Sunday, July 16, 2006

small plates for a lot of people = big plates

The whole menu was supposed to hinge around the fact that we were having hamachi. I tried to keep it izakaya-style. So, I think it mostly ties together, except for the chilled soup; that was the result of my having thought too much about it and getting excited about making it. All very tasty, nonetheless.

bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms
Key words: bacon-wrapped. These turned out to be really great. The mushrooms were meltingly tender, and the bacon gave just the right smoky saltiness. I think I would pump the heat up a little more in the oven next time, to crisp the bacon a little more. The recipe called for 425°F, I might push it to 450°F. Either that, or pan-fry them.
[bacon, enoki mushroom, spring onions, pepper]

chilled corn soup with watercress and scallops

I wanted to make a chilled soup, and corn seemed like a natural choice. Next time I may be lazy and buy frozen corn; I really hate husking corn, the silk gets everywhere. The recipe was inspired by 1. a crab soup we had at Bouchée in Carmel, and 2. a recipe for vichyssois with zucchini and scallops. It turned out to be a very lovely combination. Refreshing, sweet, and crisp, with the scallops adding body.
[corn, fish and chicken stocks, coconut milk, saffron, serrano and red jalapeño chiles, garlic, ginger, watercress, scallops, salt, pepper]

miso soup, with hamachi
My mom provided this great miso soup.
[miso, water, green onions, hamachi trimmings, tofu, wakame]

watercress, tomato, and tofu salad
[watercress, tomato, tofu, soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar]

make-your-own hamachi handrolls
We have a fish importer friend who provides us with restaurant-quality sashimi. I know, I'm spoiled rotten. My mom also has an awesome recipe for sushi rice (which I still have yet to learn), which just adds to the experience.
[nori, hamachi, sushi rice, avocado, radish sprouts, wasabi]

wild mushroom mix
[oyster, shiitake, and woodear mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper]

nori-crusted steak
I let the butcher talk me into a tri-tip instead of the recipe’s sirloin. Bad move on my part. I should have insisted on the sirloin I originally wanted. He was only trying to be helpful because I told him I was serving 10 people. Thus, the steak was too chewy. Still tasty, but not the texture I was going for.
[tri-tip steak, nori, sesame seeds, crushed red pepper, salt]

eggplant and pork
[eggplant, ground pork, garlic, ginger, serrano chiles, soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch]

fallen chocolate cake
This recipe came from Baking Illustrated. It's the best combination—extremely impressive, yet shockingly easy. We were going to put 34 candles into one of the cakes, but the problem with the whole “hot” cake thing is that the candles melt into the cake. Poor Chih sacrificed and ate the slightly waxy one.
[chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar, flour, salt]


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