For this week’s No Recipes roundup, I have for you 2 classic Japanese dishes along with 2 pseudo-Indian ones. If you’re wondering what the deal with all the dashi inclusive dishes is, I had an audition for The Next Food Network Star today and needed to bring my signature dish pre-plated and I also had to do an on-camera 5 minute demo. I decided to do the demo on making home made dashi, so I’ve been playing with different variations all week.
As the Angry Asian Man points out, there’s really a dearth of yellow folk on The Food Network, so hopefully season 5 marks an end to that;-)
If I have time this week, I’ll post my first video blog (a practice run of the demo I caught on tape).
This week’s No Recipes isn’t completely devoid of instructions because I’ve posted about this dish before. This is one of my all-time favorite dishes, so I make it relatively frequently (much to my cardiologists chagrin). The pork belly braises in dashi for several hours in a low temperature oven which renders out a lot of the fat and releases a ton of collagen that makes the meat just melt in your mouth. I used this for the “plated dish” part of my audition today.
Here’s another winter Japanese dish called Nabe (which literally means pot). It’s basically a Japanese hotpot (aka steamboat) dish that you cook at the table. It’s a broth made from dashi with light soy sauce and mirin that you cook lots of veggies, some tofu, pork and mushrooms in. You can really put just about any combo of meat, seafood (I really like crab) and veggies in this one and it’s about the easiest thing in the world to make. It makes for a hearty warming meal yet it’s relatively light and healthy. You could easily make this vegetarian by omitting the pork and using a dashi made with kombu and mushrooms.
I took the liberty of topping this one with an onsen tamago (or slow cooked egg). If you’ve never had one before it’s a transformational experience because it’s not like any egg you’ve ever had before. I’m planning on posting a recipe for it later this week, so hang tight.
I’m a total novice when it comes to cooking Indian food, but I had some cauliflower and butternut squash in the fridge, so I made this veggie “tikka masala”. I use the term loosely because while it did have tomato and cream in it, I went a bit light on the cream so the tomatoes came through a bit too much.
I don’t know if I ever mentioned this before, but I absolutely hate wasting stuff. I had some pizza dough left over from a few days back and it occurred to me that it might make good naan if cooked it on the stove in my cast iron skillet. This was the result.