Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Swiss Open Faced Tomato Melt

Very tasty vegetarian open faced sandwich that reminds a bit of a French bread pizza, but the flavors are not Italian.


  • 1 medium onion  sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 (4-6 inch  piece) French baguette, split lengthwise
  • Dijon mustard (to taste)
  • 1 ripe heirloom tomato, sliced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces (4 slices) Emmental cheese
  1. Saute onions in butter until soft; stir in the wine and reduce.
  2. Spread bread halves with Dijon and top with tomato slices.
  3. Cover tomatoes with caramelized onions, salt and black pepper to taste, then cheese slices.
  4. Broil in an oven or toaster oven until cheese melts and is golden brown.
Serves 1-2
Time: 10 minutes

Perch with Creamy Wine Sauce

Simple fish with a creamy wine sauce.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 pound perch fillets (about 3 small pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon Swiss Chasselas wine or other dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Heat butter in saute pan and stir in the Dijon mustard and thyme.
  2. Add fish fillets skin side up and saute for 2 minutes, then turn fish over.
  3. Add  wine to the pan and cook another 2-3  minutes or until fish flakes easily; remove to serving platter.
  4. Add cream to pan and stir until mixed, then spoon around the fish.
  5. Garnish with fresh thyme and lemon slices.
Serves 1-2 (recipe easily doubles for more)
Time to make:  10 minutes tops

Sauteed Eggplant with Miso - Nasu Dengaku

Tender eggplant with a miso type sauce and sesame seeds.


  • 1/4 cup dashi stock
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon  sake
  • 1 tablespoon  oil
  • 2 skinny Japanese eggplants, split and cut in half
  • 2  tablespoons sake mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 2-3 teaspoons sesame seeds


  1. Whisk the dashi, egg yolk, miso, sugar, mirin and sake together in a small bowl.
  2. Place sauce in a small saucepan and cook over  low heat  until it thickens like gravy, stirring constantly.
  3. Heat  the oil in a large skillet and cook eggplant pieces, first cooking cut-side down until they brown nicely, then turning them over, adding the sake-water mix, and  continuing to cook  until they are fork-tender.
  4. Serve covered with the thick sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
4 servings
about 15 minutes total

Shrimp Ramen Soup

Light and healthful soup. Has miso but is less miso-centric than traditional miso soups.


  • 2 1/2 cups dashi stock
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1/4 teaspoon  chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon tamari
  • 2 (3 ounces total) pieces (the way they  pack them) dry ramen  noodles (not the instant ones)
  • 1/4 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot, blanched if you  prefer
  • 1/2 cup room temperature tofu, diced  into  cubes

  1. Whisk the miso, garlic, ginger and tamari into the dashi stock and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook  the noodles a ccording to  package directions and drain;  place into soup  bowls. NOTE: if you are using  raw shrimp,  tuck them under  the noodles so they stay submerged  in the  broth and cook fully while you wait. If you use cooked shrimp, it doesn't really matter where you  put them. But 5-10 minutes under the hot broth will cook the shrimp fine.
  3. Top the noodles  with the rest: shrimp, scallion, mushrooms, carrot and tofu, then pour the boiling broth over all, making sure things get under the broth.
  4. Let sit 5-10 minutes to cool down enough to eat and let the veggies cook a little bit.
Makes 2 servings
Total time: maybe 15  minutes total

Potato Gratin with Apple, Pancetta and Swiss

Alpine style gratin, a little different with the apple.


  • 1 1/2 pounds small waxy red potatoes, thinly sliced 
  • 2 large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced 
  • 4 ounces pancetta ham, browned and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 8 ounces grated Gruyere Swiss cheese, grated (I prefer cave-aged)
  • 8 ounces heavy cream
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into tiny cubes
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Layer potatoes,  apples, and cheese in  a large buttered rectangular baking dish and  season with salt and black pepper.
    3. Pour the cream over all and sprinkle with pancetta, chives, a touch of nutmeg and the tiny butter cubes.
    4. Cover with foil and bake until potatoes are tender (about 90 minutes), then remove foil and bake 15 minutes more.
    5. Let sit 15 minutes or so before serving to set up.
    8 servings
    About 1hr 45 mins total  time

    Cheese Rosti

    Swiss style hash browns--yum!


    • 2 Russet potatoes,  peeled, grated and squeezed dry
    • 1/4 cup finely minced  or grated onion
    • 1/3 cup shredded  imported Swiss cheese
    • salt and  pepper to taste
    • 2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil (depends on pan size really)
    • pinch  paprika and/or fresh thyme sprig for garnish (optional)
    1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet (8  inches is fine, but you can use bigger with a little extra oil)
    2. Sprinkle the potatoes and onion into the pan in a large circle.
    3. Shore  up the sides of the circle with a spatula,  then press it flat with the spatula.
    4. Season t he top with salt and pepper.
    5. Cook on low for about 10  minutes, undisturbed.
    6. Flip the pancake with an extra large pancake spatula, -or- you can  put a stoneware plate in there upside down, press it down and flip the skillet over and slide it back in, but please have strong wrists and don't make a mess or burn yourself  please. 
    7. Sprinkle the browned  side with the cheese and cook on low another 10 minutes.
    8. Slide onto a plate, sprinkle with paprika and thyme, slice and serve.

    Swiss Fried Apples

    I've heard this is a usual alpine breakfast dish. In  Ohio where Amish is very big, we do the same, except the addition of bread might seem  a little different. But with a cinnamon sugar  dusting,  it is quite good (and familiar) and joins well with the apples in the skillet.


    • 2 tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I used granny smiths)
    • 3 tablespoons  butter, separated
    • 1/4 teaspoon  cinnamon
    • 2 pieces white bread,toasted
    • butter and cinnamon sugar (for toast)
    • small drizzle honey,  maybe  1-2 teaspoons


    1. Heat 2 tablespoons  butter in a skillet and add the apples, and cook,  stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until they start to soften, but not all the way.
    2. While they cook, toast the bread and add butter and cinnamon sugar to the toast to make cinnamon toast.
    3. Cut the toast into cubes (I just used  kitchen shears).
    4. After the five minutes are up, stir the toast cubes into the apples along with  that last pat of butter and stir.
    5. Cook another 5 minutes, until the apples  soften and start to brown just a little bit; drizzle with the honey and stir again.

    Serves 2-4
    Total time:  15-20 minutes or so in all.

    Dandelion Salad with Pine Nuts, Goat Cheese and Wild Blueberries

    First person to make cracks about lawn weeds  gets pinched.  ;)
    And  don't use that- really, it has chemicals on it and is quite unhealthy. Use organic from your grocer. That is quite a different thing altogether.


    • 1 bunch organic dandelion greens, thick stems removed
    • 2 cups spring lettuces or mesclun
    • 1/2 cup finely diced ham or pancetta 
    • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
    • 2 to 3 scallions, sliced
    • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
    • 1/4 cup dried wild blueberries
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 1/2 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre), crumbled
    1. Tear greens and lettuces to a manageable size and place in salad bowl.
    2. Brown  the ham or pancetta with the garlic and shallot  just enough to render out some of the fat  in the meat- the pancetta tends to have more.
    3. Add the browned pancetta to the bowl along with the toasted pine nuts, scallions, mushrooms, and blueberries.
    4. Whisk together the vinegar and maple syrup, add the oil in a slow stream.
    5. Season salad with salt and pepper, then gently toss with vinaigrette and top with crumbles of goat cheese.
    Serves 4-5
    Takes about 20 min in all if you don't poke about

    Monday, July 27, 2015


    Stir-fried Japanese noodles


    • 1 pound lean pork loin, thinly sliced thinly 
    • 1/3 cup Japanese soy sauce
    • 1/3 cup rice wine
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 12 ounces udon noodles
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 onion, sliced thin
    • 1 lb napa cabbage or 1 lb savoy cabbage, sliced very thin
    • 3 carrots, grated
    • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
    • 2 scallions, thinly sliced 

    1. Whisk together soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar, until dissolved.
    2. Cook noodles in boiling water until tender, according to package directions, then rinse under cold water and drain.
    3. In a large deep skillet or wok, cook onion in oil for about 3 minutes.
    4. Add the cabbage, carrot and ginger and cook until cabbage is softened, about 3-5 minutes.
    5. Add the pork and cook for 2 minutes more.
    6. Cover the mixture with noodles and pour the sauce over all.
    7. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, the remove the lid and toss the mixture together until it is well combined.
    8. Garnish with chopped scallions, if desired.

    Salad with Ginger-Miso Dressing

    Simple salad to serve with Japanese meals, or anytime.


    • Iceberg lettuce,  chopped
    • Shredded carrots
    • Other ingredients if you prefer, such as chopped tomato, sliced cucumber or sliced fresh mushrooms

    Dressing (about 3/4 cup):

    • 2 tablespoons white miso
    • 2 tablespoons  grated fresh ginger
    • 4 tablespoons  rice vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
    • salt and black  pepper to taste

    1. Whisk together dressing and serve over salad.

    Red Miso Soup

    Quick red miso soup with tofu and scallions.


    • 3 cups water
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons instant  dashi granules
    • 1/3 cup red miso paste
    • 1/3 cup small diced firm tofu
    • 2 scallions, sliced

    4 servings


    1. Dissolve dashi granules  in water and bring to a boil.
    2. Whisk in the red miso paste until it dissolves and soup is hot.
    3. Place diced tofu and scallions in soup bowl and pour soup over.
    4. Serve hot.

    Spicy Edamame with Lemon and Ponzu

    Typical appetizer with a spicy slant.


    • 8 ounces frozen in-shell edamame beans
    • 1 lemon, zest of
    • 1 tablespoon ponzu sauce
    • red pepper flakes (to taste)
    • flaked salt (to taste)

    1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan and add frozen edamame.
    2. Return the water to a boil and  cook 3 minutes, then drain and cool.
    3. Serve edamame drizzled with ponzu and sprinkled with lemon zest, red pepper flakes to taste and flaked salt.
    4. To eat, pull the shells through your teeth, drawing the beans out, and discarding the shell.

    Spicy Gyoza Dipping Sauce

    Dip for the Japanese appetizers with a little bit of a bite.


    • 1/4 cup rice wine
    • 1/4 cup tamari
    • 1/4 teaspoon Nanami  Togarashi pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • 1/8 teaspoon garlic
    • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
    • 1/2  teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
    1. Stir together and use as a dip for gyoza dumplings or shu mai.

    Golden Gate Roll

    Spicy tuna roll with a little bit of an inside out thing going on.


    • 1/2 sheet toasted nori
    • 1/3 cup cooked sushi rice
    • 1 ounce very fresh sashimi-grade tuna
    • 2 tablespoons tobiko (flying fish roe) 
    • 2 pieces peeled English cucumbers, cut into matchsticks 
    • 2 pieces ripe avocados, cut into wedges 
    • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
    • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
    • 1/2 teaspoon nanami togarashi (Japanese ground chili pepper)
    • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste 
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
    • 1 tablespoon grated daikon radish 
    • 1 tablespoon wakame seaweed salad, such as Seaweed Salad
    • 1 tablespoon pickled ginger 

    1. Spread a large square plastic wrap on rolling mat.
    2. Sprinkle plastic with toasted sesame seeds.
    3. Layer sushi rice on plastic so it is about the same size as the nori.
    4. Cover rice with nori (shiny side down).
    5. Mix together mayonnaise with nanami togarashi pepper to taste.
    6. Spread nori with spicy mayo.
    7. Place tuna, tobiko, cucumber, and avocado on mayo so that it fits edge to edge.
    8. Using rolling mat, roll up rice/nori and peel back the plastic wrap as you go.
    9. When you reach the end, firmly press, then slice into serving pieces.
    10. Serve with wasabi paste, soy sauce, grated daikon, seaweed salad and pickled ginger as garnishes, if desired.

    California Tuna Roll

    Traditional California roll made with tuna instead of crab.


    • 1/2 sheet toasted nori
    • 1/3 cup prepared sushi rice
    • 1 ounce sashimi grade tuna, sliced
    • 2-3 pieces peeled English cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
    • 2-3 pieces sliced ripe avocado
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder
    • 1 tablespoon pickled ginger 
    • 1 tablespoon grated daikon radish 
    • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste 
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 

      1. Place toasted nori (shiny side down) on rolling mat.
      2. Evenly spead sushi rice over center of nori.
      3. Mix mayo with wasabi powder and spread over rice.
      4. Place tuna, cucumber and avocado on rice.
      5. Roll up nori using mat, and moisten the farthest edge of exposed nori to form a seal.
      6. Slice into serving pieces.
      7. Serve with pickled ginger (gari), daikon radish, wasabi, and soy sauce, as you prefer. 

      Carrot and Daikon Salad - Kohaku Namasu

      I serve this Japanese salad like a side-dish condiment along with seaweed salad, etc., with sushi rolls and the like.

      • 1 medium carrot, finely grated
      • 1 3-inch piece white daikon radish, finely grated
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
      • 1/2 teaspoon Japanese soy sauce
      • 1/8 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
      • 2 teaspoons sugar

      1. Mix  ingredients together.


      Classic bacon-wrapped livers with a sweet glaze.

      This is a recipe I have been working on for a few years. Normally I don't spend that much time with a recipe, but I have to admit I don't have this appetizer very often.  It is stylized after what I remember Joy Richardson's rumaki tasting like at a Halloween party I attended in 1988. I feel I have gotten very close after several attempts.
      It  makes a fantastic party appetizer for the holidays if you are into retro-type recipes.


      • 20 ounces chicken livers (rinsed and drained)
      • 1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
      • 1/4 cup wine (dry white wine or rice wine)
      • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
      • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
      • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
      • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


      • 1 pound bacon (thin/regular, not thick)
      • Water chestnuts, sliced, 1 can
      • Brown sugar as needed
      • Toothpicks
      • 1/2 cup Teriyaki grilling glaze  (click for recipe)

      1. Stir together marinade and marinate livers overnight.
      2. Wrap bacon around small pieces of chicken liver along with water chestnut slice; secure with a toothpick.
      3. Roll rumaki in brown sugar.
      4. Place rumaki on a rack sprayed with nonstick spray over a rimmed baking sheet (to allow excess liquid to drip away).
      5. Broil rumaki at 450F for 8 minutes then turn over, drain off pan drippings and broil for 8 more minutes.
      6. Baste with teriyaki grilling glaze and broil 2 minutes more.

      Teriyaki Grilling Glaze

      I styled this sauce after a certain sauce that was bottled that my daughter loved. It was thicker than the others, thick sort of like bbq sauce and not runny like soy. I think the other types make a better marinade while this is suited for pouring on grilled items like chicken breast or salmon.


      • 1/2 cup pineapple juice 
      • 1/2 cup soy sauce 
      • 1 tablespoon wine (dry white wine or rice wine) 
      • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice 
      • 3 to 4 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar (or sweeten to taste with regular brown sugar) 
      • 1 scallion, sliced 
      • 1 tablespoon ginger paste 
      • 2 teaspoon garlic paste 
      • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 
      • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 


      1. Whisk together ingredients in a small saucepan. 
      2. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.