Thursday, June 16, 2011

Katsu Chicken

This recipe was wonderful! I got it from, who in turn, I guess got it from the L&L Hawaiian Barbeque Grill chain. Ever since we've been to our local Hawaiian place, I've been curious about making some of the dishes. We know that my macaroni salad recipe beats theirs, and my mom's teriyaki marinade / sauce is awesome, but I was curious about making chicken katsu (sort of life a fried chicken cutlet with a sweet barbeque sauce).
So I searched and searched for a recipe that looked like what I knew chicken katsu to be. The only problem was the recipe was for 5 - 7 servings, using 4 lbs. of chicken. So I had to be creative with my measuring. What I'm listing below isn't 100% what I used to make it, but what will probably be a pretty accurate measurement for 1 lb. of chicken. Now, for the sauce, I only halved the recipe I had, and it made 4 cups' worth. And we maybe used...half a cup, total. What I'm posting below will be half of what I used, so hopefully it will make about 2 cups.

All in all, this was a wonderful, delicious meal; and much easier than I thought! Since we have so much leftover sauce, I will be making again really soon (darn!). Enjoy this with mac salad, rice and corn for a traditional Hawaiian plate lunch!

1 lb. chicken (the recipe called for thighs, but we only had breasts, and they worked fine)
1 1/2 - 2 c. Japanese panko bread crumbs
1 egg
1/3 c. water
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. white pepper

1. Pound chicken with a rolling pin.
2. Combine egg, water, cornstarch and spices to make a batter.
3. Coat chicken in egg mixture, then roll in panko crumbs, being sure to cover entire piece.
4. Fry in oil until golden brown and crispy (I used our biggest pan, with several tablespoons of oil, it worked just fine).

Katsu Sauce:
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. chicken bouillon
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 dash Tabasco sauce (didn't use this, since we didn't have it, but it was fine without it)
cornstarch mixed with water (thickener)

1. Combine all ingredients (except cornstarch mixed with water) and bring to a boil.
2. Add the cornstarch that has been mixed in with the water and stir until thick.
3. Serve on top of chicken and rice!

all breaded and ready for frying

delicious, delicious sauce

fry them for about 2 -3 minutes on one side

until they are perfectly golden brown

and enjoy with all the essentials: rice, corn, mac salad!
Posted by Picasa

Macaroni & Cheese (Kraft Knockoff)

I will admit that I kind of love Kraft mac & cheese (the best is the 3 cheese shells, ohh). Sometimes you just need some comfort food and it hits the spot. The other day while Zak was at work, I had a craving for it, but seeing as how I was stranded at home and it was cold and rainy outside, I opted not to walk to the store to get a box of it. So I looked online and found a good 'taste-a-like' of it. It was super easy, and pretty tasty!

2 quarts water
1 Tbl. salt
2 c. uncooked elbow (or shell, whatever) macaroni
2 Tbl. butter
1/2 lb. cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. flour
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. ham, chopped into 1/4 inc. cubes (I didn't have ham when I made this, so I opted it out, but I'm sure it's good in it)
black pepper
onion salt

1. In a medium bowl, mix corn starch in with cheese, so that it's coated (this helps cheese from getting too stringy).
2. Bring water and salt to a boil, add pasta and cook 7 or so minutes, drain when finished.
3. While pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce by melting butter in a large saucepan on medium heat.
4. Whisk in the flour; slowly dribble in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth.
5. Slowly add in the cheese and whisk until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice.
6. Add in the cooked, drained macaroni and ham. Sprinkle in pepper and onion salt.

Posted by Picasa

Banana Custard Pudding

So we had some bananas that were getting on the old side. I didn't feel up to making banana bread, especially since we had about a dozen blueberry muffins lying around the house. Then I somehow got the idea for banana pudding, because who doesn't like pudding? And I've made pudding before, so I figured it wouldn't be too difficult. This recipe was only challenging because I wasn't paying enough faithful attention to it, while on the stove. So the texture wasn't what I wanted, but overall, it was pretty tasty. I would definitely cut the sugar amount by at least a quarter or more, because it was super sweet. The original recipe called for basically making a vanilla custard, then adding in sliced banana pieces before serving. We decided to mush and whisk up the bananas with some milk and add it in with the vanilla. Next time, we will blend them up. But, still, yummy!

1/2 c. sugar (like I said, I bet it'd be fine with anywhere from 1/3 c. - 1/4 c.)
1 Tbl. cornstarch
dash of salt
1 1/2 c. milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 bananas, mushed/blended with a little bit of milk

1. Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan.
2. Over medium heat, slowly add milk, stirring until mixture comes to a boil, keeping a close eye on it!
3. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Temper egg yolks by adding a small amount of hot liquid to them, then return all to the saucepan.
5. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
6. Stir in vanilla and bananas, then chill for 1 hour..

Sorry there are no pictures, it wasn't as pretty as I wanted! Maybe next time I make it!

Blueberry Muffins

Zak and I love blueberry muffins, so naturally, when I got a big box of them last week, decided to make some. I looked around for awhile for a healthier version, and finally stumbled across the one I tried out. They were delicious, moist and will be made again soon. Plus, they are under 100 calories for each muffin, not bad at all!

1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 c. low fat buttermilk
1 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 - 2 c. fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees; lightly coat muffin pan with cooking spray, or place baking cups in pan.
2. Mix together 1 1/2 c. flour, sugar, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
3. Whisk together buttermilk, applesauce, egg, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl.
4. Lightly coat the blueberries by tossing them with the 1/4 c. flour in a small bowl.
5. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until batter is just moistened. Fold in the blueberries.
6. Divide the mixture evenly among muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes.

This recipe made 24 beautiful, similar-sized muffins.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nutella Cookies

My family told me they had this recipe for Nutella cookies awhile ago. At first, I was a bit hesitant, because I was unsure of how Nutella would translate in cookie form. They even sent some cookies up when my sister came to visit. I wasn't crazy about them; they tasted more like chocolate in my opinion. But I reasoned that maybe I would like them better if they were super fresh, right from the oven. Then I realized that my parents had given us 2 two-packs of big jars of Nutella, and we had barely gone through one in the past year. So I decided to make these cookies; I had Nutella to spare! This was a classic example of mistaking first impressions, because these cookies were amazing. And they tasted like Nutella, which is what I wanted. They are just yummy; Zak had more than he should've yesterday when I brought some to his work. However, this recipe makes a lot of cookies; probably about 4 dozen. I had a friend over and made her take a ton of them; I gave away at least a dozen, and frozen a fair amount of them as well. But it's worth it, Nutella cookies = brilliant. Enjoy these with a cold glass of milk, mmm.

2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. packed dark brown sugar (we used light, and they were just fine)
1 c. white sugar
26 oz. Nutella (one large jar)
1 c. chopped hazelnuts (did not use this time [my dad's not a nut person, so I'm always hesitant about putting them in cookies, etc.], but I think they'd be great with them!)
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
2. In mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy.
3. Mix in Nutella (do not heat it in order to make it easier; it takes some time and it is messy, but heating it will ruin everything (not from experience, just know that)), beat until all incorporated.
4. Add in chopped hazelnuts if you're going that route, then eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Mix well.
5. Add in flour slowly and/or in three stages, making sure after every addition that it's mixed in well.
6. Chill dough while oven preheats to 350 degrees. Scoop dough into balls and cook for about 10 minutes.

we had enough leftover dough for about 4 cookies, so instead, we just made a giant one


Chinese Sundaes / Hawaiian Haystacks

This is a family tradition. We often have it a few times a year, but the most memorable time is at the beach. My family has been going to the same motel, on the same beach, since my dad was a baby. It is one of my favorite places to be! My mom almost always makes this meal for the family, which has now grown to at least 30 of us. It's an ordeal, but it's tradition, too. Zak was wary of this, when I first talked about making it a few years ago. He was hesitant, but being the trusting guy in his woman's cooking that he is, ventured forth and came out a fan. Now every time I mention I'm making Chinese Sundaes, he gets all excited. They are that good. And we don't call them Hawaiian Haystacks, but I guess some people do, so whatever floats your boat. It's a simple meal to throw together, the only thing that takes time and a recipe is the chicken gravy, oh man. It's hard to not dump it all on your sundae because it's so good. Mmm. Well, I'll post the 'order' of the sundaes, as well as the chicken gravy recipe. Enjoy!

1. Rice
2. Chow Mein Noodles (crunchy)
3. Chicken (diced, cooked)
4. Chicken Gravy
5. Tomato (diced)
6. Celery (diced)
7. Cheese (grated)
8. Gravy again (optional, but if you're feeling indulgent, go for it)
9. Crushed Pineapple
10. Green Onion
11. Sliced Almonds
12. Coconut
13. Cherry

the perfect sundae (without celery)

Chicken Gravy

6 Tbl. butter
6 Tbl. flour
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk
salt & pepper to taste

*our microwave is crazy powerful, so I usually cook the recipe starting around 50 or 60% power, working my way up and checking often, so it doesn't overflow*

1. Melt butter for about 1 1/2 minutes.
2. Once butter is melted, whisk in flour; cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until bubbly and thicker.
3. Add in liquids, slowly and whisking as you go. Once all the liquids have been added, microwave for 3 minutes.
4. Whisk, cook 2 minutes.
5. Whisk, cook 1 1/2 minutes.
6. Repeat until sauce is fairly thick, or until however thick you want it to be. Salt & pepper to taste.
(this recipe makes about 3 cups)

everything all laid out