Archive for November, 2011

Dishes for which I lost the description

If there’s a dish that I’d like to blog, I usually take notes after dinner. However, for the items below, I seem to have lost my notes and therefore don’t feel like doing a write-up. But I don’t want the pics to go to waste!

Oven roasted veggies

Gazpacho with csa basket tomatoes and cucumbers

Lovely new rice bowl

Shrimp, tofu, and avocado, a creamy melange

Broccoli and grilled fish

Pasta with broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms

Zucchini and mushrooms with tangy sauce, made by my mum in law

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Chinese-style shrimp melange

Yusuke described this stir fry as “Chinese style.” He began by quickly boiling thin strips of zucchini—for about 3 minutes. The shorter the time, the crunchier the zucchini. He then drained the water.

The original recipe that inspired him called for carrots and pork, but we didn’t have either; he opted for shrimp and crimini mushrooms instead. He boiled the mushrooms for 1 minute and drained well.

He combined the three chief elements in a bowl and added:

  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (olive or canola would also work)
  • a tiny bit of ajinomoto flavour enhancer (MSG! use with caution!)
  • a pinch of white sugar

As Yusuke put it, cooking is chemistry!

He just mixed everything up, and that was it.

On the side, we had a nice consommé soup, the picture of which I seem to have misplaced. He used a consommé powder, which I was surprised to note was produced in Israel. I wasn’t really familiar with what consommé actually is, and I’m still not exactly sure how it’s different from other stocks and bouillon. The label said that it was “chicken style,” but chicken isn’t listed in the ingredients. Instead, the word “celery” is in bolded font on the package. Even better. Yusuke said that it’s much easier to find in Japan; he has had a hard time locating it in Canada.

To the broth, he added a pinch of white sugar, a few drops of soy sauce, and ginger. The veggies were bok choy, cubed potatoes, and white onions.

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Simple cabbage soup

This is sort of a generic soup, and yet, I feel that I could eat it everyday. Very filling and versatile indeed. I recall enjoying the remainder for breakfast the day after; cabbage for breakfast leads to a bright day.

Yusuke began by cooking garlic in olive oil until the aroma began to fill the kitchen. He then added chicken broth to the pot, along with a few bay leaves, sea salt, and pepper. Next came the veggies parade:

  • cabbage
  • halved cherry tomatoes
  • crimini mushrooms
  • carrots
  • white onions
  • green onions

The soup simmered until the cabbage was sweet and soft (but NOT mushy!).

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Pesto pasta

Earlier in the summer, our csa basket featured tons o’ fresh basil. For this recipe, Yusuke employed at least 30 fresh leaves to make an experimental pesto sauce. It was tasty.

Instead of the traditional pine nuts, he used about 1 tsp of peanut butter. He combined it with the basil leaves, sea salt, about 150 mL of olive oil, and garlic. He used a blender, but a food processor would probably be more efficient.

The sauce was tossed with al dente spaghettini, graced by steamed eggplants. Rather than water, Yusuke used wine for steaming. He simply put eggplant slices in a frying pan, poured in white wine, and covered it with a lid. The effect was succulent and tangy.

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