Wednesday, April 20, 2011

chicken katsu

chances are if you have ever been to an L&L drive in, which are here in hawaii and in parts of the mainland, you've probably tried the chicken katsu.

boneless, skinless chicken thighs that are breaded with japanese bread crumbs called panko. then its pan fried until golden brown, served with a yummy dipping sauce.

if you grew up here in hawaii then you know it as the local version of "chicken fingers"...
but 10,000 times better ;-)

i have tried a few different versions making this at home.
my biggest mistake in recreating the dish was using chicken breasts.
you just can not get the same results using must use boneless, skinless chicken things.
i am happy to report this recipe is absolutely spot on.

here is a way for all of you home sick mainland transplants to enjoy a this island fave at home!
so ono!!
this makes six servings...i split the recipe if its just the three of us.

Chicken Katsu with Katsu Sauce
yields :: six servings
{print recipe}

2 eggs
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup water
4 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
1 lb panko crumbs (asian aisle of your grocery store)

Place the clean, dry chicken thighs on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap.
Give them a light pounding with a rolling pin or flat side of a meat tenderizer/pounder. You are just making the thighs uniform in thickness, do not not pounding them out thin.
Heat about a half an inch of canola or vegetable oil in a skillet on medium high heat.
The oil should be about 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl combine the eggs, cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and water. Mix with a fork until combined.
Spread a layer of panko crumbs on to a plate.
Dip the chicken in the egg batter. Press each side of the thighs into the panko crumbs covering completely and generously, adding more panko as needed.
Fry in oil until dark golden brown and crispy, about 5-6 minutes per side.
Do not over crowd the skillet.
Drain the chicken on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.
Serve immediately or turn your oven on to warm and place thighs on the cookie sheet in oven until all the thighs are cooked.
Serve with rice, mac salad and katsu sauce for a local plate lunch special!
You can make the homemade katsu sauce recipe below or you can buy katsu/tonkatsu sauce in most asian markets.
Katsu Sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 -3 dashes Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 1/2 cup water
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Chill in refrigerator for about 1/2 hour or you can serve immediately. 

adapted from ::

Monday, April 18, 2011

the munch

i know i haven't had an update on my lil munchie in quite a while.
so sorry!

without further adieu...
the munch (as i affectionately call her...short for munchkin.) is now 2 1/2 and we just love her to pieces.
she has to be one of THEE most polite and people friendliest kids i have ever met.
she says hi or good morning to every single person as we walk by them.
if someone moves aside or holds a door open for us she says "thank you!!" before i have a chance to.
she is growing at lightening speed and is changing every day.
one of her favorite activities is going walking with her nana to the park and then they catch the bus for a quick ride back to our house.
she asks to go to the mall every day.
my mom, nana, has created a little mall rat. we live close to kahala mall and she just loves running wild and window shopping.
she can also be found playing with the kid computers at the apple store.

she LOVES the beach.

she is a very good eater and loves to dip her food in either ketchup (thanks to pop pop), hummus or tzatziki.

here she is out to breakfast with her pop pop.

we are finally diaper free and she's been potty trained for about 2 months now.
she loves to pray and worship the Lord.
if she hears a catchy tune she starts to dance immediately and has new moves every week.
her favorite movies right now are monsters inc., despicable me and emperor's new groove.

she loves to cuddle with daddy and follows him around like a little puppy when he gets home from work.
she likes to play kitchen and whips us up delicious pretend food all the time.
she has adjusted very well to life in hawaii.
she has been sick only once since our arrival and that was with a case of roseola.
when we were in california she was getting ear infections and colds about every 3-4 weeks.
good health has been a wonderful side effect of our move!!

i can not believe she was ever this little:
6 months old

hope this helps cure your munchie withdrawals.
she misses all of her california friends and family terribly.
honi honi (kiss kiss) from our little island girl!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

avocado with warm bacon cilantro dressing

i apologize for the horrible picture of this absolutely delicious concoction.
it does not do it justice what so ever.
i had many issues going on here.

i had a huge avocado waiting to be used for this recipe. when i sliced it open part of it was rotten, but most of it was salvageable.
no pretty slices. that was a bummer.
then the sun started setting as i was finishing up and my natural light was fading.
so i rushed the styling of my plate.
i also wanted to make sure i tried WARM bacon dressing so pictures weren't really a priority at that point.
and i'm pregnant so i needed that bacon to get in my belly.
basically you are lucky there is "ahh" picture at all.

i saw this recipe on elizabeth's blog the other day and i knew i needed to have it.
i made adjustments for what i had on hand and the results were delicious.
some things i would change for next time;
i chopped the bacon in to small pieces. bigger, hand crumbled chunks would be better.
also not chopping the cilantro as fine...a rough chop would have worked.
spoon the mixture out of the pan on to the avocado. in my haste i dumped the whole pan over the slices...not as pretty as it could have been.
but delicious none the less.
i served this to jere jae on his burger last night and he loved it. 

Avocado with Warm Bacon Cilantro Dressing
makes 4 servings
{print recipe}

1/3 pound sliced bacon (about 4 slices)
2 firm-ripe avocados, each pitted, peeled, and cut into 4 to 6 wedges
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until crisp.
Drain bacon on paper towels. Remove pan from heat and pour the bacon fat into a bowl. Add 2 tbsp. bacon fat back into your skillet.
Divide the sliced avocado wedges among 4 plates.
Heat bacon fat over medium heat. Add garlic, 1/4 cup water, lime juice, and sugar and simmer for 1 minute, stirring.
Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cilantro.
Crumble the bacon in to the skillet.
Stir until combined.
Spoon over avocado wedges and serve immediately.
Lick your plate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

mile high lemon meringue pie

when we moved back to honolulu in of the many things i had been looking forward to was get-together's with my family.
i am half filipino on my mom's side and i come from a long line of awesome cook's.
we have always had fun parties with amazing food.
i love cooking for others to enjoy.

my dad made the request the first week we moved back that he really wanted a lemon meringue pie.
my grandmom would make them when he was a little kid and he hadn't had a slice since.
how she made anything with 10 kids to look after is beyond me...but she did.

so for christmas dessert i made this lucious pie.
i had seen it on american's test kitchen and i remember drooling as i watched them make it.
it did not disappoint. the lemon curd was rich, tart and tangy.
the dense mile high italian meringue was perfection. its sweetness balanced out the lemon filling.
THEE best lemon meringue pie i have ever had.
i actually made a lemon meringue pie about a year ago and it was AWFUL. i never bothered to blog about it.
my dad was thrilled...which made me thrilled!
now that spring is upon us i highly suggest you put this on your spring dessert list.
read the recipe thoroughly to make sure you have the time and ingredients needed.

Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie
{print recipe}

Lemon Filling
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely grated zest; zest lemons prior to juicing
½ cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
8 large egg yolks (reserve 4 egg whites for the meringue)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
1 9-inch homemade or store bought pie crust; cook as directed for a filled pie

Whisk sugar, lemon juice, water, cornstarch and salt together in a large nonreactive saucepan until cornstarch is dissolved. Over medium heat bring to simmer whisking occasionally until mixture becomes translucent and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Whisk in egg yolks until combined. Stir in zest and butter. Bring to simmer again and stir constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Pour into cooked and cooled pie crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of filling and refrigerate until set and well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

½ cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites (reserved from eggs used for filling)
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a vigorous boil over medium high heat. Once syrup comes to a rolling boil, cook for 4 minutes at the same heat until mixture is slightly thickened and syrupy. Remove from heat and set aside. The 4 minute time frame is stressed to make sure the sugar syrup is at the right temperature.

As soon as sugar syrup is done, begin beating the egg whites in stand mixer at medium-low speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Add salt and cream of tartar, and beat gradually increasing speed to medium-high, until egg whites hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running on medium-high, very slowly pour hot syrup into egg whites. Add vanilla and beat until the meringue has cooled and becomes very thick and shiny, 7-9 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, mound meringue over filling making sure meringue touches the edges of the crust. Use the spatula to create peaks by pressing into the meringue then pulling straight up. Bake until peaks turn golden brown, about 6 minutes. I actually used my kitchen torch instead of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Serve.
Best eaten the day you make it but you can cover tightly under plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
source: foodstuff, cook's county
my funny dad saying, "mmmmmmmm!!!"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

my latest obsession...

you evil time suck.
but i still love you.

this amazing site is basically a way to keep a picture on a virtual bulletin board of all the things you find lovely and noteworthy.
you must either be invited by someone who is already a member or request to be invited by going directly to their site.
you can follow people that have similar tastes as you and their "pinned" pictures will pop up on your feed for viewing.

some things i love....
my board i call beautiful places:
some awesome party pictures:
amazing craft space:

cute babies:
any picture you find on the internet can be pinned on to your boards.
i am warning you now...hours of your life will slip through the hourglass like they were mere seconds.

but everything you love to look at, things you want to make, place you want to travel to will be in one convenient location to gawk at. to get back to pinning....
oh and if you would like to follow me click here.


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