Bucatini alla Carbonara (2 versioni)


Ciao di nuovo! It’s been another long while since I’ve posted. I have not been cooking anything interesting. In fact before making this yummy Carbonara, I made a mushy pot of black beans and brown rice . . . trust me; it wasn’t blog-worthy. Also these past few weeks have been stressful because of constant teaching and grading.  So in order to retain the little bit of sanity I have left from my busy schedule, I still think about my blissful months in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

MARIANGELA VERSION: While in Reggio Calabria, my boyfriend’s mom, Mariangela (the same who shared her pizza dough and pizza recipe with me), asked me what was my favorite pasta dish, and without hesitation, I said, “Pasta alla Carbonara.” For my birthday, she surprised me with this dish but made it with proscuitto instead of pancetta and spaghetti in place of bucatini. It was AMAZING, and I knew I wanted to recreate this dish upon my return to the States.

In the past, every time I made Carbonara, I would have to go on a long search for guanciale or pork cheek, the official meat used in traditional Carbonara, and I could never find it. I am confronted with perplexed stares and am asked to repeat my request multiple times by supermarket workers. I have always had to resort to pancetta, but now that I have tried Carbonara with proscuitto, I am happy that I no longer need to look far and wide for guanciale because I have found a good, substitute version of traditional Carbonara.

Even though the Carbonara originated in Rome, when I think of this dish with proscuitto, I think of the best moments of my life in Reggio Calabria…

TRADITIONAL VERSION: I started with the “Mariangela version” of Carbonara because it is a nostalgic dish for me; it is my preferred version, and it is not considered the traditional way to make the dish.

A traditional Bucatini alla Carbonara is comprised of bucatini (the pasta), guanciale(pork cheek), parmiggiano reggiano or pecorino romano or both (the cheese), eggs (the sauce), black pepper (spice), and pasta water, if needed. However, many Italians may substitute guanciale with pancetta, or in Mariangela’s case, with proscuitto.

In the States, however, Italian-American restaurants serve Carbonara with pancetta or bacon, cream, and sometimes peas or other add-ins! *gasp!* I much prefer the more traditional way or with prosciutto served with a crusty knob of hot bread.
Bucatini: A few weeks ago, I was happy to find bucatini, which is the pasta used in the traditional version of Carbonara. My boyfriend encouraged me to use spaghetti instead of this type of pasta, but I wanted to try it out for myself and for the blog :).
As you can see in the photos, this pasta is much thicker than spaghetti, and there are holes in the middle. Once I took a bite of the Carbonara, I understood immediately why my boyfriend had discouraged me from using it!Even though it is more traditional to use bucatini, in the future, I will use spaghetti since they are thinner and more manageable to eat and enjoy.
Bucatini alla Carbonara
75-115 grams of spaghetti or bucatini per person (reserve some of the pasta water)
1/2 Tbsp of a light oil such as sunflower oil (I had only extra virgin olive oil on hand)
2-4 Tbsp guanciale, pancetta, or proscuitto
1 large egg per person
2-3 Tbsp parmigiano reggiano per person
black pepper to taste (q.b.)
Boil water and prepare pasta. Be sure to salt your water until it is almost as salty as the Mediterranean Sea (as they say). Once the pasta is 3 minutes away from being done, start cooking your pork of choice in a hot skillet brushed with light oil (I used a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, but Mariangela used soybean oil because it is lighter.).
While the pork is cooking, put the grated cheese and egg in a bowl and mix together well. Once the meat is ready, remove the skillet from heat and transfer the cooked pasta to the skillet. Stir the pasta and pork together well. Next pour the egg and cheese mixture on top of the pasta and pork and mix well. Serve immediately and sprinkle the top of the dish with plenty of fresh black pepper.

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Palak Paneer, Pulao, and Roti

Indian food. I love Indian food so much. In fact, being a vegetarian would be a lot easier if I were to just eat Indian food every day. However, sometimes I get in the mood for other types of foods, so…yeah. I’ll eat more Indian food and just reduce my meat consumption instead ;). I think that’s a fair compromise for now…

I’m still in Lisbon and was craving Indian food and decided to make things for harder and more expensive for myself make paneer for Palak Paneer for my friends and me. I had never made paneer before, but I’ve made mascarpone, which is a similar process. I made one batch of paneer with whole milk and another with a milk with less fat (called meio gordo here). The paneer with whole milk was less crumbly, but both had similar textures and were fine. Next time, I plan to add a bit of salt and masala/spices to the paneer before allowing them to set.

LEFT: paneer with less fat/meio gordo. RIGHT: paneer with whole milk (gordo)

Next, I prepared the roti dough, which is much easier and quicker to make than naan dough because it contains no yeast. Roti is almost like a flour tortilla; they contain similar ingredients (I know some Mexicans who make flour tortillas with oil instead of shortening). I allowed the covered roti dough to rest while I prepared the pulao/pilaf and palak paneer.

Roti: Packed and ready to be delivered to my friends…

The sauce for the palak paneer was pretty easy to put together. Just be sure to have all of your ingredients out and ready, which is the rule for the preparation of all Indian dishes. You should also puree your tomatoes, onions, garlic, chilis, etc. before working on this dish. 

I love the love the bright green color from the spinach! I wish I had placed the paneer in the fridge for 30-60 minutes instead of allowing it to set out on the counter. I think it would have been a bit firmer that way. Make sure your paneer is firm before using it in the dish. Also, the paneer itself is bland and soft. If you’d like a paneer with more flavor, add a little bit of salt or spices.

The day I made this dish, I was to meet my roommates at the outdoor theatre. So, I packed up the meal to deliver it to them (I had eaten my own plateful beforehand). Unfortunately, I could not find them, and we weren’t able to contact each other on our cellphones. However, once they returned home, they devoured this dish and said that it was delicious! I agree wholeheartedly!

The rice dish came from Pioneer Woman’s website! I love this rice recipe; it is my go-to for Indian-inspired rice.

Funny story: When my friend started eating this dish, I asked her, “How is the paneer?” and she grabbed the roti saying, “Oh! I haven’t tried it yet!” haha. In Romance languages, the word for “bread” is similar to the word “paneer“, so she thought I was referring to the roti, not to the Indian cheese :).

Paneer
from various sources but here’s a video: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AJJXOFUe5A)
  • 1 liter of whole or 2% milk (whole milk yields a creamier cheese but both are good)
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt, or curd
  1. Have ready a cheesecloth, muslin cloth, or clean tea towel over a heat-resistent bowl. 
  2. Stir and heat the milk until it comes to low simmer (do not boil!). 
  3. Add in the acid component of your choice until the milk and whey form. 
  4. Immediately pour the milk/whey mixture into the cheesecloth-lined bowl. 
  5. Then transfer the cloth (with paneer inside) to another container (I used the pot I used to heat the milk) and rinse the paneer with the cloth open to remove the lemon or vinegar taste and to cool down the cheese. 
  6. Squeeze out excess liquid. (If you’d like to add salt or spices like garam masala, this would be the time.) 
  7. Next, close up the cheesecloth, put it on a plate or shallow bowl and place something heavy atop the wrapped cheese. 
  8. Allow it to sit on the counter or refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I suggest letting it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour for it to be ready for the Palak Paneer or any other curry.Storage: I’ve read that it can be stored in the fridge overnight, but I’ve never tried it.
Pulao (pilaf with peas)
  • 2 cups Basmati rice (I used brown rice)
  • 2-4 Tbsp butter 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric powder
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of frozen green peas
  1. To a rice cooker add all of the ingredients then cook the rice in the cooker. 
  2. If you do not have a rice cooker, boil the cold water, turmeric, butter, and salt. Then add in the rice once the mixture has started boiling. Cover and allow to cook according to the packaging. Once the rice is done, throw in some frozen peas, stir, and allow the heat of the rice to cook the peas.
Roti (Indian flatbread)
  • 125 grams (1 cup) of wheat flour (I used AP flour/tipo 55)
  • 1/2 cup hot water (I’ve seen this made with warm water as well)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp of oil (I used veg oil)
  1. Place flour and salt into a big bowl. Then add the oil. Mix the mixture together and add warm/hot water a little bit at a time (I did not use all of the 1/2 cup of water)
  2. Use your hand to pour warm water to the flour (I did not use all of the 1/2 cup of water) and knead with the right hand. Do not pour too much water at once; mix flour properly.
  3. Press the dough and turn it over several times with your right hand for about 4-5 minutes.  When the dough seems uniformed and smooth, sprinkle 2-3 tsp water on it, then cover and keep aside for 20-25 minutes (I left it in the bowl for an hour because I was preparing the other dishes.).

Palak Paneer Recipe

  • 500 grams of fresh spinach
  • 200 grams of paneer, in cubes
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  •  1tsp of cumin seeds
  • 2 tsps of kasuri methi
  • 2-3 large tomatoes/5 small tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 chili peppers or jalapeños or 1/2 of one green pepper
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 2 tablespoon of cream (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp salt or to taste

  1. Remove the stems of spinach. Wash the spinach well and put them in a bowl . Pour the 1/4 cup of water into the bowl and heat it. The spinach will take 5 to 6 minutes to boil.
  2. Grind the onions and garlic finely and set aside
  3. Grind the tomato, green chilly and ginger in the grinder finely and set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Put the cumin seeds into the pan.
  5. Once the cumin seeds start to fry, put in the crushed (with your hands), kasuri methi and cook it.
  6. Next pour in the onion/garlic paste.
  7. Then pour in the tomato paste, green chilli and ginger into the masala (spice mixture). Fry the masala till it releases the oil.
  8. Grind the boiled spinach in a grinder, hand mixer, or blender, and pour it into the fried masala. Then mix the masala properly.
  9. Pour the cream into the masala and cook it for 3 to 4 minutes.
  10. Now put in the paneer and cook the sauce for and additional 2 minutes.
  11. The palak paneer is now ready!

Optional: Garnish it with a small spoon of cream. You can either serve hot or eat hot with chapati, roti, or naan.

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Resuscitated Dough for Cinnamon Rolls

So you’re looking at the title of this post and are thinking “huh? what?” I hear ya. Let me explain…

These past few years I’ve made a lot of bread and yeast-based desserts on this blog so I am familiar with the usual signs of good/bad yeast growth, dough quality, etc. While living abroad, however, I have to relearn how to cook in a sense and get familiar with different ingredients and tools. I’m in Lisbon this time around, and I decided to make cinnamon rolls for my two friends who have graciously allowed me to stay with them for two months!

Happy, risen dough! You would never know that this dough had no life in it just a few hours ago. . .

Before embarking on my trip to the grocery store, I asked one of my roommates, the one who cooks the most, if she had any yeast for bread, and she said yes. I was a bit leary of the leavening agent she had because it was for pizza dough, which doesn’t require as much rising time as cinnamon roll/brioche dough, and with the added butter and eggs, I knew I needed something stronger.

Nevertheless, I trusted my dear friend and returned from the store sans fresh yeast. Once I opened the yeast-for-pizza package, I knew it was wrong. It had a powdery, white color and contained cornstarch! Because it was late in the evening, and I was too tired of going to the store (mind you I had to go to more than one store to find international, hard-to-find ingredients for another meal), so I trudged along with this yeast. I kneaded the dough and placed it in the fridge overnight for a slow and steady rise. Hah! The next morning, I was greeted by a DEAD-looking, brownish-looking lump of…something I wouldn’t consider dough. My heart sank because 1) I knew that yeast wasn’t right for cinnamon rolls yet I didn’t follow my first thought; and 2) I realized I had wasted all that time, ingredients, and money for nothing.

I was about to throw away the dough, buy real yeast, and start all over again until I thought about resuscitating my dough. Was it possible? Could it be done? I searched on the all-knowing Google and found out that if you just kneaded in some fresh or activated yeast into your “dead” dough, you can bring it back to life!! As soon as I had read that, I bought more yeast and started taking photos of the process for my own records and for all the other people out there who have or will encounter unrisen dough.

I wish I had taken a photo of the dough as I had discovered it the next morning. However, here it is rolled out a bit on the table. You can see that it is void of life and is a darker color than “living” dough.
I used yeast for all types of bread and submerged it into about 1/2 cup of warm milk before adding it to the dead dough. I didn’t use any type of added sweetener because of the natural sweetness of the milk.
Before and after photos of the yeast activation step. Note the level of liquid and the spoon handle.
I added the activated yeast to the dead dough and once I saw the imminent mess, I carefully transferred the now wet dough to a mixing bowl, kneaded in the yeast mixture, and then transferred the “new” dough to a mat and continued to knead.
Once the dough started to rise, I placed it in the fridge overnight and was greeted by what you see in the bottom right photo! It’s alive!!!!
The next morning, I rolled out half of the dough (froze the rest), and made cinnamon and strawberry rolls with a cream cheese glaze.

So, if you ever end up with unrisen dough due to the usage of the wrong type of yeast (as in my case), too little yeast, or if you “kill” your yeast with hot water or salt, don’t throw out the yeast or use the “dead” dough as is. Activate a new batch of yeast (dry or fresh) with warm liquid (and a little sweetener, if you’d like) then add it to the unrisen dough. Hope this helps! Have a great day!

Rolls without the frosting: I sort of overbaked these rolls by only fewer than 4 minutes!! You want your rolls to be less brown than these. My roommates still loved them, though!

For the cinnamon roll recipe, go to Use Real Butter and see her gorgeous photos! I used the recipes for the strawberry filling, dough, and frosting (sans alcohol). For the cinnamon roll version, I just used softened butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar (or you can use muscavado or a mixture of granulated/caster and brown/muscavado sugars).

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Baked Turkey Tacos

When I’m on track with my diet, I prefer to eat raw in the mornings and evenings and eat a healthy, cooked meal for lunch. When I’m craving something a bit more naughty, I make these guiltless, turkey tacos.

They are comprised of extra lean ground turkey with a blend of seasonings, pico de gallo, a bit of cheese, and corn tortillas. To make the taco shells, I heat up the tortillas in the microwave to soften them up, then I spray the grates in the oven, and lay them there to form the shell. They come out crunchy and oh so flavorful that I sometimes feel like I’m eating something full of calories and fat.

The cheese is the only true guilty ingredient, so control how much you put on your tacos.

When I made the tacos this time around, I baked the finished tacos in the oven for a few minutes in my oval French oven to allow the cheese to melt and to become one with the rest of the ingredients. Because this extra step was impromptu, the pico de gallo was warm so I had to add a bit more at the end. If you decide to make a baked version of these tacos, add the cold pico de gallo after they’ve baked. I enjoyed the contrast of flavors and temperatures of the cold salsa and hot, meat filling.

When I made the tacos this time around, I baked the finished tacos in the oven for a few minutes in my oval French oven to allow the cheese to melt and to become one with the rest of the ingredients. Because this extra step was impromptu, the pico de gallo was warm so I had to add a bit more at the end. If you decide to make a baked version of these tacos, add the pico de gallo after they’ve baked. I enjoyed the contrast of flavors and temperatures of the cold salsa and hot, meat filling.

Baked Turkey Tacos

[For the PICO DE GALLO, I chopped up and mixed together 2-3 roma tomatoes, a handful of green onions and cilantro, and one partly deseeded jalapeño. I seasoned the mixture with 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt (to taste) and the juice of 2 limes. Store the pico de gallo in the refrigerator before making the tacos.]

Make the taco seasoning:
(go to allrecipe for a smaller version of this recipe; however, I suggest making a large portion of the seasoning to keep on hand. Below is the recipe based on a serving size of 50, which still isn’t much since you’ll be using 3 Tbsp of the mixture for the taco filling.)

1/4 cup & 1 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/4 tsp onion powder
1 14 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 tsp dried oregano or “Italian seasoning” mix
2 1/2 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp & 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp & 2 tsp sea salt (or Kosher or table salt)
1 Tbsp & 2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground or powder)

Mix all ingredients in an airtight container. You will need only 3 Tbsp of this mixture for this recipe.

Ground turkey filling

1 lb of extra lean ground turkey (around 3 grams of fat/serving), regular ground turkey, chicken, beef, or minced mushrooms or other veggies
3 Tbsp of taco seasoning (see recipe above)
1-2 Tbsp water (optional; use only to make the seasoning less intense for children or sensitive folks)

Taco preparation
Meat or veggie filling
Block of your favorite cheese(s), grated (not the pre-grated stuff, please!)
6-8 corn tortillas
Olive oil, oil spray, or Pam
Salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. For two people, microwave 6-8 tortillas in a wet paper towel for about 45 seconds. Separate the tortillas carefully (I use a brush dipped in oil to separate and coat them). Brush or spray the tortillas with oil on both sides and sprinkle salt, if using, on both sides as well.

Spay the oven grates with Pam really well! Place the oil- and salt-coated tortillas on the grates of the oven. For wider tacos as the ones shown in this post, place the tortillas over two rows. Baked the tortillas for 7-10 minutes or until the taco is crunchy throughout. Take out the shells CAREFULLY by pushing them up from underneath the grates. They should pop right up if you sprayed the grates well enough.

Now fill the taco shells with your meat/veggie mixture, cheese, pico de gallo or salsa, and any other fixings you prefer. ENJOY!

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

La Pizza Mariangela

While reading my previous post about Mariangela’s Pizza dough, my boyfriend and his parents went through a range of emotions: Upon seeing the title of the post, they became excited. Once they saw the first photos of the dough, their expectations continued to soar. However, as soon as they saw the turkey “pepperoni”, mushrooms, and yellow cheese, their hopes were quickly dashed.

I could just see them – my boyfriend sitting in the office chair in front of the computer, his parents standing behind him looking over his shoulder as he slowly scrolled through my blog post only to reveal one “horrific” photo after the next. *sigh*

 


Anyway, after they complained passionately (accompanied with stereotypical, Italian gestures) about my blasphemous toppings, my boyfriend made comments such as “My mom said she doesn’t use those toppings!” or “That’s not a Pizza Mariangela!” to which I replied, “I know! That’s why I entitled the post “Mariangela’s Pizza Dough” NOT “Pizza Mariangela!”

This feeble attempt to justify my gastronomic “misdeeds” and to pacify my boyfriend’s passion for and determination to do all Italian dishes correctly failed miserably. It failed to the point that I soon felt compelled to remove a batch of dough from the freezer and to make a true Pizza Mariangela!

Use a box/can of tomatoes free from extra, unnecessary ingredients

A true, authentic Pizza Mariangela consists of crushed tomatoes mixed with extra virgin olive oil, capers, oregano, salt, and sugar (sugar: to offset acidity from tomatoes). Next, she cuts up Provola (not the same as provolone) or Scamorza into small cubes and sprinkles them over the tomato sauce. After the pizza is taken out of the oven, she finishes off the pizza with a nice helping of fresh arugula.

I searched high and low in my small city for Provola and Scamorza and could not find them. So, I used smoked mozzarella and provolone instead (with my bf’s family’s approval, of course).

Because I was there, she put some prosciutto on one half of the pizza before placing it in the oven, but she and the rest of the family would NEVER consider prosciutto to be one of the ingredients of a true Pizza Mariangela. 🙂

She also didn’t add arugula on my side. I eat arugula only in salads.

Above and below (in the recipe section) are the photos of her making the pizze during one of my many visits. While my Pizza Mariangela looks a lot more like the real deal than the pizze from the previous post, non vedo l’ora (I can’t wait) to eat her pizza again!

A gratuitous shot of my boyfriend eating his pizza elegantly with a fork. . .and they made fun of the mayor of NYC. . .

My bf is such a romantic; he thinks that the Pizza Mariangela will be the next Fettucine Alfredo, a famous dish that started in Italy but was made famous in the States yet is pretty much unknown in Italy haha.
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For more information about the pizza dough, go here.The dough recipe may also be found below:

Mariangela’s dough was noticeably more hydrated than my dough. If you’d like your dough to be more like hers, adjust the liquid amount.
L’impasto per la pizza di Mariangela

2 cucchiaini di zucchero
1 bustina di lievito di birra
500 grammi di farina (Ho usato 250 gr farina 00 e 250 gr farina integrale)
1 cucchiaio di olio
350-400 ml di acqua o latte*
1 cucchiaino di sale

Mariangela’s Pizza Dough

2 tsp of granulated sugar
1 packet of yeast or 2 1/4 tsp of yeast
500 grams (4 cups) all-purpose or bread flour (I used half white-wheat and half AP
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
350-400 ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water or milk*
1 tsp of salt

Stir the yeast, sugar, and warm water/milk together in a large, mixing bowl. Allow the yeast mixture to bubble up and wake up for 5-10 minutes. Add oil, flour, and salt until the dough comes together. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes by hand or 5-7 minutes if using a stand mixer. Once the dough is well-kneaded, place the dough ball in an oil-lined bowl. Cover the dough and allow it to rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours). Once doubled in size, knead the dough again, cover it, and allow to rise a second time (I always did this step once, but I recently discovered she does it twice.). Once risen twice, section off the dough into four parts. Roll out the dough you’ll be using, and freeze the rest in a Zip-loc bag or two.

LA PIZZA MARIANGELA

Crushed tomatoes (avoid boxes/cans of tomatoes with extra, unnecessary ingredients)
Salt to taste
Oregano
Capers (optional)
A small amount of sugar
Extra virgin olive oil
Provola, Scomorza, and/or fresh Mozarella
Fresh Arugula

Preheat the oven to the highest temperature possible. For the sauce, mix the first six (6) ingredients together. Set the sauce aside while you flatten out the dough and dice the cheese(s). Bake the pizza for 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and dough is cooked to your liking. Once the pizza has fully cooked, place arugula on top of the hot pizza and eat with fervor!

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

北海道牛奶麵包 Hokkaido Milk Bread

Hokkaido Milk Bread
Hokkaido Milk Bread


Hokkaido Milk Bread
recipe found on

Makes two loaves (each loaf tin size: 20.5cmx10.5cmx9.5cm)
Ingredients:

  • 540 gm bread flour
  • 86 gm caster sugar
  • 8 gm salt
  • 9 gm full cream milk power(original recipe calls for a kind of natural milk essence, not available here, so I replace it.)
  • 11 gm instant dried yeast
  • 86 gm whisked egg
  • 59 gm whipping cream
  • 54 gm milk
  • 184 gm tangzhong (method of making tangzhong)
  • 49 gm unsalted butter, melted

Read more: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/10/hokkaido-milk-toast-japanese-style.html#ixzz2DdccwqX

    Ingredients of tangzhong (湯種) For two loaves): (each loaf tin size: 20.5cm x 10.5cm x 9.5cm).
*NOTE: Best to measure ingredients by weight for most accurate amount.
  • 50 grams OR 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 250 ml/ 1 cup water (could be replaced by milk or 50/50 water and milk)
  • Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
  • The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. You get the tangzhong. (Some people might like to use a thermometer to check the temperature. After a few trials, I found this simple method works every time.) Remove from heat.
  • Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.  Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more. (Note: The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients. )

    Read more: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/03/japanese-style-bacon-and-cheese-bread.html#ixzz2DdhcQu8W

  1. Mix flour in water or milk well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
  2. The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some circular “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon, it is done.
  3. Transfer mixture into a clean bowl. Cover with a saran or cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.  Use HALF of the mixture for ONE loaf. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to ONEday (If it looks gray, then throw it out and make a new batch. Make sure the chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients.
  • Ingredients for ONE bread loaf
  • *NOTE: Best to measure ingredients by weight for most accurate amount.
  • 350gm/ 2½ cups bread flour
  • 55gm/3tbsp+2tsp granulated or caster sugar
  • 5gm/1tsp salt (I use kosher salt)
  • 56gm egg (or 1 large egg)
  • 7gm/1tbsp+1tsp milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional (I used NIDO milk powder http://www.nestlenido.com/Public/Default.aspx))
  • 125ml / ½cup whole milk
  • 120gm tangzhong (use HALF of the tangzhong from above)
  • 5 to 6gm  / 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 30gm/3tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
  • Method (To make one loaf):
    1. Add all ingredients (except butter) into a breadmaker, first the wet ingredients (milk, cream, egg, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, milk powder, bread flour, yeast). (Note: I used to make a small well in the bread flour, then add the yeast into it.) Select the “dough” mode (refer to the menu of your breadmaker to select the kneading dough programme). When all ingredients come together, pour in the melted butter, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. The time of kneading in the breadmaker is about 30 minutes. Then let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing, about 40 minutes, best temperature for proofing is 28C, humidity 75%, until double in size.
    2. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide into 3 equal portions (see picture 1). Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
    3. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape (See picture 2). Fold 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press (see picture 3). Then fold 1/3 from bottom to the middle and press (see picture 4). Turn seal downward. Roll flat and stretch to about 30cm in length (see picture 5). With seal upward, roll into a cylinder (see picture 6). With seal facing down (see picture 7), place in the loaf tins to have the 2nd round of proofing (see picture 8), until double in size. The best temperature for 2nd round proofing is 38C, humidity 85%.
    4. Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until turns brown. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

    Read more: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/10/hokkaido-milk-toast-japanese-style.html#ixzz2DdevL9sQ

  •   INSTRUCTIONS (FOR ONE LOAF):
  1. Add all ingredients (except butter) into a breadmaker, first the wet ingredients (milk, cream, egg, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, milk powder, bread flour, yeast). (Note: I used to make a small well in the bread flour, then add the yeast into it.) Select the “dough” mode (refer to the menu of your breadmaker to select the kneading dough programme). When all ingredients come together, pour in the melted butter, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. The time of kneading in the breadmaker is about 30 minutes. Then let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing, about 40 minutes, best temperature for proofing is 28C, humidity 75%, until double in size.
  2. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide into 3 equal portions (see picture 1). Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape (See picture 2). Fold 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press (see picture 3). Then fold 1/3 from bottom to the middle and press (see picture 4). Turn seal downward. Roll flat and stretch to about 30cm in length (see picture 5). With seal upward, roll into a cylinder (see picture 6). With seal facing down (see picture 7), place in the loaf tins to have the 2nd round of proofing (see picture 8), until double in size. The best temperature for 2nd round proofing is 38C, humidity 85%.
  4. Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until turns brown. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Hokkaido Milk Toast

Makes two loafs (each loaf tin size: 20.5cmx10.5cmx9.5cm)
Ingredients:

  • 540 gm bread flour
  • 86 gm caster sugar
  • 8 gm salt
  • 9 gm full cream milk power(original recipe calls for a kind of natural milk essence, not available here, so I replace it.)
  • 11 gm instant dried yeast
  • 86 gm whisked egg
  • 59 gm whipping cream
  • 54 gm milk
  • 184 gm tangzhong (method of making tangzhong)
  • 49 gm unsalted butter, melted

Read more: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/10/hokkaido-milk-toast-japanese-style.html#ixzz2DdccwqX9

Hokkaido Milk Toast

Makes two loafs (each loaf tin size: 20.5cmx10.5cmx9.5cm)
Ingredients:

  • 540 gm bread flour
  • 86 gm caster sugar
  • 8 gm salt
  • 9 gm full cream milk power(original recipe calls for a kind of natural milk essence, not available here, so I replace it.)
  • 11 gm instant dried yeast
  • 86 gm whisked egg
  • 59 gm whipping cream
  • 54 gm milk
  • 184 gm tangzhong (method of making tangzhong)
  • 49 gm unsalted butter, melted

Read more: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/10/hokkaido-milk-toast-japanese-style.html#ixzz2DdccwqX9

 



Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Supplì

My blog has caused me to realize that I like Italian food more than any other International food. The reason could also lie in the fact that I am addicted to ItalianFood.Net and watch their cooking videos almost daily.

When I saw this video for supplì (already in the plural form; pronounced [soop-PLEE], based on U.S. English pronunciation), which are fried, stuffed balls of short-grained rice and ragù. When I saw these nuggets of meat, tomatoes, cheese, and rice, I just knew I had to get over my dislike of homemade, fried foods and make them. The chef even says that supplì are one of his favorite treats, so I had to make them.

*UPDATE* Supplì are not arancini, although they are very similar. The latter are shaped differently and do not include ragù (the tomato & beef sauce). Moreover, supplì are said to have originated in Rome and arancini in Sicily. I hope to try out arancini sometime very soon. 

While this dish takes quite a bit of time, it is well worth it in the end. I made the ragù the day before so that the flavors could meld overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, I made the rice mixture and created my assembly line for the coating. I had never fried in olive oil before, but I didn’t notice a huge difference between using any other type of oil.

Anyway, I highly suggest making supplì for a party, your kids, or just because. I halved the recipe and still had enough for 3-4 people (I don’t know why the chef says the full recipe is for four people!). I decided to roll up the supplì you see in the photos and to save the rest of the rice mixture for whenever I want more. That way, the supplì are always fresh. If I don’t feel like making more supplì, I could also just eat the rice mixture as is, which is made almost exactly like risotto. It tastes amazing with or without the coating. Seriously.

I took the last photo while eating my first bite ever of supplì. I almost ended the photo session at that point. LOL! That first bite was amazing.
Ragù alla Bolognese
reposted from here and adapted from Italian Food Net (video)
You only need a FOURTH of this recipe, but I halved it here so that you can have leftovers for other dishes.

1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey)
4 cups (1 Litre tomato sauce (I used about one box of Pomì crushed tomatoes)
1/2 of tomato paste tube (2.25 oz)
1 big carrot (½ cup) chopped
1 celery rib (½ cup) chopped
1/2 white onion (½ cup) chopped
1/4 cup of red wine (I used about 4 oz of Fre Red Wine, a non-alcoholic wine!! Yeaa!!)
1-2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1-2 Tbsp fresh sage
1-2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat a large saucepan. Pour in olive oil. Add celery, carrot, onion, and let them brown over medium heat. Then add sage, rosemary, and cook the mixture for 1-2 minutes.

Add the ground beef, divide it well, and cook until the liquid has evaporated (about 5-10 minutes), then season with salt and black pepper.

After 10 minutes of cooking pour in the red wine, and let it evaporate. Add tomato paste, stir well, and add tomato sauce, cover and let it simmer for 1 ½ hour on a low heat. Make sure you season this sauce well before assembling the lasagne.

Supplì 
Make the ragù ahead of time. You could also form the supplì without coating them ahead of time.


3/4 cups (175 gr) (6.15 oz) short-grained rice (I used arborio. Other suggestions: Carciofi, Bomba)
1 cup (250 gr) (9 oz) ragù (meat and tomato) Sauce (homemade or storebought; can be vegetarian)
1 large egg
50 gr (3.52 oz) cubed mozzarella cheese (enough to put in the small rice balls)
1/4 cup (50 gr) (3.52 oz) finely-grated parmesan
2 Tbsp (30 gr) (2.11 oz) unsalted butter, separated
2 cups (500 ml) beef broth or stock (can use chicken or vegetarian stock)
Enough flour and breadcrumbs to coat (I used Italian breadcrumbs)
Extra virgin olive oil for rice and for frying
Kosher salt to taste

Heat up a pot over medium heat then add 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tbsp of the butter, and let it melt. Once the butter has melted, add rice and toast it for about 2 minutes.

Add enough hot broth to cover the rice and when the broth has almost completely evaporated, continue to add enough broth to cover the rice, and keep doing this until there is no more broth, and the rice has evaporated.

When the rice is cooked al dente, season with salt, add remaining butter, ragù sauce, grated parmesan and stir quickly until becomes creamy. Turn off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature.

Make your supplì

Break the egg and whisk. Pick up a handful of the rice mixture, mold into small balls, and firmly press it, place a small cube of mozzarella into the center then reshape into a ball. Firmly press the rice giving the typical elongated oval shape.

(In order to not make too much of a mess, I rolled up half of the rice mixture up to this point, and set them aside. That way I did not have to roll each ball through the coatings, wash my hands, and start over.)

Roll the rice ball in flour. Continue molding the rice to give it the elongated oval shape, then dip the supplì in egg, and finally roll it well in breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the rice is used.

Heat extra virgin olive oil, which should be 3 inches deep, in a pot over high-medium heat, then add supplì. Let them fry until golden brown and crisp on all sides, turning over occasionally. When all supplì are golden brown, remove with a slotten spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain the olive oil.

Transfer supplì to a serving dish and offer to your friends. Remember to eat them with hands!

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Quesadillas and An Award!

My lame attempt to “tell a story” through a food photo. Before leaving for Brazil, his home country, my friend lent me this collection of works from Mark Twain. I cannot wait to read it!

I rarely eat bacon, but I had some in the refrigerator that needed to be used up. Also, I never buy store-bought flour tortillas since homemade ones are so much better, but my mom was too impatient to wait for me to make some for her, so she bought some instead. Therefore, I took advantage of her impatience and frustration with my laziness by making these quesadillas with her tortillas.

While they tasted amazing. I was just missing one thing – salsa. There weren’t anymore tomatoes in the house, and I didn’t feel like going anywhere, so I had to eat them as is. If you decide to make these yummy, simple quesadillas, please make sure you have some homemade or store-bought salsa on hand. I’m sure that cold, red, flavorful concoction would amp these quesadillas up a few notches.

Versatile Blogger Award: 

I was so blessed to be awarded by Lynne of Cook and Be Merry a few days ago, and I feel so honored to be awarded by such a talented blogger and food photographer. Her photos are so bright and clear; the presentation is lovely as well. I can only wish that I could photograph as well and consistently good as she does. One day I’ll get there, though. Anyway, thank you so much for the award, Lynne!!

The guidelines for accepting this award are:

Thank the person who gave it to you.
Tell 7 things about yourself.
Pass the award on to 15 bloggers whom you have recently discovered and think are fantastic.

So, here are seven facts about me:

1. On my mother’s side of the family, I am an only child and was raised as such since my dad wasn’t around.
2a. I changed my last name to my mother’s last name so that she could get all the credit for how awesome I was to become! 😀
2b. I am humble. LOL
3. Despite what I wrote in #2, I have very low self-esteem.
4. When people write or say “anyway” with an “s” at the end, my mother and I cringe.
5. I have been in a tumultuous, yet amorous relationship with a woman for more than 10 years off and on.
6. Even though I don’t write well, I love to talk about grammar more than any other topic, including cooking and baking.
7. I detest watermelon and very rarely eat fried chicken despite the racial stereotype ;).

I am passing along this award to the following 15 bloggers I have recently discovered. However, I won’t be hurt if you were chosen yet don’t feel like participating. I know how it is.

  1. Hilah Cooking – I love her personality on the videos and the fact that we live in the same city.
  2. Namely Marly – The lady obsessed with names (including mine!) and vegan cooking. She is so lovely!
  3. Asopaipas – He comments on each and every post I create, and I adore him for that, the fact that his native language is Spanish, and that he shares great, simple dishes. ¡Este premio es especialmente para ti, José Manuel! Gracias por ser un lector tan fiel.
  4. Like Mother Like Daughters – One of the daughters of this blog was a student of mine! I adore her and the fact that this blog is written by her, her sister, and her mother. 
  5. Jessiker Bakes – This woman loves sweets even more than I do! I love to see what she makes.
  6. Scrambledhenfruit – I discovered her lovely blog because of the paella pan giveaway, and she actually won! 
  7. Baked Bree – I’ve been going to Bree’s lovely blog for a little while now. I love how bright and clear her process photos are. I’m constantly envious of how much light she gets in her kitchen.
  8. Frieda Loves Bread – She makes bread as much I wish I could make bread. Seriously.
  9. Ambrosia e Nettare – Check out the lemon cheesecake on this blog! Complimenti, Lucia!
  10. Cake on the Brain – The name of the blog itself tells you why I included this one on the list. YUM!
  11. Jolts & Jollies – Another fellow Daring Cook! I love her process photos.
  12. One Cake Two Cake – The blog title lured me in. Then the photos of yummy desserts kept me there.
  13. TheArdentEpicure – Run, not walk to this website, and check out the enchiladas. Goodness!
  14. Baking Powders – I love the title and the blog. Fantastic large photos and delectable treats. YUM!
  15. i am mommy – I’m sure just about everyone knows about this blog. Her treats are so AMAZING!

And there you have it! Remember, this is a list of recently-discovered blogs, so there are a LOAD of amazing blogs I’ve known about for a long time that I didn’t include here. Have a great week, everyone!

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Quesadillas
Yield: 2-3 quesadillas

3 – 4 strips of bacon
1 1/2 – 2 Tbsps unsalted butter, separated
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste (don’t use too much salt because of the bacon and cheese)
1/2 – 3/4 cups of monterey jack or cheddar cheese
4-6 taco-sized flour tortillas (homemade or storebought)

Prepare the bacon on a clean skillet. At the same time, prepare the eggs in another skillet after melting the half a Tbsp of butter. Lightly season the eggs with salt and pepper. Set the bacon and eggs aside.

Wipe the skillet that had the bacon in it clean with a paper towel, and place half of a Tbsp of butter in there. After the butter has melted, place one tortilla in the skillet; add some of the eggs and bacon. Add half (or a third if making 3 quesadillas) of the cheese on top of the bacon and eggs. Place a second tortilla on top of the mixture. Grill the tortilla for about 2-4 minutes per side until both sides have browned and the insides are melted. Repeat the process with the other tortillas. Serve with fresh salsa. YUM!

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

Pizza Hut Clone Pizza Revisited

My mom’s pizza: tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, jalapeños, onions, sauce, and mozzarella cheese.

In May of last year, I made this clone recipe of Pizza Hut’s Pan pizza and was instantly hooked on it. I love thick and thin dough, but my favorite is the thick, pan variety. Even though this recipe doesn’t yield a pan pizza exactly like that of Pizza Hut, it is fabulous and less oily. I didn’t have any tomato sauce, so I watered down some tomato paste and added Italian seasoning, garlic salt, a little sugar, and pepper. That worked like a charm.

Another burnt creation thanks to my beloved oven. It all still tasted amazing, including the crust. My pizza: pepperoni, sauce, and mozzarella cheese

The maintenance workers came to fix my oven two times, and now it seems to be worse than before. Consequently, I burned my meat pizza and had to watch my mother’s pizza like a hawk; hence, there are more photos of my mom’s pizza than mine. I probably could have cooked the pizza a couple of minutes more to get more color on the crust, but my mother was pleased with how it looked, and it was well-cooked. Even my gently-burnt pizza was still amazingly good.

My mom “decorated” this pizza all by herself haha. I’m so proud of her.

In the original post, I had promised my mom that I would make this pizza for her in July of last year. Well, I am one year late in my promise, but the month is July, so I’m happy I could make this for her. She said this pizza was the best pizza she had ever eaten, and my mom is a pizza addict who has eaten pizza in New York, Chicago, and various parts of Italy. So, that is a major compliment!

I had only one cast-iron skillet, so I split the dough into two pieces. Once I baked my pizza, I transferred it to a plate and started working on my mom’s pizza in the same skillet. I really like making pizza in a cast-iron skillet; it is much easier than making it in a pie plate or on the back of a jelly roll pan.

My mom’s favorite part of the pizza was the crust on the top left part of the above photo, so I had to take a shot of it haha.

I hope you make this one day soon; it is a fantastic recipe. I am submitting this post to yeastspotting!

Pizza Hut Clone Pizza
adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

Sauce:
1 (8 oz) tomato sauce (I used one 8oz tomato paste + 1/4-1/2 cup water)
1-2 Tbsp Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp dry oregano; 1/2 tsp marjoram; 1/2 tsp dry basil; 1/2 tsp garlic salt)
1/2 tsp sugar (to offset the bitterness of the tomato sauce)

Combine the ingredients. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 hour while the dough rises.

Pizza:
1 1/3 C Warm water (105F/40C) (OR you could use 1 1/2 cups of WARM milk in place of water and dry milk)
1 pk (2 1/4 tsp) dry yeast (I used active)
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 C non−fat dry milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (for dough)
1/2 tsp salt (I used kosher)
4 C AP flour
approx. 6 Oz Vegetable oil (3 oz. per pan)

Preheat oven to 475F (I cooked at 450). Put yeast, sugar, and dry milk in a large (2 qt.) bowl or mixing bowl of stand mixer. Add the warm water, and stir to mix well. Allow mixture to sit for two minutes.

Then, add oil and stir again. Add flour and salt, and mix until dough forms and flour is absorbed. Turn out on to a flat surface and knead for about 10 minutes (If using a stand mixer, mix the ingredients with a dough hook and then knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.)

Divide dough into two balls (about 450-460 grams each). In two cast-iron skillets (or you can use two 9′ cake/pie plates or one 9-inch pie plate and one 9 x 13 dish), put 1-2 Tbsp of oil in each skillet/plate making sure it is spread evenly. Using a rolling pin or your hand, roll/pat out each dough ball to about a 9″ circle in the skillet (you probably won’t be able to spread the dough to the edges at this time).

Cover with a towel or a plate. Place in warm area and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Then, pat the dough once more to the edges of the skillet.

Poke holes in the crust or use pie weights, and parbake the crust for 2-5 minutes to prevent sogginess of dough after adding the sauce.

Spoon 1/3 cup sauce on dough. Distribute 1 1/2 Oz. shredded mozzarella cheese on sauce. Place toppings of your choice. Top with 3 oz. mozzarella cheese. Cook until cheese is bubbling and outer crust is brown about 15 minutes. Then brush outer edge of crust with garlic butter.

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com

BBQ Chicken and Macaroni & Cheese

I was craving barbecue. I was sifting through one of my now favorite blogs, Deep South Dish. I found a recipe for BBQ chicken on it. I looked for a recipe for a copycat of my favorite BBQ sauce at my FAVORITE BBQ restaurant, Rudy’s BBQ (the “sauSe”). I ran to the kitchen and made BBQ chicken, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. I took photos. I prayed for my meal. I ate the meal heartily. I thanked God again for the ability to make such a wonderful meal. The End.

I hope you make this meal soon. It would be even better on the grill, but if you don’t feel like using it like me, then make it in the oven. Just be sure to line your jelly roll pan with foil for easy cleanup!

BBQ Chicken
adapted from Deep South Dish

Brine for a moist, flavorful chicken:
2 lbs drumsticks (about 6), with or without skin based on your preferences
2 Tbsp of kosher salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Fill a large pot or container with enough water to cover the chicken well. Whisk the salt into the water until dissolved; whisk in the vinegar. Add the chicken, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.

Dry Rub Marinade for added flavor, spice and a kick!:
2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp freshly-cracked pepper
1 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp celery seed (didn’t have)
2 tsp of Cajun seasoning, or to taste
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Remove the chicken from the brine, and drain well. Discard the brine. Pat the chicken pieces dry, laying out on a platter or baking sheet that will fit in the fridge. Combine the dry rub ingredients and rub the chicken well with the dry rub, cover loosely, and refrigerate one to several hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rubbed chicken pieces on a rack on a foil-lined large baking sheet. Bake for approximately 45-60 minutes. [Use your tongs for this!] Turn the chicken over after 25-30 minutes. After 40-50 minutes, add the BBQ sauce on both sides with a brush or via a squeeze bottle. If you’re a sauce lover like me, add more sauce once they are done.

For instructions on how to grill the chicken, go to the source.


Copycat Recipe of Rudy’s BBQ Sause (with an “s”)

from Beth’s Favorite Recipes who adapted it from Chaos in the Kitchen

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Simmer until slightly reduced.Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Quick Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 lb macaroni shells
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp regular flour
2 cups WARM milk
2 tsp mustard or dry mustard
kosher salt to taste
pepper to taste
1-2 cups of cheese that melts, to taste (I used regular American cheese because that was all I had)

Cook pasta according to instructions (al dente). Make a roux by melting the butter in a separate saucepan and then adding the flour. Cook the roux for about 3 minutes, and stir frequently. Add the WARM milk 1/4 of a cup at a time at the beginning. Stir between each addition. Once you can no longer see the bottoom of the saucepan, add more milk in generous portions until you use it all. Add the mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cheese until it tastes cheesy enough for your tastes. Turn off the heat.

Immediately, add in the al dente pasta, and then stir well. Once pasta is well-coated, you’re done.

Copyright – Memoria James – http://www.mangiodasola.com