Walk Into the Storm and Stroll Around Hokkaido in Ink with Illustrator and Digital Artist Mateusz Urbanowicz

Walk into the storm andstroll around Hakkaido with illustrator and digital artist Mateusz Urbanowicz, Polish born, based in Tokyo.

I picked Into the Storm for 2 reasons. First here in New Jersey as I write this thunderstorms are on the way, second it in a way illustrates our walk into (and hopefully through) the Covid storm.

Into the Storm Stand Alone Works Mateusz Urbanowicz

The stroll around Hokkaido, spoke to me through its ink illustrations. The small Hokkaido in Ink book contains 30 something ink illustrations, each with side notes. Book is available for purchase both in print and digital editions.

Hokkaido in ink Mateusz Urbanowicz

Let me give credit to Scott Pack for putting Mateusz Urbanowicz.

Watercolor and Ink for Tokyo Thursdays #320


Summer up North, Smoked Mackerel Rillettes With Rye Crisps Recipe from ScandiKitchen Midsommar by Bronte Aurell

Summer lunch up North (meaning Scandinavia) has seafood rillettes on the menu.

Like this Smoked Mackerel Rillettes With Rye Crisps recipe from ScandiKitchen: Midsommar: Simply Delicious Food for Summer Days (Ryland Peters & Small, 2018, 2021) by Brontë Aurell, co-owner of ScandiKitchen in West London.

Smoked Mackerel Rillettes With Rye Crisps

This is a super-easy way to prepare an appetizer or light lunch. Rillettes are a coarse, potted meat similar to pâté that are stirred together and spread on toast. They’re usually made with fatty pork (or duck) leftovers, but I love making rillettes with fish. This recipe works well with both smoked mackerel and smoked salmon.

Smoked Mackerel Rillettes from ScandiKitchen Midsommar

Ingredients:

8–12 thin slices of rye bread or store-bought rye crisps (available in supermarkets) 

200 ml/3⁄4 cup crème fraîche

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons chopped chives

squeeze of fresh lime juice

1⁄2 teaspoon horseradish sauce

300 g/10 1⁄2 oz. smoked mackerel

freshly ground black pepper (hold the salt until you taste it, some mackerel is very salty)

TO SERVE

1⁄4 small fennel bulb

1⁄2 apple

freshly squeezed lemon juice

fresh pea shoots

4 individual serving glasses

Serves 4 as a generous appetizer or light lunch

Directions:

If using rye bread, preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) Gas 1. Slice the rye bread very thinly and place on a baking tray. If the bread is too thick it will be hard to eat as crispy bread, so do make sure it is thinly sliced. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10–20 minutes (depending on your bread) until completely dry. You can make it several days ahead and store in an airtight container.

Mix the crème fraîche with the mustard, chives, lime juice and horseradish (if using). Remove the skin from the mackerel and add the fish to the crème fraîche mixture. Stir just until mixed – I like my rillettes with a few chunky bits, but some people prefer it smoother. If you like yours smoother, simply mix a while longer. Check for seasoning and add black pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture into the serving glasses. Chill until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, slice the fennel and apple very thinly, ideally using a mandoline. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to stop the apple going brown and mix well. Serve the apple and fennel salad with pea shoots, the glasses of mackerel and the rye toast on the side. You may need extra toast as the mackerel makes a generous portion.

( Reproduced with permission from ScandiKitchen: Midsommar: Simply Delicious Food for Summer Days By Brontë AurellRyland Peters & Small, 2021 / photography by Peter Cassidy © Ryland Peters & Small, 2018, 2021)

P.S: Please note that the recipes in ScandiKitchen: Midsommar are the same as in ScandiKitchen Summer, which was published in 2018.


Summer Vacation Flight on Your Mind, Book Directly Through Airline Not Portal In Case of Hiccups

Summer vacation flight is on your mind?

My suggestion, book directly through the airline in case of hiccups.

I had booked a round  trip flight for me and my son in November 2019 (EWR to Rome via Copenhagen) for Spring Break 2020.

Copenhagen guide 2011-12

Covid came and of course what would have been a wonderful getaway did not happen.

Flight was on Scandinavian Airlines but it was booked via Expedia.

It took me almost a year of efforts to get reimbursed.

Airlines beat Portals for Concierge Mondays #15

(* Photo of Copenhagen Guide I kept from wonderful stay late August 2011)


Himono Nights, French Air Dry their Laundry, Japanese Air Dry their Fish, Balcony a Plus

French air dry their laundry, Japanese their fish, balcony a plus.

Air dried fish food sake tokyo

What you can see above as described by Yukari Sakamot0 in her own words:

"The fish hanging are sayori halfbeak. When we make himono (air-dried fish) at home we usually hang the fish out overnight and then after that we move the fish into the freezer or refrigerator."

Yukari Sakamoto is the author of 'Food, Sake, Tokyo', The Blog, and also The Book 

Fish at night for Tokyo Thursdays #319

(* Photo courtesy of Yukari Sakamoto, location details: "#Teradomari #寺泊 is a charming village on the Sea of Japan. This #Niigata #新潟 town has about a dozen seafood and omiyage souvenir shops facing the sea"...taken a few years ago)


Holly Holly Best Food Writing 2016 and The Hungover Cookbook, Book Distancing Number 4, Win 2 Books at Once

Holly holly, Best Food Writing 2016 and The Hungover Cookbook, make the cut for Book Distancing Number 4.

Each Giveaway is a Twofer, book cleaning before Spring.

First, all words, no illustrations, Best Food Writing 2016 (Da Capo Press) edited by Holly Hughes and featuring pieces by Todd Kliman, Dianne Jacobs and Oliver Sacks to name a few...

Best food writing 2016

Second, The Hungover Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 2010) by Milton Crawford, title says it all

Hungover cookbook

Answer this question, and you win, first come first serve 

-Question: Name writer who called a hangover 'The Sewing Machine'

First come first serve.

E-mail your answers to: s.ls [at] mediterraneanworkandplay [dot] com

Book Distancing Number 4, Friday Giveaway, 


Get a Grande 'Polissonne' for 20 Euros at Maison des Vins du Minervois, Round and Carnal

When in France and whenever possible, I like to visit the local 'Maison des Vins' to taste and select a dozen or so bottles from the local producers always at 'wine lover' friendly prices.

My favorite so far have been the Gaillac and Angers outlets.

Next on my list I hope, when I don't know, should be Maison des Vins du Minervois ,  35 quai des tonneliers in Homps (Aude), near Canal du Midi.

Vin du minervois

I noted their selection of Magnums, including 'La Polissonne', a Grenache Gris-Roussanne white blend (2019) from Domaine JP Charpentier, round and carnal in the mouth according to tasting notes from La Maison.

(* Photo from Maison des Vins du Minervois Facebook Page)


Working Man Street Food, Harissa Couscous with Pine Nuts and Fried Eggs from Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous by Ghillie Basan

Working man street food in Morocco, Harissa Couscous with Pine Nuts and Fried Eggs recipe from Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous, 65 Delicious Recipes for Authentic Moroccan Food (Ryland Peters & Small) by Ghillie Basan.

Harissa Couscous with Pine Nuts and Fried Eggs

This is a tasty street dish, which is also popular in working men’s cafés in the markets and ports. It is great served for brunch or for a quick spicy snack late at night. If you want to create a meal around it, replace the eggs with one of the egg tagines, or serve it with pickled chillies and a yogurt-based salad.

Harissa couscous vegetable tagines

Ingredients:

350 g/2 cups couscous

1 teaspoon sea salt

400 ml/1 2⁄3 cups warm water

1–2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 tablespoons ghee, or 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 tablespoon butter

2 generous teaspoons Harissa *

a small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

4 eggs

sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

*Harissa

12 dried red chillies (Horn or New Mexico), deseeded

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 teaspoon sea salt

3–4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

a small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped

4 tablespoons olive oil

a small sterilized jar

Makes a Small Jar

Directions:

Put the chillies in a bowl and pour over enough warm water to cover them. Leave them to soak for 2–3 hours, then drain and squeeze out any excess water.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the cumin and coriander seeds to a coarse paste with the salt. Add the garlic and pound until creamy, then add the chillies and pound to a thick paste. Stir in the fresh coriander/cilantro and bind with most of the olive oil.

Transfer the paste to a small sterilized jar and pour in the remaining oil so that there is a thin layer floating on top. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

_________________

SERVES 4

Put the couscous into a large bowl. Stir the salt into the warm water and pour it over the couscous. Stir once to make sure all the grains are submerged in the water, cover the bowl with a clean tea/dish towel and leave the couscous to absorb the water for 10 minutes. Rake the couscous with a fork to break up the grains.

Dry roast the pine nuts in a heavy-based saucepan, or the base of a tagine, until they begin to turn golden brown. Stir in half of the ghee until it melts, then add the Harissa. Tip the couscous into the pan and toss it in the ghee and Harissa, until it is thoroughly mixed.

Season the couscous, toss in half of the parsley, cover the pan and keep warm.

Heat the remaining ghee in a frying pan and crack the eggs into it. Cover the pan and fry the eggs until the whites are just firm.

Tip the couscous onto a serving dish, place the eggs on top of it, and garnish with the rest of the parsley, to serve.

Veg Tagines Cover

(* Recipe from 'Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous, 65 Delicious Recipes for Authentic Moroccan Food'  by Ghillie Basan, © Ryland Peters & Small, Photography by Steve Painter)