All posts by A_Boleyn

About A_Boleyn

Having come late to the kitchen, other than in an eating capacity, each new recipe I try is an exciting opportunity to enjoy the original and then make it my own.

Christmas 2020 … Leg of Lamb Dinner

Christmas for One

I wasn’t going to do anything special this year cause I had a case of the Christmas blahs, but, at the last minute I bought a fresh leg of lamb and roasted it off with rosemary, garlic and olive oil. Threw in some diced potatoes and carrots as sides. Washed the meal down with a spiked (vodka) cranberry lemonade. Dessert was slices of a bought dark fruit cake. And, it was, on the whole, a good Christmas.



Because I had a lot of leftover meat (sliced lamb and salami), I baked off a quick batch of enriched (eggs, milk, sugar and melted duck fat) kaisers and hamburger buns for sandwiches.





Lunch plate of nibbles … bought cracker assortment, cheese (smoked Gouda and old white cheddar), Genoa and Hungarian salami and some apple slices (Ambrosia).



Regardless of the way you celebrate this time of year, I hope you were surrounded, virtually or in person, by friends and family (blood or choice).

And here’s hoping for a much better New Year.

Hawaiian Loco Moco Redux

Too lazy to make a real cooking post but I thought I’d share today’s lunch, a Hawaiian loco moco.

This version features a bowl of left over basmati rice (long grain, jasmine or sushi rice works too, as does couscous, quinoa or cauliflower rice), topped with a hamburger patty and canned Swiss Chalet beef gravy.

Add a fried sunny side up egg (white is set but the yolk is still runny). A little green onion for garnish.

Dig in.

Fast, easy and delicious.

PS: In Hawaii, a dinner plate also adds macaroni salad and coleslaw.

Tomato and Egg Stir Fry – Chinese Style

Recently, this dish has been popping up all over my Facebook food groups. It is similar to shakshuka but with Asian flavours. I used the recipe here. The only change I made was to add 1/4 tsp ground ginger to the tomato mixture while simmering.

Tomato and Egg Stir Fry
, garnished with green onions

Partially cooked scrambled egg is reserved to be added to the tomato mixture once the tomatoes have softened enough. If using diced, fresh tomatoes, that will take 5-10 minutes but if using canned, diced tomatoes and juice, as I did, it may only take 3-5 minutes or so. If you want a ‘saucier’ tomato mixture, add some more water to your saucepan/wok and warm through.

Serve the tomato and egg mixture over hot rice of your choice. I had some leftover sushi rice so that’s what I used.


Review: Fast and delicious. Try it yourself.

PS: I really do NOT like this new formatting style.

Picspam: Smoked Ham & Bean Soup and Japanese Purple Sweet Potato Bread

Sometimes you just don’t have the energy to make a comprehensive recipe post but you still want to share something you think is worth while. I made both of these dishes over the last few days.

The first dish, a smoked ham and cannellini bean soup that I’ve made in the past, is an easy, fast and filling dish, especially if you use canned cannellini beans. Or, you can be like me and soak about a pound of dried beans overnight and cook them when you finally get up on a lazy, Saturday morning.

I didn’t have any smoked ham hock but I had a chunk of smoked ham so I diced some of it up and threw it in along with the veggies at the end. If you’re cooking for a family of four, you’ll have enough for a second serving for everyone. If you’re cooking for one, it freezes very well for future meals. For my friend, spikesgirl58 on LJ, who doesn’t care for ham, I think you could use smoked turkey leg in its place.

I stocked up on some pantry items from a local international (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese) grocery store, a few days ago. One of the things that caught my eye in the fresh fruit and vegetable section was a small display of Japanese purple sweet potatoes. I was bored so I decided to try a fun purple sweet potato bread recipe I found on the Bake with Paws blog. (PS: The name made me think of the Youtube channel Cooking with Dog which I recommend for anyone interested in Japanese cooking.)

The recipe is relatively straight forward but I thought I’d throw in some pretty pictures … just because I took a LOT. The potatoes were peeled, sliced and steamed until tender and then riced to get a nice even texture.

I was pleased with the colour of the dough

Unfortunately, the post-bake colour was a lot less vibrant … sort of lavender in colour. Toasting it seemed to pep up the colour a bit. The texture was nice and fluffy and the taste was somewhat sweet due to the sweet potatoes. I wouldn’t use the bread for an egg or tuna salad sandwich but it provided a nice contrast to the salty peanut butter.

Menchi Katsu (Japanese Fried Hamburgers)

Some years ago, I made the Hungarian fried burgers/patties/balls called “fasirt”. These panko breaded and fried Japanese hamburgers, or “menchi katsu”, reminded me of them. They’re flavourful and the coating seals in the moisture making for a juicy patty.

I found the idea and basic recipe for these burgers on my favourite Japanese Youtube channel, TabiEats. I’ll post my rewritten version of the recipe at the bottom of the page.

Menchi Katsu – serves 2-3
from TabiEats

Meat patties
150 gm onion, diced, sauteed and cooled
300 gm ground beef, pork or a mixture of the two
1/3 tsp salt
1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
pinch nutmeg, reduces smell of pork
couple of pinches of black pepper
1 egg

Coating
flour
1 egg, beaten
Panko

Side dish
thinly shredded cabbage
rice
sliced tomatoes

Combine ground beef with everything, except the sauteed onion, by hand until sticky. It will be a very soft mixture. Add the onions. Mix again for 3-5 minutes. If it seems too wet, you can add a bit of bread crumb but it shouldn’t be necessary.

Shape into 4-6 evenly sized patties. If the meat mixture is very sticky, you may oil your hands lightly to prevent that. Throw the meat patty from one hand to the other to firm up the patty by eliminating excess air.

Coat with flour (be gentle so the patty doesn’t fall apart), dip into beaten egg to coat and then generously roll in the Panko bread crumbs.

Shallow fry at 350 deg F about 2 1/2 min on each side.

(Strain and reuse the oil for stir frying.)

Serve with tonkatsu sauce, as part of a complete meal or “set”, or include in a bento lunch.

Delicious with a bowl of miso soup, a side of ramen noodles and steamed broccoli.

Convenience Food: Instant Ramen Noodles

I haven’t been a university student in a LONG time but I have been known to buy the occasional package (or six) of those instant ramen noodles for single serving soup or just to use the noodles inside for some other dish. Like these ramen burger buns or as a side (dragon noodles) for chicken patties.

In anticipation of a long period of minimizing grocery shopping outings, I decided to stock my pantry with a selection of the noodles for quick meals. I was amazed at the variety of noodles available… Japanese, Indonesian and South Korean.

You can always eat them simply as a soup or fried noodle, especially the Indonesian Mie Goreng brand, but with some imagination, and a selection of toppings, you can almost make something nutritious. I limit myself to one package a week. Eggs (ramen or plain soft boiled) are a common topping as are fresh green onions. Fried onions add a crunchy texture. Pretty carrot flowers add both colour and nutrition.




Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

In my last post about the rice burger options, I mentioned chicken karage, or “Japanese fried chicken”. Karaage is characterized by its very light coating of potato starch, or cornstarch or even just all purpose flour, before deep frying. It differs in that way from the heavier breading in that other, classic, fried Japanese dish, the cutlet or katsu. In Japan, skin-on chicken thighs are preferred for their juiciness and taste.

Knowing how much I don’t like frying, it took a long time to get psyched up enough to make this dish. And, it was mainly driven by the fact that I had made a batch of fried donuts earlier and wanted to use up the oil for a second time before recycling it. (But that’s another story.)

After watching some Youtube videos and researching a simple recipe that I thought I could manage, I finally did it. (PS: I passed on the recipe that required frying the chicken THREE times at differing temperatures. I wonder why?) This is the recipe I came up with after combining elements from several. I ‘borrowed’ the spicy mayo dip from the site cited.

Chicken Karaage – serves 2-4

4 boneless, skin on, chicken thighs (~1 lb/450 gm)
1/2-2/3 cup of cornstarch, or half cornstarch and all purpose flour
4 cups (~1 litre) vegetable oil, for frying

For serving

lemon wedges
mayonnaise, Japanese Kewpie mayo or Hellman’s are delicious

Chicken Marinade

3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp ginger juice (grate about 1-2 inches of fresh ginger and squeeze out the juice)
2-3 cloves of garlic, grated

Spicy Mayonnaise Dip/Sauce
recipe from the Just Hungry web site

1/2 cup of Kewpie Mayonnaise
3 tbsp Sriracha
3 tbsp soy sauce

Combine the dip ingredients and refrigerate.

In a large bowl, combine the marinade ingredients.

Cut up the thighs into fourths. Marinate the chicken thighs for at least 30 minutes, but less than 1 hr, as the salt in the soy sauce will draw out the moisture from the chicken and toughen it.

In a large bowl, add cornstarch. Drain each piece of chicken of marinade, one at a time, and evenly coat with the cornstarch. Shake off the excess cornstarch. Place coated chicken onto a clean dry plate and let dry for about 5 minutes before frying.

In a large container, suitable for deep frying, add the oil and preheat to 350 deg F. You want the oil level to cover the chicken by about an inch or an inch and a half.

Set up a plate with paper towels on it for draining/wicking the fat off the chicken before transferring the chicken to a wire cooling rack

When the oil is at the proper temperature, fry a few pieces of chicken at a time for 5-6 minutes total, turning after a few minutes. You want the chicken to be a golden brown colour and crunchy. Small bubbles may begin coming off the chicken as the fat in the skin begins to render out.

Remove the chicken pieces from the fat with a slotted spoon or wire scoop, shake for about 10 seconds to remove most of the oil and then place onto the paper towels for a few minutes, turning over to drain off both sides, then transfer to the wire rack.

Serve the chicken with a squeeze of lemon juice and dip into mayonnaise if desired.

I had some leftover karaage so I served it on top of leftover asparagus couscous with a drizzle of spicy mayonnaise on top.