Friday, December 28, 2012

Porcini-Rosemary Crusted Rib Roast, etc. ポルチーニ茸とローズマリー風味のローストビーフ、他

ホームパーティとは言い過ぎですが、先日数名の友人を拙宅にお招きして料理を食べて頂きました。 食品関係のビジネスをやっておられ、良い食べ物を知っている方々も含まれているから、というわけではないですが一応フルコースっぽくサラダ、パスタ、そしてメインの肉料理、と3点作りました。

Not much of a home party, but had a few friends come over for dinner recently. Not necessarily because some of them own a food related business, but I put in a bit more effort than usual and made a 3-dish "course" consisting of a salad, pasta, and a meat entree. 


The foundation of the salad was boiled and thinly sliced red and golden beets spread on a plate rubbed with a tiny amount of truffle oil, with a drop or two of the same truffle oil dripped on each slice of beet. Threw a handful of arugula tossed with just a touch of salt and canola oil (chosen for its neutrality to avoid clashing with the truffle oil) on the beets, then sprinkled some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and toasted walnuts to add some texture.

The pasta was Farafelle with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Garlic, and Arugula in a White Wine Sauce, previously featured in this blog.

The entree was a rib roast with a porcini-rosemary crust. Sprinkled the rib roast with a generous amount of kosher salt, and let it rest in the refrigerator for a few hours, then applied a rub of dried porcini mushrooms, rosemary leaves, and black peppercorns ground in a coffee grinder with some olive oil. Browned the roast on all sides in a frying pan and then roasted in a oven to achieve both a nice crust and multiple levels of doneness - from medium to rare (which is the fun part of cooking a large piece of meat). Served with lightly oiled (olive oil) redskin potatoes then rosted with rosemary,  and glazed carrots made in a microwave (a cheat, but works well).

Neglected to take a photo of the sliced roast rib, but this photo of a sandwich made the next day with leftovers should give you a good idea. Put a cut two thirds of the way into a piece of baguette, spread some mustard, then sandwiched thin slices of the leftover roast and arugula. Served with the roast potatoes and glazed carrots - also leftovers.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pork Chops with Japanese Sake Sauce 豚肉の日本酒ソース


This recipe is from a book by Toyoo Tamamura, a Japanese essayist who lives in the countryside, grows vegetables and grape vines, and also is an accomplished cook - my kind of guy. Saute some pork chops seasoned with salt and pepper on a lightly oiled frying pan, then add some Japanese sake (rice wine) into the pan. When the pork is done and the sake is reduced to a caramel like color on the bottom of the pan, remove the meat onto a heated platter, then pour additional sake into the pan to deglaze the caramelized sake with a wooden spatula. Reduce the liquid on low to medium heat until it reaches a saucelike consistency, then pour onto the pork. This sauce should have a sweet yet very umami-rich flavor. Served with quickly boiled bok choy (Chinese greens), and a bowl of rice.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hamburger (Salilsbury) Steak ハンバーグ


As much as I like the American hamburger, an occasional craving for Japanese-style "hamburger steak (sailsbury steak)" that goes well with steamed white rice emerges. Ideally one will make this with a mix of ground beef and pork, but an all-beef patty with homemade bread crumbs, beaten eggs, and finely chopped onions mixed in and seasoned with salt and pepper to give it texture and flavor. Cooked the patty with a slice of butter for added juiciness, moved to a heated platter, then made a sauce by mix of the pan juices with worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and mustard to drizzle on the steak. Had it with a side of blanched broccoli and stewed pumpkins.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Miso Broth Ramen Loaded with Vegetables 野菜たっぷり味噌ラーメン



Not sure this qualifies as "cooking" due to its simplicity and use of packaged fresh ramen noodles and miso flavored soup base (not instant ramen), but an easy (lazy) and tasty way to eat vegetables. I've been making something like this since my early teens - my mother would not allow me to eat ramen at home without adding some vegetables in the name of "nutritional balance", and that habit has stuck with me ever since.

Stir-fried thin slices of the most inexpensive cut of pork you can find with chopped cabbage and yellow onions in sesame oil with garlic, then add bean sprouts and cook slightly. Pour the stir-fry mix onto a bowl of freshly cooked ramen (timing is crucial here - parallel processing is required), sprinkle some cooked corn kernels, sliced green onions, and white sesame seeds, then serve. Had this with cucumbers marinated in a mixture of salt and fermentation starter (shio-kouji).

Hainan Chicken Rice 海南鶏飯



The past few posts were reprises of food that I'd cooked and wrote about in the past, but this Hainan Chicken Rice, a favorite in many Southeastern Asian countries such as Singapore, Thai, and Vietnam, is something that I made and wrote about for the first time.

Made a chicken broth with a whole chicken carcass, tips of green onions, and ginger, seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooked rice in a clay pot with it together with sauteed chopped onions and garlic. This resulted in a much stronger flavored rice than the typical recipe, which only uses broth made with chicken meat. My hommage to a dish served at a Vietnamese restaurant in San Jose, which also uses a strong broth. Had the rice with some chopped chicken thigh meat cooked with the broth (which also added to the flavor, no doubt), Sriracha chile sauce, and a salad of boiled bean sprouts, cucmbers, and tomatoes with a dressing of sesame oil and rice vinegar. Very tasty - always feels good when a first-time dish turns out good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pan Seared Duck Breast with Broccolini and Carrots 鴨の胸肉、ブロッコリとニンジン添え


Japanese style duck with soba (buckwheat) noodles definitely ranks high in list of my favorite dishes, but when a I get my hands on a good piece of duck breast, I'd also consider pan searing like this. I learned a technique from a Gordon Ramsey recipe that starts cooking the duck breast skin side down in a cold frying pan and cook the breast in its own fat, which yields juicy meat with a very crispy skin. Only salt and pepper are necessary for flavor - no fancy sauces necessary. Served with oven roasted broccolini and carrots glacé, and paired with Pinot Noir. Detailed recipe provided in this post (in Japanese) from my old blog.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Spaghetti with Cabbage, Garlic, and Anchovy キャベツとニンニク、アンチョビのスパゲッティ


Had this pasta at an Italian restaurant that had it at as its signature dish, got hooked, and have been making this many times at home. Over the years I've ended up using more cabbage than the spaghetti and radically increased the amount of garlic used. Such a simple dish, yet has a lot of depth in both the cooking technique and flavor. A detailed write-up of the recipe can be found in my old blog post (in Japanese).

Rockfish Fishing & Cooking ロックフィッシュ釣りと料理


Some friends and I have started going to Capitola, a small coastal resort town south of Santa Cruz for fishing a few years ago and have made the fishing and the subsequent cooking and eating a recurring event. Fishing is fairly easy - the Capitola wharf a shop that rents has 4-passenger outboard motor boats, and we only need to travel a mile or two out to catch some tasty fish - and it's the freshest fish you can ever ask for. Rockfish (sebastes) is our primary target, but you can also catch sardines and mackerel (pictured above), which adds variety to both the fishing and eating. We cooked the mackerel above on a grill with salt inside and out - simple, but a hit even with friends who don't eat a lot of fish.


We caught some vermillion rockfish (Sebastes miniatus) this time around. Not regularly caught close to shore, but this kind has a reputation for being tasty - and it exceeded that reputation. We had this as a sashimi.


We also encountered a school of black rockfish (Sebastes melanops) - a regular catch, but very tasty regardless of the cooking method - sashimi, grilled, stewed, or fried. Made these into sashimi and kobujime, which is sashimi marinated over a sheet of kelp seaweed (kombu).

これはカッパーロックフィッシュ(Sebastes caurinus)と(たぶん)チャイナロックフィッシュ(China Rockfish, Sebastes nebulosus)。これらには独特の植物性の香りがあるので刺身というよりは煮魚や揚げるのに向いています。これは下の写真のように醤油と酒、砂糖そして生姜で煮付けとなりました。

A few Copper Rockfish and (presumed) China Rockfish. Has a somewhat grassy smell to the flesh so better suited for stewing and frying. We made these into a Japanese style stew flavored with soy sauce, sake (rice wine), sugar, and ginger, as shown below.

これは予想していなかった釣果でしたが、カベゾン(CabezonScorpaenichthys marmoratus)が釣れました。カベゾンはスペイン語で「大きな頭」という意味で、文字通り大きな頭と口を持っています。アイナメやカサゴの仲間、ということになるのでしょうが、身ははじめは青緑でびっくりするのですが、火を通すと白くぷりぷりとした食感となり、焼いたり揚げたりすると美味。これはフィッシュアンドチップスとなりました。

This was an unexpected bycatch, but we caught this Cabezon (meaning "big head" in Spanish - indeed has a large head and mouth) related to sculpins and lingcod. The raw flesh has a shocking blue/green color but turns white when cooked and is also a tasty fish - best grilled, pan-fried, or deep fried. This became a really tasty fish and chips.


We had the largest catch ever this time. Unfortunately we got too occupied cooking so failed to take photos for all the dishes, but we made a variety of dishes - sashimi, sashimi marinated on seaweed (kobujime), stewed fish, and of course (!) fish and chips. Picture above is the sashimi made with black rockfish and vermillion rockfish.


Japanese style stewed fish made with the Copper and China rockfish. Stewed with a mix of with soy sauce, Japanese sake (rice wine), sugar, and ginger, then served with thinly-sliced scallions. In addition to tasting great, the fish imparts great flavor to the cooking liquid - some of of our guests enjoyed that by pouring spoonfuls of it on white rice.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Roasted Dungeness Crab, Vietnamese Style ベトナム風ダンジネスクラブのロースト

A dish inspired by the signature dish at a famous crab restaurant in San Francisco - gave up on replicating the original dish, but this ended up being quite tasty in its own right. Detailed recipe (in Japanese only) provided here. Hope to make this again this Dungeness season.


Moules Marieres (Mussels Steamed in Wine) ムール貝のワイン蒸し


"Moules Marieres" could be the quintessential French (or Belgian) seafood dish, but made this with Green-Lipped Mussels from New Zealand so it's probably better to call this a cosmopolitan dish. Details are available in this bilingual (Japanese and English) post from my old blog.

Chicken Curry over Rice チキンカレーライス


Made this Indian chicken curry recipe (to be exact, from my favorite curry place in Tokyo) using 22 kinds of spices. Took advantage of one of the Bay Area's many Indian supermarkets and the wide variety of spices sold there. Not surprisingly, I was the only non-Indian shopper. Details are written up in this post from my old blog (note: in Japanese).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Spicy Roasted Pork Tacos スパイシーローストポークのタコス


Rubbed a not-so-fatty cut of pork loin with cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then roasted in an oven at a fairly low temperature (~300F) for 3 hours. Made a taco with this spicy roast, topping the meat with the guacamole from the previous post, a simple slaw of cabbage and red onions, salsa verde, and fresh cilantro on a lightly toasted corn tortilla. The tortilla and salsa verde were store-bought.

Guacamole ワカモレ


I've eaten Mexican food a lot more frequently after moving to California, even to the point that it's entered my regular list of lunch options. Don't make it as much at home, but occasionally a craving for freshly made guacamole strikes and I end up making it myself. Scoop avocados from the skin, chop and lightly crush, then mix with chopped tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, jalapenos, garlic, and lime juice, then season with cumin powder and salt. Had this with also homemade pork tacos.

Pan Roasted Turbot, String Bean and Corn Salad, and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes イシビラメのポワレ、インゲンとコーンのサラダ、ローズマリーポテト添え


Pan roasted a seasoned filet of turbot in a cast iron skillet and cooked so that the outer layer is crispy but the inside is moist. Served with a salad made with green and yellow string beans and sweet corn mixed with lemon juice, mustard, chopped basil then seasoned with salt and pepper. For the starch, roasted some redskin potatoes with rosemary springs. An attempt at making my platter presentation a bit more photogenic.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Arugula, Romaine, and Tomato Salad with Crisp Bacon, Mandarin Oranges, and Roasted Waluts ルッコラ、ロメインレタス、トマトのサラダ、ベーコン、みかん、クルミ入り


A salad inspired by one that we had at Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc in Napa. Romaine and arugula was spinned in a salad spinner to remove excess moisture, then tossed with fresh tomatoes from a farmer's market in a vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, grapeseed oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Mixed in some crispy fried bacon, mandarin oranges, and roasted walnuts to add crunch and texture to finish. Salads are all about the oil and salt enhancing the coexistence of different textures - a major lessoned learned from "Sir" Keller.

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower カリフラワー入りマカロニチーズ


The ultimate American comfort food (or cafeteria food), Mac'n Cheese. Inspired by Michelle Obama's recipe shown on TV, but instead of making it entirely with cauliflowers, used equal amounts of Orecchiete pasta and cauliflower in an attempt to cut some carbohydrates. For the sauce, used a combination of cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, which was mixed into a bechamel sauce made with bacon fat (there goes any healthiness...) seasoned with nutmeg, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, into which the cooked pasta and cauliflower was added. After spreading the pasta/cauliflower/sauce mixture into an baking dish, topped with a mixture of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and bread crumbs made with some leftover baguette in a food processer, and parsley. Baked in the oven until a golden crust formed. Brought this to a Thanksgiving party, noticed that a few of the guests helped themselves to an extra portion to take home.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stewed Potatoes and Beef, Japanese Style 肉じゃが


This dish is a "go-to" for many Japanese households, but since I'm not too enthusiastic about having a potato-dominated dish with rice (carbs on carbs...), I only make it every now and then. But when I do make it, I make it without shortcuts - starting from making the basic Japanese dashi stock (broth of bonito flakes and dried kombu seaweed) from scratch. I tend to go easy on the soy sauce, sake, mirin, and dark sugar to give it a delicate flavor, which makes a better pairing with sake (or other alcoholic beverages) than with rice.

Simple Roast Chicken シンプルなローストチキン



Basic roast chicken without a lot of elaborate fuss. Simply tasted with salt, pepper, garlic, fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme), and butter. Served on a bed of roast potatoes.

A detailed write up of this dish can be found on my Tumblr.

Cold Soba Noodles in Hot Dipping Sauce with Duck 冷やし蕎麦と暖かい鴨つけ汁


Made a basic soba dipping sauce with freshly drawn bonito flake and dried seaweed broth, added some pan-roasted (with skin) duck breast meat and green onions and shimeji mushrooms sauteed in the rendered duck fat to make a warm dipping sauce for cold soba noodles (in background). A great pairing with Japanese sake.

Salmon Roasted on Ceder Plank サーモンの杉板焼き


To be made only with the freshest king salmon you can get your hands on. Season salmon filet with salt and pepper, place a lemon slice (or two) on top, then cook on top of a ceder plank soaked in water using an oven, or better yet, on a charcoal grill. Can't get any simpler than this, but tasty and great paired with Pinot Noir. Wrote about this in my old blog a few years ago.

Blueberries with Brandy, Sugar, Mint, and Lime ブルーベリーのブランデー、砂糖、ミント、そしてライム和え


My cooking repertoire is almost non-existent, but this is a sweet dish that's simple and tasty when made with really fresh blueberries. Wash blueberries, drain well, sprinkle a bit of brandy, white sugar, and lime juice, mix and then let sit in the refrigerator for a while. Sprinkle with finely chopped mint leaves and sliced lime before serving. Taken from an Anthony Bourdain cookbook.

Farfalle with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Garlic, and Arugula in a White Wine Sauce サンドライトマトとニンニク、唐辛子の白ワインソースとルッコラ入りのファルファーレ



Sauteed some minced garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil, add some white wine and chopped sun dried tomatoes, heat a few minutes, then add al dente Farafelle pasta with a bit of pasta cooking water, toss with a few handfuls of fresh arugula, season with salt and pepper. A fairly simple vegetarian dish so tend to make this often. A Mario Batali recipe.

Previously posted the photo and recipe to my Tumblr.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chicken & Egg "Mother and Child" Domburi with Broccoli in Sesame Sauce 親子丼とブロッコリの胡麻和え


Made Japanese seaweed and bonito flake broth ("dashi") and flavored it with soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar to make a slightly sweet sauce, similar to a soba dipping sauce. Stewed some thinly sliced onions and chicken thigh meat in the sauce, then mixed in some lightly beaten eggs, then poured the mixture over rice while the egg is slightly creamy and sprinkled some peas on top to make what's called a "Oyako (Mother and Child) Domburi (rice bowl)". Usually one does not make the sauce from scratch, but worth the extra trouble. Served a higher ratio of the chicken-egg-onion mix to rice than usual,


Had some veggies in the form of broccoli in a sesame sauce. Mixed some ground white sesame with a bit of soy sauce, sugar, sake, and mirin, then tossed with blanched broccoli. An American variation of a traditional Japanese vegetable side dish.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta エアルームトマトとフェタチーズのサラダ


Sliced some heirloom tomatoes, drizzled some good extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper, sprinkled some chopped parsley and basil (both home-grown), topped with crumbled Feta cheese to finish.

Pot au Feu ポトフ


Simmered some cubed beef stew meat and bone-in chicken with herbs (thyme, parsley, bay leaf), white wine, and cloves, seasoned with salt and pepper to make a tasty soup, then cooked cabbage, carrots, onions, and potatoes cut up into large pieces with it to make this classic French dish.

Chicken and Vegetable Risotto チキンと野菜のリゾット


Made a simple risotto with arborio rice, chicken stock, and wine. Added separately cooked chicken thighs (the standard recipe calls for breasts, but thigh meat is much tastier), pumpkins, and asparagus to simmer, then finished by mixing in fresh San Marzano tomatoes and topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.