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2010年12月30日 (木)

Bruschetta al pomodoro, pasta alla trapanese, and lemon & honey marinade/ブルスケッタ・アル・ポモドーロ、パスタ・アラ・トラパネーゼ、レモンと蜂蜜のマリネ

The rest of the grape tomatoes are prepared as below; bruschetta al pomodoro, pasta alla trapanese, and lemon & honey marinade. The tomato mixture is wide in usage; not only for bruschetta but also for pasta, sauce for cutlet and deep-fried fish, and topping for salad.  Pasta alla trapanese is a dish from Trapani in Sicily.  You need almond, garlic, basil, pecorino romano and olive oil for the sauce, and the pasta can be short one such as penne rigate.  For the marinade, lemon juice is used instead of vinegar, as I don’t like its sharp sourness.  Apple vinegar will be good as well.


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2010年12月29日 (水)

Grape tomato/ミニトマト

These grape tomatoes are from Shizuoka.  They’re so shiny, fat and sweet, though they’re harvested now in mid winter.  I’ve never had such beautiful ones even in summer.  Half of the box was eaten immediately with my friends.  The dishes using them will be uploaded soon.



2010年12月28日 (火)

Lemon cream cake/レモンクリームケーキ

If you have enough lemons and don’t know what to do with them, I recommend making lemon curd.  It’ll be good for six months, preserved in a sterilized bottle and kept in a fridge.  Mix it with crème chantilly (whipped cream), then lemon cream cake can be made very quickly.



2010年12月27日 (月)

Scallop and egg plant tartare/帆立と茄子のタルタル

This was one of the menus from the girls’ night “in” dinner.  Scallop is mixed with grilled egg plants and boiled broccoli.  I learned the dish when I was on practice at a cookery school’s restaurant.  Presenting foods is the art.  Power your creativity, then you can make nice presentation; making a shape using a cercle, layering in a glass, serving in a citrus cup etc.  Just a thought.


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2010年12月26日 (日)

Roast stuffed chicken/スタッフドチキン

My friends and I had a girls’ night “in” at my place. I invite my friends home for dinner time to time, and I love to cook for them.  The girls’ night “in” just happened on Christmas, so I wanted to cook something that I usually don’t.  Two years ago I had a chance to learn the recipe from a retired chef who used to work at a French kitchen in Nagoya’s historic and renowned hotel.  Why I say “retired” and “historic and renowned” is because of his cooking.  It’s been already a couple of decades since nouvelle cuisine became mainstream in French, still, the retired chef’s is very traditional with lots of cream and butter.  Yes, heavy French.  He was so happy with my request, and we spent two days to prepare for the chicken.  He even let his staff to take care of the sauce (using materials from the restaurant fridge!) for a whole day.  With a professional oven in the restaurant and lead by the experienced chef, the one two years ago was much better than this year’s.


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2010年12月25日 (土)

German potato salad/ドイツ風ポテトサラダ

I don’t prefer “Japanese” potato salad, that is, boiled potato mixed with fresh vegetables like cucumber and seasoned with mayonnaise.  My family used to have western-style of breakfast on Sundays and my mother often made such potato salad.  She sometimes put apples (not a good idea!), and I didn’t like the combination of boiled and fresh ingredients and bread and potato (too much carbohydrate!).

For this German potato salad, you boil potato, then mix with grilled bacon, chopped onion and pickles, season with soup stock, wine vinegar and mayonnaise, and let it sleep.  This is the potato salad I like.  And, just to avoid misleading, my “roots” of Japanese cooking is my mother’s and she’s the best cook.  Roots of Project Roots is her cooking, what she cooked for us.


このドイツ風ポテトサラダは、じゃがいもを丸ごと茹で、玉葱、ピクルス、カリカリに焼いたベーコンと混ぜ、ブイヨン、ワインビネガー、少量のマヨネーズを加え、落ち着かせます。これが私の好きなポテトサラダです。あと、母の名誉のために・・・。私の和食と料理のルーツは母の家庭料理ですし、普段の生活のなかで多くを学びました。母の家庭料理がProject Rootsのルーツです。


2010年12月23日 (木)

Advent cookies/アドヴェントクッキー

This is a seasonal and handmade gift from my student – a box of advent cookies!  It was filled with Lebkuchen, Floretiner, Vanillekipferl, and much more.  She gave me the same cookies last Christmas, and I loved them all.  I appreciate her kind thoughts.



2010年12月21日 (火)

Sabji and pulao/サブジとプラーオ

A friend of mine, who is married to an Indian, kindly set me up an Indian cooking lesson while her mother-in-law was visiting Japan this summer.  The biggest learning was how different types of spices can be mixed, and I hardly use commercially available curry roux since then. In India, what we foreigners say “curry” is called sabji, and there’re so many kinds of sabji, depending on what spices and ingredients are used.  Pulao is pilaf.  It’s cooked with cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, clove and tomato.



2010年12月20日 (月)


There should be more proper translation for mochi/rice cake.  Anyway, the community I live had a charity mochitsuki/rice-cake making yesterday.  I love freshly-pounded mochi, and every year I suggest my family to make mochi with mortar and pestle as one of our New Year’s family activities, but it has never come true.  For the fresh mochi, sweet ones with kinako/soybean powder or anko/sweet bean paste are good, but I think the one with grated daikon/Japanese radish and soy sauce is the best.


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2010年12月19日 (日)

Dried vegetables and Kiriboshi daikon/干し野菜と切干大根

For these months, since it’s getting chilly and dry, I’ve been so into making dried vegetables.  Many vegetables, various kinds of mushrooms, daikon/Japanese radish, zucchini, renkon/lotus roots, broccoli etc, are dried out. Upon a request from my student, I’ve prepared for kiriboshi daikon, using my products, to include the dish for her lesson.  Nutrition and flavor increase when vegetables are dried, and they can be stocked and cooked anytime.


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2010年12月18日 (土)


Ankou/blackmouth goosefish is a winter delicacy.  There’s a well-known Ankou-nabe restaurant in my neighborhood.  It’s so popular that it’s hard to make a reservation, however, we’re lucky to sneak in the slot that someone canceled.  It was sooooo yummy! 



2010年12月17日 (金)

Brown bread/黒パン

Since brown bread is not so popular here in Japanyou have to know first of all where you can buy it, and then, you have to find your favorite bakery.  Or, you bake it by yourself, as I did the other day.  All-in-one package to make brown bread seems to be common in Europe, and it was the last remaining package that was stocked.  I’ll definitely look for it next time when I visit there next time.



2010年12月16日 (木)

Khao Pad Kra Prao Gai/ガパオ

My friend and I recently had a dinner at a Thai restaurant.  The restaurant was my choice.  I tend to pick up a restaurant that offers something better eat there.  For example, it’s too much for me to spend three hours only to cook sauce for French, or I don’t want to run around looking for ‘right’ materials for Thai. Still substitute is a solution, like the Khao Pad Kra Prao (fried rice with Thai basil) that I cooked.  Ground chicken is common, but I used shrimps instead, and sweet basil that grows in my box garden.



2010年12月14日 (火)

Italian vegetable 4: Chippoline/イタリアの野菜4:チポリーネ

The portion my father sent me was too small to cook.  The photo is one of the recipes from my summer training.  The antipasto is cipolline agro dolce, and as it says, chipolline in sweet-sour sauce.



2010年12月12日 (日)

Italian vegetable 3: Finocchio romanesco/イタリアの野菜3:根セロリ

I’m not so familiar with how it’s to be prepared, as green long one is more popular and you have to look for if you need this type of celery in Japan.

I made a salad with anchovy, garlic, olive oil and wine vinegar.  Its green needle leaves and pink peppers turned out to be like Christmas on a dish.  Simple and yummy.



2010年12月11日 (土)

Furofuki daikon/ふろふき大根

The parcel that my father sent me had two daikons/Japanese radishes that he grew in his garden.  That was the same week that I had already bought two at a near-by supermarket.  While I thank him, I stood up in the kitchen, wondering what to do with them.  To prepare for furofukidaikon, it’s known that peeling the skin thick and cooking sliced daikon first with togijiru/water used to rinse rice.  This is a tip; immerse the cooked daikons in running water, then they become translucent.  Also, don’t throw away the skin.  Cut them into proper size, and mix with sliced konbu/dried kelp, mirin/sweet rice wine, sake, soy sauce and vinegar for palate freshener.




2010年12月10日 (金)

Italian vegetable 2-2: Bietola/イタリアの野菜2-2:ビエトラ

One more dish, a contorno (side dish), using bietola.  Boiled bioetola dressed with olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.



2010年12月 9日 (木)

Italian vegetable 2-1: Bietola/イタリアの野菜2-1: ビエトラ

Though it’s translated and regarded as the same as Fudan-so in Japanese, it seems to me that Komatsu-na is more appropriate.  Using what I have in my fridge, I was going to cook a Turkish dish, Kıymalı Pazı, but it’s ended up with like an Italian after all by using faro instead of bulgur wheat and seasoning with tomato paste.  Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for the topping would’ve increased the flavor.

ビエトラは日本では不断草とされていますが、小松菜がいちばん近い野菜だと思います。冷蔵庫にあるものでトルコ料理(Kıymalı Pazı)を作る予定が、オリジナルの材料を代用品にしていたらイタリア料理になってしまいました。


Italian vegetables 1/イタリアの野菜 1

When I visited Tuscany this summer to take a two-week culinary lesson, I brought back some vegetable seeds that are common there but not in Japan.  My father grew them in his farm and some were just arrived.  They’re bietrola, finocchio romanesco and chipoline.


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2010年12月 5日 (日)

Best Food of the Year : Onigiri konbu/おにぎり昆布

Since I came across this onigiri konbu in killing time between appointments, I’ve been so fascinated with the idea and taste.  This is a product from Hokkaido.  This sheet of konbu/dried kelp is a substitute of for nori/dried seaweed for onigiri/rice ball.  I have yet tried, but this should be good for maki-zushi/rolled sushi.  You can find it at a Hokkaido’s antenna shop in Yuraku-cho Denki Building.  The price is 399 yen/package.



2010年12月 3日 (金)

Bocchan kabocha/坊っちゃん南瓜

Kabocha/pumpkin is a generous vegetable.  It can be cooked in many ways; simmered, grilled, stir-fried, deep-fried, steamed, and you can make so different dishes from soup to desserts.

This is pumpkin crème past served in a Bocchan kabocha cup.  Microwave a whole pumpkin to make a cup, and you need onion, pancetta, white wine, cream and mashed pumpkin for sauce.  It can be short or long for pasta.  Cover the top with Parmigiano-Reggiano and brown it with kitchen torch.



2010年12月 1日 (水)

To begin with/はじめに

16 months have passed since I came back to Tokyo to restart my life both in career and private.  My weekend project started then, and its bottom line was, is, and will surely be “sharing”.  That’s how I reached the decision to close my private blog and replace it to the one for Project Roots.  I know by experience that blogging requires continuous work and consume energy, but “act first, and then reflect” is the path I always take.  It won’t be changed that the project prioritizes in the Japanese cuisine, however, anything about food will be shared here.

東京に戻り、生活の立て直しを始めて16ヶ月が経ちます。週末のプロジェクトも同時に始まりました。その根底にあるのは“分かち合うこと”に今後も変わりなく、今までの内省録を閉じ、Project Rootsのブログを始めようと思ったのもその一環です。ブログを続けるのは大変ですが、いつも通り、“まずは動いてみる”で始めてみます。Project Rootsのコアは日本料理ですが、ここでは食に関するあらゆることを共有していきます。

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