I love anime and manga. I confess to having an otaku side which rears its ugly head when I’m immersed in the middle of an ongoing storyline. So when bentochallenge dubbed last week as an anime / manga challenge, I knew I had to participate, regardless of not being able to food cut-outs with cheese and veggies.
Which led to my next problem. Who do I do? My copying skills suck. Oh sure, I can make faces on food, but copying an existing character? Going through my list of favorites, I knew I was in for a tough challenge. Roy Mustang from Full Metal Alchemist? What do I cut-out for his blue uniform? Sanji from One Piece? Same problem. Initial D’s AE86 Hachi Roku! That’s just white and black. But cutting out something as detailed as a car is not something I feel like I could do.
To make the long story short, I picked something easy enough: basic shapes, colors that can be found in food, and non-human from an anime I loved. Card Captor Sakura, I choose you! While I can’t do a Li Syaoran cut-out to save my life, more so Sakura in her various Tomoyo outfits, there’s always Keroberos to the rescue!
â€¢ Tomato & Feta salad. The strawberry-shaped sauce container Keroberos is hugging contains some extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on the mini-salad. Salad is placed in a foil cup to prevent the tomato juices from overpowering the Bifteki.
â€¢ Suteki! No, it’s not anything new. The name is actually culled from Pseudo-Bifteki. Inspired by Chris’ Bifteki from our recent Greek Cook-off, I decided to take a stab at it. Because it was spur of the momentâ€”I only decided on it as I was figuring what to defrost the night beforeâ€”I had to do emergency substitutions, all the while crossing my fingers that nothing goes wrong. Relative success! I’m lessening the broiling time, but otherwise, I’m happy with how it turned out. Oh, and about the face, feta cheese oozed out from one of the bifteki and I thought it looked like the bifteki was sticking out its tongue at me. How could I resist giving it eyes?
â€¢ Couscous v2. This version of couscous is a tweak from the version I used for the above-mentioned cook-off. Instead of using chicken stock, I opted for beef stock this time, plus lots of black pepper.
â€¢ Keroberos cut-out. To make Kero-chan, I used the non-decorated end of my Vegetable Cutters to cut circles, then added black sesame seeds to make his eyes. I then cut his mouth from nori, adding a bit of Sakura Denbu for pinkness. Added a strawberry-shaped sauce container with olive oil because Kero-chan loves cakes, especially ones with strawberries on them.
Kao’s Coucous 2 v. 14 June 2007
1/4 cup couscous (can be bought at Santis)
1/2-3/4 cup beef broth
1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Boil beef broth. Remove from heat.
2. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add coucous then cover.
4. Leave for 5-10 minutes until done.
5. Fluff with a fork then serve.
Mock Bifteki v. 14 June 2007
100 grams ground beef
1 Tbsp sour cream
1 tsp dried thyme
Feta cheese, cut into cubes.
1. Mix together lightly beef, sour cream, thyme, salt and pepper.
2. Place a small amount of the beef mix in your palm then a piece of Feta. Wrap the beef around the Feta, keeping handling to the minimum. You don’t have to roll vigorously. A few light pats to make a sphere would be sufficient. If you handle the beef too much, air escapes, making the beef tougher.
3. Grill for 10-15 minutes in a broiler on high.
Note: I originally broiled mine for 15 minutes but I think it was a tad overcooked. Next time, I’ll try going for 10 minutes. I suggest experimenting on time, depending on the sizes of the bifteki you make.
To view the other entries in the anime / manga bentochallenge, including a fabulous one with Osaki Nana, click here.