Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life Gets in the Way of These Things, Don't It?

Wow. Almost a full month since I last posted. Sorry about that.

MMmmm.

Curry. Japanese curry. Best served with some white long grain rice, well washed and cooked in a steamer.

Easy Japanese Curry
Ingredients:
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 tbsp veg oil
1 to 1.5 lbs stew meat, or cubed steak
3 carrots, peeled and chopped to a uniform size
2 or 3 medium potatoes, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
3-4 Cups boiling water
1 - 3.5oz pkg of Japanese curry block (like S&B Golden Curry, or Vermont Curry by House Foods)

1. Heat a pan on med-high heat with the oil in it until the oil gets runny. Add in the diced onion and garlic, stir until they are starting to turn golden.
2. Add in the stew meat or cubed steak, and stir-fry until the meat is mostly cooked through.

Crock Pot Method:
3. Take the meat out of the pan using tongs, and get up some of the onions and garlic as well, and place in the bottom of 3-4 qt crock pot.
4. Add in the potatoes, carrots, and water, turn on heat to high.
5. Dissolve the curry blocks in the hot water. Stir well to mix all the ingredients. Leave crock pot on high for 2-3 hours, then turn down to low for additional 3-4 hours.
6. Remove lid from crock pot for at least the last hour to allow the sauce to thicken.

Wok Method (stove top):
3. Add in the potatoes, carrots and water.
4. Dissolve curry blocks in the water. Stir well to mix. Cook on low simmer until sauce thickens and veggies are done, usually about 1-2 hours. Skim fat from top if needed.
5. This will also work if covered.

Both Methods:
* Serve over your favorite white rice, eat with spoons!
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One of the traditional ways to eat this dish in Japan is to cook the curry the night before, allow it to reheat in the morning, then pack it off in lunches. This allows the flavors to fully meld together. It's a little easier to send them off this way in Japan, as they have specialty thermos that have two compartments - one for the dish and one for the rice. I usually pack up all the leftovers in ziplock containers, already mixed (with the rice underneath the curry, and plenty of sauce). They make great lunches, and are so filling!

Oh! Kitchen crew alert for this recipe: Clean the curry pan while it's still warm! Dried curry sauce is so hard to get off, but, if something prevents you from getting to it quickly, fill it with water and heat the pan up again. It's very helpful for getting cruddy pans clean without needing to scrub at them forever. (I do this most often with whatever I made mashed potatoes in. The starch from those takes forever to get off!)