Archive for February, 2011

Roasted melange, starring sweet potatoes

I’ve been obsessed with sweet potatoes lately, and so I was very pleased with this roasted veggie mélange. Most especially because it included my beloved okra and mushrooms (yay!). Also, zucchini.

To be more specific, they were crimini mushrooms—a great source of riboflavin (vitamin b2), doncha know.

As the picture shows, Yusuke combined the chopped veggies all together in a pan and roasted them in a hot oven. Seasoning was soy sauce or sea salt; either works.

In the oven

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Mabo dofu, leek style

This was a variation on mabo dofu, or spicy tofu, which Yusuke makes in a Japanified form of the Szechuanese dish.

He usually uses silken tofu, but opted for firm here. He also decided that he needed to use up our remaining bean sprouts, a welcome addition indeed. Finally, the dish was deemed to be lacking in green, so finely chopped leeks were included as well.

The dish preparation began by combining a sauce of:

  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1.5 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp tenmenjan—a Chinese sweet bean paste
  • 300 mL water with chicken bouillon powder

This was set aside.

Next, he sautéed ginger in a frying pan with tobanjan (spicy chili sauce). When sizzling, he added the veggies, followed by the sauce, followed by the cubed tofu—all left to simmer briefly in turn. Next came a bit of salt and black pepper.

Last, after reducing the heat, he gradually drizzled in katakuriko (Japanese potato starch) mixed with water (usually 1 tbsp starch with 2 tbsp water). He adds only one spoonful at a time while stirring constantly, which thickens the sauce but avoids clumps.

Spicy, yum.

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Chocolat de plus

dôme

…and these were acquired in a week-after-Valentines sale.

This time it was dômes. And I quote:

1. Our “old fashioned” caramel infused with natural orange oils and chopped bits of orange peels from Valencia, Span, then covered with a dark chocolate dome.

2. Caramelized roasted hazelnuts blended into our 60% dark chocolate and then covered with a milk chocolate dome.

Le mariage parfait des textures: une onctueuse ganache enrobée d’un dense chocolat au lait, noir ou blanc.

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Valentine chocolates

Sea salt chocolate

Bof. I’ve been neglecting this blog. However, here is a picture of the chocolates I gave Yusuke for Valentine’s Day, from Suite 88 (aka heaven).

The mosaic box set includes:

  • Amaretto
  • Caramel anglais (English caramel)
  • Espresso
  • Érable (maple)
  • Fleur de sel (sea salt)
  • Florentin (with orange and honey)
  • Limoncello
  • Rhum raisin
  • Praline
  • Thé vert (green tea with white chocolate)

I also bought some truffles: green tea, praline, and milk chocolate, but they didn’t stick around long enough for a picture.

In Japan, it’s customary for girls to give guys chocolates for Valentine’s Day. There are two categories of giving: 1) 義理チョコ (giri-choco) or “obligation chocolates” for people you don’t really care about, and 2) 本命チョコ (honmei-choco) for your “real” Valentine.

The guys return the favour with gifts to women one month later on White Day (conveniently close to my birthday).

Mosaic chocolates

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