Tag Archives: グラタン

Avocado & Crab Gratin (Japanese style?)

There is little to say again how tasty and healthy avocadoes are.
Since we can find them all year round, try and find some crab meat, and you will able to reproduce this easy Japanese cuisine-inspired recipe:. I’m sure you will expand on it!

Avocado & Crab Gratin!

INGREDIENTS: For two people

-Avocado: 1 large and just ripe
-Crab meat: a standard small tin (about a quarter of a cup/50 CC)
-Onion (finely chopped): 1 and half tablespoons
-Lemon juice: to taste
-Mayonnaise (make your own!): 4 tablespoons
-Mozzarella cheese: 1/4 ~1/2 ball
-Wasabi (try to real one. If not available, horseradish should be ok!): 2 teaspoons (grated)
-Salt: to taste
-Pepper: to taste


-Cut the mozzarella cheese into 1 cm cubes
-Take crab meat out of tin with its water (will add taste!) and drop it in a bowl with mozzarella cheese, onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, grated wasabi, salt and pepper. Try to experiment with quantities!. Mix well.

-Cut avocado in half(ves) and discard the seed.
Fill each half of the avocado with half of the crabmeat sauce.

-Bake in oven at 200 dgrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

-Eat it hot! Hot avocado is suprisingly tasty, so have this appetizer in cold weather!

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Mushrooms Gratin

When the Missus came back home from work last night, the night was miserable with wind and rain.
As I came back a lot earlier, I decided to prepare a simple hot dish to warm her up.
I had just bought plenty of mushrooms at the supermarket and they were to come handy!

I used five of them, three shimeji varieties, one eringe, and the last maitake.
Of course you can use absolutely any kind of fresh mushrooms in that simple recipe:

Mushrooms Gratin!

There are two ways to go about this recipe:
Either you make less sauce and include only one egg white and 50 ml of fresh cream, or you use the whole ingredients like I did to avoid any wastage. In the latter case many will call this gratain an open quiche, although a recipe is slightly different!

INGREDIENTS: For 2~4 people

-Mushrooms: as much/many as you want! At least two big fistfuls.
-Eggs: 4
-Butter: 50 g
-Fresh cream: 200 ml
-Salt, pepper, nutmeg: to taste

For frying the mushrooms:
-Olive oil + butter: 1 large tablespoon of each
-Shallot: 1 (chopped fine)
-Garlic: 1 clove (chopped fine)
-Fresh herbs: to taste, finely chopped (this where you can further improvise)
-Slat (a little!), pepper. Other spices are OK, but think about the whole balance!


-Preheat oven to 250 degrees Celsius.

-Separate yolks from whites.

-Drop the olive oil and butter in frypan to fry the mushrooms. on a medium fire, fry shallots and garlic until they become translucent.

-During that time, melt 50 g of butter over a small fire in a pan or frypan. Once the butter has melted, add egg yolks and keep stirring all the time to obtain a smooth sauce. Stop for a only a few seconds to drop the mushrooms into the frypan. Fry the mushrooms over a medium high fire. Toss them from time to time while you stir the egg sauce.

-Once the egg sauce has attained a smooth and creamy aspect, add the egg whites and keep stirring energically for a while. Once everything is well mixed add fresh cream and stir again. Once it is smooth, add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix and switch off the fire.
Fry the mushrooms until tthey have become soft and releae their juices.
Add salt, pepper and spice and stir for a few more seconds.

-Pour all the mushrooms and their juices in a flat shallow oven dish.
Pour all the egg sauce evenly over the mushrooms.

-Bake for about 10 minutes and serve hot!

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Japanese Gratin: Doria

The Japanese have their own version for Gratin called Doria which is prepared with rice, especially leftover rice.
It is said it was first invented by an Italian family with the name of Doria who tried to represent the Italian flag (with tomatoes, cucumbers and chicken) in this recipe they first cooked in Paris.
It was first prepared in Japan in Yokohoma by a French cuisine chef from Switzerland at the New Grand Hotel in 1925!

It has become a mainstay in Japan in homes and restaurants.
The variations are endless, but here is the basic recipe:

Japanese Gratin: Doria

I leave the kinds and weights for the ingredients to your creative imagination!

First make a bechamel sauce:
Use the smae volume of flour and butter.
Melt butter in a large saucepan.
Once the butter is melted, add flour and stir until you obtain a smooth mixture.
Add milk (warm will make things easier) cup by cup and stir well. make as much as you want. Keep stirring until you obtain a thick (the thicker, the better) bechamel sauce. Season with salt (easy on that!), pepper and nutmeg.
Set aside and let cool completely.

Slice onion thin and fry in a little oil until soft and just before colouring.
Scoop out and set aside.
You may of course add such vegetables as sweet pimentoes, etc.

The Japanese make their doria with chicken usually, but you may of course replace it any white meat, fish or seafood.
Cut the chicken into small pieces and fry them in same oil until crispy.
Scoop out and set aside.

Use leftover steamed rice.
Fry it with salt (careful on that one again!), pepper and tomato sauce (ketchup is fine, tomato puree is even better).
Season with other spices if you wish to.
Add onions and chicken and stir fry until all ingredients are well mixed.

Butter the inside of an oven dish.
Pour the whole fried rice inside.

Cover the rice with as much as bechamel sauce as you wish.
Add a generous layer of cheese of your choice.
The original recipe called for parmegiano, but cheaper cheese did not exist then!

Bake inside oven as you would do for any other gratin.
Keep in mind the colour you wish to attain.
It might be a good idea to serve them in individual dishes as they come out very hot!
Can be frozen until cooking them in an oven!

The same recipe with boiled macaroni!

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Avocado and Crab Gratin/Gratin d’Avocat et de Crabe

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Today is the second of January, and as I generally cook on holidays, I proposed the following to the Missus:


As my other half loves gratinsin any form, it was not difficult to convince her!
I’m not going to burden you with numbers, so here is the recipe, which I tried to keep simple and calorie-light!


I used bout a quarter of a yellow (yes, you heard it!) cauliflower grown locally in Asabata, Shizuoka City, cut it small enough pieces and cooked them the Missus’ way, that is, I put them in a non-stick frypan with half a centimetre of water and cocered it with a glass lid. I switched on the fire to medium and waited the water to boil. As soon as it started boiling I turned the fire to minimum, cooked the cauliflower for one minute, switched off and let it covered for one more minute. I then drained completely and held it under running cold water for a few seconds to cool down, then put them aside in a strainer.


I used a medium-sized avocado, cut it into two halves, took off the large seed by stabbing it with the “talon” of a kitchen knife and twisting it out.


I peeled the avocado and brushed both halves with lemon juice.
Next I used the equivalent of a small tin of crab meat, added some lemon juice and some sweet wine wine to it. I mixed the lot and quickly pressed the juices out. I filled both halves of the avocado with some crab meat. I kept the juices for the bechamel sauce.
I chopped a good quantity of Italian parsley and put it aside.


I buttered the inside of two glass oven dishes, put the avocado halves in the middle upside down, arranged the cauliflower around it and garnished the top of the avocado halves with the remaining crab.


I prepared the bechamel (white) sauce by making a roux with 50 g. of butter, two large spoons of flour, then added the crab juices, 200cc (one cup) of milk, 80 cc of sour cream. When the bechamel had “caught”, I added salt, pepper, theme, nutmeg and four spices and dropped in the chopped Italian parsley.
I spread the bechamel sauce allover the dishes and let it cool completely. This way the bechamel sauce will not “run out” inside the oven. I sprinkled the lot with cheese and baked it the oven at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes (or until it attains the colour needed).


We ate it with a salad just out of the oven.
I chose a fairly firm avocado on purpose for better effect when cutting it out with my spoon, but it’s up to your taste.
I’m sure anyone can improvise and improve on that!

Vegetables and Seafood Gratin

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Winter has come upon us, even in Japan, and it’s time for hot and hearty food!

Gratins should not be complicated. Restaurants serve them for a good reason. They are easy to prepare and come at a handsome profit the moment you present them in individual portions with a few expensive decorative items. Alright, they certainly look better than in your plate at home, but this is what you pay for!
The key is to be well-organized, so make sure you have everything within hand’s reach!
The recipe below leaves plenty of room for improvisation, even for vegetarians!

Ingredients (for 2~4 people):
-Potatoes: 2, medium-sized, cut in 8
-Cauliflower: a handful of “flowers” cut to size
-Mussles: 1~2 dozens
-Oysters: 12 (without the shells! LOL)
-Crab: a whole, medium-sized, completely dressed (you cannot cook the shell, sorry!), with “miso”/brains on a separate plate. If fresh crab not available, use good quality tinned crab. Strain it carefully first by pressing it in your fist. Water can be used in the white sauce.
-1 large echalotte/shallot, finely chopped. If unavailable use one small violet onion or small sweet onion.
-Garlic: 2 cloves, finely chopped
-Basil: 12 leaves, thinly cut
Noilly Prat or sweet white wine: 50cc (1 quarter cup)
Olive oil
Salt, pepper.

-White sauce:
Milk: 300cc (1 cup and a half)
Butter: 50 g
Flour: 60g (2 full large spoons). This may reduced or increased depending on the consistency you wish to obtain.
Salt, pepper, nutmeg, laurel
Curry paste: 1 spoon (optional. If you like your food spicy, then increase amount)
Finely shredded cheese: to taste


1) Boil cut potatoes and cauliflower beforehand in salted water until “80% cooked”. Strain water and put aside within reach.
2) Wash mussles under cold running water and pull out “roots”. In large deep non-stick frying pan pour about 2 large spoons of olive oil. Heat oil and drop echalotte and garlic inside. As soon as the echalottes (or onion) become transparent, pour in the wine and all the mussles. Cover with glass lid. As soon as the mussles are all open, switch off fire. Take mussles out one by one, shake them over the pan to leave only the meat inside. Take off the meat and leave it inside a small bowl. If they give off “water” in the bowl, throw liquid away.
3) Switch on fire again and keep to medium. Drop oysters inside. Let them cook until they have changed colour. Switch off fire and take them carefully out one by one, and leave them in small bowl. If they give off “water” in the bowl, throw liquid away.
4) Switch on fire again to high and reduce the “soup” left inside the frying pan. Once it has reduced to about 50cc/one quarter cup, strain it into a cup and keep it aside for white sauce.
5) Lightly wipe (do not wash in water!) the frying pan with clean kitchen paper. Drop in some butter. Switch on heat to medium and lightly saute/fry first the cauliflower for a couple of minutes with a little salt and pepper, and put aside. Do the same with potatoes. This will help the vegetables “suck in” the gratin taste.
6) Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius (medium high)
7) Drop the butter (50g) into frying pan and let melt. Drop in flour and stir until smooth. Pour in the seafood juices (“soup”) and stir. Once smooth, add milk half by half and keep stirring until it has reached the appropriate consistency. Switch off fire.
First stir in the curry paste, then crab “miso/brains”. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and laurel to taste. Add crab and basil and stir until you have reached a certain homogeneity.
8) In a large shallow oven dish, place potatoes, cauliflower, mussles and oyters equally (to avoid arguments!). No need to butter the dish beforehand as all ingredients contain enough fat.
Spread white sauce equally over vegetables and seafood. Sprinkle the lot with shredded cheese (the more, the better for those who like their gratin with a dark cheese “topping”!).
Cook in oven for 30 minutes, or until it has reached the appropriate colour (all the ingredients having been cooked, nothing to worry about if you decide to cook it at 250 degrees Celsius to just grill the top).

Serve hot and enjoy. Of course, you could cook the gratin in individual dishes, but it is so nice to break the whole and serve it steaming onto the plate. Sorry, the pictures do not do justice to the dish, but then if it is looks you are caring about, you could always ask for it at a restaurant! LOL

Small secret: Cook everything in the same large non-stick frying pan. Wipe it, do not wash it! It will give this extra taste!

More recipes with mussles coming soon!

Vegetarian French Cuisine: Roquefort Blue Cheese and Potato Gratin

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Here is a dish for friends with a big appetite and some of my friends who appreciate vegetarian food such as Allison!

Ingredients (for 2 to 4 people):
Potatoes: 5 medium to large
Butter: 50g
Flour: 30g
Milk: 100cc
Thick sour cream: 100g
Roquefort cheese: 40g (If not , use any other strong blue cheese)
Garlic: 2 cloves, chopped
Basil: a few leaves, chopped
Italian parsley: a few sprigs, chopped
Thin leeks: a couple stems, chopped
Salt: to taste
Pepper: to taste
Nutmeg: to taste


Peel potatoes, rinse and cook for 15 minutes in boiling salted water.
Drain and cut in thin slices.
Butter the inside of a shallow oven dish (25×3 cm).
Preheat oven to 200 Celsius degrees.
In a saucepan, on a small fire, melt butter and cook garlic and all herbs gently for a couple of minutes. Add flour and stir until mixture is smooth. Add milk first and mix well with a whisk, then add sour cream and mix again. Mix in salt and spices to taste. Switch off fire and mix in Roquefort cheese as smoothly as possible.

Place a first layer of potato slices evenly inside the oven dish. Sprinkle a little salt, pepper and nutmeg. Repeat operation until all potatoes are used up.
Pour cheese sauce evenly on top of potatoes and cook for 25 minutes. Serve at once.
This is also a good snack to accompany a strong beer or cider!

Vegetarian Cuisine: Tempura (3)

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Last night, not only did we enjoy great sashimi ( see earlier article ) at Bu-Ichi, but also savoured some beautiful tempura that would have vegetarinas come running!

From top to bottom, left to right:
“Fuki no To”/Butterbur, Brocoli.
“Renkon”/ Lotus roots, Asparaguses.
“Maitake” Mushrooms, Shiitake mushrooms,
“Satsuma Imo”/Yam.

Served with salt and pepper. No need for sauce!

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