Soft Peach and Cheese Cake

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I’ve heard that Japanese Cheese Cakes are very popular in North America.
Since I already Have posted a snack and a chicken dish today, I thought I ought to finish it up wit a dessert before going back to work! LOL
It is also peach season right now in Japan. If you want to use fresh peaches for this recipe, choose them firm or make a compote with them first!

INGREDIENTS:
-Cream Cheese: 250g
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This is the Cream Cheese most used in Japan. Does it exist in North America?
-Fresh cream: 100~130 ml according to preferences
-Canned white peaches: 1 can
-Sugar: 40~50 g
-Canned syrup: 35 g (from the peaches can!)
-Eggs: 2
-All-purpose flour: 30 g

RECIPE:
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Take peaches out of the can. Keeping six slices apart for topping, crush the other peach slices with a fork.

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Soften cream cheese inside microwave oven for 20~30 seconds. Strongly stir it inside a bowl until it becomes absolutely smooth.

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Add sugar and syrup and stir well.
Make sure the whole is smooth and without any “solid” parts left.

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First add egg one at a time and stir until completely smooth. Add flour and stir until completely smooth (important!).

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Add fresh cream. Mix until smooth. Add crushed peaches. Mix until smooth.

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As on the picture above, inside a baking mold/dish place lightly oiled (light vegetal oil) wide strips of kitchen paper. This will help takinf\g the cake out of the mold as it is very soft!
Pour in the whole cake mix and place peach sliced on top for decoration.

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Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes.
As all ovens have their own “character”, check the colour until you are satisfied.
Stab with a thin wooden toothpick. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready!

Note: The cake might be difficult to unmold as it is soft. Do it carefully.
If you have one, use a mold with a movable bottom.
It’s best to let cool first and leave it in the refrigerator for a night before serving.
The above recipe is for the whole family. Adults can add peach liqueur as a finishing touch!

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Chicken and Sweet Potato in Sweet and Sour Sauce, Japanese Style

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I’ve been posting recipes for vegans and vegetarians for quite a while and since I haven’t any introduction of a fish or else ready right now, I thought an easy chicken recipe was in order! Great with a beer in this hot weather!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 persons
-Chicken thigh: 180 g
-Salt, pepper, Japanese sake (rice wine, or white wine if not available) for the chicken marinade: to taste
-Sweet potato (satsuma imo): 150 g
-Cornstarch: according to your preferences
-Cashew nuts: 30 g
For the sweet and sour sauce:
-Sugar: half a large tablespoon
-Soy sauce: half a large tablespoon
-Rice vinegar: 1 large tablespoon
-Water: half a cup, 100 ml
-Ginger: 2 slices finely cut
-Cornstarch: 1 teaspoon
Others
-Oil for frying
-Black sesame seeds and finely chopped thin leeks for topping

RECIPE:
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Take unwanted fat from chicken and discard. Cut into one bite size.
Put into a bowl with salt, pepper and Japanese sake. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

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In another bowl, cut sweet potatoes.Leave skin on. Not need to add water as they are to be fried immediately. If dirty, wash thoroughly with clear cold water and dry them.

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Pour some oil on a frypan and fry sweet potato and cashew nuts on a low fire. Take cashew nuts out once they have attained a nice light g\brown colour. Cook sweet potato on low fire until a knife get through them easily. Fry them a little more over a strong fire and lay on a kitchen paper.
Keep the frypan with its oil for the chicken!

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Prepare the sweet and sour sauce:
In a different deep pan pour in Sugar, Soy sauce, Rice vinegar, Water, Ginger, and Cornstarch. Heat over a low fire, stirring slowly all the time with a wooden spoon.
Careful about the timing. If you heat it too long,it will solidify!

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Drop the sweet potato and cashew nuts in the sweet and sour sauce. switch off fire and wait for a while.

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Take chicken out of its marinade and sprinkle it with cornstarch.
Fry the chicken in the frypan used for the sweet potatoes and cashew nuts (add oil only if absolutely necessary!).
Fry until crispy, then add to deep pan containing the sweet potato and cashew nuts in sweet and sour sauce.
Cook on a low fire long enough for taste to spread equally.

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Transfer onto a plate and season it with black sesame seeds and finely chopped thin leeks.

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’09/46)

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The Missus felt a more grumpy than ususl today. What with my recent antics at cricket and my busy schedule, she feels like a mid more than a partner….

She was in the mood to make something too fancy and had to think about her own lunch.

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The main dish consisted of cold ramen boiled and lightly seasoned with a little sesame oil and chopped thin leeks. On top she placed pieces of lettuce, thinly chopped carrots, cucumber and string beans, thin slices of pork, first lightly boiled then seasoned with gomadare/sesame dressing, sweet ammera rubbins mini tomatoes and home-made cucumber and aubergine pickles.
The was first soft-boiled then marinated in soy sauce, cut in half and served sprinkled with black sesame seeds.

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Her is a side-view!

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I was provided with men-tuyu/めんつゆ ascold stock soup for the ramen.

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Simple and tasty dessert with South African grapefruit and Japanese blueberries!

I left the whole in the office refrigerator until lunch, making a “cool”/refreshing lunch!

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Seaweed-pickled Cucumbers

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Cucumbers are in season, and the Japanese pickle a lot of them before they become scarce and more expensive!
Here is a very simple recipe to preserve them and enjoy them anytime (with a cool drink?):
Seaweed-pickled Cucumbers!

INGREDIENTS: For 1~2 persons
-Cucumber: 1 fairly long. Japanese cucumbers are comparatively thin and crunchy. Be aware that the large soft cucumbers found in “Western” countries might not be appropriate. Moreover, the Japanese eat the cucumbers whole.
-Salt: a pinch
-Salted seaweed (shio konbu): to taste. I personally like quite a lot!
-Sesame oil: to taste (do some pesonal research/experiments as to how much you would fancy!)
-White sesame seeds: to taste. i use quite a good amount myself!

RECIPE:
-Cut both extremities of the cucumber and discard.
Wash rapidly.
Close inside a vynil pouch and strike cucumber with a wooden pestle or the equivalent to break cucumber in uneven pieces.

-Take out. Drop cucmber pieces into a bowl. Add salt. Stir with yoyr hand. Let rest for a while.
Discard water which has seeped out of the cucumber.
Add salted seaweed. Stir the whole gently by hand for a little while.

-Transfer onto a dish. Arrange it for presentation. Sprinkle with sesame oil, then sesame seeds.

Note: Some people like it without the salt.
Washing the cucumber will take acidity out.
Breaking the cucumber by beating it will allow other ingredients to penetrate it more efficiently. If you don’t like the breaking method and prefer to cut the cucmber instead, let it rest for 10 minutes before adding the salt.

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Watermelon non-wheat flour mini-Cakes

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This particular recipe is dedicated to This Cat Can Cook who amused me with his comments and has a love for Watermelon.
Now, wheat flour allergics will be glad to know that none of it is being used!

INGREDIENTS: for 9~10 cakes
-Watermelon, red part, no pips: 150 g
-Eggs: 2
-Rice flour/powder: 60 g
-Sugar: 25 g
-Butter: 50 g

RECIPE:
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Cut 100g of the watermelon in small cubes 1x1x1 cm. Blend rest into juice (40 ml).

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Melt butter in electric oven at 5~600W for 40~50 seconds or until it is completely melted. Keep warm.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

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Mix sugar and eggs together. Warm sufficiently until it gets to your “skin temperature”.
Beat up at High Medium speed until it forms a bubbly but fine paste. Continue to beat at low speed for 3 more minutes.

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Add rice flour and delicately with a spatula.

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Mix in melted butter and watermelon juice delicately.

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Pour in molds.

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Place a watermelon cube on top and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

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Let the cakes cool before taking them out of their molds.

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Serve them upside down decorated with mint leaves.

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’09/45)

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Back to some rice at last! I must confess i eat more rice than the Missus who is obsessed with anything in the shape of pasta or noodles!

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The bento was definitely adult-size (or hungry high school stdent-size!)

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The “musubi/rice balls” consisted of fresh syeamed rice mixed with very tiny pieces of red cucumber pickles and umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums, the whole wrapped inside a shiso/perilla leaf.

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The garnish consisted of meat rolls: boiled string beans rolled inside cheese, bacon and chicken, the whole fried with soy sauce and I don’t know what (?). Succulent with the French cornichons and the minuscule and very sweet Ameera Rubbins tomatoes exclusively grown in Shizuoka Prefetcure!

Naturally some feshly-made tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette (beware of the cheap article sold at markets wrapped and all. Thay are full of sugar and preservatives!).

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The salad, a very simple affair, consisted of cress (Shizuoka-grown), walnuts, kiwi and American dark cherries!

Alright, I reckon the Missus worked hard on that one!

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Zucchini and Potato in Soy Sauce Marinade

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As Lojol rightly said, zucchini is a very versatile vegetable that can be paired with all kinds of other ingredients.
Here is a simple recipe to illustrate:
Zucchini and Potato Soy Sauce Marinade!

INGREDIENTS: For 3~4 people
-Zucchini: 1 medium large, 200 g
-Potatoes: 2 small, 200 g
-Olive Oil (for frying)
-Salt and pepper: a little to taste
-EV Olive Oil: 1 large tablespoon
-Soy sauce: 2 large tablespoons

RECIPE:
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-Withe a vegetable peeler, peel small strips of zucchini skin for better pattern.
Cut Zucchini into 8 mm thick slices and again across to create “half moons”.
Peel skin off potatoes, cut in 8 mm thick slices and clean in clear cold water.

-Drain potatoes (don’t wipe them) and put them inside a heat-resistant bow. Cover bowl with cooking cellophane paper. Leave 4~4:30 minutes inside Microwave oven at 500W.

-Pour soy sauce and EV oil in another bowl and mix well with an electic whisk.

-Heat olive oil in a frying pan and fry zucchini over a fairly fire.

-When the zucchini has aattained a satisfying color on both sides, add potatoes. Fry for 1~2 minutes. Add a little salt (not much needed there) and asome pepper ( a little more might be welcome.
Mix and drop everything into the soy sauce-olive oil marinade while it is still hot.

-Turn over for time to time until it has completely cooled down.

-Serve with a few small tomato slices for better colour presentation!

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