Cucumbers and Carrots with Miso Dip

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Cucumbers and Carrots with Miso Dip

 Remember Kayuga Japanese Restaurant on Eddy Street?  We were frequent flyers there and I liked their miso dip so much that I asked for the recipe.  I was rewarded with a little piece of paper on which was written the ingredients but not the quantities.  In the true spirit of intuitive  cooking I’ll also pass along the basic ingredients and method and then leave it up to the reader to concoct their own version.  Start with 1/2 cup of Sake and 1/4 cup of mirin.  Boil together until reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Turn off the heat and add miso a little at a time starting with a heaping tablespoon.  The trick to miso is not to boil it.  I use white miso in this recipe, but you can experiment with different types of miso.  You’ll want the consistency to be like ketchup.  It will thicken once cooled.  Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a few shakes of roasted sesame seeds.  Then taste.  If you want it sweeter, add a pinch of sugar.  This lasts for several days in the fridge. 

Miso can be found in many grocery stores.  Greenstar has it in bulk in the back of their store so you can buy small quantities  and  experiment with different types of miso.  Wegmans has tubs of miso in the cooler section which also containes seitan and tofu.

 

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Vietnamese Cabbage Salad

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Vietnamese Chicken Salad

(Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish)

Special note:  You need to taste and adjust this salad before serving.  Some like it spicier, some like it sweeter or saltier and some like it with more sour flavor from the limes.  Don’t add salt at first since the fish sauce is salty.  Remember that adding the peanuts (and you need lots) adds to the flavor so when you taste it, try it with the peanuts and basil and mint. 

 

For salad:

·         1 ½ -2-pound  green cabbage, shredded, but not too finely:  I don’t use the mandoline

·         2  carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips

·         ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

 

Optional:   ¼ cup dried shrimp from Asian market boiled for 5 minutes in water and then drained and chopped.  It adds a very fishy shrimp flavor that is very authentic but not to everyone’s taste.
For dressing :

·         1/3 cup Asian fish sauce  (Nuoc Mam)

·         2 teaspoons  cup brown sugar

·         1 teaspoon (or to taste)  Thai or Vietnamese chili garlic sauce

·         2 teaspoon finely chopped peeled ginger

·         1 tablespoon  garlic clove, finely chopped

·         ¼ cup fresh lime juice from 2-3 limes

·         1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger

 

·         For  topping:

·         2/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts

·         1/2 cup packed torn basil leaves

·         1/2 cup packed torn mint (optional)

·         ½  cup bean sprouts

·         ½ -1 cup  leftover boned  shredded, cooked chicken (optional)

 

1.    Combine salad ingredients

2.    Make dressing by combining ingredients by hand or in a blender

3.    Toss salad: Mix dressing with cabbage and carrots and shrimp

4.    Assemble salad: .Arrange chicken and bean sprouts over tossed salad and sprinkle with peanuts, basil, and mint. Serve at room temperature or chilled. You can pass around extra peanuts and lime juice for people to add to their salads.

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TURKEY CONGEE WITH BARLEY

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Leftover turkey has many tasty reincarnations. Turkey barley congee is one of my favorites that I make every year after Thanksgiving. It starts off by using the turkey carcass to make a rich broth. Congee is a nourishing and healthy one dish meal which I’ve adapted from the recipe of one of my favorite cookbooks: 

A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible, health-giving recipes from Asian kitchen, by Nina Simonds. She references the healthful or medicinal qualities of each recipe so you feel good about what you serve your family and guests.

 
 
 
 
 
  • Difficulty: moderate
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TURKEY CONGEE WITH BARLEY
Adapted from the cookbook, “A Spoonful of Ginger” by Nina Simonds.
 
For the broth:
1 Turkey carcass from the Thanksgiving dinner
12 cups water
Salt
1 peeled onion
1 celery stalk
1 slice ginger
 
For the marinade:
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 ½ Tbs rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
 
For the soup:
1 pound or more leftover turkey meat, cut into bite size pieces or use uncooked turkey meat. if you don't have leftovers.
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 cup whole grain or pearl barley, rinsed and drained.  (whole grain barley is healthier)
3 carrots,  peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
3 stalks celery , cut into ¼ inch dice
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tsp.-1 Tbs.   grated fresh ginger (depending on how much you like ginger)
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced (fresh) or/and dried shitake:  5-6 reconstituted in water
1-2 cans chicken or turkey broth as needed (optional:  see note).
  1. Combine the broth ingredients and bring to boil in large pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for an hour.  Strain and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the marinade, add turkey and coat with marinade. Refrigerate.
  3. Fry onions in oil or butter until soft and lightly brown and set aside.
  4. Fry mushrooms in butter or olive oil until lightly browned and set aside.
  5. Add barley to the strained broth and cook for 45 minutes. If necessary, add more water or broth.
  6. Add carrots and celery (and turkey meat if it is uncooked) and cook another 15 minutes, checking to make sure there is enough liquid.
  7. Add browned onions, cooked turkey, rice wine, browned mushrooms and grated ginger and cook another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  8. Taste for seasoning and add more broth if necessary and a little sesame oil to taste.
 
Note: This is meant to be a thick, porridge like soup. I prefer it a little soupier and so I have some broth set aside to add if necessary.
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Thai corn and craw fish chowder

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Thai Corn and Crawfish Chowder

 

4 ears corn shucked

1 TBS butter

Olive oil

1 large onion, chopped into small cubes

4 cups chicken broth, seafood broth or lobster broth

1 can coconut milk (14 ounce)

1 TBS Thai red curry paste

1 pound cooked crawfish tail meat (comes frozen) or shrimp, crab or lobster

Salt to taste

 

1.       Fry the corn kernels over high heat in a frying pan with no oil and after 3 minutes add butter and when melted continue to cook for another 2 minutes of high heat before setting the corn aside.

2.      Fry the onions in olive oil until soft and beginning to caramelize and then set aside

3.      Defrost the crawfish and fry over high heat with some butter and olive oil in two batches for 5-6 minutes each and set aside.  IF using other seafood skip this step if the seafood is already cooked.

4.      Place the shucked corn cobs in the broth and boil together for 20 minutes to infuse the broth with the corn flavor.  Then remove the cobs and discard.

5.      Mix the red curry with 1 TBS of the coconut milk until thoroughly combined.  Then add to broth along with the rest of the coconut milk and bring to simmer.  Add the onion, corn and crawfish and bring to simmer again.  Simmer for 10 minutes and taste for seasoning.

This chowder can be eaten immediately or refrigerated for the next day.  If using lobster or shrimp do not add the seafood until right before serving and then add it to the simmering broth and simmer until warmed through.  It is important not to overcook the seafood.

 

 

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EGGPLANT WITH PLUM SAUCE

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 Eggplant with Plum Sauce

 eggplant in basket

 

  1. Slice small (3 inches or less) eggplant in half lengthwise, spread with olive oil and salt and grill over barbecue until browned on both sides and barely cooked. Salt and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile make the sauce: Mix together

          ¼ of plum jam,

           3-4 skinned plums if you have nice fresh, ripe plum

            2-3 Tbs. soy sauce

            I Tbs. grated fresh ginger

            !-2 Tbs. minced garlic

            1 tsp Asian chili garlic sauce (optional)

      ¼ cup Iron Chef Sesame Garlic Sauce : NOTE: I have to defend using a ready  made sauce but I have to say it really kicks it up significantly. This sauce is all natural with no preservatives and not particularly high in sodium.

3. Boil these ingredients together for 5 minutes until the flavors meld and it is slightly  

     reduced.   

  1. Put the cooked eggplant in an oven or grill proof dish and cover with the sauce. I add more garlic since I love garlic. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes in hot covered grill (300°-400°). It should be boiling hard so that the sauce thickens.   But check to make sure it is not burning.  

 

  

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GINGERED BOEUF BOURGUIGNON

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  • Difficulty: moderate
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 GINGERED BOEUF BOURGUIGNON 

 

 

 

 

Years ago I entered a recipe contest through Fine Cooking Magazine where we were instructed to use certain ingredients to create our own recipe.  This is what I came up with and though I didn’t win, I did get a phone call from the judges asking for more clarification so that was pretty close to winning, right? 

 

My concept was to blend the best ingredients of French beef stew with the great Chinese stew ingredients:  wine, garlic, bacon, oyster sauce,  and of course ginger. The other flavor booster I work into this recipe is to layer the ingredients so that you have garlic and ginger cooking slowly and flavoring the broth.  But I also add these ingredients the last minute to enhance the ginger and garlic flavors.This is a recipe I go back to time and again.  My grown up son asked for the recipe and said it came out great.  Feel free to modify as you wish.  For instance, he used regular mushrooms rather than shiitake. If you don’t have the rosemary, don’t worry.  You can add a little thyme, a bay leaf some herbs de province or leave out the spices 

GINGERED BOEUF BOURGUIGNON Serves 5-6

 3 slices bacon

Olive oil as needed

2 lbs stew beef, cut in 2×2 inch pieces (a marbled, fatty cut works best for stew such as chuck.  And if you use organic meat it may take less time since organic meat tends to be less fatty)

Salt and pepper

1 ½ cups shallots, coarsely chopped (about ½ lb)

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs. fresh ginger, finely minced

¼ cup flour

2 cups dry red wine (such as Shiraz or Merlot)

1 can chicken broth (10.5 oz)

¼ cup oyster sauce

2 Tbs. sugar

1 sprig fresh rosemary

½ lb. shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and cut in slices.

2 (more) cloves garlic, finely minced

1 Tbs. (or more) fresh ginger, finely minced

1 tsp. sesame oil

3-4 green onions finely minced

 

1.  Heat a medium size heavy pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crispy.  Remove and set aside to drain on paper towel.  Chop into small pieces.

2. Season meat with salt and pepper.  Increase heat to high, add oil to bacon fat to coat bottom of pot and when oil shimmers add meat in three batches, browning each batch and setting aside. Add more oil if necessary to coat bottom of pan after each batch.

3. Turn the heat to medium and add shallots, browning while stirring for about 5 minutes.  Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring for two more minutes or until aromatic.  Add flour and mix together while cooking for another 2 minutes.

4.  Add wine while stirring quickly to mix in the flour.  Add broth, oyster sauce, sugar, rosemary, and reserved bacon and beef. Stir well and heat to simmer.

5. Cook for 30 minutes and remove rosemary.  Continue to cook stew over low heat for 30- 60 minutes more hours stirring every 30 minutes and adding more water or stock if necessary.  Depending on the cut of meat and size of the chunks this may take more or less time.  Take a piece out and see if it is tender.

6.  While the stew is cooking, fry the mushrooms in two batches over medium heat in frying pan coated with oil for 3 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add the mushrooms to the stew for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

7. For best flavor refrigerate the stew overnight and reheat the next day, adjusting seasoning as desired. 

8.  15 minutes before serving add the two cloves of mashed garlic and 1 Tbs. of ginger to the simmering stew.

9. Just before serving, stir in the sesame oil and sprinkle with spring onions.

 Serve over mashed potatoes, with peas on the side.

 Preparation time is 30-45 minutes and cooking time is 2 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TURKEY LEFTOVERS

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Leftover turkey has many tasty reincarnations. Turkey barley congee is one of my favorites that I make every year after Thanksgiving. It starts off by using the turkey carcass to make a rich broth. Congee is a nourishing and healthy one dish meal which I’ve adapted from the recipe of one of my favorite cookbooks: A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible, health-giving recipes from Asian kitchen, by Nina Simonds. She references the healthful or medicinal qualities of each recipe so you feel good about what you serve your family and guests.
 
 
 
 
 
 
TURKEY CONGEE WITH BARLEY
Adapted from the cookbook, “A Spoonful of Ginger” by Nina Simonds.
 
For the broth:
1 Turkey carcass from the Thanksgiving dinner
12 cups water
Salt
1 peeled onion
1 celery stalk
1 slice ginger
 
For the marinade:
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 ½ Tbs rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
 
For the soup:
1 pound or more leftover turkey meat, cut into bite size pieces or use uncooked turkey meat. if you don’t have leftovers.
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 cup whole grain or pearl barley, rinsed and drained.  (whole grain barley is healthier)
3 carrots,  peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
3 stalks celery , cut into ¼ inch dice
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tsp.-1 Tbs.   grated fresh ginger (depending on how much you like ginger)
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced (fresh) or/and dried shitake:  5-6 reconstituted in water
1-2 cans chicken or turkey broth as needed (optional:  see note).
 
 
  1. Combine the broth ingredients and bring to boil in large pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for an hour.  Strain and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the marinade, add turkey and coat with marinade. Refrigerate.
  3. Fry onions in oil or butter until soft and lightly brown and set aside.
  4. Fry mushrooms in butter or olive oil until lightly browned and set aside.
  5. Add barley to the strained broth and cook for 45 minutes. If necessary, add more water or broth.
  6. Add carrots and celery (and turkey meat if it is uncooked) and cook another 15 minutes, checking to make sure there is enough liquid.
  7. Add browned onions, cooked turkey, rice wine, browned mushrooms and grated ginger and cook another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  8. Taste for seasoning and add more broth if necessary and a little sesame oil to taste.
 
Note: This is meant to be a thick, porridge like soup. I prefer it a little soupier and so I have some broth set aside to add if necessary.
 
 

 

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MADELINE’S COCONUT CHILI SHRIMP

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SHRIMP IN ROASTED CHILI-COCONUT SAUCE
(Adapted from Madeline’s version)
Serves 4
 
14oz. can unsweetened coconut milk (low fat or regular)
 2 Tbs. Thai roasted red chili paste (Wegman’s international: Asian section)
1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
3 Kaffir lime leaves
5 large shallots: peeled and chopped (about ¼ pound)
2 Tbs. chopped Thai basil (optional)
1 tsp. sugar
1 to 1 ½  lbs. shrimp de-veined and shelled.
 
 
  1. Combine the chili paste, garlic and ginger in a frying pan with a little oil and fry, stirring until fragrant. 
  2. Add to crock-pot or regular pot with the coconut milk. If using a crock-pot you can put it on “high” and walk away for 2 hours while it cooks. If using a regular pot, then simmer, covered, gently for 40 minutes, checking and stirring regularly.
  3. Meanwhile fry the shallots in a little oil over med-high heat, stirring, until brown. Set aside.
  4. When the chili mixture is cooked, add shallots and remove from heat.
  5. When cool enough, refrigerate the chili mixture overnight.
  6. Before serving reheat the chili mixture, remove the kaffir lime leaves, and blend in blender until a little smoother but not too creamy.
  7. Bring back to a simmer and check for seasoning. I add a teaspoon of sugar at this point. If it needs to be a little thicker simmer without a lid for a few minutes until the desired consistency is achieved.
  8. Add shrimp and, depending on the size, simmer gently for 3-5 minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
  9. Add the Thai basil and serve with Jasmine rice.
 
Notes:

 

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JAPANESE NOODLE SOUP

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Japanese Noodle Soup:  Serves 6   This soup is the ultimate comfort food.  If any of the ingredients are not on your “favorite food list”, you can omit them.  Once you have all the ingredients, this soup comes together easily and you only need a salad to have a wonderful meal.  It also has many healthy ingredients and can be entirely vegetarian if you use vegetable broth and omit the dashi.        

                                                                            Jpanese Noodle Soup

Ingredients                

 

   The dashi is in the center and the shichimi togarashi is to the right. *  Note about ingredients:  Dashi, wakame, napa cabbage, shichimi togarashi and edaname can all be purchased at Wegmans and other grocery stores with good Asian sections.  I have posted a picture of all these ingredients so you know what you’re looking for.  The edaname are often found in the frozen section in their pods.  But at the Asian grocers you can find them frozen and already out of the pods which is much more convenient.  The noodles are found fresh in the refrigerator section of the Asian grocery store but you can use any noodle that you’d like including dry noodles such as soba or even spaghetti.  FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE INGREDIENTS CLICK ON THE LINK AT THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE:  "FOOD THESAURUS"

Japanese Noodle Soup:  Serves 6

 

Ingredients: 

8 cups( 2-  32 ounce cartons) chicken or vegetable broth

3 tsp. instant dashi *

1 heaping Tbs. dried wakame (seaweed)*

5 dried shitake mushrooms

1 14 ounce block extra firm tofu, cut into one inch by one inch strips

1 small head napa cabbage, cut into slices*

5 scallions, chopped

1 16 oz. bag Pan fried noodle Hong Kong style or any dried noodle*

1 cup shelled edaname (soy beans)

1 Tbs. fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped

2 Tbs. miso

Shichimi Togarashi (red pepper and sesame seed spice blend)*

 Cooking Instructions

1.     Heat the broth to boiling in a large pot and add the dashi.

2.     Meanwhile, soak the mushrooms for 15 minutes in a bowl of ½ cup hot water placing a smaller bowl on top of the mushrooms, to make sure they are immersed.

3.     Soak the wakame also in a bowl of 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes. It will expand to about 1 cup.

4.     When the broth has come to a boil add the ginger, tofu,edamame and cabbage and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cabbage is just cooked.

5.     Once the mushrooms have soaked, slice them and add them to the broth along with the soaking liquid which has been strained of particles.  Also, add the reconstituted wakame which has been rinsed and coarsely chopped. Discard soaking liquid.

6.     Meanwhile, as the soup is cooking, either cook the noodles according to directions or, if you are using the pan fried noodles, fry them in a little oil and add ½ cup water and cover to allow them to steam for 5 minutes.  Then remove the lid and continue frying until lightly brown and crispy, stirring frequently. I do this in two batches.

7.     Mix the miso with a little hot broth until free of lumps and add to soup for the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Miso should not be boiled.

8.     To serve:  Ladle soup in a large bowls, sprinkle each serving with scallion and serve the noodles, and shichimi togarashi separately for people to serve themselves.

 

Feel free to use your culinary expression to add or omit any ingredients.  This is a very free form dish which you can tailor make to your taste.

 

 Note about ingredients:  Dashi, wakame, napa cabbage, shichimi togarashi and edaname can all be purchased at Wegmans and other grocery stores with good Asian sections.  I have posted a picture of all these ingredients so you know what you’re looking for.  The edaname are often found in the frozen section in their pods.  But at the Asian grocers you can find them frozen and already out of the pods which is much more convenient.  The noodles are found fresh in the refrigerator section of the Asian grocery store but you can use any noodle that you’d like including dry noodles such as soba or even spaghetti.  FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE INGREDIENTS CLICK ON THE LINK AT THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE:  "FOOD THESAURUS"

 

 

 

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Chirashizushi

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I love to serve Chirashizushi which means, “Scattered sushi” as an elegant and simple summer meal.  It takes a lot of chopping and preparing ahead of time but no last minute work is necessary and it is a cool and refreshing meal.  The other great thing about this beautiful dish is that you can serve it as a vegetarian meal, use raw fish or cooked fish:  whatever suits your taste.

Chirashizushi

Chirashizushi or Scattered Sushi

  • First you make a pot of sushi rice and season it as you like with seasoned rice vinager.
  • I make dashi which is a staple Japanese broth using dried bonito.  You can buy instant dashi powder at any Asian grocer and at grocery stores with international sections.  It comes in a little jar that you can keep in the fridge.  It also goes in Miso soup and has a wonderful salty, rich flavor that you’ll associate with Japanese food.
  • Your imagination is the limit to what you scatter on the platter of rice.  I use: smoked salmon cut in strips, shrimp that I have cooked beforehand, dried shitake mushrooms that have been soaked and then boiled in dashi, soy and sugar.  Tobiko (flying fish roe) is a great addition and can comes frozen fromthe Asian food store (Ithaca Soy has it), edaname (soy beans) which you can buy out of the pod at the Asian soy store as well, or buy them in the pods frozen at Wegmans and take them out of the pods after cooking as directed on the package. 
  • Egg is a necessary ingredient and you can either make a paper thin rolled omelette and then slice it into shreds or, an easy variation is to hard boil a couple of eggs and grate them.  Another necessary ingredient is seaweed and you can either slice sushi seaweed wrappers into think strips or buy a wonderful seaweed blend I found at Ithaca soy called roasted laver and it comes in a package for $3.99.  You can crisp it up briefly in a toaster over and then break it up a little.
  • You can cook up shredded carrots and to make it easier you can buy them already shredded.  Chopped scallions are important and any sushi grade raw fish. Tofu Kan ( that you can buy anywhere in Ithaca) is a great addition as well.
  • Though not classic, I make a little side sauce to pour on if people wish.  I make a mixture of dashi, ginger, wasabi, and ponzu which is a citrus soy sauce.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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