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

Prawn Capellini Alio Olio

prawn capellini

prawn capellini

prawn capellini was done alio olio style. i also did not have uni & ikura (nor mentaiko).

prawn capellini

prawn capellini

still my own prawn capellini was a very tasty pasta.

i guess nothing so unusual, and no better than my regular seafood alio olio, but it was a different & drier style,  adding butter like for my mentaiko pasta or squid-ink pasta.

king crab uni & sakuri ebi capellini

stellar’s king crab uni & sakuri ebi capellini

didn’t have the top ingredients of stellar’s king crab, uni, ikura & sakura ebi pasta (above photo).

but just the taste of the pasta alone, i think mine was just as good though differernt (w/o the unique salty uni & ikura flavours).

we had this for our homegourmet adventure 4-course dinner on 15.11.2015.^^

prawn capellini

prawn capellini

i prepared the usual browned garlic in olive oil with nice aroma. added cut chilli padi, then white wine, 1 tsp sugar & prawn stock & reduced.

for the prawns, i used my dry wok prawns method to produce a very tasty prawn with great texture, then cut them into small pieces & left a few whole prawns.

then i off the fire, added butter & tossed the capellini.

prawn capellini

prawn capellini

it was a simple & easy dish to prepare.

the pasta was al dente & very tasty. i did not have basil to garnish this evening, so i guess it is a shorthand & slightly different style from my usual seafood spaghetti alio olio.

c.h.e.f andy

Homegourmet Adventure 4-course Dinner on 15Nov2015

had great fun discovery yesterday experimenting several “first” for a wonderful 4-course dinner on 15.11.2015. ^^

truly a homegourmet adventure. 🙂

all 4 dishes had some new elements-

  • prawn veloute was an accidental invention.
  • gazpacho was completely first attempt.
  • prawn capellini was a new preparation &
  • slow-braised pork collar was my second try on a new preparation

in a sense, my recent dinner at stellar at 1-altitude spurred my interest, not so much an inspiration (excepting the gazpacho at stellar which was really good!), as i thought the food was expensive & not value-for-money. i thought i could recreate something similar. ^^

first course was pan seared scallops in prawn vegetable veloute. 🙂

i did not do the pan-searing well this evening. still the scallops were very good, plump & tasty & very good texture, not really the standard of disgruntled chef’s 100gourmet scallops, nor the stellar’s scallops.

the prawn vegetable veloute though was an accidental discovery. it was just so good! ^^

intense yet very smooth, and very tasty, and just the right body & texture. this really is an excellent recipe & among the best soup i have made.

i would say for myself, though the scallop itself was not comparable to stellar’s, but the overall taste experience including the prawn veg veloute was better than stellar’s, but not comparable with disgruntled chef’s 100gourmet scallop dish (above photo).

my second dish was entirely new.

gazpacho not my favourite & i hardly take gazpacho by choice but stellar’s gazpacho was just so good!

so i googled online recipes & produced 2 gazpacho just like stellar’s – a red tomato gazpacho & a white cucumber gazpacho.

& the result of my first attempt was a really wonderful gazpacho. so refreshing, smooth, & you could really taste the coolness of the cucumber & also tangy tomatoes.

not quite the standard of stellar’s (above photo) for sure, but almost there.

prawn capellini was done alio olio style. i also did not have uni & ikura (nor mentaiko).

still my own prawn capellini was a very tasty pasta.

i guess nothing so unusual, and may not be better than my usual seafood alio olio, but it was a different & drier style, adding butter like for my mentaiko pasta or squid-ink pasta.

king crab uni & sakuri ebi capellini

stellar’s king crab uni & sakura ebi capellini

didn’t have the top ingredients of stellar’s king crab, uni, ikura & sakura ebi pasta (above photo).

but just the taste of the pasta alone, i think mine was just as good though differernt (w/o the unique salty uni & ikura flavours).

the slow braised pork collar in red wine sauce was my second attempt, it was as good as the first, and a really great recipe i created myself.

the pork was very flavourful & so tender yet not sinewy & falling apart like the usual braised meat texture.

i think this is really an excellent recipe. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Wafu (和风) Pasta – Outstanding!

wafu 和风 pasta

wafu 和风 pasta 1.10.2015

did an excellent wafu (和风) pasta the other day, and served it with teriyaki cod & wafu (和风) eggplant for a 8pax japanese course dinner on 28.9.2015.

wafu 和风 pasta

wafu 和风 pasta 1.10.2015

this the first time i did a kind of “wafu (和风) pasta” other than mentaiko pasta. & the taste was wonderful!

i followed the recipe on japanesecooking101 here.

wafu 和风 pasta

wafu 和风 pasta 1.10.2015

very simple ingredients – just streaky bacon, shimeji mushrooms & yellow onions.

i did it again today 1.10.2015 just a few days later using leftover ingredients, this time using shitake mushrooms as i did not have shimeji. my wife & i were going out for dinner. my daughter came back from her squash game at 9pm & walloped the whole dish! ^^

wafu 和风 pasta

wafu 和风 pasta 28.9.2015

& the sauce again is the key – dashi (i used chicken/vegetable stock), mirin, tsuyu & a little sugar (optional) & reduced.

wafu 和风 pasta

wafu 和风 pasta 28.9.2015

taste was, what can i say, just exquisite. it’s not better than most of my pastas which are also very good, but it’s good! equally good! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy