Sunday, May 08, 2005

Paper Chef: Strawberry Katsu

Over all, my dinner last night went very well! I'll be posting about in a few days, but I had three different 'guess the ingredient' questions, and everyone proved to be very discerning! I had 5 people guess two of the three questions correctly!!! I'll report more about it on a non-Paper Chef entry post...

Yes, that's right! It's Paper Chef time and I am taking a little break from my Japan trip report to post my Paper Chef entry!!! Our ingredients this month were strawberries, ricotta cheese, white chocolate, and almond paste. I substituted almond flour/powder for the almond paste. I didn't have any almond paste and didn't want to spend any more money this month on extra food expenses. Since none of the ingredients except for the strawberries are things I would usually purchase, the white chocolate and ricotta cheese was all I was willing to add to my kitchen clutter.

strawberry katsu1
With these ingredients, I made Oven-baked Strawberry Katsu. Katsu is the Japanified word for 'cutlet', and tonkatsu is one of the most popular representatives of the Katsu world. Katsu is usually made by sequentially coating various meats (pork in the case of tonkatsu) with potato starch, eggs, and the Japanese bread crumbs, panko, to produce a crunchy, firm crumb cover. I always thought this would make a great hearty dessert crust, so I decided to try making dessert katsu today. I think the purist Japanese would consider this somewhat disturbing, but I think the adventure paid off nicely for this one!

strawberry kastu2
I made the Katsu with the ricotta, strawberries, and almond flour, and topped it with a katsu sauce made with white chocolate grenache. I oven-fried/baked it, since my attempts at deep frying were utterly unsuccessful. But in the oven, the patties took on a wonderful crunchy panko crust and became surprisingly katsu-like. The patties had a fragrant strawberry scent and satisfying fullness without being overly rich or greasy, thanks to the fat-free ricotta. The additional whipping cream in the patty provided binding for the ricotta and the strawberries, in addition to providing perfect smoothness. I accented the sweetness of the strawberries with a hint of brown sugar, but as in tonkatsu, the katsu sauce on top really brought the dish to life. The creaminess and the sweetness of the sauce highlighted all the strengths of the katsu itself. For a spontaneous creation, this was a successful attempt at a 'strawberry katsu' and strikingly appropriate to be called a 'strawberry katsu'!

strawberry katsu4

Recipe:

Patties:

All measurements are approximate this time...

4 oz strawberries (pureed)
1/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 fat-free ricotta cheese
1/2 tbs brown sugar
3/4 cup almond flour (almond powder)

panko crumbs
soy bean oil spray

Grenache/katsu sauce:
3 oz white chocolate
3 tbs whipping cream

I first made the patty by grinding up (puree-ing) a handful of strawberries (4 oz?) in my mortar and pestle, since I don't have a food processor. I added the whipping cream and ricotta cheese to the strawberries, followed by enough almond powder for the mixture to be at a consistency to make patties. I took about a tbs of the mixture and made them into patties. The patties were coated with a generous portion of panko, sprayed lightly with oil, and baked in the oven at ~375F for 10 minutes (or until golden brown).

The katsu sauce was made by microwaving the white chocolate until melted. Enough whipping cream was added until the sauce took on the same consistency as tonkatsu sauce.

Top katsu with sauce and serve hot!

8 comments:

Uchipu said...

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Nanka....kimochiwarui kore.

Alice said...

Demo oishikatta yo!!!!!

I know, I know, it's a little bit shocking... But it was really very good!!!

Clea said...

I love this sweet version of the tonkatsu! You should imagine more of these. For example, something that would look exactly like a tonkatsu, on top of a bowl of milk pudding rice...?

Alice said...

C-

How about some dark chocolate grenache added on top of the katsu with pudding rice for a katsu curry look?!

Wouldn't that be fun?!

Owen said...

Alice,

I am always impressed by your creativity - this is a really original idea. The full list of entries is up now by the way at www.tomatilla.com

The Papa Bear said...

Here's a Vietnamese test for Alice:

Ba'nh em la`m ngon la('m!!

Alice didn't tell me what she was doing but upon looking at the finished product, I mentioned that it looked like a meat dish, but of course, it didn't taste anything like meat - just a wonderfully fragrant and sweet treat. Interestingly, the combination of the white chocolate and the bread crumbs tasted like there coconut shavings.

Good treat!!!

Alice said...

Owen,

Thank you for hosting Paper Chef every month. It is SOOO much fun to be creative and let the imagination go wild! I really enjoy having four ingredients to match and experiment with - and it's always so much fun to read what others have done with them!!

Papa,

Yes, I understood everything but "ba'nh" - not bad, huh?!

LiquidShaDow said...

Very interesting... perhaps the strawberry patty fillings could be used as a layer to coat a piece of pork loin before being breaded and fried as well. Cheese and some fruit wouldn't be too strange with pork.