Category

Winter Food

Blog, Winter Food

Rustic Raw Mince (Fruit) Pies With Sake & Yuzu

Yeaterday I went for a beautiful long walk in the snow. On my walk I got to thinking how I could make raw mince pies. For those of you who are not sure what a mince pie is it’s basically shortcrust pastry with a filling of normally spiced fruits maybe with alcohol like brandy and fruit peel.

As soon as I got home I set to work on creating the pies and they turned out much better than I thought they would.

To make the crust I used 1/2 cup of coconut flour and 1/2 cup of almond flour. I placed this in my food processor with two large dates and pulsed this together. Then I added 6 tablespoons of melted coconut butter and 1 tablespoon of rice malt syrup ( you could use what ever sweetener you want) I started to process until the dough came together. I then tipped out the dough onto plastic wrap and wrapped it into a tight ball and pressed it all together.

I then placed a sheet of plastic wrap over my mince pie tray and started to press in the dough to make pastry cases. I did this as I wasn’t sure how the dough would roll but after making the stars for the  tops I think you could roll this and cut out the rounds with a pastry cutter. Anyway this way made for a rustic raw edged looking pie but I thought it was quite in keeping. I then placed the tray covered over into the freezer. With the remaining dough I cut out stars for the tops of the pies.

Now for the filling I tipped into a bowl 1/4 cup of raisins,1/3 cup of dried cranberries, three chopped dried soft figs,a scatter of flaked almonds,the juice of one clementine ( I basically cut the clementine in half an squeezed the juice out),a dash each of cinnamon,nutmeg and allspice,the zest of one small lemon,a tablespoon of candied chopped yuzu and a sake cup of sake. I then used the end of a rolling pin to squash all the fruit. It’s a good idea to make this in advance and let the fruit soak up all the juices.

After taking the pastry out the freezer you can then lift them out the plastic wrap and fill them with your filling for a totally raw pie.

However I placed mine in the oven for five mins just to slightly brown them . If you do this place them back in the freezer after for five mins because if they are warm they fall apart slightly.

I think they made a lovely alternative mince pie and this year I will be having these instead of the normal pastry ones I make. Nice with some vegan cream. You can warm them slightly as well before eating.

 

 

 

Blog, Winter Food

Christmas Yuzu Snowball Truffles

As the snow comes down making it very festive I decided to make these snowball truffles.

Using yuzu juice and candied yuzu peel. If you can’t get this you could easily substitute with lemon juice and candied lemon peel.

In a food processor add

2 cups of desiccated coconut

1/4 cup of chopped dried cranberries

1 cup of almond flour

3 tablespoons of melted coconut butter

1/4 cup of rice malt syrup or maple syrup

1/4 cup of yuzu juice

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1/4 cup of chopped candied yuzu peel

Blend all the ingredients together . Then tip it out onto some plastic wrap and squash all the ingredients together into one big ball so that everything is well pressed together.

Then take tablespoons of truffle mixture and roll out in to individual balls. Finally give them a dusting of icing sugar to make them even more snowy looking.

Place in the fridge to set keep them refrigerated until you want to eat them.

These would be perfect boxed as a gift.

Winter Food

Steamfried Brussels Sprouts with miso

Brussels sprouts are the perfect winter seasonal vegetable.

These panfried ones have lots of flavour start by cutting each Brussels sprout in half . Add a little oil to a hot pan and sear the flat side . Meanwhile make a sauce with 240ml of veg stock,1/2 tablespoon of grated ginger,2 tablespoon of mirin,1tablespoon soy sauce and four tablespoon of white miso paste and whisk.

The amount of sauce you need depends of how many Brussels you have so use your judgement.

Pour the sauce into the pan and cover to steam the Brussels sprouts. Then add shimeji mushrooms and crumbled yuba ( if you can’t get yuba you could maybe add some crumbled tofu)

Finally before serving add some yuzu rind (or lemon) and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Lovely served on rice .

 

Blog, Winter Food

Damako Nabe ( Rice ball Hot Pot )

From the mountainous  region of Tohoku comes this local dish which is perfect for cold winter days.

After cooking your rice mash it and then sprinkle with potato starch and roll into balls then set aside.

Use a dashi stock for the broth I always like to make one in advance with kombu kelp and dried shiitake. Just place them in water for a few hours then take them out and add mirin and tamari.

The vegetables I used were leek,taro,carrot,mixed mushrooms spring onion,nappa cabbage,komatsuna and daikon radish.

Place your vegetables in your donabe pot with your dashi stock except the leafy greens.

Then simmer your vegetables and add your rice balls the rice balls soak up all the lovely juices.

You could also add tofu or yuba if you wanted.

If you do not have a donabe pot you could steam your vegetables or add them to a cooking pot.

Finely add your leafy greens when everything else is tender and a sprinkle of shichimi pepper.

A hot, healthy,cosy dish for a cold winter evening.

 

Blog, Winter Food

Bifun Soup

As the weather is turning considerably colder I find myself craving soups, stews and nabe ( hot pots ). This one is especially good for keeping those colds at bay with warming ginger and spices.

First I made a stock I used one litre of vegetable stock in a pan and I added to that a tablespoon of tamari,some sliced ginger,half an onion cut into four large pieces,a star anise and half a stick of cinnamon. I put this on a gentle simmmer for about 20mins.

In the mean time I pan seared some tofu and sautéed some shiitake mushrooms. I steamed some broccoli,komatsuna,baby corn,snap peas and bean sprouts. Chopped some mint,coriander basil and sliced a red chilli pepper.

I then cooked my bifun ( rice vermicelli noodles) for a few mins and then drained them in cold water to stop them from cooking further.

Then I drained the liquid on the broth and discarded the rest.

I placed the noodles in a bowl added my stock and the rest of the toppings. Finally I added a wedge of lime,chilli oil,a teaspoon of smooth peanut butter and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

 

Blog, Winter Food

Hiyashi -rice

  • I brought back some dried maitake mushrooms from Japan and couldn’t wait to try them.
  • For this dish you could just as easily use fresh maitake .
  • Did you know that maitake is a good source of vitamin D ? Which makes it a good winter dish .
    Inspired by a meal I had at ain soph journey I made  this vegan hayashi-rice . Using a selection of  maitake and shimeji,enoki and eryngii mushrooms I sautéed them with onion .
  • Add a tablespoon of tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce each to a separate pan and warm through . To thicken the sauce I use  Kuzu powder. Just add a teaspoon to a little cold water to make a slurry before adding to your sauce .
  • Mix the sauce into your mushrooms .
  • Serve with rice and maybe a miso soup .

ビーガン
ハヤシライス
漬物
みそ汁

Blog, Winter Food

Tomato Ramen

Nothing better than a  hot comforting bowl of tomato ramen for dinner to night on a cold night and so simple to make .

All I use is a tomato soup . ( I like to use an organic one from Abel & Cole ) be careful when buying tomato soups check the ingredients as many contain milk.

cook your ramen and soup in separate pans choose your choice of topping here you can see I used sweet corn,bean sprouts,chopped onion and  (bok choy,pak choi ) .

Add your soup to the bowl and top with ramen and vegetables

super easy .
トマトラーメンのホットボウル

Blog, Winter Food

Kagami Biraki Zenzai

in Japan on the 11th of January is Kagami biraki the breaking of the new year Mochi for luck and good fortune .
It is traditional to make  zenzai a sweet red bean soup with the toasted Mochi on the top.

This can be made as simple as you wish you can buy a tin of sweet red beans and add a little water and cook up into a soup. Zenzai is also available in a pouch just simply heat and serve .  Or you can buy a can of azuki beans drain and simmer in water with a sweetener . After this it gets a little more complicated if you want to cook your beans from scratch so for ease I do one of the above .

I cooked my mochi rice cake under the grill and topped this onto my zenzai

 

Blog, Winter Food

Nanakusa-Gayu ( seven herb soup)

Nanakusa-Gayu ( seven herb soup)
Nanakusa-Gayu ( seven herb soup)

On the 7th of January (Jinjitsu) this is the day that in Japan it is tradition to eat (Nanakusa-gayu) 七草粥
Seven herb rice porridge soup. To help the stomach after Osechi Ryori / Christmas and new year and bring health to the coming year.
I do not have all the traditional herbs from Japan so I used a mix of daikon and turnip leaf, ( which I had been growing in preparation) parsley,Basil, mizuna and rocket leaf and watercress.

The tradition herbs are nipplewort,chickweed,cud weed,shepherds purse and water drop wort.

I made a kombu and shiitake stock to give it flavour and rich minerals and cooked up the already cooked rice in it with some sautéed daikon radish . Add your greens into the rice when cooking or cook separately and top onto the rice when your porridge is done .

It can take a while for your rice to cook down and you may need to keep adding stock until you get the correct consistency

You can top your rice porridge with maybe a grilled mochi rice cake or sliced shiitake that you used to make your stock with.

 

 

Blog, Winter Food

O’zoni New Year’s Day meal

Happy new year!
明けましておめでとうございます

Start  the New Year’s Day with a traditional Japanese breakfast called O’zoni .
It is a breakfast soup,said to be the most auspicious new year food,part of Osechi Ryori. (Good luck food)
Depending on the region in Japan the broth can either be clear or with miso .
Make a white miso broth and add steamed carrot and daikon flowers, shiitake,a slice of kabocha,komatsuna,
yuzu,peel and grilled mochi.

Blog, Winter Food

New Years Eve Soba

It’s nearly New Years in Japan and to celebrate I’m having for lunch a hot bowl of soba noodles which is a traditional New Year’s Eve meal called toshikoshi soba.
Meaning end of old year and beginning of the next.
The noodles symbolise the bridge from the old to the new year and bring long life, strength and good fortune.
I made this really simple with a tamari and mirin soup stock some lovely soba noodles I bought in Kyoto and topped it with chopped green onion,aburaage and a little fresh yuzu peel .
Eating this meal took me back to the lovely setting at kiyo mizu in Kyoto where I had simple soba noodles.
I want to wish everyone in Japan a happy new year and health and good fortune .
年越し蕎麦
明けましておめでとうございます??????

Blog, Winter Food

Kenchinjiru

This is a traditional Zen Buddhist shojin Ryori cuisine which originates from the Kencho-ji Temple in Kamakura .  Jiru means soup and Kenchin is derived from the temple name.

This soup is full of umami flavour using kombu,shiitake mushroom,toasted sesame oil and tamari ( or soy sauce )

The soup consists of root vegetables in a shiitake kombu stock ( you can also add miso if you wish .) This soup also has tofu it is said that you tear the tofu into the soup instead of cutting the tofu as it is supposed to be divided equally between the residents of the temple regardless of status.  This dish contains no onion,devout Buddhists believe that onion is not good for your peace of mind so not good for meditation.

First make you stock

I normally leave a piece of konbu to soak over night in water the konbu comes with a white powder on its surface do not wash this off as this adds to the flavour just simply wipe with a cloth.  ( for this recipe I used 3 cups of  konbu stock and 1 cup of shiitake stock .

After you have soaked your konbu place the water and konbu in a pan and turn on the heat remove the konbu just before the water starts to boil.  Make shiitake stock by soaking a few dried shiitake in one cup of water for around 20 mins ( place a small bowl over to submerge the shittake to stop them from floating.  After 20 mins take out the shiitake and slice them and add the stock to the konbu soaked water .

Now you need to prepare your vegetables

You can use a variety for vegetables Burdock root,daikon radish,carrot,lotus root,taro komatsuna  or any leafy green vegetable,you can also add konnyaku (konjac) but I just used tofu in this recipe . I didn’t use burdock root as I couldn’t find any and I didn’t use taro .

chop your vegetables and add about a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil to a deep pan sauté your root vegetables for a few minutes then add your stock  but do not add your leafy greens until the soup is nearly ready to serve.  Simmer until the vegetables are tender then add 1 tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce and one tablespoon of mirin .

take a block of drained tofu and crumble it into the soup in large pieces  and finally add your chopped leafy greens .

Now your soup is ready

 

 

 

 

 

Blog, Winter Food

Oden (winter stew)

In the winter in Japan you can often walk in to stores and find lots of things simmering in piping hot stock for you to choose and have a hot meal . This is called Oden . I made my own oden winter stew.

It is traditional to use a donabe pot but if you don’t have one you can use what ever you have .

First make your broth to simmer your vegetables in I used water that had been soaked over night with a piece of kombu kelp about 1 litre add to this some mirin and tamari ( or soy sauce) about one tablespoon .

In your donabe set out your veggies I used sliced daikon ,tofu,bamboo shoots,lotus root,tofu sausage,shiitake mushroom and aburaage parcels filled with cabbage bean sprouts and vegetables. These pouches are called kinchaku or fukuro.

If you do not have a donabe you can use another pot or even a steamer and arrange them after.  If you decide to use a steamer steam your vegetables and make a separate broth to add your vegetables to after . I prefer to cook the vegetables in the broth as they soak up the flavour.

Pour in your stock and simmer your pot on low with the lid on if it looks like the water is running low add a little more stock.

When your vegetables are tender take a little stock and in a bowl add a little miso . Dissolve the miso and then pour this over your vegetables to finish.

I would of liked to of added a few other things that I didn’t have but I’m glad with how it turned out.

Served with rice it was a delicious filling meal for a cold winter evening