A Happy Bunch of Guinea Pigs 開心的白老鼠

Neither Rena nor I have been on the ski slopes for many years after moving back to Taiwan. In March, we finally made it to a ski resort in central Japan. (we missed the quake by two days) So, we skied with these "people" for three days, but didn't really get to know each other until we landed back in Taipei. Somehow, chitchat topics shifted to food and restaurant discussions, and people's face LIT UP. Anyway, a few new Facebook friends were added at the luggage pickup. In early April, I asked if anyone is interested in being guinea pigs (天竺鼠, "白老鼠" 的意思) for my new cooking class recipe, and voila all these people showed up at our house for dinner. "You cook, and we'll pay for ingredients." Sure sounded like a good deal to me.

我和 Rena 在搬回台灣後都沒有再去滑雪過。三月時,我們終於跟到了一個滑雪團去了日本苗場, (好險沒遇到 311) 和一群同學們滑了三天,但三天都沒有好好認識新朋友。反而是飛機降落後在機艙內談到美食,突然大家就熟起來了,在等行李時大夥兒很快互相交換了 FB 的帳號。四月初, 因為料理課的新菜單需要做些練習,我隨興問了有誰有興趣當白老鼠,試試我的新菜單,很迅速的就邀到六個滑雪的朋友,"你負責料理,我們付食材",那有甚麼問題!

Dinner Menu for 30 Apr. 2011:

  • Appetizer:
    Seared Scallop Arugula Salad
    Orange & Balsamic Vinaigrette
    香煎干貝芝麻葉沙拉, 配香橙 & 巴薩米克油醋
  • Main Course:
    One-sided Seared Salmon
    Leeks with Beurre Blanc
    生煎鮭魚 佐甜蔥 & 法式奶油醬汁
  • Dessert:
    Crepes with Fresh Fruit & Vanilla Ice Cream
    Nutella Filling and Raspberry Syrup
    法式可麗餅, 搭配新鮮水果, 榛果巧克力醬 & 覆盆子糖漿

I've made scallops a few times before, but can't say I got it down to repeatable steps. Since I am going to be teaching this to students, I've referenced a few more recipes, even videos from Gordan Ramsay and Ming Tsai. The key is really high quality scallops patted dry and hot skillet. Rena and I both love Arugula, and so I wanted to include that in the dish. Last year, I found a herb supplier in a local traditional market, so I no longer buy my herbs from over-priced high-end super markets. (gosh I really hated paying US$3 for a small bunch of chives) The scallops I used were the frozen packs from Costco, originated in Nantucket or somewhere in New England. Because of all the homework I did, this appetizer turned out well tonight, better than the scallops we had at Jean Georges Shanghai. Definitely ready

之前有做過幾次煎干貝,但都沒有把步驟熟練。既然這次是要教學生,我上網參考了幾個不同的食譜,也參考了地獄廚房主廚 Gordan Ramsay 的 Youtube 影片。看來訣竅是要用高品質的干貝,下鍋前先充分擦乾,還有無敵熱的平底鍋。我和 Rena 都很喜歡芝麻葉,於是也想把芝麻葉包含到課程內,台灣最近有蠻多供應商的,像我在濱江市場就找到了一個攤子,是專門供應台北高檔西餐廳的,各式香草西式蔬菜應有盡有,我終於不用再去微風或 Jason's 花冤枉錢。干貝是 Costco 賣的美國冷凍干貝,size 夠大品質也很好。因為有做功課,今晚的干貝前菜算很成功,比我們在上海 Jean Georges 吃到的還棒。

When we were renovating our house, our designer installed black glass wall in the kitchen. Glass in the kitchen not only makes it easy to clean, but also allows me to use florescent markers to write my menu du jour -- really just more fun for guests in the whole dine-at-home experience. (a must photo-shoot spot)


This salmon recipe was stolen from Michelin-starred Chef Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook (though I never saw it on the menu the two times I visited the restaurant). I make this dish for guests from time to time, and I'd say most sashimi eaters just love the dish as it brings you several textures all in one bite. The bottom is a crispy layer with lots of caramelization flavors, the cooked flesh brings a silky bite to the palate, and the raw part simply melts in the mouth. I highly recommend this cooking method if you can get your hands on super fresh salmon. I also wanted to include this dish for my cooking class because it uses beurre blanc, a classic French butter sauce for fish. Beurre blanc just works awesome with salmon.

這個鮭魚食譜是來自於米其林星級主廚 Thomas Keller 的 Bouchon 餐廳 (雖然去了兩次 Bouchon 都沒在菜單上看到),我久久會做一次這道菜,而且通常會為喜愛生魚片的朋友們帶來驚喜,因為這種煎法會讓鮭魚有很多層次。鮭魚的底部微焦,中間煮熟的肉因鮭魚的油脂非常的多汁鮮嫩,但生的部分反而會在嘴巴中融化。如果可以買到新鮮的鮭魚,我個人建議可以試試這個煮法。另一個挑選這道菜的原因是法式奶油醬 beurre blanc,是個很經典的法式醬汁,再搭配上鮭魚是個很不錯的組合。

My cooking class is centered around French cuisine, so crepe was a good choice for the dessert dish. I've tried a number of different recipes from the Web and cookbooks, but none of them yielded the fluffy texture of the crepes from creperies in Paris. This one day, I tried Thomas Keller's recipe, also from the Bouchon cookbook, and man this was it! The secret ingredient is heavy cream, which adds another depth into the flavor spectrum. Also, anyone who's been to a creperie knows there's probably a thousand ways you can dress a crepe. I personally like ice cream and a tangy sauce...or banana and Nutella...or simple lemon juice and powder sugar. You get the idea. There's also a ton of savory crepe recipes out there, but I'll have to get to them one of these days.

既然料理課叫做"餐桌上的法式香頌",可麗餅當然成為甜點的不二選擇。之前有試過幾個不同的可麗餅食譜,但都無法做出我在巴黎吃到可麗餅的那種鬆軟口感。有天試了我的食譜聖經 Bouchon Cookbook 裡的可麗餅食譜,終於找到了! 讓可麗餅鬆軟的秘密武器是生奶油 (whipping cream),也讓看似平凡的餅皮增添了許多香味。去過可麗餅屋的人都知道這東西大概有一千種吃法,我通常喜歡餅上面加冰淇淋和偏酸的糖漿...或香蕉和 Nutella...或簡單的檸檬汁和糖霜。真的是很多種 XD 另外,鹹的可麗餅的吃法也很多種,來慢慢排進我的 to-cook 清單吧...

Thanks to my new batch of culinary lab rats -- hope you guys enjoyed the food and wine!
感謝各位料理白老鼠捧場 -- 希望大家都吃得喝得很開心! (算見識到你們葡萄酒的海量...)


Date: 2011.4.30


Erin said...

The Simon is super delicious! Push push!

Tim Shen said...

So magic~~~~~~ XD

Steve said...

@Erin thank you thank you - still gotta pick a time for bread/dessert pairing from you!
@Tim good student! very good!

小P said...

I'm missing scallop~XP


It's my pleasure to be the guinea pigs.
Scallop..Salmon...Crepes.....so delicious~~~~~
great food+wine+people =happy life
I wanna be the number one fan of this blog~~haha!!!

Stella Chang said...

Scallop~~i miss you ~~

Steve said...

干貝怎麼都擬人化了... yes great formula! great food+wine+people = happy life INDEED

shoot, looks like i need to cook more dinners...


yes,you need to cook more dinners....haha
of course ...品嘗料理時一樣要投入真感情...

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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