Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vegetable Rolls

vegetable roll
Originally uploaded by EatingVideo
I have been watching a fascinating show online; Aventura Culinaria hosted by Gaston Acurio, which chronicles the culinary landscape of Peru. It can be found on youtube. In one of the shows he covers the Japanese influence on Peruvian cuisine and the way the sushi roll or maki roll has glided away from the rigid original interpretations to include whatever fresh ingredients where on hand.

In that spirit, I tried my hand (somewhat sloppily) to make some vegetable rolls. I started up the rice cooker, all I had was long grain rice so I used that, 4 parts rinsed rice, 5 parts water. (ideally sushi rice, a piece of kombu kelp added to the cooker).

I had some nice asparagus that a neighbour had brought us.


Also some baby carrots


I blanched the asparagus and carrot in a pot of boiling salt water for 3 minutes then shocked it in cold water... oh by the way I had some corn.

vegetables cooked


I made a soy glaze with 1/3 of a cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup honey, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, the juice of half a lime and 3 tsp of sugar. I reduced it down by more than half (bubbles large).

Once the rice was done, I finished it with 1/3 cup of white rice vinegar with a tablespoon of sugar dissolved in it and a pinch of salt.
I spread it on plastic wrap (ideally a bamboo sushi mat)


I layered the asparagus and carrot and painted it with the glaze (could have used more glaze)

asparagus and carrot

I then rolled it using the plastic wrap, it was a bit sloppy (I was) but the overall stayed together.

vegetable roll

I served it with turkey breast and corn

vegetable roll served with turkey and corn

It was very good if not as pretty as I hoped. The sushi rice tasted right to me and the vegetables were crisp and tasty. Will work on the technique some more.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cafe Rustica

Gnochi and rabbit
Originally uploaded by EatingVideo
The boy had a rehearsal at The Carpenter Theater, so we stopped for dinner at Cafe Rustica.

Cafe rustica

We started off sharing the frog legs baked with a hearty putanesca type sauce and grilled bread.


The legs were meaty and tasted flavorfull with just a hint of seafood. (what the boy said)

More legs

I had a Kelpie beer, which was interesting


The boy ordered the Gemeli with Gambero (shrimp and pasta with peas in a creamy red sauce) The shrimp in this dish were cooked perfectly, with a crispness to each bite.


I ordered the rabbit saddle with gnochi with apples and cheese.

Gnochi and rabbit

Everything was very good, the boy brought home some leftovers, the service was great and they treated us very well. Will definitely be back.

Cafe Rustica
414 E Main St
Richmond, VA 23219-3822
(804) 225-8811

Cafe Rustica on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gastronomy in Spain

My brothers Flickr set is worth perusing.

Pictures of food through spain

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Empanadas for school

Originally uploaded by EatingVideo
The boy volunteered me make food for almost 30 people in his spanish class. It was to be a latino food. We ran through some options, maybe arroz con pollo, paella but all seemed to difficult to transport and make 24 hrs in advance. We settled on empanadas as it is a ubiquotous dish in latin america (with regional variations) and the baked version was easier to mass produce in our kitchen than the fried kind.
I started on the filling, making a sofrito of carrots, onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, and shallots


and cooked it down.


Then we cooked some ground beef, browned in a pan with garlic, salt and a pinch of sugar.

cooked beef

The meat and sofrito was combined, chopped cilantro and oregano added, then on to the assembly

empanada making

a couple of spoons of filling in premade (store bought) empanada wrappers

D at work

we crimped the edges

prior to the oven

brushed them with an egg wash, and baked them at 375 degrees for around 20 minutes, till they looked like this


We made 60 (judging two per person) as far as the boy says people liked them. Will need to make some for the family next.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rincon Latino

Sopa de res
Originally uploaded by EatingVideo
I took the boy for lunch and shopping to the Rincon Latino on Broad street (just up from Tan Am). We had lunch, he had the quesadilla rellena de carne asada.

Carne asada

I had the beef soup

Sopa de res

we shared a tripe taco

Tripe taco

everything was very good, with large portions. We bought some (60) empanadilla wrappers for his school lunch gig.