Archive for June, 2009

Première Moisson interlude

There are many pâtisseries in Montreal, but although we’ve only tried a handful of them, we keep returning to Première Moisson. The food and ambiance are superb, to say the least, and one of the branches is about a block from our apartment.

Below are a few examples of the shops’ offerings. I feel that I should get money (or at least get free pastries) for advertising for them!

Bountiful bread

Bountiful bread


Cakes

Cakes


PIE!

PIE!


And here are our selections from our most recent Sunday pastry run.

Forêt-Noire

Forêt-Noire

This forêt-noire consists of chocolate sponge cake soaked in kirsch syrup, Chantilly cream, and cherries. Topped with lots o’ chocolate. (As roughly translated from Première Moisson website.)

Cygne

Cygne

This was labeled simply “cygne” (swan). It seemed pretty much the same as the cream puffs made by my friend’s mom, who is from Germany, for a birthday party in grade 5 (yes, I remember them, Melissa!). Very tasty. Unfortunately, I broke off the swan’s head when I was taking it out of the box; oops!

Choco-framboises

Choco-framboises

Chocolate mousse cake on a chocolate cookie crust with whole raspberries and raspberry jam. Sooooo rich.

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Wasabi asparagus

Asparagus with a kick

Asparagus with a kick

I attempted this extremely simple recipe from the Fat-Free Vegan blog. Please note that her photography is excellent, as are, by all evidence, her culinary skills. I feel so lowly in comparison. On the other hand, I don’t particularly like cooking, anyway, and I’m probably better at searching International Bibliography of the Social Sciences. Hmph.

This dish caught my eye because I love wasabi, and the recipe is so easy that it barely counts as cooking. You just coat asparagus in a mixture of sesame oil, soy sauce, and wasabi then roast it in the oven.

Unfortunately, mine didn’t turn out so great. Not sure exactly what I did wrong. The tips of the asparagus were nice, but some sections were really stringy. I might’ve overcooked it, or perhaps it just was bad quality to begin with. I also could’ve added more wasabi, but that was much more easily remedied afterward than if I had the opposite problem.

This dish would be perfect for bento (a lunch box meal).

I really love the wasabi kick, so this satisfied my craving nicely. And here’s a wasabi factoid: from a reference in the wasabi wikipedia article, I learned that researchers have created a fire alarm for people with hearing impairments that uses wasabi! When smoke is detected, the device shoots wasabi from a can into the room. The powerful smell woke up the people in the study. Wicked. Story and video are here.

Since I was worried that the asparagus would be awful and that Yusuke would go hungry, I made sure we had some tofu on hand as a supplement. Yusuke snarfed down his asparagus, so either he was starving or it was fairly edible (I think the former). And then we ate the tofu anyway with the usual green onions, soy sauce, ginger, and bonito flakes. Cold, smooth tofu. Yum. I couldn’t manage a decent picture, but here’s a placeholder.

Tofu!

Tofu!

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Spicy konnayaku and green beans

Konnyaku-n-beans

Konnyaku-n-beans

I had a dream about konnyaku last night, so I thought it must be time to write up this super-duper stir fry. We’ve been finding lots of fresh crunchy green beans in the stores lately, and Yusuke thought they would pair well with konnyaku.

First he boiled the beans and konnyaku with a pinch of dashi in the water. Then he sautéed the konnyaku to reduce the water it contains. Next came the beans and the spice: sesame seeds, soy sauce, mirin, dashi, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil.

On the side, we went with more moderate tastes with rice and miso soup with daikon.

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Tofu-saucy veggies

Veggies & tofu sauce

Veggies & tofu sauce

Nope, that’s not cottage cheese—it’s tofu, that most wonderful food. Yusuke smashed up silken tofu and combined it with salt, pepper, olive oil, and rice wine vinegar. This served as a sauce for boiled fresh vegetables: asparagus, carrots, and bean sprouts. Perfectly summery. I think this is another new favourite.

These gorgeous chocolate fans were also recently consumed. My mother-in-law had included the candies in a package sent to Montreal, and they were so beautiful that we didn’t want to eat them. But Yusuke noticed that they were past their expiry date anyway and did his duty. Fortunately pictures were taken before it was too late. Ommnomnom.

Fans au chocolat

Fans au chocolat

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Seafood pasta

Seafood pasta

Seafood pasta

This dish wouldn’t be out of place in a fancy-schmancy Montreal restaurant…only it was much cheaper! We managed to find decent squid in a nearby grocery store (PA on du Fort). Yusuke says that fresh squid in Japan is translucent, rather than the opaque white that we see here, but this was probably the best we could get—not too chewy at all. You can’t quite see in the picture, but we had both the body and tentacles of the squid. (N.B. This is from the girl whose only seafood consumption for the first twenty or so years of her life was reheated frozen fish sticks. Now it feels perfectly natural to say, “mmmm, tentacles”). Yusuke stir fried the squid and shrimp before combining it with tomatoes, lots o’ garlic, and Italian spices. He boiled the spaghetti in water with olive oil before adding the noodles to the sauce and seafood in the frying pan.

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