My family, specially my grandsons Dion and Devon, love Katsu Curry. That’s what they order whenever we go to the Curry House for lunch or dinner. Their favorite, and mine too, is the Chicken Katsu Curry with cheese. OMG talk about comfort food! (and calories!)
You might be wondering what Katsu Curry is. Well it’s sort of a fusion of Japanese battered and fried food, the Katsu, and a spicy sauce that finds its origins in India, the curry. I guess you could say Katsu Curry is an Asian Fusion food that combines favorites from 2 Asian countries.
Judging by the number of franchised curry restaurants in Japan and the world wide proliferation of those franchises I’m reasonably certain the Katsu Curry is a favorite in Japan and in many other parts of the world. I know the Curry Houses here on the island are always busy. That’s why we hardly ever get to eat there. I hate long lines, specially when I’m hungry.
But Katsu Curry is so easy to make at home there’s really no need to stand in line. Or to go in search of a Japanese Curry house in your area. My recipe calls for store bought curry sauce mix, it cuts the prep time and you don’t need to stock your spice cabinet with expensive exotic spices.
My recipe just needs 4 other ingredients along with the concentrated cutty sauce. Chicken, Panko, Egg, and oil for frying. Try it out for dinner. Serve it over steamed white rice for an amazing meal!
If you prefer pork chops, batter and fry a thin slice of pork and you’ve got Tonkatsu Curry!
The other day I was looking for something easy to whip up to add to our Sunday night barbecue. I usually make garlic knots but didn’t have any frozen bread dough. I didn’t want to make a grocery run so I hunted around the kitchen to see what I could come up with. Well, I found a box of frozen puff pastry in the freezer and some shredded cheeses. That’s when I decided I’d make Cheese Straws!
These Cheese Straws are super simple to make and require just a few ingredients. Best of all they are too yummy!
For our Sunday night barbecue I served Cheese Straws instead of dinner rolls, the family loved them. But you can have them as a snack too! Because they’re made with puff pastry they’re light, buttery, and flaky!
Here’s how you make them!
makes 16 pieces
Pre-Heat over to 425°
1 Pkg. Frozen Puff Pastry sheets Thawed- each package comes with 2 sheets
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/3 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 Egg Beaten
Melt butter and stir in Garlic Powder
Toss together cheeses
Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and brush with butter mixture
Evenly distribute 1/4 of cheese mixture on half of the pastry sheet
Fold pastry sheet in half over the cheese and brush with butter
Evenly distribute another 1/4 of cheese mixture on the top – lightly press cheese into the pastry dough to keep it in place
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut the pastry sheet into 8 strips
Take the first strip in twist it a couple of times
Place twisted strip on parchment covered baking sheet
Repeat with the rest of the strips
Repeat this whole process with the other sheet of puff pastry
Brush beaten egg over all the strips°
Place twists in the PRE-HEATED oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Fusion Cuisine has become very popular lately. Top restaurants and chefs tout their newest creations which is usually 2 or more types of cuisine and cooking traditions combined to create a “fused” dish. Some are actually delicious like my favorite LA street food, Korean Beef Tacos; other combinations I’m not so sure about like Sweet and Sour Chicken Pizza. I love pizza, but I like to keep it simple, the topping of Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken was interesting at best. I’m sure there are fans of it out there, I’m still uncommitted.
Recently our family headed to Chili’s for a quick meal, it had to be quick the 19 month old twins were with us! My favorite dish at Chili’s is their fried shrimp tacos. I was so disappointed when I ordered the tacos and got tiny shrimp that was marinated in some Tex-Mex concoction and thrown in a corn tortilla. When I asked our server what happened to the “good” shrimp tacos I was informed that it had been changed to this new version. Good thing I ordered a taco trio and was able to enjoy the Prime Rib tacos. But I went home determined to create my own version of a crispy shrimp taco.
I came up with this delicious taco! I adapted my Salt & Pepper Shrimp recipe (Asian Fried Shrimp) and used that to fill fresh white corn tacos. Garnished with shredded cheddar, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream it was super yummy! In fact we liked it better than Chili’s old shrimp tacos!
These Crispy Salted Pepper Shrimp Tacos have just the right flavor and the perfect crunch that complements the white corn tortilla. It has become a new family favorite and I’m so excited to share it with you!
Makes 4 tacos
12 Jumbo Shrimp
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Corn Starch
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Ground White Pepper
Oil for frying
4 White corn tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese
Peel and de-vein shrimp.
Butterfly the shrimp by lightly slicing the back about 1/4 of the way thru.
Dissolve salt in water and soak the shrimp in it for 15 minutes.
Mix garlic, pepper, and corn starch together.
Pour 1″ of oil in frying pan and heat.
Drain shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel.
Roll shrimp in corn starch mixture.
Fry shrimp until the coating turns golden and shrimp is pink.
Need a quick and easy dip for game day? Here’s a really good dip you can throw together, your guests will love it!
My family loves this Baked Spinach Dip. Served warm with plain pita chips, it’s awesome!
The crunchy panko topping gives this dip that extra texture that regular spinach dip is missing.
Not only is this delicious, it’s very easy to make too! You can make it a few hours ahead of time and pop it in the oven just before serving. I don’t recommend saving leftovers, it gets very watery, but I don’t think this will be a problem. It’s so good I doubt you’ll have leftovers.
It’s a pretty heavy dip so you want to use thicker or sturdier items to dip. Pita chips work great as does crostini or slices of crusty baguette. Tortilla and potato chips don’t fare so well, they tend to break while dipping.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach – thawed
1 package cream cheese softened and cut into cubes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter – melted
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs Directions:
1. Squeeze out as much water as you can from the thawed spinach.
2. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix very well.
3. Place spinach mixture in an oven safe baking dish.
4. Sprinkle panko over all.
5. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until cheeses have melted and topping is browned.
6. Serve warm with pita chips or whatever you want to dip.
If you want to add a bit of spice to this stir in 1 tbls. crushed red peppers to the spinach mixture.
The recipe calls for Panko which is an Asian style breadcrumbs. If you can’t find Panko you can substitute plain breadcrumbs instead.
You can prep this ahead of time. Store covered in the fridge and pop in the oven before serving, this may add a few minutes to the baking time depending on how cold it is.
If you must store leftover do so in an airtight container, and be sure you use it the next day. The longer it stays in the fridge the more watery it gets.
Baked Spinach Dip
A baked version of everyone's favorite dip. The panko topping gives it that extra crunch missing in the regular version.