After a veritable torrent of rain, the clouds parted and the sun shone through just in time for Cooking Club this week. Yay!
My friends and I gathered at Darren’s house, arms filled with all sorts of ingredients to make a delectable array of soups and sushi and appetizers.
Nicole started us off with a big bowl of salted tortilla chips and her refreshing Bell Pepper Salsa.
I made an African Chickpea Soup made with Cumin and Ras al Hanout and served it with scallions and capers. It is my new favorite soup and the thing I crave when I’m not feeling so good.
Darren made a salty and warming Miso Soup that was the perfect start to a night of sushi.
Cameron, Robin, Kat and Ed worked like fiends slicing and dicing all sorts of seafood, fresh tuna, vegetables, and seaweed, turning out the most gorgeous platters of stunning color and texture.
They made Ball Sushi topped with Tamago Yaki (rolled sweet omelette) and Prawns…
…and regular sushi stuffed with cucumber, carrot, and seafood…
…and bar sushi topped with seared tuna and wrapped in seaweed strips.
Michael made a splendid Eel Sauce to accompany each morsel and before long we had eaten those platters clean.
Don ended our evening with a round of his famously stout Cosmopolitans and we all relaxed and visited until it was time to go home.
Are you a sushi fan? If yes, what is your favorite kind?
Krista’s African Chickpea Soup
2 cups chickpeas (soaked overnight or 2 cans rinsed and drained)
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped fine
2 pints chicken broth
2 cups water
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp Ras al Hanout
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 small jar capers (rinsed)
- In soup pot heat olive oil and bay leaves, add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add chickpeas, broth and water. (If using canned chickpeas, omit water) Bring to boil and simmer covered about an hour.
- In small bowl mix garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and Ras al Hanout.
- When hour is up, add spice mixture to pot, stir, and continue cooking 20 minutes more.
- Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with scallions and capers.
Darren’s Miso Soup
8 cups water
8 Tbsp miso paste
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 cup chopped shrimp
- Combine everything in saucepan and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.
Kat and Ed’s Rolled Sweet Omelette (Tamago Yaki)
(Can also be served as a side dish with sushi)
dash of salt
15 ml (1 T) water
30 ml (2 T) sugar
10 ml (2 t) soy sauce
45 ml (3 T) sake or dry white wine – we used chardonnay
(we used none of these, and it turned out fine, but if you’re going to be a purist…)
a square frying pan
a bamboo sushi rolling mat
- Beat the eggs in a bowl and add a pinch of salt
- Add water to the egg mixture and beat until fluffy.
- In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the soy sauce and sake or wine, and lightly stir into the eggs.
- Heat a square frying pan over medium heat.
- Oil the pan very lightly (a small piece of cheesecloth is useful to do this)
- Pour in a third of the egg mixture to cover the entire pan. Cook over medium heat.
- Before the surface begins to dry, roll or fold the egg mixture towards you in thirds.
- Now, move the rolled egg away from you to the far end of the pan (or you can cheat and just turn the pan 180 degrees like I did 🙂
- Oil the empty space.
- Tilt the pan, adding another third of the mixture under the rolled egg – you can lift it with chopsticks. Continue to fry the mixture.
- Now roll the omelette away from you again.
- Oil the front half of the pan once more.
- Add the balance of the egg mixture – be sure to roll it under the omelette again.
- Just before the mixuter dries, roll the rest into the already-quite-fat omelette.
- Slide the roll so the its final join is underneat and cook for 10 seconds.
- Remove the roll from the pan and out onto the bamboo mat and roll up tightly.
- Press it neatly into a rectangular shape and set aside until cool
- Slice the cold omelette into 1 in thick pieces. (We did thinner. Maybe 1/2 inch)