Tabletop Dinner for Two☆ #1

Filed under:Crockpot/Crockette,Seafood,Tabletop Dinner for Two☆,Tofu — posted by IOjaw on January 31, 2006 @ 11:06 pm

I often sing the praises of one of my favorite household appliances around this time every year, the kotatsu or table heater. Tonight I’ll show one of the advantages of having such a convenient and energy saving item in the house. This recipe is one variation on a very popular wintertime dish in Japan:

Kani (Crab) Nabe for Two

Kani Nabe

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Nabe Dashi

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3 cups water
1 ½ pieces dashi konbu (a variety of seaweed) – break as needed

Dashi Konbu

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6 pieces musubi konbu (another variety of seaweed)

Musubi Konbu

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1/3 cup katsuo dashi (liquid type)

Katsuo Dashi and Mirin

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1 tablespoon mirin
½ teaspoon minced ginger


Kani Nabe Platter

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Crab legs (halved)
Shungiku (spring chrysanthemum stems) – cut into large chunks
Nametake mushrooms
Shironegi (leek) – cut into 1 inch pieces
1 block Shimadofu (tofu) – cubed
Chinese cabbage – cut into large chunks

Other Items Needed

Nabe Pot

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1 ceramic nabe pot with lid
1 crockette (mini-slow cooker)
1 portable tabletop butane burner

I began in an unconventional way by using a crockette (mini-slow cooker) to prepare the dashi. I did this for three reasons:

• Hubby’s schedule is so spontaneous; we have a hard time setting specific timetables for meals.
• It’s my belief that stocks taste better when given lengthy steeping periods.
• I don’t like having to stand over or repeatedly check the stove while the stock is steeping.

Place the water, dashi conbu, and musubi conbu in the crockette and cover.
After four hours remove two-thirds of the dashi conbu. Leave the remaining one-third for additional flavor.
Stir in katsuo dashi, mirin, and ginger. Cover and let continue to cook for at least another four hours.

You can prepare the platter at your convenience and place in the refrigerator, if needed. I usually start preparations approximately one-half hour prior to setting table for dinner.

Tabletop Dinner for Two

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At dinnertime, prepare the table with the tabletop burner, eating utensils, and individual bowls.
Place the platter on the table.
Transfer two-thirds of dashi and musubi conbu to the nabe pot. Place the pot on the tabletop burner and add small portions of each item of the platter. Cover with the nabe pot lid and let come to a low boil. (Veggies are done when slightly soft to the touch. Crab is done when red in color.)

Serve cooked items combined in individual bowls accompanied by a small amount of dashi liquid.

After dinner, strain any remaining dashi liquid into a container. Remove the final one-third dashi konbu from the crockette. Add the crockette liquid to the container and store in refrigerator or freezer to use as starter dashi for the next time you prepare nabe.

Food Art #19r

Filed under:Artistic Food Endeavors on the Web☆ — posted by IOjaw on January 29, 2006 @ 7:52 pm

I don’t know about you, but the subject of this section of Valentine food art ideas is a favorite of mine, pizza – hot or cold:

Here is a very good recipe for a valentine pizza from scratch.

Year of the Dog

Filed under:Various Odds & Ends — posted by IOjaw on January 28, 2006 @ 6:41 pm

It’s Chinese New Year’s Eve here. This marks the beginning of the Chinese lunar Year of the Dog.

Slashfood has a good quickie list of some of the symboliism of the food involved with the holiday.

This site provides some further information of the symbolism of the food of New Years.

And here’s a site that discusses the traditional celebration of the Chinese New Year.

Have a Happy New Year of the Dog!!!

Food Art #18

Filed under:Artistic Food Endeavors on the Web☆ — posted by IOjaw on January 27, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

Here are some more unusual heart and flower ideas for that special someone, sushi style that is:

This is a good breafast idea for those who like eggs and fish roe for breakfast. Further info, in Japanese, can be found here.

For the minimalist, a single flower might be the answer. Here is more information.

Valentine Fast Food

Filed under:Fast Food☆ — posted by IOjaw on January 26, 2006 @ 9:40 pm

Every once in a while, I (like most other people) just get a craving for “fast food”. When my hubby came back with the meal, he brought with him a new item being offered by one of the chains. The box, a cute Valentine’s “fast food” idea,

Valentine Shrimp Burger Box

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was much more charming than the actual food item itself.

Shrimp Burger

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Food Art #17

Filed under:Artistic Food Endeavors on the Web☆ — posted by IOjaw on January 25, 2006 @ 8:50 pm

Does that special someone have allergies?  Don’t let that stop you from presenting a beautiful bouquet.

Just Can’t Get Enough?

Filed under:Various Odds & Ends — posted by IOjaw on January 21, 2006 @ 6:20 pm

Sushi, the craze has hit the palates of many a foodie.  Well, here are two sites that can help you keep those lingering memories of the tasty tidbits alive:

I first saw this site’s ( unusual USB take on sushi on Slashfood.

These projects showed up on BoingBoing,via Paper Forest. (Also check out the August and October 2005 archives for more paper food art projects.)


Guest Foodie Site #5

Filed under:Guest Foodie Sites☆ — posted by IOjaw on January 20, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

Even though the info says the project has been around since 2000, I just ran across this most unusal cooking video site that boasts a very unique host chef, Tako.

Local Cooking Gadgets

Filed under:Various Odds & Ends — posted by IOjaw on January 19, 2006 @ 6:16 pm

Multi-Purpose Toaster

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I know that sandwich toasters and waffle irons aren’t uncommon.  But, if you look closely at this local appliance, which has interchangable plates, the third item it is used for is toasting rice balls (onigiri).

A Ripley Candidate for Grossest Recipe Ever Seen!!!

Filed under:Various Odds & Ends — posted by IOjaw on January 17, 2006 @ 12:35 pm

I admit I’m a novice at world cuisine. And I’m sure there are many “edible” things that I could never imagine (check out the creative guest sites category). But the one posted on the site below has to be the most unbelievable recipe I’ve run across yet.

Monday, November 14, 2005 Recipe . (You need to scroll down a little to reach the entry.) Thank you Sara for reminding us not to take our daily eats for granted!

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