No Recipes vol. 3

Hi! I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques while giving you the confidence and inspiration to cook without recipes too!

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It'll be a short and busy week at work followed by the arrival of my family from CA, then I'll be in the kitchen all day Thursday doing Thanksgiving 24 style:-) Yep, we've been selected to do the FoodBuzz 24, 24, 24 event for Thanksgiving (see this post for the last 24 event), so stay tuned for more on that.

In case I don't have a chance to post for a few days, here are some pictures and thoughts from the past week.

Lamb Fried Cous Cous... Fried cous cous is the new fried rice. I bought a box of cous cous that curiously had no directions on how to prepare it. It has recipes on the back, but the recipes referenced the "directions" for making the cous cous on the side of the box. After much head scratching (and showing the box to L to make sure I wasn't missing anything), we concluded that they must have forgotten to include the directions. So in true No Recipes style, I went winged the water content... and missed. We had some slightly soft cous cous for dinner last night with our Lamb Kebabs, but I woke up this morning with an idea. I chopped up the leftover lamb, onions and bellpepper from the kebabs, and fried it along with the cous cous and some garam masala. In a word, it was awesome! I may even start making cous cous for the express purpose of frying it.

Concord Grape Granita - This is probably the simplest dessert ever and yet the effort to taste ratio is high. It's just concord grapes that have been juiced either with a blender or foodmill then frozen. No cooking, no sugar, just grapes. Once it's frozen you can take a spoon or fork and scrape out a bowl of granita. The grapes have the perfect tart/sweet ratio and what's more, they're the only grapes I know of that actually taste like grapes. Concord grapes a bit hard to find fresh, but if you can, they're worth getting (the jarred juice just doesn't taste the same). I imagine you could also throw this into an ice cream maker to make sorbet and I've even thought about making a grape ice cream.

Kuzu mochi with Grade B Maple Syrup - If you saw the Kuromitsu Pork Chop post, you may have been wondering what kinako and kuromitsu are normally used in, well wonder no more. The texture of this "mochi" is much lighter than a rice based one and for this dessert I've paired it with grade B maple syrup (which has a much more mapley flavor than normal maple syrup) instead of the more traditional kuromitsu (black syrup). I'm really digging the texture of these things and have started to think about other ways I might use it. I actually tried making vegan marshmallows with it, but that was a miserable failure, next I think I'm going to try gnocchi.

Garlic Chive and Egg on Rice - This is a great fast breakfast or dinner. It's basically fried garlic chives with scrambled egg seasoned with light soy sauce, mirin, and dashi. It's delicious on a bed of hot rice, but I think it would be equally good on a slice of toast if rice for breakfast isn't your thing.- This is a great fast breakfast or dinner. It's basically fried garlic chives with scrambled egg seasoned with light soy sauce, mirin, and dashi. It's delicious on a bed of hot rice, but I think it would be equally good on a slice of toast if rice for breakfast isn't your thing.

Maitake, Potato and Kale Miso Soup - I know this isn't the most inspired thing to show up here, but the point I wanted to make with this is that you can put anything in miso soup. If you don't have tofu, wakame and green onions laying around (and even if you do), experiment a little with different veggies. I've yet to find a veggie that doesn't work.


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