Sunday, October 25, 2009

pork katsu

So at my absolutely favorite asian market on central (no idea what the name is - new with a big red roof) I found some Tonkatsu sauce (probably not hard to find, but I finally remembered to look for it).  I wanted to do a pork cutlet but I was not interested in frying it.  I found this recipe which works great and I like the technique of mixing a small amount of oil withe the crumbs - which makes it kind of "oven fried".

original recipe here:

I made some changes
3 boneless, thick cut pork chops, sliced in half so each is very thin, then pounded thinner

2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons canola oil
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten


Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a cooling rack over a sheet pan.

Mix panko breadcrumbs, garlic powder and salt in a shallow dish. Drizzle with oil and mash with a fork until the oil is thoroughly incorporated. Lightly beat egg white with a fork in another shallow dish. Sprinkle cornstarch over the pork slices and pat to coat evenly on both sides. Dip the pork into the egg, then press into the breading mixture until evenly coated on both sides. (Discard leftover mixture.)
Place the pork on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until just barely pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F, 14 to 16 minutes.

This really gets as close as you can get to restaurant katsu.  Serve with Tonkatsu sauce and enjoy the crunchiness!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New York Style Crumb Cake Muffins

I had to make muffins for a school breakfast and I wanted to use my GIGANTOR EXTRA LARGE muffin pans because I am obsessed with them. I doubled the recipe and it made 12 muffins, Twelve GIGANTOR muffins.

Some notes:

-I made my cake flour with this info: I used two cups of regular flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour (then doubled it) and did the whole sifty cornstarch replacement thing.
-No buttermilk in the house so I used equal amounts of yogurt.
-Um. I didn't have enough eggs. But I made this anyway - I think I was short two yolks for the doubling of the recipe. Not sure if that really affected anything.

Recipe here from Cooks Illustrated:

Don't be tempted to substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour, as doing so will make a dry, tough muffin. If you can't find buttermilk, you can substitute an equal amount of plain, low-fat yogurt. When topping the muffins, take care to not push the crumbs into the batter. Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Crumb Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour (7 ounces)

1 1/4 cups cake flour (5 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. FOR THE TOPPING: Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. FOR THE MUFFINS: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (cups have 1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.

3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.

Note - Mine was super fluffy!  Look!

4. Using 1/4-cup measure or ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among muffin cups; using small rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Following photos below, break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over batter (about 1/4 cup of crumbs per muffin), beginning with edges and then working toward center. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack at least 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

OK.  So - What I did not bank on was the cake part coming up through the crumb topping.  I was going for a true NY Style crumb cake which is about 2 inches of cake wearing about 6 inches of crumb as a hat.  The cake part came up through and made these kind of...well, ugly.  It might be because I tried to GIGANTORSIZE them or the lack or 2 egg yolks or yogurt instead of buttermilk.  Either way I took them out of the oven and was a tad disappointed:

They were all...tumory looking.  But it was a first try.  And I figured that I would bombard it with powdered sugar if need be.  Here is a single one looking all bumpy:

Not horrible but not exactly what I was looking for.  But - throw some sugar on it and no one will be able to tell:

See?  The reviews are in btw -   Charlie says it's more complex than regular coffee cake.  We both decided it is because of the whole wheat flour.  And the thing is dense as hell.  I might actually serve it cut in half with a scoop of vanilla in the middle.

I will try this again with all the right ingredients I think.  Hope the peeps at school like it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

foetry (food poetry) 3

like silk
and butter
and everything good about
its master.
the journey was hard.
the birth was
friends surrounding
green and blue and
and piled,
and squeezed into something new.
the past
a husk that’s left behind.
it grows older in the dark, then is
poured into the light.
now it marries other things,
it waits for
or acid
how dare we
refer to it
with merely letters,
call it by it’s full name,
goddamn it,
it’s earned it.

(olive oil)

NK 2009

foetry (food poetry) 2

something about the
out of the block,
the comfort in my hands,
any other feels wrong,
i don’t understand
why they’re all
not like mine.
always ready,
turned the wrong way
they bite their masters.
trust and care,
keeps them sharp.
not always a friend.
but nothing feels like
dancing more
tip down,
push forward,
follow through,
pull back.

(my knives)
NK 2009

foetry (food poetry) 1

smear across the wood or
so thin it’s transparent or
burns easily.
on you
for days.
in you for days.
noticeable when
obnoxious when
too present.
in its honor.
but small and irreplaceable.


NK 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

shrimp feta pasta

I made this tonight and it is a pretty easy and good weeknight pasta dish.  I hardly ever use feta and it is delicious in this and really gets down with the red pepper flake well.  That's right, I said "gets down".  Like a funky mofo.

1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup dry vermouth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 ounces crumbled feta
Any favorite small pasta

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Put the butter and onions into a large skillet, and place over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and the onions begin to soften, add the garlic and let brown lightly while onions continue to soften.  Then stir in the shrimp, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Cook until the shrimp are firm and opaque, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, then stir in the chopped parsley, and pour into a casserole dish.

3. Pour vermouth into the skillet, and simmer until reduced by half. Add chopped tomatoes and continue cooking until heated through (let liquid reduce if possible, it makes for a less runny result). Spoon tomato mixture on top of the shrimp and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.

4. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese softens and turns golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.  While it is baking, prepare your favorite pasta and warm some bread.

5.  Fill bowl with pasta halfway, spoon in baked shrimp and feta and make sure you get liquid from the bottom of the casserole dish.  Serve with warmed bread.