Archive for October, 2012

Halloween pasta

Why do I call this Halloween pasta, you might ask? Well, because it sort of looks like food fit for Dracula, garlic notwithstanding.

The beets dyed everything a deep pink reminiscent of blood, the tomatoes took on a nice red glow, and the brussels sprouts became brilliantly green in contrast.

Yusuke began by sautéing minced garlic in olive oil to bring out the aroma. He added chopped tomatoes and cooked them for a while to reduce the water. He also added a pinch or two of sea salt at the same time.

Next came sliced (fresh from the earth!) beets and (fresh from the earth!) brussels sprouts and let it all cook until soft. He seasoned the melange with pepper and a bit more sea salt and served it over pasta.

We looked suspiciously vampiresque with the traces of beet juice on our lips… Gross colour, perhaps, but great taste and fantastic viz. vitamins.

P.S. I learned this very morning that those funny round veggies are “brussels sprouts” rather than “brussel sprouts.” Who knew? Maybe I’ll stick with chou de bruxelles.

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Holy mackerel

This is mackerel (in Japanese: saba / 鯖)

Simple and subtle is always best. Yusuke cooked the fish in a frying pan with just a bit of water, ginger (lots), mirin, soy sauce, and dashi. Delicious.

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Tomatillo et al stir fry

Oh, tomatillos, where have you been all my life? I had them for the first time in last year’s CSA baskets, and they’ve returned again a few times this year. The taste is similar to tomatoes, but they’re sweeter, drier, and fleshier. Plus they have the added fun of being neatly packaged in papery husks. A marvelous species indeed.

For this stir fry, Yusuke began by sautéing cubes of firm tofu in olive oil until slightly browned. He removed the tofu from the pan and wiped out the extra oil.

Next, he cooked chopped eggplant in fresh olive oil until cooked.

Next, he added minced garlic and tiny slivers of fresh chili pepper.

The tomatillo was added next.

And finally, powdered kombu dashi (a stock made from seaweed) offered umami. No additional salt was needed.

The original inspiration for this recipe was fish and tomatoes, but tofu worked nicely. On the side, we had miso soup with turnips and their greens.

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Squash salad

Here we have かぼちゃサラダ, or squash salad. Well, it’s not really Japanese kabocha, but rather soft, flavourful acorn squash from our CSA basket.

For efficiency’s sake, Yusuke began by microwaving the squash for about 2 minutes. He then cut it into smaller cubes, which were microwaved for another 4-5 minutes. After that, he “smashed it a bit.”

Meanwhile, he thinly sliced a white onions and chopped some tomatoes, removing the seeds since they were too watery.

He also boiled edamame for about 5 minutes, until soft.

When everything was prepared, he mixed it all together in a large bowl.

Next, he poured in 1 tsp of almond milk, 1 tsp of mayonnaise, and a tiny bit of sea salt and pepper and mixed it all well.

The mixture was served over lettuce. (And Yusuke added more mayonnaise to his portion.) Sweet and creamy!

On the side, we had harusame soup. He first soaked the harusame in warm water to soften it. In a frying pan, he sauteed napa with sesame oil and ginger and then added water and chicken broth, along with salt, pepper, and sesame seeds.

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