Today our "travels" took us to the elegant cuisine of Japan. Sushi, one of their most popular exports, happens to be a really big weakness of mine. However it's a rather expensive - and delicious - hobby. At some point I was eating it several times a week and decided that I could no longer justify spending that much money on it. So I took the frugal route and decided to make it at home instead. If you've ever wanted to try making your own sushi, you're in luck. I've got some great tips to help you get started. If you're scared of eating raw fish at home, don't forget, you can always make California or vegetarian rolls. To check out my tips, read more
Posts for July 26th 2007
Sashimi, pronounced sah-SHE-me
A Japanese delicacy consisting of raw fish that is sliced paper thin. Fish types range from the popular tuna, yellowtail, and octopus to the dangerous blowfish. Usually served with condiments such as wasabi or soy sauce and as a first course to a meal. Best when only the freshest, most high quality of fish is used.
While sake may be the most popular drink to pair with a Japanese meal, there is another option that is often on the menu. Umeshu, commonly known as "Japanese Plum Wine," is a Japanese liqueur made from ume (Japanese plums), sugar and shochu (or sake). The flavor is delicate and light, with an undertone of plum. It is usually very sweet and syrupy, and can be used as an aperetif, dessert wine, or as the base of a super delicious cocktail. Also, several brands (including Choya, which is one of the most popular) even come with the edible ume fruit inside. A bottle will set you back about $15.
Ever since I ripped the recipe out of Gourmet magazine back in April, I've been dying to make dulce de leche ice cream. Dulce de leche is a South American treat similar to a thick creamy version of caramel. I talked about making it for months and I finally made it this weekend!! It tastes super delicious alone (I had homemade dulce de leche ice cream for dinner 2 nights this week) or smashed between two chocolate covered graham crackers. I took the time to make the ice cream and dulce de leche, but Starbucks helped me out by making the chocolate covered graham crackers. Don't have time or an ice cream maker? Purchase dulce de leche ice cream and serve these as dessert after a Mexican inspired meal. For the recipe and my flipbook style pics, read more
I must say, I was pretty disappointed that last night's Top Chef was a reunion episode - especially because I had just gotten a good grasp of the S3 contestants names. However, having said that it was sort of fun to see the chefs return. I'll admit, I really liked those S1 folks and was wondering why only Dave, Leann and Harold were there. In addition to those three, four contestants from S2 showed - Cliff, Sam, Ilan and Mikey (Marcel was apparently on a fishing trip) - and five from S3 - Lia, Sandy, Micah, Camille and Clay.
I understand how a show like this is a lot of fun for hardcore viewers, however it sort of knocks the drama out of the competition. I wanna see cooking, I wanna see fire, I wanna see drama! I don't want to see people rolling their eyes, plugs for other Bravo shows (I love Tim Gunn, but really? A question from acclaimed chef Jean Georges I can understand, but from Gunn or the gal from Workout, how is that relevant??), weird montages of Padma's fashion or how chef Tom is adored in the bear community.
Did you watch? What did you think? There were some pretty weird moments on there - my personal favorite came from Micah the "African American" (did you see Cliff's face?!). I just don't understand how anyone thinks they can go on to a reality show and omit/alter/lie about their past. Haven't they ever heard of the internet?!
Earlier this week we kicked off travel week with a post on how to toast in various different languages. If you found that fun, then you are really going to enjoy these cheers wine glasses from CB2. The set of 6 is available for $19.95 and come with the following phrases: Prost, Salud, Le'Chaim, Cheers, Kampai, and A Votre Sante. This modern dishwasher-safe glassware would act as an amazing conversation starter at any party.
Source: Hostess with the Mostess
These days you can find the ingredients necessary to make tasty Japanese (and other Asian countries for that matter) dishes in most major supermarkets around the country. Soy sauce used to be the only common component, but now Mirin, miso paste, and even Asian vegetables - like seaweed are prevalent. Tonight's super swift dinner incorporates these flavors in a Japanese style noodle soup. Soba is a Japanese noodle made from buckwheat and it pairs nicely with mushrooms and spinach. Before you make it, you have to read the recipe, so read more
You may think that drink stirrers are totally unnecessary - after all, you could simply use a spoon - but no self respecting mixmaster's bar is without a unique set of drink stirrers that perfectly reflect their personality. Also known as swizzle sticks, these fun little stirrers come in just about every color, shape, and material. Glass, plastic, metal, colorful, eclectic, cute - find one that suits your style as a hostess. I like to have a set for everyday use and then supplement those with stirrers that match the theme of a specific party. Scroll through the ones I've found, or tell us about your favorites in the comments below!