Saturday, January 28, 2012

Flea Markets of Kyoto (1) | - Japan travel guide by locals

Flea Markets of Kyoto (1) - Japan travel guide by locals
This is very interesting to do on my next visit to Japan. March would be a good time as there is a flea market with foods, antiques and things to buy. Please read.

Tsukiji fish market

In one of my trips to Asia, I decided to include Tokyo on my way home for the purpose of visiting Tsukiji Market among other plans.

We booked ourselves in a little hotel in a quiet street in Ginza for proximity to the shopping Ginza's famous shopping strip, and to Tsukiji Fish Market.  Tsukiji Market is the largest whole safe fish and seafood market in the world and one of the largest wholesale market of any kind.

Although we did not get up early for the bidding on fish, we made it a point to get to the market by 9AM.
As early as we arrived, we found a nice small sushi place right in the market.

We had our breakfast at this sushi place at Tsukiji Market at 9:30AM
Freshest sushi and sashimi
Freshest variety of fish neatly arranged at the fish market

There was such a variety of seafood available besides fish.  It was fascinating!

Tsukiji Market

On the right are some clam variety that reminds me of steamers in the Northeastern coast of the United States; except these have longer "tails".

At a restaurant the following night, we had some sashimi from a giant looking mussel.  This also came from the Tsukiji Market.

After our sashimi/sushi breakfast, when we stepped out we had giant fresh oysters which were the size of your palm!
The length of the oyster meat was as long as the toothpick we used to eat it with fresh from its shell!  If I hadn't eaten the sushi before this, I could have more!
"The market is located near the Tsukijishijō Station on the Toei Ōedo Line and Tsukiji Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. There are two distinct sections of the market as a whole. The "inner market" (jonai shijo) is the licensed wholesale market, where the auctions and most of the processing of the fish take place, and where licensed wholesale dealers (approximately 900 of them) operate small stalls. The "outer market" (jogai shijo) is a mixture of wholesale and retail shops that sell Japanese kitchen tools, restaurant supplies, groceries, and seafood, and many restaurants, especially sushi restaurants. Most of the shops in the outer market close by the early afternoon, and in the inner market even earlier."

Well worth the trip if you're a foodie!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

THE CROSBY BAR at Crosby Street in SoHo, NY

I was in SoHo for work related issue when I absolutely needed to eat lunch at 1:30PM.  The places I wanted to go were closed to my surprise while the others were either full or I've been to before.  I have always passed the back part of this restaurant before where they have a glass elevator outdoors so I walked down to explore.

This is the restaurant inside The Crosby Street Hotel on Crosby Street in SoHo. Did you know why it's called SoHo?  It means South of Houston Street.  (And when you hear NoHo - it's North of Houston Street)

The atmosphere was so pretty and bright.  It must be the colors that attracted me to proceed.  It's a good choice for a dull over-cast winter's day to come here.

I chose a seat right next to the doors that open to the mirrored terrace with a beautiful garden and topiary with dog images.  What a cute idea!

Except for the winter, they probably allow you to sit outdoors.  The colorful circles you see are a reflection of the lights indoors.

Light Fixtures above
Below are some of the food I ordered.  This was late lunch so I opted for their cauliflower soup with black olive-walnut gremolata and a couple of small plate dishes.

I recommend to order this cauliflower soup.  The flavor of the roasted cauliflower is intense.  I'm not sure if it has dairy in it because it didn't taste like it did.

On the left is the cheddar jalapeno fritters with dill garlic labne.  It's quite good.

Inside the cheddar jalapeno fritters

On the left is the Shrimp bennett gribiche with a wonderful sauce.  Below is when you cut it up.

Above, is the cinnamon doughnuts with berry and chocolate dipping sauces
This was my dessert.  I didn't realize that what I've ordered were all pretty much an assortment of fritters.  They were all in the croquette family with a variety of ways to prepare them; except for the soup I ordered.

The ambiance was gorgeous and the service was great.  I like the decoration more than I liked the doughnuts.  I probably should have ordered a different dessert.  I'm not a fritter freak.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


If you want any of the recipes in detail, let me know.


FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: CHRISTMAS PARTY 2011: The Holiday Season is always the busiest time of the year for everyone especially for me. It's work, party, play, and planning for the Chri...


The Holiday Season is always the busiest time of the year for everyone especially for me.  It's work, party, play, and planning for the Christmas Dinners.

This year I held my Christmas-Holiday Party between Christmas and New Year.  I figure, I personally am done with all the Christmas parties to go to, the shopping, our own family Christmas Eve dinner, and am ready to tackle my own event.

Here is what I made for the Christmas Party.  You can prepare the sauces and desserts a day in advance.  On the day is mostly assembling the food.  Let me share with you what I did:

The gingerbread house above was store-bought whereby I added the marshmallow tree, the gummy Santas, Snoopy and candy canes bought from a nice candy store (Dylan's). I made my own egg white frosting with plenty of confectioner's sugar that I beat till it was stiff to use as extra snow and for gluing the candy trees and decor to the house.  I happen to have always had the Christmas ornament of a Real Estate Agent and a Sold sign; so I stuck them down on 2 corners of the house this year instead of hang it as Christmas tree ornament.

For hors'd'eouvres, I ordered and bought already peeled and cooked lobsters and served them in individual containers with my own sauce.
Above are the lobsters with miso-butter sauce, topped with black caviar and minced chives for decor.

 On the left were lobster meat as well individually served with yuzu emulsified butter with some yuzu tea marmalade (available from Japanese grocery stores) topped with minced chives.  This sauce has a wonderful citrus taste and a little sweet.

Served surrounded by the 2 versions of the lobster hors'd'eouvres is the Armagnac soaked prunes stuffed with D'Artagnan foie-gras.  A chef pastry cake decorating bag with a wide serrated tip was used to stuff the foie gras into the overnight-soaked prunes.

Above is the gravlax I made 4 days before to cure.  I used fresh dill, salt, sugar, and freshly ground white peppercorns.  You spread the mixture on top of one equally sized center cut of a fresh clean and deboned salmon and cover it with another piece of salmon of almost exactly the same size.  Wrap it well with plastic-lined aluminum foil.  Place in a plastic bag to seal the juice while processing.  Put this in a larger container and place weight of at least 5 lbs on top; turning it over each day for 4 days. (For weights, I use our home barbel discs covered in plastic)  To serve, remove all the dill and peppercorns and slice thinly using a special gravlax slicer or a very thin flexible bladed knife.  Serve it with WASA bread.  I didn't use a gravlax sauce because it defeats being a healthy dish.
**Not photographed:  I also served a fresh whole roasted pork called lechon.  It's a small suckling pig with very crisp skin.  For the salad, I used thin slices of fennel with radicchio and arugula and a simple olive oil and premium balsamic vinegar dressing for a less sour but still tangy but sweeter flavor enhancing the fennel.  As a vegetable dish, I served roasted root vegetables (parsnip, sweet potatoes) with fresh rosemary and garlic mixed with roasted asparagus, and red and green peppers.

One of the desserts I served was the poached pears in wine with homemade chocolate ganache:
Poached sekel pears was my choice, so they can be served in individual dishes and served whole. This way, the guest can try the poached pears and other desserts too.   I poached them for only 12-15 minutes with cloves stuck on each top which I removed before serving.  The poaching liquid was sherry, vanilla bean pod, and sugar.

Some of the poached pears were served on a pedestal dish with my homemade egg less butter-chocolate chip cookies.

This is called CANONIGO.  It is made of egg white cooked in "bain Marie" (pan is in a pan of hot water baked in the oven). served with "natilla" like creme anglaise (yolk with rum, milk and sugar) and fruits on the side if you wish.  My College friend gave me their family recipe and I've kept it all these years.

And the party was joyful as everyone got full.  I was delighted to share my culinary ideas amidst the busiest time of the year.
       H A P P Y     N E W    Y E A R    T O   Y O U    A L L!

Should you want the recipes of the food in this party, please let me know.

I also ordered a chocolate lemon cake from LA Burdick
It's my favorite cake and you can order this.  Imagine chocolate layer cake with fresh lemon cream inside.

Ingredients were mostly from,New+York,+NY

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: In Good Taste - A Benefit for CITY HARVEST

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: In Good Taste - A Benefit for CITY HARVEST: Now serving New York City for more than 25 years, City Harvest is the world's first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city'...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pinwheel Prosciutto Appetizer

This is a very easy appetizer to do.  One can do it ahead of time up to a month and keep it in the freezer until ready to use.

2/3 lbs of sodium nitrite free prosciutto (San Danielle or Di Parma)
1/2 c of Dijon Mustard
1/2 lb of Gruyere cheese (preferably aged)
1 container of Puff Pastry Dough (sheet)

Defrost the Puff Pastry Dough.  Cut in 2 sheets.  Roll out in floured baking board preferably wooden as thin as you can.  Spread Dijon mustard on the entire surface of the pough pastry sheet.  Layer in the thinly sliced prosciutto.  Then layer with medium grated Gruyere cheese.  From one end (the widest part), roll it tight.  Store in plastic wrap-lined foil sealing well.

On the left is half of the puff pastry dough rolled out and spread with Dijon mustard.

Layer the prosciutto over the mustard

Layer the grated cheese on top of the prosciutto

Roll tightly from one end of the widest part of the layered dough.

Above is a summary and demonstration on how to keep your appetizer in the freezer until you need to bake and serve it.

You need to freeze this before cooking because you need to slice them thinly and bake it on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart in a 350F degrees oven for about 15-20 minutes.  Cool, then serve - preferably fresh from the oven. (Easier to slice if you freeze it.  Defrost for only 5 minutes or so then slice)

You can order puff pastry sheet or you can make it yourself.