Yesterday we presented some Cute & Stylin’ Foodski from the Big J…just in time for East Coast Lunchtime. Today, the West Coast gets its shot at some tasty Japanese Cute Food, this time c/o Hana from Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi. “We thought you might like our latest video, a tutorial on how to make Cute Shiba Inu Omurice!”
Not the usual PB&J, guys. “Omurice or omu-rice is an example of Yōshoku consisting of an omelette made with fried rice and usually topped with ketchup.” (Wikipedia.)
Catawampus, “confused or diagonal,” seems to have its origin in the South or Midwest in the 1840s. Think of the phrase kitty-cornered and you’ll see a shared origin between kitty- and cata-. The source of wampus, on the other hand, may just be a funny-sounding mystery.
As you might have noticed by now, I simply love zucchini. Many times I just have a vegetable dish containing mainly zucchini and onions, like the one in the photo:
Simply put some olive oil in a pan, add the chopped zucchini, some onions and brown the vegs from all sides. Add a little bit of white wine, some vegetable stock granules, chopped garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and cumin. Simmer over a low flame until the zucchini and the onions are tender. Add some freshly chopped, flat-leaved parsley and garnish with crumbled feta cheese.
I had this for lunch together with an olive stick that I got from the local bakery here. Simply delicious!
I decided to have another go at cultivating chilies in my garden this morning. I planted the seeds from some very hot chilies I had in a small pot and rushed inside to scrub my hands, as I know how much it burns when you accidentally touch your face after having handled chilies. So after a good scrub, I though that everything was ok, little did I know that there must have still been some traces of chili on my fingers. I must have touched my nose somehow, as some minutes later I felt this terrible burning sensation with my nose swelling up, turning red and by George, I was on fire. My instinct told me to put something milky on it, so I reached for a tub of ricotta I had in the fridge and applied a thick layer around my nose and above my lip. Inspector Clouseau (RIP Peter Sellers) would have been proud of me, as right now I look like Clouseau in one of his hilarious disguises. This might give you an idea:
I spare you the photo, cause it aint pretty my dear ones. I just hope that the postman doesn’t come before I can rinse it off, for he’ll get the fright of his life. My dogs are staring at me as if they were thinking: “We always knew that she was mad, but now she’s clearly lost it!”.
Yet, the ricotta cure seems to be working. So, if one day you’ll have the same mishap, try ricotta or sour cream (it has to be rather solid and thick as it’ll run off otherwise).
I am a big fan of risotto. Once a week I’ll make a different risotto, with curry, seafood, chicken, spicy sausage – there are no limits to your imagination. There are three steps to obtain the ideal risotto: solfriggere – tostare – cuocere, which I will explain in the recipe itself. Enjoy.
Prepare the broth and keep it simmering. The next step is to soften the onion in a pot in the butter or olive oil for about 5 minutes (don’t let it turn brown). Add the garlic (chopped or mashed to a paste, whichever you prefer). Now add the rice and stir until every grain is coated with the butter (olive oil). Slightly increase the temperature and add the wine, which has to be left to evaporate completely.
Now we start adding the broth with a soup ladle, one at a time. After the first ladle of broth, add the tomato purée, the chorizo sausage, and the oregano. Leave the rice to set a bit between each addition of broth, stirring to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. This process takes about 20 minutes to obtain a nice risotto that is just “al dente”. After about 15 minutes take care that you don’t add too much broth, otherwise your risotto will end up runny. Once the cooking process is finished, let the rice rest for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
You can check the perfect consistency of your risotto by slightly tilting the pot with the risotto to the side. If you see a wave-like structure in the risotto, it is cooked to perfection. Some people like to add cubes of cold butter to the risotto at this stage, however, I prefer it without.
This is a great way of “recycling” stale white bread. It’s very moist with a rich flavour.
INGREDIENTS – makes about 15 squares
600 g stale white bread, sliced
1 tin evaporated milk (standard size, about 380 ml, you can also use the “light” version, if you’re calorie conscious)
200 ml water
2 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
zest of one orange and mandarin
200 ml orange juice (you can also squeeze one fresh orange)
250 g mixed dried fruit
100 g hazelnuts, whole and roasted
80 g margarine, softened
200 ml dark rum
Grease an ovenproof baking dish with butter. Place the stale bread in a large bowl and add the milk and vanilla essence. Now use your hands to mix the bread with the milk, resulting in a mushy mix. Set the mixture aside for about 5 minutes so the bread can soak up all the milk. Once done, add all the remaining ingredients and mix with your hands until you obtain a smooth texture. Pour the mixture into the oven dish and spread to a uniform layer. Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes. The pudding can be served warm with vanilla custard or cold. It’s also delicious with a cup of tea.
With Easter round the corner, I would like to share with you a delicious recipe from Malta. These sweets are prepared before Easter during lent and cut on Easter Sunday. Being a fan of Hello Kitty, I had decided to adapt the recipe a bit and that was the result:
INGREDIENTS – makes 4
First the dough:
800 g self-raising flour (if you use normal flour, you’ll have to add the appropriate amount of baking powder for 800 g)
200 g castor sugar
280 g butter
Some lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 pinch of salt
Now the filling:
200 g ground almonds
150 g castor sugar
100 g icing sugar
Some lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla powder
And last but not least – the decoration:
2 bars chocolate cake covering (you can also use plain chocolate with 70% cocoa – that’s what I usually do. If you prefer white chocolate or milk chocolate, feel free. In fact, the figolla in the photo has a white chocolate covering)
Preheat the oven to 170 °C. Put the flour in a bowl and mix it with sugar, butter, and lemon zest, add the eggs and mix until the dough is smooth, add some water if needed. Put aside.
For the filling just mix, all ingredients until you get a smooth paste.
Now roll out the dough on a floured surface using a rolling pin, cut out the desired shape (in the photo I used a drawing template of Hello Kitty. Just make sure that the image you choose does not have any small parts, as it will be hard to fill them and they might break off when you transfer the figolli from the baking tray to your cooling rack). Spread the filling evenly on the dough and cover with another piece of dough identical in shape to the bottom layer. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
Once the figolli have cooled, cover them with chocolate and decorate to your liking (i.e. hundreds and thousands, chocolate eggs, smarties – anything that tickles your fancy)
If you have ever paid a visit to Mangalore, you will remember the waiter at every restaurant that you have been to, saying “Sir/Madam, you must try the hot-hot Mangalore Bondas available! They are the day’s special. “
As much as Mangalore is known for its temples and lush green scenery, its cuisine is equally sought-after. Goli Bajes are definitely an integral part of the Mangalorean cuisine. Let’s get cooking then!
Preparation time: Resting time for the batter: half an hour
Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes
Things you’ll need:
For the Bondas:
Maida – 1 cup
Sour Curd – Enough to mix the batter and make it into a thick paste