Lunch with Judith Jones/ Hiroko’s American Kitchen

Posted on Dec 15, 2012 in Hiroko's Blog

Yesterday I visited Judith, my editor for The Sushi Experience, at her house at upper East, NYC, to cook up our lunch using the sauces from Hiroko’s American Kitchen. The sauces used were Spicy Miso Sauce and White Sumiso sauce, which I pre-made them at home and packed in jars. The lunch ingredients were local Brussels sprouts, lamb chops, parsnip and bitter greens for salad. Without using the particular recipes in the book I showed Judith how she can use these sauces with the ingredients which we have in her kitchen.

While Judith was cleaning the Brussels sprouts – cutting off the very end bottom part and peeling off a couple of outer layer leaves (Judith was telling me that this labor really turns shabby looking Brussels sprouts shine) – I peeled the parsnip, cut it into thin slices and cooked in water to cover. After the parsnip is tender, I pureed it in a food processor and flavored it with my White Sumiso Sauce and pinch(es) of salt. Well, I never done this before. Since it was a bit loose/watery, I transferred it to a small saucepan and cooked until slightly thick. Judith tasted the puree and was pleasantly surprised with apple-tinged fragrant and exciting flavor. “It does not taste like miso nor parsnip,” said Judith. No butter and no milk. “White Sumiso Sauce does a magic!”. A wonderful approval of White Sumiso Sauce by Judith Jones.

I did not include lamb recipe in the Hiroko’s American Kitchen but I have been enjoying the lamb with the Spicy Miso Sauce since I conceived the idea of the book 3 years ago. This is how I do. Salt and pepper the lamb chop and add to the thinly oiled, hot skillet. Cook the lamb over low-medium heat until the bottom is golden. Turn over the meat, reduce the heat to low and cook the meat until medium done. Towards the end of the cooking spoon 1 to 2 teaspoonful Spicy Miso Sauce over each lamb chop. When meat is done, scrape and push the sauce down to the skillet and transfer the cooked lamb into individual serving plates. In the skillet you find the lamb fat, lamb juice and miso sauce. Stir and cook the mixture until it sizzles and bubbles. I added a bit additional miso sauce to the skillet to make it enough for 2 servings, then, spooned it over the plated lamb chops.

For the Brussels sprouts (halved – about 1 1/2 cups), I tossed it lightly with the olive oil and sea salt in a bowl and cooked them in a mini Chinese wok – Judith owns a fantastic, non-stick mini Chinese wok! over moderately high heat until each piece acquired golden color. Then, added a teaspoonful Spicy Miso Sauce and stirred until the sprouts are evenly flavored.

Judith made the dressing for the salad greens. Spicy Miso Sauce, red wine vinegar, olive oil, sea salt….she put all in guessed quantity in a small glass jar and shook it up. “That’s what I do, Judith”, I told. Then, I realized I learned this technique from Judith when I worked with her. I am grateful to have a wonderful mentor and teacher at this time of my life.