Tricolor Vegetable Terrine

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Like souffles, people tend to give up the idea of making terrines or pates a bit too quickly.
It is not complicated and has two advantages:
1) it is open to a myriad of variations
2) you can serve a whole party with them.
Here is one who will please even (not too strict) vegetarians!

INGREDIENTS (6 people):
Cauliflower: 500g
Brocoli: 500g
Carrot: 500g
1 Cabbage Heart
Eggs: 6
Fresh Cream: 500cc
White Pepper
Laurel, Thyme, Nutmeg (to taste)

Peel carrots and cut into thick slices. Separate stems of cauliflower and brocoli.
Steam-cook the whole for 15 minutes. Put some brocoli heads aside for later decoration.
Food-process carrots, brocoli and cauliflower into separate bowls.
In each bowl add 2 eggs and one third of the cream. Season with salt, white pepper, nutmeg (careful on that one!), laurel and thyme to taste and mix well.
Preheat oven to ( 180 degrees Celsius).
Separate leaves of cabbage and dip them for 3 minutes in boiling water and drain thouroughly.
In a 2-litre cake mold cover inner surface with cabbage leaves, then pour in cauliflower mixture first. Plant brocoli heads head first, then pour in the carrot mixture and finally the brocoli mixture. Cover top with cabbage leaves.
Cook for one hour in oven in bain-marie.
Let it cool down before unmolding.
Cut in slices lukewarm or cold.
Decorate with Spring herbs and optionally serve with either a tomato coulis or mayonnaise.
One can also complement the dish with smoked salmon as I did on thw (not too good!) picture.

Shizuoka Bars: Speak EZ in Numazu City

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By John Gooden


Speak EZ Bar was established in 2000 by a young Canadian man named Brent. It is located in the centre of Numazu city. The bar is at the heart of the gaijin community in the city. It’s a popular watering hole where people come to enjoy draught kirin, imported bottled beers or cocktails. There’s also a food menu offering a range of delicious ‘pub grub’, such as pizza, hamburger, Mexican wraps, homemade chilli con carne and Aussie meat pies.

speak-ez-bar1 speak-ez-bar2 speak-ez-barschool-exterior2

Brent along with his dedictated and friendly staff are bi-lingual and always take the time to get to know the customers. During the week the bar has a laid back mellow feeling with a few regulars dropping in for a chat, a bite to eat and a drink. There’s a darts board and free internet for those looking for activities. There’s also a free library filled with interesting books for those who are in need of English reading matter. At the weekends the bar transforms into a lively venue for various events including live music, salsa nights, and DJ nights. On ocassion sports fans gather to watch soccer and American football on the big widescreen TV at the bar.

speakez speak-ez21

The clientele is a refreshing mix of foreigners and local Japanese. The bar is not only popular with American, Canadian, Australian and British teachers but also attracts many South American and Middle Eastern patrons.

Speak EZ Bar is open from 6pm to late from Tuesday to Saturday. The website is updated every month and links sent to valued customers to keep everyone informed of upcoming events.

The Speak EZ address is:
410-0801 Shizuoka Prefecture, Numazu City, Nichome, 3-2, Yamaguchi Building, 2F

Telephone number: 055 964 5131

Shizuoka Beer 5/3: Izu Koogen Brewery

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Guys like Good Beer and Country Boys, Beer Haiku Daily and BeerMason should be interested by this other brew by Izu Kogen Brewery in Ito City, Izu Peninsula!

Izu Kogen Brewery “Omuro” (ale)

Ingredients: Grain Malt, Hops
Alcohol: 5%
Contents: 300ml
Live yeast, unfiltered, unpasteurized.

Clarity: Slightly smoky (live yeast)
Colour: Orange
Foam: Very short head, fine bubbles
Aroma: Bread, oranges
Taste: Light. Oranges, persimmons, bread, grapefruit.
Short tail. Finishes with little welcome acidity and more oranges

Overall: Refreshing, quickly drunk.
Thirst-quenching beer!

Izu Kogen Brewery
413-0231 Ito City, Tomito, 1103-21
Tel.: 0120-513-540, 0557-513000
Fax: 0557-513001

Duck Breast (including 3 different presentations)

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Some people make a big story of cooking duck. It is quite simple, actually, especially with a minimum of preparation. It has the other advantage to be open to an infinite array of variations!

The pic above was for one person. As I cooked it for both of us, just imagine that there was another identical plate.
Here is how I proceded:
Ingredients: 1 large duck breast (can be ordered easily over the Internet)
Olive oil 3 tablespoons
Whisky 3 “caps” (I use the bottle cap)
Port wine (or any sweeet red wine) half a cup (100cc)
Cold butter 2 large tablespoons
Salt and pepper to taste

6 small potatoes cut in “wedges”
1 large tablespoon of olive oil

Half a cup (100cc) of green “flageolet” beans (fine green beans)
1 tablespoon of baby onions (frozen ar fine)
1 rasher of bacon cut to the size of your largest nail (LOL)
Salt, pepper, thyme to taste (careful with the salt as I mixed the veg with a little gravy from the duck!)

Fine greens (small leaves: you can buy them already mixed and packed
Dressing of your choice (easy on it, or it will spill onto the duck!)

1) Take skin off duck breast and discard. For people who cannot without it, make shallow incisions all over it, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, brush it lightly and fry it skin facing down for 80% of the cooking time!)
2) sponge off humidity with kitchen paper towel and put it aside.
3) Boil potatoes to about “80% cooked” (their core should be still solid), cool immediately under cold water, peel and cut in wedges (not stiks of fries!)
4) In small deep pan fry bacon with no oil until the pieces are crispy. Put aside on small plate. Don’t wash the pan. Pour in half a cup (100cc) of water and boil beans. When beans are ready, there should be little water left. Mix in thawed baby onions and bacon. Do Not season yet.
Keep of fire and cover
5) Now you will work with two frypans at the same time. Be careful and keep in mind that if the oil becomes too hot, it might ignite, so keep a large towel handy (last time I almost started a fire. Luckily I had the reflex to cover the frypan with the towel. The fire extinguished immediately. NEVER try to extinguish with water as it will explode in your face!).
On your right (unless you are left-handed), pour the oil for the fried potatoes. It does need to be too hot. Throw potatoes in and let fry, shaking them around from time to time. Fry them until they are golden (use a non-stick pan and the results will delight you!)
On your left, heat the oil for the duck. It needs to be quite hot. Place duck breast in middle. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over it according to your preference. Fry both sides for 30 seconds. Turn down the fire to medium and carefully pour in the whisky (not cap by cap but with a small glass you would have filled before hand). Let the whisky ignite and shake the duck breast around until the flames have extinguished. Lower the fire a bit more and cover with lid.
How do you know the duck is cooked. When you press it with a finger, it should pop back easily with a little gravy/juice seeping out. Experience helping your eyes will be enough to judge when the time is right. Do not worry if you find out that some of the middle of the duck breast does not seem cooked enough. Some people like it well cooked while others like it rare. You can always choose the slices according to taste. Purist like it almost raw in its centre, though.
When the breast is cooked, put it on a cutting board. You will cut it at the llast minute.
6) Add some of the gravy to the beans and reheat to your preference.
7) On two large plates decorate the top third with greens (see pic above). You will add the dressing on top just before serving.
8) pour the Port wine into the frying pan and stir it with the gravy. reduce it on small fire.
9) The fried potatoes should be ready by now. While the sauce is reducing, place the potatoes side by side in half a circle. As you will place the duck slices over it, there is no need to season them.
9) Once the gravy has reduced enough, mix in the cold butter until smooth. it will prevent the sauce from “separating). Taste and season it if needed.
10) Cut the duck breast into thin slices and place them side by side on top of the fried potatoes (see pic)
11) With a tablespoon, place beans like on the pic.
12) Pour gravy onto the duck slices.
13) Sprinkle greens with dressing and serve.
If you are a wine fan, serve this dish with a full bodied red.

Variations: I add some some finely cut parsley and basil to the beans at the last time. some finely cut thin leeks sprinkled over the duck slices look good. You can add some red colour with thinly cut tomatoes on both sides of or around the beans.


Here is another presentation: Potato Gratin in the middle and onions confit on the sides.
I made the sauce lighter for this particular one!


Another one again!
The potato wedges were cooked separately as well as the eringe mushroms slices in the middle with cauliflower first boiled, then sauteed.


Holy Macaroni, I’ve been tagged!

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Holy Macaroni, Jen has tagged me!
Is it a revenge for my latest poor wine tatsing report? LOL

I’m left with no alternative but to follow suit, although I sincerely hope it will not become a rule.

The golden rules of tagging:
*Link to the person who tagged you
*Post the rules on the blog posted
*Write six random things about yourself
*Tag six people at the end of your post
*Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
*Let the tagger know when your entry is published

Here are some random facts about me:

1. I’m a French Cricket player (well, I’m more into umpiring and scoring these days!).

2. I drink sake every night (but the Missus who is Japanese, exclusively drinks wine!).

3. I like my women small, round and cuddly (but don’t tell the Missus! She has enough jealousy for a whole squadron!).

4. I write fantasy stories as a hobby.

5. I hate drinking fresh milk, although I was the only one breast-fed in my family consisting of four siblings (I do not include my Dad!).

6. I have never driven a car (which means more money for dining and wining!).

Here are the bloggers I’ve tagged to come out and play . . .

1. Melinda Joe, the first of the Three Sake Musketeers (I’m the fourth one!).

2. Etsuko Nakamura, the second of the Three Sake Musketeers.

3. Timothy Sullivan, the third of the Three sake Musketeers in New York.

4. Rowena who shares my love for perilla and sake kasu!

5. Dominique Corby, a superlative French Chef in Osaka who shares my love for Japanese Gastronomy (French blog, good for your studies!)

6. Christophe who has the courage to tell the truth about restaurants in Paris and elsewhere! (French & English)

Cheers and all that!

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (42)

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Yesterday being a National Holiday (which I spent in bed with a cold &%##$#) this week will see only one bento of note!


The “staple dish” consisted of Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette containing tobikko/Flying Fish roe and finely chopped thin leeks/hosonegi,

bento-2008-11-25f bento-2008-11-25g

The nigiri/rice balls were wrapped in fresh shiso/perilla leaves, either containing furikake/dried Japanese seasoning or o-kkaka/dried bonito shavings and hijiki seaweed.


The Missus had added a few deep-fried renkon/lotus roots. I just love those! Do not bother with whatever junk food under the name of renkon. The real product is so much tastier and healthier!


The “main dish” included fresh cucumber, celery, mini tomatoes, black olives with mayonnaise, kara-age chicken/deep-fried chicken with a little lemon for extra seasoning.
Dessert was fresh figs peeled and cut to size. They are dead cheap in Shizuoka as the Prefecture grows them until very late in the year!

Taky’s Classic Cakes (3): Tarte aux Marrons/Marron Tart

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As I said before, not only Taky’s serve great cakes but you never know which ones are going to be on the menu on any particular day.
Which means that my students have learnt to expect surprises on certain days


Taky’s Marron Tart is a creation for the pleasure of adults more than that of younger customers.
The cake is lacquered with a thin layer of rum scented syrup.
Marrons/Chestnuts are also marinated in rum.
The combination is sweet but not overwhelming.
The chestnuts lay on a marzipan layer flavoured with Creme de Marrons jam with a deep accent of vanilla essence.
The bottom pastry was obviously baked beforehand to a very fine crisp layer adding a solid base to the whole cake.
To be savoured with a strong coffee or black tea!

420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 1-11-10
Tel.: 054-255-2829
Opening hours: 11:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays