An evening of random experimenta, to which, luckily, I subjected only myself. Not hugely successful, but you live and learn. Several (clearly not all) of the below were attempts to mimic stuff Jinmyo has posted on at various points:
1. Frozen potstickers from Chinatown. Scrumptious. Came in a huge bag so now I can have junk food at home any time I want.
2. Shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted from dried, brushed with chiu chow chilli oil and grilled. (I didn't have the hua gu that Jin referenced so I kept them whole.) Seemed to go from chewy (despite long period of reconstitution) to dried out without a sweet point in between. Damn.
3. Sort of attempted baby nasu dengaku. Some of those tiny Asian eggplant, sliced in half, brushed with sesame oil and grilled; then the cut half spread with a paste of miso, sake and sugar and grilled again. Not a complete failure but the little bastards shrivelled up somewhat by the time they were soft, and ended up rather dry. Maybe need to precook? Or give up even trying to do with baby aubergines? I liked the idea of working this into a kind of finger food.
4. Grilled polenta with parma ham and new season evoo. And a couple of glasses of red wine. I managed not to screw this one up. Inspired by prosciutto thread.
5. Dashi games, one. Soup made with soaking liquor from shiitakes, dashi, sake, soy sauce, salt, white pepper, reduced with a couple of thinkly sliced mushrooms in. And a last-minute kick of Marie Sharp's chilli sauce. Not bad, presumably with better mushrooms and longer soaking would have worked better.
6. Dashi games, two. Chawanmushi. Problem: despite several opportunties, forgot to buy crab meat I had intended to incorporate in this. In last-ditch bid, tried to persuade the Yo! Sushi round the corner to sell me a small quanity, but they refused. Ah, they suck anyway. Had plain with a little soy and scallion. Not bad, but I think I might have preferred a poached egg. Looked extremely pretty.
That'll do for tonight. I note, incidentally, very mild incidence of CSR symptoms, but these could be psychosomatic.
Edited by Kikujiro, 04 January 2003 - 04:54 PM.