Nov 25, 2012

biting nails.

I have not uploaded my blog for such a long time. There has been one main big change. I'm not in Japan anymore, woohoo! I mean, woohoo! for finally being in France, not being away from Japan.

I work for a hotel restaurant in a place called Carantec, just by the sea, full of seafood and beautiful scenery. It's a massive change from Tokyo obviously as it is such a country side here and i know no one, i mean NO ONE!

But this is the situation i exactly wanted and I'm enjoying it, a lot.

Anyway, let's put my life story aside and talk about some new stuff that i have found. Having my blog title as "food o'clock", I am aware of the fact that i should always be talking about food though, I couldn't help myself using this opportunity for hearing others' opinion about it.

Directly speaking, it is about nail biting culture in France. Absolutely no offense, I just wander why it is acceptable to bite nails in public in this country (probably not but all the people who I see don't seem feel guilty doing it), exactly like "slurping noodles" culture which I talked about before on this blog, in Japan. I have found some interesting articles in Internet relating to the fact of many french parents letting their children keep pacifiers longer than the other countries. I wanted to find more information about it and I tried, but all I found in Internet is bull shit like "because of wok"... yea, SURE.
Then people in all over the world should be doing. I don't think French are the only people finding "work is stressful". SO NEW.

Just purely I thought, specially since France is the country with a beautiful historical culture of architecture, food, fashion and many other stuff, when there is such thing which nobody feels great about watching, it could deserve some background or reasonable explanation.

I know that I'm talking about one very stupid topic but when you live in a town with only 2 bars and 2 supermarkets which close 3 hours for lunch break in the afternoon, people could go crazy and start wandering about some small small stuff that don't save the world.

Mar 30, 2012

looking for a black dress.

I've been talking more about wine lately. have been also cooking too, I even did my first food event 2 weeks ago but I was too busy to take pictures and all. Had a lot of thoughts through it so would like to talk about it soon or later.

Last night, I met, really "my type of wine". There are many "my type of wines" in fact, but it was so perfect, because it was exactly what i wanted to drink at that moment. It was after busy night at work, had nice liver pate, roasted bamboo shoot and olives left on the table. We wanted a bottle with full of red fruit, and some earthiness. These key words lead to me "biologic"and "blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir". It seems too easy nowdays since biologic wines have been so trendy especially in Japan, but have never been spotted so perfectly before with those words before.

Vin de Table Rouge Les Milans 2010 by Domaine Vincent Tricot

For me, it is like a black simple dress, it seems to be in every shop but you can't find the right design with the right colour at the right price. Your friends keep bringing you and say"how about this one?" but they don't get it because you're the only one who knows what you want.

But this time, the sommelier knew. In the restaurant where we went last night doesn't have wine list, so it is totally up to them to catch what the customer feels like and choose from what they know and have in their mind. It is a little risky but it is true pleasure when you make your customer say "ah this is exactly what I wanted". I guess I can say she did it with me last night.

Well, anyway this young wine maker "Vincent Tricot" were making wine in south of France for 11 years but he moved to Auvergne where it can't be more than VDQS due to conservative laws by INAO despite of so much potential. This wine is one of his cheap ends but with meal like cold meat or even with white fish fritters, it doesn't disturb the flavour of you meal yet it still stands out and gives more pleasure to your table with its juiciness and earthiness.

Talking about this make me want to taste this again. Hey it was a good one, but not THAT good you know. I have started to think, it is because it was so juicy. hmm maybe I perhaps have a little hangover then?

Gotta run now, another weekend ahead of us.

Mar 26, 2012

film and red wine.

Yes I like to bring a bottle of wine to cinemas. Red wines and cinemas... they always should be together and discussing about the film with your friends that you've watched over nice dinner.

hmm it was a perfect bottle of wine while watching "melancholia" at cinema; calm and silky tannin, full of black berries and vanilla oak flavours.  If I was to have this with food then it would be rare grilled tenderloin beed steak.

An amazing film, beautiful wine, great dinner with the perfect company.

can't say more, I guess I don't need to.

Feb 29, 2012

chi-laxing meal.

It's been a while, I know.

Since the last post that i updated, there have been many changes. I quit my office job and I finally started my new carrier in cooking, which has made me realize anew that there is so much to learn. Also, as well as with all the other fields than cooking, there are many types of humans there. Those who studied cooking at school when there were young and they have been cooking all their life, or those who had totally different lives before, having weekends off like everybody else, but decided to leave them all and jumped into this hard working cooking industry. Those who don't even want to go into the kitchen when they are not woking or those who till love to cook for others anytime, anyday.

Apparently, I am the latter so far. Perhaps it is because I'm not a proper chef yet but I still really don't mind (actually love) cooking for my people. I believe there are other pleasures that we can't have in professional cookings and that always remind me why I left my easy life with good salary and many holidays and started my new life.

Anyway so, here is the meal that I made for my best friend.

Chicken Drum Sticks and Vegetables stewed in Tomatoes,
Parsley Buttered Fusilli with Parmesan on the side.

Marinated Carrots with Green Herb Salad.

Easy and filling, but nice and healthy home cooked meal.

Salt chickens and pan fry them with chopped garlic, chill and sliced onions, just to give a little crisp to the skin, then add vegetables (this time I used egg plants, red paprikas and mushrooms), add some fresh tomatoes and pour white wine into the pan, then canned tomatoes. Used some miso for its saltiness this time and also to give deepness, and always a couple leaves laurier for the smell as well as some honey for the natural sweetness. Let it cook till it gets boiled down, removing the harshness at the same time.

Cook pasta and just before they is ready, take some boiling water and add them into your chicken. After draining your pasta, put them back to your pot then immediately add butter, let it all melt then add Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

For Marinated Carrots, cut carrots into fine stripes, then marinate them with white wine vinegar, white mustard, cumin powder, honey and salt. Before serving, add chopped parsley and serve them on green herb salad lightly dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Now it's all done and ready to eat. I did open a bottle of super market bottle of Chablis to eat with though.

After filling ourselves up, we watched "Paris" by Cedric Klapisch. It was silently beautiful with french humor and dramatic french music. I indeed enjoyed my Sunday night with a great company.

Yes yes, I still do love cooking, and yes yes, I like to see the smiles on my people.

Jul 28, 2011

talking about fruit.

Have you ever had a perfectly ripe mango or peach, picked from the tree? You bite into its soft flesh, sweet juice drips down your chin, living with flavor. The fragrance of a freshly cut cantaloupe is enough to stimulate salivary glands, preparing the mouth to marry with splendid taste. The body's reaction to fruit does not stop in the mouth, but continues as the digestive system accepts a food filled with is compounded with vitamins, minerals, water-soluble proteins, enzymes and trace elements.

I would like to point it out here is from all those glorious nutrition that fruit contains, I think "enzymes" is still under rated by many people.

Enzymes are needed for the digestive system to work. They are necessary to break down food particles so they can be utilized for energy. The human body makes approximately 22 different digestive enzymes which are capable of digesting carbohydrates, protein and fats. Raw vegetables and raw fruit are rich sources of enzymes.

Especially because all of us loose our ability to produce concentrated digestive enzymes as we grow older, it is important to eat fruit for your beauty, wight control and of course for your health.  However, to eat WHEN is even more important.

Have you ever experienced burping or getting stomach ache after eating fruit before?
It is because you ate fruit after eating something else like as a dessert.
As fruit contains a lot of enzymes, they only take about 30 mins to get delivered to your stomach while usual meals take about 2-4 hours. So when you eat fruit after something, they get stuck in your body and it will create ruminal fermentation. In this way, you're wasting the precious enzymes!

It is definitely much more beneficial to eat fruit before eating, specially for breakfast.
A significant fraction of the human body is water and living water that fruit contains helps you to detoxicate your body.

Also, many people tend to think that fruit contains much sugar and it's not good for diet and may cause diabetes but this is wrong;
White sugar and fruit sugar are totally different, white sugar increases blood glucose levels as it gets assimilated rapidly by intestine wall and it required much insulin to deliver sugar in the blood to each cells, but with fruit sugar, it is much more complex and it does not require insulin. Eating fruit correctly actually helps to decrease blood glucose level.

To eat fruit correctly;
  • Eat it when your stomach is empty
  • Eat them raw (The enzymes are destroyed by heat).

Of course there is nothing wrong is having an apple tart after meal with your cup of tea, or chocolate banana crepe with your espresso. I just thought I should share this fact that eating fruit at the right moment can help your skin conditions, weight control, blood glucose level control etc etc.

To always enjoy good food and drinks, you need to be healthy, right?

Jun 30, 2011

Marramiero Altare Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 05

When you think of Trebbiano (also known as Ugni Blanc in France), it is refreshing, clean fruit such as muscut with slightly bitter finish and I would normaly consider this grape as vin de table as it is known for high volume in the vineyards and doesn't have a reputation for producing dynamic wines.

This wine maker Marramiero has become one of the best wine makers in Abruzzo with over 100 year history in its land of Pescara. With its Altare series, it will blow away your image of Trebbiano.
Its flavour is intense, interfusion of  reminiscence of citrus fruit, nuts and spices with long finish and colour of  luminous gold.

I personally think it would match perfect with pistachio cream sauce ravioli filled with pork and caramelised onions, or fresh chevre cheese such as Sainte Maure.

I've started drooling. Let's try to cook them soon...!

Jun 29, 2011

Chicken Chicken Chicken

Our friends of mine got us 2 kilos of chicken thigh. Apparently her friend works for a Yakitori restaurant and she gets so much of them for free. It's always great to have friends like that (hair dresser, nailist or doctor...).

Anyway, I was quite tired from not having enough sleep as my best friend got me a nice bottle of Beaujoulais (will upload about this wine later.) last night for me handing in my resignation to my boss yesterday (yay!) and we stayed up till 4. So, I didn't feel like cooking anything too complicated for my dinner.

Easy, not technical and something you can leave it on hear for a while... and with chicken.

- Chicken Thigh cooked with White Wine.

Throw a clove of Garlic and finely chopped chili into olive oil on small heat and leave them till the oil starts having the beautiful garlicky smell.
Take out only the garlic and throw roughly chopped onions. After pan fry the onions for 3 mins, add chopped chicken thigh (skins underneath first) then pour generous amount of white wine and place randomly chopped cabbage, tomatoes and mushrooms on the chicken.
Put the lid and let it simmer for 5 mins .
Take out the scum and add dried herb (Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, whatever you like), a cube of vegetable stock and salt, then put the lid back again and leave it for 15 to 20 mins on low heat.

Carrot Salad:

Dried Raisin,
Spring Onion,
Ginger Juice,
White Pepper, 

I used Spring Onions (only the green part) as I didn't have Parsley but it worked out very well!

Let's have a glass of white with it, shall we? 
(I thought of this wine: Pieropan Soave Classico)