Homecooked 8pax Modern Japanese Course Dinner on 5Dec2015

flamed squid in spinach veloute

flamed squid in spinach veloute

did a modern japanese course dinner for some friends last saturday on 5.12.2015. ^^

i did the flamed squid dish for a friend who bought me a handheld butane torch when he came for dinner almost 2 years back.

i chanced upon a photograph of this dish in a cookbook at porthminster cafe, st ives, cornwall.

i could not find any recipe on the net so i fashioned my own flamed squid in spinach veloute.

i made very narrow chequered cuts on the squid. when charred by the torch, it curled nicely & looked wonderful. they were then fried in butter at high heat for a short period, so the squid was just succulent, not rubbery & chewy. i used kitchen scissors to cut a slice to test to make sure.

the veloute was made with spinach leaves, green pepper & yellow onions. they were fried to soften then blended with 2 tbsp of olive oil, slight salt & pepper to taste.

a bit elaborate perhaps (especially when the friend i made it for could not attend this evening), but a very enjoyable dish none the less. 🙂

nothing particularly japanese in the dish, mostly western. however japs do love aburi (flamed) dishes, so this could count as one.

the second course, chawanmushi (japanese of course), was my usual preparation. a friend lent us her chawanmushi cups, always look & taste better with better presentation. 🙂

egg was smooth, but i thought the taste was not as good as what i made previously. i was nursing a flu & my tastebuds were a bit off so couldn’t tell. my wife thought so too.

prawns & scallops were ok, chicken seemed a bit over.

3rd course was pan seared scallops in prawn vegetable bisque.

scallops were very good, even though i did not pan sear them well this evening.

the bisque was very smooth, sweet & balanced with prawns & vegetable stock.

the prawn vegetable bisque was a slight variation from my previous recipe.

i used a smaller amount of prawn stock & added carrot, red pepper, red onion & the unused spinach stalk, blended & added 2 tbsp thickened cream before serving.

this was again the western interlude, only the IQF (individual quick frozen) hokkaido scallops were japanese. 🙂

wafu 和风 pasta+wafu 和风 eggplants+teriyaki cod

wafu 和风 pasta+wafu 和风 eggplants+teriyaki cod

for the 4th course, i served a wafu 和风 pasta+wafu 和风 eggplants+teriyaki cod. 🙂

teriyaki cod is my usual recipe.

this evening it was done to perfection, almost. ^^

slightly firmer because of marinade, lightly flavoured, bringing out cod’s natural sweetness. quite a beauty to behold. 🙂

to add a veg to the pasta dish, i made wafu 和风eggplants.

this evening i think it was ok, but maybe not so tasty, or my tastebuds were off.

this a really simple dish to make-

  1. cut 2 medium eggplants in 1/2, make diagonal cuts to help the sauce infuse
  2. fry medium fire both sides, add 1 tbsp tsuyu, mirin, sake, 1/2 cup stock & stew. just make sure it’s not overcooked & still firm

for the carbs, i made a wafu 和风 pasta.

japanese make great italian food too. i especially like their mentaiko pasta & uni ikura pasta.

wafu 和风 pasta+wafu 和风 eggplants+teriyaki cod

wafu 和风 pasta+wafu 和风 eggplants+teriyaki cod

this wafu 和风 pasta was done with just bacon, yellow onions & shimeji mushrooms. i guess the only thing wafu 和风 about it was the use of mirin & tsuyu instead of white wine. basically it was a alio olio done al dente with a bit of butter added at the end to coat the pasta.

wafu 和风 pasta+wafu 和风 eggplants+teriyaki cod

wafu 和风 pasta+wafu 和风 eggplants+teriyaki cod

it did taste kind of oriental, haha! 🙂

beef don+miso salmon belly+miso belly pork2

beef don+miso salmon belly+miso belly pork2

for the second main, basically a gohan (rice) dish, i had a beef don, but added some miso salmon belly & miso belly pork for friends who don’t take much beef.

beef don+miso salmon belly+miso belly pork2

beef don+miso salmon belly+miso belly pork2

i had some seared scallops actually but forgot to serve them. 🙂

& i did the beef wrongly, medium well mistakenly thinking that some friends preferred well done steak where actually all of us preferred it medium rare. well at least, the beef was a pretty ok ribeye cut so still passable.

for miso belly pork, i experimented a new recipe, slow braise for 7hrs at 90degC.

& it was really tender, the skin, fat & all. good miso flavour on the lighter side. later i did another one with a bit more miso. 🙂

the miso salmon belly was very good too.

main problem was getting the meaty belly parts.

the usual packets i got from giant & sheng shiong came with a lot of bones, so had to pick out the meat belly parts.

i like this quite a lot especially going with the sushi rice don. 🙂

tiramisu

a friend brought tiramisu

a friend made tiramisu. she had 5 sets dusted with pistachio & another 5 with chocolate flakes.

a piece of trivial. my tiramisu was inspired by a friend, the same one i created the flamed squid dish who could not attend this evening. he brought an awesome tiramisu when we had smoked meats dinner at another friend’s house some years ago (too long leh…why huh? just kidding la..)

& she just had her birthday recently. so i made a banoffee (banana toffee) cake instead. birthday girl didn’t like my banoffee though. another friend brought some home & seemed that her children liked it.

fruits

fruits

the other friends brought a lot of fruits.

cake & fruits

cake & fruits

we had some to go with the cake.

it looks like many dishes but with planning they were actually quite easy to execute. cod & salmon belly were marinate & only needed 12mins & 15mins respectively in the oven (together at 250degC). spinach veloute & prawn veg bisque were done before hand in the morning. miso belly pork was done 7hrs in the oven at 90degC. eggplants were done beforehand in the afternoon. now i am able to make all kinds of pastas before hand (afternoon also) & serve them still al dente just reheating. & flamed squid also done about 1+hr before dinner.

so only chawanmushi were steamed & scallops were pan seared just before guests arrived, and steak only when serving. & the guests helped to serve the dishes. 🙂

it was great fun for me preparing this dinner. only a bit tired especially sitting under the air-con for few hours because still recovering from flu..many things can be improved of course like the beef, the scallops, the chawanmushi & the eggplants.

still overall it was a very fun dinner for me & i believe our friends enjoyed the evening & food too.

c.h.e.f andy

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17 Courses of Delectable Dishes for 16pax Homecooked Dinner on 26Aug2015

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

had an exciting evening with my friends on 26.8.2015. ^^

we had 16pax. i planned to serve asian dishes mainly buffet style, and a pasta, beef & lamb dish during the course of dinner. 🙂

a friend brought 清汤牛腩. it was my favourite for the evening. i had a good beef brisket noodles at imperial treasure nanbei few days back on 23.8.2015, one of the few authentic ones. still, that was a bit more beefy. i personally prefer this 清汤牛腩 style. sometimes homecook is the best! ^^

my wife could not join dinner this evening. she organised the quinoa pumpkin tofu salad for me & i mixed in the rockets when serving (so that rockets would not be soggy).

everyone loved the salad. 🙂

i did the spanish omelette. did not do this a the longest time & recently revived it when i served a 10-course vegetarian dinner for 8px for my niece’s birthday.

this was a very popular dish among my diners.

i recently tried out a new preparation for cooking char siew & maybe found the right combination to reproduce easily very flavourful & tender, moist char siew. it is also easy to do, just put on a rack in a preheated oven for 20mins.

& it worked well, very tasty, well charred & quite tender inside. the ends were a bit harder than what i made previously because this roll of pork collar was thinner, so need to adjust the timing say to 18mins for thinner rolls.

i made a  ter kar tan 猪脚冻. it was a bit meaty & not as good as my head cheese terrine 猪头冻, but still a friend who cooked this also thought it was very good. i think the taste was good, i should use either pig’s head meat or a lot of pig skin as pig’s trotter is overly meaty & heavy. & the colour should be lighter, means less or no dark sauce.

my chicken ballotine was very good today, mostly finished.

the thai yellow curry grilled chicken thighs were very good.

there was a bit left though, and when i heat the curry sauce in the microwave & applied it to the cold chicken the next day, for me it was still excellent. 🙂

the thai red curry sotong (squid) was just as lovely. it’s a bit spicier & very good with the rice.

i did the vietnamese chargrilled pork collar w/o the beehoon, just with pickled carrots & peanuts. i tried it after cooking. it was very tasty. i think it was just as good as what i had at mrs pho recently. i think better actually.

but for this evening, maybe there were too much food, it was only 1/2 taken.

#10 braised belly pork & bits of some unused trotter

#10 braised belly pork & bits of some unused trotter

the braised belly pork was done together with the ter kar tan 猪脚冻, so it was just a small portion. the braise was very tasty & the texture of the belly pork was superb by those who take belly pork. nothing was left.

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

the friend made 3kg of beef briskets & tendons. so i guess we did have a lot of food.

i am not complaining as this was my favourite dish for the evening. 🙂

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

there was some leftover, so i ate the next day & enjoyed it just as much.

#11 helper's spicy black bean sauce pork ribs

#11 helper’s spicy black bean sauce pork ribs

my helper made the spicy black beans pork ribs. it was braised in the pan & then steamed in the steam oven. very tender & great sauce & flavours. it’s one of my perennial favourites. not much left afterwards.

#12 helper's sambal sauce seabass - this everyone's favourite

#12 helper’s sambal sauce seabass – this everyone’s favourite

my helper’s sambal sauce seabass was another dish that was everyone’s favourite. seabass has a slight mud taste & powdery texture, but with the sambal sauce, it was a very appetizing dish. nothing left.

#13 helper's blanched hk kailan with shitake

#13 helper’s blanched hk kailan with shitake

likewise the blanched hk kailan with shitake.

it was time for the pasta, beef & lamb dishes. my friends were all very full so we decided to forgo the pink sauce prawn pasta dish.

my tagliata was just simply fabulous. it was sooooo much better than the ones we had the other evening at the zafferano wine dinner, and haha i will say it again!^^ all my friends at zafferano were here this evening anyway. 🙂

& the pistachio crusted rack of lamb. everyone just loved it! those who eat lamb anyway.

actually we had the lamb at foc the next, and that lamb was a bit more tender than mine, but my lamb was a lot tastier. 🙂 also my pistachio crust was so good it was all mobbed up!

#16 queenie brought chempedak cake from singapore swimming club - very nice

#16 another friend brought chempedak cake from singapore swimming club – very nice

another friend brought a chempedak cake. i like the intense chempedak flavour. it’s a cake i like but won’t take often.

the banoffee (banana toffee) cake was a bit of a failure. the whipping cream was frozen & i heat it up just so lightly, a cardinal sin of laziness. should have just waited for it to get back to room temperature. it did not whipped well & caked up when set.

fortunately the cake itself was quite excellent & many friends liked it. it is indeed a very good combination of texture & taste, banana & toffee. i used very small amount of caramel so it was not too sweet.

it was a very fun get-together. i enjoyed doing all the dishes, and i also had my friend’s excellent beef briskets & my helper’s nice dishes.

c.h.e.f andy