Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Homemade Sushi!

Yums Yums!

I made this tamagoyaki all on my own. With a regular round frying pan. My first attempt. I'm really proud of myself. 

Didn't put enough rice to wrap all around. Also rice a little mushy. Too much water. Need to reduce even more. 

Happy Sushi

Just one more of the lovely tamagoyaki I made :)

Sushi rice made with good japanonica rice and bottled sushi vinegar, of which the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup.. hmmmm.... tamagoyaki recipe an approximation of Maki of JustHungry's recipe. I left out mirin. added 3 tblsp water. used 7 small eggs. and a tad too much soy sauce (thats why my egg looks brown). Didn't use a sushi mat, coz the one at the local hardware shop was so expensive! $3.50??? I'll just go to daiso next time. So I just rolled by hand. The trick is to wet your hand. thats about it.

Slurpy Soba Soup

Soba in Broth with grilled Duck Breast. 

I love Love LOVE broth based foods. Hand-made buckwheat noodles in hot broth is no exception. This bowl is from Shimbashi Soba at the basement of Paragon Shopping Centre. It's really awesome, fresh firm noodles and a tasty hot broth. The duck was awesome... grilled rare and sliced. It tasted slightly gamey but with plenty of duck flavour imparted by that lovely thick layer of skin... It's more than $20 I think.. oops... but good for an occasional splurge. I usually put a generous dose of shichimi (japanese chilli powder) for that additional oomph!

Finally... My First Hairy Crab

Steamed Alive...

It's kinda... staring at me...

It's not mud on the claws, well.. not exactly.. It's like mud matted fur...

The magic part... The ROE (or fat, or whatever u call it...)

My feelings??? It's kinda overrated... I've always wanted to try hairy crab because I am a huge crab fan, but this experience let me realise that what I really love about crab is the meat. The roe is a bonus, and I prefer the hard lumpy roe in local mud crabs. There is a more definitive flavour. This was just creamy and sweet, but it ended too soon. 

Also there was some kind of gummy white stuff alongside the roe, kinda like squid roe, or is it the fat? it tasted like and had the texture of a ball of cooked starch. Quite unpleasant. But I ate it all because it was one expensive crab!! Took me close to an hour to pick through one crab. 

The flesh was firm and sweet and I quite liked it but there was very little of it. This crab was a treat from a thoughtful friend's very generous mother... Thank You Auntie! It was a lovely experience and much much appreciated. 

Lemon Curd Galette? Tart? Cake?

   The good thing about having a smart phone is, during boring lessons, while the tutor is droning on, you can look for recipes, adapt them, plan what to buy on the way home, and EXECUTE when u get home. 

   It all started when I was reading the New York Times one evening and there was this awesome story with what seemed like a great recipe. The next morning in my boring class, my mind came back to it again and the lemon curd galette still seemed like an awesome idea in broad daylight. Just make the galette, top with some lemon curd.

    I've heard of lemon curd, and I like the idea, and my friend let me taste some awhile ago. It was very sweet but intensely lemony so I thought it'd be a nice change from the standard chocolate chip cookie sort of baking I usually do. Of course this also means... I have never make lemon curd before! (but of course such a piddling concern would not stop me..)

    The recipe did not include lemon curd, so in the end I found a lemon curd recipe somewhere else and followed that instead. Look at the picture. How do you think it turned out? AWESOME RIGHT??? right! And trust me it tasted amazing... At first it's really sweet and intense but the delicate lemon scent lingers and lingers, and there was no eggy aftertaste in the curd. 

    I made the galette dough twice, and followed the recipe as accurately as I could but the dough still rose in baking and turned out to be like a super rich butter cake. The crumb was loose and the edges cookie-like.

    It still worked because there was a balance of crunchy and soft and sweet.  I suspect the rise is due to the double-acting baking powder I used. I need to buy some regular baking powder and try this again. Fortunately it still looks alright. Just a little... different... from the NYT picture.

   The curd was really runny because I think the eggs    were not large enough. XL eggs from here and XL eggs in the US are from 2 different kinds of birds... The XL here is like a M there... And I  had a random 2 tblsp of lemon juice left from squeezing so i just added that in. 
I also cut down on the sugar to 1/2 cup and sieved out the lemon rind after stirring it around for a bit because my zest was in too large bits and spoiled the mouth-feel. Maybe its time to buy a microplane zester...

What I really loved, was the intense yellow and slight translucency of the curd. It was really easy to make and turned out fantastic. I might try adding one small egg to the mix next time to see what comes out. 

But all in all, it was a very satisfactory batch of curd, it topped two batches of dough, and brought smiles to the faces of loads of people. In fact... I still have a little tart tin, with a little bit of that dough, in the freezer, and just a little bit of lemon curd left.. hmmmmmmm..... :)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Eggs and Pancakes for Breakfast and Dinner.

officially my first egg benedict. not a bad one too... 

ooooh... yolky goodness

of course we need pancakes. with bananas and sabayon and pancake syrup. I wished it were real maple tho...

soft boiled eggs... 2 for $5!! ok got little bit bread and some parmesan powder and bacon. unfortunately, it seems this restaurant is not very consistent... coz the soft boiled eggs were... not soft. normally i try not to waste food. but... then when u pay $2.50 per egg and it can't even be done right.. how to dip the bread inside? spoil my experience. breakfast kaki was so nice and just scraped it out and ate it. unfortunately i was not so nice because i was really looking forward to  dipping the bread in the egg so i asked the poor harassed looking waiter to... 'can u please change my egg? just one. Thank you' and he took it. And I peeked when he took it to the kitchen and i think he got scolded by someone coz he looked even more harassed after that. poor man...

But it really paid off because this is what i got.... wah..... so nice..... yums!
The egg cost them max 50cents. my satisfaction... priceless. I was not grumpy anymore after breakfast.

Dinner at a friend's. I cooked a pail of cabbage! but it was worth it.... okonomiyaki. Another lovely Saturday. Peace Out!