So now that summer is here, and it is WAY to humid for my likings here in Japan, I've been in a salad kind of mode and looking for nice, refreshing ways to dress them up.
Here's a recipe I found today while reading Gourmet Magazine's April 2006 edition.
Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette : Adapted from The Signature Room at the 95th, in Chicago. Makes about half a cup
1/2 garlic clove
1.5 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1.5 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1.5 teaspoons mild honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
Blend all ingredients except oregano in a blender until combined well. Transfer to a bowl and stir in oregano, then season with salt and pepper.
Notes: if you are using a small food processor, like I did, make sure to slice up the garlic clove before pulsing or you will have a mess in your kitchen (because the garlic moved the blade up and leaked some dressing)--like I did. Also, I used 5 Tablespoons of EVOO, since I didn't have canola oil. And I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano.
This dressing was really good! Lemony, not too garlicky really refreshing. Definitely worth making again!
Another food that is popular in Japan, especially during the summer, is edamame (soy beans). I like it because it is really easy to prepare, and I don't have to stand near the stove as it cooks. In Japan, they come packaged--still in their pods, and sometimes they are even still attached to the plant!
Get a saute pan with a lid, or any shallow pan with a cover will do.
Snip the bean pods (where it was attached to the plant), I think this is to allow for even cooking and seasoning.
Lay them as flat as possible into the pan.
Add a cup of water and cook for about 7 minutes on high heat. (You can add some salt before turning on the heat, or after cooking, whichever you prefer.) After the 7 minutes check to see that most of the pods have opened a bit, if not, you can cook for a minute or two more, take them off the heat and run under cold water.
Sprinkle with some kosher salt and enjoy!
Notes: try to make this ahead so that you can chill them in the refrig before eating!
Gaban, a spice maker in Japan teamed up with House Foods, a company which makes curry rues and other "quick food" items and came up with a black peppered potato chip. The chip is a "fake" potato chip (formed into a chip shape like Pringles), but the taste is great--nice and peppery! They also have a chili pepper version, in a red container, for you thrill-seekers!
Today, my student, Tomomi, brought me some onions which her parents got from some of their friends. They are huge! Will definitely be roasting some of these in the next couple of days. (Thank you!)
Here's another bead stitch project which I just finished. I still need to get it graded by the teacher. The 3 similar rings are the actual project. The "Louis Vuitton" marked ring was an extra project. Boy, those seed beads are tiny!
Hope you are keeping cool where you are and enjoying the weekend!