March 24, 2010

Baby Rabbit


I found a baby rabbit in my herb garden!
She was under the dead leaves and freezing.
Soooooooo Cute!!!!


March 2, 2010

Tofu Salad

Today, I cooked Tofu Salad. It has various texture. I like it.

comment from Mrs. P.
The tofu Salad is colorful and tasty. Delicious!!

ingredients (serves 2-3)
1 bunch of coriander, chopped
2 cups of diced grape tomatoes
1cup of diced celery
1 cup of boiled black beans
1/3cup of black olives sliced
2-3 tablespoons of pine nuts, roasted
1/2 firm tofu
1/2 cup of rice flour
1/2cups of balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, lime juice

directions
Put the balsamic vinegar in a small pan and boil down it until it has body.
Press the tofu to drain its moisture. Wrap the tofu in a paper towel and place on the dish. Put another dish on it and put something heavy as weight ( 1 gal water bottle, a kettle of water or something else) on the dish and leave it 1 - 2 hours.
Cut the tofu into cubes. Sprinkle the rice flour on the tofu and fry it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until it becomes crisp.
Put the tofu in the pan which has the balsamic vinegar and stir.
Put the coriander, the tomatoes and the celery in a big bowl and add 2 pinchs of sea salt, black pepper and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, and stir well. Add the black beans, the black olives, the pine nuts and the tofu, and stir lightly.
Dish it up and sprinkle a bit lime juice.



If you don't like tofu, of course you can make a beautiful salad without tofu.
It also is yummy.




February 20, 2010

Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Snow Peas : Mustard Flavor

This is very easy and yummy.


comment from Mrs. P.
The mustard and mustard seeds add a secret dimension to the pasta!
Makes you wonder, "What is that delightful taste?"

ingredients
3cups of your favorite short pasta
2cups of snow peas, cut in half
8-10 sun dried tomatoes marinated in olive oil, sliced
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1/2 table spoon of mustard seed, crushed
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

directions
Mix the olive oil and the mustard in a big bowl.
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the salt ( 1.3 tablespoons for 0.5 gal ). Put the pasta in the water and cook as long as indicated. Add the snow peas to the water 2 min before the pasta is done. Drain the pasta and the snow peas and put them in the bowl which has mustard oil and mix well. Add the sun dried tomatoes and the mustard seed and mix lightly.
Salt to taste.




February 11, 2010

Black Sesame Seeds Bread

These breads were made from my homemade live yeast.
The smell is great!
You can make them with ordinary dry yeast
if you don't have the live yeast.

comment from Mrs.P.
These little breads have a wonderful tender texture.
The black sesame seeds made a delightful surprise.
Good frangrance when toasted!

ingredients
220gm bread flour
30gm whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons of roasted black sesame
130ml lukewarm water
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of sea salt
100gm live yeast or 4gm dry east

directions
Put both flours into bowl.
In another bowl mix the yeast, the honey and the water.
Pure the mixture in the bowl of flour and mix well. Add the salt and mix with your hand until the dough is very well combined. Add the sesame seeds and mix well.
Cover the bowl with a wet paper towel and cover it with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place ( about 27c/80f ) to rise until the dough becomes twice its original size. This will take 2-3hours)
Push the dough to release its gases and divide it into eighths with a knife or a card.
Shape into balls, put them on your plate and cover with a wet towel. Leave it for 15min. to rest.
Shape into balls again and put them on parchment paper with their joints down. Leave it in a warm place to rise again. This will take about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 220c/430f.
Sprinkle some whole wheat flour(out of the ingredients) over the rolls.
Make shallow cut (qoop) on each roll with your sharp wet knife.
Spray water around the dough and also spray water into the oven (6-7 pushes). The water makes the crust thin and crisp.
Put the rolls in the oven and reset the temperature to 210c/410f.
Bake it for 15min.



Process of Live yeast


Put organic raisins and water in a clean bag


Shake it and open the bag to exchange the air a few times a day.
It will take 7-8days


Filter out the raisins.


Put the liquid and whole wheat flour in a clean bag and mush.
Leave it in a warm place until it doubles in size.
Keep it in a refrigerator to rest for 1 night.
Repeat : add the liquid and water, let if rise and rest for 3-4days.


Keep it in the refrigerator.







January 30, 2010

Curry Flavored Soup


It is snowing today. We need warm soup!


comment from Mrs. P.
Boy, was that good!!!
Delightful, delicate curry and tomato. Really good!!!

ingredients (serves 4)
1 onion, sliced
1 onion, grated
7-10 medium Baby Bella ( or your favorite) mushrooms, sliced
1 pack of Baby Brown beach ( or your favorite) mushrooms, broken apart
1 tablespoon of shitake-mushroom powder (crushed dried shitake)
2 cups of boiled chick peas
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup of TVP boiled with a pinch of combu-tea powder (or combu-dashi powder)
1 cup of canned diced tomatoes ( no-salt )
2 tablespoons of parsley, minced
1 tablespoon of curry powder
2 teaspoons of kombu-tea powder ( or komb-dashi powder)
1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of Paprika
1 teaspoon of Herve de Provence
extra virgin olive oil, sea salt


Brown beach mushrooms


Textured Vegetable Protein

directions
Put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic in a thick pan. Saute over it on low heat. After the oil reaches the boiling point, add the TVP, the sliced onion and the curry powder and stir lightly.
Add all of the other ingredients but salt. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 1 hour.


beginning


after 50 min


Remove from the fire and cool it down. - This allows the flavors of the soup to harmonize.
Put the pan on medium heat again and add 1/2 -1 cup of water if the amount of liquid is too little. Simmer it for 10-20min. Salt to taste.
Good soup makes us happy!





January 20, 2010

Broccoli Pasta

This is my lunch for today.
My husband doesn't like broccoli but I like it very much. So I often cook it for myself at lunch.
It is easy, healthy and yummy! And pretty!

ingredients (serves 1)
1.5 cups of small cut broccoli
1 clove of garlic sliced
1 pinch of crushed red pepper
100g of your favorite pasta ( I chose 1.5 cup of Farfalle)
extra virgin olive oil, sea salt

directions
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the salt ( 1.3 tablespoons for 0.5 gal ). Put the pasta in the water and cook as long as the indicated.
Put 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, the garlic and the pepper in a sauce pan. Saute over low heat until the garlic becomes golden. Put 1 tablespoons of the boiling water in the pan and shake it until the sauce becomes milky.
Add the broccoli to the water 4minutes before the pasta is done. Use a timer and make sure the pasta is Al dente.
Drain the water off the pasta and broccoli. Put them to the sauce pan and stir well with crushing the broccoli lightly. Drizzle the olive oil to taste. Dish it up!











January 13, 2010

Homemade Live yeast Breads

Today, I made some breads with my homemade live yeast.
The live yeast was made from organic raisins.


Making the live yeast is easier than I had expected.
You need just good raisins ( apple, strawberries or other fruit),
good water and good whole wheat flour.



This is my live yeast in a zip lock bag. Can you see the air bubbles?


This has dry figs and walnuts

I chose low temperature rising. It is good for live yeast, and easy.
You just need to put the dough in your refrigerator for 24 hours.

The live yeast bread has a good fragrance
and the low temperature rising makes their skin crispy.


January 4, 2010

Kohlrabi and Parsley Root Salad


Kohlrabi01

I got some kohlrabies. I had never seen them before. I studied about this unique vegetable in a recipe book which I borrowed from Mrs. P. It stated that the taste is a cross between an apple and daikon. Daikon is a Japanese vegetable, a kind of radish, and my favorite. I imagined that the kohlrabi definitely would be good! We were able to get daikon in an ordinary American market recently but Japanese daikon is sweeter and juicier than an American one. I thought the kohlrabi might be just like, or much sweeter than a Japanese true green neck daikon. I tasted a little bit. It was soooooooo good!!! Fresh, crispy and sweet. Just like kabu (a kind of Japanese radish). I like it!! So I cooked the salad, kohlrabi/daikon and parsley root/burdock.


comment from Mrs. P.
The salad is amazing with all the different chopped textures, colors and tastes. Kohlrabi is Good! So is parsley root!

ingredients (serves 2)
1 large parsley root
2 kohlrabies
8-10 Boston lettuce leaves, torn
4-6 radishes, sliced
1/2 fennel, sliced : sprinkle a teaspoon of sea salt, leave 10min, squeeze and cool in a refrigerator.
Ponzu*, Tahini*, extra virgin olive oil, roasted white sesame seeds, lemon juice
*
http://www.marukaiestore.com/p-282-kikkoma-ponzu-1503fl-oz.aspx *http://www.amazon.com/Tahini-Ground-Sesame-Seeds-ziyad/dp/B000LRH9SS/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=grocery&qid=1262739110&sr=8-8
1 sheet of fried yuba* crushed or some cornflakes ( for topping )






my seasonings





directions
1 : Shave 1 large parsley root like a pencil





wash the parsley root and scrape off its skin with a knife's back under the water.

 shave off the end of the root like a pencil
with your sharp knife or a peeler.









This way of cutting makes them soft and produces a nice texture.
Called "sasagaki," it means bamboo leaves.







sauce for parsley root : mix every thing well =(a)
2 tablespoons of tahini
2 tablespoons of ponzu
1 tablespoon of crushed sesame seeds


Put the parsley root into the boiling water, cook for 20-30 seconds and drain it. Put it in a bowl, add a half of sauce(a) and mix well. = (A)
Keep a half of the sauce(a) until dishing it up.

This is my Japanese grinding bowl.
It is easy to crush the sesame and you can make the dressing in it.
Just put all the ingredients of the dressing in it after crushing the sesames.
Then, put the root in it and just mix. How smart!
(Don't forget to keep out the half of sauce.)
Of course, you can choose a food cutter, or just use your finger.


2 : Pare and grate 1 kohlrabi

These are Japanese graters.
The square one is good for daikon and onion etc.
Today, I use this one for kohlrabi.
It makes the pieces smooth and fluffy.
The round ceramic grater is good for ginger.
I often use it to grate frozen ginger.

The grater has its own container. Isn't it convenient?

dressing for grated kohlrabi : mix every thing well = (b)
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of ponzu
1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Put the grated kohlrabi and the dressing(b) in a bowl
and mix well. = (B)


3 : 1 kohlrabi pared and cut into julinnes

first of all slice the kohlrabi

layer the sliced pieces and cut them like matchsticks. = (C)


4 : Put the Boston lettuce, the radish, the fennel and (C) in a big bawl. Add 1 tablespoon of Ponzu, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and mix well. Dish it on a plate. Drop some (B) with a spoon someplace on it and put (A) on the top. Put some fried yuba or some cornflakes on the top. Sprinkle half of the sauce(a) (which kept from 1) around the salad. Gorgeous and Yummy!!



There are some extras.

Boiled parsley root is even good just dressed with the sauce(a).


It is also very good to serve just cut kohlrabi
with grated kohlrabi dressed(b).
This has a little bit of Japanese spice called "7tastes*" on the top.