Japanese Tonkatsu & Curry Rice

13450221_691159215628_8865585445203515951_nBefore I was pregnant, I loved watching cooking shows, reading other cooking blogs, browsing instagram pages dedicated to food, and the like. Since I’ve been pregnant, my browsing has brought on some raging cravings..like, literally RAGING because I become very upset if I couldn’t have it (insert embarrassed faced emoji).

Anyhow, on one of my browsing binges, I came across the most tantalizing, enticing image of Japanese tonkatsu curry (serious heart eyes!). From that moment on, I HAD to have some! I couldn’t think of any places near me that had it on the menu, so I decided to try and make it myself. Although, I’m sure it wasn’t the most authentic tonkatsu, it turned out pretty delicious if I do say so myself =)

 

 

Ingredients:

3 boneless, thick cut pork chops or 6 thin sliced pork cutlets

½ cup all purpose flour

½ cup Japanese style panko bread crumbs

1 egg

salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

garlic powder (to taste)

sweet soy sauce or katsu sauce (for dipping or drizzling)

Japanese style curry brick

Furikake seasoning

1 cup medium grain rice

¼ cup oil for frying

 

Directions:

 

In a rice cooker or pot, cook your rice according to package directions.

 

Next, take your pork and slice it into 1/3 to ½ inch thick cutlets. If already using thin cutlets, skip to the next step)

 

Lay out the cutlets, flatten slightly with a mallet (if desired), and season each side with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. TIP: The thinner the cutlet, the faster it will cook. BUT, we don’t want the meat too thin!

 

Take your egg and beat it with ¼ teaspoon of water, then set aside.

 

Lay out a plate of flour, the egg wash, and the panko crumbs side-by-side.

 

In the same order (1. flour, 2. egg wash, 3. panko), dip the pork cutlet into each making sure both sides are evenly coated, then set the breaded cutlet to the side.

 

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.

 

Place a few cutlets in a pan at a time and allow them to cook until golden brown on each side. (about 3-5 minutes per side, but stand by to make sure the panko doesn’t brown too quickly!)

 

Place the cutlets on paper towels to drain the excess oil.

 

Prepare Japanese style curry according to package directions. (I use about 2 small squares of the brick and add either water or broth until I reach my desired consistency)

 

Place the curry sauce over rice and drizzle the sweet soy sauce or tonkatsu sauce over the cutlets. For a more traditional tonkatsu meal, thinly slice cabbage and serve it on the side of the cutlet.

 

Enjoy!

Sarina & Baby J❤

The Hardest Part: Pregnancy Friendly Ceviche

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The hardest part about being pregnant has to be all the things that you’re told you are no longer able to consume! Well, maybe it’s not the hardest, but it’s pretty difficult, especially if many of those food and drink items were a big part of your regular diet.

My husband and I are BIG seafood lovers, including seafoods of the raw variety. So, once I started craving things that were on the “no no” list from my doctor, I immediately started looking into ways to turn them into things I could have.

Living in southern California, Mexican food is major & one of our favorite things. When the weather is hot, we particularly love ceviche! Unfortunately, the traditional preparation of ceviche calls for raw shrimp to be “cooked” in lemon and lime juice, which kills majority the bacteria of the raw shrimp. However, when you’re pregnant, doctors advise that all raw meat and seafood be heated to certain temperatures to ensure that ALL bacteria is killed.

With the help of my sister, Chef B❤ , I came up with a pregnancy friendly ceviche that ensures the shrimp is safe to eat and the taste isn’t compromised. On the plus side, this ceviche also takes wayyy less time than the traditional version as well (for the win!).

NOTE: the YouTube video for this recipe is now live! 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 pound raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)

½ cup lemon juice

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup purple onion (diced)

1 small tomato (diced and seeded)

¼ cup cilantro (chopped)

½ medium cucumber (diced)

1 small jalapeño (diced & seeded and deveined if you don’t like it spicy!)

salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

a few slices of lemon and lime

bowl of ice water

 

Directions

In a pot, take 1 cup of water & the lemon and lime slices and bring them to a boil.

Add your shrimp and allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes until they become pink and curled.

Once done, immediately strain the shrimp from the water and place the shrimp in the ice water bath. Allow the shrimp to cool.

 

When the shrimp have cooled, chop them into bite-sized pieces and place them in a glass dish.

 

Add the lemon and lime juice and stir to combine.

 

Add the onion, cilantro, cucumber, tomato, and jalapeño and stir to combine.

Add salt and pepper to your liking. NOTE: remember not to make it TOO salty. We eat ceviche with tostadas, which are already salted! Also, as it sits, the salt will balance the sourness of the lemon and lime juice.

 

Cover and refrigerate until all of the ingredients are chilled and the flavor has developed (about 1-2 hours).

 

Enjoy with crispy tostada shells, avocado and whatever else you like!

 

Sarina<3

The Big “P”& Site Relaunch

Just when I think I have things all figured out, life throws me yet another curve ball…

I’m PREGNANT!

Just about six months along, & its been a rollercoaster to say the least.

Sorry for yet another looooooooong hiatus, but I shall return! June 1st to be exact. Be on the lookout for new recipe posts and videos next month. Can’t wait to share what little baby and I have been cooking up.

xox

Sarina<3

The Holiday Table: Banana Pudding

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Just kidding…I live in southern California (major side-eye). ::leSIGH:: Despite what it looks and feels like here, the holiday season is in full effect.

I LOVE the holidays. I get that warm and fuzzy feeling just thinking about… all the time off I have from work (insert crying with joy emoji). That sounds horrible, I know, but its true. My time off allows me to come out of my shell and hang out with family and friends I neglect throughout the year (truth!). Even better, I get to cook for everyone I love!

I have a handful of staples that you will ALWAYS find on my family’s holiday table. The MOST requested dish would have to be banana pudding. My gosh! If I had a dime for every time someone asked about my banana pudding, I would have, at least, $5 (LOL!).

Banana pudding is definitely a labor of love! As such, I kept this recipe under lock and key for a looooong time. At this point, I’m ready to pass the torch…and I’m tired of everyone asking about it (Ha!). True, it’s just a bunch of store bought items, but there are a few extra steps that take this version to the next level.

 

Banana Pudding (could serve anywhere from 4 sweet-toothed people to 10 people afraid to over indulge) Either way, It never lasts long!

 

Ingredients:

 

2 (5.1 oz) boxes instant banana pudding

4 ½ cups cold milk

1-2 boxes of vanilla wafers/shortbread cookies (or other mildly flavored cookie of choice)

1 (8 oz) container of whipped topping (cool whip, dream whip), thawed

1 pint carton whipping cream

powdered sugar to taste

4 large bananas

 

Utensils:

13×9 baking dish

stand mixer or hand mixer

1-2 metal bowls (one for the pudding and one for whipped cream)

knife

measuring cup

plastic/silicone spatula (with a straight head/handle for scraping the bowl and folding in whipped topping)

 

Directions:

Fill one of the metal bowls with the milk. Turn your stand or hand mixer to low. Add one of the packages of pudding and blend, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Once thoroughly combined, add your second package of pudding. Scrape sides and bottom again. Increase the speed to medium-high and allow the pudding to blend until it begins to thicken making sure to scrape the bowl occasionally.

 

Take your clean and dry 13 x 9 baking dish and line the bottom and sides with your cookies. Take two of your bananas and thinly slice them. Place the sliced bananas atop the layer of cookies and set to the side.

 

Note: If using dream whip, prepare it now, then commence to the next step

 

Take your whipped topping and slowly fold it into the pudding, 1 or 2 large dollops at a time. Repeat until all of the whipped topping has been added to the pudding. The pudding should now be lighter in appearance and fluffier in texture, sort of like a mousse.

 

Next, prepare your whipped cream. It is very important to prepare your whipped cream as close to assembly as possible to avoid any separation of the cream. In a cold metal bowl, pour in your whipping cream and powdered sugar to taste. Try not to make the whipped cream too sweet as the pudding, cookies, and banana also provide sweetness! Hint: If you taste the cream and it seems as though it needs just a bit more sugar, its most likely perfect for this recipe. Gently stir the cream until the sugar dissolves. Then, taking your time, beat the whipping cream until it forms stiff, yet fluffy peaks. Please do not over beat the cream. We do not want whipped butter in our pudding.

 

Now, taking a few large dollops of pudding, form a layer on top of the already placed bananas and cookies. Next, add a layer of whipped cream. After, add another layer of cookies and sliced bananas. Repeat until you have used all of your pudding and whipped cream. (There should be 2 layers of each, but my dish always seems to overflow slightly)

 

You can stop there, but I like to crush some of the cookies and sprinkle them on top and decorate with a few slices of banana.

 

Allow your pudding to set in the fridge for an hour or two and you’re good to go! You can also make this the night before and pull it out just in time for dessert!

 

With love

Sarina<3

Something different

Well, look who’s back!

I know. I was gone a really long time, but it was necessary. As much as I love cooking and sharing my love of cooking with others, it was becoming too stressful with all of my other obligations.

But, I’m back now…refreshed & inspired.

I recently went up to Washington (insert heart eye emoji) and Oregon for a wedding and to visit friends. I am seriously OBSESSED with the Pacific North West. So obsessed that I’m trying to convince my husband to move there, but I digress.

I was able to record a few of my experiences there & decided to put together a little video. Enjoy!

Sarina<3

P.s.

I will (seriously this time) be back soon with recipes and videos.❤❤

A Few Things…

I’m alive, but I probably should have warned you. I have the tendency to go missing from time-to-time (insert side-eyed  emoji here). I work & go to school & get ridiculously overwhelmed with life. Unfortunately, I become drained, discouraged, & just plain not in the mood for things…even the things that I love. I’m working on it. So, please bare with me.

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Anywho, I am  currently infusing some milk with lavender for new content, so stay tuned…

Sarina❤

Recipe Remake Wishing

So, I’m sitting on my lunch break  (eating the last of my  leftover Cafe Rio salad with sweet pork barbacoa turned burrito..& its still delicious after sitting in the fridge) trying to come up with some new recipe ideas. As I bite into a delicious, tender piece of meat, it clicks– I want to remake the sweet pork barbacoa from Cafe Rio! I don’t know if any of you have a Cafe Rio in your area, but it is AMAZING. It was literally love at first bite for me..maybe more like obsessed at first bite, because that pork is so dang delicious. I’m hoping to begin experimenting over the weekend to create a copycat that can be used with chicken for all of you lovelies who don’t eat pork.
Sarina❤