It’s been a week

I apologize for being absent for over a week. Last Sunday seems like a month ago, so much has changed in just seven days. I was on the computer constantly, but under the barrage of updates about the country’s response to the epidemic was overwhelming. I just couldn’t make myself write up the food I was making and talk about the coronavirus more. The epidemic isn’t a fun apocalypse fantasy for me anymore, it’s my day-to-day-life and I’m done with it! I’m ready for summer!

In addition to sharing some recipes, I also want to draw your attention to the various people who may need help: Those who are dealing with the burden of unexpected roles: teachers, families with small children, and anyone who has been suddenly thrust into caretaker roles without prior knowledge. There are college students who cannot afford to return to their families or who cannot return, like international students or queer students who are not welcome to return. My parents have opened my family home to Princeton students who are not able to leave Princeton for whatever reason. I have joined a network of support for queer students at Columbia. Do whatever you can to help.

So let’s see, recipes…

This week was a lot of using up ingredients that I had around the house. I bought feta cheese and several bunches of scallions, which inserted themselves into several dishes and snacks. I also go to use some of my vast assortment of beans, and the silken tofu I encouraged everyone to buy.

1Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken
2Donabe Meatballs in Spicy Sesame-Miso Broth
3Fava/Any Bean Fritter
4Homemade Soondubu Jigae
5Vegan Skillet Cookie
List of recipes in this post

Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken:

I love butter chicken, and I love the convenience of the pressure cooker. This recipe was a bit more work than I anticipated, as it involves a marinade for the chicken, broiling the chicken meat, and the sauce in the pressure cooker, but it is satisfying to dump everything in, and this recipe makes a lot of sauce. It ended up becoming another dinner later in the week, leftover butter chicken sauce with diced paneer cheese and eggplant. Recipe is from SeriousEats.com

Ingredients:

  • For the Marinating the Chicken:
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi(fenugreek leaves) or, alternatively, 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds (see note)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala, store-bought
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (if using table salt, use half as much)
  • One 1-inch piece of ginger (1/2 ounces; 14g), peeled and finely grated
  • 2 pounds (900g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4), cut into bite-size, 1-inch pieces
  • For the Makhani Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kasuri methi (fenugreek leaves) or, alternatively, 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds (see note)
  • 2 whole dried chiles de arbol (see note)
  • 1 pod brown cardamom or, alternatively, 1 pod green cardamom (see note)
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (if using table salt, use half as much)
  • 1 ounce (28g) raw cashews (about 12 to 15)
  • One 28-ounce (800g) can whole fire-roasted tomatoes (see note), strained, with 1/2 cup of liquid reserved
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) canola oil or other neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • One 1-inch piece of ginger (1/2 ounce; 14g), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

The recipe can be found here: https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2020/03/pressure-cooker-butter-chicken.html.

My notes: 1) Use a fresh stick of butter. Any refrigerator smell that lingers on an old butter stick will be very noticeable in this recipe. 2) Go light on the cream. The yogurt, butter and cashews do a good job of maybe the dish creamy on its own.

Donabe Meatballs in Spicy Sesame Miso Broth

This recipe comes from the Donabe Cookbook that my boyfriend got me for a holiday gift last year. Most of the recipes are restaurant-level difficulty and take a home-chef all day to make. This one did not! This really felt like a nice dump meal, and it had all the warming qualities of a good bowl of ramen without the greasiness of many ramen recipes. I ended up using the remainder of my duck broth from last week, but chicken broth or vegetable broth would work equally well. In fact, if you replace the meatballs’ meat with a meat alternative or ground tofu and the egg with more potato starch, this recipe is vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground chicken, pork, or ground tofu
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 inch of ginger root, minced, about 4 tsp, OR 1/2+1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 negi onions or 4-5 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp gochujang or other spicy sauce (sriracha may work?)
  • 2 tablespoons miso
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 4-6 leaves of cabbage
  • 7 ouces tofu, sliced into pieces
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 ounces enoki mushrooms -> BUT DON’T USE THEM IF THEY WERE RECALLED FOR LISTERIA CONTAMINATION!
  • Layu chile oil, to serve

Method:

  1. Combine meat, egg, potato starch, salt, pepper, 2 tsp minced ginger, and 1 tablespoon sake in a bowl until thoroughly mixed. Set aside
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a donabe or large saucepot. Saute the garlic and 2 tsp minced ginger, and half your sliced scallions/negi for 2 minutes
  3. Add the gochujang, broth, and and 1/4 cup sake. Stir. Add in the miso paste and soy sauce. Stir, cover and bring to a simmer.
  4. Once simmering, add the cabbage and tofu.
  5. Using two spoons, shape the meat mixture into little meatballs and drop directly into the broth.
    • NOTE: I made too much meat mixture and ended up frying about 1/2 of the meat mixture in a small pan with sesame oil for 10 mins, until cooked through
  6. Simmer for 7 minutes, until meat is cooked through. Add the enoki mushrooms and simmer for two additional minutes.
  7. Serve immediately with chili oil, extra scallions, and whatever other ramen toppings you enjoy.

Fava Bean Fritters

Fava bean fritters on my new, very cherished cast-iron grill pan

This is more of a mistake than a recipe. I was planning on making a fava bean salad, but I ended up cooking 1 cup of dried fava beans into a mush in my instant pot (following the instant pot instructions on fava bean cooking). That’s what happens when you try to cook and do research at the same time. I salvaged my lunch by adding one egg, some salt, pepper, zaatar spice blend, and about 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese. I formed the mixture into patties and fried them in olive oil until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. I ate it with tahini, yogurt and pita bread. It was pretty good.

Soondubu Jigae

A very comforting Korean soft tofu stew. It was a lot of ingredients just tossed together into a pot, but it came out really well. The one thing is that the broth I made is made from two specialty ingredients: dried anchovies and kombu seaweed. If you can’t find these things, skip the broth making process and use a light vegetable broth. Adapted from this recipe from mykoreankitchen.com.

Ingredients:

  • Broth:
  • 12 dried anchovies
  • hands-width of kombu seaweed
  • 6 cups water
  • Stew
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp Korean chilli flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 tsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 350g/12 ounces silken tofu (sundubu)
  • 1/2 cup diced cabbage
  • very optional, 2 pieces fried bacon, chopped
  • 5 dried mushrooms (20g/ 0.7 ounces), cleaned, stem removed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried hijiki seaweed, optional (available at most Asian markets)
  • (optional) 2 eggs
  • 1 stalk of spring onion (10g/0.4 ounces), diagonally thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine the anchovies, kombu and water in an Instant Pot. Cook on High/Max Pressure for 10 minutes. Strain through a colander to remove the solids. Set strained broth aside.
  2. Heat the oil, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce in a large saucepan, or the base of an instant pot over medium heat for 1 minute.
  3. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the mushrooms, hijiki seaweed, cabbage and whatever else you want to put in ( I fried some little pieces of bacon and added those).
  4. Add the eggs, stir until fully mixed in
  5. Add the scallions at the end.
  6. Serve with rice.

Vegan Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

So I was going to go camping with my brother this weekend, but today we decided to cancel. We were very excited, I even bought a new cast iron grill pan at Hmart to bring along and cook directly over the fire. I spent an evening lovingly seasoning it, and then the next night I tried out a campfire recipe I wanted to test beforehand. Vegan skillet chocolate chip cookie. I could just imagine scooping the warm, goey cookie into our camping tins at the end of a meal. Well, maybe next time. Recipe from Heart of a Baker.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil ( I used coconut oil instead)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (I used soy milk)
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips

Full recipe’s instructions can be found here: https://heartofabaker.com/vegan-deep-dish-chocolate-chip-cookie/?fbclid=IwAR2DcuVmysgzTUN-Gx2PhZ02HaHy9Gv1VfxDCdc0cCEku9L7Huj7mP2mW9A

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