Snowy Hotpot

November 28, 2012

Snow Hot Pot

A couple of years ago, around the time I first started this blog, I was lucky enough to be able to visit Japan. While I have always loved Japanese food, I had mostly experienced the more popular items we have here in America: teppanyaki, sushi, and noodle bowls. Of course, during the week we were in Japan, I had to seek out sushi at the famed Tsukiji Fish Market, and its freshness was astounding. However, for the most part, I opened myself up to whatever was being served, trying multi-course meals at Chef Chen Kenichi’s restaurant, Szechwan Restaurant Chen, and at the ryokan we stayed at in Kyoto, Yachiyo. During my time there I had custards, dried baby anchovies, many random soups and fruits that I never did identify, tofu prepared in so many ways, and hotpot. When I made it back home, I wanted to take advantage of the Japanese groceries we have here, so I bought a couple of Japanese cookbooks, an electric hotpot, and I started studying the ingredients and techniques of the cuisine. (more…)

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Kitch-aaaarrrrrrrr-i!

July 3, 2012

Kitchari with Pakora

A while back, I was feeling a bit sniffly and stuffy, so I spent a few days on the couch browsing the web. Apparently I was in the frame of mind to check out Ayurvedic remedies for my stuffy nose, and thus I spent a lot of time reading blogs and articles stuffed to the brim with advice and ways of life from the sub-continent.

Kitchari was apparently the new kid on the block (or, as it is, the newly discovered elder on the block). I read multiple articles about its abilities to help you cleanse, its ease on your digestive system, its nutritional values (apparently it is a complete protein, though I’m thinking that has more to do with the dal, less to do with the rice and spices). While I scoffed at the idea of eating nothing but this moong dal and rice mixture for any amount of time, my stomach started to growl and the craving had set in. I already had some leftover, new-age pakora in my fridge; this could just be a spicy rice addition with a little beans. Plus, it’s healthy, right?

So I consulted the various recipes I had found around the internets (that link being one of them), then I cracked open my favorite Indian cookbook from “the food of” series, and I started devising a recipe. (more…)

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Thai-style soup & sandwich

May 24, 2012

Thai-style Soup & Sandwich

I’ve been on a bit of a Thai kick lately. Earlier this week I played around with a couple of recipes for Thai beef salad, and while I was perusing my Thai recipes, I came across a recipe for Tom Khaa Kai, or Chicken, Coconut and Galangal soup.

As I read through the recipe, I realized I had most of the items I needed already in my pantry or freezer to make the tropical-flavored soup. Originally I was going to make the soup to go with the Thai beef salad, but I ended up not being that hungry the other night, so I decided to put my soup and sandwich tray to good use, making monster spring rolls to go with the soup.

And that’s how this recipe became more than a variation on the cookbook recipe. (more…)

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Sunday Brunch: Bellini

June 26, 2011

Bellini - Courtney-style

With peach season in full swing, I decided it was time to make a favorite of mine (and really, when a sparkler is added, when is it not a favorite?), the bellini. As I’m sure you already know, the bellini was invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice. It’s a blend of white peach puree and prosecco, two sweet items. While I think it is a grand marriage of two yummy things, I always like adding a bit of liquor to any of my champagne/fruit juice cocktails. It cuts down a bit on the sweetness, which is perfect for me. As you can imagine, this caused tremendous confusion at Harry’s, me toying with their decades-old drink. (more…)

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Curried Black Eyed Peas with Plantain

May 3, 2011

Curried Black Eyed Peas with Plantain

Looking for a dinner that transports you to the Caribbean, warms you up like comfort food, and is still healthy? Yeah, I didn’t think so — that would be an odd request to make of dinner. But, even if you weren’t looking, it’s a great feeling to have, and it’s exactly what Post Punk Kitchen’s Curried Black Eyed Peas delivers.

I’ve read about her book, Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes, a couple of places, and I was intrigued. I’m the furthest thing you can find from a vegan, but once in a blue moon on accident I’ll make something vegan, and I like it. So it’s been an area I’ve thought about dabbling in. I just get scared off by recipes that include nutritional yeast and tempeh.

One day a friend of mine mentioned she had been using this cookbook and loved it, but then she pointed me toward the site. I spent the better half of the day trying to decide what I would cook that night. Did I want to go crazy and throw “gluten free” in the mix? Well, that’s what I ended up doing. (more…)

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