Monday, May 30, 2011

Cornish Pasties

The Cornish pasty is a very traditional English pastry dish – coming from Cornwall in Western England.

Historically they were prepared as a lunch for workers in Cornwall’s tin mines.  The edges of pasties in those days were made much thicker to be used as a “handle” so that the mine workers could hold the pasty with their dirty fingers, eating the pasty and throwing away the edge of the crust.

Traditional recipes suggest to wrap uncooked meat and vegetables in the pastry - cooking everything at one time.  I cook the filling first to allow its taste to be more intense.

Serve with a green salad for dinner, or enjoy by themselves as a snack.

Ingredients for 6 pasties
10oz all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
1 teaspoon mustard powder
pinch of salt
5oz chilled butter, cubed

8 to 10oz steak beef, remove extra fat and finely chopped (do not mince!)
salad or olive oil to cook
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
medium potato, skinned, chopped into small cubes, washed and drained
1 teaspoon English mustard powder
1 teaspoon hot horseradish
1 round tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 beef (stock) cube, combined with 1/4 cup hot water
salt and black pepper to taste
MSG to taste, optional
1 heaped tablespoon chopped parsley

1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt to glaze

Sift the flour, mustard powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.  With your fingertips or using a pastry blender, rub the butter into the flour lightly until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the water (1 tbs at a time) into the flour mixture and mix the pastry until it becomes smooth.  Wrap the pastry in aluminium foil and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime, heat a non-stick frying pan and cook the chopped steak until any excess water come out of the beef (2 to 3 minutes).  Drain the water and remove the beef from the frying pan. Set the beef aside.

Wipe down the frying pan and re-heat with a little oil.  Fry the onion for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook further 1 minute (this is just to soften the onion, you don’t want to brown it).  Add the potato and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.

Return the cooked beef into the frying pan.  Add the mustard and horseradish and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.

Add the flour into the frying pan and stir well to ensure the filling is covered evenly with the flour.  Add the beef stock mixture and the parsley.  Stir until the filling thickens slightly.  Remove from the heat and spread on a wide plate to cool it completely.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to about 1/6” thickness.  Using a round cereal bowl (about 6 inch diameter) cut out the pastry to six round wrappers.

Spoon 1/6 of filling into the centre of each round wrapper.  Moisten the edge of the wrapper with a little egg.  Fold over and pinch the edges to make a frill.  Repeat for the rest.

Glaze the pasties with the beaten egg and cook in the preheated oven (at 350F) for 25 to 30 minutes or until they become golden brown.

Mini Cornish Pasties are everyone's favourite at party.

British enjoy Cornish Pasties with HP brown sauce.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon – what an elegant name for a dish!

I have an inferiority complex when it comes to the French language, because although I learnt French when I was young, now I cannot even count from 1 to 10 in French!  That is a real embarrassment, you know?

Thus, I always adore people who are fluent in French as a foreign language and anything has a French name.  Boeuf Bourguignon, uu…m OSHARE! (OSHARE means elegant in Japanese.)

In this blog, I will introduce 2 different recipes.  One is a traditional French Boeuf Bourguignon and another is a British modification by adding dumplings.  Perhaps, I should call the British version of Boeuf Bourguignon as Beef Burgundy?

Ingredients for 4 people
(Bouquet Garni)
2 - 3 sprigs of parsley
2 - 3 springs of thyme
1 stalk of celery (about 6” length)
1 large bay leaf (use 2 leaves if small)

(Main Ingredients)
2.5 - 3 lb stewing beef
4 oz pancetta, cut into 1/5” cubes
olive oil if necessary
12 - 16 pickling onions (depending on the size)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 rounded tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups red wine (to be truly accurate, it should of course be from Burgundy!)
1 1/4 cups beef stock
12 - 16 brown mushrooms (depending on the size)
salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
AJINOMOTO (MSG) to taste (optional)

(Dumplings for the British version of Burgundy Beef)
5 oz all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 oz chilled butter, cubed
1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk, lightly beaten together
2 tablesspoons chopped parsley

To make a bouquet garni, put the parsley and thyme into the celery’s hollow and cover with the bay leaf (or leaves), then tie them together twice with string.

If the beef has lots of fat and tendons, prepare 3 lb, otherwise 2.5 lb.  Carefully remove all excess fat and tendons from the beef and cut into 1” to 2” cubes.  After the trimming, you will have roughly just over 2lb beef.

Heat a non-stick (Teflon) frying pan and brown the beef without oil (or with a little amount of oil if the beef is lean), until the beef is browned all over and any excess water has come out of the beef (4 - 5 minutes).

Remove the beef from the frying pan and place on kitchen paper to drain.  Discard the “mysterious” water!

In a sauté pan, heat a little amount of olive oil and cook the pancetta for 3 - 4 minutes.  (I usually cook the pancetta without oil as it is normally quite fatty.)  With a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and drain on kitchen paper.

In the same sauté pan, cook the onion for 2 - 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Return the beef and pancetta into the sauté pan and add the flour.  Mix well to coat the meat and vegetables thoroughly with the flour.

Add the wine and beef stock into the sauté pan, stir well and bring to the boil.

Place the bouquet garni on the top of meat and vegetables, reduce the heat, cover and simmer  for 90 minutes.

Taste and season with salt, black pepper and AJINOMOTO (if using), then add the mushrooms, cover and cook for the last 30 minutes.

For the British version - Beef Burgundy
To make the dumplings, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Add the butter then with your fingertips or using a pastry blender, rub the butter into the flour lightly until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the egg mixture and parsley into the bowl and mix well until it becomes a smooth dough.

Divide the dough into 8 balls and place them on top of the stew (well apart from each other as they rise) when the mushrooms are cooked.  Cover and cook for a further 30 minutes.

NOTE: Both the French traditional version and British modified versions are delicious, but I highly recommend the British version when a day is very chilly and you want to warm yourself from the inside out!  The dumplings make your body warm.  They are indispensable for British winter casserole dishes!

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Egg Mayo Cornets

I heard that making cream horns with bread dough rather than pastry was a Japanese invention.

We call those sweet rolls “Choco Cornet”, as they are usually filled with chocolate custard cream (occasionally you can see plain custard version, too).

Anyway… I recently found and then bought horn forms from Amazon. When they arrived, I tried to make Japanese style cornet rolls right away!

Choco Cornets are so cute and so sweet, and very popular sweet rolls in Japan. However, neither my husband nor I am a big sweet fan, and so I, instead of filling the horns with chocolate custard cream, filled with one of his favourite sandwich fillings – Egg Mayo.

It worked very well and so so so… delicious that he could not stop eating!

Ingredients for 12 cornets
10 6/10oz all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg
5/8 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon bread machine yeast

1 egg york + 1 tablespoon milk for glazing
Some egg mayonnaise filling in your style

Put the dough ingredients into the pan following the directions for your bread maker. Select the dough course.

When the dough course finishes, remove the pan from the machine and turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface. Push down the dough gently, then divide it into 12 balls. Cover with a damp cloth or with lightly greased cling film and let them rest for 15 minutes.

Push down the ball gently again, then with your palms roll it into 11” sausage shape which should be a little thicker than a pencil. Wrap the dough around a horn form beginning from the pointed end. Place the horn, seam side down, on a greased or lined baking tray. Repeat for the rest of the balls.

Cover the horns with a damp cloth or greased cling film and let them rise for 30 – 40 minutes until almost double the size.

Brush the dough lightly with the egg mixture and bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven at 350F.

When the cornets have been baked, remove the horn forms immediately and then leave them to cool on a wire rack completely before filling with the egg mayonnaise.

NOTE: To fill 6 cornets, I made the egg mayonnaise using 5 boiled eggs, some mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon English mustard and salt & pepper to taste. Those that are garnished with chopped parsley are filled with the standard egg mayo and others sprinkled with paprika are filled with egg bacon mayonnaise.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spaghetti Neapolitan (Japanese Style Ketchup Spaghetti)

My husband has a sort of prejudice against this dish.  He totally and utterly dislikes this dish without having even tried it once.

The reason why he is against this dish is “Ketchup”.  It seems that he cannot believe that sweet sauce turns into a very tasty pasta sauce.

He is British and in Britain there is a sauce called HP sauce which is more vinegary and hotter than the taste of ketchup.  HP sauce is more popular than ketchup over there.  Perhaps, the British classify HP sauce for adults and ketchup for kids and he may feel embarrassed about eating kiddies’ flavoured food!?

Although the taste of this dish is unlike the classic Italian flavour, trust me, it is very tasty and one of the most popular Japanese-Western dishes that we invented after the 2nd World War.

Ingredients for 2 people
7 oz spaghetti
2 rashers of Canadian naturally smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
2 oz thin sliced beef, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium sized cluster of oyster mushrooms, torn from the cluster
2 tablespoons chopped parsley plus some for garnish
salt and black pepper to taste
AJINOMOTO (MSG) to taste (optional)
2 tablespoons white wine

(Neapolitan Sauce)
2/5 cup Heinz organic ketchup
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (Colmans English Mustard powder is best)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

dash of Tabasco

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water until just tender (al dente). Drain well.

To make the Neapolitan sauce, add all the ingredients in a cup and mix well until the mustard powder and the onion powder are incorporated with the mixture.

Heat a large frying pan and fry the bacon without oil.  When enough fat starts to come out of the bacon, add the beef and fry for further 1 – 2 minutes until the beef is just cooked.  With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and beef from the frying pan and drain on kitchen papers.

Heat the butter in the same frying pan and cook the onion for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for further 1 minute.

Add the mushrooms and the 2 tablespoons of parsley.  Return the bacon and beef and cook for 1 – 2 minutes until the mushrooms soften.  Season with salt, black pepper and MSG (if you are using), then add the wine and cook for a few minutes until the liquid has almost (but not quite) evaporated.

Add the spaghetti and the Neapolitan sauce into the frying pan and cook for a few minutes, mixing well.  When you start smelling a sweet ketchup smell, the dish is ready to serve.  Garnish with the rest of the parsley and add a dash of Tabasco if you prefer a spicy flavour.

NOTE: Normal Heinz ketchup is actually tomato flavored corn syrup!  The organic one is about the same price and far better tasting!

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes

A British traditional sponge cake is now miniaturised!  We no longer to fight each other about who got the biggest slice.

Individual Victoria sponge cakes are prettier than scones or biscuits and muffins.  Ideally eaten with a strong milky tea!

Ingredients for 6 cakes
6oz butter, softened
6oz granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
few drops of vanilla oil (optional)
6oz self-rising flour
about 12 teaspoons strawberry or raspberry jam
about 6 rounded tablespoons whipped cream
powdered sugar to dust

Grease the inside of 6 ramekins and line the insides with baking paper.  Make sure the lining papers a half inch taller than the ramekins.

With electric beater, beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until the mixture becomes light and creamy.  Add the vanilla oil (optional).
Add the eggs to the bowl gradually, beating well after each addition.

When the eggs are incorporated, sift the flour into the bowl and, using a spatula, gently fold the flour into the mixture.

Divide the mixture equally between the 6 ramekins.  Cook in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted to the centre of the cakes.

When the cakes are cooked, leave them in the ramekins for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and remove the paper.  Allow to cool completely.

Split each cake in half.  Spread the jam evenly over the bottom sponge, top with the whipped cream, and sandwich with the top half of the sponge cake.  Dust the powdered sugar over the top of the cake.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Easy Homemade Crab Ravioli with Creamy Tomato Sauce

I had never thought of substituting won ton wrappers for pasta when making ravioli until I watched an Italian chef doing just this!

It works very well and far, far simplifies the process of making homemade ravioli!

Here, I make it as simple as can be, using a canned crab for the filling and a canned soup for sauce. This is a very delicious dish and no one will know you cooked it with ready-made Chinese wrappers and processed food!

Ingredients for 3 - 4 people
4oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
2 “Chicken of the Sea” canned crab meat (6oz), drained, reserving 2 tablespoons juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion
10 “NABISCO” Premium saltine crackers, made into crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
MSG to taste (optional)
40 won ton wrappers
1 egg white to glaze

1 “Campbell” canned concentrated tomato bisque soup
2 teaspoons butter
1 rounded teaspoon all-purpose flour
pepper to taste
finely chopped parsley to garnish

In a mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese and egg yolk well. Add the crab meat together with the reserved can juice, spring onion and cracker crumbs and mix well. Season with salt, pepper and MSG (if you are using). Chill the filling in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Lay the won ton wrapper on a work surface, spoon 1 round teaspoon of the filling to the centre of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle, brush the edges with a little amount of the egg white and press firmly to seal.

Take the corners of the triangle which are along the long side and fold them over each other. Brush again with a little amount of the egg white to help the corners stick together. Again chill the ravioli in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, empty the canned soup in a microwavable dish and add 1 can of water. Cook in a full power microwave for 2 minutes.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan at a low heat, add the flour and whisk constantly until flour melts.

Gradually add the thinned soup, whisking well after each addition. Bring to the boil and cook for a few more minutes until the sauce is thickened. Keep warm.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook batches of the ravioli for 2 to 3 minutes each. Drain well and divide among the plates. Top with the sauce and garnish with the parsley.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Orange and Cilantro Chicken

The idea of this dish comes from cooking duck a l’orange.  It works for chicken too!

However, chicken has less flavour than duck, so I added some cilantro for a nice tangy accent.  It is very simple to cook, and good for family dinners as well as for guests.

On Saturday, 14th May 2011, I demonstrated this recipe on a local broadcast - kcst9, together with George, the host of the programme and Chef Carol.  It was a very nervous moment, but a great fun, too!

Ingredients for 2 people
2 tablespoon olive oil, add more if needed
4 chicken thighs, trim extra fat
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock, 1 teaspoon Maggi chicken bouillon and 1/2 cup hot water combined
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium sized orange, peeled and sliced to about 1/5 inch thickness
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
cooked pasta to serve together

Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the chicken thighs.  Fry on both sides until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, cook shallot for 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened but not browned.

Add the orange juice, wine and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Return the chicken, reduce the heat, and cover with the lid.  Cook for half an hour. Turn the chicken several times.

In the meantime, cook the sliced oranges.  Melt the butter in an omelet pan with a low heat, add the oranges and sprinkle with the sugar.  Cook for 2 minutes, turn and cook the other side for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat, cover with a sheet of cooking foil to keep warm.

When the chickens are cooked through, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the cilantro. 

Serve with the cooked orange slices.  This dish works well with your choice of cooked pasta.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Jammie Dodgers

I made these biscuits mimicking Burton’s (a UK biscuit manufacture) “Jammie Dodgers”, but making a more sophisticated version.

The rich buttery biscuits can be eaten as they are, the mildly sweet fluffy vanilla cream melts in your mouth and the strawberry jam used is homemade (jam’s recipe will be published in a separate blog article sometime later).

I gave these biscuits to my husband colleagues and they all loved them!  Some even asked me to disclose this delicious recipe.

Thus, I am writing the step by step recipes in more detail than usual, including my cooking process pictures and techniques.

Ingredients for 38 - 40 biscuits
12 7/10oz (360g) all purpose flour
pinch of salt
9 5/10oz (270g) unsalted butter, diced and chilled
6 4/10oz (180g) granulated sugar
1.5 egg yolks, beaten

(Vanilla Cream)
2 8/10oz (80g) unsalted butter
few drops of vanilla oil
5 3/10oz (150g) icing sugar

Strawberry jam for the filling

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Put the butter in the bowl, and then with your fingertips or using a pastry blender, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar and mix well, then add the egg yolks, and using your hand mix until it becomes smooth pastry.   Wrap the pastry in aluminum foil and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

On a well floured surface, roll out the pastry to about 1/10” thickness. Using a 2 1/2” flower or round cookie cutter cut out the pastry.  Eventually, You will have just over 70 rounds.

Technique 1
This pastry is fragile and quite sticky, so you must work on a well floured surface. 
Using a well-floured silicon matt is highly recommended for rolling. 
As it is flexible, you can remove the rounds as if you were removing a sticker from the sheet.

We will now use a small heart-shaped, star-shaped or your choice of small cookie cutter, to cut out the centre of half of the rounds.

Technique 2
If you cut out the centre of the rounds on the silicon matt, 
it is very difficult to remove it without damaging. 
Prepare a parchment paper cut into the size of your palm. 
Transfer a round to the paper and cut out the centre with the small cookie cutter.
In this way, you can remove the pastry without damaging it.  Repeat for the remainder.

Place all rounds on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake them in the preheated oven at 350F for 10 - 12 minutes.

When baked, transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely.  Be careful of handling just baked biscuits as they are very soft.

To make the vanilla cream, put the remaining butter in to a microwavable mixing bowl and heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds at full power.

Add a few drops of the vanilla oil into the soften butter and mix well with a wooden spoon.  Add the sugar and beat well until the butter becomes fluffy and smooth.

With a butter knife, spread a little amount of the vanilla cream to each whole biscuit, then about teaspoonful strawberry jam.  Sandwich it with the round with a centre hole.  Do the same for the rest of the biscuits.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

Monday, May 9, 2011

YAKITORI (Pan-fried Chicken Skewers)

I was shocked when I first ate TERIYAKI outside of Japan.  It was far too sweet!  It seemed to me that Western people had misunderstood what the real TERIYAKI dishes were.

The word of TERIYAKI consist of two words; TERI and YAKI, and they are translated into English as “glaze” and “grill” respectively.

Meat, fish and vegetables can be glazed with far less sugar or even no sugar at all!

Imagine that you’re making a reduction of wine.  The natural sweetness contained in wine is intensified when it is reduced.  Real TERIYAKI sauce is made in a similar cooking method, and the natural sweetness of Japanese seasonings – such as soy sauce, SAKE and MIRIN make the sauce thicker and richer.

YAKITORI is a TERIYAKI-style grilled, skewered, chicken.  It is delicious and a popular accompaniment for beer and SAKE.

The cooking method I am introducing here is very simple.  Rather than making the TERIYAKI sauce separately, I pan-fry the skewered chicken while cooking and reducing the sauce in the same pan – as you would caramelise onions with balsamic vinegar for example.

There’s no need to worry about burning the chicken in the broiler any more!

Ingredients for 6 skewers
10oz Chicken thigh, boned and cubed in 1.5”, 18 pieces
1 Japanese leek (NEGI) or 1 thin leek, white part only, cut into 1.5” lenghs, 12pieces

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine (SAKE)
2 tablespoons sweet rice wine (MIRIN)
2 teaspoons sugar

Oil for pan-frying

Thread a piece of the chicken, then a piece of the leek onto a skewer.  Repeat one more time, then finish with a piece of the chicken.  Repeat for the rest of chicken and leek and prepare 6 YAKITORI skewers.

To prepare sauce, combine the sauce ingredients in a cup and mix well until the sugar has dissolved.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, then fry the skewers for 4 – 5 minutes on each side.

Add the sauce to the frying pan, reduce the heat to low and constantly turn the skewers until the sauce is think and syrupy, and nicely coating the cooked chicken and leek.

NOTE: Japanese leek (NEGI), SAKE and MIRIN are all sold at oriental supermarkets.  You can also buy SAKE and MIRIN at the oriental food section of your local supermarkets.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE. 

Bon appetit! 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Boiled Ham and Cabbage with Parsley Sauce

This hearty dish is based on traditional Irish cooking.

Traditionally, they simply boil ham (bacon) and cabbage in hot water and serve with parsley sauce cooked using the water used to boil the ham and cabbage.

I incorporated a French cooking method to the traditional recipe which makes the dish more elegant and even suitable for entertaining guests.

Ingredients for 2 people
1 stick celery
1 spring parsley
1 spring thyme
1 bay leaf
1 bone-in ham steak, cut into 4 pieces
1 small cabbage, shredded
1 clove garlic, sliced
3 and 1/3 cups blandly made chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon butter
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 rounded teaspoon all-purpose flour
about 1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
MSG to taste (opitional)
2 to 3 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

To make a bouquet garni, tie the celery, parsley, thyme and bay leaf together with string.

In a large pan, lay half of the shredded cabbage. Place the ham on the cabbage in a single layer and scatter the garlic on top.

Add the rest of the cabbage to the pan, topped with the bouquet garni. Pour the stock into the pan and bring gently to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes.

In a small frying pan, melt the butter and fry the onion until softened but not browned. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Gradually add 1 ladle of the chicken bouillon from the ham and cabbage pan, stirring constantly.

Add the milk gradually to thin the sauce. When it boils, stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.

Drain the cabbage and ham, discard the bouquet garni and divide the cabbage and ham onto two warmed plates. Serve with the parsley sauce. This dish works well with boiled, mashed or baked potatoes.

NOTE: Reserve the cabbage stock. It can be used as the basis for a very tasty soup the next day.

Chinese Spicy Pork Noodle Soup made with the reserved cabbage stock

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sausage Rolls

My first cooking in this blog is one of British people's favourites - Sausage Rolls.

These mini sausage rolls are a modification of the British-style sausage roll – also known as “Pigs in a Blanket”. 

In Britain, sausage rolls are generally made with sausage meat filling with a puff pastry wrapping, but I use ground pork, adding some herbs & spices to give them a little more sophisticated taste. 

These are great for kids snacks as well or alternatively finger foods at a party.

Ingredients for 16 rolls
6 oz ground pork
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 egg
4~5 tablespoons breadcrumbs
salt, pepper and MSG to taste

2 sheets frozen rolled puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk to glaze

(Cocktail Sauce)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon English mustard (quite hot)

Place the ground pork in a mixing bowl and add the other filling ingredients, mixing well with your hands. Season with salt, pepper and MSG.

Lay the pastry sheets on a board and cut each sheet into two strips.

Spoon 1/4 of the filling across the long edge of the pastry sheet and roll up. Repeat for the rest of filling and sheets. Freeze the rolls for 20 minutes or so. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Cut the rolls into 1 and a half inch long “sausages” and place them on the baking sheet seam side down. Brush lightly with the egg mixture and bake for 30 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.

Serve hot with the cocktail sauce on the side – the sauce is made by simply mixing the ingredients in a cup.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

Hello World!

I am a Japanese housewife who settled in Washington State with my British husband a year ago (Spring 2010).

Prior to moving to the US, I spent almost 1/3 of my life in the UK where I developed my career and met my husband.

After our marriage, I gave up my profession and became a full time housewife. I then began challenging myself with new recipes - I wanted to feed my husband tasty and healthy food.

After moving to Japan from the UK in 2006, I started teaching Japanese people international cooking, covering British, European, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines.

I am currently planning to open similar cooking classes for neighbours who are interested.  This time, I would like to introduce my specialty - Japanese cooking too, particularly hearty Japanese home dishes.

I have been writing cooking blogs in Japanese for 2 years and now decided to open another cooking blog in English, because I would like to share my delicious recipes with those who will not be able to attend my cooking classes and can not understand Japanese.

Also, in return, I would like to learn American cooking from you!