Tartare d’huitres au yuzu (French-Japanese oyster appetizer)

That looks so hip that you can’t guess what it is, like in those avant-garde restaurants that have done it for…ever. You have to pretend it’s new all the time. Well it’s marinated oysters with fresh veggies, and it’s yummy.

Japanese ingredients : small oysters and (blanched cooked) edamame beans.

Also white kabu (raw). And okra (gombo, blanched).

A fragrant yuzu lemon. I simply juiced the yuzu and added all the other ingredients diced. Mixed. Let a while in the fridge.

Serve in small amount as an appetizer, or with a toast or hot rice… well, that was a hot boiled potato.

Red and fried snow pellets. Duet of savory arare rice crackers.

In Osaka it’s just snowing mochi.

あられ餅(霰餅) arare mochi.
Arare mochi are cubes of dried mochi of about 1 millimiter. So they look like graupels. Yes, you know graupels ? They are snow pellets.
Arare means “snow pellets / graupels “. OK, I’m not sure what it is exactly, it’s a snow amount, bigger than a snow flake and smaller than an avalanche…
And that also the name of the arare rice crackers made with these cubes.

We can buy them, but I made mines from a block of mochi (see here).

When they are dry, you can fry them. That takes a few seconds till they triple of volume, then take color.

They are very crunchy. You can eat them like that, for the nice taste of fried rice. Or flavor them :

I’ve mixed hot chili (togarashi) and also mild paprika to moderate the fire. And a little salt. Just roll them in the spices.

It’s transparent. It’s “wasabi powder” .

More here.

So you get a set of home-made salty crackers. You can keep them a while… I imagine.

Accras la la…


Just bring accras and you’re starting a French Antilles style party. These appetizers bring the mood. They are fried dumplings with herbs, spices and often morue (cod fish).

With a dip of salsa ? I’d usually spice them enough and I eat them like that, but I often see many Japanese people looking for the sauce whenever that type of dish appears…

Delicious to photography…

Minute papillote ! Summer day camembert.

Our July 2012 Daring Cooks’ host was Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie! Sarah challenges us to learn a new cooking technique called “Cooking En Papillote” which is French and translates to “cooking in parchment”.

Snobbish cultural minute :
Unlike what English speakers believe, the word does not mean “in parchment”. Papillote comes from “papillon” (=butterfly). A papillote is something like a butterfly. There is verb too, papilloter (to “papillote”) usually meaning to sparkle and shine like butterfly wings.

That does not affect the recipes at all. I know, I know…

There will be 2 other new recipes (to be posted soon, visit again):

Steamed crystal papillote
Pêcher mignon en papillon

And there were old ones :
Papillote de poisson vanillée – vanilla cream fish papillote
Surprise present in the plate : papillote de poisson

So, take a small camembert. Wrap it in foil. Heat it about 20 minutes on a barbecue, a plancha or in a oven. Be careful from 10 to 15 minutes as it may burst if it’s over-cooked.

Remark : Yes, my camembert looks weird. But it’s normal for Japan. It’s a green olive camembert. That’s not a great invention, but that’s perfect to play with that type of preparations.

Prepare a green sauce in a juicer :

Prepare sticks of bread (semi-stale), toast and rub with garlic.

Bring onto the table the hot papillote, the sauce and the bread sticks.
Cut the top skin of the cheese with a knife, open a big hole and pour some sauce on it.

Dig into with the bread sticks.

From the branch, a green charade

My first is eda (=branch), and it’s full of pods now…

My second is mame (=beans). And it’s very green.

My whole is green soy beans (edamame).
It’s a delicious crunchy snack, to go with a beer, or without. Many bars bring you some, like that, even if you don’t order. That’s not free. When you go out, they may charge you the moon for it ! It’s better to ask how much is the “cover charge” before stepping in. Of course, these beans are very cheap and that’s nothing to prepare.

Just boiled in a few minutes. I used the steamer as a basket. I put them in boiling salted water and checked after 3 to 4 minutes if they were crunch.

Cake salé au fromage et aux piments jalapeños

French cake with Jalapeño peppers and cheese. That’s the recipe from the blog Everyday Cooking. Thanks for the idea.

Cakes salés, savory cakes, have been a big fad in France a few years ago. They come in many flavors and are very convenient to serve many as an appetizer, a first dish, or for buffets. Leftovers make portable snacks. OK, at some point, the olive and ham version became the classic you’d get at all your aunties’ and all village marriages, so that was started to be boring. For me that was a while ago, so I was a glad to have some. And Jalapeños bring an original touch.

I had an opened canned pickled chiles, so that was the occasion. There were a few carrots with the red ones. I’ve added a little rice bran to the flour. For the rest, I have followed the recipe (eyeballing).
I thought I had greased the mold enough, but no, I was unable to take out the whole cake. I had to cut out the wedges and they went out one by one.

Amuse-gueules : bacon maki and green maki

Finger food to start the party. Let’s make 3 funny rolled bites.

Prune bacon maki. Sweet and bacon, a classic.

Oyster bacon maki. The 3 flavors of bacon, seafood and seaweed make the perfect harmony.

Green maki. A classic here. That’s a way to get lots of greens in one mouthful. I always find the party meals lack plants and easy to digest items. So I always include some.

Boiled and refreshed leaves of spinach and cabbage. I simply season them with black pepper. They serve as a mouth refresher for fat and salty bites.

You can roll all kind of food in slices of bacon, and fix with a toothpick.

Oyster, nori seaweed.

Grill a few minutes.

Enjoy with white wines or your preferred sweet cocktail.