Archives for Miscellaneous (Cooking) category

Italian cooking: Green peas risotto

I love risotto and, I make them quite bit of variety.

Back in Japan, porridge (okayu) is probably most close to risotto dish although porridge tend to be less fattier because we add in probably just egg and soy sauce with pinch of salt (sometimes, just salted strip of kombu seaweed ) and tend to be very simple and very lean.

Porridge there is treated like “Chicken noodle soup” in USA and often times, person who got sick or who has digestive issue tend to eat it to heal.

Of course, it can be cooked different way to enjoy regular meal time.

If you have not made risotto,try making one. It is one pot dish and, they are 30 minutes meal and great for those who has pressed time and would like to spend less time cooking.

Plus,you can put whatever in the fridge/freezer using the same base, and you can be creative and make your own risotto and have fun with it.

This green peas risotto is quite easy and, I think even if person in the question is not a fan of green peas, they might enjoy it although they may not want to see a whole green peas on top as garnish. Still, you can serve it without garnish peas and just let them enjoy chesey taste of risotto;-)

I feel people who say they do not like green peas is probably from mushy texture from overcooked green peas.

You can prevent the peas from being over cooked by adding them in at the last 3-5 minutes of cooking and you get nice bright colored peas with non mushy, sweet bursting texture and they might actually enjoy them.

I eat green peas but I hate mushy green peas too.

If you had leftover risotto, add mozzarella cheese to the leftover risotto,make a meat ball size ball,and dip it in flour, then dip it in lightly beaten egg, then, coat the ball with panko bread crumbs then fry them.

You can have it with good marinara sauce and it is tasty

Green peas risotto..

Ingredients for Green peas puree;

1/2  sweet onion chopped
1 cloves of garlic grated
1/2 C blanched green peas
1/2C chicken broth
1/2 tbs Extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Green peas risotto;

1C Arborio rice
1/2  sweet onion chopped
1 cloves of garlic grated
green peas puree (ingredients above)
1/4 C white wine
3C Chicken broth
1/4C grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tbs butter
2 tbs heavy cream

<Green peas risotto>

0. Add everything in the ingredients list for green peas and puree them and set it aside

1.In the deep pan, drizzle EVOO, and add in 1 clove of garlic grated and when it got fragrant, add in 1/2 sweet onion chopped and cook til translucent, and then, add in 1C Arborio rice and stir and cook for a bit

2. Add 1/8C Green peas puree and stir and add in 1/4C white wine and stir

9. When wine is absorbed by rice mostly, add 1C chicken broth and stir

10. When broth is absorbed by rice mostly,add another 1 C chicken broth and stir

11. When broth is absorbed by rice mostly,add another 1 C chicken broth and stir, and cook until rice got bit of bite to it

12. Add remaining green peas puree and cook for a few minutes and take off from the heat and, add in 2 tbs heavy cream, 1/2 tbs butter stir , and add in 1/4C grated Parmesan cheese and stir and taste and adjust the salt and pepper and seasoning.

13. Plate them up and top it with whole blanched green peas as garnish (optional)

Makes:3-4 serving

** When you make risotto, one thing to keep in mind is that you must keep stiring and add liquid 1C or so at a time and wait till liquid is absorbed and then another 1 cup of liquid is added.

Usually rice becomes al dente in about 18-20 minutes.


Jul 23, 2017 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Russian cooking: Grilled Beef steak Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff  is one of my favorite pasta dish.

Generally, strip of beef is sauteed in butter with mushroom and cooked in creamy sauce, and pour it over the pasta.

My Stroganoff dish is a little different.

Steak of your choice is cooked separately in the skillet, and you can enjoy much more tender satisfying dish since strip of beef steak is not cooked in the sauce to well done.Also, since you do not have to spend time cutting the steak into thin strip first, it might be bit time saving as well.

If you wish to cook in the skillet, in the sauce, I think ground meat might be the better choice for the dish.

My favorite way to cook up the stroganoff is to use mustard and Beef broth and a little sour cream, and instead of using shallot, I like to use sweet valida onion for that.

Beef Stroganoff..

Beef Stroganoff..

Ingredients for Grilled Beef Steak:

8 oz Tenderloin steak
McCormic Grill mate steak seasoning

Ingredients for Stroganoff sauce:

1 tbs butter

1 white mushroom sliced

1/2 sweet valida onion sliced

2 tbs flour

1/8C white wine

1 tbs tomato paste

1.5C beef broth

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2tbs sour cream

Ingredients for bed of pasta:

2.5 oz per serving Egg noodle

Molton’s Natures Seasons

<Grilled steak>

0. Make sure the steak is at room temperature and sprinkle Grill steak seasoning

1. In the skillet, drizzle EVOO and when you started seeing steam coming off from the skillet, it means, skillet is hot enough so put the steak in the skillet

2. When 5 minutes passed, flip it over and cook on other side for another 5 minutes

If it was not ate desired doness to you, cook 2 minutes each side and cook until internal temperature reaches to your desired doness.

If outside is seared perfectly but still not cooked to desired doness, thropw the skillet into oven 350F and check doness every 1 minutes and also flip every one minutes

For medium rare, when temperature reaches to about 125F-130F, put it on the plate, cover it with foil and let it rest for 15  minutes, and then slice thin and serve over bed of pasta

<Stroganoff sauce>

1. In the skillet, add 1 tbs butter and 1 white mushroom sliced 1/2 sweet valida onion sliced and sauteed to onion gets translucent

2.Add 2 tbs flour, and cook about a minute or two

3. Add 1/8C white wine, 1 tbs tomato paste, 1.5C beef broth, 1 tsp Dijon mustard and let it come to boil, and after that, let it simmer to thicken

4. When it got thicken, mix in 1/2 tbs sour cream and pour it over pasta.


1.Cook the egg noodle pasta 2.5 oz per serving and cook fr 10 minutes

2.Drain water well and put the pasta back into the pan and season the pasta with Molton’s Natures Seasons and 1 ladle worth of stroganoff sauce and mix well

3.Place pasta as bed of the dish, put sliced grilled steak over and drizzle more of Stroganoff sauce and garnish the plate with chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Jun 14, 2017 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Italian/Japanese cooking; Teriyaki Chicken Pizza

Every now and then, I make pizza from scratch.

When I make pizza from scratch, it makes our house smell like bakery shop. I really like that.

Freshly baked bread/pizza right out from the oven is really tasty.

I think that pizza is probably the most versatile and popular food in the states, and many of you would enjoy my pizzas too.

 Therefore, I thought I would share the recipe with you one flavor at a time every time I make a new one.

 This time, it is Teriyaki Chicken pizza.

 It is my take of classic Japanese Teriyaki chicken dish, and made it into pizza. The  sauce maybe a little different than I normally would have made (Americanized version of the sauce) because I wanted the sauce to be thicker than regular sauce and I had to use the brown sugar instead of usual white table sugar for that purpose.

Teriyaki chicken pizza...

** To make pizza, if you were pressed with time, you can buy fresh pizza dough or use flat bread instead.

Ingredients for the dough for the pizza;

7/8 C           water
2  tsp    dry yeast
2 tsp         sugar
390 grans      Unbleached All purpose flour
3/4 tsp            salt
2tbs     Extra virgin olive oil + some extra for drizzling to oil the bowl
yellow cornmeal

Ingredients for the Orange Teriyaki sauce;

1 tsp grated garlic
1/4 tsp grated ginger
4 tbs brown sugar
4 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs Orange juice
1 tsp sake
1tsp Mirin

Ingredients for the topping:

1/4 carrot shredded
1/8 red pepper julienne
1 handful bean sprout head and bottom removed
1/4 Sweet onion thinly sliced and soaked in water to remove some harsh zing to it
Low moisture shredded mozzarella cheese
4 boneless skin less chicken tenderloin
steak seasoning

 <Pizza dough>

0. Preheat the oven at 200F and when it reached to 200F,turn the oven off

1. To a microwave safe bowl, pour 7/8C water, microwave about 30 seconds or so

2. Take a temperature of the water and if the temperature was at 110F-115F, add 2 tsp of dry yeast , 2 tsp sugar, and mix well and let it sit a while (about 5-10 minutes)

** If you use jar of dry yeast, make sure the yeast is at room temperature. Cold yeast would not make your dough rise properly.

** Water temperature to rise the dough (proof the dough) should be at 110F-115F.
Lower temperature water would not proof the dough properly, and higher temperature water would kill the yeast and would not proof the dough properly.

3. To a big bowl, add 390 g Unbleached All purpose flour, 3/4tsp salt, 2 tbs Extra virgin olive oil and mix well

** For EVOO, first-cold press extra virgin olive oil is the best and tasty. My favorite brand is “Colavita brand”. It is product of Italy,and you can get them at local grocery store.

I have tried some other extra virgin olive oil too, but Colavita brand was the most flavorful,fruity and tasty olive oil of the bunch,and I use this oil for everyday cooking as well.

4. Pour the frothy yeast-sugar- lukewarm water mix to flour-salt mixture a little at a time and stir and when dough became to form a ball, toss them onto lightly floured surface, and start kneading the dough

** Using silpat mat is easy to work with

5. Knead the dough until it is not sticky, but smooth surface and elastic. I usually knead for about 8 minutes.

You can test your dough to see if you knead it more. Do the Windowpane test.

What is windowpane test??

Windowpane test is the test the gluten development in the dough.

What you do is to cut off small piece of dough,and gently stretch out/pulling to see if it will hold a paper-thin membrane.If it tore apart,you would knead a bit more and do the test again.

6. When dough became smooth surface and elastic and not sticky, drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto empty bowl and smear it around side and inside bottom to make easy for you to take the dough out later to roll

7. Place the dough into the bowl,drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the dough and smear the oil all around the dough

8. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place the dough in the oven,set the timer for 90 minutes

** Using the preheated/turned off oven to rise the dough (proof the dough) is perfect weather proof method.

9. 90 minutes later, dough should be double in volume

10. Once the dough gets double, punch down the dough to let the gas out from the dough and make the inner/outer dough temperature equal

11. Toss the dough onto lightly floured surface, and roll out the dough to the shape you like, and preheat the oven at 450F

** There are many kinds of rolling pin but I like the French rolling pin

** If you were to make a crispy pizza, roll out thin and bake at higher temperature 

12. If you have pizza stone, use the pizza stone to bake it,but if you do not have one,use the cookie sheet or half sheet pan or pizza pan

13. To the half sheet pan/cookie sheet place non stick foil,sprinkle yellow corn meal.If you use pizza pan, lightly grease the pan and sprinkle corn meal

** Sprinkling yellow corn meal before placing the dough onto the foiled half sheet pan is my little secret to make a nice crusty bottom

14. Place the dough onto the pan, make a little wedge around at about 1″ away from the edge using side of your hand

15. Blush the dough with extra virgin olive oil

16. Pierce the pizza dough with fork,just inside the 1″ margin from outside circle. And then, bake the pizza for 7 minutes.

17. Take out the pizza dough and pour some Teriyaki sauce, teriyaki chicken, vegetables, and cheese.

18. Bake the pizza for another 12 minutes till the cheese gets melted and bubbly and the edge become brown.

19. Enjoy!

< teriyaki chicken preparation>

1. In the sauce pan pour water enough to cover 4 strips of boneless skinless chicken tenderloin. Then, pour some sake and sprinkle some Steak seasoning from Grill mate brand.

2. Boil the chicken and once cooked through turn off the heat and let it cool down (don’t taker out the meat to cool or it gets dry meat)

3. When chicken got cool enough to handle, shred the chicken tenderloin and pour some teriyaki sauce in and mix well

A slice of Teriyaki chicken pizza..

This pizza dough recipe makes one pizza

If you had leftover pizza, you can wrap them with foil and bag them up in the freezer bag for later quick lunch/dinner.

To reheat the pizza, if you use oven, you want to preheat the oven at about 425F and heat the pizza up wrapped in foil for about 20 minutes or so.

If you use microwave to reheat the pizza, take the foil off,place the pizza in microwave safe plate,wrap the pizza with paper towel,microwave about 40 seconds or so.

Mar 01, 2017 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Mexican cooking: Pan fried pork cutlet with spicy maple sauce

By now, you already know that I am from Japan and I had never tasted such a wide variety of cuisine you can dine in over here in the states.

I enjoy food culture very much here and, always I get inspired by some dishes that I tasted somewhere.

Mexican food was one of those new cuisine for me when I first stepped my foot inside the states.I had never had chili, I had never had tortilla, I had never had burritos…..

Now, I love Mexican food a lot, and we like to go to Mexican fast food restaurant “Chipotle” now and then.  Our 2 year old son “Liam” is not a fan of spicy items such as barbacoa (Spicy shredded beef) but he does enjoy carnitas and beans and tortilla etc.

Because of him, I do not make spicy food anymore, but before he was born, I made this pan fried pork with spicy maple sauce served with bean, cilantro rice and vegetables.

 I made it in quick and easy way and,it came out good.

Here,I would like to share the recipe with you.


Pan fried pork cutlet with spicy maple sauce..

Ingredients for Pan fried pork cutlet:

5 oz Pork tenderloin sliced into 1/4″
Sake capful plus 1/4C
Salt pinch
Morton’s Natures Season
Corn starch
Extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Spicy maple sauce:

1.5 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs chili powder
2 tsp hot sauce

Ingredients for Black beans and corns:

6 oz canned black beans (drained)
1/4C whole corn (drained)
pinch of garlic powder
1 Bayleaf
pinch of kosher salt

Ingredients for Cilantro rice;

1C Jasmine rice
pinch of kosher salt
1/4C cilantro chopped
pinch of kosher salt
fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime
lime zest

Ingredients for pepper and onion;

1/2 sweet onion sliced
1/4 orange pepper sliced
1/8 green pepper sliced
Morton’s Natures Seasons
fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime
Ground Ancho chili powder

<Pan fried pork cutlet with spicy maple sauce..>

0. Pound the 1/4″ pork tenderloin thin and soak in capful of sake and pinch of salt

1. Season the pork with Morton’s Natures Season and dredge the pork with 50% corn starch 50% flour mixture in the small container

2. Drizzle EVOO in the skillet and wait till it gets screaming hot and add the corn starch-flour coated pork and cook till brown, and add in 1/4C sake and shake the skillet and lower the heat down a bit, put the lid on and steam for about a minute or so

3. Pour the spicy maple sauce* (Recipe below) over and coat the pork and serve

Makes; 2-3 servings

 <Spicy Maple sauce>

0. Mix 1.5 tbs maple syrup, 1 tbs chili powder, 2 tsp hot sauce and stir

<Black beans and corns>

1. In the sauce pan, add 6 oz of black beans (drained), 1/4C whole corn (drained), pinch of salt, pinch of garlic powder, 1 dry bayleaf , about 1/4C water or so, and stir and bring to boil

2.  Once it gets bubbly, lower the heat down to simmer

Makes; 2-3 serving

<Cilantro rice>

1. In the sauce pan, add 1C Jasmine rice, 1 3/4C water, pinch of kosher salt and bring it to boil

2. Once boiled, stir and put the lid on and cook them at medium low heat for 10 minutes, and once 10 minutes is out, lower the heat to simmer and cook them for another 10 minutes

3. When rice is done, add about 1/4C cilantro chopped, pinch of kosher salt and fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime, a bit of lime zest

4. Adjust the taste

Makes: 2-4 serving

<Smoky Pepper and onions>

1. In the skillet, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and add 1/8 Green pepper sliced , 1/4 Orange pepper sliced,  1/2 sweet onion sliced and sprinkle “Morton’s Nature’s seasoning” and when it is just about done, sprinkle touch of grounf Ancho chili pepper and stir and cook a minute or so.

2. When vegetables got tender, add fresh lime juice from about 1/4 lime

3. Taste and adjust the seasoning

Makes; 2-3 serving   


Nov 27, 2016 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

German potato salad

I love potato salad.

My grandfather was a head cook when we get together for cerebration and I liked helping him making dishes,and I enjoyed watching him cooking as well.

Potato salad was one of those side dishes he made now and then and I liked it very much.

Coming to the states, I tried different kinds of potato salad such as American potato salad, German potato salad for the first time.

Those were different from what I have had in Japan; Japanese potato salad often times have steamed carrot, steamed or raw onion, raw cucumber, strips of cooked ham and potatoes are mashed and seasoned with vinegar and mayo.

My grandfather loved including fruits such as slice of Apple or canned fruits like mandarin orange from a can.I loved his potato salad very much.

Our potato salad is a bit different, especially my grandfather’s.

I did not care for American potato salad as much when I tried it. Celery pieces in it was a little too much for me. I was also not so much fun of American mayo.

Japanese mayo and American mayo is different in taste and ingredients is also different a bit. I personally prefer Japanese mayo better.

American mayo ingredients go; Soybean Oil, Water, Whole Eggs and Egg Yolks, Vinegar, Salt, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Calcium Disodium EDTA (Used to Protect Quality), Natural Flavors.

Japanese kewpie mayo ingredients go; Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil), Egg Yolk, Vinegar, Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Spice, Natural Flavor.  

After trying American potato salad, I tried German potato salad. It was more of vinegar base salad and I really liked it very much.

I later learned that the ones that I tried making is more likely Americanized version of German potato salad and not authentic German potato salad,which will be made with broth vinegar base, but still, it was tasty.

In this entry, I thought I would like to share the German potato salad that I made, and liked very much. This recipe is Not the authentic one, but Americanized version one.

Then, next time, I would like to share my grandfather’s Japanese potato salad. Our 2 year old son loves my grandfather’s potato salad and, he likes to hunt for fruits in the salad:-)


German potato salad..

Ingredients for German potato salad;

2-3 red potato
3 tbs white vinegar
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tbs Dijon mustard
7 stalks chives
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

2 strips of bacon chopped

<German potato salad>

1. In the skillet, lay the 2 strips of bacon and cook to crisp, and drain the fat over paper towel on the plate

2. In the small bowl, mix 3 tbs white vinegar,2 tbs sugar, 1/2 tbs Dijon mustard, 7 stalks chives, pinch of kosher salt,pinch of black pepper, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

3. wash the potato and when it is still wet, wrap it with paper towel and wrap it over with plastic wrap and microwave about 6-8 minutes or so until tender but not too mushy ( one potato usually require about 3-4 minutes to mushy tender, so microwave a bit shy of that)

4. While potato is still hot, cut it into smaller cube, or simply slice thin and pour the vinegar mixture over and gently stir and let it soak in the juice

5. When it is time to serve, plate the salad, and sprinkle crispy bacon bits on top and serve

** I sometime like to use dill instead of chives.It is very good with dill as well.

6. Enjoy!

Makes:2-3 serving

Sep 20, 2016 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Mexican cooking; Fresh salsa, Salsa rice, and Grilled steak

Mexican food is one of the cuisine that I had never tasted in Japan. I had never had Chili, Salsa, Cilantro, Quesadilla and more.

It is the cuisine that I have discovered after coming to the states.

For me, cilantro has unique taste, and I did not care for it at first but, I started liking it later on. I much prefer coriander spice (seed of cilantro) though. Because it got lemony taste and I like that.

You may wonder what is the difference between cilantro and coriander.

In the states, the leaves and stalks of the plant are referred to as “cilantro,” while the seeds are referred to as “coriander.” Essentially the same thing but, I think seed and plant itself (leaves and stalks) have different taste.

I like Mexican food now and, I make it now and then.

In this entry, I would like to share the recipe of Fresh salsa, Salsa rice, and grilled steak with you.

Grilled steak, Fresh Salsa, Salsa rice

Ingredients for Fresh salsa;

1.5 vine tomato diced
roasted poblano peppers 0.5 oz chopped ( fresh poblano pepper needed)
1/8 red onion chopped
1/4 jalapeno chopped fine
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp white table sugar
2 tsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp canned whole corn kernel
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of black pepper

Ingredients for Salsa rice;

Fresh salsa 1/2C and extra (recipe follows)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic chopped
1/8 red pepper
1C Jasmine rice
1 tsp tomato paste
1/8tsp chili powder
1/16tsp Sazon (Coriander and Annatto)
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground coriander

 Ingredients for Grilled flank steak;

1 lb Flank steak
1/2 tsp mexican chili powder

1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8tsp paprika
pinch of red cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8tsp ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

<Fresh salsa>

1. In the small bowl,mix 1.5 vine tomato diced, roasted poblano peppers 0.5 oz chopped, 1/8 red onion chopped, 1/4 jalapeno chopped fine, 2 tsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp white table sugar, 2 tsp chopped cilantro, 2 tsp canned whole corn kernel, pinch of kosher salt, pinch of black pepper and set it aside

*** How to make roasted poblano pepper ***

1. Set the broiler “High”

2. Line the baking sheet with non stick foil

3. Wash the red pepper and place them on the lined baking sheet

4. Place the baking sheet with 1 poblano pepper under the broiler and wait
till the skin gets blisters.

5. Time to time, rotate the pepper and wait till all sides are with blisters and bubbly, take it out from the oven and toss them into a bowl and seal it with plastic wrap.

** Usually it takes about 15-20 minutes on Broil HI

6. Cool it down a little and when it is at temperature you can handle,
uncover the bowl and take the pepper out and peel the skin off, take
seed off and cut off the stem.


<Salsa rice>

1.Make salsa

2. Add Extra virgin olive oil in the sauce pan and add 1 clove of garlic chopped and stir til fragrant

3. Add 1/8 red pepper and cook a bit and then add 1C Jasmine rice and stir

4. Add 1/2C Fresh salsa, 1 tsp tomato paste, 1/8tsp chili powder, 1/16tsp Sazon (Coriander and Annatto) , 1/8 tsp oregano, 1/8 tsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp ground coriander and stir

5.Add 1  2/3C water, pinch of kosher salt, and cook on medium low for 10 minutes, and lower the heat to simmer and cook 10 minutes more.

6. Serve the rest of the  salsa with the rice or you can mix in some more of the fresh salsa to your rice and stir and taste and serve

Makes: 3-4 servings

<Grilled flank steak>

For the steak,I like to use flank steak. 1 lb of flank steak makes good amount of grilled thinly sliced steak.

1. Take out the flank steak package 1 hour before the cooking time.

** For the good seared steak,you need to have room temperature steak,not the steak right out from the fridge

2. On the big plate, place one paper towel,1 lb flank steak and cover it with another piece of paper towel and press to take moisture out from the meat

** Wet steak does not make nice sear on the outside

3. Make the spice mix; In the small container, add 1/2 tsp mexican chiipowder, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground coriander,1/8tsp paprika, pinch of red cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, 1/8tsp ground black pepper

4.Take off the top paper towel,and sprinkle the spice mix and rub it in, take bottom paper towel out,flip the meat over and sprinkle more spice mix on them and rub it in

5. Put the skillet on medium high heat and drizzle extra virgin olive oil,and wait till you see the smoke coming out

** For the nice sear,you need screaming hot pan

6. Place the steak onto the skillet,and cook 4 minutes one side, flip over and cook about 3-4 minutes more

7. Take the temperature and when meat thermometer read 125F (medium rare),take the steak off from the skillet,and put it on the plate,cover it with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes

** For medium,take the steak out when meat thermometer reads about 130F-135F. After taking off the meat from the skillet,the temperature will rise still about 5F-10F.

8. Slice the meat very thin with 45 degree angle against the grain

9. Put the steak into a bowl,pour steak juice back in and mix with kitchen tongs and set it aside

Makes; 3-4 servings

<How to assemble>

1.Using the round cookie cutter, mound the salsa rice in the center on the plate, and slowly take the cookie cutter ring out

2.Put some grilled steak on one side, place extra salsa on other side and garnish the dish with chopped cilantro and serve


Aug 22, 2016 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Grilled steak with Chimichurri sauce

My husband loves steak. I do love steak too, and I like to make various types of sauce for it to enjoy the different flavored steak.

One of the sauce that I like to make is chimichurri sauce.It is very easy to make one,yet it has such a depth in the flavor in the sauce. I enjoy steak with Chimichurri sauce very much.

Back home in Japan, I had never tasted this chimichurri sauce before. However, once I have tried making the sauce and tasted it,I became big fan of the sauce.

Here is the recipe for you to try. I made the plate just like Chipotle restaurant; Grilled steak,cilantro rice, bean and vegetable. Only difference is that, I made the steak sauce differently.

I will include my side dish recipes here as well.

Grilled steak with Chimichurri sauce blog

Grilled steak with Chimichurri sauce….

<Grilled steak>

Ingredients for Grilled steak:

Flank steak 1 lb
Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning

<Chimichurri sauce>

Ingredients for Chimichurri sauce;

1/2C Extra virgin olive oil
1/4C red wine vinegar
1 chopped shallot
1/2C fresh cilantro chopped
1/2C Italian flat leaf Parsley chopped
1/2 tsp  salt
1/4 tsp  ground black pepper
4 cloves of roasted garlic
pinch of fresh oregano leaves
1/8 Jalapeno pepper chopped
1.5 tbs lime juice

<Black beans and corns>

Ingredients for Black beans and corns:

1/4 red onion chopped
1 can of black beans (drained)
1 can (15oz can) of whole corn (drained)
pinch of garlic powder
1 Bayleaf
pinch of kosher salt

<Cilantro rice>

Ingredients for Cilantro rice;

1C Jasmine rice
pinch of kosher salt
1 tbs chopped cilantro
pinch of kosher salt
fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime
lime zest

<pepper and onion>

Ingredients for pepper and onion;

1/2 red onion sliced
1/4 red pepper sliced
1/4 green pepper sliced
Morton’s Natures Seasons
fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime
1 tbs chopped cilantro

<Grilled Flank steak>

0. Put out the Flank steak on counter to come to room temperature

1. Season the Flank steak with “Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning”,and place the skillet on stove top and pour some Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I like cold press Extra virgin Olive oil.It just taste better.)

2. Wait til you see the smoke/steam coming out from the skillet,which tells you that the skillet is screaming hot

3. Add 1 lb flank steak int the skillet

** Do NOT Touch. Let it caramelize its surface.Just leave it alone.

4. After about 4-5 minutes,flip it over cook for another 4-5 minutes or until desired doneness.

We like medium rare so,I cook until temperature goes to about 125F or so.

** IF the meat were quite thick cut and,inside temperature were below 100F and outside were all brown and crusty,you can cook the meat in the 350F oven gently. I usually bake about 2-5 minutes to see how much temperature rise to rough estimate the cooking time in the oven.

5. Place the steak on the plate, cover it with foil and let it rest for another 15 minutes or so

** Remember that steak temperature rise about 10F while it is resting so,you want to consider when to pull the meat to rest in the plate.

6. After the meat is rested enough, slice the beef against the grain very thin

Makes; 2-4 servings

<Chimichurri sauce>

Chimichurri sauce blog

Chimichurri sauce…

1. In the food processor, add in 1/2C Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4C red wine vinegar, 1 chopped shallot, 1/2C fresh cilantro chopped, 1/2C Italian flat leaf Parsley chopped, 1/2 tsp  kosher salt,1/4 tsp  ground black pepper, 4 cloves of roasted garlic, pinch of fresh oregano leaves, 1/8 Jalapeno pepper chopped, and 1.5 tbs lime juice and pulse to mix well

** Do not puree

<Black beans and corns >

1. In the sauce pan, add 1/4 red onion chopped, 1 can of black beans (drained), 1 can (15oz can) of whole corn (drained), about 1/4C water or so, and sprinkle pinch of garlic powder and put 1 Bayleaf in there and sprinkle pinch of kosher salt to it and stir and bring to boil

2. Once it gets bubbly, lower the heat down to simmer

Makes; 3-4 serving

<Cilantro rice>

1. In the sauce pan, add 1C Jasmine rice, 1 3/4C water, pinch of kosher salt and bring it to boil

2. Once boiled, stir and put the lid on and cook them at medium low heat for 10 minutes, and once 10 minutes is out, lower the heat to simmer and cook them for another 10 minutes

3. When rice is done, add about 1 tbs cilantro chopped, pinch of kosher salt and fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime, a bit of lime zest

4. Adjust the taste

Makes: 2-4 serving

<Pepper and onions>

1. In the skillet, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and add 1/2 Red onion sliced, 1/4 red pepper sliced, 1/4 green pepper sliced and sprinkle “Morton’s Nature’s seasoning”.

2. When vegetables got tender, add fresh lime juice from about 1/2 lime

3. Add 1-2 tbs chopped Cilantro and stir

4. Taste and adjust the seasoning

Makes; 2-3 serving

*** If you had leftover from this menu,you can chop the beef to strip,mix it with rice and everything,and warm the Tortilla and put the rice mixture and eat as Burritos,and maybe chimichurri sauce on the side.

If you had left over Burritos,you can freeze it. Wrap it with plastic wrap,then,wrap it with Foil. When you need one,unwrap the plastic wrap,wrap it with paper towel very loose on microwaveable plate,then, probably 1 minutes to heat up,then, re-wrap with foil,put it in oven at 350F about 10 minutes or so and it comes out nice.


Apr 18, 2016 | 2 | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Strawberry Tart

Every year, when Valentine’s Day comes around the corner, chocolate becomes the king of sweets. Many stores sells chocolates in fancy
decorated box or cute heart shaped containers with or without cute stuffed animals.

As a kid, I remember visiting grocery stores near our house every
February for the special Valentine’s Day, trying to find the best
possible chocolate for my father and for the boy I liked.

In Japan, as I wrote in the previous entry titled “Loves in the Air!! Valentine’s Day in Japan“,Valentine’s day is “the Confession” day for women if she was single.

Woman gives chocolate to a man she likes, and tell him that she is in love with him.

If she has a boyfriend, then the day becomes the day to show him she loves him very much.

On the Valentine’s day, men do not give anything to women,and
he does not give answer “Yes” to the women who gave him a box of chocolate asking to become his girlfriend.

In Japan,there is a day called “White Day”. It is the day men give women “yes” or “No” answer;to whom he got chocolate from. It is on the exactly one month away:March 14th.

 This tradition is actually still short history because it started in 1980’s. But it is a day that guy who has received “Ho n me i chocolate” gives woman candy (marshmallow,cookies,and other kind of candies) and answer “yes” or “no” to them.

If men got “Gi ri Chocolate” then,it is a day to return the favor and nothing deep meaning in the candies the male workers give female workers.Simply meaning “Thank you for the Giri Chocolate”.

When woman gives chocolates on Valentine’s Day,sometimes, those chocolate comes with hand-knit sweater or  muffler to the man to confess her love to him.

Hand-knitted stuff was very popular items to give with chocolate when I was a student. I saw girls knitting during the break for special someone.

These chocolates given to special someone in love are categorized as “Ho n me i chocolate”. What it means is that it is a chocolate to confess the love.

The chocolates given to other men such as father,male workmates, male boss are categorized as “Gi-ri chocolate”.

It is translated ” Obligation Chocolate”. It has no meaning of “I am in
love with you” but it just became tradition in Japan.

Anyone can buy a box of chocolates, or can take you to a fancy restaurant for special meal created by restaurants’ chefs for the special day and, those romantic dinner dates are great.

However, if you make something for your loved ones,even if you make something simple, it has lots of feeling in there, and becomes quite personal and it has a lot more meaning to it.

I am sure you can put a huge smile on your loved one with something special made by you.

This year, I have made “Strawberry Tart” for my husband for valentine’s day.

I picked strawberry as star ingredient of this dessert because our little son loves strawberry, and I was going to share it with him..

For our son, the dessert it low sugar but it still tasted good and my husband and our son loved these.

In this entry, I would like to share the recipe of strawberry tart.

Maybe next year’s Valentine’s day, or on your special occasion, you can make it yourself and enjoy this tasty dessert.

This tart is very fresh taste from fresh strawberries and tart itself is not sticky sweet.That is what I like about it. Next time, I may bake with different fruits.

You can enjoy decoration by using different colored fruits as well.Color of the fruits really pops from bright beautiful color and I love using fresh fruits for decoration.

Japanese cake in general use a lot of fruits, and use that as color for baked goods. This tart baking reminded me of Japanese cake baking a lot.

Strawberry tart Feb 15 2016

Strawberry Tart..

Ingredients for tart crust;

50g (1.8 oz) butter

1/2 Egg

100g (3.6 oz) unbleached all purpose flour

20 g (0.7 oz) Almond flour

50g (1.8 oz) granulated white sugar

Dry beans for weight when baking

Ingredients for creamy custard cream;

1 whole egg

1 tbs unbleached all purpose flour

3 tbs granulated white sugar

200 CC ( 7 oz) milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for almond cream;

50g (1.8 oz) butter

50g (1.8 oz) granulated white sugar

1 whole egg

50g (1.8 oz) almond flour

Ingredients for decoration;

167g (6 oz) stem removed sliced strawberries

small amount of granulated white sugar for garnish

<Tart crust>

1. Bring up the 50g (1.8 oz) butter,1 egg to room temperature and preheat the oven at 340F

2. Shift the 20g (0.7 oz) almond flour, 100g (3.6 oz) unbleached all purpose flour separately into the each bowl.

3.In the bowl, add 50 g (1.8 oz) butter and cream it with 50g (1.8 oz) white sugar until color turns to pale yellow

4. Add in 20g (0.7 oz) almond flour and mix it and add in 100g (3.6 oz) unbleached flour a little bit per time and careful not to over mix it

5. When the dough became mixed without white spots of fliur in the dough, put it onto the saran wrap and wrap it into round dough and let it rest in the fridge for about 30. minutes or so.

6. After the resting roll the dough to round about 1/4″ bigger round than the tart pan and cover the tart pan bottom with non stick foil and wipe the side edges with butter wrapper to grease it up a bit or wipe the sides with paper towel that has bit of melted butter on it and place the dough in the tart pan

7. Poke the tart crust bottom with fork and put non stick foil directly on the bottom of the tart crust and pour some dry beans for the weight

8. Bake the tart crust at 340F for 20-25 minutes

9. Let it cool

10. When cool, pour the almond cream in the crust and spread it around so all the bottom gets covered and then bake it in the 340F oven for about 30 minutes

11. Let it cool

<Almond cream>

1. In the bowl, beat the soften 50g (1.8 oz) butter and add 50g (1.8 oz) white granulated sugar and after a bit, add in 1 whole egg, beat and then add in 50g (1.8 oz) almond flour, and when everything got mixed in,it is done

<creamy custard cream>

1.. In the cool sauce pan, add in 1 whole egg, 1 tbs unbleached all purpose flour, 3 tbs granulated white sugar, and whisk them good

2. To the pan, add in 200 CC ( 7 oz) milk and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and mix well

3. Put the pan on the stove with high heat and keep strring and when the mixture started getting thicker, turn the heat to medium heat and keep strring and continue whisking until desired thickness


1. Smear some of custard cream over the baked almond cream, and decorate with sliced strawberries and shift small amount of  granulated white sugar through the kitchen shieve to garnish the tart

2. Enjoy

A slice of strawberry tart Feb 16 2016

A slice of strawberry tart…

What can you do with leftover custard cream?

 1. You can smear on the toasted bread and eat.

That was how I liked enjoy leftover custard cream. In Japan, we have desserty bread at bakery and one of the kind is called cream pan (pan in Japanese means “bread”).The cream pan is the sweet dinner roll like bread dough filled with custard cream inside.

I love them.

You can also use up leftover strawberry by sprinkle the berries over the custard cream smeared bread and enjoy the strawberry-custard cream sandwich.

This is one of great toddler snack of the day. Liam loved the sandwich very much.

Liam snack of the day strawberry custard sandwich Feb 16 2016

strawberry custard cream sandwich..


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Feb 29, 2016 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Brunswick stew and Cheesy Jalapeno cornbread

As season changes and getting cold weather, nothing comforting than a hearty bowl of stew or soup for the meal.

When I make the Brunswick stew, I use cut up chicken breast, but you can use shredded beef,shredded pork, shredded chicken and I think you can even use white meat fish in the stew because white fish meat goes well with tomato sauce.

If you have leftover grilled/BBQ meat from previous meals, you can chop up to small pieces and use that in the soup. If you got already cooked meat you can cook up this dish even quicker. This stew recipe is a great base recipe which you can use it to make the rollover dish.

This stew goes well with crusty artisan bread.

I think you could even make it in the slow cooker and serve it to the large crowd.

Very first time I have tasted Brunswick stew was at Williamsburg tavern in VA. Menu they served was made as it was made hundreds of years ago. When we tasted the stew, my husband loved the stew and that is why I have decided to make one at home for us to enjoy.

Later, I learned that it is also the dish that is popular in southern states in the states.

Since I was curious about the connection between southern style Brunswick stew and the stew we tasted in VA, I have looked into how the stew came about.

New York Times ran the article about backstory of the dish in 1982. The article was written by John Herbers. According to the article, it said that a couple of hundred years ago,  a hunting party in Brunswick County, Va., left a lazy fellow at the camp with a large stock of tomatoes, onions, cabbage, butter beans (limas), corn, white meat (fatback) and red pepper, and instructions to have a supper ready when the hunters returned.

Disgruntled at being left behind, he threw everything into one pot, added a couple of squirrels that he shot out of the closest tree, lit the fire and went to sleep. When the hunters returned at dusk, the famous Southern dish was born.

You can read the full article by John Herbers at NY Times website here.

I do not know if the stew that I make is true to the authenticity but, it is, to me, tasty one and I have decided to share it with you here.

I usually prepare crusty artisan bread to go with it but sometimes, I like to serve Jalapeno Cornbread.It goes well with the stew as well.

I will include my husband’s favorite cheesy jalapeno cornbread recipe here as well.

Brunswick stew

Brunswick stew.. 

Ingredients for Brunswick stew;

6 oz chicken breast pounded and cut into bite size pieces
1C chicken broth
14 oz diced canned tomato
2 oz whole corn kernel
4 Okras cut to bite size pieces
2-3 oz canned pinto beans
1/4 sweet onion chopped
2/3 medium potato cut into bite size pieces
1 tbs white sugar
1/4C tomato sauce
pinch of salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
dash of balsamic vinegar

<Brunswick stew>

0. Cut the 6 oz  pounded chicken breast into bite size pieces

1. Pour 1C chicken broth in the sauce pan and add 14 oz diced canned tomato,2 oz whole corn kernel, 4 Okras cut to bite size pieces, 2-3 oz canned pinto beans (or lima beans), 1/4 sweet onion chopped, 2/3 medium potato cut into bite size pieces, 1 tbs white sugar, 1/4C tomato sauce and add pinch of salt and pepper.

2. let it come to boil and turn the heat down to simmer and cook till potatoes get tender

3. Once potatoes are tender, uncover the lid and let it thicken the stew

4. add pinch of cayenne pepper and balsamic vinegar and adjust the seasoning

Makes; about 2-3 servings

Cheesy Jarapano cornbread

Cheesy Jalapeno cornbread..

Ingredients for Cheesy Jalapeno cornbread;

1/4 Jalapeno chopped
2C cornmeal (recommend Bob’s red mill brand)
1/2C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3C white sugar
2 eggs
1C butter milk
4 tbs butter melted
1/3C Monterey Jack cheese

<Cheesy Jalapeno cornbread>

0. In the bowl, mix 1/4 Jalapeno chopped,2C cornmeal (recommend Bob’s red mill brand),1/2C all purpose flour,2 tsp baking powder,1/2 tsp salt,1/3C white sugar

1. In another bowl, add 2 eggs, 1C butter milk, 4 tbs butter melted, 1/3C Monterey Jack cheese

2. Add dry ingredient  to the wet ingredients and gently mix them

** It is good to draw number 11 and circle around the number in the bowl to avoid over mixing the ingredients

3. Pour it into greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan and bake them at 375F for about 30-35 minutes

Makes; 8″x 8″ cornbread



Nov 30, 2015 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Yassy’s Skinny Almond Meringue cookie

As you know, I have been making our little son solid food menu each day.

When I was making one hand feeding friendly stuff, I only needed egg yolk just enough to brush his sweet potato medallion cake.

Therefore, our stubby Corgi *Palette* got to taste test the Egg yolk as snack and.. I was left with Egg white.

I could make egg white omelet for our son *Liam* but then, I thought, I would like to make something for us this time.

Then, I looked around our pantry and decided to make meringue cookie.It does not have many ingredients needed plus it was quick snack.It was a perfect fit.

My Meringue cookies are light,crisp outside and melt in your mouth kind of texture and there is some chewiness but not too chewy. The Sliced almond used for the garnish will add the right amount of crunch in one bite and, I should warn you that you would not be able to stop eating them:-)

This turned out to be that good.

I did not bake the cookie at really low temperature like most meringue cookie recipes. I baked it like Macaroon cookies.

If you know me through baking/cooking entries on this blog, you can notice that I love cooking food with liquor or wine.

I think liquor or wine added to food deepen the flavor and makes great tasty dish,rather than one dimensional dish and I love using them.

Just about finished cooling the cookie, my husband came to the kitchen, peeked at it and I had to tell him to wait for the nibble.

He patiently waited until I place the plate nicely to take the picture and when he thought it will be more than it can fill the plate with, his hand reached over and took one off from the rack.

He loved it!

He then left the kitchen a bit but came back and said to me that it was so good that he wanted one more.

It ended up with 4 Meringue cookies nibbles plus some more to bring to work:-)

I do not expect it to survive to his workplace without being eaten by him. He really loved them.

Looking at his reaction, I thought that I would share the recipe with you.

I named this *Skinny* because it git about half the sugar than regular recipes you see on the net. I do not like sticky sweet snack and, I think this treat is very light  and airy and has nice crisp texture outside, right amount of a little chewy texture inside with right amount of crunch from the sliced almond used for the garnish.

I myself enjoyed nibbling them too.

This cookie is made with Amaretto,which is Italian Almond liquor. Great snack to go with a cup of coffee.

Yassys Skinny Almond Macaroon

Yassy’s skinny Almond meringue cookies..

Ingredients for Yassy’s skinny meringue cookies:


1  Egg white
1/6 C white sugar
1 tsp Amaretto (Almond Liquor)

About 2 tbs Almond slices crushed in zip bag to garnish the cookie

1. Preheat the oven at 325F

2. In the dry clean bowl, add 1 Egg white and beat till it gets foamy.

3. Add a little bit of white sugar and beat to soft peak;  it is when you upside down the beater, you see the tip fold down a bit.

You can also recognize that any dropped beaten egg white into the bowl gets melt down in the egg white in the bowl and does not leave any mark on it

4. Add 1 tsp Amaretto and keep beating by adding some more sugar (a little bit at a time)

5.Beat until stiff peaks; it is when you upside down the beater, the tip would not drop down and can hold perfectly.Tip should staright up and hold the state.

Also, you can notice that the mark in the beaten egg white would not melt into the egg white. The beaten egg white in the bowl would look like very shiny,thick and heavy looking.

6.  Place the egg white into the zip bag (sandwich bag) and cut the one side corner so you can pipe out the meringue onto the non stick cooking sheet.

7. Pipe the meringue onto the non stick foil about 2″ apart and sprinkle rough crushed almond slices .

8. bake about 25-30 minutes or it gets brown around the edges or on the bottom gets nice light brown.

9. Let it set about 5-10 minutes and then peel the cookie off and  transfer it to the cooling rack


Makes: About 20 cookies


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Aug 11, 2015 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)