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

Play with your food! Cauliflower Tart

(recipe follows) I have a friend, Paul, who was always after me to take photos of what I cook. I really disliked doing it. Stop. Snap. Restart. Then hope it looked like what you made. I started this blog using my iPhone — which was okay, but I’m competitive. I unpacked my point and shoot — Nikon Coolpix S9300. I was learning, so it was okay — then the auto mode broke. What to do? Well, I bought a new camera, a Nikon D7100. I’m still looking for the lens, though I’m… Read More

Tofu Steak with Sautéed Enoki Mushrooms

(recipe follows) Shortly after I arrived in Japan I met my new best friend turned roommate, Shawn. At that time, just after university, we were each earning between five and six thousand USD per month teaching English. We had a four-bedroom apartment in Sapporo, Roller Blades, free-time and lots of greenery — life was good. It was spring, hormones were high and Shawn was crushing on a pretty girl with waist length raven hair. The weight pulled her head back so she walked deliberately, with total control. She agreed to a dinner… Read More

Daikon Steak

(recipe follows) I was watching a Japanese cooking program many years ago in which a wizened chef placed six thick slices of daikon in a large cast iron skillet filled with hot olive oil and cooked them until they browned, which took over an hour. My thighs expand just remembering it. A quick lunch or supper for me borrows from his idea. I lightly coat the bottom of the pan in sesame or olive oil and fry boiled daikon on high until the bottoms brown, between five to ten minutes depending on… Read More

Daikon and tofu steaks with sautéed mushrooms and leek

Simple and easy to make the whole meal has fewer than 400 calories and can be made fat-free. This post will link to the recipes tomorrow, sorry M. R. 😉 For Daikon steak, click here. For Tofu steak, click here.

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

spinach tart

Several years ago PBS released Julia Child’s The French Chef. In a favorite episode she traveled to Provence to make Spinach Tarts with her collaborator Simone (Simca) Beck. You can make a spinach tart simply by combining frozen spinach with Béchamel and placing it (cold) in store bought pastry. You can improve this by starting with fresh spinach boiled in water for three minutes, shocked in cold water, and chopped. To improve the texture you simply pull the the stems from the blades before boiling. Each step changes the dish. Start where… 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

Play with your food! Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi

(recipe follows) A classic Indian dish, Aloo Gobi is cauliflower and potato cooked with regional variations on spices. Here it’s presented in phyllo dough which has been rolled over a hollow cylinder of wax paper and foil. After baking, the foil is removed for a flakey shell to fill. Here, I placed the Aloo Gobi at either end with several chunks of lamb in the center. Phyllo is traditionally rolled with butter between the layers. To keep with the Indian theme I used melted ghee and in the variations olive oil, canola,… Read More

Play with your food! Spinach curry as strudel

You’ll soon see that I’m in strudel mode. But why not blend food traditions and put Palak Paneer (Spinach Curry with Paneer) inside strudel dough? I made five different curried versions, variations on colors and flavors. They are really delicious. (Can anyone tell me why my iPhone 5S takes better photos than my Nikon S9300?)

Flavoured Dulce de Leche

Banana toffee tuile and/or banana dulce de leche. The chocolate cookie is enriched with espresso.

The most effective way to make Dulce de Leche is to place a container of sweetened condensed milk in a pressure cooker for 40 minutes on the highest pressure setting, then letting it come to room temperature without releasing the steam. The milk and sugar within the can will caramelise perfectly every time. And no, there is no danger of explosion. To make a flavoured version of dulce de letche use powdered milk and replace some or all of the water with juice, in this case, banana juice. Tier one (you must… 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