Monday, January 27, 2014

Dinner Party: Japanese Katsu Curry

A while ago, I had a dinner party in my new apartment with Ms. Pastry Chef, Ms. Cordon Bleu, Mr. HP Sauce, and Mrs. Green M&M. I didn't want to go too crazy with this meal so instead I made a very homestyle meal serving chicken katsu with tonkatsu sauce, Japanese vegetable curry, and rice.

First, the chicken katsu which is really a fried chicken. Instead of regular bread crumbs, it's coated with panko crumbs which makes the chicken really crunchy. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs. Why use anything else? This has the most flavor and keeps moist and juicy. I coated the chicken with flour first, then an egg wash, and last a panko bread crumb. Then I fried the chicken in canola oil for a few minutes on each side until browned. Now the trick to keeping fried food crispy if you're making a big batch is to put the cooked food on a rack in baking sheet and into an oven set on warm. This allows air flow all around and the crust does not get soggy at all. Make sure all the pieces are in one flat layer. Do not overlap them.
The tonkatsu sauce is made with ketchup, worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, and soy sauce. It adds the right amount of sweet and tang to the meal.

The vegetable curry wasn't made from scratch. Instead, I used those premade cubes found in any Asian food market. First, I boiled some potatoes. In another pot, I cooked carrots and onions until softened. To that, I added a bunch of chicken stock then the cubes of curry. Finally I added the cooked potatoes and a bag of frozen peas. I brought the mixture up to a boil and let it simmer for a few minutes. The potatoes naturally thickened the sauce. I turned off the heat when it reached the consistency that I liked.
A heaping plate of white rice with curry on top. A crispy, fried katsu on the side with tonkatsu sauce on top. Just the perfect comfort meal.

And if that wasn't enough, I also made a chocolate tart with a hazelnut crust. It had a chocolate ganache filling with melted chocolate on top. The chocolate on top is just for show because it makes it all shiny and pretty. It's not necessary at all but still delicious.

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