Pots de Creme

Pots de Creme

Pots de Creme is a french dessert custard not unlike creme brulee, but you won’t need any fancy creme brulee torches for this one. And like creme brulee, there’s an wide range for styles, interpretations and recipes. Here is a recipe for a delicious chocolate flavored pots de creme. The recipe will make about 5-6 ramekins. Once chilled, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Ingredients:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup organic heavy cream
1 cup organic 2% milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Gently melt chocolate chips in a double boiler type thing. Note: No need to buy a fancy double boiler. A metal boil over a saucepan of water works great. That’s what I use.
2. Heat milk and cream together in sauce pan to a gentle simmer.
3. Lightly beat eggs, egg yolks, 3 tablespoons sugar and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl.
4. ‘Dry’ caramelize 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium sauce pan until golden color. By ‘dry’ I mean don’t add water, just heat sugar over medium heat until it begins to caramelize. Stir as needed to keep the sugar from burning.
5. One the sugar is fully caramelized, slowly add the milk/cream and stir over medium heat until the sugar is fully dissolved.
6. Add hot milk/cream while stirring to the blended eggs and sugar and then strain. Note: don’t forget to strain your custard or it will not be silky and smooth.
7. Bake covered with foil or lid in a water bath at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-25 minutes. To check, wiggle the pan. The center should just barely move, if so, then it is done. Remove from oven and allow to cool then refrigerate until well chilled.
8. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.

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Spicy Bean Sprouts

You want easy and fast cooking. Well, this is it. Forget 3o minutes – this dish takes about 30 seconds. This side-dish is easy, delicious and it will keep several days in the refrigerator. Put it in your lunch box the next day instead of the chips.

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh bean sprouts
Dressing:
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Japanese chili oil (rayu)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions:
1. Place bean sprouts in boling water for about 30 seconds. Remove and cool in cold water bath.
2. Completely drain bean sprouts of as much water as possible.
3. Add mixture of soy sauce and chilli oil. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
4. Chill and serve.

If you’d like to add a little acidity, a splash of rice vinegar might be a nice touch.

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Most Popular in 2011

I don’t spend a lot of time going of statistics on this website, but I thought it would be interesting to see what were the most popular posts in 2011.  So here they are:

1. Green Tea Creme Brulee
2. Sansho Pepper
3. Panna Cottta with Baked Strawberry Sauce
4. Quick Pickled Cucumbers
5. Cutting Cucumbers for Sushi
6. Karashi Mustard
7. Soy Marinated Spare Ribs
8. Lemon Tart with Fresh Raspberries
9.  Easy Thin Roll with Cucumber and Avocado
10. Shichimi Pepper

A reminder of how hard it is to predict what will be popular out there.  I would have never guessed the green tea creme brulee recipe would be the most popular one on this blog so far.  I really need to update that picture! It was one of the first posts I ever did.

 

 

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Christmas Gravlax

 

It’s the time of year again when I usually make bunch of gravlax for the holidays.  This can kind of seem intimidating, but it’s a piece of cake. You just need to find some good, sushi grade salmon.  I usually buy the tail end of the salmon with the skin on. It’s thinner so it will cure faster. I also think it tastes better.

Ingredients:
1/2 fresh salmon, tail part with skin on (ask for sushi grade salmon)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons  kosher salt  (kosher salt only)
1 teaspoon of cracked white peppercorns
2-3 sprigs of fresh dill, coarsely chopped

Directions:
1. Rinse the salmon in ice water and pat it dry with a paper towel.
2. Combine sugar, kosher salt and white peppercorns.
3.  Rub the salt/sugar mix over both sides of the salmon.
4. Place the salmon in a shallow container and add the dill.
5. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator about 24-36 hours. Turn once during this time.
6. Take it out of the refrigerator and scrape the sugar/salt mix off. Use a really sharp knife and thinly slice the gravlax and serve.

Gravlax is traditionally served with a mustard sauce and crackers. I make the mustard sauce with rice vinegar, honey mustard, dijon mustard, canola oil and chopped dill. You really don’t need a recipe; combine all the ingredients until it tastes right.

 

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Hijiki Salad with Bacon, Carrots and Soy Beans

Even folks who turn their nose up at the thought of seaweed will probably like hijiki. It’s a dried, twiggy marine algae that’s delicious and healthy.

The fist thing you have to do is soak the dried hijiki in cold water for about 20 -30 minutes. Rinse it out and drain the excess water.  At this point you’ll likely  simmer the hijiki with some vegetables in dashi, soy sauce, sake and mirin. Here is my recipe for hijiki with bacon, carrots and soy beans.

Ingredients
Can of Organic Soy Beans
Bacon
2 oz of dried hijiki
3/4 cup sliced carrots
1 2/3 cup of dashi
2 tablespoons sake
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce

1. Drain and rinse can of soy beans.

2. Mix dashi, sake, mirin, soy sauce together in a bowl.

3. Cook bacon in a large frying pan. Remove and cut into small slices.

4. Add hijiki to frying pan and saute over medium high heat for several minutes.

5. Add carrots, bacon, soy beans and dashi mixture from #1 to frying pan. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid has been fully absorbed/reduced (about 20-25 minutes) . At this point you many need to add a little more soy sauce depending how salty your bacon is.  After tasting for the correct level of salt, remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.  You can eat hijiki warm or cold.

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Smoked Duck with Udon

duck

It’s been a long time since I published anything.  Last year was pretty crazy and I hope to be more active with this site in the coming months.

Here’s a simple, yet delicious idea for smoked duck with udon noodle in a traditional Japanese soup broth.

Happy 4th of July!

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Ikea Inspired Sushi

Kalles Creamed Smoked Roe

If you have ever strolled through the Ikea Food Market, you’ve probably seen this stuff popping out at you from the refrigerator. It’s a mixture of smoked cod roe, potato flakes, oil, salt, sugar and a few preservatives.  It’s usually  squeezed on top of  crisp-bread for a quick snack.  I got to thinking that you should be able  make easy sushi with this stuff as well.  So I guess I will call this the Stockholm Roll, here goes…

1. Follow the instructions for making a sushi rice and get your roll ready for the fillings.

2. Add the creamed smoked roe

Add Smoked Roe

Add Smoked Roe

3. Add the other ingredients. In this version I used radish, cucumber and smoked roe. You can also just try smoked roe and cucumber as it is milder.

Add Radish and Cucumber

Add Radish and Cucumber

4. Roll it up.

Smoked Roe Sushi

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Tempura Sanma with Shiso and Asparagus

tempura-sanma

A somewhat experimental recipe  I tried that was inspired from a food calendar I saw. First fillet the sanma and remove the bones, and roll it up with fresh, green shiso. After it’s rolled up,  it is then pinned together with a few skewers to hold its shape will frying and then sliced it into smaller pieces for serving. It’s good.

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