Recently in cookery Category

Kheema Curry

Kheema curry.

Iwanori Ramen

Iwanori ramen.

Yuzu Mushipan

My wife's specialty, steamed cake.

Steamed cake

These ones were made with yuzu cha, but she'll sometimes use kinako or banana instead.

More Gumbo

Over rice.

Gumbo over rice.

And udon tsukemen to finish.

Gumbo tsukemen.

Gumbo

Gumbo
Tart shell, cream, sugar, salt, chocolate and butter at the ready.

I took a second crack at Jamie Oliver's Simple Chocolate Tart and pulled through with a bit more success. The first time I tried this recipe, I made a complete mess with everything. This time I gave my mise en place a bit more love and avoided such disasters. I also swapped out the one pound of "best-quality bittersweet chocolate" for a pound of old truffles because that's what was in my pantry. Here's how I did it.

Molten chocolate in cream, also known as 'ganache.'

Bring one and one-third cups of heavy cream, two tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt to a boil. Keep an eye on it while you're waiting, because as soon as it begins boiling, that cream is going to foam up and go right over the edge and everywhere else (lesson learned from last time). As the soon as the cream comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and add half a cup of softened butter and a pound of chocolate. Stir this until everything has melted completely. If you didn't break the chocolate up into small enough pieces, you might need to return the pot to low heat to get all the lumps out.

Here in Oliver's recipe, he directs you to let the mixture cool a little and stir in a half cup of cold milk "until smooth and shiny." Since I used truffles instead of chocolate, I skipped this step, and the ganache seems to have turned out pretty much as it should have.

Cooling on a level surface.

Dump the warm ganache into a cooked and cooled pastry shell. This recipe should fill an 11 x 1.125 inch (27.9 x 2.9 cm) shell perfectly. If you have any extra ganache left over, scrape that into a bowl and stick it into the fridge. It will harden to the consistency butter and you can just eat with a spoon.

The first time I did this, I put the pastry shell on a plate. Well, most plates aren't actually flat, but dip down in the middle. If your plate also dips toward the middle, so will your tart after you pour a pound-plus of chocolate onto it (second lesson learned from last time). This time I left the tart on a nice, flat cookie sheet.

Simple chocolate tart with café au lait.

Let the tart cool for an hour or two and finally dust with some unsweetened cocoa powder. You can serve it as is, but I find that it's a little too soft that way, so I like to chill it in the fridge.

Kimchi Soup and Gyoza

It was spicy.

It's not just a cooking blog! Honest!

Didn't get home from work until after 10pm, so dinner was plain and simple. Half a jar of kimchi into the remaining broth from last night and some gyoza from the freezer.

Heat. Serve. Easy peasy.

Ponzu Shouyu Boiled Pork with Mustard

Pork+Ponzu

If I'm not careful, this will become nothing but a cooking blog.

For tonight's dinner I boiled a pound of pork loin in six cups of water with a half-cup of ponzu shouyu and sliced green onions. After thirty minutes, I removed the pork, sliced it and poured the broth over it in a shallow bowl.

For a condiment, I threw together some homemade mustard: two tablespoons of mustard seed, half a teaspoon of tumeric and some paprika, garlic powder and kosher salt all went into the blender until I had a coarse powder. Then I microwaved a half cup of equal parts water and rice vinegar for one minute. Since the blender's instruction manual says to not use boiling liquids, I let it cool for five minutes before adding it to the mixture and blending some more.

The pork turned out okay, but nothing to write home about. The broth was quite good—lightly citrusy with good pork flavor—and the mustard was a great compliment—strong overtones, but not overpowering. I think next time I'll try this in the slow cooker and see if I can't get some better texture on the pork.

Chicken Confit

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Confit!

Dinner tonight was a simple chicken confit.

Into a casserole dish went five chicken legs, a quartered onion, six garlic cloves, and some salt, pepper and rosemary. It was all then covered in olive oil, and with the lid on the dish, left to cook in a 250°F oven for two-and-a-half hours. It came out nice and tender, but could have used some more seasoning.

The side dish was a salad with a dressing of chopped green olives, marinated artichoke hearts and bacon mixed in sour cream with some black pepper.

It's a good thing it turned out not half bad because the leftovers are tomorrow's lunch.

Simple Chocolate Tart

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A slice of simplicity.

A coworker lent me a copy of Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef, particularly recommending that I try out his recipe for "Simple Chocolate Tart." It is indeed simple, and though I made a huge mess with every ingredient I could, absolutely worth the little effort required.

If you, too, decide to try it out, something to keep in mind: you're never going to eat the whole thing by yourself in one sitting, so don't let the 1.25 pounds of butter scare you off.


Give my take on the recipe a try.

Language

JP / EN

January 2012

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