06 January 2009

Day In

Koji isn't back to school until Thursday, and we had no plans today. So though I got up this morning and put on my track suit, thinking I would drag us to the gym for the first time in four months, when I noticed it was snowing, I decided we should have a day in instead. Mind you, it wasn't a blizzard; it was a barely visible float-by of the occasional flake, but I must have wanted a day in, because that was sufficient reason for me to call off the gym and a possible trip to the market as well.

Through the day, I looked at the dinner option list on the fridge; I was troubled and indecisive. Several of the possibilities either called for ingredients I wasn't able to buy today, or worse yet, I just didn't feel like making them because I've looked at the list too much. It's the same problem as my clothes; they're not actually overworn, they're just over-looked-at. I digress.

Finally, when the kids started shouting about their empty stomachs, it seemed time to make a decision. We have a lot of potatoes, and thanks to this blog I know we've already had rice every day this year. For tonight, surely we could take a little break from rice and also be more casual? I'm throwing in "casual" so the paper plate pictured below will make sense.

*oven fries
*steamed broccoli

*turkey "hamburg"--a Japanese style hamburger steak

and for Aogu,

*rice, white with a bit of brown mixed in

That's right, he couldn't take the day off...and mind you, he already had rice in the lunch I made for him (which is a topic deserving of a separate post). As soon as we started eating, he said, "where's the rice?" and I said, "we're having fries today" and he countered with "but this hamburg is really good and it would be even better with rice". What could I do? We had a bit left over from yesterday, which is less than ideal but better than nothing, so I warmed that up and he was satisfied.

Other observations: Koji didn't like the hamburg at all, but he's not a huge meat fan, so I wasn't surprised. We got him to eat two-thirds of it, anyway. Also, when we have broccoli, I have to make sure and steam up the stems for him, because he only eats broccoli stems, not crowns. Yes, I am still referring to Koji here.

Hamburg recipe in Japanese from Kikkoman website;

Mix and knead the following together in a bowl until it's very cohesive:
360 g (about 3/4 lb.) of ground meat (I used turkey, the recipe calls for a mix of beef and pork)
2 eggs
1/4 onion (I used about 1/2) minced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
small piece ginger, minced fine (I didn't have fresh, I threw in some ground ginger)
2 T panko (Japanese style breadcrumbs, next time I may add a touch more)
2 T ketchup
1/4 tsp. salt

Divide into fourths, (I divided into 8 portions so everyone could theoretically have two) form into a ball shape and toss between your hands to get the air out. Put a bit of salad oil into a frying pan and line up the balls, flattening a bit as you fry them. Once both sides are nicely browned, pour a tablespoon of red wine over all (I used Japanese cooking sake). Put a lid on (oops, I didn't put a lid on) and steam for 2-3 minutes. Stick in a toothpick and make sure the cooking juices run clear. When they do, the hamburg is finished. Sprinkle a bit of soy sauce on and serve with ketchup.

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