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2011年8月30日 (火)

Grandpa’s omelet/おじいちゃんのオムレツ

I don’t remember exactly when, but at some point in my life I came to know that the omelet I know is not the same as the one universally recognized.  This is what my family call ‘omelet’; diced potatoes, carrots, onion and chicken are sautéed and wrapped with egg crepe.  The recipe is from my grandfather.  I remember I said “It’s only eggs”, when I had ‘real’ omelet first time.  According to my mother, he often cooked for his family as his wife was busy with work, and the dishes that he learned from TV programs were on the dinner table.



2011年8月28日 (日)

Cake sale/ケークサレ

It was my first time to bake a cake sale, therefore, I followed a receipe that I found on the Internet.  It looks healthy as a small amount of oil is used, and it looks nice with different colors of different materials (green from edamame, red from dried tomato, black from black olive, and pink from pepper ham).  I’ll need to try more and more to know all about the cake, eventually, to develop my own reciepe. 



2011年8月26日 (金)


Recipe books are getting too much space in my bookshelf, and my hands reached out to two books that I bought about 20 years ago in Canada.  I learned then that a group of housewives are making the books and many of my friends there were saying that their recipes are good.  These books reminded me that I was often cramming squares (cakes often called squares in North America) back then.  It seems mothers in western countries bake yummy cakes so easily, just like making a cup of tea, and brownies should be literally “a piece of cake”.  I baked brownies for the first time in a long time.  What I’ve found is more practice is needed. 



2011年8月24日 (水)

Cantuccini di prato cioccolato e noccile/プラート地方のチョコとヘーゼルナッツのビスコッティ

I tend to make biscotti from the same receipe but tried a new one.  What’s different between with the new receipe is that the amount of sugar (same as flour) and chocolate (not citrus rind).  I learned from Italian cooking teacher that biscotti can be preserved longer, if the same amount of sugar as flour is used, but the texture is very hard and it’s very sweet.  It was exactly so, but I think chocolate biscotti are as good as citrus one.



2011年8月22日 (月)

Fettine di maiale ripiene/豚肉の香り巻き

Sliced meat is widely available in Japan, but it seems not in western countries. Their sliced meat is not thin enough to cook, for example, shabu-shabu and sukiyaki.  In Florence last summer, however, I had a chance to cook a dish with thinly-sliced chicken breast.  Sliced pork and beef are common in Japan, but sliced chicken is never here in Japan.

Anyway, the filling of this dish is Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, bread crumbs, and garlic, and the meat to roll with can be chicken, pork or beef.  If the meat is very thin, you can just roll it up.  If you want to make it hearty, you can use pork for pork ginger, which is relatively thickly sliced.




2011年8月20日 (土)


It’s common to cover the top of tiramisu with cocoa powder.  In eating it, however, you get the cocoa powder around the mouth or blow it.  An Italian cooking teacher in Florence who I took lessons from last summer suggested using shaved chocolates instead of cocoa powder.  Some recipes use cream, but I like the light texture using only mascarpone and eggs.



2011年8月18日 (木)

Tapenade casalinga/オリーブのクロスティーニ

Finely-chopped green and black olives are mixed with cappers, anchovies, garlic, chili powder, lemon juice and olive oil.  You’ll need a lot of olives for this.  It originates in Provence, France, and olives are to be processed to paste.  This kind of dish should be said “Mediterranean”, not French, Italian, Spanish etc.



2011年8月16日 (火)

Tomato and eggplant dressed with sesame cream sauce/トマトと茄子の胡麻クリームソース和え

Deep-fried eggplant and fresh tomatoes are dressed with creamy sauce using sesame paste. This would’ve been one of the menus for Summer on Japanese Table program.  I had to give it up, considering the balance of the entire program.  I visited my parents two weeks ago, carrying a suitcase and expecting to bring some vegetables back with me, but it was almost the end of summer vegetables in his garden, and the only harvest was pumpkin.  Though hot and humid weather continues, we can know that it’s surely shifting to autumn by what’s being harvested.  Autumn on Japanese Table is to start next month, and announcement will be made here in two weeks.

揚げた茄子とフレッシュトマトを練り胡麻で作ったクリーミーなソースで和えたものです。これは夏のプログラム「Summer on Japanese Table」の一品にする予定でしたが、プログラム構成のバランスから断念しました。父の畑で採れた野菜を持ち帰ることを想定し、スーツケース持参で2週間前に帰省しましたが、夏野菜はほとんど終わり、南瓜しかありませんでした。まだまだ暑い日が続きますが、畑の様子で季節が確実に移り変わっていくのが分かります。来月からは秋のプログラム「Autumn on Japanese Table」が始まります。2週間後ぐらいには、この場でも案内をさせて頂きます。


2011年8月14日 (日)

Torta di pesche marinate/黄桃のケーキ

Yellow peaches are not as expensive in Europe as they’re in Japan.  Unlike in Japan, there’s no sign like “Do not touch (as they go bad easily)”, and consumers are not handling them with care.  A lot of fresh yellow peaches are supposed to be on top and baked, but as it’s going to be a pricy cake if fresh ones are used, canned peaches were substituted.  Peaches were cut in dice and marinated in amaretto (Italian almond-flavored liqueur).  The cake contains, though it cannot be seen, a lot of amaretti (Italian almond macaroons) too.



2011年8月12日 (金)

Liege waffle/リエージュワッフル

There’re two kinds for waffles; Liege and Belgian.  I prefer Liege waffle, but raising dough is sometimes too much, especially when I want it done quickly for weekend breakfast. I tend to make Liege waffle more often in summer, because I cannot sleep in (due to the heat and humidity) and dough can be raised at the room temperature.



2011年8月10日 (水)

Zuccini bread/ズッキーニブレッド

Zucchini bread has been hooked on my mind since I found it at a cake shop in Dubrovnik. The recipe should be the same as banana bread and carrot bread, so I tried it anyway.  As it was my first time, I’ve done it with a basic recipe. The bread can be prepared by using not flour but whole grain or spelt wheat, and adding nuts and spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom etc).



2011年8月 8日 (月)

Summer salad with tosazu gelée/トマトの土佐酢ジュレ

This salad is what I’ve learned at a cookery school, and I make it every summer since then.  What you’ll need is only ordinary vegetables (onion, cucumber and tomato) and tosazu (Tosa vinegar, bonito-flavored vinegar), but it can be a party dish, if how it’s to be presented is considered.  I don’t prefer the sourness of vinegar, but by using tosazu, making the vinegar jelly, and dressing with vegetables, a refreshing Japanese salad with mild sour taste can be prepared.



2011年8月 6日 (土)

Fusili con crema di formaggi e gremolada di agrumi/フジッリ チーズクリームと柑橘のグレモラータ

The cheese cream is bechamel sauce mixed with Emmenthal and mascarpone.  Gremolada is actually a mixture of finely-chopped garlic, lemon rind and parsley.  It works like a condiment for rich dishes (like osso bucco).  This gremolada is a mixture of citrus (lemon, orange and grapefruit) rind, parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano.  The pasta is fusili.  The sauce is well dressed, as the pasta is twisted.



2011年8月 4日 (木)


Nothing special like knowledge, experience, sense and such is needed to make jelly.  But interesting texture can be created only by using different materials.  Three kinds of jellies are made; one with gelatin, one is with agar, and one is with powder kanten.  Gelatin is an animal product, from skin, bones and tendon from cows and pigs.  Fruits with high acidity won't be set with gelatin, therefore, you can either use agar/kanten or heat the fruits and kill the enzyme.  As gelatin jelly gets melted at room temperature, while agar/kanten jellies are not, layered jelly can be made with gelatin jellies.  In using leaf gelatin, use ice water.



2011年8月 2日 (火)

Horse mackerel rice, hitsumabushi style/ひつまぶし風鯵ご飯

Hitsumabushi is a traditional way to eat unagi (grilled eel) in Nagoya.  It’s been a while already since the dish become known and spread nationwide.  Due to the poor catch of young (juvenile) ones, price of eels and eel dishes are rising this year.  This hitsumabushi is with horse mackerel, instead of grilled eel.  Fillet horse mackerel, grill without getting them browned, season the fish flakes with salty-sweet sauce.  How it’s served and eaten is the same as the original hitumabushi.  In autumn, you can make the dish with saury.



2011年8月 1日 (月)

Hishino pepper/ひしの南蛮

A vegetable caught my eyes at a supermarket where I often shop.  It says “Hishino-nanban”, a traditional pepper in Shinshu, Nagano prefecture.  Nanban is another way to call peppers in Japanese, and the nanban is grown in Hisino district, Komoro-shi, in Nagano prefecture.  That’s how the nanban is called.  When I asked a staff there about the habanero-look pepper, I found that he’s the one who purchased them.  As he told me “nanban” (he didn’t say “hishino-nanban” though) is spicy pepper, I asked him if he could make a smaller portion for me.  He was nice to repack the package.

I cooked how the farmers recommended.  It’s sauted and seasoned sweet and spicy with sugar and soy sauce.  I ate both fresh (raw) and cooked, but it wasn’t spicy at all.  As “konoyama-gosun ninjin”, it’s nice to know that farmers are growing and promoting local and traditional vegetables of their land.





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