Fideuà con polpo – Octopus wide pan

Let’s take a culinary trip to the North of Spain…

A little fideuà, the Catalan pasta paella.


Garnished with romaine salad, mini fava (broad beans) and jelly ear mushroom.

And small octopus (polpo).

All that in a huge flat pan on the barbecue… or a small one in a small kitchen !

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.

Poulet mariné et taboulé de chou-fleur

A refreshing “barbecue” lunch.

First, a new version of cauliflower as a taboulé.

sanded cauliflower tabouleh

Then, a few hours in the fridge to let flavor mix and the cauliflower get cooked by the dressing.

Chicken marinated in olive oil with basil and Italian parsley…

…then grilled on the plancha.

Et c’est bon !

Indoor barbecue…

A new batch of calçots

Read here why I burn my leeks (no they are not witches…)

I’m getting addicted to those shimonita negi sweet leeks.

With whole almond romescu sauce.

making the sauce (click here)

Japanese calçots

Balcocue… balcony grilling.Sunny, 22 degrees. Perfect. No smoke, not too much smell, the street seems empty. If the neighbors notice me… I’m homeless, chased out of town. That’s baaad manners. But I take the risk. They are voting today, they should be busy there, no ?

Calçots are a sort of big Catalan Winter leek scallion green onion… well sweeter than leek anyway.
Then you burn them. That’s why they are called like that. As “calciner” means burning in French and the Catalan word must be very close.
You grill them in your fireplace or directly in the field…

These are Shimonita negi. They are very similar to calçots and I thought they were some local imitation. Actually it’s a local negi leek from Gunma Prefecture that happen to be cultivated similarly, late in the season and buried in the ground.
That doesn’t matter it’s not the authentic ones. They are delicious.

My field : Yep, that’s on my balcony. I have pink clogs.

Oh noooes, they burnt ! That’s not what you think. I should write : oh yeah, they burnt !

the special sauce
(a post about it here)

Taka away the black layer, it’s like a banana peel.
Dip in sauce and mmmmmm…

A little shrimp paella

Hola ! I’m in a Spanish period it seems…

Modest shrimps for the “meat”. The shells of their friends was used to make a stock.

Onion, celery, tomato, bell pepper.

Edamame, for the Japanese touch.

The grilled bottom is the best…

shellfish paella

fideua (pasta paella)