Wednesday, December 25, 2019

It's Time for the Challah Bread

 Soak 1 C raisins in Grand Marnier (Overnight).  Chop them up before using.

Dough: Mix and knead in power mixer with Paddle attachment first:
1 C 110'F water
1 Tbsp Dry Instant Yeast
1/2 C Avocado Oil
1 Tbsp Honey
1/4 C Sugar (organic)
2 tsp Salt
3-3/4 C Flour, unbleached unbromated + 1/4 C for kneading
Switch to dough hook:
Add Tangzong - the roux  (see recipe below)
Add 3 eggs
Add 1 C Flour
The dough is quite wet.  Let it Knead for 45 min. or longer to form firm dough. (At speed 4.)

For Tangzong:  Mix 35 g of flour with 125 ml of water in a saucepan.  Have a thermometer ready.  Mix well and cook over medium heat.  While stirring continuously , measure the temperature often to make sure that it does not exceed 65'C (centigrade). Remove from heat to cool, strain, before use.

After good 45 min if kneading roll out to floured surface.  Hand Knead to a ball.  Add little bit more Flour as you roll into a smooth ball.

 Divide into three equal pieces.  Roll into long ropes.

 Optionally, I rolled out one of ropes into elongated shape and enclosed pre-soaked and chopped golden raisins.
 Braid the dough ropes and tuck the ends under.
 Place in a large bread mold with lid, lined with organic unbleached parchment paper.
Apply Egg Wash.  1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tsp water.

 Let it rise in a covered container lined with organic parchment paper.  Before baking apply egg wash again.
When almost doubled in size, preheat oven to 375'F. Bake 30 min or internal temp reaches 210'F -220'F.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Thanksgiving Day Dinner - PINEAPPLE Tarte Tatin and Delicious Food

It was a great delicious Thanksgiving Day dinner with our families and friends.  It was an International experience.  We had traditional Turkey and Ham, Southern Yam, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Cranberry sauce, Cream Corn, Home Grown Green Beans, Japanese Chirashi Sushi, Hawaiian Purple Yam with Mochi, Chinese Black Sesame filled Mochi balls, Chinese Tea Eggs, Fennel and Pomegranate salad, Persian 'burnt' bottom rice with  lamb stews, ...

I made:
Pineapple Tarte Tatin
Pumpkin Pie with Lactose free Carnation Evaporated Milk
The result is:
Pineapple Tart Tatin was Great.
The Pumpkin Pie -- I followed the recipe to the "T" that was on the can.... well, not exactly.  I didn't add the full amount of sugar.... But I personally think it's "healthier" than the "Just In Case" COSTCO Pumpkin Pie.
I am glad to have found this Lactose-Free Evaporated Milk.  I used to not have any issue consuming the fresh strawberries with Carnation Evaporated Milk, but I don't know what changed, but when I saw it, I thought I would give it a try to make the pumpkin pie with it.

 I was in a hurry, so I baked it at 425'F all the way through.  No problem.  The next time, I will line the edge with parchment paper before the aluminum.  And I will make my own pie crust.  These store bought frozen pie crusts are okay.... but I don't know what grease they used...
 I think I beat the eggs too much - didn't end with shimmy shine on the top of the pie.

 And here is my Pineapple Tarte Tatin.  This is our family favorite since 50 years ago in Japan.
I think this is my third time making it using Pineapple instead of the apples.
Drain three cans in juice - sliced Pineapple in a strainer over a large bowl.  Keep pineapples stacked.
Place a plate over them, then place an Heavy object to press all the juice out - one day(overnight).
Prepare your Puff Pastry Dough (from scratch!!).   See my previous post.
Looks like I didn't post the recipe.  So, I will post it, if you want it.

PUFF PASTRY DOUGH - for 1 Tatin - Method:  Croissant dough
Bread Flour: 93.75 g
Cake Flour: 31.25 g
Butter Softened: 15 g
Salt:  2 g
Water, Cold:  70.50 g
Use paddle - knead till nice and SMOOTH.
Set aside wrapped.  Rest while preparing butter block.
Butter:  125 g
Bread Flour:  15 g
Knead butter and flour together.
Place them between parchment paper.  Form into nice square about 1/2 inch thick.
*The dough and butter block should be about the same softness.
I am not going to give a full details on how to of the dough.  Please review your favorite site's croissant dough making technique or you can find the similar in my previous blogs on Croissant.
Roll out the Puff dough into a sheet large enough to envelop the butter block.
After enveloping the butter block. Wrap and let them rest in refrigerator for 30 min.  (Overnight is okay also).
Hopefully your kitchen is cool around 60'F.  Bring out the dough and bring them to the room temp - 30 - 45 min.
In a slightly floured countertop, roll out the dough following Croissant method.
Leaving the rolled out dough in a circular shape, "cut" the dough to fit the size of the saute pan that you will be caramelizing the pineapple slices in

After a good straining of the pineapple slices, the pineapple will end up close to 3 mm thick.
Chop one stick of Butter into chunks.
Use a Oven Proof Stainless Steel saute pan.
Place 2/3 of chopped butter in the pan.  Add sugar... roughly 3/4 cup(?)  I didn't measure... check my previous posting.
Flatten the sugar.
Lay Pineapple slices in circular shape, overlapping each other.  Add some more sugar on the top and the rest of the butter on the top.
Do not disturb anything in the pan and cook at medium heat (gas stove's) - watching and adjust whenever necessary to not burn the sugar.    Preheat the oven (gas) to 425'F.
The oven rack should be placed top 2nd row. 
When sugar begins to show the sign of amber color - Place the cut dough on the top.
Bake till the dough puffs up and turns beautiful golden brown.   *Do Not Open the Oven the first 5  to 7 min.  Try to see through the glass door.  You do not want the 'Natural Steam" from the dough to escape.  It needs it to Puff up.  (The steam is created by the moisture in Butter.)
While the Tatin is still cooking prepare a LARGE serving platter "SAFE" enough for you to cover the Saute Pan and Reverse the HOT HOT Sugary pastry onto without Burning You or Woozed out the Delicious Caramelized goodies.
WEAR Long LARGE Oven Gloves on both hands.
 When the Puff is beautiful and Tatin is bubbly, time to take it out.
Wear your gloves, Place the Large Serving Platter on top of the Pan.
BE TRUE and READY and Invert the Pan Quickly and Surely without slipping your Serving Platter off the Pan.  Release the Pan off.
DO NOT LET THE TATIN COOL OFF TO DO THIS (invert within 3 min).  You must perform this when the Caramels are still in Lava state or they will be stuck to the pan.
 This bacon rolled shrimps taste so good!!  baked with Bacon and dipped in Maple syrup with Bourbon and or with brown sugar.  

Bad RAMEN Experience at KOTETSU, Santa Clara, CA

    RAMEN eating experience can be quite personal, I think.  It had never gone wrong for me enough to blog about it. Thus far in the Campbell neighborhood from Supermarket Ramen shop to Ramen Festivals... Home made Ramen using store purchased raw Ramen, and all the Ramen we had during our Japan trip,  they all have been good.  I think people would agree that what makes our bowl of Ramen good is the "noodle" - the type of noodle being used and the Ramen soup.  What's making me to blog about this blog is out of pure disappointing experience on 11/30.  I personally am used to the Ramen that has slight wavy curls, round strands. There are Ramen we had with straight square cuts, but the soup are genuinely tasty whether I choose  KURO or SHIRO or MISO.  I would eat all the soup and noodle.
    I think the first visit this year to KOTETSU Ramen, El Camino Real, Santa Clara, is back in spring time? or maybe last year in November after my KENDO SHINSA.  I went there at least twice a year before during my visit to Santa Clara area. The soup was great. Served piping hot enough to further cook the egg yolk after dunking it under. The pork slices - Chashu is tender. Whether SHOYU or TONKOTSU type I ordered they are great.  Noodles got this wavy curls and all alkaline tastes are shaken out.
But, on Saturday night, after driving through the storm arriving around 6 pm, I noticed there are no lines out the door.  I thought I was in luck . . . maybe be because of the strong wind storm.
    I ordered SAPPORO BEER, SHIYO RAMEN, and handmade Gyoza.  Beer came without foam...some people wants quantity, but this is my first beer without foam!!! Ugh!  I recall three weeks back in Canada during welcome SENSEI dinner, when he finally got his mug of beer, he said to me, "there's no foam..." sounded very disappointed.

   Then the Gyoza came.  It was okay.   Not very sure what's in the filling.  Lots of chopped mushrooms/SHIITAKE, I felt.

   Then came the noodle.  I didn't see the steam!! I said, "Trouble!" to myself.  I ordered large and there are only 3 Chashu slices.  They looked dried, the egg is whole.  I remembered in my previous visits, the large bowl came with 5 slices of Chashu.  Hmm? and the taste - Chashu is sweet?  It almost tastes like Chinese braised pork style.  Then the noodle is....what?  It looks like the Yan Tswen noodle I use at home - Chinese noodle when I can't get hold of the raw Ramen at the Mitsuwa.  The soup is... I don't know what they used to cook it.  Definitely a sign that this restaurant has changed in kitchen cooks and owner?
 They are cutting the corners and using ANY "noodle"?  I can do that at home but I expect the real Ramen at the restaurant.
I will never go back...