Archive for April, 2010

Eggplant, Chawan Mushi, Miso Soup

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Since the main purpose of this blog is for my own amusement… I figured I should document the things I cook that I’d like to make again. Most of last night’s meal falls into that category.

Eggplant and beef in sauce – Modified the recipe here in an attempt to make something that tastes like those sauces you get out of packets, but from scratch. Success! I used two Chinese eggplant and 1lb of beef. Next time I’d do less beef or more eggplant.

Chawan Mushi – Recipe from here. I’ve really liked this dish since I was a little kid and I’ve finally made it! Mine had some ugly bubbles at the top, but I’m using my ricecooker as a steamer, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a little hotter than it should be.

Miso soup – I did eight cups of water to one 10g packet of dashi. Then 1 tbsp of miso to each cup of dashi. In the future, needs more dashi. Miso to liquid ratio was fine.

Seattle Chocolate Tour

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

This is long overdue… But better late then never!

While D and I were in Seattle, we made it a point to take a chocolate tour, and after a bit of Googling, she decided on this one.  I don’t really want to write this post as a review — but it was fantastic, our guide was very friendly and the tour was interesting and very tasty.

Stop 1 – The Flatliner at Oliver’s. How better to start the morning than with chocolate, caffeine, alcohol and sugar?

Stop 2 – Coconut cream pie and chocolate crinkles at Dahlia Bakery.  We’d gone to Dahlia with  J for dinner the night before and we weren’t impressed… But the bakery was delicious!

Stop 3 – Carter’s enrobed brownie, chocolate bomb cupcake & chocolate + lemon gelato at The Chocolate Box. Everything was really good, though even in their small servings I was starting to have trouble finishing things. (Picture to the left)

Stop 4 – Cheesecake and drinking chocolate and The Confectional in Pike Place. The cheesecake was divine — light and fluffy but somehow rich at the same time. None of that dense out-of-the-freezer stuff most places serve.  Additionally, instead of a normal crust, it was chocolate wafers broken up to form an interesting layered crust. I’m going to try that one day

Stop 5 – Two kinds of popcorn at Kukuruza Gourmet Popcorn. It’s as interesting as it sounds. Really good popcorn though, none of the crunchy lumps that get stuck in your teeth — 100% fluffy popcorn. (They told us what kind of corn they use, but I don’t remember)

Stop 6 – Truffles at Fran’s Chocolates. Pure dark chocolate truffle, raspberry truffle, gray salt caramel truffle, milk chocolate smoked salt caramel truffle. I had to take these home, there was no way I could take four truffles at this point. I ate them a couple days later and while they were all fantastic, the gray salt and caramel truffle was my favorite.

Auuuugh. If I’m ever in Seattle again, I’m stopping by Dahlia Bakery and the Confectional.  Not to say that the others weren’t good, but I can only handle so much chocolate.

Banana Chocolate Springrolls

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Har! I felt like drawing, so I thought I’d illustrate (more as a note to myself than anything) how to roll spring rolls… Since I’ve been doing it a lot lately, first making lumpia, and last night making banana-chocolate spring rolls.

1. Flip wrapper diagonally, glop on ~2 tablespoons of filling or in this case, half (vertically) of half (horizontally) a banana

2. Optional. Add chocolate! Tiny sprinkle of nutmeg too. Possibly sugar if your banana is lame. I made another roll with silken tofu + chocolate and that one definitely needed its sugar.

3. Fold the bottom up, this should pretty much cover up all the filling.

4. Fold the sides in, the filling should be completely covered up now!

5. Roll the filling up then seal it shut with a little water.

6. Fry! I use an electric stove, and I find myself cranking it up to medium-high.

7. Nom. <3

I’ve got a mind to try some other combination — mango rolls also sound promising. Maybe some poached (and drained) pear?

Using Tofu… in Chocolate Mousse

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

After throwing away a pack of expired tofu I swore I’d figure out how to cook the stuff… And have it be edible.  I toyed with making tofu scrambles in college, but they always turned out bland, mushy and not very interesting.  Since then, I never quite figured out how to cook tofu.

My Tofu Cooking Failures:

  1. I don’t like firm tofu and silken tofu turns to mush easily
  2. Tofu is pretty bland
  3. Comes in big packages and I can’t eat that much bland tofu at once
  4. Stir-frys are lame (plus they result in tofu-mush)

My remedy for my tofu ineptitude was to ask one of my vegetarian coworkers. I figure that since he eats a lot of tofu, he must know how to cook it.  And ta-da… Since then, I’ve made three things with tofu.

  1. Ma po tofu. I cheated on this one. I used a sauce packet and added silken tofu, ground beef and chopped onions, garlic and chili oil.  Tasty!
  2. Shirataki noodles, tofu & veggies in a chili beef broth.  Homemade beef broth, chili oil, shirataki noodles and silken tofu boiling together in a pot for an hour so that beef-y taste seeps into the noodles and tofu. The veggies go in last minute so they don’t end up as mushy stewed lumps.
  3. Chocolate mousse. Equal parts by weight of silken tofu and melted chocolate blended and cooled in the fridge. It was very dense and chocolatey. Tasty with bananas! I’m going to try to integrate that into a cake or with other fruit.

I have one package of silken tofu left and one package of ‘multi-purpose’ tofu. I’m thinking of a cheesecake for the silken tofu and an eggplant-tofu dish with ‘fragrant sauce’ for the regular tofu.