Wednesday, December 30, 2009

and bacon.

whoops, i forgot to add the "and bacon" part to the last post! what holiday wouldn't be complete without a post on bacon!

my mom made a large batch of omochi for me to take back with me to portland.  omochi or mochi is basically sweet rice that has been steamed and then pounded into a dough. we form them into patties/balls which you can eat as is, or stuff azuki (sweet red beans) inside among other things.  needless to say, we have a prized hashimawari family recipe my grandmother invented, that i am now going to share with all of you...

bacon omochi:
1 omochi
1 slice of bacon
1 piece of nori (dried seaweed)
soy sauce

wrap bacon around omochi so that the seam side is down. heat your pan on medium heat and place omochi in pan seam side down. brown on all sides. remove from pan and wrap with nori. dip in soy sauce as you wish.

probably the most simple but ingenious thing ever invented. my grandma is a genious...don't even get me started with her ham wrapped fried eggs....

bacon omochi!!!

holiday eating and bacon.

first, i would like to start off by saying "IT'S SNOWING IN PORTLAND! IT'S SO EXCITING!"

eh, hem. sorry. you must all remember that i am from southern california and these types of weather occurences are non-exsistent in those parts.

ok, on to food!

to update, i went home for a few days (thanks for the ticket, bro!) and celebrated christmas with my family. nonetheless, i ended up cooking a little. i asked my mom what we were planning on eating for christmas and she said, "prime rib and chicken."  (eyebrow raise) now, you must understand, when i normally ask my mom this question, a notepad with long list of very descript dishes are presented to me, along with drawn out plating diagrams and table set up with said plates on it.  (seriously. i grew up cooking like this. and you all wonder where i got this from.)  when my mom is that obscure, you know something is up. the conversation ensued:

"prime rib and chicken, huh?"
"what are you doing with the chicken?"
"frying it. karaage. you're dad said he wants to eat it."
"seriously? chicken karaage? that's all i eat at the restaurant. did you want me to cook some pork or something?"
"sure! you can do whatever you want! make a list and we'll go shopping tomorrow!"
oh i see...this was my mom's off hand way of having me cook but not actually asking me even though both she and i assumed that is what was going to happen from the start.  haha.

so, i added to the mix a stuffed pork loin, roasted potatoes, a pear salad and a yuzu and persimmon milk custard for dessert.  of course my mom had a warm shrimp and spinach salad, wafu cucumber and wakame salad and a japanese sweet potato mash up her sleave the whole time.

to say the least, it all turned out great. my mom's prime rib turned out great (as usual) and the chicken karaage didn't even end up on the table.  i threw the pork loin recipe below to give you a taste of what kind of cooking was going on on christmas day.  hope you all had some delicious eats!

fennel and mushroom stuffed pork loin:
1 pork loin, halved and cleaned/trimmed*
2 fennel bulbs, sliced (reserve fennel tops)
6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 king oyster mushrooms, sliced (same size as shiitake)
4 button mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2oz sake
1T fennel fronds chopped
butter/olive oil, as needed
salt and pepper, to taste

2 qts beef/veal stock
1 fennel top with fronds
2oz red wine
1/4 cup onion, diced
1T (.5oz) shallots, chopped
1T, butter

*for the pork:
after trimming and cleaning it up, butterfly it open. lay out a long piece of plastic wrap and place the pork on the top half. fold over the wrap on top (like a hotdog), leaving room along the edges for the meat to expand. find some type of make-shift meat mallet (obviously, you can use a meat mallet if you have one.)  because we don't have such tools in the hashimawari household, we chose to use the heaviest saute pan we have to pound the pork loin. we also don't have industrial kitchen sized plastic wrap to hold the length of our giant pork loin, so we used a plastic trashbag instead. (my mom is a genius.)

go to town and pound the pork loin to about a half inch thickness. use this time to harness any power from holiday stress or to just release any of that pent up end of the year emotion. my mom certainly enjoyed this part way too much. it was defintely a site to see mom smashing a piece of meat wrapped up in a trash bag with a giant skillet.

but i digress.

preheat your oven to 375F.
add olive oil to a heated pan and saute the garlic and onion. add fennel, then mushrooms and saute for a few more minutes. add sake and reduce.  adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. remove from pan and set aside to cool.

after the stuffing is cooled, salt and pepper both sides of the pork. i chopped up some of the fennel fronds and seasoned the the pork with that as well for some added aromatics (plus, it looks cool too!).  place the stuffing on the inside and then roll the thing up into a log. tie it with some can try a roast tie, or if you would rather not, you can always cut 5 or 6 smaller pieces of twine and tie each section individually.  once your stuffed loin is secured, heat a large pan and add oil to coat the bottom.  over large heat, sear the loin on all sides till brown. remove from pan (reserve the pan!) and place on roasting rack or pan and throw it in the oven for about 30-45 minutes. (use a meat thermometer to check it about half an hour in. you want to take the loin out at about 140F. )

while that is cooking, heat the pan that you just seared the pork in. if there is a lot of fat in the pan, make sure to dump some of it out or your sauce will be greasy. saute the onions and shallots for a few minutes. add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any of those tasty bits off the bottom of the pan. add your stock and fennel tops and reduce down about 2/3.  strain the sauce and return the liquid to the pan. you will probably have to reduce it a little more or until you get a consistency where the sauce just coats the back of a spoon. if it gets too thick, you can add some stock to loosen it up.  taste! taste! taste! and adjust the seasonings. if it is on the bitter side, you may have to add a pinch of sugar. if it seems really rich, you can add a squeeze of lemon juice. after you think it's pretty darn tasty, remove it from the heat and throw in a pad of butter. swirl it in and you are done!

when the pork is ready, pull it from the oven and let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes. slice it up and serve with sauce!

Monday, December 21, 2009

fried egg tortilla soup.

hmm. monday.

what to do without school or work?

well, with a sick roomate and some left over orange juice, i started off the day sleeping in and briefly leaving the confines of my room to make some mimosas. (why not?)

a bit later, i found myself walking circles around the house because i'm used to constant movement during the first 12 hours of the day so i decided that it may be a good idea to make some soup for poor ol' benny.

tortilla soup it is. and for some added protein, a fried egg on top.

tortilla soup:
1 quart (4 cups) chicken broth/stock
1 quart (4 cups) water
4 skinless chicken thighs (bone in)

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
5-6 plum tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped*
2 red jalapeno peppers** or 2 chipotle peppers
1 small yellow squash, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons, tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
olive oil

tortillas, cut into strips
bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
grated mozzarella, as needed
eggs, as needed

*the tomatoes can be peeled easily by scoring the bottom with an X and then dropping them briefly into boiling water for 10 seconds or so and then quickly thrown into an ice bath. the peel should come right off from the bottom. roughly chop it into small chunks. this is process is called "tomato concasse" if you happen to see this on any recipes. of course, you could always buy canned diced tomatoes, but where's the fun in that?
** because i live in portland, chipotle peppers are hard to come by, so i did a faux version of it by roasting the red jalapeno peppers over the burner until they char and then throwing them in a paper bag. when you take them out, you can scrape the burned skin off with the back of your knife. i then chopped them up to about the same size of the garlic.

ok, so. salt and pepper the chicken and then throw it into a hot oiled pot. lightly brown it on both sides and then remove it, set aside. add the garlic and onion to the pan and saute for a few minutes until the onions become translucent. add the peppers and tomatoes to the pan to help deglaze or to get all the bits off the bottom. add the rest of the ingredients, including the chicken  EXCEPT the squash and black beans to the pot. bring the mix to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. basically, this will simmer until the chicken gets super tender and just falls off the bone. (about an hour).

in the meantime, lightly oil and salt your tortilla strips and then throw them in a 375 degree oven and bake until brown and crispy. you can grate the cheese of your choice and chop some cilantro while your at it.

when the chicken is tender, remove it from the pot and shred it off the bone and then return the meat to the pot with the squash and the beans. let is simmer for another 10 minutes or until the squash is tender. season with salt and pepper. (i added quite a bit of salt.) also, make sure to dig out that bay leaf. (but then again, you can always make a game out of it and say whoever gets it, doesn't have to do dishes!)

soup done.

now, for the fun part. fry your egg to your preferred doneness ( i like over medium) and then place it onto your bowl of soup. sprinkle with cilantro, then the tortilla chips and then lastly with your cheese.

dig in. literally.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


well, maybe i'm being a little dramatic. but it has been almost a month since my last entry. (back from the dead?) i've been juggling school and two jobs in which i haven't had a day off in 20 days.  i work at jake's grill doing banquet catering (it's a machine) during the week.  i then work at biwa on the weekends to complete/start the new week. the personal hygiene and eating thing has become secondary in all of this (maybe i am a zombie?). i actually told my roomates to not be modest in telling me if i look like a sickly and smelly thing, to take a shower and stuff food down my throat.

on the flip side of things, i think the major catering events are done for the season at jake's (no more multiple daily events of 500 people), which means i'm only getting at the most, one shift a week.  time to look for another job (i'm barely paying the bills people!). this also means, more recipe updates! i haven't cooked at home in probably 3 weeks, so get ready!

ooh, i should also mention that i completed my first term at oci (with flying colors)!  i started my second term last week and we started things off with egg cookery and breakfast dishes (which is good, because i always forget to eat breakfast. on the other hand, i also don't know how much more hollandaise i can eat.).  we move on to BEEF next.

yes, beef. finally. beef.

alright, i just got home from work and it is now 1am...i should probably go to sleep before i start to crave brains...

check back for an update this week!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

trust a skinny chef.

whoever said, "never trust a skinny chef," was wrong.  i've come to realize in the last couple weeks (having school full time and working two jobs) that the ones that work the hardest are in fact, the ones you should trust.  among the cooks and chefs that i have been working with, the majority (including myself), are deteriorating and emaciated bodies (sure maybe some of them are dabbling in other vices...). but i found that working long shifts, day after day, exhausts the body so much, you either forget (or service is so busy) to eat a full meal, or you get too tired to eat and all you want to do is sleep. the last thing i want to do is cook a meal at midnight at home after working 10 hours. ya know?

of course, i taste the food as i cook. but what's in a few tablespoons of cream? don't get me wrong. i love to eat. but i think i'd rather sleep sometimes...

that being said, i am enjoying my life in the kitchen. biwa is always fun and jake's catering is eye-opening (500 plates in 12 minutes!). it's fast-paced, creative, thrilling, exciting and challenging, all at once.

to follow up on my whine-fest, i should add that hardly, if any, cooking has been going on at home. i promise, more recipes will come soon.  but don't worry mom, i went out and bought some broccolli and fruit yesterday!

to appease you all, i have posed in this photo with a stalk of brussel sprouts in my shnazy school uniform.

oci oyster wave.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

bacon latticed kabocha squash pie.

yes. i made a pie. with a bacon lattice. why not?

well, actually, the hollywood farmer's market was having a pumpkin pie contest. i have never made a pie from scratch (i.e. crust and all) so i thought, "why not go all out (and add bacon)?" so i did, and...

...i got third place!

i was given a goodie bag full of fun things (including another squash) so i was pretty happy with the results. without further ado, here is the recipe...

kabocha squash pie with bacon lattice:

4lb kabocha (from Sweet Leaf Farms), (you will need 2 ½ cups pureed)
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
2 eggs

10 slices of thick hickory smoked bacon

(makes 2, 9” crusts)
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled/frozen butter cut into small cubes
6 tbsp cold (ice water)

For the crust:
Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter (being careful not to over knead). Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you get a crumbly texture. Split the dough in two and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
For the pie:
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Cut kabocha into large chunks, removing seeds/pulp (you can leave the skin on) and steam for 20 minutes or until tender. Scoop flesh away from the skin and puree. You will need 2 ½ cups.
Add cream cheese, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, vanilla extract and salt to kabocha puree Combine well.

Add eggs one at a time and combine well.

Roll out pie dough to fit into a 9” pie pan. Place into pie pan, making sure to secure dough along the whole surface of pan. Add pie filling and bake in the oven for 1 hr*

In the meantime, take bacon slices and render fat out. Under low heat, place bacon slices in the pan, not more than 30 seconds per side. It should still be soft (not crispy).
*After 30 mins, take pie out of the oven and quickly create a bacon lattice on top of the pie. Place the pie tin on a baking sheet (in case there are hanging edges because more fat will render out) and place back in the oven for the remaining 30 mins.
If you feel motivated, I quickly pan fried fresh sage leaves in olive oil to create a garnish.
Pull pie out of the oven, making sure the bacon has crisped up. You can turn the broiler on for the last few minutes of baking time if it still needs more cooking.
Garnish with fried sage leaves and serve!

have fun with this one guys! it was awesome!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


so, surprisingly, i think i kind of killed it on my finals. i recieved a 97% on my knife skills and a 93% on my written test. woot!  in addition, i did a catering event yesterday in which i had to heat up costco food items in an oven and get paid 10 bucks an hour to do it. with combined excitement and new fundualation, i bought food! i have been eating pretty crappy lately at home (as you can see) so i decided to treat myself to a few vegetables and some freshly made sausage for dinner tonight. i call this celebration dish, the ole!

serves (2)

half red bell pepper, large chunks
half yellow onion, large chunks
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut in to 1" pieces
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
pinch salt and pepper

1 spicy chorizo sausage (i bought mine from laurelhurst market butchery)
2 eggs

saute veggies in some olive oil and add seasonings. when slightly carmelized, remove from pan and reserve. add chorizo to  same pan, breaking it apart, as it's removed from the casing. when browned, remove from pan and set aside. in the same pan (using the chorizo fat), scramble the 2 eggs ( i added a little milk). when done, assemble vegetables first, then eggs, then chorizo on top. olé!

it's nice to have food.

Monday, November 2, 2009

leftovers: sunny side up fall roasted vegetables.

well, vegetable cookery is over for the week and i'm already onto my first finals. i have a knife skills test, "black box" challenge (cook what you can with whatever they give you) and a vegetable/equipment ID test this week. yippeeeee.

 as soon as that's done, we start up immediately working with the "dirty bird"-chicken.  i've been breaking down a huge load of chickens every week at the restaurant, so it will be nice to finally be able to work with an actual protein at school!

but i digress.

i don't normally take leftovers home from school because i'd rather not ride my bike with a plastic bag of clam chowder swishing around in my bag. but, seeing how today was the last of vegetable cookery and i cooked up a tasty batch of fall roasted vegetables, i thought i could make an exception.  also, i'm getting low on cash so i should probably take advantage of any free food that comes my way. ( i ate ten leftover biscotti from the pastry program for breakfast this morning with the free coffee that's provided by the school for breakfast. sad, i know.)

that being said, i used the leftover vegetables from today and cooked it up with some sausage and topped it with a fried egg for dinner. (i know i just put up a posting of something similar, but give me a break. all i have are eggs and sausage to my name.)

sunny side up fall roasted vegetables:

roasted vegetables:
1/2 cup carrots
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup turnip
1/2 cup rutabaga
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup purple potato
1/2 cup fingerling/yukon potato
1/2 cup golden beets
olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
salt and pepper

preheat oven 350 degrees. chop all vegetable roughly the same size (large dice/chunks) and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. DISCLAIMER: we roasted everything together but in separate pie tins because they roast at different rates. if you have limited oven space, you can probably put all the potatoes in one pan, the turnips and rutabega in one, onion and celery in one, and the carrots and beets in another. pie tins are helpful because you can just pull the finished vegetables out when their done. you are probably thinking, "jane, why not just add them at different times to the same pan?" well, you can, but when you open the oven, pull hot veggies out and then add more and then throw it back in, you loose time and heat from the oven, everytime you open the oven. when you are dealing with this many veggies, it's easier to just pull em out and be done with it.
it will take at least an hour for most of those vegetables. the celery and onion will only take a half hour max. i like to pull them out when they have color but not mushy.

moving on, as those are roasting, heat up a pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and sweat the garlic, thyme and oregano so that you infuse the oil with herby goodness. give it a few minutes under low heat, making sure not to burn the garlic and herbs.

when all the veggies are done, toss all of them into one giant bowl along with your garlic/herb oil mix. season with salt and pepper.

of course you can eat it as is. my continuing recipe is for leftovers, people.

with the leftovers:
throw some sausage in a pan and when it's about 75% cooked, throw in the leftover vegetables and saute so they get warm and cook with the sausage juices. in a separate pan, fry your egg sunny side up (or over easy). plate the sausage vegetable mix and then slide the egg on top. season with salt and pepper.

voila, now you have two meals.

good well!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

breakinner and radishes.

yikes! it's been a while! i've been pretty busy with school and now i have a weekend job cooking at biwa. ( things are going quite well i must say.

to bring you up to speed...first week of school covered potatoes, grains and pasta, while the second week entailed soups and stocks. this week, we are finally getting to vegetable cookery. it's a bit of a relief to not have to eat fettucine alfredo, clam chowder (and the like) for 2 weeks straight!

vegetables are good.

with that being said, i haven't been cooking very much at home the last few weeks because i have been stuffed all day from eating starch and cream. yum.

the last few nights, however, i've been doing a little "breakfast for dinner" type deal and working on some "homework."

"the breakinner scramble"
(serves 1 hungry person)

2 eggs
1/4 lb of italian sausage
1 red potato, diced small
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced (de-pulped)
1/4 cup red onions, chopped
1 stalk of green onion, chopped
grated mozzarella cheese
slice (or 2) of toasted bread

heat your pan, throw in a bit of olive oil. brown the sausage (break it up into chunks). when that's done, remove and set aside. throw in the potatoes and red onions and saute in the sausage fat until tender. put the sausage and tomatoes in and combine well with the potato/onion mix. throw the eggs in, fold, and combine. place in a bowl/plate and garnish with green onions and grated mozzarella. serve with toast. (and of course, you can always top it with your favorite hot sauce!)

it's hearty. what's better than breakfast for dinner?

next up...homework.

since we are covering vegetables this week, the class has been assigned to do presentations on a specific vegetable. i have radishes and spinach.  i had my presentation yesterday so i opted to bring in a couple of japanese radish dishes (i used daikon, of course).  nethertheless, i think it went well, but the classroom ended up smelling like funk from the daikon (a typical odor of cut/prepared daikon) and i had to promptly remove my stuff from the classroom after the presentation was over (hahaha!). i think, over all, everyone enjoyed the stuff i brought in.

pickled daikon (shiozuke, "salt pickled") otsukemono

1 daikon, thinly sliced (1/16")

after it's been sliced (you can use a mandoline if you have one), douse with copious amounts of salt and massage it into the daikon, being careful not to break the pieces. place something heavy on top to press. i had the daikon slices in a bowl and then placed a plate on top, with a bowl on top of that, filled with water. let it sit for about an hour. after an hour or so, rinse the slices to remove any excess salt and then squeeze out the rest of the excess water. eat alone or serve with a bowl of rice or on the side of a bowl of curry rice.
you can use this method with cucumbers and carrots. just make sure to slice it thin!

namasu (daikon and carrot salad)
(a traditional japanese new year's dish)

1 lb daikon, julienned
1 lb carrots, julienned

3 tblspns, mirin
2 tblspns, sugar
2 tblspns, rice vinegar
toasted sesame seeds

cut the daikon and carrots thinly on the diagonal and then julienne (japanese style cut). toss it with a little salt and rinse (to pull a little excess moisture and bitterness out). dress the daikon/carrot mix and adjust the seasonings to taste. it should be light and not too sweet. add a small pinch of salt. garnish with sesame seeds.

ba bam!

well, spinach is my next presentation for this week, so i'll tell you how it goes. i'll probably end up making gomae (see past entry for recipe).

on another note, it's frickin freezing over here so i'm going to go make some miso soup...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

super duper simple cabbage salad.

ok, i lied. i said i was going to post something thing weekend but after writing that last post, i realized that after a week of studying "starches, grains, and pasta," i hadn't had any vegetables.

this is probably the easiest salad ever.

cabbage salad:
(serving 2-3)
2 cups of cabbage sliced into thick strips, washed and dried
1 sheet of nori (dried seaweed), ripped into pieces (or you can cut into pretty strips if you like)
sesame seed oil
soy sauce
toasted sesame seeds

drizzle soy sauce and sesame seed oil (a little more soy than sesame) onto the cabbage. toss well and taste. if it is at your liking, then throw in the nori, toss and then sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. serve right away (so it stays crunchy).

see, isn't that easy?


sorry, guys. i know i have been slacking on the posts! i'm getting used to the swing of things for culinary school so i haven't been cooking much at home.  i made a giant vat of japanese curry last saturday and the household is still working on it. haha! i'll post a few more recipes this weekend!

(school is going great by the way!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

nihon shoku.

japanese food.

to my surprise, i was treated to a ridiculously delicious meal at sel gris on friday night by some kind out of town guests.  to say the least, it was quite extravagant. i thought it be best to show my gratitude by cooking up a giant japanese food feast for them the following night.

the menu:
(don't freak out, i'll explain all of this)
  • gomae
  • wakame and onion salad
  • agedashidofu
  • wafu hamburgar
  • kinpiragobo (again)
after an early morning trip to the hollywood farmer's market (by the way, i am helping with a cooking demo next saturday!), a rousing game of wiffleball in the park (grrr, i lost), a quick coffee and bronzing sesh (the sun came out!), i got to work.

(blanched spinach with a ground sweetened sesame)

3 large bundles of spinach (1-2 lbs), cleaned with roots trimmed off.
(with stems, it gives it a little crunch. you can use loose leaf, but try not to use baby, unless you are planning on buying a ton of it. if you buy "adult" spinach with stems included, it's way cheaper-plus, it's traditional.)
3 heaping tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
1-2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons of soysauce

real easy.  boil a large pot of water (preferably deep because you have a lot of spinach. it will wilt down, so don't worry if you think you'll have a giant spinach monster growing out of your pot.) having a colander ready, put the spinach into the boiling water for no longer than 15 seconds, making sure it all gets submerged into the hot water. after it has just barely wilted down, IMMEDIATELY dump it into a colander and run COLD water onto it to cool it down. (or, if you have a bowl large enough, fill a bowl with ice water ready to go where you can throw the spinach in straight from the pot.) the point is, you want to stop the cooking process so that the spinach keeps its beautiful green color!
ok, while all of this is going on, you can get your sous chef, significant other, sister, brother, angry baby, or dog, to grind up the sesame seeds. sure, you can use the magic bullet, mortar and pestle or a food processer too, but it's more fun to get someone else to grind up the seeds. normally, there is this japanese bowl (ceramic or plastic) called a suribachi, that has a rough pattern on the inside, in which you grind spices or seeds against it.  that was mine or my dad's job in the kitchen when my mom cooked this to make sure we'd stay out of the way of the "HOT SPINACH, OUT OF THE WAY!". i don't have one of those bowls, so i
enlisted ben to smack it with a spoon with the seeds in plastic ziplock bag. when that's done (it doesn't need to be pulverized, just 75% ground), add the sugar and a couple turns of soy sauce to taste. it should almost taste like slighty salty peanut butter. squeeze all the water out of the spinach using those big muscles of yours and then chop it up into about 1 inch pieces. ( after squeezing all the water out of it, it usually looks like a long green log. i chop it into 1 inch sections short ways, and then in half, length wise, so you get chunks.)  toss the spinach and the sesame mix together in a bowl and serve! (if you have katsuobushi, or dried bonito flakes, that should go on top.)

wakame and onion salad:

small handful of dried wakame (seaweed) or fresh ogo (also a type of seaweed)
one med/large white onion
small bundle of kaiware (daikon sprouts)
rice vinegar
soy sauce
sesame seed oil

i wish i could find ogo. but i couldn't so wakame works as a good substitute. if you are using dried wakame, only use about a small handful of it and throw it in a bowl of water. it grows three times its size, so use as much as you think you'll need depending on how much you are making. while that is soaking, slice your onion VERY thinly. i normally would use a japanese mandolin but i don't have one of those either so i had to use my pro knife skills and slice it by hand.  after you slice the onion, soak, rinse and squeeze the onion a couple times in a bowl of water. it takes the bitterness out of the onion leaving you with the sweetness of the onion  instead. ( i also use this method when i put raw red onion in my salads.) when the wakame is all done expanding, drain the water and throw it into a bowl with the onions and kaiware.  for the dressing, you basically use equal parts of soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. i usually go a little lighter on the sugar. add the sesame seed oil last. just add a little to get a hint of it (tablespoon or so if you use equal parts of the other stuff for a total of a 1/3 cup of dressing). toss it in with the onion salad.  it's ready to serve but you can always let it marinade in the fridge if you like.

agedashidofu (fried tofu):

1 package of FIRM tofu (i used portland made "ota tofu")
2 stalks of green onions, chopped
katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
flour/katakuriko (corn/potatoe starch)

before you cook your tofu, you need to get all the moisture out of it so it doesn't get soggy when you are trying to get a nice crust going. what i usually do is stick the tofu (removed from package) in the microwave and blast it for 3 minutes. it basically sweats all the water out (hashimawari household trick). OR, because we don't have a microwave in our house (long story), wrap it in some paper or clean kitchen towels, place a pan or a cookie sheet on top of that and put something heavy on top for about 10-15 minutes. it will basically squeeze the water out. when that's done, cut the big block into smaller rectangular pieces, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick.  heat up a pan with vegetable oil so that it comes about halfway up the height of the tofu. (some people deep fry it, but this is makes it less oily). lightly batter each piece with katakuriko (if you use this, it creates a puffier crust. i didn't have any of this either, so i used flour). place it in the pan and then DON'T touch it. you want to create a nice toasty crust, so don't poke at it. you can check on it to make sure it doesn't burn but for the most part, you'll see the crust from the bottom start to brown up along the edges. when that happens, flip it.  after it's done, place it on a plate and mound it with green onions, then katsuobushi. (again, i didn't have that either, so i left it out.  traditionally, it's on there.)  put a little soy sauce on top (a couple turns of the plate) and that's it.
i should say that there are other ways to serve the agedashidofu. some recipes will call for it to sit in a soup/sauce that contains dashi, mirin, and soysauce.  at home, we use just top it with soy sauce so it doesn't get soggy. plus, it's simpler and really glorifies the tofu.

last but not least...

wafu hamburger (japanese style hamburgers):

1 lb ground beef
3 stalks of green onions, chopped
6-8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 egg
1 daikon radish, finely grated
salt and pepper
ponzu or soy sauce
saute the mushrooms slightly in vegetable oil and remove from heat just before they're done. the hamburgers take a short time to cook, so you want the mushrooms to be slightly cooked to give it a head start. place the ground beef in a bowl with the chopped onions, sauteed mushrooms and 1 egg. season with salt and pepper. mix well and then form small patties (about 2 inches in diameter). place the patties in a lightly oiled (fat from the beef will come out) pan and brown. because the patties are so small, it should only take about a few minutes (max) on each side to cook all the way through.
while this is going on, peel the daikon and grate the radish so you almost get a puree. again, you can always get your handy kitchen helper do this while you're prepping the burgers. it was normally my job (or my dad's if i wasn't around).
when the burgers are done, mound the daikon puree on top and then put a little ponzu on top.  ( i didn't have any ponzu, so i used soy sauce. you can always make your own ponzu by putting a little citrus juice into the soy sauce). when i have it handy, i also like to put a shiso leaf on top of the burger before the daikon.

the last dish is actually kinpiragobo. i made it last weekend so you can look up the recipe from the past entry. here's a picture of it anyway:

to get centimental on you...i had a fun time making this meal.  not only did this remind me of home, but this meal represented who i am as a cook.  this is my idea of what japanese soul food means to me.  my parents are sending me a care package.  get ready, this is only a taste of what's to come...

Friday, October 2, 2009


firstly, sorry for the lack of posts. i've been getting comments from concerned readers whether i've been eating or not for the last few days! don't worry, i am. a lot.

to catch you up ("ketchup," get it, haha!) on things...

i made a pizza the other night with the roomies that contained almost everything that we had in the fridge and it turned out great. there's nothing to it. we bought some dough from hot lips pizza and here's a list of what we put on it:
zuccini, mushrooms, sauteed onions, spicy jalapeno sausage, andouille sausage, gorgonzolla cheese, mozzarella cheese, fresh chopped tomatoes, sliced red onions, bell pepper...and i think that's it. oh yeah, and a thin layer of tomato sauce.
here's what it looked like:

the night after that i cheated and made a fancy mac-and-cheese made from annie's white cheddar mac-n-cheese mix. it's krista's fault...she mentioned it over the phone and got a craving for it.
i followed the box directions but added crimini mushrooms that i sauteed with butter and fresh thyme. then threw in some freshly chopped tomato.
i ate the whole thing.
sorry, no picture of this one. it was good though!

the night after that, i actually went out for once and ate dinner at this fancy restaurant down the street called castagna ( i told my roommate that i needed to start watching my weight from all the food i've been eating so i was planning on eating light.

i ordered a roasted half chicken with a panzanella salad. i ate the whole thing. THE WHOLE HALF CHICKEN. dang.

afterwards, while we were walking home, we spotted down the alley way, right behind our house, a chef from another fantastic restaurant on our street, sel gris (, on his break. my roommate said he'd introduce me because he sees the chefs back there all the time when he takes the trash out. long story short, acquaintances were made, tuna was exchanged, wine was had and i went home with a cute porcini mushroom. literally.  the head and sous chef were extremely kind and even mentioned that a couple of OCI grads worked there. huzzah! there is hope!

ok, now for the food.

after our party last weekend, we noticed a bag full of goodies that someone had brought from their garden.  we finally figured out that ben's friend, beverly, had kindly brought over some beautiful veggies, fresh from her garden. included in the bag was a plethora of japanese eggplant, a giant zuccini, and tomatoes, among other vegetables like pumpkins and peppers. the decision to make ratatouile came from the fact that we had a giant zuccini and a ton of eggplant that needed to be eaten. also, i saw a kick ass article in the new york times a couple days ago that featured a ratatouille pot pie. decision made. (i'm sure i'm offending the french with this one but whateves...i made coq au vin, old school style, last week. i can't wait, i'm hungry!)

meaty ratatouille (it rhymes!):
adapted from melissa clark's recipe from nytimes ( it's basically the same thing, minus the biscuit.

1 lb spicy italian pork sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped into chunks
1 bell pepper, chopped into chunks (same size as onion)
1-2 pounds of japanese eggplant, chopped into chunks or thick slices cut on the diagonal (i did it that way)
1 lb zuccini, chopped the same way as eggplant
2 giant beefsteak or slicing tomatoes (sweet!!!), chopped into chunks
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
handful or parsley and basil, chopped
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 450 degrees.  toss chopped zuccini with olive oil and salt and pepper to coat in a bowl and then place on a baking/roasting sheet pan flat and put in oven for around 20 minutes or until it's all roasty and toasty. make sure to toss or flip the veggies once in a while so it gets roasted all around. meanwhile, if you have it, use a oven safe heavy pot/pan and cook the italian sausage, breaking it up into smaller chunks, until it's browned. remove the sausage into another plate and leave the oil in there. throw in the garlic, onion, and bell peppers and saute until softened (about 5 minutes or so). throw in the tomatoes and all the herbs and saute/mix together until the tomato consistency gets stewy (about 10 mins).  don't forget about the roasted veggies!!! throw those into the pot with the sausage. season with salt and pepper to taste. if you are using an oven safe pot, you can throw it into the oven (turn down the heat to 350) and let it stew together for about 20 min. if you don't have an oven safe pot, just transfer it to one that is and throw it in.

when it's done, you can top it with some freshly chopped parsley and serve with bread.  oh yeah, don't forget to tell your guests about the thyme sprigs!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

two vegetarians. and bacon.

last night we threw a party at "elliott manor" to say a fond farewell to our lovely roommate, melinda, who has moved to the NE side of town. (i know what you are thinking but, no, i did not take her room! there were two rooms available when i moved in!) anyway, to my excitement (and everyone else, too), mikey made his famous whisky and carmel candied bacon ice cream! he made a whisky (!) based vanilla ice cream and then mixed a creamy carmel sauce into it with little bacon bits that had been candied with sugar...

it was delicious. very delicious. only in portland, folks. come and get it. (pictures to come.)

with the smell of bacon in the air, i had a feeling we were going to have a few vegetarians on our hands so i decided to make a couple vegetarian dishes and of course, another dish that contained, you guessed it, bacon.  i went to the hollywood farmer's market in the morning and picked up some fresh veggies including beets, pears, shallots and gobo root.


i'm sorry. i'm really excited about this. it's been hard finding japanese vegetables, so when i saw it, i grabbed a ton of it and decided it was going to be one of my dishes for the night.

for all of you that have not heard of gobo or burdock, it's a woody root that's known for it's medicinal properties to help with digestion. basically, it has tons of fiber. i mostly know it from having to chop it up for long hours at a time (thanks mom!) to create the japanese dish called kinpira gobo. (i'm pretty sure my mom is laughing right now.)  to much of my surprise, many people had not heard of gobo, so it was very exciting for me to make something from home for people to try. here goes:

mom's kinpira gobo:
serving size (giant bowl. or 10 people as a side dish)

4 gobo roots (about 18 inches long). peeled, cut on the diagonal, .2cm thick. then matchsticked*.
4 carrots, same as gobo
sesame seed oil
1/4 cup sugar
4-6 tblspn mirin (japanese sweet rice wine)
soy sauce,  about 3-4 turns of the pan
dashi no moto**

ok, so the dish is really easy to cook. it's the prep that's the problem.  in mom's version we don't peel the carrots or the gobo, just scrub it real good.  for the sake of the newbies, i peeled everything this time.

*the "punishment" part is cutting the carrots and gobo on the diagonal and then matchsticking everything. basically, slice it thin but not paper thin. if you don't like chopping, i would suggest investing in a mandolin.

when the carrots and gobo are all prepped, heat your pan on medium high and pour in enough sesame seed oil to coat the bottom.  when it's hot, throw it in and saute it so everything gets coated (not even 30 seconds). then sprinkle the sugar all around and keep sauting to incorportate (1 min).  add the mirin. then add the soy sauce last. (must be in this order! if you ask, i'll tell you later why.) give it a taste. you may need to add more sugar or more soy sauce. that's it! ( i understand it's difficult to know what it's supposed to taste like if you have never had it. i'll make it for you first, i promise!)

**i normally throw in a few teaspoons of dashi right when i add the sugar, but since it's fish based, i kept it out for the vegetarians. if i put it in, it gives it more "umami."

next. i made a beet salad.  most people don't know this but this was my first time cooking with beets. i didn't grow up with it, so there. i referred to my "cooking with jamie oliver" book for this one and adapted his beet salad recipe.

jane's first beet salad:
4 beets, peeled, and matchsticked (yay, for chopping!)
4 ripe but firm pears, matchsticked ( i used starkrimson pears because it was the favorite of the little girl that was selling them. i'm a sucker. what can i say?)
lots of mint from the backyard
8oz crumbles feta cheese
small handful of sunflower seeds

juice from 2 lemons
2 tablespoons of honey
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper

chop everything up, and throw it all in a big bowl that you won't worry about staining. for the dressing, combine the first 3 ingredients first and then whisk and add the olive oil last. add salt and pepper to taste. toss the salad with the dressing and that's it. i let it marinade in the fridge for a bit before serving. the main ingredients are jamie oliver's idea and the dressing i made up on my own! it was a great dish to celebrate beets!

last but not least,  i made green beans and bacon. really easy, guys.

green beans and bacon:
1 pound of green beans, stems removed and cut in have (or in thirds if you like)
6 (or more) slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper

heat pan to medium high and add a little oil to get it going. add bacon and brown.  remove bacon from the pan and set aside. add green beans and saute in the bacon fat. after a few minutes add the shallots and garlic and saute till carmelized. add salt and pepper to taste. by the time the shallots/garlic have carmelized, the green beans should be sauted just to al dente (cooked but with a bite!). taste it. if it's good, then you're done!

the party was a success. beets were eaten. kinpira gobo was eaten. green beans were gone. the ice cream made you want to raise the roof.

oh yeah,  i also made chocolate kahlua cake. but that one's a secret! sorry!

p.s. sorry about the photo quality. i didn't really take my time taking them so they're a little blurry.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

grilled gorgonzola cheese and fig sandwich.

i went to the wednesday portland farmer's market in downtown this morning and picked up some fresh figs among a few other things. by the time i got home, i was starving. so, i pulled out some left over gorgonzola from the stuffed pork loin i made the other day decided to make a grilled cheese.

grilled gorgonzola cheese and fig sandwich:
1 fresh fig, sliced
a little red onion, sliced
crumbled gorgonzola cheese
sliced sourdough from grand central bakery

side salad:
mixed greens
sliced red onion
dressing-olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste

heat the pan up medium heat and throw some butter in (or you can spread the butter on the outside slice of bread if you like).  sprinkle some cheese down, lay the slices of fig on top, then the red onion, then some more cheese. place the buttered (outside) slice bread on top, then flip when golden brown.

i served it with a side salad, oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. i especially like using balsamic in this case because we classsically think of figs and balsamic going together. i just like dipping the melty cheese/fig sandwich in the balsamic dressing that's floating around on the plate. yum.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

coq au vin.

omg. that was damn delicious and well worth the time.  i guess those french kind of know what they're doing...

i'd type out the directions, but it's way too long! i served it with some fresh rustic baguette from our local bakery and watched amelie to finish the french bistro night.

here's the recipe:

butchery trifecta.

as much as i hate being unemployed right now, it does give me time to cook. a lot.

some of you may know that last saturday i took a complementary butchery class offered to the public by my culinary school.  they allow future students to get their knives wet without having to pay the ninety something dollars it costs to take the class.

it was awesome. even better, i got to take my killings home. two chickens, two beef sirloin steaks, and one pork loin. did i mention this was complimentary?

so, today i decided to attack a couple of the proteins before it all goes bad.  (funny enough, i've been feeling a little anemic lately from all the veggies i've been eating here, so meat = good.)

chicken stock:
left over chicken bones, bits, pieces, etc. (i had two chicken carcasses)
2 carrot, rough chopped, unpeeled
3 celery stalks, rough chopped
1 onion, rough  chopped
1 head of garlic, smashed, unpeeled
3 bay leaves
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
8-10 peppercorns
cold water
salt and pepper

i started the day by attacking the left over bones from the chickens i butchered and made a stock. now, mine were raw, but roasting in them in the oven is even better. i was feeling a little impatient already so i threw it in the pot. both methods are fine.  basically, chop everything up in big chunks (it doesn't have to be pretty because it's all getting drained anyway), and throw everything (sprigs and all!) into a big pot filled with cold water that just covers the chicken by a couple of inches. set it to high, let it come to a boil and then turn it down to simmer for at least 3-4 hours.  fat and other impurities will float up to the surface initially so make sure to skim it off (you can use a big spoon).  add salt and pepper to taste when it's almost done. you'll probaby end up adding quite a bit of salt. strain it and discard the solids (or put it in your compost pile!). after you let it cool, you can freeze it if you want to save some for later!

coq au vin:

ok. now, for the actual chicken. (remember i've got a lot of time on my hands.)  i decided to make coq au vin.  not the quick version, but the really complicated classic french style (oui! oui!). it's still not finished in fact. for this, i am going to link you to the recipe on epicurious because it's just way too long and it's not my recipe. but for your enjoyment, i will at least explain the marinating process.

you will need:
1 chicken; 2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 breasts, 2 drumsticks (skin and all)
1 bottle of pinot noir or brandy (i used pinot)
1 large carrot, sliced 
2 celery stalks,sliced
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic ( it says one but i love garlic so i used more)

so throw all the goodies (except chicken) in a pot and bring it up to a boil. when it comes up to a boil, turn it down to medium and let it simmer. it says 5 minutes, but i think the longer you let it simmer the better it tastes so i went with around 10 minutes (so rebelious!).  once it cools, throw the chicken in and let it sit for a day or two in the fridge.  here's what it currently looks like:

you'll have to wait till tomorrow to see how this turns out.

stuffed pork loin:
1 pork loin*
gorgonzola cheese
pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup onion,diced
salt and pepper

* the pork loin needs to be cut in a way that you can roll it. the best way to do this is to place your hand on the top of the pork loin and then use a sharp knife and cut it lengthwise 1/3 of the way up from the bottom without piercing through the other side. now you should have pocket looking thing but with the top have larger than the bottom. now cut the top half in half from the inside of the fold without piercing through. it should lay thin and flat now. ( if you cut through on accident, it's fine.)

i realize i should have done a video for that last one. if i get my hands on another pork loin, i'll definitely video it!

now for the fun part. preheat oven to 450 F. saute the mushrooms and onions in some oil.  put aside. place the basil on the opened piece of loin, then the mushroom mix on that, then cheese, then nut. roll the sucker up and tie it with some twine. i actually used thread because i couldn't find any.  i did the fancy tie tecnique but you can simply cut 4 or 5, 6 inch pieces of string (depending on the size of the loin) and tie them around the stuffed loin so it doesn't fall apart when cooking.  sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides and then throw it in the oven.

important note! you can either a) throw it into the hot oven for a few minutes (no longer) to get the outside nice and toasty and then turn it down to 350 for another 8-10 minutes so that it cooks evenly OR b) sear the outside of it in a hot pan to get some color on all the sides and then throw it in the oven for 8-10 min at 350F.  it all depends on how big your pork loin is. mine fit into a frying pan so i chose option b. if it is a big one then you probably don't have a big enough pan and should choose option a.  also. if it is big you will probably need more than 10 minutes (like 15-20).

anyway, a thermometer is your best bet to get it perfect. if you have one, make sure the internal temp gets to 140F. that means pull it off the heat around 5 degrees before. have a glass of wine and let it rest for 5-10 minutes and then cut into it! (don't forget to remove the strings!)

wow, that was a long entry. see how much you can get done in a day by playing hookie from work?

Friday, September 18, 2009

nomnom couscous.

It is such a wonderfully beautiful day outside that I decided to make something colorful for lunch! With a handful of farmer's market vegetables and feta cheese, you get a delicious vegetarian dish (this is for you Krista!). 

nomnom couscoous:
serving size (4-6ish as a side or 2 for a meal)

2 green onions chopped
1/2 small red onion chopped
1/2 cucumber peeled and chopped
1 tomato chopped
1cup cous cous
2 cups of chicken broth/bouillon
handful of crumbled feta cheese

Boil around 2 cups of chicken broth or you can use the 1 cube of the Knorr Chicken Bouillon (what I use!).
When it is hot, add a cup of cous cous, turn off the heat and cover. Wait around 5 min or until all the liquid is soaked up. (If it is still liquidy, you can add more couscous). Use a fork to fluff the couscous. Add all your chopped veggies and feta, mix and enjoy!  (I don't add any salt or pepper because the bouillon that I use already is seasoned.)

Note: I imagine chopped cilantro probably tastes pretty good in it too! (I didn't have any on me.)

I think I will eat the whole bowl myself.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

food cart.

there has been some discussion...i think i want to start my own food cart, guys.

Monday, September 14, 2009

glorified tuna melt.

guess who made it to portland and found awesome (foodie!) roomates!?

i'm (semi) settled in now and living in a huge house in the south east side of portland nestled in the hawthorne district full of coffee shops, movie theatres, bars/pubs, vintage clothing and accessories and of course, FOOD. there are so many places to eat that i haven't had a chance to decide where to go first. so...

...i decided to warm up one of my roomates today by making him lunch a la glorified tuna melt. (i should also say that he caught ten giant albacore tuna so we have tuna galore in our house-thanks ben!).  it actually started out as a glorified grilled cheese sandwich the day before but the added tuna definitely topped it off. i mean, who doesn't love a good tuna melt?

glorified tuna melt (certified oregon stlye):
2 slices of Grand Central Bakery bread
canned tuna freshly caught off the coast of oregon
1/2 cup fresh shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup red onion, sliced
1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 slices of fresh tomato
butter, salt and pepper
aardvark hot sauce*
saute onions and mushrooms with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. while this is cooking, butter the outside of the two slices of bread and preheat another pan on medium. when you are almost done cooking the vegetables, place a slice of bread (butter side down) into the preheated pan and place half the mozzarella on the bread. add the sauted vegetables straight from the pan onto the bread and cheese. top with tuna. top with tomato slices and top with the rest of the cheese.  (* if you like hot sauce, now would be the time to put it in. i am a whimp when it comes to hot sauce and my roomates' goal is to change that. baby steps i say.) place the other piece of bread, butter side up on top. by this time, the bottom should be already golden brown.  if it is, flip it over. press it down using a spatula so it all melts together. when both sides are golden brown, you are done!

serve with ice cold beverage (lagunitas IPA shown here) and enjoy!

and mom, don't worry. i also busted the sushi knife out and cut up the tuna sashimi style and we ate that as well!

Monday, September 7, 2009

the last supper. takoyaki.

ah, yes, the infamous takoyaki party at the hashi house.

for my last supper at home before leaving tomorrow, we decided to eat the traditional osaka dinner of takoyaki.   "what is this facinating thing called 'takoyaki,'" you ask?

octopus pancake balls. but in tonights case, we used squid because it was cheaper.

basically, you make a pancake like batter with a watery consistency and fill the half spherical hot plate or grill plate with it. add small pieces of tako or ika (squid) with a few garnishes and voila! you have your very own home-made takoyaki! we filled ours with ika, beni shoga (pickled ginger), tenkasu (tempura bits), and green onions. some even choose to fill them with cheese. but we won't go there.

after they have mostly cooked, you take a thin wooden skewer and flip em'. keep flippin' until you get a beautifully golden sphere.  when they have cooked, top it with okomiyaki sauce (japanese style bbq sauce), mayo, katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and aonori (tiny dried seaweed flakes).  grab some chopsticks and go to town. 

warning: these babies are HOT! as much as you want to just pop em' in your mouth right after you get it all ready, they will burn! patience is key.

p.s. if you are wondering where to get your very own hotplate, i think you can get one at your local japanese market for around $60. this one came from japan. they also have grill plates that you can throw on the stove for much cheaper.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

summer corn salsa.

jimmy is having a bbq tonight so i have decided to make a summer corn salsa that simple to do but requires a bit of chopping.  it's fresh, seasonal and you can practically eat it with a spoon. 

there has been some requests that i put up some recipes as i go along. you'll have to bear with me as i don't normally measure anything out when i cook. when it comes to cooking, just taste it.  you know what tastes good.  here goes...

summer corn salsa:
3 ears of corn raw (or grilled if you have time), kernals removed
1/2 small red onion, chopped (small)
2 green onions, chopped (small)
4 avocados, chopped (chunks)
1lb cherry tomatoes, halved
small handful of cilantro, chopped
1 lemon
1 lime
salt and pepper
olive oil

basically, chop everything up. it doesn't have to be perfect. i usually chop/chunk the avocado last and then squeeze the lemon and lime juice right after so it doesn't get brown.  add a few tablespoons of olive oil to combine it all and then add salt and pepper to taste.

remember, make this the way you like...if you want more corn, add more corn.   if you despise cilantro, put a little in. i like garlic, so i used a bit of garlic salt along with regular table salt.  you can throw in minced garlic if you want, but i'd rather not be the one to create a room full of smelly lifeguards.

if you need any advice or have any questions, let me know! i suck at writing recipes!

p.s. this is a pretty large serving of salsa that will probably feed at least 15 people (modest).  if you want to make this at home and just want a small bowl, i would use 1/3 of the recipe.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Hello Friends!
     As many of you may know, I'll be hanging up the "whereisjane" backpacking pack this fall to pursue my other great love: cooking.  This by no means means that the "whereisjane" travels have ended, but a new chapter has begun.  I've finally decided that I want to become a chef and will be attending the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon in October.
     Some of you may be wondering where the moniker "whereisjane" originated.  I began a videoblog called "whereisjane" on youtube around 3 years ago when I first started backpacking through Europe and then to South America.  I filmed where I was, what I was eating, with a bit of history and perspective for those that weren't there with me.  It gave my friends and family a way to see what I was seeing so that they may feel like they were part of the experience as well.  Traveling had not only opened my eyes to different cultures but also experience how food shapes people's lives in different ways around the world. 
    I have decided to keep that user name to share my new adventures in the culinary world as I learn to cook my way through culinary school. 
     I hope you will enjoy it with me.