Archives for the month of: October, 2011

We invited our good friend Reynaldo over for dinner Sunday night. Reynaldo ate four plates of this clam pasta.
Chinese clams are sweet and delicious. The secret is not to cook them too long, as they will shrink and get a bit rubbery. For the live clams, we get them from Jiashan wet market and the address is 328 Jianguo lu near Taiyuan lu. 嘉善菜场, 建国西路328号近太原路。Happy cooking!

1 pound live round clams
1 pound live razor clams
8 medium ripe red tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons good olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 package spaghetti
Parmigiano Reggiano
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Wash the clams with plenty of water, drain and set aside. Discard any opened clams.

In a medium sauce pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat, throw in the onions and saute until translucent. Add the tomatoes, half of the garlic then turn heat down to a simmer. Add salt & pepper to taste and a pinch of sugar if the sauce is a bit acidic. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

In the mean time, boil spaghetti until al dente according to package direction. Drain and set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add in the clams, toss and season with salt & pepper. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 2-3 minutes. Dish the clams into a large bowl.

In the same saute pan, add the cooked pasta, tomato sauce, clams, about a half cup of clam juice from the clam bowl and toss to coat. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

2 ripe red tomatoes
10 leaves Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 sheet nori (seaweed)
1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1/8 lemon
Sea salt

Cut the tomato in quarters. With a small spoon, scoop out the pulp and place them on a dish.

Cut the nori in thin strips. Sprinkle them over the tomato pulp.

Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the plate. Place flat-leaf parsley on top, squeeze lemon juice, season with sea salt and serve immediately.

2 cups lobster meat
1/2 cup mayonnaise (we like the Japanese brand Kewpie)
1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 stalks Chinese celery, finely diced
1 avocado, diced
1/3 cup scallion, finely chopped
2 leaves tarragon, finely minced
Juice of a half lemon
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the lobster in the water then turn heat down to medium. Cover and cook until lobster is just cooked through, about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your lobster. For a 5 pound lobster, we cooked it for 12 minutes. Transfer the lobster to the sink to cool. Once the lobster is cooled, use a hammer to crack the shell and remove lobster meat. Cut lobster meat into large chunks.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the mayonnaise with lemon juice, scallion, tarragon, bell peppers and celery. Add salt & pepper to taste. Then carefully fold in the lobster meat and avocado. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Note: the water you cooked the lobster in can be reduced down to about 1/3. It’s great to use the next day as a shellfish pasta sauce base, lobster or shrimp bisque, for rice dishes, paella or risotto. Happy Cooking!

We see some really great figs around in Shanghai. Near us at the line 1 Hengshan lu exit always stands a fig lady with her basket of ripen figs in the late afternoons. She’s sweet and fair on her price, about 10RMB for 6 figs ($1.50). This is an easy to make recipe. And you’ll have a delicious and healthy salad in no time. Happy Cooking!

2 ripen figs
8 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup loosely packed radish sprouts
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 shallot, finely minced
Juice of 1/8 lemon
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the tomatoes and figs into quarters. Finely mince the 1/2 shallot. Press the minced shallot with the side of your knife to form kind of a paste. Reserve 1/4 of a fig for the dressing.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, rice wine vinegar, shallot, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Squeeze the 1/4 fig into the dressing and whisk until incorporated. This adds a sweetness to the dressing.

Dress the tomatoes, figs and radish sprouts to your liking and serve immediately.

Often when we pick up avocados from the Avocado Lady, the avocados are firm-ripe, not soft ripened that can be eaten right away. These firm-ripe avocados are perfect for making avocado fries. If you have a left over baguette, leave it in the brown paper bag and let it harden. When hard enough, crumble the baguette, season the bread crumbs as you like with dry herbs and keep in a jar.

2 firm-ripe avocados
1/4 cup rice flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup homemade bread crumbs
1/2 lemon
Canola or peanut oil for frying
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon milk. Prepare the rice flour, egg mixture and bread crumbs in 3 separate shallow dishes.

Half the avocado, twist open and remove the pit. Remove the avocado with a large spoon and slice each half into 3-4 wedges. Place avocado wedges on a plate and squeeze lemon juice over them. The lemon juice helps the avocado from turning color but we do this so that the salt & pepper will adhere. Sprinkle with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper on all sides.

Dip the avocado first in rice flour, shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then coat in bread crumbs. Place the coated avocado wedges in a single layer on a plate.

In a medium pot, heat canola or peanut oil on medium-high heat. Test the oil by dipping a single chopstick into the hot oil. When the chopstick sizzles with bubbles rising up to the oil surface, the oil is ready for deep frying. Fry the avocado 3-4 wedges at a time until deep golden brown, about 30-45 seconds. Transfer avocado to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli:

1 roasted red pepper (jar type), chopped
6 tablespoons mayonnaise (we like Japanese brand Kewpie)
1/2 teaspoon Dean & Deluca dried fine herbs (or thyme, tarragon and parsley)
Pinch dried chervil
Squeeze of lemon
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small mixing bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, chopped roasted red pepper, dried herbs, squeeze of lemon and salt & pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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