Veggie kurokke with walnut kabosu creamy pesto

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Let’s make crispy kurokke (Japanese croquettes) of kabocha and green veggies, with a creamy pesto dip. That’s quick, easy, healthy, yummy.

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Green : I mashed steamed favas (broad beans) with a fork, added diced steamed broccoli stalks, salt, pepper, a little kabosu lime zest.
Orange : I mashed the flesh of steamed kabocha pumpkin with salt and paper. Added boiled black edamame beans.

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I’ve toasted bread crumbs, added black pepper and a few chili flakes. Rolled the balls in it.
NB : you can sprinkle oil on the crumbs before toasting for a more fried taste.

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They can be eaten cold, in a bento lunch box. Or reheated.

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In the blender : basil, salt, garlic, walnut, a little grated zest of kabosu lime, a little juice. Then I’ve added silky tofu to get the creamy texture.

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Serve the sauce as a dip for the kurokke.

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Avocado edamame breakfast croquettes, my simple recipe

Avocado + edamame !
These green croquettes are really addictive and so easy to make. That’s the 3rd time I make them already.

I have seen them on ads for a chain of fast-food. Apparently they were not the first to make them. The version they propose is deep-fried, served in a bun, with shredded cabbage, a sweet red sauce, a big slice of bacon…in a menu with fries and soda. No, thanks. I’m not a breakfast person and seeing that super-size menu in the morning would make me feel really bad.

That’s what you need. Edamame are green soy beans. In this season I got them frozen, so I defrost and cooked them 3 minutes in the micro-wave. 1/2 avocado, a little lemon juice, jalapeno sauce, salt.

I used a mortar, but a plate and a fork can do the trick. Keep aside 1/4th of the beans, mash the rest. Add seasoning, mash in the avocado. Add the whole beans and form croquettes.

I rolled them in toasted bread crumbs.

In Summer, they’d be nice cool, but it’s a bit chilly. Just reheated them before serving.

Green and creamy inside. Perfect taste ! With a salad and green tea. That’s my brunch.


Feijoada with pig trotter and kuromame beans


Let’s go to Brasil… cooking a feijaoda, but with Japanese ingredients like this :

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Rachel Dana was our October 2012 Daring Cooks‘ Challenge hostess! Rachel brought Brazil into our lives by challenging us to make Feijoada and Farofa along with some other yummy side dishes traditionally served with Feijoada, which is a delicious black bean and pork stew.

So I made all these items :

The main dish.

The sauce to spice it up. And 3 sides :


All that makes a Brazilian meal. And it’s a delight. Yes, that’s one serving. What ? That was supposed to be for 3 ? Roooh… Detail without importance.

So, as I can’t get South-American black beans, I’ve used black soy beans (kuromame). They take a long long time to cook. I soaked them 24 hours, precooked 3 hours, let in hot pot overnight. Added the meat, 2 hours. Let overnight. Reheated. That’s long, but I didn’t spend time on it.

I’ve used local fresh ingredients too : shiruna beet leaves, boiled pig feet, sausages, bacon.

The pot of feijaoda when it’s ready.

The cooked beans, at last.

Not only the foot has taken the color, it fell apart as it was getting so soft. That makes it easier to eat.

I’ve followed the recipe with farofa using bread crumbs and threw in a banana. That’s delicious and it’s great to have the sweet banana after you burn your mouth on the sauce.

Recipes :

(source Rachel Dana, the challenge)
Feijoada

Servings: 6

Ingredients
2 cups (500 ml) (½ kg) (1 lb) dried black beans (produces about 6 cups of cooked beans)
350 gm (12 oz) chunk bacon (half will be used in the farofa)
Around 1 kilogram (2 pounds) of mixed meats, I used:
150 gm (5 oz) linguiça calabresa (smoked pork sausage)
200 gm (7 oz) paio (smoked pork loin sausage)
500 gm (18 oz) salted pork ribs
150 gm (5 oz) pernil (fresh ham, pork thigh)
4 bay leaves
3 tablespoons (15 ml) onion-garlic base (see recipe below)

Directions:

Beans:
Wash thoroughly, put in a (5 litre) 5 quart (or bigger) pot, fill with water so that water is twice as high as the beans. Bring to a boil, let boil for a minute, turn off and cover. Let soak for an hour.

Chop all your bacon into small cubes. Slice your sausages around a ¼ – ½ inch (6 -12 mm) thick. Cut any pork or other meats into 1-inch (25 mm) cubes. Divide your ribs into pieces that will at least fit into your pot, the size is your choice.

Put the bacon fat over high heat in a large frying pan. If you really don’t want to use bacon fat, which I recommend, you can use any vegetable oil that takes high heat. You want around a ¼ cup (60 ml) of grease, cover your pan well. Take out the piece of bacon fat after enough fat as liqudified and put aside for later, in case you need more. I needed it for the ribs.

Next you have to fry all your meat in a very hot pan, until well browned and cooked through. Cook each type of meat separately, but in the same pan, and remember to drain well on paper towels, patting the tops as well to take off any excess fat.

When the beans have cooked to the point of being softened but still firm…
Add to the beans 3 tablespoons of the onion-garlic base, 4 bay leaves, and your meat. Add enough water to make sure everything is just covered.

Continue simmering until beans are done.

Collard Greens
Servings: 2-4

Wash 4 collard leaves, cut out the stem, and cut in half.
Stack all the halves on top of each other and tightly roll them up together.
Keep a good hold to keep everything together and start slicing very thin through the tube to get nice fine slices of collards.
When everything else is ready to serve, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over med-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of onion-garlic base, and let soften for a minute. Add all the collards at once, and stir to coat with oil.
You can add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for only about a minute, you just want to them to start to soften, evenly, over quick high heat. And done.

Hot Sauce

Take a spoonful of your favorite pepper sauce, I would say something simple, it could be Tabasco, something that you think will go well with black beans and pork. We use malagueta pepper and mash up some of the little peppers. Add a few spoonfuls of the liquid from your ready feijoada, and a spoonful of your vinagrete, and mix together in a little bowl.

Onion-Garlic Base
This is enough for later use as well, if you want, you can halve the recipe.

Ingredients
2 medium white onions
4 large heads of garlic
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) salt
You want a paste, roughly chop the onions and garlic, then puree everything in a food processor or blender.

Farofa
Servings: 2-4

Farofa is one of the best things Brasil has to offer. Normally, it is made with farinha de manioca, yellow yucca flour, cooked in butter until slightly toasted. Less butter will leave it drier, and more butter will make a softer farofa. It is also made with farinha de milho, corn flour, or farinha de rosca, ground up dry breadcrumbs. You can use other things I imagine, they use panko where I work.

You can find mandioca flour at many different Latin American markets. It can be called mandioca flour, mandioc flour, yucca flour, cassava flour, but they should all be the same, though a Brazilian brand would be your best bet. Make sure not to buy ready-made farofa, “farofa pronta”, this is already toasted, no fun.

Farofa is best served alongside foods with moisture, such as meats, beans, vinagrete, etc. You can add just about anything to farofa, as long as it doesn’t have moisture, such as any cooked vegetables, meats, and the best, chopped banana. I’ve added some suggestions below.

Ingredients
¼ cup (60 ml) (60 gm/2 oz) butter
2 large eggs
½ cup (120 ml) chopped onion (about ½ medium onion)
175 gm (6 oz) fresh bacon, fried, which was set aside during the feijoada
½ cup (120 ml) (70 gm) (2½ oz) yucca flour, corn flour or fine ground cornmeal, or dry breadcrumbs

Directions:
Melt half of your butter, 2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz), over med-high heat. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Crack the two eggs into the pan and lightly break the yolk and spread around, but don’t break up too much.

When the egg has cooked, almost fully, break up into med-large pieces. The onions will brown quite a bit under the egg, but I like this flavor. Add the cooked bacon, and stir. Add the rest of the butter, 2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz), and stir to melt. Lower the heat to medium, toss in the yucca flour and stir well, it will quickly soak up all the butter and start to stick to the eggs, onion, and bacon.

Cook, stirring for minute, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and keep stirring and cooking until the yucca flour has clumped together nicely and become golden, about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to brown too much. Taste it, it should taste toasty but don’t let it burn! Taste test works here, think of frying breadcrumbs
Vinagrete
Servings: 6

Ingredients
1 large bell pepper (capsicum), diced, about 1½ cups
1 large tomato, diced, about 1 cup
1 medium onion, diced, about 1 cup
½ cup (120 ml) white wine vinegar
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoon (15 ml) water
2 tablespoons – 4 tablespoons chopped parsley or arugula (rocket)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Chop the bell peppers, tomatoes and onions into small/medium pieces. Chop your parsley or arugula. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir well to combine. Press down on the veggies, the liquid should come almost to the top of the mixture, you want everything pretty much immersed.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Sauerkraut balls and veggie confusion

The idea sounded fun, and it seemed my stock of Sauerkraut was never ending… I saw a few recipes, most are fried and made with sausage mix. It’s a little “healthier”.



Onion, fried with ground chicken, spices, the cut Sauerkraut… when it’s cool, mixed in some cream cheese and made balls.

The balls… before being rolled in spiced bread crumbs.

And baked. Perfect…

A platter of sides. That’s beyond fusion. That’s anything in stock… You can see kimchi, chutney, mustard… I didn’t know well what would go. Let’s try.

Nanohana are green blossoms of rape (the plant that gives rapeseed oil, canola, colza…). It’s one of my prefered Spring vegetable. It has a pleasant bitterness.

They have to be boiled briefly.

Soy bean sprouts also need a quick boil.

And sweet corn, yellow paprika can go into that hot bath as well.

What goes well with the ball is…mustard. Not so surprising.

Yum…. really cheesy, but in the good meaning. I like it a lot.