Dienstag, 22. Mai 2012

Tropical heat wave

Today we had to face 30 degree Celsius outside - in the shadow. Inside my office the temperature was higher - way higher. I started to dream about an AC again, but there is no helping. The higher ups believe in our ecofriendly wet and cold summers. I was pretty worn out after my work was done, but it was the last day before my holidays and tomorrow I will appreciate my garden much more before preparing my journey.
Dinner had to be something light and refreshing today because I was not hungry at all.
I just made cold thin noodles with a dressing, some crunchy vegetables and a little flaked smoked salmon.

For dressing:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
a dash oyster sauce
a little salt
chilli pepper
1 tablespoon crema di balsamico (old aged sweet vinegar)
1 teaspoon + dark sesame oil
- just stir

1/2 cucumber, cut in smaller pieces
about 15 red radishes (small round radishes), quartered
2 spring onions, sliced
2 tomatoes, cut in smaller chunks
100 g salmon, smoked - flaked

150 g Spaghettini (very thin spaghetti cooked in 3 minutes) rinsed in cold water, tossed dripping wet with dressing and vegetables.

Sauce -nothing special at all but it was nice to slurp cold noodles and took one crunchy bite once in a while:

Sonntag, 6. Mai 2012

Curry rice with breaded pork cutlet - カツカレー

Today I made curry rice from the scratch. First I had not planned to cook anything because yesterday was a 10.000 calory day (or so). We went out with friends for dinner and cocktails - way too much...

But later today we got hungry again and I decided on a japanese style curry.


This is not a precise recipe because I used a little of this and a little of that without taking measurements. Every curry turns out a little bit different...
First I started preparing the roux. I think it is more common in Japan to buy curry roux but I had none. So I made it the old fashioned way. In a deep pot I heated up butter fat and roasted 1 heaped tablespoon flour until well browned.- you have to stir this while roasting - the colour of the flour should turn to chocolate brown during this process but don't burn it. While still light brown I added a freshly ground spice mix made from gloves, cinnamon, tumeric, chilli,fennu geek, star anise, allspice, pepper. I also added one chopped onion, teaspoon chopped ginger and 1 small chopped garlic glove  and tossed them with the roux mix and let them roast a little until the colour of the flour was fine

I added 2 cups water (stir this well) and afterwards a mix of different vegetables in pieces or slices: 1 egg plant, 2 small carrots, 1 red bell pepper, 2 celery stalks, 2 small potatoes cubed and one peeled apple, grinded. I added 1 tablespoon palm sugar and salt and 2 tablespoons soy sauce and let the curry simmer about 25+ minutes until the potaoes were soft and the curry thick enough. 
At least I adjusted the seasoning with a tablespoon sweet sour yellow plum jelly spiced with star anise. This adds a nice juicy extra zing. I wished I had some mango chutney in storage but plum jelly made from wild yellow plums was a good substitute.

Meanwhile I cooked rice and breaded two cutlets. For the bread crust I simply used a little flour for dusting the meat, afterwards I dipped the meat slices into stirred egg+ soy sauce mix and tossed the culets in panko flakes and fried them in oil.

We had some cake afterwards.
Our friends prepared it for our wedding anniversary so cute...

Dienstag, 1. Mai 2012

American style pancakes

Today is a holiday, 1rst of May/Labour day. For our breakfast,  late in the morning, I made some pancakes and bacon stripes:
1 pancake with bacon, butter and sirupe
 Usually on first of May we try to be away on a little journey because right at the other side of our street / our house, in the middle of our small village, there happens to be a big party all day long: dance into the May. First it begins with a prayer and some preacher talking, than the mayor will have a word or two or more, afterwards the local hunters music group will play some classical songs on their hunting horns and cornets (they are good, beautiful tunes) and afterwards the local cheer leading dancers will swing their legs and the youth brass band will play some horrible tunes. They are no good. Sure this is a very small village and we don't have enough boys and girls who are skilled concerning drums and pipes and trumpets. They are only a  few and they try to do their best but sometimes I think making much noise is not enough.
All day long there will be music played by a so called disc jockey which has a very local/rural taste in music. And the more the passerbys and visitors, party folk, get drunk the lowder he will play and sing stupid songs (OMG). And they always get seriously drunk. The local fire brigade will sell lots of beer and serve BBQ. The church ladies will sell some cakes and coffee too but this is for the older female folk only. 
All in all it will get more and more louder and annoying - not the older ladies but the young guys and girls at the beer stable together with this local jokel playing disco music. That is the reason we always try to escape.
But today I cannot walk that much because of a little accident two days ago. Soon I will need some earplugs. But first I will have some pancakes:

They are thick, flufy and very stuffing. No need to eat something until evening.
I like them to be wrapped around the crunchy bacon with lots of maple sirupe

For the batter:
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 125 g yoghurt
  • 125 ml milk
  • 125 g flour
  • 1teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • dark honey or maple sirupe
  • butter
  • 125 g bacon (cured pork belly) cut into thick stripes
  • a little oil

Whisk yoghurt, milk and eggs, salt, sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter together. Add the flour mixed with baking powder and soda and whisk in lightly, don’t overbeat.
Heat a pan with a little oil, start to fry the bacon for one minute until it starts to release fat, push the bacon around and at least shove it to the side of the pan to make room for the pancakes. Ladle batter in the middle of the pan (1 smaller ladle=1 pancake).  Fry pancake over medium heat until bubbles forms and bubble holes appear at the surface of the batter. Flip the pancake and fry for a few minutes more until well browned and golden. Set pancake on a plate and keep warm. Swish the pan with the bacon stripes and push them aside again, they will release some fat on their way for the next pancake, add the next ladle of batter.
If everything went well you will have 8 pancakes and very crunchy bacon stripes.
Serve pancakes with a little butter and sirupe or honey and crunchy bacon.