Thursday, October 02, 2014

Unforgettable Sudachi Citrus Dressing

   Fish Marinated with Super-sour Suchachi Citrus Dressing

My previous foodblog, Obachan's Kitchen & Balcony Garden had a "Bloopers" category (please don't try to open it, though ... It doesn't work now and I can't fix it anytime soon). On this blog I'm not labeling "bloopers" any more, but THIS dressing should have deserved a label like that. :P

Here's the story.
I harvested bunch of sudachi citrus this summer, and used some for infused liquor, but still had a lot of leftovers. And before my family could use them up as a condiment for grilled fish, they turned yellow. So I came up with an idea of using the juice for a salad dressing. Not bad idea, right?


So the idea was OK. But the result wasn't. It turned out REALLY sour.
The reason was that I didn't have enough olive oil at hand and didn't feel like additional shopping. And I was too lazy to save the sudachi juice for some other use -- like jelly or something --. As a result, too much juice and too little olive oil made a VERY sour dressing. ERrrrrrrr!

I thought that it might be OK for marinating fish, especially when served with cheese. Hence, the top photo.

BUT IT WAS STILL TERRIBLY SOUR!!  LOL

I'm actually writing this post in November, but the dressing is still sitting in the fridge. And I've been ignoring it until...
... until it turns obviously moldy or rotten and I can throw it away with no guilt. Hehe... ;P.
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ginger Project - Part 1 -

Sliced Ginger Roots

To tell you the truth, I'm writing this post in November, after harvesting some ginger roots from my veggie garden. I was going to post about the excitement of the first harvest, but I thought it would be better to upload this "part 1" story beforehand.

So, this is about what I made in September with some store-bought ginger. And I'm posting it with a date in September... Sorry about my procrastination - as always - and modifying the post dates like this from time to time. :P

Anyway, in early September, my inner voice ordered me to make ginger syrup, and I followed the order. I cooked ginger slices with sugar and spices ...


 ... until I got this nice, thick syrup. The color turned out pretty dark because I used brown sugar.

 Homemade Ginger Syrup and Candied Ginger

What you see in front of the syrup is candied ginger I made with the ginger slices left from the syrup making.

The syrup was a success. I mixed it with club soda and threw in a few mint leaves to enjoy the sweetness with the refreshing kick, and before I knew it, the jar was empty. :D

The candy turned out quite hard, sweet AND very gingery. I was pretty satisfied and looking forward to using it for ginger bread and soft ginger cookies. But one day when it was extremely hot and humid, the candy melted and the whole thing turned terribly soggy.
* Sob *
So, would I throw it away?
Of course not.

There'll be a post about the Part 2 of this ginger story, and you'll see how I used the soggy sugar-ginger mixture.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another Jam Session in the Kitchen! ;)

Homemade Blueberry Jam, 2014 

I've been lucky with my jam making this summer: Ume plum jam (used the plums taken out from homemade ume juice), tomato jam (used home-grown oval tomatoes, Aiko) and this blueberry jam.

If you are a long-term reader of my blogs including the previous foodblog, you might remember the sunshine blue bush I was growing in a planter? I brought it with me when I moved into my parents' house and planted it in the garden. Last winter it looked sick, so I cut most of its branches. Then the bush had no flowers this spring and I thought the other blueberry wouldn't yield any fruits because it wasn't a self-pollinating kind. But for some reason (maybe someone in this neighborhood is growing blueberries), it gave me this many!

This Year's Harvest (336 g)

Yep, I kept them in the freezer, and this time I didn't wash them before freezing because I had read that it would make the skin harder. And the day before yesterday, I finished the tomato jam, so yesterday morning, I found myself cooking these berries in an enameled pot.

The jam tastes good, but seedy. I wonder if there is a seedy kind or it's the way I grow the bush...
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Before Summer is Totally Gone...

Sun-dried Tomato and Cream Cheese Canape

Now, before summer of 2014 is over let me post about two more creations from my sun-dried tomato project. The project was the highlight of this summer, I would say.  :)

First, these canapes.
I soaked the semi-dried tomatoes with warm water and after they were softened, chopped them like this. Then all I did was just putting them on Ritz crackers with cream cheese and basil leaves. Yeah, you see the tiny green pieces? At first I used a whole leaf for each. But its strong flavor overpowered the sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes. So I tore the basil leaves into small pieces and sneaked one under the cream cheese, topping it with an even smaller bit.

This simple creation was actually the best of all my attempts with dried tomatoes this summer! The combination of the tomatoes and the cream cheese was just heavenly with the refreshing kick of the sweet basil.  :D

Sun-dried Tomato and Bacon Muffins


Second, these muffins.
This was another "just okay" attempt of mine with sun-dried tomatoes. I thought the tomatoes would taste great with bacon, which was probably a right guess, but obviously I didn't use enough bacon. The muffins would have tasted much better if I diced the bacon into larger pieces and put more in each with more cheese and black pepper. After all, the muffins were rather bland.
But I ate them all in one day. :P
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sudachi Infused Liquor!

Sudachi (Citrus Sudachi)

Sudachi is a small, round citrus fruit that looks like a baby lime, except that it is a little flatter. I love to use Sudachi in place of lemon when I eat seafood, because it adds such a refreshing fragrance! :D

My family is lucky to have a sudachi tree near the graveyard. It gives us plenty of fruit every year and we never have to buy any at the store. And this year, I decided to give this a try:
Sudachi Infused Liquor

At the end of May this year, I made plum infused liquor. And I didn't know what to do with the leftover distilled liquor and rock sugar. Now this is the perfect chance to use them up.
:)

It was not easy to pick a recipe, though. Some recipe sites says "Do not peel sudachi," others says, "Peel most of them but leave a few unpeeled," without really explaining the reason why. And some says, "Take out the rind in 2 weeks," so maybe the green rind can add a little bitterness to the drink or something??  Well, we'll see.
Here's the recipe I used this time:
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Sudachi Infused Liquor
  Twelve sudachi citrus, peeled (three were unpeeled and halved)
  250 g   rock sugar
  900 mL distilled liquor (called "White liquor"in Japan)
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They say it will be ready in about three months. So I should be able to enjoy the drink with hotpot dishes at the end of this year. How nice!  :D
Mmmmm... Maybe I should get some vodka and do the same to make a special drink for Christmas dinner. ;)
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Love Their Colors!

Noble Scallop
Bon is a Buddhist custom in Japan and our ancestors' spirits are said to come visit us during this period. It's also a family reunion time. Supermarkets sell local specialties and party foods twice as much as usual!:)

Noble scallop is something they started selling recently at supermarkets around here in this period (though it is not exactly our local specialty!). In my neighborhood, we already celebrated this custom in July, but last night I took this opportunity to try some because my family has never tasted it before.



.... I know. Overdone. But they tasted good. :D
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Exclusively Sun-dried!

Exclusively Sun-dried Plum Tomatoes, Herbs and Blueberries

This time, it worked! I dried the tomatoes for about three days on a big rock on the beach under the summer sun. They turned out to be great semi-dried tomatoes! YAY!
Yes, these taste way better than the ones that went through three drying methods!

Don't they look lovely this way? ;) The sun-dried herbs also look nice in these packages.

Mini pizza for lunch today! :D

The mini pizza pieces were OK, but the strong taste of the cheese and the crunchiness of the crust (actually Chinese dumpling skins) sort of hid the rich flavor and the pleasant chewiness of the tomatoes. Next time I would definitely go for mozzarella or cream cheese.
Definitely. ;)
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