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Monday, January 2, 2017

Strawberry Salad with Maple-Balsamic Dressing - 1 serving

This uses Maple Balsamic Vinegar, one of those fancy infusions you can find at vinegar shops or online from Amazon. This is a great, light salad; if fat-free cottage cheese is used, it comes out to under 140 calories per serving.


1/2 c cottage cheese
3 large strawberries, sliced
1-2 handfuls (about 1 overstuffed cup) fresh baby spinach
2 tbs maple balsamic vinegar

Arrange the spinach at the bottom of your dish. Top with the cottage cheese and strawberries. Top with the vinegar dressing.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Kichi Kichi Inspired Omurice Recipe

Inspired by the viral video, this is my effort to mimic the omurice of Kichi Kichi in Kyoto.

Omurice is a Japanese dish consisting of an omelette atop fried rice, normally flavored with ketchup, but in Kichi Kichi's version, a beef demi-glace is used.

Kichi Kichi is famous for the carefully shaped omelette which unfolds intself over the rice when sliced open. I have not succeeded in producing the effect myself (though, my suspicions based on 3 different trials so far, is that it probably needs a medium heat and a very particular size of pan.) This resulting recipe tastes good, regardless whether you can make the perfect omurice omelette.

1/3 c white rice (short grain preferred)
2/3 c water (approximate)
vegetable oil, for cooking
2 tbs diced onions
2 tbs diced chicken
1/4 c mirepoix or other chopped veggies
1 tbs butter
Demi-glace sauce, to taste

Cook the rice till tender by boiling it in the water, in a covered pot. (Add more water if necessary to prevent burning or dryness.)
In a skillet, put the oil, chicken, and vegetables, and let them cook till softened.
Add the butter and the cooked rice, and stir fry for a minute or two to combine and heat evenly.
Add prepared demi-glace to taste and mix well.

At this point, the rice should be molded on a plate into a sort of oval mound.

4 large eggs
dash salt
vegetable oil, for cooking

Beat the eggs and salt together, and run the eggs through a strainer to remove the stringy parts of the white. In a well-oiled skillet, put the egg mixture and try to mold it at the edge of the pan into a oval shape to match the outline of the rice. Let the eggs cook firm but, if possible, let the inside part stay soft.

Carefully place the eggs atop the rice mound.

Demi-glace sauce
dried parsley

If you managed to make the omelette in the style of Kichi Kichi, slice it open and let it fall over the rice.
Top the omelette with a few spoonfuls of demi-glace, and a dash of dried parsley for garnish.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lazy Man Demi-Glace Sauce

I found a recipe which required a demi-glace sauce, and so for advice I asked one of the best sauce-making chefs in town for any tips he had. Most of his advice was about preparing an elaborate and expensive veal-bone broth from scratch, that would take 3 hours roasting veal bones, 18 hours of cooking them into stock, and which would be used to then form the demi-glace.

While happy for the advice, the truth was there was pretty much no way I was going to do that at home. Instead, I devised this following recipe. It is actually very similar in taste to the fancy restaurant recipe that takes days to make, but much easier and much better suited to single-servings.

3 c beef stock
1 c mirepoix (chopped onions, celery and carrots)
3 bay leaves
2 tbs liquid aminos
1/4 c plus 1 tbs Mijiu or Sake
1/2 package (approx 1/4 c) fresh parsley
1/4 c sliced onions
1/2 tsp sugar

1 tbs butter
1 tbs flour

Combine broth ingredients in a crock-pot or on a stove over low heat, and let cook, covered, for about 7 hours. Strain.

In a saucepan, prepare a roux by melting the butter, then whisking in the flour till it starts to thicken. Pour in the strained broth and whisk well to combine.

Let the roux mixture simmer over low heat till reduced to 1 cup. Skim off an foam or skin as needed. When reduced to 1 cup, this is the finished sauce.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Italian Style Bangers and Mash - One Serving Recipe

This is a good recipe for using up leftovers and frozen food items. Some people might want to double this recipe as it makes a smallish single-serving. The demo photo shows a double portion.

1 serving mashed potatoes (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 c frozen spinach
1 large sausage (such as a bratwurst) cooked (optional - chopped into slices)
1/8 tsp garlic salt (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbs grated parmesan cheese
balsamic vinegar

Cook together the spinach and potatoes with the garlic salt, garlic powder, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir together to make a green-tinged mash.

Add the sausage, then top with the parmesan cheese. Finish the dish by drizzling over the balsamic vinegar.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Raw Cookie Dough Dessert

Sometimes, raw cookie dough is better than a baked cookie. This recipe is egg-free and safe to eat uncooked -- in fact it might not even be bakeable, but it sure makes a nice dough! You can use real butter instead of the Brummel and Brown's spread, but the spread helps keep the texture more soft and creamy. Whole wheat flour gives the dough some additional texture.

4 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs white sugar
1/4 c Brummel and Browns yogurt spread
1 tbs milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine the sugars, yogurt spread, milk, and vanilla thoroughly, then add the flour and stir together. When dough is well mixed, add the chocolate chips.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Tex-Mex Macaroni II - One Serving Recipe

This recipe relies quite a bit on a corn-salsa blend called "Cowboy Caviar" which I acquired from Trader Joe's. It is made with corn, black beans, chilies and other spices.

To make the recipe: prepare a dish of Homemade Mac and Cheese for One, but use Nacho Cheese Blend or Mexican Blend Cheese instead of the cheddar, and stir three tablespoons of Cowboy Caviar, plus 1/4 teaspoon garlic paste into the sauce while mixing, as well. When the macaroni is finished, garnish with an additional tablespoon of the Cowboy Caviar OR garnish with some sour cream, which also blends nicely with the flavors.

Friday, April 8, 2016

One Serving Cornbread - In a Mug

Want your side of cornbread, but don't want to be stuck with a whole pan of it? Try this mug version -- you'll have fresh cornbread with every meal.

2 tbs cornmeal
1/4 c water
1/2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs honey
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs milk

Into the mug put the cornmeal and the water. Cook them together for 30 seconds -- the meal should be hot, softened and somewhat rubbery.
Stir the butter into the hot meal.
Add remaining ingredients to the mug and mix together thoroughly.
Microwave the mug for about 2 minutes or till batter is matte and showing no signs of cooking. Let sit for 1-2 minutes before eating.