Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vegetable dishes

Unlike US grocery stores, there aren't too many varieties of beef here.  All I can find is a block of thick beef, probably from the shoulder area, which you typiacally use for stew.  I once found sirloin, but it didn't taste good.  I guess people don't eat beef too much here except putting in a stew.  Moreover, since I started to develop this anti-beef/pork mentality (well, it is only associated with me cooking), I have been focusing on veggie dishes. Here are some recipes:

1) Pizza-like veggie pie and hot veggie salad
- spread the pie dough and roll up the edges, and pread tomato sauce (or pizza sauce)
- sprinkle minced garlic, chopped onions, mashrooms, boiled spinach, or whatever the vegetables you may have in your frig.
- sprinkle cheese (and if you have Japanese mayonnaise, you can put some before sprinkling cheese)
- bake it in the oven as instructed on the package of pie dough
**Veggie Salad**
- heat up the olive oil in a deep pan with minced garlic
- put veggies, salt and pepper, and put the lid so that you can stir up the whole pan (rather constantly - good arm exercise!) for about 4-5 mins (depending on what type of veggies you used)

Very easy!

2) Summer veggie curry
- chop up vegetables (I used eggplants, some root veggies, green beans, cauliflowers, peppers, potatoes, and mushrooms)
- heat up the oil and fry each vegetable quickly (you might want to start out from harder veggies like potatoes or cauliflowers)
- put the fried veggies aside
- in a pan, heat up the olive oil (lowe heat please) and saute garlic, red peppers, and minced onions
- once onions are browned, put them towards the edge of the pan so that you can put ghee or unsalted butter in the middle
- while ghee or butter is melting, you put the mixture of spices (I usually mix: turmeric, curry powder, cumin, cardamon, garam masala - although garam masala is the mixture of spices, but anyway...), stir, and make a consistent curry roux
- mix the roux with onions
- put some water, milk, and some whole tomatoes (adjust the amount depending on the veggies you will put in later)
- once heated up, dump the veggies you fried earlier
- sprinkle red pepper, salt and pepper, if you like
- once heated up again, add sour cream or yogurt or cream if you like

3) Eggplant sauteed with miso
This dish is something my mother typically made with eggplants. One of my favorites!
- slice eggplants (3 small Japanese eggplants, or 1 large american eggplant), soak in the water
- make a mixture of miso (2 tbs), sugar (2 tbs), sake (1 tbs), soy sauce (little), Shiro-dashi if you have any (little), water (little)
- drain water and squeeze eggplants to get rid of water
- heat up the oil, saute eggplants with the lid on
- once eggplants get softened, put the mixture of moso, sugar, sake, soy sauce, etc into the plan and sautee more
- sprinkle a little bit of sesame oil if you'd like at the end

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