MickiYam's Profile

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Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

Update: "Matsutake" dobin mushi made with shiitake is basically ozoni without the mochi. Good, but nowhere near what I made on September 9th. Many thanks to my husband for pulling mochi out of the freezer and adding it to the soup . . . .

Next try: Eringi.

Sep 17, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

Yum! Now you've got me wondering, what else does nashi go well with? We often eat it with some nori-wrapped senbei (although I think that goes better with mikan). I'm thinking some sharp cheddar might be nice . . . .

(-: I would like ideas to turn nashi into a side dish or the star of a super-light meal.

Sep 17, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Can you pickle celery?

I have an end-of-the-season recipe for pickled veggies that says celery is OK. I usually just pick what I've got -- green tomatoes, baby turnips, peppers, a hot pepper, two cloves of garlic, baby eggplant, etc. The brine is 1:1 vinegar and water, with about a teaspoon of salt per pint. It's a colorful and tasty pickle, and goes great with winter soups and some crusty bread. I'm sure celery would be a great addition, but my family doesn't grow it.

Sep 13, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking

First time in Japan (Opinion on my list of places to go to)

(-: I saw it and said a little hooray to myself. I love the cookie topping on a good melon pan. Stale melon pan? Bleh.

But my very favorite is mushi-pan. Mmmmm. (sorry, I have no recs -- I love it so much that even convenience store mushi-pan is enough to make me swoon.)

Sep 11, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

I tried the dobin-mushi from kitchn.com last night, and it was really, really good. But, it seemed more like cha-wan mushi without the eggs. That was fine -- I don't have the teapots, so I just made it in cha-wan mushi pots. Everyone really enjoyed it.

(But to be honest, I have to make it again soon with different mushrooms -- I got Chinese matsutake, and I just wasn't sure if the marvelous flavor was thanks to the shrimp and sake, or if it was mostly matsutake. I suspect erengi mushrooms would work very well in this dish, and they are less than a third of the price. Glad I did the experiment, though!)

The matsutake I bought came with sudachi and some evergreen fronds -- is there anything I can do with the fronds? Or are they just for pretty?

Sep 09, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Two unrelated questions -- grammar and photos

And I have no problem with that. I don't work as a copy editor, and the computer programs these days fix it so it looks fine. And I can totally understand the person who would rather lose a teeny fraction of a second each time they double-space rather than waste three weeks retraining themselves. I *hated* re-training myself.

My problem is with totally imaginary people who will go around correcting the young folks' grammar and punctuation, when secretly they know "ur doin it rong 2". I know there's nobody like that here on this thread or on Chowhound (-:.

And I will note, everyone has different problems, and no one is obliged to make my problems their problems. *

*Steven Pinker, neurolinguist, makes a strong case for using the pronoun "their" with traditional singulars like "no one" and "everyone". Gosh, grammar policing makes me so paranoid!

Sep 09, 2014
MickiYam in Site Talk

Two unrelated questions -- grammar and photos

I must have been in the middle of the great changeover. Early 80s, two spaces in typing class. A few years later in college journalism, one space on a computer. My editors would yell when they had to strip out the extra spaces one by one, so we learned quickly.

One space is faster when you are used to it. Search and replace and programs do the job for professional double spacers when it matters. But content always trumps style.

Especially when composing on a thrice-bedamned phone.

Sep 09, 2014
MickiYam in Site Talk
1

Dill seed vs. fresh dill for refrigerator pickles

I'm not arguing with most of this, but I will note that I make both vinegar dill pickles that are sterilized with a water bath, and the same recipe as refrigerator pickles (5:7 vinegar water ratio). The refrigerator pickles definitely taste more like Klaussens, so they are picking up a wild fermentation from somewhere.

My grandmother made salt/water dill pickles with a grape leaf, and those had yet another taste.

I suspect the vinegar version is easier to maintain. And I find them quite tasty. (But so were Grandma's!)

Sep 08, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking

Dill seed vs. fresh dill for refrigerator pickles

Could be. I like a little fresh dillweed. And I find dried dill seed in jars to be a little too harsh for my tastes. The best thing in the world (for me) is green dill seed. I grew some in my MIL's greenhouse, and it keeps coming back every year (to her dismay -- she puts up with a lot from me, though!)

It seems to be a happy medium. Maybe you can find some at a farmer's market?

The culture that is causing a little fermentation in your pickles may also have something to do with the sweetness. But there's not much you can do about that . . . .

Sep 08, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking

Is there any type of substitution for lemon zest?

I suppose you could leave out the zest, but then you'd have Buttermilk Chess Pie, which would be different.

If you are worried about pesticides like I am, you can soak the lemon in some vinegar water, rinse well, then scrape the zest off with a veggie peeler and slice that thinly (no zester version).

If you are worried about pesticides in a different way than I am, then you wouldn't do that.

If I liked the recipe, I would be willing to try other citrus zest in place of the lemon, but if it's a new recipe, I'd make it as-is, when I had lemon zest.

Sep 08, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

I adore a taste-testing! Was there clear matsutake winner that year at Kuragi, or was it a delightful debate with no real losers?

OK, this thread has convinced me that I need to make a serious effort to try matsutake this year. Let me know if you find some especially good ones in the stores (region, preparation). I think I'd like to try the soup, and then a separate dish sliced on the grill. There are eight of us at the dinner table, so it may get a little pricey -- but I'm sure it's not going to be any cheaper next year.

Sep 08, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

(-: I'm so glad people have made this fun.

I have to say, my MIL has been bringing in kabocha since late July, I think, but it's still flavorless. The kabocha segment of our tempura fest was a bit disappointing. It won't be long until it's really good, though.

Sep 08, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

Yum! Cute dishes, too. Love the faux basket that the grilled fish is in.

Sep 08, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Canned salsa [moved from Prairie Provinces]

If you decide to freeze it (it should work great in chili; not sure how the texture will survive for dipping salsa), you can put the ziploc bag in a plastic container, then freeze it in square shapes -- pull out the ziploc, and you've got salsa blocks. Be sure to label well. Nothing like pulling something out of the bottom of the freezer, and not being sure which decade it is from . . . .

My MIL also freezes tomato sauce in ziploc bags flat on a cookie sheet -- they stack up easily, and we can break off however much we need, since they're only 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick.

Double agree with not freezing in large glass jars. I've had one explode, and once is enough . . . .

Sep 07, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

And tonight is jugoya . . . I don't know how that snuck up on me. The moon didn't look that full last night . . . .

My daughter wants round butter cookies, which sounds like a good plan, and I like a cup of jasmine tea when moon-viewing. I should probably pick up some dango for the Old Folks at home. (-: And some cute paper for haiku? We really distort this whole moon-viewing thing at our house, but it's so darn fun.

Sep 07, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

I should snap up some peaches before they are gone. And the black plums . . . . We've just been eating so much melon and watermelon lately that it seems a little wasteful to buy fruit. But it's going to be gone all too soon.

Sep 07, 2014
MickiYam in Japan
1

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

OK, I need some education in the matsutake department. I only had it once, in Nagoya, as part of a sukiyaki dish, I think. I think it got lost in the dish, because it was very similar to erengi mushrooms at that point.

How else do you like it prepared?

The dobin-mushi seems like it would be a good bet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dobin_mushi

Sep 07, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

Yum, yum, sanma! All of those oily fishes -- salmon is coming up soon, and before you know it, we'll be into winter's wakasagi.

What's your favorite sanma preparation? I like it year-round in the canned ginger-sauce version, but that is almost a completely different dish from fresh preparations.

Sep 07, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

I haven't done enough grilling this year! Shishito sounds great . . . maybe with a side of hokke, and a big pile of grated daikon.

My MIL uses a greenhouse up here in the frozen north, so we'll probably have tomatoes, eggplants and peppers until mid-October. The cukes, for some reason, always poop out around this time of year.

Sep 07, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

My MIL just uses the tempura pre-mixed flour. You know how when you get to the end of a batch of tempura, and it's hard to use it all up? She'll toss in all sorts of veggies and scoop the tempura into the oil. One of her combos is perilla (shiso), chiffonaded, and then raw corn kernels from just-picked maize. They cook just a little in the oil, and retain their sweetness.

Has anyone seen this combo in an izakaya? The sweetness of the corn goes great with the sharpness of the shiso -- add a really nice dipping sauce, and it's a great side-dish for an autumn evening meal.

Sep 07, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

Shiso and raw corn tempura. So good!

Sep 06, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Canned salsa [moved from Prairie Provinces]

I would keep it in
the fridge and use it up within a month. Still some tomato season left, and your next batch will be perfect.

Sep 06, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking
1

Question about unique idea on grinding my own beef -- has anyone tried this?

There's a Japanese new year's dish that requires you to pan fry about half of the ground meat (pork), and then you mix it in with more ground meat and top it with soy sauce and bake it like a thin meatloaf. It sounds like you'd do this, but with beef and it would be a lot easier. Sounds like it would be quite good if prepared into burgers immediately. Not sure if it would be as tasty if it sat around as patties for too long. (Ie: I wouldn't freeze it.

Sep 04, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking

Healthy Popcorn

I'm really intrigued by the idea of spraying popcorn with warm water to make the salt stick. Would it be possible to spray popcorn with warm brine, I wonder? Would the salt stick in the mister?

Sep 04, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking

Easy home cooking?

Pork chops, oven fries and a steamed vegetable can put dinner on the table in 15 minutes, and it's pretty well tolerated by a lot of people. Boneless chicken thighs are good (cut into strips, bake 10 minutes or until cooked at 200C/400F). Simple salt and pepper will work fine on the meat, but I prefer seasoned salt. You can put store-bought dressing on the veg.

One of the simplest things I make when I want something fast and a little fancy is steamed broccoli and shrimp. The broccoli can be frozen, but make sure it's good frozen broccoli. If fresh, steam the stalks 2-3 minutes, add the florets on top for 3-5 minutes, then top with fresh or frozen shrimp and steam until cooked (just a few minutes more). Top with soy sauce or oyster sauce, serve with rice or a crusty bread. Much quicker than making a run to a fast food place, and the clean-up is pretty quick, too.

Sep 04, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking

Home-made stock. This will sound REALLY strange!

Very interesting! I usually make my chicken stock with half veg, half chicken bones -- either bought from the butcher, or carcasses from rotisserie.

I don't know about your area, but in my area the KFC uses some really good chicken. I'm not crazy about their breading and spices (OK, but not super-yummy -- I prefer crispy and more tumeric and celery seed and red pepper), but the chicken itself is really tasty and flavorful.

(-: Some friends and I do a Thanksgiving for expats in the neighborhood, and one year I came back with two whole turkey carcasses. Oh, man, that made some wonderful stock! So thick and jellied . . . . I had the tails, so that that may have had something to do with it.

Sep 04, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking

Healthy Popcorn

I pop popcorn with olive oil all the time. Just put some in the bottom, put in your three kernels, and as soon as they pop, add the rest of your kernels. A heavy-bottomed pan will distribute the heat so things don't burn as quickly.

It's important to watch carefully so the oil doesn't burn, but it's always important to do that, no matter what the oil.

Otherwise, you could mist it on. I see those EVOO sprayers in Costco. No personal experience, though.

(You've seen the latest news about low-fat diets, though, haven't you? It was all over NPR this week. You must do what you feel is best, of course, but don't game the system, whatever you choose.)

Sep 04, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking
1

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

Hey, y'all, I just wanted to start a thread on delicious regional foods in Japan this autumn (2014). The melon has been fantastic lately, the tomatoes extra-big, and the cucumbers just divine. But, the summer harvest is starting to wind down and Fifteenth Night is coming up.

What are you eating these days that's especially good and seasonal?

Sep 04, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

My plan for the main trip to Tokyo is finished

I'm behind on my chowhound reading, but this "problem" sounds extremely suspicious. If you go through a travel agency, you can pre-pay the hotels from your own country, and your fixer should be able to take care the other money problems with restaurants -- you pay him in one lump sum, maybe with an international money order. Or several international money orders. Or whatever *he* thinks is appropriate.

Another option is to go to the Japanese banks in your own country and ask them what you should do. They may have brilliant ideas for international businessmen.

Sep 04, 2014
MickiYam in Japan

Best thing to do with leftover cooked chicken breast...

Chicken salad, as already mentioned, but if you are bored, you could try Japanese chicken salad, which is: cubed cooked chicken, a Japanese plum that's been seeded and chopped into paste (approx 10 seconds of work), julienned cucumbers and some mayo (Kewpie mayo if you like).

It's also great in fried rice, and you can fry it with some cooked spaghetti or other pasta and add some broccoli for nutrition.

It's a great topping for salad, too.

And if you are just too pooped to slice and dice, stick it between two slices of bread (maybe with some cheese? and a few pickle slices) and eat it.

Congratulations!

Aug 24, 2014
MickiYam in Home Cooking