Don't know about you, but we've just finished doing the dishes of our New Year's dinner. Nothing fancy mind you, just me and the Missus.
I hope everyone had a most happy New Year!
Like most we've, well I've had a routine on New Year's Eve......I get up early then hit Nijiya, Marukai, and maybe Mitsuwa to see what was going on, something I've done just about every year since our first New Year post. As I've noted over the last couple of years, the variety and quantity of Osechi-ryori, the traditional Japanese New Year dishes has flagged. I'm sure that it will never totally disappear, but what's available has surely gone down over the last couple of years as old traditions fade and new ones replace them.
This year I had a shopping companion....the biggest change in our household over the last year is that the Missus has taken an interest in cooking and shopping......so it was great having a companion when browsing the aisles.
Though there were many temptations....
We decided not to do the time consuming typical Japanese dishes I'd usually make for New Year. Instead, we bought something I don't recall seeing at Marukai......some really nice Argentinian Red Shrimp...not the freezer burnt stuff from TJ's, but some really nice, almost sashimi grade stuff.
I ended up doing a simple salt bake.......
This was so simple. you didn't even season the shrimp.....just make sure not to overcook them. They go really quickly....like 8 minutes over a hot bed of salt in 500 degree oven.
The Missus was in heaven. We paired this with a shaved kale salad, I made some three oil noodles, and also a dish that had been created a couple of days before. Late the previous week, the Missus just wanted to eat fish each day.....so She kind of threw down the gauntlet so to speak and I had to come up with three different fish dishes on three consecutive days....I call it pulling a dish out of my rear end...so to speak. Anyway, one of the winners was a pan fried fish with a Oyster Sauce-Chinkiang Black Vinegar-Honey Glaze on top of mui bok choi.
The flavors were right in the Missus' Northern Chinese flavor ballpark - sour-salty-sweet.....
For dinner we picked up JohnL and headed to our favorite little neighborhood sushi joint.
Loved the "two way ika"......
It was a nice low-keyed evening. The Missus and I almost never go out on the eve, but decided that this would be a perfect new year eve curveball.......and we really enjoyed it.
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Nothing fancy for New Year morning....well, at first glance it would seem so. The Missus had challenged me with coming up with zhōu like we had at Shanghai No.1. So this meant starting the night before....I changed up my porridge technique and soaked the rice the previous evening. The next morning while I got the zhōu started, I warmed some water and soaked 2 ounces of dried scallop. I shredded the scallop and added the strained soaking liquid to the porridge. Then made a very Taiwanese thin omelete of egg and prevserved turnip. After about an hour and a half, the porridge looked close....I added more water and turned up the heat to allow for the total breakdown of the rice....giving it an almost luxurious texture.....
Dried scallop congee.....
Of course I'm of Japanese ancestry, so I needed to have soba as my meal to enter the new year - toshi-koshi soba. I went with a version of Sansai Soba......of course I needed to have some egg with it, right?
Dinner was the other half of the Argentinian shrimp....salt baked of course.
Some salad, oven-blasted cauliflower, and another item whose recipe is coming up soon. Porcini crusted ono, with seared truffled polenta, and a porcini-cremini sauce.
I hope you all had a great New Year, and a most delici-yoso 2013!
Thanks for dropping by!