Thursday, 19 February 2009

Japanese Feast!

This was the Japanese Feast we had for the whole day on Black Saturday.

We were supposed to be away for the weekend with some friends but was cancelled last minute. So we planned to spend the day at the beach since it was forcasted to be a nice warm summer day. But on Friday, weather forcasted temperature going to hit max 45degree. Victorian Premier John Brumby advised us not to travel unless really necessary. It sound really bad so we decided to just relax and stay cool at home. We totally had no idea it was going to be such a historical Saturday.

On Saturday, we drove to Victoria Market to stock up the fridge. Expecting the weather to get really nasty, we actually started our day unusually early. We won't the only one who did that! The market was crowded with people by 8.30a.m instead of the usual 9.30a.m.

CL wanted to have Japanese food for lunch and I just found a Japanese shop Suzuran located at Camberwell and decided to check it out. It's a Japanese grocery but also a takeaway sushi store. We spend close to an hour shopping for grocery + waiting for our takeaway sushi.

Sashimi cost $25. CL ordered $10 Salmon, $10 King Fish and $5 Tuna. They were really thick slices and fresh!

2 sushi sets which we picked from the menu. Sorry can't really recall the price for each.

CL loves eating seaweed. I bought a huge pack for $7. The potion on the picture is slightly more than half the potion I purchase. Can't remember how much I pay for the octopus but from memory, it wasn't expensive too.

Look at the sushi!!! The tuna slice is so much bigger and longer than the rice dough. I was shocked when I realised and wanted to show it here. This wasn't the only piece, every single sushi has the rice fully covered by either the fish/prawn slice.

I was ecstatic when I saw Takoyaki in the freezer. I haven't had them for more than 3 years!! Finally I managed to find them in Melbourne. I bought slow cooked them on the stove, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and katsuobushi. It was heaven!!!!!

As for dinner, CL planned to go Lygon and have some Italian food but we were too lazy to head out in the end. Plus the weather was still really warm. Instead, we had Kabayaki-don for dinner.

I cooked some Japanese rice, made some Tamagoyaki and reheated the Unagi which we purchase at Suzuran. I also cooked some tofu miso soup, sliced up some cucumber and tomatoes as shown in the picture on top.

I only paid about $2 at Suzuran for some Salmon belly which nobody eats. Apparently it's full of fish oil high in Omega 3 which is good for the health. Since we eat almost anything and everything plus it's cheap, why not give it a try? I washed and wipe dried with kitchen towel before popping them into the oven griller till crispy. I will definitly buy more on my next trip to Suzuran.

As I'm writing this post, CL is suggesting to pop into Suzuran tomorrow again. Must be the pictures....hehe.

Pecan Cookies & Brownie

Last week, I was itchy to bake. So I decided to bake some Pecan Cookies with CL loves since I have all the ingredients in the pantry. Thinking it uses Oats and Pecan as the ingredients, surely it's better than baking Chocolate Chips Cookies right? I even replace half of the plain purpose flour with wholemeal flour. Also replace more than half of the required pecan with hazelnut coz I ran out. Hmmm should I still name this as Pecan Cookies?

I actually made the dough the night before and place them in the fridge to harden it. This process will result in a more crunchy cookie instead of soft and chewy.

Dough just taken out from the fridge and really to be slice.

Sliced and ready to be bake.

Instead of half the ingredients, I decided not to this time. I ended up with not only lots of cookies but also house smell delicious! Took some and share among with my colleagues and the whole box of cookies were gone before lunch. Didn't realized so many of them turn up in the office that day, if not I will had bought in more.

This recipe is definitely a keeper as everybody who ate it love it. :)

I also tried baking Brownie. It was requested by CL one evening for dessert with Vanilla Ice Cream which we had in the fridge. Flipped through some of my cookbook and I pick the one in Nigella (How to be a Domestic Goddess). There are still a lot of recipes which I want to try. Just waiting for the opportunity.

I'm guessing I had under baked the brownie. It was still slightly sticky, soggy when I served it. But it was heaven having it warm with cold vanilla ice cream!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Cooking anything special???

*back dated post

"Are you cooking anything special" was a question CL asked my 2 weeks ago. The night before, I attended the company post X'mas party alone on the 31st Jan (I know we are hopeless having a X'mas party in end of Jan) as CL was scheduled to work for the weekend. I ended up home really late that night, it's was a really good chance to hang around with all the colleagues and do some catching up. So when he asked me if I'm making it up for dumping him at home, I started thinking what I can cook.

There wasn't much in the fridge as we haven't being to Victoria Market since the week before X'mas. Our favourite butcher was closed for a month so we decided our next trip will be a month after X'mas.

I knew he was craving for Japanese food and also seafood. After flipping through some of the cookbooks I had, I knew what I can tried. With a shopping list in my hand, I drove myself to Box Hill to get the ingredients.

1st dish is Miso Tofu. This is the 2nd time I tried cooking this dish. Very simple and easy. I used the same miso paste on the fish (see below) 1st and add the leftover with some sugar before brushing it on to the tofu while pan-frying.

2nd dish is Tamagoyaki sushi. This is my 3rd time cooking the Tamagoyaki. A lot of praactise needed. I find that the layer are too thick + I fried the eggs using a round Scanpan Fusion 5 instead of a Makiyakinabe. Still wondering should I get a makiyakinabe for my kitchen. As for rice, I used the sushi mould which I bought few months ago from the Japanese store next to Prahan Market. Find it require a lot of rice to fill the mould up, definitly need to get a smaller mould when I have the chance.

3rd dish and also the main dish is Miso Grill Fish, slamon & barramundi. This dish is very simple to cook. Just need to brush the fish with miso and grill them under the hot oven. Fast, simple and nice.

CL was rather surprised when he walk into the house and saw all the nice food on the table and I'm happy that he loved the dishes I prepared. :)