Fast Delicious Artisan Breads

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a DayA couple days ago I came across an awesome recipe while working on a new bagel recipe. It purported that you could make tasty artisan breads in only five minutes per day. I was a bit skeptical at first, but after reading the article I was convinced. Essentially you treat the bread like a sourdough, and keep a big lump in your fridge until you want some bread. All you need to do in preparation is shape the dough, heat up the oven, and then bake. Thats not an exaggeration either.

Using their system, if you have about an hour and a half of time around the house, you can have a delicious loaf of bread. It only takes about 5 minutes of work, but it breaks down to something like:

  • 40 minutes to rise
  • 30 minutes to bake
  • 20 minutes to cool

But really, you only have to do about a minute’s worth of work between each phase. I liked the recipe so much, I bought their book. The full recipe is listed after the jump.

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Penthouse Views and Broken Fingers

I seem to have the worst luck with injuries. Anytime I have one, I never do it the easy way. We were playing catch and I catch a ball wrong and stub my finger. Not so serious I figured, I’ve done it dozens of times. We tried pulling on it and messing with it and eventually iced it and left it alone. But eventually I went to the hospital cuz it looked a little funny, and I could only move the tip in one direction.

So yeah, its broken. And as I said, I never do anything the easy way. Turns out the area of the bone where the tendons connect broke off. The tendon is fine, the bone is just screwed. Well, actually its about to get screwed. Or more acurately pinned. Two pins to be precise. I go in on monday for the surgery. Really I should count myself lucky; I’m getting to see a rare side of Japan (the inside of a hospital) and its considerably more cheap than getting it done at home. Socialized health care is awesome. I’m definitely a fan now. Six X-Rays and all my lab work cost me LESS than $90, and the surgery is only going to cost about ¥15000, which is around $135. A small fraction of what it would most likely cost in the states.

As for Penthouse Views, some friends and I went down to Osaka to party at the top of the Hilton. A nice buffet of gormet cakes and other various desserts accompanied by one of the best views in Osaka. Some of the best cake I have ever had; they even had Sakura Cheesecake. Once I gather the pictures I will post them.

“When a man cries, he cries alone, but when he laughs, the world laughs with him.” – Oldboy

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やっと日本語にがんばっているよ!

日本語に書きたいから、そのブログが難しいよ! 最近友人のヨオコのブロクを読んでみている。 習ったものはめっちゃ日本語が分からないよ! しばしば 電子辞書を使っていた。 もしこの地域に話せる人がいたら、もう少しかんたんかも。 けど、その人を見つけるのが難しいね。
今 夜は二度お好み焼きを作ってみた。 一度からたくさん事を習ったから、ちょうよかった! 中国のYamが使わなくて、ほんとお好み焼き粉があっ たんだ よ! そして、そのサイズがもう少し小さく作ったから、Flipするのがやさしくなった。 ルームメートと友達がおいしいと言ったから、うれしいよ!!  :)
もし日本語が分かったら、間違うものを教えてね ;)

This entry probably took me the longest to write so far, which is sad being that it is one of the shorter ones. Japanese is hard though. Doubly so when you dont get to think in it often. I suppose the same could be said for any language though. Perhaps I should have learned a language more easily practicable. Or just learn english properly considering that I severely doubt ‘practicable’ is a real word. Or perhaps it is… which I guess is my point :/

So I tried making okonomiyaki again tonight and I must say that the results were much better than the initial attempt. Instead of using a yam I went out and found real okonomiyaki powder. Its amazing how much less it was just without having to grate a yam. I also used a slightly different recipe this time. Last time it was some random that I found on the net, but this time i used the one right on the back of the okonomiyaki powder bag. Although it was all in Japanese I think it was much easier to use.

Daily slap of wisdom:
“If you do it right, no one will realize you’ve done anything at all”
Daily winning numbers:
46, 22, 8, and 37,605

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Okonomiyaki is FRIGGIN HARD

So I got the bright idea to try making one of my favorite Japanese dishes. Okonomiyaki has been described by many as the Japanese pizza because it is somewhat pancake-ish and is topped with various meats and vegetables then smothered in sauce. I had seen it made a few times while I was in Japan and it didn’t look TOO complicated. Apparently I either suck at remembering how it was made, or I just grossly underestimated the ordeal that is making okonomiyaki. For those of you that don’t know I will give you a lesson in its preparation, and those that already know, I will try to make it an entertaining description.

I wasn’t sure what went into this concoction so I scoured the net trying to find a recipe only to find that ever one of them varies wildly depending on who makes it. One of my friends had told me once that REAL okonomiyaki has some sort of Chinese Yam in it, so I discarded any recipes that didn’t make mention of that. After having found one I drove on down to the asian market and picked up all the stuff I thought I needed.

Basic stuff you need to get are flour, some eggs, green onion, a cabbage, a chinese yam, japanese mayonaise (Kyupi brand), okonomiyaki sauce (otafuku brand), katsubushi (dried fish flakes, and YES they are required), and dashi no moto (fish broth mix). This will make you a very very basic okonomiyaki, but we need to add some extra stuff to make it tasty. You can toss on anything that you think might be good and even some things you think wont. I chose squid and pork.

Grate or grind your yam (still not sure the best way to deal with this), then combine it in a BIG bowl with your flour and around 6 eggs or so. Toss in a couple dashes of your Dashinomoto and mix it up real good. Chop up your ENTIRE cabbage and mix it in with the batter, if it looks like a ridiculous amount of cabbage in there then you have the proportions about right.

Now go ahead and slice your pork into thin strips about .25″x.75″x1.5″ or whatever looks good to you. Then chop your green onion up in the way that green onion generally are chopped. Now we get to deal with the best part, SQUID.

I had never actually handled a squid before, so this was quite an adventure. Grab your squid by the head thingy and by the face and pull until they separate and all the guts fall on your lap, or somewhere else if you prefer. Toss the part with all the guts and legs hanging off on a plate or in a bowl and make a snide comment to your friend that his dinner is done. Then cut the little ‘ear’ flaps off of the head. You will probably notice some other random guts hanging on to the inside, go ahead and try to yank those out and flick them at someone. Apparently squids actually have a backbone, but it looks more like a plastic straw. REALLY. Grab this thing and yank it out. Now if you have ever seen squid served up then you will probably remember that it is white and what you are probably looking at now is kinda off white with purplish specks. Thats cuz these things actually have skin and you now get to rip it off. Fun huh? After you figure out a good method for that let me know. Then you wanna slice it into like 1″x1″ squares. Fry this up either with the pork or separately. You don’t have to fry it very long.

Now we have an ass-ton of ingredients and you should properly feel overwhelmed. So lets get rid of some of these things. Find the hugest pan you can find and get it hot. If you have a big hot plate thing then use that. You are gonna dump the batter on it and then cover it with all of the other ingredients and anything else you thought might be good. The best one I’ve had also had cheese and noodles in it. Let this puppy fry a bit and then flip it. DOESNT THIS SOUND INSANELY EASY!?!?! Yeh, you are looking at a Mt. Fuji of food and you are just supposed to casually flip it! If you figure out a plausible way of doing this for gots sake let me know. Cook on this side and then flip onto a plate.

Now we need to smother it in our mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce and then toss a couple of hand fulls of our katsubushi on there. The katsubushi should make it look like its all crawling and squirming. Appetizing? HELLS YES!! Cut yourself off a piece and yell at your friends cuz you have just made the infamous Okonomi-friggin-yaki!!

If you follow my instructions to a ‘T’ then you should have a couple of piles of stuff frying in different pans and then thrown onto your plates in a huff then irritably coated in sauces and thrown at your guests. Should taste about right, but will look nothing like real okonomiyaki. If only I had taken pictures of this tasty abomination…

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