Tag Archives: Cheese

Cheese Plate at Gentil (7)

GENTIL-09-08-04

This article is again 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 last Wednesday:

Left top: Chaource (Cow, France)
Left bottom: Bon de Sologne (Cow, France)

Centre under muscat raisins: Merois (Goat, France)
Centre bittom: Tsuki no Monogatari/Moon Story (Raw Cow milk, Japan, Hokkaido)

Right top: Mimolette, 2 months old (Cow, France)
Right bottom: Bleu d’Auvergne (Cow, France)

Another 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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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)

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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Dessert: Ricotta, Orange Peels & Chocolate Tart

RICOTTA-TART

Italy and France can make up for some great combinations with a little imagination.
Here is a failry simple recipe that should please quite a few people as it includes cheese:
Ricotta, Orange Peels & Chocolate Tart!

INGREDIENTS: For 6~8 persons/20 cm wide mold than can opened.

-Pastry:
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

-Cake filling:
Ricotta: 600 g
Mascarpone: 100 g
Eggs: 2 whole + 3 yolks
Sugar: 90 g
Black/dark chocolate: 90 g
Orange peels (preserved): 35 g
Vanilla essence: 1 small teaspoon

RECIPE:

-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.

-Spread the pastry on a working boarded on which you will sprinkled some flour (to prevent sticking).
Insert into the mold. Cut out whatever pastry is over the rim. Keep inside refrigerator for 30 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

-Prepare the filling:
Cut the orange peels in small pieces. Chop the chocolate very finely.
In a large bowl mix the ricotta and mascarpone, the whole eggs and egg yolks, the vanilla essence and the sugar. Mix well. Add the orange peels and chocolate. Mix well.

-Take the the pastry inside its mold out of the refrigerator.
Fill it with the cake garnish and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes~ 1 hour 30 minutes.
Check with a knife that the garnish is properlu\y cooked in its centre.
If the surface colour gets too darke cover it with a sheet of foil paper.

-Let cool completely before serving!

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Baked Blueberry Cheese Cake

BAKED-BLUEBERRY-CHEESE-CAKE

With blueberries in full season, I seem to have entered a “blueberry mode”! I do have a few recipes on my “desk” right now, and you can expect at least three more coming in the near future!

her is another version of Japanese cheese cakes:
Baked Blueberry Cheese cake!

INGREDIENTS: For a 15 cm wide mold
-Cream Cheese (Philadelphia style): 200 g
-Sugar: 4~5 large tablespoons
-Eggs: 2
-All-purpose flour: 3 large tablespoons
-Fresh cream: 100 ml
-Lemon juice: 1 large tablespoon
-Blueberries (frozen): 120 g

RECIPE:
-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place baking paper inside mold.

-In a larg bowl drop cream cheese. Add sugar, eggs, flour, fresh cream in that order and mix well one by one. Last add lemon juice and mix well.

-Drop bluberries in and quickly mix. Pour cheese cake mixture into mold and bake for 40~50 minutes.

NOTES:
-You could use an 18 cm wide mold, but it will take less time to bake.
You may use a square mold to allow you to cut the cake into “sticks” for a different presentation.
Above picture shows a cake to which 60 g of crushed Graham Crackers mixed with 15 g of butter to provide a more solid base!

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Scallops Salad

scallops-salad.jpg

I remember that quite some tie ago my wife was “stuck” with some succulent-looking scallops. The problem was that they were too small to make acceptable sashimi. So for once, she forgot she was Japanese and opted for the European thinking.

She had some very fesh cress (cresson) grown in Shizuoka Prefecture as well as a variety of tomatoes called “Aamera”.
These tomatoes are the smallest that I have ever seen and are grown in our Prefecture only (so far).
They are very firm and very sweet. You could serve them together with a plate of red fruit!

aamera.jpg

So as you can see on the picture, she first made a thin bed of cress topped with avocado slices, made a rondo of scallops in the center with a core of cut aamera tomatoes. It certainly looked more difficult than it really was.

Topped with a dressing of your choice, with the oprion of some cottage cheese and finely cut Italian parsley or basil, it makes fro a beautiful appetizer!

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Seafood Spaghetti Salad

seafood-spaghetti-salad.jpg

Simple recipes actually means what I’m ordered to cook, prepare or invent for my better (worse?) half on Saturday and Sunday nights as her job keeps her busy on weekends. These concoctions might come helpful for those gentlemen keen to preserve peace at home!

As for measures and proportions, I will leave it to your imagination, although a good observation of the picture should be a good enough guide to you! The plate pictured was one serving.

Prepare or choose a dressing for the spaghetti. I usually use soft Dijon Mustard, Xeres vinegar, hazelnut oil, salt, pepper and a few baies roses. Naturally, Olive oil, wine vinegar, soft mustard, salt and pepper is fine, too.
Boil the spaghetti to the consistency you prefer, drain them and hold them under running cold water for 30 seconds, shaking them well to prevent them from cooking any longer.
Drain the water energically and stir in some dressing for taste and to prevent them from sticking to each other. Leave in a all-purpose bowl.

At the top of the picture are slightly sauteed scallops with onion confit.
To make the onion confit (can be done the day before or a few hours in advance), peel and cut 2 large onions in thin slices. Discard the “foot” (bottom core) as it is indigestible. Fry them in a pot with 100g of white butter on a medium fire. When the onion slices have become soft and translucent, add a large tablespoon of honey, a cup of red wine, a tablespoon each of Xeres vinegar and Port wine. Season with salt and white pepper (thin powder if possible). Simer until most of the liwuid has reduced. Check and add more honey if not sweet enough. A little tomato puree might help,too. Let it cool and keep it away from any heat and light source (do not leave it in the fridge as it might congeal).
Sautee the scallops with a little slat and lemon juice on a small amout of olive oile. As soon as they have reached a very light brown colour, take them off the fire and let them rest on a grill to get rid of excess liquids.

At the bottom of the picture are small prawns.
Take off the carapace, tail and heads (discard or use for making broth).
Make a shallow incision all along the middle of their back.
Sautee them like the scallops. As soon as they changed colour, put them to rest with the scallops.

Keeping in mind you are making two servings, cut a tablespoon each of red, yellow and orange sweet pimentos in small cubes. Fry them in olive oil without any seasoning. When soft, drop them in all-purpose bowl. Do the same with a little assortment of scallops, small shrimps and cockles (can be bought easily frozen at large supermarkets), or whatever seafood you can put your hands on. Keep in mind they ought to be of all the same approximate size (that’s a lot of “keep inmind”, isn’t it?)

When all ingredients have cooled down to room temperature and this just before you are going to serve them, toss in some finely cut fresh tomatoes (if you add them too early they leave out toomuch water in contact with salt!) join the pimentos and seafood in the same bowl and mix in a rasoable amount of dressing. Take half out and mix it with the spaghetti.
Place the spaghetti in the middle.

Arrange scallops interspaced with some onion confit above the spaghetti as in the picture.
Arrange sauteed prawns below as in the picture.

Add a good quantity of “baby leaves” of your choice with rest of the veg and seafood salad and arrange on both side of the spaghetti.

Of course this is open to any kind of variations. I just hope I stimulated you into your own recipes!

Bon appetit!

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French Cuisine: Cheese Souffle

cheesesouffle.jpg

When you mention the word “Souffle”, the first reaction you get is: “Too difficult”. It is actually dead easy, and I can tell you that some restaurants make an enormous profit from them!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people
-Eggs: 4
-Flour: 50g
-Butter: 50g
-Milk: 300cc
-Shredded cheese: 100g
-Salt/ a lttle is enough as cheese contains much
-White Pepper
-Nutmeg
-Thyme
-Laurel

RECIPE:

-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
-Butter well the inside of a (possibly round) deep oven dish (about 18cm x 8cm). This will help the souffle rise and prevent it fom sticking.

-Separate egg yolks from egg whites.
In a large bowl add a little salt to whites and beat until solid.

-On a small fire, prepare a Bechamel sauce (white sauce):
Melt butter completely, pour in flour and mix well with spatula until smooth. Pour in milk and mix well (diffferent people have different techniques, but I found that the best technique is to mix half of the milk little by little first, then pour in the rest and use a whisker to make a smooth sauce). Add salt, pepper and spices. Keep stirring gently.

-Once the sauce has thickened to the point of almost solid, take off the fire (or switch off the fire).
Mix in the egg yolks with a spatula until colour is even. Then proceed the same way with the cheese little by little until mixture comes smooth off the spatula.

-Check that the whites have not gone back to liquid (That happened to me quite a few times, so make sure to check! In such a case, just beat them again. They will go back to a satisfactory state quite fast.). Mix in half first as delicately as possible with a spatula (not a whisker, or you will break the air bubbles in the whites and the souffle will not rise!). Then do the same with the second half. Pour in the mixture in the dish and put in the oven to bake for 45 minutes (although that depends with every oven). To check whether the souffle is properly cooked, insert a thin wooden stick or knife deep into the souffle. It should come out smooth.

-Before serving, make sure that everybody is at the table before serving. ” The guests wait for a Souffle, a Souffle does not wait for the guests!”

NOTES:
1) This souffle can be cooked in individual dishes. In that case the cooking time shall be about 30~35 minutes.
2) Instead of cheese you could use tinned tuna (2 x cans), or fresh spinach (one bunch; boil it a couple of minutes in salted water first, then drain thouroughly, and mince it as thinly as possible), or crab (add a little brandy and mix beforehand), or thin short narrow strips of ham, or even ham & cheese. The variations are endless.

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Japanese Vegan Snack: Ume-Shiso Kyuuri/Cucumber, Pickled Plums & Perilla Salad

CUCUMBER-SHISO-UME

Here is one simple recipe I consider as a Japanese “National” snack that will have all vegans and vegetarians rushing for:
Ume-Shiso Kyuuri/Cucumber, Pickled Plums & Perilla Salad!
Ingredients might not be easy to find, although they are probably available on the Internet under various forms.

INGREDIENTS:
-Cucumbers. If possible, Japanese style, long, thin and crunchy
-Shiso/perilla leaves: 4
-Umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums (there are salty and slightly sweet varieties. Either is fine!)
-Salt: 2 small pimches
-Sesame oil: a little

RECIPE:
-Wash cucmbers under running clear water and wipe them thoroughly with kitchen paper.

-Cut both ends of cucumbers and discard. Tight-seal cucumbers inside a vynil pouch and break (instead of cutting) them roughly into bite-sized pieces by hitting them with pestle over a kitchen wooden board.

-Discard pip/stone inside umeboshi and cut into small pieces.
Cut the shiso into very thin strips.

-In a bowl, mix thoroughly by hand cucumber, umeboshi and shiso.
Add salt an sesame oil. Stir and serve.

Note: Will be very tasty after being chilled inside the fridge.
The best umeboshi for this recipe are the sweet ones pickled into honey.
Make sure that the cucumber are dry after first washing them or the dish will be running with water.
I personally add some sesame seeds for effect and taste!

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Seaweed-pickled Cucumbers

SEAWEED-PICKLED-CUCUMBERS

Cucumbers are in season, and the Japanese pickle a lot of them before they become scarce and more expensive!
Here is a very simple recipe to preserve them and enjoy them anytime (with a cool drink?):
Seaweed-pickled Cucumbers!

INGREDIENTS: For 1~2 persons
-Cucumber: 1 fairly long. Japanese cucumbers are comparatively thin and crunchy. Be aware that the large soft cucumbers found in “Western” countries might not be appropriate. Moreover, the Japanese eat the cucumbers whole.
-Salt: a pinch
-Salted seaweed (shio konbu): to taste. I personally like quite a lot!
-Sesame oil: to taste (do some pesonal research/experiments as to how much you would fancy!)
-White sesame seeds: to taste. i use quite a good amount myself!

RECIPE:
-Cut both extremities of the cucumber and discard.
Wash rapidly.
Close inside a vynil pouch and strike cucumber with a wooden pestle or the equivalent to break cucumber in uneven pieces.

-Take out. Drop cucmber pieces into a bowl. Add salt. Stir with yoyr hand. Let rest for a while.
Discard water which has seeped out of the cucumber.
Add salted seaweed. Stir the whole gently by hand for a little while.

-Transfer onto a dish. Arrange it for presentation. Sprinkle with sesame oil, then sesame seeds.

Note: Some people like it without the salt.
Washing the cucumber will take acidity out.
Breaking the cucumber by beating it will allow other ingredients to penetrate it more efficiently. If you don’t like the breaking method and prefer to cut the cucmber instead, let it rest for 10 minutes before adding the salt.

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Zucchini and Cheese Patties

ZUCCHINI-CHEESE-1

Zucchini are in season right now.
Here is a healthy idea for a hot snack to go with your cold drink:
Zucchini and Cheese Patties!
I dedicate this recipe to Lojol as it is very easy and great for adults and kids alike!

INGREDIENTS: For 5, 6 people
-Zucchini: 300 g
-Eggs: 2
-Shredded cheese: 120 g
-Flour: 3 large tablespoons
-Saltand pepper: a littke (to taste)
-Oil: a little

RECIPE:
ZUCCHINI-CHEESE-2

Shred the whole zucchini with their skin and put inside a large mixing bowl.

ZUCCHINI-CHEESE-3

Add eggs, shredded cheese and flour. Mix well.
Just before cooking add salt and pepper. Mix well.
Note: If you add salt and leave alone for too long, water will come out of the zucchini!

ZUCCHINI-CHEESE-4

Heat thick frypan ell. add a little oil and fry patties until they attain a rich light-brown colour.

ZUCCHINI-CHEESE-5

As there is enough to make 15 small patties, do it in two sequences.
Great as they are or in addition to a bento.
Really easy, think as them as a children’s cooking lesson!
Adults can work on the recipe and add all kinds of ingredients, or serve with differents sauces!

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Cheese Plate at gentil (5)

gentil-09-03-a

Last night I paid a belated visit to Gentil Restaurant In Shizuoka City in the company of two good friends to check and taste what was on offer at that nationally famous restaurant.

My good friend, Ms. Keiko Kubota, the only Japanese Cheese Sommelier to hold the title of compagnon d’Honneur de Taste Fromage came up with the tray of Cheeses she is currently maturing:

gentil-09-03-c

Front from left to right:
-Cone de Port Aubray (Goat Milk, Loire, France)
-2 year-old Chevre Noir (Goat’s Milk, Canada)
-10 year-old Red Cheddar (Cow’s Milk, Wisconsin, US. Yes, you read well!)
-Bleu de Sassenage (Cow’s Milk, Alpes, France)

Back from left to right:
-Talegio (Cow’s Milk, Piemonte, Italy)
-Gorgonzola Picante (Cow’s Milk, Piemonte, Italy)
-Gorgonzola Dolce (Cow’s Milk, Piemonte, Italy)

gentil-09-03-b

-10 year-old Red Cheddar (Cow’s Milk, Wisconsin, US. Yes, you read well!). A rarity!

gentil-09-03-d

Another rarity: look at the pic at the top of this posting. It is the large cheese “standing” on the right:
-“Hokkaido Shintoku”, semi-hard type from Hokkaido, Japan. Only served presently at Gentil!

gentil-09-03-e

We actually tasted all the cheese on the tray.
This particular dish offers:
-Cone de Port Aubray (Goat Milk, Loire, France), top
-Gorgonzola Picante (Cow’s Milk, Piemonte, Italy)
-2 year-old Chevre Noir (Goat’s Milk, Canada) Standing
-10 year-old Red Cheddar (Cow’s Milk, Wisconsin, US.)!
-Gorgonzola Dolce (Cow’s Milk, Piemonte, Italy) in the wooden spoon.

What did we drink with that?
Chateau Talbot from Bordeaux, and wines from Crozes-Hermitage and Bourgogne!

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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Cheese Plate at Gentil (4)


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gentil-09-16a

Last night I visited in the company of a good friend, I paid my first visit of the year to Gentil Restaurant In Shizuoka City.

gentil-09-16b

My good friend, Ms. Keiko Kubota, the only Japanese Cheese Sommelierto hold the title of Compagnon d’Honneur de Taste Fromage came up with Cheeses she is currently maturing:

gentil-09-16c

-“Sakura” (Cow’s milk, Hokkaido)
-Tommette D’Aravis (Cow’s milk, Pyrenees, France)
-Talegio (Cow’s Milk,Italy). Rowena, for you!
-Le Chevre Noir (Goat’s milk, Canada). She served that particular creamy hard goat cheese at the G8 Summit in Hokkaido in July last year!
-Fourme d’Ambert(Cow’s milk, France)

We had a very tasty mature Bourgogne wine with the cheese, and a Fonseca Port with the dessert:

gentil-09-16d

Chocolat Fondant and vanilla ice-cream!

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)

Keiko Kubota: Bringing the Art of Cheese-making to Classes!


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(Shizuoka Shinbun)

Shizuoka City boasts the only Japanese (and a lady at that!) Grand Chevalier de Tastefromage/Great Knight of the Order of Cheese Sommeliers, namely Ms. Keiko Kubota, the Maitre D’Hote at Restaurant Gentil in the same town.
Last July she was asked to devise the cheese menu and serve it to the World bigwigs at the G8 Summit in Hokkaido.
She could have rested on her laurels, but her passion for her trade impels her to constantly impart her skills to the young, too.


(Shizuoka Shinbun)

Therefore she holds regular lectures for students at Shizuoka Gakuen High School elite Sciences Class.
Her classes include not only the introduction of cheese, but also its manufacture, and endless source of surprises and discoveries for her students! (it looks like tofu!…)

For my part, as a Frenchman, I’m pretty happy with the succulent (World) cheeses plates she serves me at her restaurant!

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

Iruka Ham Co.: Basil and Tomato Sausage


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In the heat of summer, a snack is always welcome with a cool (cold) beer!
The more welcome if it is locally made with local products!

Made with chicken and pork from animals raised in Shizuoka Prefecture, it makes for good traceability. I found it in Kakegawa JR Station Supermarket as it is made in neighbouring Mori Machi.
The introduction of basil and tomato is certainly a good idea, giving an extra light taste to an already very light snack.
Taken out of its protective skin it cuts very easily into any shape you can imagine.
Great with salads with the beer after a long hot work day!

Iruka Ham Co.
Shizuoka Ken, Shuchi Gun, Mori Machi, Kazumiya, 1221-2
Tel.: 0538-84-2645

Shizuoka Cheese: Gigio Smoked Cheese


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The other day, as I was looking around the supermarket in Kakegawa JR Station, my eyes fell on some cheeses displayed in the refigerated area. As I know that this particular establishment sells solely Shizuoka products I decided to investigate.
I thus discovered a company called Gigio in Hamamatsu City. Upon investigation it turned out to be an Italian Restaurant whose chef makes his own cheese!

Out of its airtght packaging their smoked cheese comes with a nice dark nut colour and an appetizing aroma typical of a smoked cheese.

It also has the merit not to be encased in one of those obnoxious wax casing you have to fight your way through.
It cuts easily in spite of its tenderness, and can be served with salads or other cheese and pickles for example.
It makes for a great morsel with beer as its taste marries really well with the tangy flavour of hops.
I did not try, but next time I shall experiment with pizza or toast or even gratineed vegetables!

Gigio
Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, Takaoka Kita, 1-48-18
Tel.: 053-4383994
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)