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IMG_0925 One of our big outings over winter break was to the Kinukuniya bookstore in Shinjuku. They have a very decent foreign book section and it is possible that some members of the family were more excited about this than the trip to Disneyland. I’ve been looking for a cookbook for some basic Japanese recipes and after much comparison I ended up with A Cook’s Journey to Japan by Sarah Marx Feldner. This one may not have better recipes than the cookbooks I passed over, but I liked the voice of the author. Read More…


Kik Alicha

A thick Ethiopian Lentil Stew, eaten on Injera bread by hand.  One of my favorite Ethiopian dishes, and the one that I’ve managed to best duplicate at home.  This is my version, modified from a bunch of different online versions.

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Berbere Sauce

Well, it’s been ages since I posted.  However, since I fiddled around with my spicing mixture for the Berbere sauce that I use for making Ethiopian dishes, I thought I’d post it here.  Makes it a lot easier to find/remember when I need to make it again….

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I’d have tried to make the Eggplant Boats

Which is proof (if it was needed) that David is smarter than I am.

David made a truly tasty dish from Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen Cookbook called Eggplant Bayou Teche. For the full details on cooking this dish you can read David’s account.

When he first showed me the recipe (as he was preparing it) I saw that it called for carving out the Eggplant into little canoes or pirogues as they are called on the bayou. I probably would have driven myself crazy trying to carve out the eggplant while David realized he could get the same flavor combination without having to stuff the delicious crab and shrimp meat into an actual eggplant boat. The medallions that he made in place of the pirogues worked great and actually meant you got more of the tasty fried breading on the outside of the eggplant.

I enjoyed this dish immensely and ate a huge second portion to show my appreciation. The sauce for the shrimp didn’t have the heat I was expecting when I heard Cajun, but it had flavor to spare. I think the cream helped to cover up the cayenne and pepper. I am a big fan of Cajun spices and of cream so it worked quite well for me. I will be stealing the recipe from David (without canoes) so I can make this for myself.

My contribution to the meal was a cranberry pecan salad recipe that I found and wanted to try. I am still searching for the secret to a good vinaigrette and this one uses Raspberry Vinegar. I’ve made this salad twice since we had dinner with the Kirkpatrick’s, but the roasted pecans and cranberries sort of steal the show so it is hard to tell if the Raspberry Vinaigrette is the one I am searching for. The recipe is pretty easy and I think made for a memorable side dish to even this great shrimp and crab creation.

Cooking: Cajun Shrimp & Crab, with Fried Eggplant

It was my turn for the cooking week, and I decided that it was time to try something new.  I’d recently found a copy of Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen cookbook, and thought that a Cajun dish might be fun to try.  After looking through the recipes, I settled on a variation of a Shrimp & Crab recipe. I had most of the ingredients on hand and those ingredients weren’t too obnoxious to the pickier eaters in the Donnelly and Kirkpatrick families. Read More…

Cooking Week #6: Butter Chicken

It was Mike’s turn to cook, and he turned to a perennial favorite – Butter Chicken.  Mike is on a mission to cook Butter Chicken using every recipe or mix that he can find.  He’d finally gotten hold of a recipe from a favorite restaurant when he was in the Far East.  Was it as good as he remembered?  Time to find out!

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Butter Chicken – This Time It’s For Real

Before I started Blogging here at 5×2 I had another blog called the Mike/Mitch project. There was a lot of cooking and it was fun, but the cooking really started with my quest to replicate Moti’s butter chicken, otherwise known as the Butter Chicken Battle. It has been a while since my last attempt, but not too long ago I got my hands on a copy of the recipe the Moti’s cookbook. A friend of mine from Tokyo promised it too me early on in my quest and he was finally able to get it translated from Japanese. As you can imagine I was pretty excited to try it out. Read More…