered cumin
¼ t powdered oregano

Place in a pot and heat:


2 T grapeseed or other oil


Add and whisk for about a minute:


2 T all-purpose flour (中力粉 churikiko in Japanese)


Add t
he spices and continue to whisk. After about a minute, slowly add while whisking to prevent lumps:

2 C chicken broth
(1 T tomato paste)

Simmer for about ten minutes.

Now, back to the chicken. Shred with a fork on a plate. Put the shredded chicken breasts in a bowl and pour in about ½ cup enchilada sauce. Mix in the sauce and set aside.

Beans:

350 grams cooked beans (black, pinto, whatever)

T butter
1 clove garlic
¼ t salt

Heat the beans, butter, garlic, and salt in a ziplock bag (not airtight) in the microwave until the butter melts. Seal the bag and gently pound with a rolling pin to mash and squeeze it about to incorporate the butter, salt, and garlic into the beans. If you prefer not to use a bag, heat them in a bowl in the microwave or in a pan on the stove and mash with a fork. Set aside.

Heat in a frying pan:


1 T olive oil


Stir fry:


1 minced onion


When cooked, mix into the chicken.


Now it's time to put together the enchiladas.

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).


Lay tortillas on a clean surface. Place small amounts of each of the ingredients on each of the tortillas: grated cheese, beans, meat. Roll them and place seam side down in an oven pan lined with cooking paper. Pour on 
½-1 cup enchilada sauce. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges start to turn golden. Sprinkle a little mozzarella or other cheese on top of the enchiladas and return to the oven until cheese is melted. Serve with green salad, and guacamole and chips. (If you have leftover sauce, freeze it to use later.)

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Sugar Cookies


Thanks to Jaime-Leigh Gorham for sharing her simple and delicious recipe!

Cream:

114 gm unsalted butter
140 gm sugar

When butter and sugar are creamy, blend in:

1 egg
1 t vanilla

Set aside.

Sift together:

260 gm all-purpose flour (中力粉 churikiko in Japanese)
½ t baking powder
½ t salt

Add sifted ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture. Don't overmix. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. 

If you want to save some dough for another day, wrap it in plastic and put it in a ziplock freezer bag in the freezer.

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).

While the oven is heating, put a little flour on a clean surface and a little on a rolling pin. Roll the dough to 5-7mm thickness. Use cookie-cutters to cut. 

Place cookies on a parchment-covered tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. The cookies should be only lightly brown. Cool on a cooling rack.

When cookies are completely cooled they can be iced.

Icing

Mix together:

250 gm powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 t lemon juice

If you are going to make a small batch of cookies, you won't need so much icing. Instead, place a pile of powdered sugar in a small bowl, add part of an egg white and a squeeze of lemon. Mix. Add more sugar as needed to make the right consistency for icing.

Divide the icing and mix in a tiny bit of a different color food coloring to each bit. Put icing in the corner of a small plastic bag. Push the icing towards the corner. Cut the tip of the corner. Do this with each of the colors. You now have icing "pens" with which to decorate your cookies.

Wait until the icing on the cookies is completely dry before serving or storing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Almond Butter Cookies


Beat:

½ C butter

Add and beat:

½ C brown sugar
½ C white sugar
(OR 1 C Japanese brown sugar)

Beat in:

1 egg
1 C almond butter (OR ½ C almond butter + ½ C peanut butter)
½ t salt
½ t baking soda
½ t vanilla extract

Add:

1-1½ C flour (more or less, depending on the wetness of the nut butters)

Press dough into about a 2 cm flat square. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or freeze in a ziplock freezer bag.

Cut into 2 cm cubes, and place 5 cm apart on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. To flatten them a bit, press with a fork once across and again from top to bottom. 
Bake at 190ºC (375ºF) for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.