Vegetable Curry, a book and recipe

vegetable curry

(recipe follows) Several years ago the love of my life, Hiro, gave me an unexpected birthday present: A curry cookbook written in both Japanese and English. Until then I had never made Indian food — curry had just never occurred to me. He didn’t know me that well at the time but mine is the personality that when I do something, I devote myself to it and so I bought every single ingredient in the index from Asafoetida to Yogurt and went to work page by page, which created some friction in our… Read More

Apple Strudel Your Way!

(recipe follows — red text areas are links) I started working with Filo shortly after starting this blog (you might remember some of the teaser posts). I couldn’t bring myself to publish anything I’d written. I was unsatisfied with the pictures I took and unsure how to present filo dough in a way which would peak your interest, especially as an undeserved reputation as being difficult to work with. Filo needs just three ingredients: Flour, fat, water. To that you can add salt for flavor or stevia for sweetness. The principles for… Read More

Savory Pie — Your Way!

This is really very easy to do. You all have the skills, I know you do. It’s just a lot of baby steps leading towards something visually stunning and delicious. You’re going to be layering different fillings in a pastry, sealing it, and baking it. Everything going inside the pastry is already cooked. You’ll simply be baking the shell to meld the flavors. What you put inside is entirely up to you. In traveling through France I’ve eaten several versions three of the layering suggestions I like best are: Sautéed spinach, ham,… Read More

The Onion Sandwich — Caramelized Onions

(recipe follows) People who comment or send me mail tell me I can improve my blog by talking more about my life. From their advice I have been adding bits and bytes. A part of my life story I never speak about is poverty: I grew up poor. After my parents divorced my mother and I were so poor we couldn’t afford a vacuum. My mother borrowed one every couple of months from her half-brother’s wife. (To clean the carpet we used the back side of tape.) We were poorer than most… Read More

Candied oranges

  (recipe follows) Yes, I really do curl up on the sofa reading “gode” “cookery” books or food histories. Two summers ago I spent two weeks in Provonce retracing Julia Child’s footsteps. So, yeah, I’m kinda single these days, but I can apply what I’ve learned from medieval cookbooks to make some of the best candied fruits you’ll ever eat. Candying fruit was something I taught myself through trial and error by following the directions from 16th century manuscripts. Much later I learned the science behind what I was doing and was… Read More

Raw Apple Pie Your Way — Play with your food!

(recipe follows) When I was younger my credo was to try everything at least twice (in case I got it wrong the first time). Keeping an open mind this way, I learned — and shaped — my preferences. With food, over time, I developed a leaning towards the healthful. Even when cooking with butter, or cream, or sugar, or meat in my mind I work through variations. One fairly new approach I’ve been thinking about is raw food. Interestingly, dehydrating foods under 118 degrees Fahrenheit is still considered raw by many which,… Read More

Orange days — Orange Tart and Candied Oranges

I enjoy making candy, all kinds of candy. But I’ve been eating more and exercising less — soon I’ll be making a change, but for now instead of making my favorite Candied Oranges Dipped in Chocolate, I made an Orange Tart. (I also made Melon Granita and Chocolate Mousse, but if I don’t write about them, they don’t count.) This was just a test. I zested the oranges and boiled them in a sugar syrup to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, cooled them with white rum and laid them in a sweet tart shell… Read More

pastry

(recipe follows) Pastry is simple, but food stylists, paid professionals, and ideals on what pastry should be have set a high bar on personal expectations zapping creativity and confidence — and the will to try. The only rule for pastry is that everything be cold, but crusts and shells can also be made from hot melted fat, oil, be moulded from ground cracker crumbs or raw dates. For any pastry, flour is mixed with fat and liquid. We add fat to the flour to cover the gluten. Just as water and oil do… Read More

Cauliflower Soup

broccoli and cauliflower soup with flavored filo shell, salad, rape

Last Sunday I needed something colorful and elegant to go with dinner. I wanted the soft flavor of cauliflower seasoned lightly with garlic in a cream base. I contrasted it with a green broccoli soup flavored with thyme and tarragon. Both vegetables have an affinity for garlic, thyme, tarragon, so combining them in the same bowl enhanced each soup while creating variation in each spoonful. I used onion in the roux for both to give them a common flavor base. To keep it pale white, I ommited anything with color such as… Read More

Orange Flower Water Filling

Many different fillings, the favourite was homemade frappe. By itself orange blossom was the most elegant, but with inclusions pecan and white chocolate were divine.

First tier (you must use) 500 grams of white sugar 500 grams corn syrup or glucose (to prevent crystallisation) 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 200 grams egg white OR 100 grams egg white powder, 50 grams orange flower water and 50 grams water.*** Third tier (optional) chopped white chocolate (cold from the refrigerator) roasted pecan carefully filtered to remove dust clear flavouring of your choice Method: In a large mixing bowl put dried egg whites, orange flower water, water and stir to mix. Leave to hydrate for 30 minutes to one hour. Or,… Read More

Bolognese Sauce (with vegan option)

The backbone of any western dish.

(recipe follows) _ Japan has slowly tortured all the affection I had for Italian food out of me by reducing it to PASTA. _ A: Let’s go out! B: Where? A: Italian. B: (Pasta!) ___ If you’re out looking for a restaurant _ A: I’m hungry. Oh look, Italian! B: (Pasta) __ Even when you’re at a Japanese restaurant _ A: Hey, look! They have tuna on the menu. B: (It’s served over pasta! ) _ None of it is any good. It’s almost always overcooked spaghetti with watered down tomato sauce containing… Read More

Dosa, a recipe

Dosa and Sambar.

I received a bilingual Indian cookbook about seven years ago, English and Japanese — I ordered every single ingredient. Two years later I was attending cooking school in India. The first day I had to study in the library, which was packed with Asian, European, African, and Indian faces — every one of them were Indian — their culinary traditions as varied and in harmony with each other. In southern India Dosa is ubiquitous and varied like the faces in India. It is made with urad dal and rice, or semolina, or with an… Read More