Waste not! Mushroom Soup with Chicken Mousseline

Quenelles

(recipe follows) When you have trimmings of raw meat, or a lone chicken breast or thigh, or fish that has to be cooked or thrown out, use them: Puree them with cream and seasonings — add a reserved egg white or yolk when you have one on hand — and poach this new mixture called mousseline, forcemeat, quenelle. You can serve them in soup as I did here, or as a main dish with a sauce. The ratio is 2:1 meat:cream. The more cream, the lighter the product. I have stock I… Read More

A sweet sandwich kids assemble themselves: Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Whoopie Pie with Orange Flower Water and White Chocolate filling

(recipe follows) Cooking is personalisation. Baking is personalising a formula. I had never eaten a Whoopie Pie, neither had my tasters — twenty Japanese high school students. The ingredients we have to work with are a bit different from the snacks American origin: Flour is unbleached, butter has more water, eggs are smaller, shortening is only ever an import and our ovens are convection. I found four recipes to try, such as this one and each spread into a puddle — a good example of how ingredients in one part world yield different results in… Read More

How to make banana juice

how to make banana juice

Use banana juice to flavour desserts or add where you want banana flavour, but not banana texture.

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

A Whoopie Pie

Chocolate Whoopie Pie with Orange Flower Water and White Chocolate filling

Orange Flower Water Frappe, the recipe is here. 

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

Lentil Soups

(recipe follows) Department stores here build restaurants into the top stories and rent space to bakeries, restaurant flagships, prepared food shops, high end grocers and butchers at the basement level. Cut out into the floor plan is a space yielded each week to regional foods from prefectures around Japan. In one year you can travel the full length of Japan’s archapelgio by taking weekly trips to the department store. A few weeks ago Tokushima showcased fish, sweets, fruits, and enormous hocks of ham from which a long-lived butcher with a hefty hand sliced… Read More

The Kim Chi Department

Living near Tokyo means Seoul is a day trip. I was in Seoul last May to visit a friend for hanami, do a little shopping, and eat. The most prestigious department store in South Korea is a massive 12 story chunk of architecture named Lotte. Their food department is kinetic, laid out to show how much you’re spending and pulse you through the whole floor. Each pristine display has a salesperson fitted to the task. Toothsome young ladies in Confectionary, delicate women in Fruits, dishy old broads in Kim-Chi — I confess, I completely… 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

Waste not! Croquette.

Croquette served with breaded fish, two kinds of kim chi, and daikon salad.

(recipe follows) I don’t waste food. I keep the scraps and cuttings — those little bit of trim you might easily discard — and find a way to use them. Yesterday I made a lentil soup using pork bones to flavour the stock. After I strained the bones out from the soup, I pulled off the little meat that was left and along with the tips —  not tops — of the carrot and celery, minced the whole fine and added a ladle of very thick béchamel and folded in a bit… Read More

Filet mignon

filet mignon wish asparagus, fois gras, and salad

When I eat beef I want the flavour of beef, not side dishes, not sauce, not aromatics. These are pan seared on the highest heat — timed three minutes each side with salt and pepper.** There’s balsamic vinegar and horseradish on the table, but not for my plate. About fois gras, how do you like it? I prefer to put a piece of wax parchment on a small skillet and heat slices of it with a dribble of cognac. It hovers between a solid and liquid unaffected by any other flavours in… Read More