Tag Archives: Pasta

From My Recipe Book: Cream Sauce Prawns & Potato Pagoda

Recently I’ve been digging in my cooking books & notes and dug out some easy recipes!
Here we go!

prawns-cream-potatoes

Frankly speaking, I was stumped by how to call this simple, healthy but fulfilling home-made recipe reminiscent of the Curry Sauce Mango Prawns and Scallops recipe I posted a couple of days ago!
Lauren would probably have kicked if I had called it “Prawns and Potatoes Sandwich in Cream Sauce”! LOL
As with other recipes, it can be multiplied into many variations. Vegetarians can replace the prawns with boiled cauliflower and Broccoli for example!

Ingredients (for 2 people/large appetites!):

Small -medium prawns: 18 without their shells and kept in a little lemon juice
Potatoes: 4 medium-large
Courgette/Zucchini: 1 small cut in thin strips (at least 9 or 10. See pic above)
Eringi Mushrooms or substitute: 2 large cut in thin strips (at least 9 or 10. See pic above)
Fresh dill (for decoration)
Fresh sweet basil (for topping)
Sauce:
Shallots: 1 large, finely chopped
Garlic: 1 large clove, finely chopped
Red, yellow, green pimento: 2 large tablespoons of each, finely chopped
Fresh Cream: 1 cup (200 cc)
White wine: 1 quarter of a cup (50 CC)
Olive oil
Lemon juice: 1 lemon
Salt, pepper, nutmeg, chili pepper (the last to taste). You can make it Indian by using curry mix powder.

Recipe:
Organize yourself so as to have everything on hand and ready from the beginning!
You will need at least two frying pans and one deep pan.

-Cut potatoes as thin as possible. The thinner, the better. Also keep in mind you have to make 6 “pancakes”. Wash them. Take all water off them with a clean cloth or kitchen paper. Add a little salt, pepper, nutmeg and chili pepper (last one can be discarded) to them in a bowl.
-Pour a little olive oil in one non-stick frying pan. On a medium-large fire wait until oil is hot enough and form a “pancake with potato slices. The trick is that no space should be left between potatoes and at the same time avoiding two sliced to cover each other completely. Wait until potatoes have cooked enough to stick together (“help” them if necessary by pressing them). Turn them over and cook the other side to a nice crispy light brown. Continue until you have obtained 6 “pancakes”. Keep warm.
-While the potatoes cook, fry first zucchini then eringi mushrooms in a little olive oil until tender to taste. Add a (very) little salt to them while cooking. Keep warm.
-Sauce: In a deep pan, pour 3 large tablespoon of olive oil, heat oil over medium fire. Fry shallots and garlic. When shallots have become translucent, add wine, fresh cream, lemon juice, salt, pepper, nutmeg and other spices. Take it easy with salt and spice at first. You can always rectify later. Let cook for a few minutes. Sieve sauce, add chopped pimento and cook for a good 5 minutes on a medium fire. Lower fire if it boils.
-Fry prawns in a little olive oil until only their centers are still a little raw. If you cook them any longer, they will harden up.

On a large plate you had kept hot in the oven, first place one potato pancake then 3 prawns on top. Repeat the operation twice more to obtain the “pagoda” or “Sandwich” shape. Place alternatively zucchini and eringi around to form a crown. With a large tablespoon scoop up the pimento out of the sauce and pile them on top of the Pagoda. Pour the sauce on the vegetables around the Pagoda. Decorate with plenty of fresh dill around and sweet basil leaves on top as shown on pic above.

Serve with a dry white wine or Pilsner type beer. Non-drinkers could drink a nice fresh lemonade (real one!) with it!

Enjoy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

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Takuan Recipe: Japanese Cold Takuan Pasta (with Vegan Version)

Takuan in Japan is usually eaten at the end of the meal with rice and miso soup, but there are ways to accomodate it Western-style!
Here is a suggestion for a cold pasta recipe for a light refreshing dish during the summer heat.
As for a vegan version use vegan pasta!

INGREDIENTS: (for 2 people)

Pasta (or vegan pasta): 200 g
Takuan: 50 g (cut into thick filaments)
Cucumber: 100 g (cut inot thick filaments)
Salted konbu seaweed: 20 g (cut into thick filaments)
Roasted sesame seeds: A little

RECIPE:

Boil the pasta to your liking in 2 liters of water and 1 tablespoon of salt.

Prepare aside the takuan and cucumber (small and crunchy Japanese style) cut into thick filaments and salted konbu seaweed.

Transfer the boiled pasta into a bowl full of icy water.
Drain well.

In a bowl drop the pasta, takuan, cucumber and seaweed and mix well.
Note: Use your imagination if you want to add taste and seasoning but keep in mind you don’t need any more salt!
Suggestions: sesame oil, umeboshi meat, gomadare/sesame dressing, etc.

Serve in a plate and sprinkle wit roasted sesame seeds!

For more color and taste you could add thinly cut pimento!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Chicken Meatballs Spaghettini with Marutaka Farm Puree

Cooking, especially at home, shouldn’t be difficult.
The point is to find and use good ingredients

Marutaka Farm/まるたか農園 in Miyakoda, Hamamatsu City makes a truly extravagant tomato puree made with tomatoes originally grown solely to be eaten fresh. Not wishing to throw away good produce during the peak harvest season they started making this sauce with the pulp of the tomatoes with the sole addition of salt!

You can adapt it to any Italian recipes but must keep in mind it is not as concentrated as European tomato purees but more like sauces.
Each jar contains 270 g, enough to devise a recipe for two.

Chicken Meatballs Spaghettini with Marutake Farm Puree

Meat balls:
Minced chicken
Grated garlic
Grated Ginger
Japanese sake or white wine (just enough for taste)
Salt
Pepper
Mayonnaise (to liaise instead of eggs)

Above proportions are up to your taste, so experiment!
Mix the whole and make small balls.

Fry some thinly sliced onions in olive oil first in a large and fairly deep frypan onver medium high fire until they have become transparent.
Add meat balls and fry until they have change color to a light brown. Lower fire to medium low.

Start preparing the spaghettini.

Add a whole jar of Marutaka Tomato Puree and cook for a while. Add 1 large tablespoon of Port wine, 1 large tablespoon of basil sauce, pepper and a little curry mix powder. Add chili pepper powder if you like your pasta hot.

Add plenty of grape tomatoes and cook on a medium fire for a while or until spaghettini are ready.
Drain the pasta and transfer it into the sauce pan. Mix well. Add edamame and sliced black olives and mix again.

Serve hot!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Italian Cuisine: Umegashima Wild Boar Ragu Pici Pasta at Il Castagno

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: clean
Prices: reasonable
Specialty: Central and south Italian-style cuisine. Home-made pasta. Very reasonables prices. Progressive wine list.
no-smoking-logo1 Non-smoking!

The other day as I cycled around to find out where I was going to have my lunch between two bouts of computer work, I noticed an interesting if not unusual dish on the menu of the day posted in front of Il Castagno:
Umegashima Wild Boar Pasta!

Umegashima is the area located near the source of the Abe River flowing across Shizuoka city.
It is nationally famous for its many hotsprings, tea culture and wasabi and shamo chicken.
But what people know less is that it is a region replete with wild game, especially deer and wild boar!
The chef at Il Castagno managed to put his hands on a wild boar leg and hind which had been shot down a few days before my visit!

He marinated the meat for 24 hours in herbs, wine and ingredients he did not really want to reveal…
He then simmered slowly with white wine into an incredible Ragu!
Themeat had been so softened that it was easily shredded into convenient bits for a pasta dish.
The present pasta are Toscana Pici, hand-made at the resataurant (all pasta there is freshly hand-made!).
Serve with Italian parsley and Parmeggiano Regiano, it made for an utterly extravagant pasta dish!

IL CASTAGNO
420-0843 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Tomoe Cho, 48 (along Kitakaido Street)
Tel. & Fax: 054-247-0709
Business hours: 11:45~14:00, 17:30~21:00
Closed on Mondays and second Tuesdays
Lunch: 1,260 and 1,860 yen
Dinner: 4,000 and 5,000 yen
A la Carte menu and wine list available. Wine by the glass ok
Reservations recommended.
Credit Cards OK (evening only)
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope

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

Italian Cuisine: Cozze e Gamberi Salsa al Pomodoro at Il Castagno in Shizuoka City

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: clean
Prices: reasonable
Specialty: Central and south Italian-style cuisine. Home-made pasta. Very reasonables prices
no-smoking-logo1 Non-smoking!

On Sundays, if I don’t any cricket to attend to nor an interview to conduct, I ususally make a point to take lunch at Il Castagno in Shizuoka City.
It is unpretentious and very welcoming, but the food, reasonably priced, is authentic and definitely worth a firs and second visit.
The specialties are mainly from the South, especially the Puglia area where the chef and his partner have recently visited some old friends.

Yesterday I opeted for a different type of pasta: Olechiette, typical of South Puglia. Incidentally all pasta at Il Castagno is home-nade fresh Pasta!

The past was accompanied with mussles and large prawns.
The sauce was prepared with tomatoes and finely chopped zucchini.
The whole was delicately presented in an oval deep plate with fresh Italian parsley.

Simple and so sophisticated at the same time!

IL CASTAGNO
420-0843 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Tomoe Cho, 48 (along Kitakaido Street)
Tel. & Fax: 054-247-0709
Business hours: 11:45~14:00, 17:30~21:00
Closed on Mondays and second Tuesdays
Lunch: 1,260 and 1,860 yen
Dinner: 4,000 and 5,000 yen
A la Carte menu and wine list available. Wine by the glass ok
Reservations recommended.
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

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

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!

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

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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!

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

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