Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bday1: Japanese steakhouse ginger dressing (p. 575), Carrot puree (p. 266), and Mustard glaze (p. 583)

I decided to make a big meal for Josh's birthday, so there will be three posts in total.

When planning the meal, Josh and I both love ham, so that was an easy choice for the protein. It also seemed like a nice salad and some sort of vegetable, some sort of carbohydrate, and a cake would be a great idea.

I have been incredibly intrigued by Japanese steakhouse ginger dressing (p. 575) in TJOC for a long time. I love Japanese steakhouses. I've eaten at at least a dozen of them, in both Japan and the US (oddly different and the same). My favorite American teppenyaki joints are Ohana Steakhouse in Des Moines (I LOVE their scallop sauce) and Sapporo Steakhouse in Daytona Beach, Florida. I've eaten at those two many, many, many times and they never disappoint.

I combined celery, carrots, peanut oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, onion, sugar, soy sauce, catsup, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce in my beautiful Vita-Mix blender:

Final product:

On some lettuce:

This dressing was EXACTLY like the ginger dressing at most of the Japanese steakhouses that I've been to in the US. In fact, it was a dead ringer. The dressing was good--it had a light kick due to the ginger and hot pepper sauce but was fairly sweet with a nice peanuty undertone. Plus, even with the giant list of ingredients, it was super simple. Throw everything in to a blender or food processor and finished.

I had high hopes for Carrot puree (p. 266) because a carrot/mashed potato mix sounded absolutely amazing. I love carrots. I love potatoes. What could be better?

I placed a half pound of sliced potatoes in water and boiled them for about five minutes:

I added sliced carrots and cooked until the vegetables were tender. The potato/carrot mixture was then drained, returned to the pan, and mashed. I added heavy cream, salt, butter, and pepper:

Absolutely delicious. The mash was creamy and smooth. The carrots elevated the dish from simple mashed potatoes and the cream made it seem slightly decadent. I loved the carrot puree and will absolutely make it again. It was also amazing leftover.

I decided to make a Mustard glaze (p. 583) for the spiral sliced ham I was making. I mixed brown sugar, mustard, and honey:

Slathered it on the ham:

This glaze was probably my favorite so far. The sweet mustard flavor complimented the ham perfectly. I saved the glaze as a dipping sauce and it was great for days. I also really like easy glazes and this one was incredibly simple and made with stuff I already had on hand.

Random fact:
  • Robert Timothy French started work for a spice merchant at 21. When he was 60, French bought a flour mill and bakery with his son, starting the RT French Company, where they sold spices, including powdered mustard with turmeric. They introduced their French's cream salad mustard in 1904 (The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, p. 398)
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