Friday, April 18, 2014

Spicing Up Your BBQ Japanese Style – April 18, 2014

I think spring has finally sprung.  I am looking out my window and see cherry blossoms, Virginia bluebells, tulips and raspberries.  Thank heavens!!!!  It has been a long winter.  Now, I am looking forward to cooking on the grill (actually I’m looking forward to John cooking on the grill) and hanging out with friends in the back yard.  Luckily, while we were on vacation in Chicago we went to a great Japanese restaurant in Andersenville that served potato croquettes in a FABULOUS Japanese bbq dipping sauce.  What a fabulous idea.  We came home and reviewed recipes and created our own.  I’ll warn you now - this unlikely to be a recipe to help you use up things in your fridge unless you are Japanese.  BUT, once it is made, it is a great way to use chicken, pork or fish on the grill and a great dipping sauce for anything.  We have tried chicken fingers, sloppy Joe’s, tater tots and onion rings.  Please reply with your great ideas and I highly recommend trying this recipe.  You won’t be sorry.

 Japanese BBQ Sauce
1 T. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces tomato paste
½ c. sake
½ c. water
3/8 c. sugar
¼ c. white vinegar
¼ c. miso paste
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. Worchestershire
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Heat oil in heavy pan on medium.  Stir in garlic until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to simmer.  Cook until thickened about 30 minutes.  Keep in jar in fridge.

One year ago – Fried eggs in pepper rings
Two years ago - Asparagus pickles and broccoli stem pickles

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Baked Potato Tomorrow – April 6, 2014

With the advent of the microwave, many of us gave up on the much superior baked potato with its beautiful crisp skin.  My issue is remembering to preheat and cook the potatoes an hour and a half before dinner which leads to a decision to go to the microwave in order to have dinner ready in a reasonable amount of time.  But, I am trying to remember and am always surprised how good those baked beauties are with a little sour cream when we have them.  Sometimes you overestimate your potato need and have a few left over.  I usually just take one to work and microwave then, but the leftovers are great chopped up to use in recipes.  The easiest is to chop and make hash browns or hash for breakfast the following day.  But, here are a couple other winners we enjoy at home:

Baked Potato Frittata
6 slices bacon or equal amount Pancetta
1 T. olive oil
1 ½ c. chopped peppers (mostly red and yellow bell but as many hot peppers in here as you like)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ c. cubed baked potatoes (skins on or off as you like)
12 beaten eggs
2-4 ounces sharp cheese

Saute bacon in oil until crisp.  Remove, drain and break up.  Add peppers and sauté until soft.  You could get inventive here.  Add some tomatoes, capers, garlic or other favorite veggies if you like and sauté as well.  (I added spinach.)  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add potatoes and warm through 2-3 minutes.  Drain oil and then add eggs and bacon bits.  As the eggs begin to thicken (about 5 minutes), add cheese and mix in.  Then place in oven under broiler until browned on top and cooked through.

Corn Chowder from the Beaumont Inn
¼ lb. bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 c. corn
2 c. chicken stock
½ c. cream
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. chopped baked potatoes
2 T. flour
Salt to taste

Brown bacon.  Remove and drain on paper towel.  Add onion to bacon grease and cook until soft.  Add flour and cook 3 minutes.  Slowly add stock, then cream, corn, potatoes and seasonings.  Simmer on low 45 minutes.

One Year Ago - Harris and Hutcheson Potato Salad
Two Years Ago - Peach Sangria and Moonshine Jelly