So, this is what I started on Sunday!  Behold, ajitama (味玉), aka soy sauce soaked soft boiled eggs, that are typically served with ramen!  These will be a great side, especially with the hotter days that are coming.  

Ajitama (味玉)
Makes however many eggs you want it to make, though you may lose a few in the soft boiling process!  Just be prepared for a three day wait.

Ingredients

  • ¼ c mirin (Japanese rice wine, can be found in grocery stores)
  • ¼ c soy sauce
  • ½ c water
  • Several pieces garlic and ginger, peeled and chopped
  • Dash sesame oil
  • Eggs (however many you like, plus a few just in case you lose any in the soft boiling process)

Combine everything except the eggs in a plastic container.

Meanwhile, to soft boil the eggs, bring a pot of water plus 1 T vinegar (whatever type you have on hand works) to boil, with a ice water bath on the side.  Once the water is at a soft boil, add your eggs, boil for six minutes, and then remove the eggs and put in the ice water bath.  Peel your eggs, and then add to the sauce bath.  You will probably lose a few eggs in this process (I lost two to peeling).  This is okay!  Unless you’re superhuman.  If you are, come peel my eggs.

Put the peeled eggs in the fridge for three days, occasionally rotating them to make sure they are soaking up the sauce bath.  And then, eat as a side, or with your ramen, or anything else you may so desire!

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And now, it’s time for some baking! The Inn at the Crossroads has been one of my favorite sites since I started cooking, not just for the Game of Thrones connection.  They typically have two takes on a recipe – medieval and modern, and they’re all quite good.  

I decided to take on the modern Honeycakes recipe this morning, because I had the honey on hand, and this has sounded amazing for some time now.  

Modern Honeycakes
Makes appx 17 cakes, though they’ll go quite quickly

Ingredients

  • 2.5 c flour
  • .5 t baking powder
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ½ c (aka 1 stick) butter
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c honey
  • 1 c buttermilk

Combine all dry ingredients except for brown sugar in separate bowl, and sift together.  In a larger bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer, then add the egg and mix thoroughly, and then the honey, and do the same.  Split the dry ingredients in three and the buttermilk in two, and alternately add them to the mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

Turn the oven to 350 (or, if your oven runs hot like mine does, 325), and start filling a no-stick muffin tin.  Take a large spoon, and fill each tin with a spoonful (which will give you appx 2/3rds full tins).  Throw in the oven for a half hour (or until golden brown, either/or).

So, last dish for tonight is Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce!  With this one especially, you are going to notice something: I don’t really go for pretty (as I’m cooking for just me, and not to impress/for someone else), or for extra garnishes unless they add flavor.  So, sometimes, I will just straight up ignore things if they make it difficult, or annoying (or if I’m being lazy, and it doesn’t fundamentally change the recipe).  😛 That’s why the scallions aren’t here, and the sesame seeds aren’t chopped and toasted.  

Also added okaka (dried bonito flakes) to the top, cause it’s vaguely reminiscent of a side I had at the dorm I lived in during my study abroad in Japan, and was really good. Not gonna include it in the recipe itself, as it may not be something you typically have on hand, but if you do, worth a shot.

Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce
Lasted: until the next morning, though honestly, that was because it was really good, and letting it sit cold in everything overnight made it fantastic.  More accurately, lasts about three lunches as a side.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (14 to 18 oz) tofu (no particular insight on what particular kind you should use for this recipe, I used silken lite firm tofu, will probably edit with any future insights  Having now used silken and non silken, I can say I like the taste/feel of silken better, but that it crumbles easier. Lite firm generally seems to be the way to go with this)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped (see prior notes about me and garlic)
  • 2 t sesame seeds
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1 T Asian sesame sauce
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ t sugar

Rinse tofu, put in small pot and cover with cold water, and put the burner to medium high heat, until simmering (aka gentle bubbling, but not out and out boiling). While this is happening, take your chopped garlic and bash it into a paste.  Don’t have a mortar and pestle? No problem!  Just use your rolling pin to bash it into submission.  (This also may help with stress relief.)  After it’s a paste, combine with all other remaining ingredients in a small bowl.  As soon as the tofu is simmering, reduce heat to low for a few minutes. As soon as you’re ready to serve (or store), drain the water out of the pot and either pat the tofu dry or just put it in your container, like I did.  Pour the sauce over it, and you’re ready to go!

So, this blog’s inaugural post is Budget Bytes’ Tangy Tomato Pasta!  Honestly, part of the reason that I picked this recipe was because it’s super cheap (most of these things, except for feta and maybe the tomato paste, should probably already be in your pantry), and because it’s super quick (this took about fifteen minutes, tops). Great if you’re feeling lazy (or, in my case, throat achey), or if you’re running low close to payday. 

Also, a note: I cook for one, and I’ll try to give you an idea of how long recipes last me, instead of servings. If this is my first time cooking a recipe (which, in this case, it is), I’ll likely edit it after the fact.

Tangy Tomato Pasta
Lasts appx 5 meals

Ingredients

  • Pasta (whatever amount you have handy, and whatever you have in your pantry; alternatively, whatever’s cheapest)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • Several cloves garlic, chopped (I tend to go a little heavier on the garlic; the recipe originally calls for one clove, can be done to taste)
  • Pinch dried basil, dried oregano, salt, rosemary, dried thyme, crushed red pepper (oops, forgot this), black pepper (you can go dried, ground, or fresh, whatever you have handy, really, for all of these)
  • 3 oz tomato paste (half a 6 oz can)
  • ½ t honey 
  • 3 oz feta (half a 6 oz package)

Boil a pot of water.  While you wait for it to reach a heavily rolling boil, in a separate skillet, turn the heat to medium to medium high, and combine the olive oil with the chopped garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, rosemary, dried thyme, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.  Stir, and wait for it to start sizzling, and then cook for one more minute.  Add the tomato paste, turn the heat down to medium, and stir and cook until the mixture is a few shades darker red (appx 2 mins).  Turn off the heat, and add the honey.  Once the pot is boiling, cook the pasta per the instructions, drain, and then add to the skillet and stir until the pasta is coated.  Add the feta (either 2 oz straight to the skillet and stir to combine, with the remainder for garnish, or just all of it to the skillet). 

And then, nom!