Corn Pancakes And A Sweet Treat

September 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s corn harvest time on Prince Edward Island and HG and BSK are shucking and nibbling. So fresh and sweet is this corn that no butter is needed. Just a sprinkle of kosher salt. BSK, the official corn cook, always makes sure we have some extra ears for morning time corn pancakes.

HG, official pancake cook, mixes flour, two beaten eggs, a bit of vegetable oil, a teaspoon of baking powder and the shucked kernels. HG fries the pancakes in grape seed oil and serves them with Canadian maple syrup. Makes breakfast a meal to remember.

And, here’s a sweet dessert idea. Butter tarts (only available in Canada, for some obscure reason) resemble mini pecan pies (but better crust and less sweet). The perfect end to dinner is a butter tart topped with vanilla ice cream.

Festive Farewell

September 9th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

Earlier in the month SJ slipped off the fair Island of Prince Edward, so a festive sea send off was in order. The family started with shucked South Lake oysters (best in the world, better than the best of France, Britain and Ireland). Noel and Yossi M., the illustrious Colorado equestrian experts, joined the HG group and tasted their first oyster. Bravely, they got them down and signaled polite approval.

Earlier in the day, SJ and Exquisite Maiko motored to nearby Naufrage and received a shopping bag full of screamingly fresh mackerel from a commercial fishing boat (typical of PEI, there was no charge).

The Victims!

Exquisite Maiko did delightful things with the mackerel. First, there was sashimi with ginger, scallions and nori, Then, slivers of vinegar marinated mackerel with ginger. These dishes highlighted EM’s superb knife skills and showcased just how those skills actually effect the taste, and not just the presentation, of a dish. Meanwhile, two live lobsters were boiled quickly and took their place on the table with a big bowl of EM’s fried rice (rice with eggs, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and ham).

EM air dried some mackerel fillets, After bathing the mackerel in a special marinade for a few days EM will grill the fish. HG can hardly wait.

Another Winner From Exquisite Maiko

September 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Here’s one of HG’s favorite salads, an excellent accompaniment to sauteed or grilled fish. Exquisite Maiko plunges thin rice noodles (vermicelli) into boiling water. When done (it only takes a few minutes) they go into a colander, are doused with cold water and drained. Into a big bowl they go with lots of thin slivers of black forest ham, cucumber and scallion. EM makes a dozen very thin egg crepes and adds slivers of them to the salad. This is beyond HG’s kitchen skills so HG just cooks some scrambled eggs until very firm and adds bits of them — Lacks EM’s elegance but tastes good.

The dressing is a mix of vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil. Of course you want to add salt and pepper to taste. HG likes a bit of heat via sriracha or sambal oelek, two fiery Asian staples.

Birthday Party At Rick’s

September 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

HG doesn’t fancy big time restaurant dining on Prince Edward Island (though there are a few places that deserve the much abused descriptive “gourmet”). HG prefers raffish, casual places like Rick’s Fish N’ Chips and Seafood Restaurant a hundred yards from the shores of beautiful St. Peter’s Bay. And that’s where the HG famille gathered for an Exquisite Maiko birthday dinner. Daughter LR is off to Italy with family; SJ is tending to biz in New York. HG daughter Victoria F. is running her trio of Manhattan eateries. Thankfully, Irene didn’t bite any of them. So, the birthday party was only a foursome, HG, BSK, EM and adorable grandson Haru.

The group toasted the birthday girl with the surprisingly good house white wine. Haru clicked his milk glass happily and shouted “Kampai!! (a hearty Japanese “cheers”). Then some joyous feasting: well chilled, delicious Colville Bay oysters; Cajun mussels (rolled in a cayenne and garlic spiced batter and deep fried); juicy fried haddock, local french fries and onion rings plus plenty of home style cole slaw. Haru opted for a non seafood menu: hot dogs (with lots of ketchup) and french fries (with lots of ketchup). Dessert was vanilla almond-caramel ice cream at home with a blazing sunset over the ocean.

Much fun indeed.

Curry: A Japanese Comfort Food

September 1st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Curry is usually associated with Indian cuisine. HG never thought about it in connection with Japan. Yet, curry is a staple Japanese dish. A true comfort dish most often served at home (of course there are plenty of great curry shops in Japan — like ramen, curry is one of the basics of Japan’s superior fast-food culture).

HG relishes the chicken curry prepared by Daughter In Law Exquisite Maiko. Savory. Comforting. Hearty. EM’s Japanese version isn’t burn-your-mouth stuff. If you want some vindaloo heat just add cayenne pepper to taste.

Here’s how EM does it (proportions are vague — you’ll have to figure it out by the trial and error method). EM puts two big onions and a big carrot into a food processor and chops it fine. This gets a long, long saute in butter and garlic. Then mushrooms, red peppers, zucchini, carrots, onions, potatoes (any anything else that’s in the vegetable bin) are chopped coarsely. All of this (plus a goodly amount of chicken thighs) are added to the butter and garlic semi-puree. It’s all doused with chicken broth and simmered for an hour.

After that cooking period, EM adds a package of Japanese curry sauce (S&B Golden Curry Sauce is a good brand and you can find it at Whole Foods or at any reasonable Asian market) and all is simmered for an additional 15 minutes. The curry mix is more like a roux so make sure that it breaks apart. At the very end EM adds some soy sauce and Japanese Bulldog Sauce (similar to Chinese hoisin) is stirred in. Served with white rice, chopped scallions and (HG’s choice) Indian mango pickles. Down home delight.