~ Miniature Love ~
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
"Run away from all your boredomThe feeling of constantly running and wasting your existence for others is even stronger when it is impossible for you to make the most of those oh so precious, yet hilariously rare free days. Then, taking a break is a little bit of a torture as you are trapped in your rabbit box apartment and sentenced to not going out of a perimeter of a few kilometers around your domicile as taking cars, trains or aeroplanes is definitely not in your budget. So, in a way you feel trapped, deprived and like in a jail since you cannot escape your village, town and canton in order to get some fresh air. Money really determines the size of your cage, so to speak.
Run away from all your whoredom and wave
Your worries, and cares, goodbye
All it takes is one decision
A lot of guts, a little vision to wave
Your worries, and cares goodbye
It's a maze for rats to try
It's a race, a race for rats
A race for rats to die
It's a race, a race for rats A race for rats to die..."
- Excerpt taken from the song "Slave To The Wage" By Placebo
Don't get me wrong, though. I love to spend quality time between my four walls and if I had more resources, I would not be the kind of person who would travel frenetically and never be able to take some time out to relax at home. I am quite a tranquil and domestic "animal" who doesn't like to get stressed around or run like a maniac just for the sake of going away. Such tiring activities are not for me. They leave me empty and depress me. It is just another grind and I don't need that as I already have a plateful of this monotonous treadmill called modern life.
Tourist trap legolands, prefabricated and ugly hotels, phony paradises that all look the same wherever you go, people-crammed destinations, sanitized/sterile activities and accomodations (Western food, four-star beds, luxurious resorts, comfy trips, etc...) that don't disorientate you too much, yet just let you get a secure but not too mind-boggling glimpse of the exotic country you are "visiting" (most individuals don't want to a too drastic change of scene although they want to set foot on the other side of the globe), mindless and soulless quickie holidays that leave you feeling barren as well as drained or demented quests for things to boost about in front of your colleagues, family or friends repulse me. Instead of that, I'd rather see nothing else than my usual environment as I believe that if you go far afield it should have a purpose and be an enrichening as well as bewildering experience!
Why would one want to endure a long and exhausting journey, pollute the air we breathe and throw their savings earned from their hard labourship out of the window for a shellless vacation? What the point in getting into so much trouble just to export your safe way of living abroad?
In my opinion, travelling is synonymous of discovery, astounding enlightement, indelible memories, stepping out of your comfort zone, enjoying the beauty of different and learning about other civilizations/traditions. In absence of that, I prefer to have fun without skipping latitudes and to play the tourist in my own district, thus rediscovering my city as well as the countryside surrounding. In fact, that's what I do every time I go out for a walk. I try to see the things I know in a totally new fashion...
It is to be said that blogs are a marvelous medium for journeying on a trip without leaving your seat. They open you up to other cultures, patterns of thinking and offer you a highly pleasurable visual stimulus. Quite a voyeuristic way of living through others, but so soul-uplifting when you are in need of some serious daydreaming in order to flee your tedious and not so glamorous life for a short while.
Cooking gives you the means of fantacizing and freeing yourself from your shackles too. I cannot recall how many times my mind has wandered to distant lands while having a amazing meal. Food is really a world in itself.
Last week, for example, I prepared two foreign dishes that transported me to wonderful climes. Eating "Moussaka" and "Lime Rabbit" has helped me catch a sight of sunny Greece with its beautiful and deserted Peloponese beaches, turquoise sea, goat and sheep covered mountainous regions, lovely terrace coffees, amazing, atmospheric and rugged landscapes, olive tree filled valleys, friendly natives, ancients ruins, and stunning gastronomy as well as get a peek of the Antilles and its Caribbean blue waters, verdoyant nature, colorful vegetation and houses, exhuberant inhabitants, heavenly scenery and its exquisitely spicy cuisine. Very refreshing.
This is why, today, I wish to share with you my take on an Italian classic and make you forget that your children are going back to school very soon and that hot weather amusements as well as frivolity have sadly come to an end with the closing of the holiday season.
My Sicily-inspired "Cassata Cupcakes" will surely make you remember those deliciously lazy moments you spent while reading a book on your longchair, idly sitting on a restaurant patio, lethargically sleeping on the living room couch, gullibly sipping on a glass of frozen cold rosé, shamelessly faking boredom, fervently admiring the sun setting in the crimson horizon, flirting with the waves and effortlessly loitering around the streets of an unknown village or metropolis.
Of course, considering the fact that I am a person who likes to be creative, always itches to change recipes and to add her personal touch to them, it was out of question for me not to invent my own version of this gorgeous entremet. So instead of preparing a big cake, I baked cupcakes. Nonetheless, I decided to stuff them with a traditional filling and decorate them with rolled green marzipan as it is done in Sicily.
This is a fresh, refined, spicy, lightly boozy and divine summer sweet treat that is perfect for afternoon teas or parties with friends and is the ideal Sunday family lunch/dinner dessert. Just try it, you'll be ravished by its heavely taste.
~ Cassata Cupcakes ~
Cupcake recipe adapated from Amy Sedaris' "I Like You: Hospitality Under The Influence" and ricotta filling by Rosa Mayland 2011.
Makes about 12 cupcakes.
Ingredients for the "Cupcakes":
3/4 Cup (90g) Unsalted butter
3/4 Cup (158g) Castor sugar
1 Egg (~63g)
1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1/3 Tsp Orange zest paste (or orange essence)
1 1/4 Tsp Baking powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 1/4 Cups (160g) Plain white flour
5/8 Cups minus 1 1/2 Tbs (130ml) Milk
Ingredients For The "Ricotta Filling":
1 Cup (250g) Ricotta cheese, strained (see instructions here)
1/2 Cup (60g) Confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3/4 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1 1/2 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
2/3 Tsp Orange zest paste (or orange essence)
4 Tbs (60g) Chocolate (60%), finely chopped
1 Tbs Whisky
Ingredients For The "Decoration":
200g Green marzipan
Whisky, to taste
Method For The "Cupcakes":
1. Turn the oven on to 190° C (375° F).
2. In a medium bowl, mix together all dry ingredients (salt, baking powder and flour). Set aside.
3. In a big bowl, cream the butter until smooth.
4. Add the sugar and cream again until the mixture is white, light and fluffy.
5. Add the 2 eggs, one at a time while beating/mixing well until blended.
6. Add the vanilla and orange zest paste, then the dry ingredients and the milk, alternatively, while mixing well, until all ingredients are totally combined (homogenous batter).
7. Pour into individual baking cups, until they are about 2/3 full.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one cupcake comes out clean.
Method For The "Ricotta Filling":
1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the ricotta until smooth and creamy.
2. Add the confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, orange zest paste and blend until homogenous.
3. Stir in the chopped chocolate and whisky.
4. Chill until firm.
Method for "Putting The Cupcakes together":
1. Cut the cupcakes in two (horizontally).
2. Brush the insides with a bit of whisky.
3. Spread 2 tsps ricotta filling on the bottom part of the cupcake and assemble.
4. Roll the marzipan between two sheets of plastic film and cut rounds about the size of a cupcake, then cover the top of each cupcake with them.
The cupcakes can also be made in advance and frozen for up to 3 months.
The filling can be made up to 24 hours prior to filling the cupcakes. Just cover and keep refrigerated.
Serve those cupcakes as a teatime treat or for dessert with a good cup of coffee or some sparkling wine (Champagne, Prosecco or Clairette de Dille).
~ Cupcakes Façon Cassata ~
Recette pour les cupcakes adaptée de Amy Sedaris "I Like You: Hospitality Under The Influence" et recette pour la garniture à la ricotta par Rosa Mayland 2011.
Pour environ 12 cupcakes.
Ingrédients pour les "Cupcakes":
60g de Beurre non-salé
160g de Sucre cristallisé
1 Oeufs (~63g)
1 CC de d'Extrait de vanille pure
1/3 CC de Pâte de zeste d'orange (ou d'essence d'orange)
1 1/4 CC de Poudre à lever/cake
1/4 CC de Sel
160g de Farine blanche/fleur
130ml de lait
Ingrédients Pour La "Garniture A La Ricotta":
250g de Ricotta, égouttée (voir instructions ici)
60g de Sucre en poudre, tamisé
3/4 de Cannelle en poudre
1 1/2 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure
2/3 CC de Pâte de zeste d'orange (ou d'essence d'orange)
60g de Chocolat (60%), finement haché
1 CS de Whisky
Ingredients For The "Decoration":
200g de Massepain vert
Whisky, selon goût
1. Préchauffer le four à 190° C (375° F).
2. Dans un bol moyen, mélanger tous les ingrédients secs (sel, poudre à lever et farine). Mettre de côté.
3. Dans un grand bol, battre le beurre en pommade.
4. Ajouter le sucre et battre jusqu'à ce que le mélange devienne blanc et mousseux.
5. Ajouter les oeufs, un à la fois, tout en battant bien après chaque ajout afin d'obtenir un mélange homogène.
6. Ajouter la vanille et la pâte de zeste d'orange, puis les ingrédients secs, tout en alternant avec le lait et en mélangeant bien afin d'obtenir une pâte homogène.
7. Mettre la pâte dans les caissettes et remplir seulement au 2/3.
8. Cuire pendant 20 minutes, jusqu'à ce que les cupcakes soient dorés et que la lame d'en couteau en ressorte propre.
Méthode Pour La "Garniture A La Ricotta":
1. Dans le bol d'un batteur électrique, battre la ricotta jusqu'elle soit lisse et crémeuse.
2. Ajouter le sucre en poudre, la canelle, la vanille, le zeste d'orange en purée et battre à nouveau afin que le mélange soit homogène.
4. Ajouter le chocolate et le whisky.
5. Mettre au frigo afin que la garniture se rafermisse.
Méthode Por "L'assemblage Des Cupcakes":
1. Couper (horizontalement) les cupcakes en 2 parties égales.
2. Peindre chacune des deux parties intérieures avec un peu de whisky.
3. Etaler 2 CC de garniture à la ricotta sur la partie inférieure du cupcake.
4. Rouler le massepain et découper un rond de la taille du cupcake, puis recouvrir le dessus du cupcake avec.
Si vouls le désirez, il vous eat possible de congeler les cupcakes (3 mois au m aximum).
La garniture peut être préparée 24 heures à l'avance et gardée au frigo.
Idées de présentation:
Servir ces cupcakes l'heure du thé ou comme dessert, avec un bon café et un vin mousseux de qualité (Champagne, Prosecco ou Clairette de Dille).
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
You see, I am a recent convert to guest posting and I am quite a virgin when it comes to it. Rich of two wonderful experiences as an invitee, but being a total neophyte when it comes to welcoming somebody else's work on my site, I thought that I'd really enjoy to slip into the skin of a moderator and editor for a while and make my readers discover the work of a fellow blogger they might not already have knowledge of...
So, I am absolutely delighted, happy and so thrilled to have the immense honor as well as great opportunity to introduce you to this talented young woman who is a native Malaysia, the most multifaceted land in Southeast Asia.
Just like her country, Leemei's blog is colorful, exotic, pluri-ethnic and sense-awakening. It is impossible not to get seduced by her mouthwatering recipes that hail from the whole wide world, fabulously refreshing photography and lovely stories.
Thanks for sharing your world with us!
I was delighted that Rosa invited me to guest post on her wonderful blog. Thank you, Rosa! At first, I wasn’t too sure what I was going to cook, but I knew for sure that I wanted to make something Malaysian.
When it comes to Malaysian food, not many people know it as much as Thai food, for example. Malaysian food is the original fusion food. It results from a melting-pot society, thus it cannot be classified as a type of cuisine since is composed of an array of food hailing from different ethnic backgrounds – Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya, Eurasian and the indigenous people of Borneo. Malaysians love their food and they eat at least 5 meals a day - in small portions.
The passion for food is already naturally instilled at an early stage in life, while still in one's mother’s womb. People talk about food all the time and it never seems to bore them. This portrays how much their lives evolve around food. Their love for it is so strong that it binds Malaysia's diverse ethnic group together.
Although I grew up in an exclusively Chinese family, living in a multi-cultural society means that I have been exposed to different cultures, lifestyle and food since a very tender age. In the kitchen, not only do we stock up some essential Chinese cooking ingredients as well as condiments, but we also have all the important dried spices, fresh aromatic herbs and roots which are generally ground together so as to obtain spice pastes called "Rempah" in Malay and are used in many typical Malaysian dishes.
A traditional mortar and pestle is essential Malaysian kitchen item that is employed when preparing fresh "Rempahs". However, it is getting very common nowadays to grind things ina food processor as it allows one to whizz up spice paste in just a matter of seconds.
Many would think that making spice paste is tricky because there are so many ingredients involved. I have to stress that it is not as daunting as you might think. Once you have gathered the basic ingredients needed, then you are pretty much there. As with many dishes, you can then use it as a base and create your own variations. Cooking is a form of art I have to say.
"Satay" or "Sate" is very popular in Malaysia. It is skewered meat that is marinated with spices, grilled and then served with a delicious peanut sauce. It originates from Indonesia and is also a favorite in other Southeast Asian countries such as such as Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and the Philippines. The types of meats that are used in the preparation of this speciality are chicken, beef or mutton. Chicken and beef "Satay" are the most spread variations and can be found throughout Malaysia.
I remember the best place to scout for really good "Satay" is, without a doubt, the "PasarMalam" or night market. Every Saturday evening, in my hometown back in Malaysia, numerous farmers, fishermen and food vendors gather at a designated place and set up their mobile stalls to sell their produces and food. This always gets me really excited as I cannot wait to check out all the stalls, in particular the food stalls as I could literally buy my dinner from different the food vendors there! Of course, my all time favourite stall has to be the one that selling "Satay".
As you can see the major ingredients used in the "Satay" marinade are also similar to the ones that are incorporated into the peanut sauce. They are very aromatic and play an important role when making a flavoursome base for curry too.
If you've never tried Malaysian food, I definitely recommend you to give this "Satay" recipe a go as it'll be the medium to introduce you to the gastronomy of Malaysia. I am sure that you will fall in love with it as its great for an outdoor summer BBQ and makes a mean party food!
~ Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce ~
Ingredients For The "Satay":
1 Tsp Dried shrimp paste/belacan, toasted
1.5cm piece Fresh turmeric or 1 Tsp Turmeric powder
10 Shallots, peeled and chopped
2cm piece Galangal, peeled and chopped
6 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Fresh chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 Lemongrass, white part only and chopped
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Coriander powder
1 Tsp Cumin powder
A pinch of Salt
900g Chicken thighs, skinned, deboned and cut into chunky strips
Ingredients For The "Peanut Sauce":
6 Shallots, peeled and chopped
1 Red onion, peeled and chopped
1 Fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped
6 Dried red chillies, deseeded, softened and chopped
2 Lemongrass, white part only and chopped
2 Tbs Sunflower oil
1 Tbs Tamarind pulp
200ml Warm water
2 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs Soya sauce
100g Roasted unsalted peanuts, chunkily ground
1. Wrap the shrimp paste in a foil and put in a preheated oven at 180°C (350° F) to toast, for about 4-5 minutes, until aromatic. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, put the fresh turmeric, shallots, galangal, garlic, chili and lemongrass in a food processor, grind until they form a smooth paste. Add the sugar, coriander powder and cumin powder and salt mix until combine.
3. Add the spice paste to the chicken, mix thoroughly, making sure each piece is coated with the spice paste. Cover with cling film, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
4. To make the sauce, put the shallots, onion, red chilli, dried red chillies and lemongrass in a food processor. Grind until smooth and set aside. Meanwhile, put 80ml of the warm water into a bowl and add the tamarind pulp. Let soak for 15 minutes or until it becomes soft. Use a spoon to break the pulp into a pliable form. Strain through a fine sieve set over a bowl, discard the solid.
5. In a saucepan over medium high heat, put the sunflower oil and add the spice paste. Cook and stir constantly for about 8-10 minutes or until the paste gets darker in color and very fragrant. Add the tamarind water and stir. Add the rest of the water and bring to the boil for a few seconds. Add the sugar and soya sauce, stir and let it simmer for 1 minute or so. Add the ground roasted peanuts, stir and set aside.
6. Thread 4 strips of chicken onto each skewer, in order to obtain a loose S shape. Then pop them under the grill for about 7.5 cm from the heat source, giving them about 3-4 minutes on each side. Alternatively, grill the skewered meat over the BBQ. Place the skewers on warm plates and serve with the peanut sauce handed separately.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Consequently, it is the right moment for me to put a momentuous halt to my blogging and to have a bit of fun. But don't worry, I am not completely abandoning my blog during my short week off, because I'll be home chillin' all the while, and knowing how addicted I am to "Rosa's Yummy Yums" I will surely publish a couple of pictures in addition to a guest post (around the 19th of August) and will be on Twitter, Facebook or visiting your sites.
This Friday, I have decided to write about a traditional delicacy from the majestic land of exotic delights, beauty, diversity and heritage that is Turkey. Despite having never travelled there, I have fallen in love with its wonderful culture and stunning landscapes...
"Kalbura Basti", sometimes also known under the name of "Hurma", are Turkish syrup-drenched pastries that have a riddled appearance. They are featured among the favorite specialities that are prepared for the three-day Candy Holiday (Şeker Bayram aka Eid Ul-Fitr) that follows the holy month of Ramazan (Ramadan). Although this treat is of Ottoman origin, a very similar variation of it ("Hurmašice" or "Hurme") can be found in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina too, since the Osmanli Turks invaded, controlled and influenced those regions.
Those date-shaped cakelets are rolled in very original way as one needs a colander, sieve or grater (the side used to grind nutmegs) to give them their unusual looks ("Kalbur" meaning colander). Apart from having a unique form, this speciality cannot be found everywhere in Turkey. As a matter of fact, it is quite difficult to come across it in bakeries or to see it being served in restaurants, because they are commonly baked at home and savored among family members.
I took the recipe from "Turkish Cookbook" which I had bought on a Swiss bidding site. This book on Turkish cuisine is written by one of Turkey's leading cookery author and Sufi practitioner Nevin Halici who has published nine publications, "Sufi Cuisine" being her latest publication so far.
These simple cookies require hardly any ingredients or work (so easy to put together), and they contain no eggs nor butter, yet they are incomparably delicious. It is absolutely impossible not to get hooked on their exquisitely soft and crumbly texture, syrup-engorged and gooey dough as well as absolutely divine nutty, cinnamony and marzipany flavor. "Kalbura Basti" are incredibly addictive. Once you've eaten one, you cannot stop!
Recipe adapted from Nevin Halici's "Turkish Cookbook".
Makes 16 cookies.
Ingredients For The "Cookies":
1/4 Tsp Baking soda
150g Plain flour
1/2 Tsp Ground mahleb (optional)
1/2 Tsp Lemon juice
1/3 Tsp Ground cinnamon Optional)
Method For The "Cookies":
1. Grease a baking pan or cover it with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, olive oil and baking soda together, then add the flour and mahleb. Knead into a smooth dough.
3. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions.
4. Press each piece of dough over a sieve or a shredder with your fıngers while rolling and shaping into oblongs (do not press through).
5. Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Method For The "Syrup":
6. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, add the sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon, bring to a boil and let simmer for 2 minutes or until the mixture is syrupy, then remove from heat.
7. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, place them in a shallow dish and immediately pour the hot syrup over them.
8. Let them soak for 10 minutes, then turn them over and let the other side soak for another 10 minutes, then turn the cookies around again and let them cool.
9. Serve as soon as the cookies are no more hot.
This video (at 0:36 secs) will help you visualize how those cookies are shaped.
Serve with a good cup of Turkish, Greek or Lebanese coffee or some black tea.
Recette adaptée de "Turkish Cookbook" par Nevin Halici.
Pour 16 gâteaux.
Ingrédients Pour Les "Gâteaux":
75ml de Lait
75ml d'Huile d'olive
174 de CC de Bicarbonate de soude
150 g de Farine
1/2 CC de Mahleb en poudre (en option)
Ingrédients Pour le "Sirop":
150g de Sucre cristallisé
1/2 CC de Jus de citron
1/3 CC de Cannelle en poudre (en option)
Méthode Pour Les "Gâteaux":
1. Beurrer une plaque de cuisson ou la recouvrir de papier sulfurisé. Préchauffer le four à 200° C (400° F).
2. Dans un bol moyen, mélanger ensemble (émulsionner) le lait, l'huile d'olive et la bicarbonate de soude, puis ajouter la farine et le mahleb, puis pétrir jusqu'à obtention d'une pâte lisse.
3. Diviser la pâte en 16 portions égales.
4. Presser chaque morceau de pâte contre un tamis ou une râpe (côté pour râper la noix de muscade) et les rouler afin de leur donner une forme oblongue.
5. Placer les gâteaux sur la plaque et les cuire dans le four préchauffé pendant 20 minutes.
Méthode Pour Le "Sirop":
6. Pendant ce temps, préparer le sirop: mettre le sucre, l'eau, le jus de citron et la cannelle dans une casserole moyenne et porter à ébullition, puis laisser cuire 2 minutes ou jusqu'à ce que le sirop se soit un peu épaissi, puis le retirer du feu.
7. Dès que les biscuits sortent du four, verser immédiatement le sirop chaud dessus. Laisser s'imbiber pendant 10 minutes, puis les retourner et les laisser s'imbiber pendant encore 10 minutes dans le sirop. Puis les retourner à nouveau et les laisser refroidir.
Cette vidéo (à 0:36 secs) vous aidera à visualiser la méthode de roulage.
Idées de présentation:
Servir avec un bon café à la turque, grec ou libanais, ou du thé noir.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
On this very special occasion, I wish to thank all of you irregular as well as faithful readers and friends for following and encouraging me. Your kind words as well as compliments are always welcome as they enlighten my life and give me the energy to share my passion for the culinary world, photography and words with you.
If food is the wood that feeds the fire burning deep within my soul and heart, you are the hearth that contains and directs the flames!
Friday, August 5, 2011
When you are neither rich nor possess many earthly belongings, you tend to direct your attention toward the little things in life, what is not materialistic nor can be quantified in money terms. You learn not to have greedy expectations or to take things for granted, to be satisfied with not much, to have a more spiritual insight into things and to become increasingly open to the outside world and that which surrounds us...- Ernest Hemingway
Due to that my life is very restricted. I cannot go on holiday (the last time I travelled abroad was 13 years ago when I last saw my English grandparents), buy what I want (let alone what I need), visit restaurants and coffee shops nor have many activities. Nonetheless, I try to make the best of what I have, positivize and find beauty in everything, even (or especially) where people don't. My situation has made me clear-sighted as I am not blinded by pecuniary matters or encumbered by avarice.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.
If you are attentive, you will see it.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh
"Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
Thanks to my "misfortune", I am a keen lover of Nature. It never fails to surprise me and I cannot get enough of admiring it and incessantly being flabbergasted by its unlimited wonders. I am capable of sitting on my balcony for hours looking at the sky and the way clouds evolve. The dreamlike and elegant flight of the buzzards fascinates me. I cherish the welcoming morning chant of the birds and that of the perky rooster living in the garden opposite my building block. The imposing solemness of the Salève mountain that towers over my village like a monolithic monster bedazzles me. My kitty Maruschka is a real bundle of joy and brings a charming feline touch to my day. The flutter of leaves in the evening wind brings me peace of mind. The croacking of frogs makes me smile. The sudden appearence of a fiery and fluffy fox during my Saturday walks delights me. A warm summer breeze wraps me in a shroud of pure bliss. The rumbling river nearby comforts me. An afternoon spent foraging for exceptionally fragrant wild blackberries excites me to the highest point. Listening to the electric sounding songs of the cicadas which have colonized the area lately just fills my heart with joy. The shape of a fruit or the color of a vegetable sends me into a state of meditation. The sheer variety of food astounds me and makes me feel so thankful...
"Don't seek, don't search, don't ask, don't knock, don't demand - relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it."- Osho
Somehow, I have the attitude of a Zen (or Taoist) monk who sees magnificence everywhere he looks and doesn't burden his soul with negativity. Genius lies in simplicity, naturalness and harmony. Being able to stay humble brings you inner strenghth as it is when humans are left with the strict minimum that they are forced to face themselves and dig deep into their inner being in order to "survive" the lack of artificiality in their existence."Two novice Zen monks are arguing about whose master is more evolved and accomplished. So the first monk boasts, 'My master is so powerful, he can stand on one side of the river and write his name in the mud on the opposite side'. 'That’s nothing' said the other one. 'When my master is hungry, he eats and when he is tired he sleeps'."
With food, the same can be said. There is no need to complicate things, spend considerable amounts on luxury ingredients or be frivolous. A well-balanced and uncomplex dish can have even more impact that one that is ultra-complicated, pompous and extravagant. Sometimes, it is the most elementary and frugal meal that leaves the greatest as well as long-lasting memories
"The modern mind has lost all capacity to wonder. It has lost all capacity to look into the mysterious, into the miraculous - because of knowledge, because it thinks it knows."- Osho
"Preparing food is not about yourself and others. It is about everything!"It is for that reason, that the recipe I am presenting today is not pretentious and is of Nippon inspiration. Like all things Japanese, it is subtly refined in both looks and taste, and shines in its purity, sobriety, equilibrium and apparent rusticity.
- Shunryu Suzuki
This exquisite "Cold Soba Noodle Salad" is easily prepared, ravishingly summery and perfect for hot weather as the cool pasta play off the heat marvelously. It is a dish that has strong earthy and warm aromas of wasabi, sesame oil/seeds, soy sauce and buckwheat noodles, but thanks to the heady and fresh flavors of ginger, rice vinegar, cucumber and carrots, the symmetry is absolute.
~ Cold Soba Noodle Salad ~
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, August 2011.
Ingredients For The "Soba Noodles":
2x 80g Dry soba/buckwheat noodle bundles
Ingredients For The "Vinaigrette":
4 Tbs Sweet Japanese soy sauce (Kikkoman)
3 Tbs Sesame oil
2 1/2 Tbs Rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tsp Wasabi paste
3 Tsps Chopped fresh ginger
2 1/2 Tbs sesame seeds (black or white), roasted
Ingredients For The "Topping":
2 Medium carrots, cut into thin matchtsicks
1/3 Cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks
Method For The "Soba Noodles":
1. Bring a large pot of unsalted water to the boil.
2. Add the noodles, sprinkling them strand by strand into the water.
3. Gently stir to immerse them completely.
4. Simmer over low heat for about 4 minutes, or following the package directions.
5. Drain and rinse with cold water.
6. Place in a bowl and set aside.
7. Mix all the ingredients together.
8. Pour over the salad and mix together thoroughly before adding the sesame seeds and tossing again.
9. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, so that the flavors develop.
Method For The "Garnishes":
10. Add the carrot and the cucumber, mix.
You can replace the rice vinegar by white balsamic vinegar or malt vinegar.
While the soba noodles are cooking, stir occasionally to prevent from sticking.
If you want, you can also top your noodles with chopped scallions.
Serve cold and accompany dish with eggs (omelet, fried eggs, hard boiled eggs or poached eggs) or fish (steamed or fried).
~ Salade Froide De Nouilles Soba ~
Recette par Rosa Mayland, août 2011.
Pour 2 personnes.
Ingrédients Pour Les "Nouilles Soba":
2x 80g de Nouilles soba sèches (2 bottes)
Ingrédients Pour La "Vinaigrette":
4 CS de Sauce soya légère (Kikkoman)
2 1/2 CS de Vinaigre de riz
3 CS d'Huile de sésame
1 1/2 CC de Pâte de wasabi
3 CC de Gingembre frais, haché finement
2 1/2 CS de Graines de sésame (noir ou blanches), torréfiées
Ingrédients Pour La "Garniture":
2 Carottes (moyennes), coupées en fines allumettes
1/3 de Concombre, coupé en fines allumettes
Méthode pour Les "Nouilles Soba":
1. Remplir une grande casserole d'eau (sans ajout de sel) et porter à ébullition.
2. Ajouter les nouilles, en les faisant tomber une à une (en pluie).
3. Mélanger délicatement afin d'immerger les nouilles.
4. Faire cuire à feu dou pendant environ 4 minutes, ou selon les instructions sur l'emballage.
5. Egoutter et rinser à l'eau froide.
6. Mettre dans un bol et mettre de côté.
Méthode Pour La "Vinaigrette":
7. Mélanger tous les ingrédients ensemble.
8. Verser sur les nouilles et bien mélanger avant d'ajouter les graines de sésame.
9. Entreposer au frigo pendant 30 minutes, de sorte que les arômes se développent.
Méthode Pour La "Garniture":
10. Ajouter la carotte et le concombre, mélanger.
Le vinaigre de riz peut être remplacer par du vinaigre balsamique blanc ou du vinaigre de malte.
Pendant que les nouilles cuisent, mélanger occasionellement afin qu'elles ne collent pas ensemble.
Si vous le désirez, vous pouvez aussi garnir cette salade avec des oignons verts coupés en rondelles.
Idées de présentation:
Servir cette salade froide et accompagnée d'oeufs (omelette, oeufs à la poêle, oeufs cuits dur ou oeufs pochés) ou de poisson (grillé ou à la vapeur).
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook".
~ Dwarf Goat ~
~ Baby Apple ~
You can read the interview here (only in French, unfortunately)...
Il y a peu, Chef Damien de "750g.com" m'a demandé si j'étais interessée de donner un interview pour son site. Etant donné que je suis toujours heureuse de "sacrifier" quelques minutes de mon temps afin de parler de mon blog et de ma passion pour la cuisine, c'est avec beaucoup de plaisir, joie, enthousiasme et d'entrain que j'ai répondu à ses questions pointues.