Belated Thanksgiving Special: Making a pecan pie!

Well, school’s been eating me alive. Trying to work my transfer out, studying for finals, and keeping up on my projects has kind of gotten me out of the rhythm of updating. I’m trying to be good now, I swear. Later this evening, I’m going to post my new bento gear (donated by a very, very kind reader, whose blog you should definitely check out) but I need to get some good photos first.

Welp, I made myself some pies over Thanksgiving break. After the first one turned out pretty good, I decided to make some more. Couldn’t hurt, right? Well, as you’ll see, the pies came with a lesson. That lesson is that I should never, ever listen to my mother’s bullshit cooking advice.

“That last pie was too juicy. Just put the filling in two shells and make TWO pies. :D”

As faulty as the logic sounds, I decided to roll with it in case it worked out. Never again.

Enough regret. Let’s look back to a happier time, when I was starting my pie.

Pecan pie ingredientsHere are my ingredients and workspace. Not pictured are the nuts, which are toasting in the oven behind me.

To make this pie, you will need:

  • Light corn syrup: 1 cup
  • Brown sugar: 1 cup
  • Eggs: 3
  • Butter: 1/3 cup
  • Pecans: 2 cups, toasted

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Guest appearance by my little brother’s hand, and some meat.

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Mix the butter (MELTED), sugar, syrup, and eggs in a big ol’ bowl, until combined.

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Roughly chop about 1 3/4 cups of your toasted nuts, and add them to the mixture.

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Pour the mixture into A SINGLE PIE SHELL. DO NOT MAKE MY MISTAKE.

Bake at 350 for about an hour.

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In my case, say the word “Fuck” a lot and vow never to listen to your mother’s advice again. You, though. You have a single, tasty pie.

Bastards.

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Nikujaga Recipe – Meat and taters Japanese style

I love a night like this. The air is chilly, darkness encroaches earlier and earlier, and the wet, chilled weather just demands that you keep your arse indoors. It is a nikujaga night.

Nikujaga is a dish that holds a special place in my cold, blackened heart. It’s such a simple dish with no frills and a lot of good taste.  It was one of the first Japanese dishes I learned to make when I started cooking Japanese food in high school. I got the recipe from a friend, and have since modified it to my own family’s tastes. In fact, part of the beauty of a dish like nikujaga (cooked almost exclusively at home) is that almost every recipe you find is a little bit different. At its core, it’s stewed meat and potatoes. Well, most recipes include onions of some sort. It’s hard to find a recipe without mirin, and even harder to find one without soy sauce. However, every house is almost guaranteed to have its very own variation of this dish. Here’s mine:

肉じゃがです
Sennet’s Nikujaga

Ingredients:
1 pound sliced beef strips
About four medium potatoes, cut into cubes
1/2 of a medium onion, sliced thin OR five green onions, hacked up real good
1 cup (yes, an entire cup) soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
About 1 cup frozen peas

Nine ingredients. How hard is that, chowderheads? Onto the procedure! Naturally, you should chop, mince, slice, and fuck up your foodstuffs first. I won’t hold your hand for that.

Next, dump the onions and meat into a heated pot (or a large skillet, I suppose) and  add the garlic. Add a little tiny bit of oil just to lube things up. Once the meat is mostly cooked, chuck the taters in and pour the remaining ingredients – EXCEPT THE PEAS – in after them. Stir the mixture together.

Cover and bring to a boil. Once the stew boils, cut the heat down a bit and let it simmer, still covered, for about ten minutes. Then, take the lid off and let the stock reduce by about a fourth. This will help concentrate the flavors. Once the stock has reduced enough, remove the pot from the heat. Quickly add the peas and stir them into the stew. Let the stew stand for three to five minutes before serving.

Sennet’s Tater Salad Recipe

I was asked by a member of the Bento Lunch community to provide a recipe for my mayo-free tater salad. Let us assemble our materials:

-1 medium potato
-1/2 cup plain yogurt
-1/4 cup swiss cheese, shredded
-1/4 of a kosher dill pickle
-A handful of raisins
-Some mustard

First, grab your potato. Wash it, peel it, cube it, boil it. I should have to tell you how to do any of these things. Drain them.

Heat the yogurt a little in a saucepan. Just until it goes kinda oozy. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese melts. Squirt a little mustard in there.  Not a lot. Just a little.

Remove the ooze from the heat and toss your potato chunks in it. Yes, like a salad. Now slice the pickle thin, and chunk it in with the raisins.

Toss again and leave to sit until cooled.

I will make for you a quiche

Image of said quiche (and future bento) coming in the near future, when I somehow fix my camera. 😐

At times, I find myself having unusual internal dialogs about food. “Huh. No meat for dinner tonight.” “Eggs gots protiens in ’em.” “What’re we gonna make with eggs?” “Quiche gots eggs in it.” “I don’t know how to make a quiche.” “It’s got cheese or something in it and eggs and vegetables god just do it. :|” “Fine. :|”

So I did it. Having never assembled a quiche before and being without the internet for a few hours, I decided to try my hand at a freestyle quiche. Oddly enough, it was not only edible, but rather tasty.

Sennet’s Ozark-Engineered Spinach Quiche

You will need to procure from your foodstores:
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
1 tablespoon milk
1 9-inch pie shell of your choosing
3 eggs (I used large brown, but whatev, I think)
Some spinach (however much you like) chopped up good
A large cooking dish with high walls
Some water
An oven

First, preheat the oven to 350 and blind bake your crust.  While your crust is doing its thing, whoop together the eggs and milk in a bowl. Nothing complicated thusfar.

Once your crust is all baked (though not poofy, I hope) spread the yogurt and cottage cheese around in the bottom. It doesn’t have to be a thick layer, and you can add more if you like. I don’t like. Anyways, when your goopy yogucheese base is in there, it’s time for the spinach. Just spread it around similarly, then pour the egg mixture over it.

Now that your quiche is assembled, it will need to be baked. To bake your quiche, fill your baking dish about a third of the way with water. Now, find a way to suspend your quiche over the water without submerging it. Once you’ve done that, shove the whole silly thing into the oven for about forty minutes. To test for done… ness, just tap the center with a spoon. If it wobbles, it’s probably not done. If it’s firm and a little springy, remove your quiche.

And don’t scald yourself.

Don’t.

I know.

Meat Lollipop Recipe

In my last two bento, I included an item that I call a meat lollipop. A meat lollipop is nothing but a chicken drummette cut and formed into a funny shape. Before we get to the cutting, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds chicken wing drumettes
  • A toaster oven with a bake and broil function. Or a regular oven, I guess.

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • Two cloves garlic, finely minced (those using jarred minced garlic should use about a tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1/2 TEASPOON oyster sauce. THAT IS IT. NO MORE. YOU WILL REGRET IT IF YOU ADD MORE.

First, mix the marinade in a large bowl. It doesn’t matter worth a rat’s ass what order you throw things into the bowl in. Mix the slurry thoroughly and set it aside.

How to cut a meat lolli

Make your initial incision at the very end of the bone, above the joint. Totally separate the skin from the bone, and PUSH the meat/skin upward to form a lumpy wad on one end of the bone. Next, tuck the cut end of the meat into the big fat lump. Repeat until all the wings are lollified.

Now that you’ve got your meat lollipops, toss them into the marinade. Make sure that each one is thoroughly coated, and stow the bowl in the fridge while you clean up the mess you undoubtedly made thusfar.

Don’t preheat the oven. No, I know you want to, but don’t bother. It doesn’t matter in this. No, stop. Bad. Don’t. Just fwing the knob to 300°  and call it done. Now arrange your meat lollis in a glass or metal tray. Do not overlap them if you can manage it. Next, pour just a little of the marinade over them before putting them in the oven, on the middle rack. Leave them there for about forty minutes, adding a bit more of the marinade and turning them whenever they look dry.

Meanwhile, start on the glaze. Put the water, mirin, and soy sauce in a saucepan and set it to simmering. Once bubbles form, add the oyster sauce and sugar. Increase the heat slightly, and stir the mixture often until it bubbles slowly and coats a spoon. When it reaches this state, remove it from the heat and cover it.

When the forty minutes have elapsed,  take your lollis out of the oven and brush the hot glaze over them. The glaze should already be thickening/setting, so work quickly. Once they’re coated, stuff them back in the oven. Set the oven to broil, and rinse your glaze bowl.

For the love of god, rinse it. You’ll need a sand blaster later, if you don’t.

How I Make My Bento version 0.1

This is another relocated post from my GreatestJournal. It was intended as a guide for beginning bento makers who were unsure of what to make of such eeny weeny containers. Because it’s somewhat old (and full of baaaaaad photos) I’ll be updating it in a few days.
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