Provence fragrances escaping from the oven

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A South French Sunday lunch. Think about a dinner, enjoyed slowly between noon and 5 p.m., talking and eating food cooked by the grandma.

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The roast : A chicken baked inside a salty crust, with lots of perfumed herbs.

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It gets very tender.

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The zucchini that believed they were bananas.

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Colorful Mediterranean Summer vegetables. They must be full of vitamins.

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Layered, then baked. Tian is also the name of the pottery in which this dish is baked.

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Teaser about the dessert (to be posted soon) :

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Tarte automne-été aux trois fruits (Summer-Fall triple pie).

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Poulpes au rouge, fugly and yummy.

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Local seafood and exotic recipe. Daube de poulpes.
That beast is ugly, sorry. And the daube…it’s a stew that never looks refined.

pork daube

That falls apart, that’s shapeless. Forget.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ! Stay ! That’s delicious.

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Small tako (octopus, poulpes) from the area of Kobe. That’s something you cook extremely briefly or really longly. Today, the slow way…

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Slow simmering.

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After…hours and lots of red wine later.

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It melts in the mouth.

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Okono-minute, the quickest ‘yaki’

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That’s a casual way to make a snack okonomiyaki at home.
Just make crepes, and garnish them with okonomiyaki toppings : kezuriboshi (dry fish flakes), aonori seaweed, negi leek and beni-shoga (pickled ginger). You can also use sakura-ebi (small dried shrimps). And you can skip any that you don’t want, of course.

It’s freely adapted from this recipe gottsuo-yaki. The author says that her grandmother was making this for children and she was wrapping it in a piece of paper so the kids could take it away to go play.

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The crepe : blend or whip 1/2 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of water to get a thick liquid. Adjust quantities. Add a pinch of salt. And a handful of cut negi leeks (the white part).

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These negi, Japanese Spring onion, leeks, scallions… are never far away from a Japanese kitchen.

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Make a small thick crepe.

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Garnish and drizzle shoyu (soy sauce).

DSC06287-001Well here, I put a pile of crepes, to be garnished on the table.
The “take out” style is to paint the top of the crepe with shoyu in the pan, garnish and fold, so the sauce is all inside.

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Very vanilla shocking pink flans.

Shocking pink is bold and intense. It takes its name from the tone of pink used in the lettering on the box of the perfume called Shocking of Elsa Schiaparelli in 1937.
source

For some mysterious reason, pink desserts taste better.

But what is really shocking is there are veggies in my dessert !
To make the vanilla infused beets, I’ve added cane sugar, briefly cooked them and ts of apple vinegar, a little more sugar and some vanilla powder. I’ve let them 2 hours.

Coz I was given vanilla powder. Happy !

That would be a pity to not use this…

Only the juice, mixed to the custard.

Voila !

Oh a hole ?! Are there mice here ?

Do you think he made the hole ?

Or there was a spoon attack ?

They taste better cooled, the next day.
Which is tough. Try to make them a day you are not at home to be sure you don’t eat them immediately.

Thé de Noël, from the Maison Gourmande DIY

Thé de Noël, Christmas tea is a must in this season. You can buy it, and be very happy of your purchase, surely. But the quality ranges from absolutely abominably artificial to very good and you can’t always try before buying. Then the price is rarely a bargain.

It’s possible to make yours “like the shop” buy pouring essential essences on cheap tea leaves, but for a small quantity buying the essences is not a good deal. So try the old-fashioned way. You can custom it at your tastes.

Grandma’s Christmas Tea :

You need only this : spices, citrus, a piece of bean of vanilla (not on the photo, I went to get it later), tea.
A stick of cinnamon and 1 or 2 cloves, most people have already in their kitchen. The citrus are in season and you need only the rind.

You don’t want top grade famous plantation tea to make fancy spice mix… or I no longer talk to you. A decent CTC black tea is perfect. CTC means crushed leaves, as you can sea on the photo. That’s already much better than the dust you get in 99% of teabags. This one is a pack from the supermarket, a mix of Ceylon and Indian teas. That was written on the package “not very tannic, very mild” and that’s true. Perfect for flavoring.

Be careful to choose fruits without preservatives sprayed on the skin. For me, it’s easier to find natural limes and mandarin oranges than other oranges and lemons.
Grate the zest of the citrus with a peeler. Let them dry one day on paper.

Roughly crash the spices, cut the vanilla and zests in small bits. Just mix in the box, and wait one week (or more) before brewing.

Elegant touch : Small roses that I dried last Summer.

Sake sushi, from other times ?

Sakezushi, sake sushi. Sushi made without vinegar, only Japanese sake rice wine. It gets sour naturally.

That’s not my invention. It’s specialty in Kagoshima, on Kyushu island. The legend says that on a party night a merry lord poured his sake over food just before falling asleep. When he woke up, he ate the food and found the taste delicious.

It’s a nice story, very unlikely. As you may know, sushi was at the origine a technique to preserve fish, cooked fish. The rice was not eaten. Vinegar or sake were added for preserving properties. So sake sushi has been very common, hundreds of years ago.

My own variation.

The rice : genmai (brown) and mochigome (sticky),cooked al dente with kombu. The piece of kombu cut in ribbon. Freshly roast black sesame. A little salt. 1/3 of the sake.

The center : A shiitake mushroom simmered in sansho tsukudani.

The top : shioyaki sanma (grilled fish)

Everybody in Kansai owns a special wooden box for that. I do… it’s somewhere. But where ? I used a pound cake case. Not the best idea with brown rice.

Half of the rice mix
The mushroom bits in a line in the center.
The rest of the rice.
The grilled (or salted) fish.
The 2/3 of sake poured on the fish.

After a few minutes wrap. After 2 hours at room temperature, add kinome leaves on the fish. Re-wrap. Put a tissue paper on top. Press.
Let 2 hours to 2 days in the fridge.

If you press enough, and if your rice is well cooked (vs al dente here), you get a bar of oshizushi (pressed sushi) that you can cut.
Serve with grated pink ginger.

Not your usual sushi. The flavor is difficult to describe. Sweet, fermented, fragrant, fish, woody… a rare harmony. You have to try it.

Soba-gaki. Like Japanese peasants, in old times.

Let’s make soba-gaki.

-So, dear reader, this is soba-gaki. Soba-gaki, my readers…
-Hi readers, nice to meet you…

My Japanese readers knew the beast. Well, it’s a buckwheat flour paste. Like gnocchi or kneppe.

Wheat was introduced in Japan quite recently, and until post-war times, it was available in limited quantity. Culture is possible only Hokkaido, the “newest” part of the country, conquered late 19th century. Soba (buckwheat) can be grown easily in all mountainous villages. It was abundant.
So the Japanese peasants were eating very often the soba noodles that are still very popular. And in Winter, the soba gaki, that fell out of fashion. Or is it the contrary ? As it’s no longer an everyday food, it is now retro and totally hip !

That’s how you make it. You add 200 ml of hot water to 100 grams of buckwheat flour. In a pan, on low heat, and you stir… you must be strong.
A better page : click here.

Ugly me ? No simple. It’s possible to shape it perfectly with wet hands. For today I didn’t need.
Here, you can see nice ones, served in different savory and sweet dishes.
Texture is… original. Taste is buckwheaty. You have to try.

I cut slices and thrown into a soup.

With shungiku, tsukune (duck meat balls), kabocha pumpkin, mushrooms, tofu, ginger, in a dashi and soy sauce broth.

That makes a meal ideal to fight chilly weather, ready in about 10 minutes (if you make soup and soba gaki simultaneously).

Cal 674.6 F21.6g C85.8g P46.2g