Sopa de espárragos verdes

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A warm Spanish soup today :

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This month :

Blog-checking lines: Our November Daring Cooks’ hostess was Begoña, who writes the beautiful blog, Las recetas de Marichu y las mías. Begoña is from Spain and didn’t want to go with the more common challenges of paella or gazpacho, she wanted to share with us another very popular recipe from Spain that we don’t see as often called Sopa Castellana which is a delicious bread soup!

(more here)

Besides the classic (with a complicated broth), there was an asparagus version that I’ve preferred.

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I combine the 2 recipes and changed… well, here is my broth, based on a grilled onion, with stalks of turnip, cloves, laurel, thyme, rosemary, a dry mushroom and chick peas.

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In the South of France, this type of simple bread soup existed too. Particularly aigo boulido in Provence, so my impression is garlic is the main ingredient.

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It’s the season of frozen green asparagus. Always.

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The soup with the bread.

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Poached quail egg. A similar soup with one egg is called “bouillabaisse borgne” one-eyed bouillabaisse.

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So we have a 4 eye monster soup.

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Mmmm, it’s very filling.

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Bochan kabocha cocotte eggs and Autumn turmeric side

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Oeufs cocotte are French baked eggs. They are baked in a dish that is called in French, guess what ? A ramequin, a bol, etc. It’s never called a cocotte. Because a cocotte, it’s hen, it’s a woman sometimes, well in the kitchen, it’s a big stew pot. So baking eggs in that over-sized pot, that’s like quail eggs inside a pumpkin. Well, today exceptionally we’ll do that.

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Botchan kabocha (little boy pumpkin) is the smaller Japanese pumpkin. It’s perfect to make individual stuffed pumpkin dishes. For instance :

okowa sticky rice kabocha

Thai steamed custard

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Open and empty the kabocha, steam it till the flesh is soft. Fill with quail eggs and a mix of soy milk, argan oil, salt and pepper. Bake till the egg whites are stuck and the yolks still soft.

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Served with toasted home-made whole-wheat bread.

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Turmeric. In Japan, they cultivate a few types. Autumn turmeric is the most common. Spring turmeric (in English “wild turmeric” ) is the second most common. This plant is believed to have great medicinal properties.
This one is only a little bitter, perfect for cooking.

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Stir-fried gently a few slices of turmeric and of dry apricot. On low heat, added in daikon radish leaves, stirring till they get wilted. Added salt, walnuts and chrysanthemum flower.

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A nice Autumn brunch.

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Brioche pascale. Baking my nest.

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In advance on the season, I’ve already eaten 2 brioches de Pâques(Easter sweet bread).

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Yes, the quail eggs are baked with the brioche.
My brioche is an arranged (simplified) version of this recipe (in French).

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Easter eggs, old fashioned and modern style.
Tips to color the eggs.
For yellow : boil them with turmeric.
For yellow : boil them with the outer peel of onion.
For yellow : boil them with kushinashi (gardenia bulbs) yellow food coloring.
For yellow, it’s easy. For other colors, good luck ! Food coloring doesn’t work all times. Spinach doesn’t work.

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Breaking the eggs…

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Coucou, coulibiac !

I dreamed of a mini-coulibiac in a buttery flaky crust…

… with salmon trout, spinach

…rice, quail eggs.

There were eggs everywhere.

2011 Easter

Yep, it’s a seasonal thing.

Quail eggs in brine

I tried to make brine salted eggs. You can see the recipe at the end. It’s an old way to preserve duck eggs in the Philippines. And now that the preservation is no longer necessary, they do it for the taste and texture.
I’m a small player, so I’ve used quail eggs.

They were a necessary ingredient for :

the bibingka (click here)

After 2 weeks in the jar, they became yellow outside.

When I prepared the brine, I simmered it, but the salt didn’t want to dissolve. It’s still here with the Sichuan peppercorns. That was smelling bad, the hot brine. I worried about the result.

But no problem ! I boiled the eggs… and they were delicious. Nicely spiced and salted.

The texture differs. The yellow is slightly creamy. And the white too. I’m not so clumsy to the point I can’t peel boiled eggs properly… I mean I’d have done one neat for the photo. It’s not smooth because the egg is not normally hardened, surely due to the picking.

Great ! I’ll make more.

(recipe from DB challenge)

Salted Eggs

Ingredients
1 part salt
4 parts water
sichuan pepper corns
1 tablespoon brandy or whiskey
Eggs, duck or chicken (duck is traditional)

Directions:

1. Boil all ingredients except eggs on the stove until the salt is dissolved. Let the liquid cool.
2. Place eggs in a clean mason jar, pour in the salt water, seal.
3. Place in your pantry for 2-3 weeks. To check if they are done, remove an egg, cook it, and taste it. You may decide that the rest of the eggs need a few more days.

Bean okayu 2 : umeboshi

Second version of the bean and rice porridge. Salt was a traditional way to preserve food in Japan, particularly for seafood and vegetables. That makes lots of salty bits to garnish an okayu (rice porridge).

The same base as for the salmon okayu.

The famous umeboshi. Litterally : dried plums. It’s a type of pickles made in several steps. Green (unripe) very flavorful plums are picked in June. They are salted. Then they are put a few weeks in a jar with water and often leaves of red shiso (that will color them). Why dried ? They are put to dry under the sun, in July-August, so they dry and catch those wrinkles. And they are put back in their liquid where they can be kept up to 2 years. I don’t do mine. Confession : I tried to make some and failed spectacularly. Well I can easily buy good ones.

Toasted poppy seeds.

Quail eggs. Did you know that they had more white, hence less fat and more proteins, than hen eggs ?

Not Japanese : Oswego tea.

Mix the egg with the hot porridge, they will cook instantly. Add the toppings, and schhhhluuuups :

Hiding the little eggs in the herbs…

The eggs are somewhere in this nest of …

…coulibiac. It’s round because I need a dish to shape it.

Here !

Home-made pie sheet, brown rice, slightly stir-fried spinach and onion, boiled quail eggs, poached salmon, salt, pepper…close, return, paint with egg yolk, bake.

Served with 3 greens (lettuce, cucumber, okra) and lemon.

Crispy, butter pie, with melty salmon… Delicious ! I love Easter food.