Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dinners, Snacks and Small Bites

Our favorite part of a pork katsu dinner - Japanese breaded and fried pork cutlets - is the accompanying sauce. It even saved our overcooked version seen above! The sauce can be bought in Asian markets but you can make a perfectly acceptable facsimile at home. Serve as you would condiments such as HP Sauce, Heinz 57 or A-1 Sauce. Mix together in a bowl: 1 T. soy sauce, 1 T. mirin or sake, 1 T. Worcestershire sauce, 3 T. ketchup and 1 t. hot mustard.

Cold, grey afternoons are pretty much the norm for Hudson Valley winters. Cafe Drake often warms up with a bowl of split pea soup and toasted ham and Gruyere open-faced sandwiches as seen above.

Yup, another walnut dip. This one's a cinch: in a blender whirl together until smooth:1 cup chopped walnuts (don't roast), some chopped parsley, 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, about 1/2 cup milk (water also works!), 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 t. paprika and a bit of cayenne pepper.
The result should be thick, more like a pate. Season with salt and black pepper and refrigerate for at least an hour so flavors meld. Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil and more chopped parsley if desired.

Grape tomato and mint leaf salad, dressed with olive oil, minced garlic and sea salt, certainly looks seasonal.

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