Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cream Cheese Biscuits


I like to read various cookbooks and cooking magazines, Cook's Country is one of my favorite. ( I love to watch their TV show on public television.)

In the last issue, there was a recipe of biscuits, the photo just caught my eyes. They looked soooo good!
And, I immediately decided to add cream cheese to my shopping list.

Just as I thought, I knew it from first sight that these biscuits would be great! And, they were so easy to make, too!

You mix all ingredients in a food processor and add butter and cream cheese then mix together with butter milk, that's it.

I don't use buttermilk so often, but I soon realized the differences from the other biscuits I have been making, and really tasted what buttermilk can do to the dough, which was so soft, moist, and an excellent taste.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

English Pea


English Pea is one of the ingredients that make me feel and realize that spring has just come.

Earlier years after I moved to the U.S., I didn't know I can get this tasty little jade looking thing. I didn't go to any farmer's markets that often. I did keep looking for at them at grocery stores, but was disappointed every time when I only found snow pea, green beans, or snap peas. So I missed those little peas every spring.

So, I was so happy when I can buy at local farmer's market.

Yesterday, I went and bought some!

I picked up each one as I looked for as many plumply ones as possible, and as I shelled and saw the little green jewel like peas...

I cooked goulash and added some of these little green gems into my goulash and it made the whole dish much better. I really can taste the difference between the fresh and the frozen ones. I love to enjoy as many as possible while it's in season.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SUMASHI - JIRU (Japanese Clear Soup)

My Parents and Grandmother live near Tokyo, and they had to live with limited electricity last month. Tokyo and the surrounding areas have had a mandatory black out, which they take turns shutting off their electricity for 2-4 hours a day. It seems there is no plan going on right now, but since it's getting warmer and spring and summer time, I believe that a lot of people are continuously trying to save their energy usage, here and there in their life's.

When I cook and use water, stove or oven, and electricity, I can't stop think of my family and friends in Japan. Fortunately I can use these basic necessities as much as I want and anytime, but now I am really aware of using energy smarter than before. Trying not to keep running water, turn the light off, etc...

And when I make miso soup, which uses Dashi stock, I put kelp and dried Shiitake mushroom in a pitcher with water and keep inside a fridge over night. Here, instant soup stock is made without heat next day when you make.

Miso soup is too popular as Japanese soup, but we have other different kind of soups, too. For example, Sumashi-Jiru is a Japanese clear soup, with a taste of soy sauce and salt, instead of miso paste, and sometimes sake can also be added.

The other day, I made my favorite type of soup - Sumashi-Jiru with bean sprouts and egg. This is the soup my mother used to make a lot when I was growing up until I graduate from high school. I believe that she still makes this soup a lot for my Father and Grandmother :)

You can put Dashi stock in a pan, and flavor with soy sauce and salt, then add bean sprouts, and add an egg at the end. It can be finished in 10 minutes. If you have Dashi already, it will be in 5 minutes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Shiro MIso (White Miso)

This is SHIRO MISO, a white miso paste. This white miso paste has a very sweet and creamy taste and less Sodium (about 5%/vol.) content than other miso pastes. Most other miso contain around 12-13% Sodium.

It's also called SAIKYO MISO, which this miso originally came from Kyoto area and used a lot for delicate, artistic, and traditional food dish - KYO-KAISEKI(京懐石).

I love this sweet tasting miso. When I make miso soup, I usually mix this miso with another miso to make more flavorful miso soup, and shiro miso gives a pleasant sweetness, and using this white miso for miso soup in the winter time is very comforting.

Since this miso has less sodium content and is a smooth paste unlike other types of miso paste, it is also useful and easy to use for a marinade or dressing.

There are hundreds of miso companies in Japan, their taste and flavors all very with each company and the region they are located in, which gives each miso their own unique flavor due to the ingredients and the way they are processed for fermentation.

So, I love to try different types and brand of miso every time when I buy a new one.

It's still cold in northern Japan, so I hope that all the local people who are living in the evacuation area have some nice hot miso soup...