Sunday, August 18, 2013

Japanese Restaurant Style Ginger Dressing

Don't miss this one.  I don't even know how long it would keep in the fridge.  It hasn't lasted that long around here.  It is a nice dressing to use on a Kale & Apple salad because it breaks down the tough leaves nicely.

Original here.

4 carrots, peeled
½ white onion
¼ cup chopped ginger
2 tablespoons white miso paste
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons dark toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Throw everything in a high speed blender/food processor and blend until smooth.  Really it won't be that smooth, unless your equipment is amazing.  It will still be a little chunky like the restaurant dressing.


  • Store extra ginger in your freezer.
  • Miso paste is a fermented soy product.  You could probably use a little soy sauce in its place or just skip altogether like I did.  Having the miso would probably have rounded out the flavors really nicely.
  • Don't skip chopping the ginger.  It needs to start off smaller to be well dispersed.  

Hamburger Buns 2

Ahhh... These buns are much better than the previous recipe I used.  They taste better and are easier.  Win-win!  I'll be playing with a few details, but there is no going back to the old recipe.

Original recipe (& reviews) here.

3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
*For best results (a smooth, slightly soft dough), use the smaller amount of water in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate); and something in between the rest of the time.

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Place bun ingredients into bread machine in order specified by manufacturer and start the dough cycle (or do it by hand or in your mixer with a 1-2 hr rise). Upon completion, gently deflate the dough and divide into 8 pieces (perfect size for 1/3lb Bubba Burgers; make more if you like smaller burgers).  Shape each piece into a round ball by pinching the bottom.  Place on a parchment paper covered (or lightly greased) baking sheet. Allow to relax for a minute or two and then flatten with the palm/heed of your hand so that they are at least 3" in diameter.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until noticeably puffy.  Brush buns with half of melted butter.  Bake at 375* for 15-18 minutes.  Brush with remaining butter for a soft crust.  Cool buns on a rack.

Intended future modifications:

  • Try this as a sandwich bread loaf as some commenters suggested. 
  • Try brushing with water after baking.  Or at least unsalted butter.  The greasiness/griminess was unpleasant in the hand, even though the taste was wonderful.  
  • Try decreasing sugar or replacing with honey.
  • Replace some of the flour with whole wheat. 
  • Try an egg wash (white + 1/4 c. water; add extra yolk to dough) with sesame seeds.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Black Bean Soup 2

I finally found a black bean soup that I love and that I can consistently reproduce.

Saute together until fully cooked:
1T olive oil
1 lg onion,c hopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped

2T chili powder
1T ground cumin
1/4t black pepper
1T+ salt (adjust to taste, esp if you use salted broth)
4c unsalted broth
2 cans* black beans

Puree** and add:
2 cans black beans
28oz can tomatoes (diced or crushed or whole, whatever is cheaper)

Cook until flavors have combined and everything is heated through.

Remove from heat and add:
2T lime juice
15oz can coconut milk

Serve with cilantro.

*If you are using beans cooked from dry (much cheaper), 1 can is a scant 2 cups cooked. Recipe uses approximately 1.5lb dry beans.

**When I use dried beans and crushed tomatoes, I skip the pureeing.  Canned beans usually have chemicals added so that they retain their shape and firmness.  You don't have that with dried beans and I often find they are falling apart by the time I'm cooking them to my preferred doneness.