Books Food and Drink Personal Organizer Recipes Recipes: Lamb Serge the Concierge Sunday Picks Weblogs

Red Hot Chilli Peppers Meet Lamb Rogan Josh in this 3rd Dip from 50 Easy Indian Curries by Penny Chawla

May 1
Red hot chilli peppers meet Lamb Rogan for this 3rd Dip of 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney. Lamb Rogan Josh Serves 4 A famed dish from the beautiful state of Kashmir, the fiery red colour of rogan josh comes from the chillies that are added in generous quantities. Rogan josh is usually cooked with tomatoes, but they are omitted here to...
Continue reading
Event Personal Organizer To Do Lists Weblogs

Trade Nightmares for Night of Ideas on Saturday May 21 2022, 19 US Cities, 100 Countries, Brooklyn for Me

Apr 21
Trade nightmares for Night of Ideas on Saturday May 21 2022 in 19 US Cities from Atlanta to Washington DC via New Orleans) and 100 Countries, Brooklyn for me. Brooklyn Program in a Nutshell: All will then gather for a marathon of talks, musical performances, screenings, and lively forums at Brooklyn Public Library, headlined by a performance from Patti Smith. Programming includes Goncourt Prize-winning novelist Leïla Slimani, Director of the Lenape Center Joe Baker, Chief...
Continue reading

More posts

Easter For Me As A Child Equalled Chocolate Bunnies and Friture, In 2022 Mother Hen Runs The Roost

Easter for me as a child equalled chocolate bunnies and friture. In 2022 mother hen runs the roost, thanks to La Poule de Paques, courtesy of Parisian classic shop A La Mere De Famille Easter collection.

Poule de paques  mother hen

It's been all of 11 years since I shared a prehistoric Easter creation of theirs with Have a Jurassic Paques, Bite a Chocolate Dinosaur, Happy Easter! (April 24, 2011)


Takoyaki, An Osaka Street Food Staple, Fried Octopus Dumplings from Otsumami by Atsuko Ikeda

For a 3rd and last helping from Otsumami by Atsuko Ikeda (published by Ryland Peters & Small, 2022), here is Takoyaki, an Osaka street food staple.

TAKOYAKI, 

FRIED ROUND DUMPLINGS STUFFED WITH OCTOPUS

Along with okonomiyaki, takoyaki are probably one of the most famous Osakan street foods, but you can also find them everywhere across Japan. They are little round balls of batter, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and stuff ed with little nuggets of octopus. You’ll need to buy a special pan (widely available online) to make takoyaki, but they’re definitely worth it as they are such a perfect party food.

Takoyaki

Ingredients:

450 ml/scant 2 cups Dashi* of your choice

1 UK large/US extra-large egg

2 tsp light soy sauce

150 g/1 cup plus 2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour, sifted

3½ tbsp vegetable oil, for frying

FILLING

200 g/7 oz. octopus tentacles

20 g/¾ oz. pickled ginger, finely chopped

2 spring onions/scallions, finely chopped

TO SERVE

120 g/4¼ oz. takoyaki sauce

60 g/2 oz. Japanese mayonnaise

10 g/⅓ oz. bonito flakes (katsuobushi)

2 tsp aonori seaweed flakes

iron takoyaki pan with 16 holes (each hole 4 cm/1½ inches wide)

MAKES 32

Directions:

Whisk the dashi, egg and light soy sauce together in a large jug/pitcher. Sprinkle over the flour in two additions and gently whisk into the dashi mixture until incorporated into a smooth batter. Do not overmix.

Before you start cooking, make a simple but useful tool: scrunch some good-quality, thick kitchen paper tightly into a ball. Place the ball in the middle of another sheet of kitchen paper then wrap it around and twist the loose ends together to make a lollipop/candy on a stick shape.

Heat the takoyaki pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, dip the paper ball of the lollipop into the vegetable oil, then use it to oil each hole. Dip the paper in the oil again, then use it to coat the flat surface of the pan. You’ll need to cover the whole surface of the pan in oil to avoid the batter sticking. There should be some oil pooling at the bottom of the holes. 

Pour a quarter of the batter into each hole in the pan. Put half of the octopus pieces in each hole, then scatter half the pickled ginger and spring onions/scallions over the entire pan. Finally, pour over another quarter of the batter so it spreads across the flat surface of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook without touching for 5 minutes.

Use bamboo skewers or chopsticks to push one side of the batter away from the rim of a hole. It will move easily if it’s set underneath, if not then wait a little longer before trying again. Once the bottom is crispy, use chopsticks to rotate the balls 90 degrees so that any uncooked batter is underneath. Stuff any of the surrounding dough on the flat part of the pan inside the balls as you turn them. When the bottom becomes crispy again (after a minute or so), repeat the 90-degree rotation and stuffing process three more times in the same direction. At this point, turn the takoyaki around every which way, until the surface is golden all over and they are perfectly round! Using bamboo skewers, remove the takoyaki from the pan to serving plates or bamboo boats. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining ingredients to make a second batch.

Drizzle over the takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise, then sprinkle with bonito flakes and aonori before serving.

Otsumami cover (1)

(* Excerpted from Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers: Over 70 Recipes to Enjoy with Drinks by Atsuko Ikeda, published by Ryland Peters & Small 2022 / Photography by Yuki Sugiura (c) Ryland Peters & Small 2022)


Rub the Fish, Bengali Fish Curry Recipe via 50 Easy Indian Curries from Smith Street Books by Penny Chawla

Rub the fish!

Here are second dibs from 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney.

Bengali Fish Curry

Serves 4

Bengalis love their fish. Whether it’s served for lunch or dinner, at an engagement or wedding, fish will always appear on the menu. This recipe is one of the simplest to make. The mustard paste gives the dish a slight wasabi-like kick, without overpowering the delicate fish. The best way to eat it is to ditch that cutlery and use your fingers.

Ingredients:

4 x 150 g–200 g (5 1/2 oz–7 oz) mackerel steaks

sea salt

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

3/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1 small onion, roughly chopped

6 small green chillies or 4 long green chillies

60 ml (1/4 cup) mustard oil or vegetable oil

4 fresh or dried bay leaves

lemon wedges, to serve

Steamed basmati rice to serve

Bengali Fish Curry

Directions:

Rub the fish with a sprinkling of salt and half the turmeric.

Grind the mustard seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Blend the ground mustard seeds, onion and half the chillies in the small bowl of a food processor or blender to a smooth paste. Add a small amount of water to get the mixture moving, if necessary.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Cook the fish for 1–2 minutes each side or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion paste, remaining turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the bay leaves to the pan, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add 375 ml (11/2 cups) of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then return the fish to the pan and add the remaining chillies. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer, covered, for 5–6 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through. Season with a little more salt, if necessary.

Serve with lemon wedges and steamed basmati rice.

(* Reproduced with permission from 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney. Photo copyright: Emily Weaving)


Tasting To Buying Armenia In Under 5 Minutes, Voskehat by Aran Wines, First Taste Ever Of Armenian Wine

Tasting to buying Armenia in under 5 Minutes, Aran Wines 'Voskehat' from Sarafian Vineyards.

Voskehat, which translates to golden berry, is a late ripening native white varietal. 

My express tasting found it to be rounded with some tart notes on the finish.

Armenian Wines 4-2

This, my first taste of Armenian wine ever, was pure serendipity.

The winery owners were present for an in-store tasting.

 


Blooming Flower of a Dim Sum Dumpling, Ika Shumai, Squid Bites We Serve from Otsumami by Atsuko Ikeda

Blooming flower of a dim sum dumpling, Ika Shumai, squid bites we serve from Otsumami by Atsuko Ikeda (published by Ryland Peters & Small, 2022)

IKA SHUMAI

SQUID DUMPLINGS

Shumai are the steamed dumpling favorites at dim sum restaurants. They are traditionally Chinese, but this particular version is definitely Japanese and actually comes from my hometown, Yobuko in Kyushu. This town is known for its fish market and particularly for the translucent squid or ika you can get there. Ika Shumai are steamed squid and white fish dumplings, which are beautifully wrapped in thin strips of gyoza wrappers to emulate a blooming flower. The squid gives a natural sweetness to the dumplings, while the strips of gyoza wrapper add an airy, fluff y texture to your mouthful.

Ingredients:

10 gyoza wrappers

6 large lettuce leaves

English mustard, to serve

Squid dumpling

Ingredients, Filling: 

200 g/7 oz. cod, skinned and roughly diced

120 g/4½ oz. fresh squid, roughly chopped

1 egg white

1 shallot, finely chopped

½ tsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

¼ tsp fine salt

1 tsp golden caster/granulated sugar

1 tbsp sake

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 tsp fish sauce

3 tbsp katakuriko (potato starch)

SU JOYU DIPPING SAUCE

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp mirin 

2 tbsp soy sauce

20-cm/8-inch steamer

MAKES 12

Directions:

To make the su joyu dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

For the dumpling filling, put the cod and half of the squid in a food processor. Pulse to make a paste. Add the egg white and pulse again to combine with the  fish paste – this will help give it an airy texture.

Tip the fish mixture out into a mixing bowl, then add the remaining chopped squid, shallot, ginger, salt, sugar, sake, sesame oil, fish sauce and katakuriko. Mix until well combined, then chill the dumpling filling in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make two separate piles with five gyoza wrappers each on a chopping board. Slice both piles of the gyoza wrappers into fine strips, as thin as matchsticks, then separate the layers so that they don’t stick together. Place the gyoza strips in a sealed container until ready to use.

Bring a steamer to the boil.

Wet your hands a little to stop the fish mixture from sticking, then divide the mixture into twelve 35-g/1¼-oz. portions. Shape each one into a ball. Mix the gyoza strips to a give a messy texture (rather than having them all neatly positioned). Cover each fish ball with a nest of gyoza strips. 

Use tongs or chopsticks to place three lettuce leaves at the bottom of the steamer to stop the dumplings from sticking to the surface. Place six dumplings into the steamer (spaced apart as they will swell up when cooking). Cover with a lid and steam over medium heat for 7 minutes.

Take the dumplings and the lettuce leaves out of the steamer, then repeat the cooking process with the remaining lettuce leaves and dumplings.

Serve the dumplings hot, with dots of English mustard on top and the su joyu dipping sauce.

Otsumami cover

(* Excerpted from Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers: Over 70 Recipes to Enjoy with Drinks by Atsuko Ikeda, published by Ryland Peters & Small 2022 / Photography by Yuki Sugiura (c) Ryland Peters & Small 2022)