Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Leeks & Miso Savoury Sauce

LEEKS-MISO

Here is the next posting for Holly who has showed such an enthusiasm for leeks. This mini-series of very simple recipes on leeks will also please vegans and vegetarians!

This particular recipe can serve as an accompaniment for many things, especially rice!

Leeks & Miso Savoury Sauce!

INGREDIENTS: For one serving
-Leek/green outside layer is best: 2 or 3 layers/chopped very fine
-Garlic: 2 cloves/crushed and finely chopped
-Fresh ginger: same volume as garlic/grated
-Miso (of your choice. I like it fairly strong): 150 g
-Sugar: 2~3 large tablespoons
-Japanese sake (cooking sake is fine): 2 large tablespoons
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 large tablespoon
-Sesame oil: 1 large tablepoon

RECIPE:
-Heat sesame oil in frypan. Throw in chopped leeks, grated ginger and chopped garlic and sautee over a medium fire.

-Once the leeks are cooked soft, switch off fire. Add miso, sugar, Japanese sake and mirin and mix well.

-Put back onto fire. Taking care not to “boil” it, cook it for a while stirring regularly.

-Pour it inside a glas jar and securely close it. Can be kept safe for up to 2 months.

NOTE:
Choose your leeks as fresh as possible.
Check the sugar for taste.

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Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Leeks & Tofu

LEEKS-TOFU

Since Holly has showed such an enthusiasm for leeks, I had a look in my Japanese recipe notes and came with a mini-series of very simple recipes on leeks that will also please vegans and vegetarians!

As it is also very easy tofu recipe, he “Tofu Tribe” (Terecita, Elin, Jenn and Jennifer should be interested!

Leeks 6 Tofu!

INGREDIENTS: for one hungry person

-Tofu: 1 cho: 250 g
-Leek: 1 (choose it long and thin)
-Salt: a big pinch
-Sesame oil: 2 large tablespoons

RECIPE:

-Take as much water off the tofu as possible.
This can be done by envelopping it into a clean cloth and putting a weight on top.

-Chop the leeks very finely, as much a syo like (the more the better) and drop them into a bowl. Add the salt and sesame oil.
Mix well and delicately pour it on top of the tofu you will have place on a serving plate.
One may season it with a little chili pepper or black pepper.

Eat it with a spoon and have a beer with it!

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Safran & Mandarine Mashed Potatoes with Cockles & Mussles

MASHED-SAFRAN

One should never be afraid to experiment with seasonal products.
A failed experiment is certainly better than a dish served again and again ad infinitum!
At least this dish will be remarked for its colour!

Safran & Mandarine Mashed Potatoes with Cockles & Mussles!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 persons

-Potatoes: Choose 6 beautiful ones
-Mussles: 1 kg
-Cockles: 1 kg
-Dry white wine: 2 cups/400 ml
-Mandarines: 2 (organic if possible)
-Mandarin oil: 3 large tablespoons
-Shallots: 2
-Butter: 50 g
-Fresh cream: 2 large tablespoons
-Safran powder: 2 g
-Safran filaments: a few
-Mimolette cheese
-Egg yolks: 2
-Salt & pepper (to taste)

RECIPE:

-Mandarine oil:
Take the skin off mandarines (not includging the white part). Take out mandarine wedges.
Drop them in a glass jar with some pepper and cardamom.
Cover with EV olive oil and marinate for a few days in afresh area (not in the fridge as the oil would become solid).

-Wash the mandarines under warm water and leave them in freezer for 10 minutes. Grate their skins onto a plate and press their juice into a small bowl.

-Wash the mussles.
Drop them in a deep pan and heat them together with a glass of white wine, chopped shallot and safran filaments until they all open, stirring from time to time..
Take out the flesh out of the shellfish. Filter put aside the sauce.

-Repeat the same procedure with cockles.

-Peel the potatoes, cut them into pieces and cook them in salted water. When they properly cooked, mash them and mi in mandarine oil, safran powder and the fresh cream. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

-Sauce:
In a pan over a medium fire, pour in the mandarine juice and the mussles and cokcles sauce. Reduce a little. Beat the egg yolks and add them to the sauce, beating all the time as you add the butter in small pieces at a time. Season with salt and pepper, a few safran filaments and grated mandarine skin.

-Take 3 large tablespoons of the sauce and mix them with the mashed potatoes. Dop the mussles, cockles and mandarine wedges into the sauce to heat them slowly on a small fire.

-Serve the mashed potatoes mounted with thin cuts of mimolette cheese and surrund them with sauce, mussles, cockles and mandarine wedges.

Drink a dry white wine with them!

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Cheese Plate at Gentil (6)

GENTIL-CHEESE-09-07

This article is dedicated to Cheese Monger as he is interested in what we can expect here in Japan!

I don’t need to introduce Gentil and Ms. Keiko Kubota in Japan who is THE authority on cheese in Japan!

Look at picture above to find out what I sampled lately:

Right top: 6-month old Gouda (Holland)
Right centre: 12-month old Mimolette (France)
Right bottom: Epoisses (France)

Centre: Fourme d’ambert (France)

Left top: Sakura (Hokkaido/Japan)
Left centre: Bon de Sologne (France)
Left bottom: Gorgonzola Dolce (Italy)

Great plate, I can assure you!

Restaurant Gentil
Address:420-0031 Shizuoka Shi, Gofuku-cho, 2-9-1, Gennan Kairaku building, 2F
Tel.: 054-2547655 (Reservations advisable)
Fax: 054-2210509
Opening hours: 12:00~14:00, 18:00~last orders for meals at 21:30. Bar time 18:00~23:30. Closed on Mondays.
Credit cards OK
Homepage (Japanese)

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French Dessert: Orange & Lemon Meringue Tart

ORANGE-LEMON-MERINGUE

Meringue, especially with tarts is almost a must in French patisserie.
It is not as diificult as it sounds. A little method is all you need.
Here is a typical recipe:

Orange & Lemon Meringue Tart!

INGREDIENTS: For persons

-Pate Sable/Sable Pastry: 300g (look at basic recipe below!)
-Eggs: 4
-Butter: 180 g + 40 g for the tart molds
-Orange juice: 150 ml
-Lemons: 3 (organic if possible)
-Flour: a little for the molds
-Ice sugar for the finishing

-For the meringue:
Egg whites: 2
Sugar: 30 g

RECIPE:

-Prepare the pate sable as indicated below. If you make a lot, you can freeze whatever is left. In France it can be bought at cake shops.

-Lightly butter and flour the tart molds.

-Spread the pastry and lay in the molds. Make a few holes with a fork and let rest 1 hour inside the fridge.

-Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Wash the lemons with clean cold water. Finely grate their skins onto a small plate.

-in a pan bring the orange juice, grated lemon skins, sugar and butter to a boil.

-Take off fire, and mix in the eggs, one at a time, energically beating them all the time. When all eggs are completely mixed, put back on fire and heat until it starts boiling. Take off fire and let cool completely.

-Lay a piece of cooking paper over the pastry in the molds. Fill it with dry beans (or cooking beads). Bake for 5 minutes. Take out beans and paper and cook again until you are satisfied with the colour of the pastry. Let cool.

-Beat the egg whitesadding the sugar progressively until they “stand”.

-Pour orange and lemon custard into tarts. Then decorate top with a good part of meringue.

-Sprinkle with ice sugar and bake for 3 minutes at 210 degrees Celsius.

NOTE:
Whereas pastry and custard can be prepared the evening before, the meringue must be prepared and baked at the last second (just before the meal starts)

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Pate sable/sable Pastry basic recipe

Flour: 200 g
Butter: 150 g (not too cold, please!) + a little for the mold
Milk: 1 large tablespoon
Egg yolk: 1 small
Sugar: 30 g
Vanilla sugar: to taste
Cinnamon: a large pinch
Salt: a little pinch

-Prepare the pastry ( a little in advance if possible):
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Add the butter in small pieces and knead with your finger tips until you obtain an homogeneous sable pastry.
Beat the egg yolk with the milk and mix quickly to the pastry to “link” it.

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Serrano Ham Leeks Gratin

HAM-LEEKS-GRATIN

Spain and France are neighbours. Not so long ago various parts of both countries (Catalunia, Navarra, and so on) were also part of a third country. No wonder that both Nations’ gastronomies cross each other’s paths so often as shown in this recipe simple in concept but sophisticsted in products.

Serrano Ham Leeks Gratin!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 persons
-Leeks: 10 cm long x 8. Choose thick and soft leek.
-Ham: thin slices of Spanish Serrano Ham/150 g
-Cheese: Spanish Manchego or hard ewe cheese/100 g
-Fresh cream: 200 ml
-Salt and pepper (to taste)

RECIPE:

-Poach leeks for 10 miutes in boiling salted water.
During that time, mince half of the ham and grate half of the cheese and drop them in a bowl. Add 2 large tablespoons of fresh cream and mix well.

-Cut the leeks along their length along their length to take their outer layer and extract the white cores. Mince the white cores and mix them with the minced ham and grated cheese.

-Preheat the oven to 5 (180 degrees Celsius).
Spread 1 lage tablespoon of fresh cream over the bottom of an oven dish.
Stuff the outer layers of the leeks with the ham and cheese mixture.
Place them on the bottom of the oven dish. Pour the remining fresh creamover them. Grind pepper over them and bae in oven for 10 minutes.

-Cut the remaining cheese and ham into thin slices. After having cooked for 10 minutes, take the dish out of the oven, olace ham and cheese over the stuffed leeks and put back into oven for a few minutes.
Serve the gratin very hot at once.

Drink a dry white wine with it!

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French Cake: Brioche aux amandes/Almonds Brioche

ALMOND-BRIOCHE

The French are so fond of their brioches that almosteach region has its own special one!
This recipe originates from the French Alps:
Brioche aux amandes/Almonds Brioche!

INGREDIENTS: for 6 persons

-For the Brioche:
Flour: 300 g
Sugar: 50 g
Fast leavening baking powder: 2 small regular packs
Milk: Half a cup/100 ml
Eggs: 4 medium-sized
Melted butter: 90 g
Salt: a pinch

-For the cream:
Soft butter: 60 g
Sugar: 90 g
Thick fresh cream: 60 g
Almond powder: 80 g
1 lemon peel/finely chopped

RECIPE:

-4 hours and 30minutes before baking, prepare the brioche pastry.

-Mix flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Then add eggs, melted butter and milk. Mix vigourously for 5 minutes.

-Cover bowl with a cloth and let the pastry rise in a warm place for 3 hours.

-After all that time, prepare the almond cream by mixing i a bowl, soft butter, sugar, fresh cream, almond powder and the lemon peel.

-Knead the brioche pastry again and shape small “bars”, 10 cm long and 3 cm diameter..

-Lay a large piece of cooking paper over the oven plaque.
Place the brioche bars 1 cm apart in a pattern of your choice. Pour the almond cream between them.

-Let the briche rise again in a warm place for 1 hour.
Bake for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

Best enjoyed with a hot chocolate!

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