Sunday, November 05, 2006

3-day weekend

Friday, was a holiday, Bunka no hi (Culture Day), we were I was rudely awakened by a little earthquake. Although it was only a "2" where we were, it was enough to wake me up, not enough to wake up Satoshi though...

Saturday, I whipped up some scones for breakfast with a recipe that I used and posted about here. They came out better this time, I think the baking powder was fresher... After breakfast, Satoshi had his German language class and I had an English lesson.

We met in Umeda for lunch and shopped at the gourmet supermarket. I found this cute candy made by Cocoa Deli, a candy maker in England.

It looks like an ice cream bar, but is actually a truffle on a stick. This one was called cookies and cream and had vanilla and chocolate layers with crunchy chocolate crunchies inside. Very rich and creamy.

We then went to a shopping mall in Kawanishi and found these beautiful kiku (chrysanthemums).

About this time of year, there are a lot of displays and exhibitions, most are prize winning and beautiful!

This one was as tall as Satoshi!

This chrysanthemum was used in a bonsai display.

Sunday's dinner: Barolo and mushroom risotto and steak pizzaiola, I got the recipes out of "The Silver Spoon". I was surprised at how easy both were to make.

Here are the recipes: Barolo and Mushroom Risotto (Risotto al Barolo con funghi)--Serves 4

1 3/4 cups dried mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fresh rosemary sprig, finely chopped
1 fresh sage sprig, finely chopped
1 fresh basil sprig, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
about 6 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, finely chopped
2 cups risotto rice
scant 1 cup Barolo
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
salt and pepper

Place the mushrooms in a bowl, add hot water to cover and let soak for 20 minutes, then drain and squeeze out.
Melt the butter with the oil in another pan, add the garlic, onion, rosemary, sage and basil and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil.
Stir the parsley and rice into the pan of vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains are coated in fat.
Sprinkle in the wine and cook until it has evaporated.
Add a ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed.
Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring until each addition has been absorbed. This will take 18-20 minutes.
When the rice is tender, sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.

NOTES: I cut this recipe in half, also I didn't use as much butter and oil as the recipe called for. I didn't have Barolo, which is supposedly a very expensive Italian wine, so I used Japanese sake. Also, I couldn't find vegetable stock and didn't have time to make it, but found chicken stock, so I used that instead. I would also use a little less rosemary as it kind of overpowered the taste of the risotto.

Steak Pizzaiola (Bistecche Alla Pizzaiola) Serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves
4 round steaks
5 ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
pinch of dried oregano
salt and pepper

Heat the oil and butter in a skillet, add the garlic and cook until it turns brown, then remove and discard it.
Add the steaks on the skillet and cook on high heat for 1 minute on each side.
Season with salt and pepper, transer to a plate and keep warm.
Add the tomatoes and oregano to the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened and pulpy.
Return the steaks to the skillet and cook until done to your liking.

NOTES: Since my grill pan has grooves in it, I kind of reversed how I cooked everything. First I put the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and 1 tablespoon of olive oil with no butter into a little saute pot and cooked it for a bit. Then grilled the steak on my grill pan and then added the tomatoes onto the grill pan at the last minute.

Dessert was the chocolate covered almonds and mac nuts which I posted about here.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!


Anonymous said...

That's my kind of weekend, Kat!

I wish I could have been there to join you!

K and S said...

Thanks Ivonne,

Will be waiting for your visit! :)

Take care.


Anonymous said...

The risotto looks fabulous, but what on earth is barolo?

K and S said...

Thanks Ellie,

From what I got off the web, Barolo is a type of Italian wine, but didn't have it, so I just used Japanese cooking wine.

Hope you are doing fine!