Jams are fun and easy to make, so I just keep trying new kinds! Jams require an acid component, like lemon juice, so I decided to go with lime juice for something a bit different. The lime zest also amped up the lime flavor of the jam which I liked quite a bit. Oddly enough, it reminds me of strawberry pez. You would think this would be strange on toast but it actually works quite well!
I recently made Kare UdonB with beef and it seemed like it would go nicely as a meatless soup too. The recipe is identical to the previous one except I substituted the beef with tofu and mushrooms. The tofu was great with the curry flavors. I am completely sold on the packaged curry roux. This is my favorite curry, and I buy the “hot” version. It can be found in the asian foods section in grocery stores: I was skeptical since it looks a little like astronaut food, but the flavors have totally won me over!
In keeping with my love affair with quick breads, I adapted a recipe for olive bread from The Joy of Cooking. I wanted to try a light, savory quick bread that wasn’t too sweet and this seemed like the perfect recipe for that. The original recipe was pretty simple, so I added some new ingredients to amp up the flavors. The new ingredients (the garlic, oregano, and parmesan) worked really well with the standard ones. The texture of the bread was great–very soft and crumbly. I bet this bread would be good if it were made with yeast too. I might make a version of it again in the future!
Making jam has been pretty fun and has yielded some great results. The spiced blueberry and mango cardamom jams have been great, and I wanted to try a raspberry jam too. The almond extract was a nice addition to the jam that I had never tried before. The extract has a cherry-vanilla flavor that goes very well with the raspberries. Another option is to add about 2 teaspoons of amaretto liqueur for a stronger almond flavored jam.
Since I enjoyed the pork mole negro I made a while ago I thought I would try it in a chili. Originally I started with a basic recipe for meat chili and it eventually evolved into both a mole and a chili recipe. I’ve always thought the flavors in mole would go well in a chili and it turns out I was right because this was very tasty! The flavors of the chili were multi-layered and complex (probably because of the 20+ ingredients in it). This recipe is ideal for a large slow cooker but a sauce pot on low heat would work fine too.
I first heard about black sesame pudding through John who raved about it. I went to the asian market recently and saw bags of black sesame seeds. Curiousity got the best of me so I picked one up. Black sesame pudding is a popular dessert in Japan and Korea. The consistency is similar to a thick custard and the flavor is hard to describe. It has a mild, slightly bitter, nutty taste that mixes well with the flavors of the coconut milk. I used my grinder to grind up the sesame and the rice. It worked better than a blender and resulted in a nice, smooth pudding. Even though the pudding was pretty thick, I might try using gelatin to get a more custard-like consistency.
Banana bread is a classic recipe that I just realized I had never made a post about. It’s one of my favorite breads, and has such amazing flavors. Of course, if you add chocolate chips it gets even better! The great thing about this bread is that you can (or should) use leftover bananas that have gotten too ripe to eat. Their skins can be black and the insides bruised, but they will still make great banana bread. The bread had a nice brown crust on the outside and a soft, gooey texture on the inside. I added a teaspoon of spices which gave it an even stronger aroma and flavor.
Kare Udon is a Japanese curry soup made with a simple broth, curry roux, and udon noodles. I have tried Moroccan, Indian, and Thai curries but I have never tried a Japanese curry. The broth is called Dashi, which can be made all sorts of ways but at its most basic is boiled kelp and water. I couldn’t find Dashi anywhere, not even at the local Asian market, so I had to substitute vegetable broth for it. I was excited to find the curry roux and udon at the grocery store. The curry turned out great. I made a full curry with potatoes, carrots, and beef and it was very tasty.
I’m on a jam making kick, and I have been liking the spiced jam varieties since they are hard to find in stores. Like the Mango and Cardamom Jam, I wanted to explore the combination of fruit and spices with this recipe. The jam turned out very well and I liked the clove and cinnamon flavors with the sweet blueberries. Next time I might mash up the blueberries a bit more before cooking. I assumed that when the fruit cooked the skins would fall apart but they didn’t. I look forward to having this jam with toast in the mornings!
Quick breads are great because they are easy to prepare and cook. I looked around at a few different mango bread recipes and I adapted mine a bit from the ones I saw. Most of the recipes required raisins and big chunks of mango. I wanted a smoother texture so I took out the raisins and mashed the mangoes (almost like how you would mash bananas for banana bread.) The bread was easy to throw together and it came out great. I really liked how complex the flavors were. It could easily be considered a sweet, dessert bread, yet it had a savory quality that was very unique. The savory garlic, ginger, and curry tasted great with the sweet mango flavors.