Thursday, October 23, 2014

Katsu Curry

In college, we'd frequent a little eatery called 'Eat Dessert First' (or EDF for short). They served ice cream, a variety of cakes and cookies, but they also had savory Japanese fare as well. One of my favorite meals was the katsu curry. Katsu is basically breaded and fried protein. There's chicken katsu, don katsu (pork), salmon katsu, even tofu katsu for the vegetarians. And of course, curry is Japanese curry (which was referred to as 'kah-reh' in our Korean household). Japanese curry is a thick sauce made with plenty of vegetables, a roux as a thickening agent, and you guessed it, curry powder.

In my house growing up, my mom always bought ready-made curry roux. So, that's how I do it. Good enough for mama; good enough for me. It's easy enough to make yourself, if you don't have access to it. I referenced a quick one in my old curry rice post but do a little google search and you'll find dozens of others.
Ingredients [serves 2]:
1 small potato, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small carrot, diced
4 to 6 mushrooms, chopped
3 cups chicken stock
2 cubes curry roux
spicy pepper (optional)
2 teaspoons oil (canola, vegetable, olive)

don katsu
2 thick cut pork chops
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
+ oil for frying

+ sticky white rice
+ hard boiled egg

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What I Ate: Bleu Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

I dream about burgers almost daily. They're one of my favorite foods.
This time around, I went for a plain-jane burger (just ground beef seasoned simply with salt and pepper) topped with a bleu cheese sauce (just bleu cheese crumbled into sour cream), sauteed onions and mushrooms, and bacon on a buttered round roll. Oh, and just for some added flair, I made some oven baked sweet potato fries.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Potato Leek Soup

You guys, I'm in a terrible mood this morning. I flew back from Turks & Caicos on Saturday and I've just been feeling crummy because vacation is over and now I'm back in this chilly weather, which just sucks. On the bright side, I think we can all be pretty happy about the fact that soup season is here! In the summer, I think I really lean towards fresh dishes that don't require much help from the stove, for obvious reasons. Who in their right mind wants to turn on a heat source when it's 90+ degrees outside? However, as soon as there's a chill in the air, I want to be hugging my active stove to warm myself up. And I welcome any chance to stand over a hot pot or be splattered with hot oil. Okay, so maybe not so much the latter, but certainly the former.

Today, I'm sharing my take on potato leek soup. I say "my take" because as you might see in the photo below, it doesn't look super traditional. The first thing you might notice is that it's kind of orange. The second thing you might notice is that it's got some yummy looking crispy toppings. Well, scroll down for the recipe below to find out to solve the mysteries of the orange color and the crispy toppings.
for the soup [serves 6 to 8]
2 oz. salt pork, cubed
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 leek, whites sliced thin
leek stalks
1 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
2-1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
6 to 8 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup milk

*You could totally make this a vegetarian soup by leaving out the salt pork (just use a little oil in the pot to substitute for the rendered fat) and substituting the chicken stock with vegetable stock. And, if you wanted to make this vegan, you could substitute the milk with some almond milk.

crispy leeks
1 leek, whites sliced thin
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
oil for frying
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