Saturday, May 11, 2013

Japanese Curry

Japanese curry is its own food category, different than Thai or Indian curries. It is a revelation in easy home cooking--just don't fight the packaged-food-ness! The "secret" is to follow the directions on the package. Serve with good white rice and Japanese pickles (all these things can be found at United Noodle).

The curry comes as solid blocks (like a chocolate bar) that you break into your curry pot. There are many brands, such as "Java", "Vermont", and "Golden Curry"...all seem to be good, and "hot" is not hot at all, so get that one if you want a slight heat. I made the batch in the photo with tonkatsu, but it can be accompanied with any protein or just eaten plain.

As you can see, pickles are a large part of the appeal for me, but don't worry if you can't find them.

1/2 package of Japanese curry blocks
3 large potatoes
2 large carrots
1 medium onion
1/2 c. water
Something like that...just free-form it! Follow the directions on the box. It should take about 30-40 minutes if you keep it simple. Either add the meat to the curry itself, or put it on top like the pork cutlets in the picture. A whole recipe makes a TON, so only do that for 4 or more people. Let go and enjoy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Vinegret - Russian Marinated Vegetable Salad

This is a wonderful salad made with cooked vegetables and a zingy dressing. It's great as a side dish and keeps well for several days. It's also colorful and well-suited to Minnesota vegetables! Try to cut everything into 1 cm cubes (except for the peas of course).

I probably could have diced these better--but taste was outstanding!


1 can beets (or 1-2 beets cooked and peeled)
2-3 red potatoes, skinned boiled just until cooked
2 carrots, boiled until tender
1/2 red onion
1/3 cup dill pickle or cornichons
1/3 cup frozen peas
3 green onions
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to tate


3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (or pickle juice)
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
1/4 cup safflower oil or light olive oil

Soak the diced red onions in cold water for 30 seconds and drain (to lessen the bite). Combine cooked, cubed vegetables with, peas and dill. Add dressing and salt and pepper, and toss gently. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.