Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baby Arugula and Green Grape Salad

Hmmm! I must say this was the best salad I have ever made. The simple things in life are the best. This is a baby arugula salad with slices of green grapes. I dressed the salad with a simple homemade dressing. Take half a lemon, squeeze, match the amount of lemon juice with extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and pour over salad. The sweetness of the grapes cuts the peppery taste of the greens perfectly. What a nice ending to a long day :)

(Time: 3 minutes to make)

Japanese Cold Tofu

Often eaten as an appetizer or snack, this is my variation of a Japanese cold tofu dish. This is the simplest dish to make. You take a package of firm cold tofu. Slice it into small squares, and top with dried and/or fresh seaweed, dried fish flakes, green onions, fresh graded ginger, and soy sauce to taste.

You may have even seen this dish in a Japanese restaurant with ice cubes surrounding the tofu to keep it really cold.

(Time: 5 minutes to make)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Decorative Seattle Coffee

Seeking a mid-day pick me up during a conference in Seattle, some friends and I decided to grab some caffeine at a local coffee shop.

Excited at the thought that said coffee shop baristas will draw "man on the moon" in your cup, to our dismay, they claimed they simply did not have the time, and yet there simply was no line. However, we did get the standard leaf looking design.

Note: do not ask "sophisticated" baristas what unfamiliar words on the menu mean, or else you risk receiving a response said in a smug voice, "itssss espresssso wiiith milk...(and no, it was not a latte)," duh, I'm sorry, if it's espresso with milk, why doesn't it just say that?

I also must give James the credit for taking this lovely picture with the perfect lighting, thank you James.

(Time: Took way longer than expected, get it together baristas!)

Potato, Green Bean, and Shitake Curry with pea rice

This little dish took about 30 minutes to create. Following similar directions as in the previous post, I made a mixture of white onions, potatoes, green beans, and shitake mushrooms with curry powder, cumin seeds, garlic, salt, and masala powder, with a dash of garlic chutney.

The rice is again cooked in the rice cooker, but with frozen peas and some caraway seeds sprinkled on top of the rice before cooked.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Potato, Radish, Tomato Curry Delight*

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Teaspoon cumin seeds
(if you do not have cumin seeds, you can use another spice of your choosing, or leave them out.)
1 Salt shaker (salt to taste 1-2 teaspoons)
1 Small yellow onion (sweeter than other onions)
5 Small potatoes
2 Bunches of radishes (about 15 radishes)
3 Small tomatoes
2-4 Tablespoons of curry powder
1-2 pinches of marsala powder (optional)
Sprigs of cilantro (optional)
green onions (optional)
Step 1: Wok time
Peel potatoes and chop them into small squares (see picture above)
Cut radishes into quarters (see picture above)
Chop onion into small squares (see picture above)
Take a wok, or large fry pan
On Medium heat
Add vegetable oil and cumin seeds
Let oil become infused with cumin of a minute or two
Add onions, radishes, and pototoes
Add salt (roughly a teaspoon)
Let sautee for several minutes stirring contents to get a little browned
To soften the potatoes quicker, I use the trick of using a few tablespoons of water, covering contents with a lid, and let everything steam for a few minutes.
When the contents are almost soft, but not completely, continue onto step 2

Step 2: Curry and Marsala
Add the curry powder
Add the marsala
Let simmer until combined

Step 3: Tomatoes
Chop Tomatoes into small pieces (See picture to the right)
Add to the mix (and salt to your preferred taste, roughly another teaspoon)
Simmer once again for a few minutes ------>
Final Steps: Cilantro, Simmer, Rice, and Dish
Add Cilantro, simmer more, dish the rice, and top with curry
Top with clilantro and chopped green onions and EAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All of this takes about 30-40 minutes depending how good you are at your prep work.

*Although I did indeed cook this dish all by myself, I must give credit for the recipe and instructions to Nitika and Amit (Nitika, some of this will arrive on Monday for you, sorry Amit...)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

White Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Step 1: Batter
If you make your batter correctly, it should look a little sticky like in this picture. Don't be worried if it sticks to your fingers when you role the cookie balls, this is how it should be.

2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted softened butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk (optional)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ½ cups flour
2 cups coconut flakes
11 ounces (1 bag) white chocolate chips

Step 2: Bake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix softened butter with both the brown/white sugar.
(I prefer to mix in a large bowl with a fork)
3. Add the vanilla, milk (optional), and eggs mix until fluffy.
4. Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder until completely mixed.
5. Add the white chocolate chips and the coconut, stir until combined.
6. On a cooking sheet, create small 1 inch balls and separate evenly.
7. Bake for about 12 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
(FYI This recipe has worked in high altitude conditions)
~You will have about 50-60 cookies.
~Feel free to cut this recipe in half

Step 3: Cool on Cooling Rack


Extra Credit:
If you want to try it, take some of the extra coconut. After you roll a cookie out of the dough, dip one of the sides into the coconut, and then put it on the cooking sheet. (See picture to the right -----> )

P.S. If you were at all concerned on the deliciousness of these cookies, they were tested and approved by sociologists.