Monday, September 25, 2006
Son 2 had an extra school holiday, and wanted to do some baking. He picked this recipe for Taralli from a Japanese Italian recipe book. It contains so much oil that it turned out to be very easy for a yeast-dough novice to handle.
Ingredients - would make 1 western-size oven-sheet full of tiny bagel-like knots. Wish I could figure out how to post pictures...
200g "strong" (bread) flour
150g "weak" (cake) flour
15g dry yeast (at 3g per tsp, that's a lot of yeast. We used 1 tab and that was PLENTY).
1 tab white wine
100cc olive oil or plain oil
2 tab honey
Mix flours and yeast, add all other ingredients and knead 10 minutes. Rest, covered, for 20 minutes or so at 26-28deg.C.
Divide dough into 8 pieces, and roll with hands to ropes about 1cm in diameter.
Cut into 7-8cm lengths, and form each length into a ring, pressing ends firmly together. Set aside.
Bring pan of water to a rolling boil, and add 1% salt (e.g. 1 liter of water needs 10g salt. Roughly).
Put a cloth on a tray, and start dropping the taralli into the water. If they are really small, they can be scooped out and laid on the towel as soon as they rise, if larger, wait about 1 minute.
Preheat oven to 180deg.C, line with baking paper, and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on size of taralli and degree of crunchiness you want!.
Best fresh, but if they dry out, eat with wine (dip in the wine), drop into soup, or soak in tomato juice and add to a salad, just like croutons.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Tonkatsu – Pork Cutlet
4-6 slices of pork
1 cup flour, preferably seasoned with a good pinch of salt.
1 egg, ¼ c milk, pinch of salt and 1 grind of pepper
2 cups of dried breadcrumbs, or 1 cup each of breadcrumbs and sesame seeds (unhulled)
Trim fat off pork, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Beat a few times with a pestle or rolling pin. Lightly tap all over with a knife to make shallow cuts over the surface.
Place flour in a bag and shake the pork pieces in it.
Beat egg and milk together, dip floured pork pieces in the egg mixture.
Next dip in breadcrumbs and seed mixture, and set aside. You can allow to stand for 1 hour if you wish.
Bring a pan of oil up to heat (170deg.C, or until a string of fine bubbles (but not a mass of bubbles) appears from chopsticks lowered into the oil.
Fry until golden, 3-4 minutes on one side, then 1-2 minutes on the second side.
Drain, then slice and arrange on plate with sides such as potato salad, shredded cabbage, or greens.
4-6 potatoes, preferably steamed in their skins, then skinned and dressed while hot with:
3 tabs plain yogurt
3 tabs mayonnaise
¼ onion, sliced finely and soaked in water, then drained.
2 pickles, chopped, or 1 Japanese cucumber sliced, salted, and squeezed.
Add these ingredients to hot potato and mix, allowing potato to be partially squashed so that salad is a creamy mass with lumps of potato in it.
Add extra ingredients as you wish: Grated carrot, green peas, ham, hard boiled egg, green beans.
¼ cabbage, shredded finely and soaked in ice cold water.
5 shiso leaves or 2-3 sprigs of parsley or 1-2 spring onions, ditto.
When ready to serve the meal, drain, toss together, and serve.
Tonkatsu is normally served with tonkatsu sauce, a thickened Worcestershire sauce.
Here are some alternatives from a Japanese magazine a few years back:
Red Miso and Sesame Sauce: 4 tab red miso, 1 tab ground sesame seeds, 2 tab sugar, 1 tab mirin, ½ c dashi. Bring all to boil in a pan, and simmer until thick.
Ketchup Plus Sauce: 4 tab Kewpie mayonnaise, 3 tab tomato ketchup, 1 tsp wholegrain mustard, 2 tab finely chopped onion. Mix all together.