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High Tea Sandwich Rolls


(serves 6)
The sandwich roll is simple yet elegant way of making canapés. There are several advantages to the sandwich roll.  Sandwich rolls are easier to make than fancy tower canapés. They don’t dirty your hands eating them. However you hold them you don’t have to worry about bits falling off. They are bite-sized. Less bread is exposed to air, reducing the amount of bread that dries as your sandwiches sit there waiting to be eaten. And you know what? Sandwich rolls just look nice.        
 

Ingredients Salmon Rolls

  1. Eggs (3)
  2. Smoked Salmon (100g)
  3. Anchovy in Oil (Small Tin)
  4. White Bread (12 Slices)
  5. Red Onion (1)
  6. Cucumber (1)
  7. Cream Cheese (200g)
  8. Guacamole (150g)
  9. Dill Weed.
  10. Nori Sheet (1, optional)
  11. Maple Syrup
  12. Cumin
  13. Mayonnaise

 

The Basics Basic Sandwich Roll

  1. Use white sandwich bread or yellow bread. Brown bread is harder and less malleable, not meant for rolling.
  2. As you can’t roll bread with crust, its best to use bread that is perfectly square or rectangular.
  3. Use bread that is fresh, that you just bought from the supermarket, not bread you have kept in the fridge for a week. Dry bread will be too brittle to bend without cracking.
  4. After you have cut the crusts off, flatten each piece of bread individually. This is the secret to the rolled sandwich, squashing it with a rolling pin. You can also press down sequentially using the cheek of the blade of a large knife to achieve the same effect.
  5. Whatever you choose to put inside your sandwich must include a creamy spread like mayonnaise, Heinz sandwich spread, tahini, cream cheese, peanut butter, jam etc. as the binding agent. This will hold the roll in place.
  6. The simplest version consists of just a simple spread which you cover the entire piece of bread with – like the Curried Egg Salad Rolls below.
  7. For variety you can add slender sticks of cucumber or cheese for texture – like the Anchovy Infused Cream Cheese Rolls below.
  8. You cannot use whole sheets of meat or cheese and this will completely nullify the effect of the binding spread, unless you rolled them up and have them as the core. This method is shown in the Smoked Salmon Avocado Rolls at the bottom.
  9. The 3 varieties explained here are savoury, but you can make sweet sandwich rolls too. Dried apricot or fresh bananas can be used as the core for example.

Curried Egg Salad Rolls  Egg Sandwich

  1. Boil 3 eggs for 15 minutes. Begin with cold water so the eggs don’t crack and begin counting the time only after the water starts boiling. Peel after the eggs have cooled.
  2. Dice half a red onion and fry on low heat with a little oil till the onion is limp.
  3. Cut each egg in half and spoon the yolk into a bowl. Mash the yolk with 3T of mayonnaise.
  4. Add 0.5t cumin, 0.5t pepper and 2 pinches of salt.
  5. Dice the egg white and mix it into the bowl with the onion bits.
  6. Cut the crust off and then flatten 4 slices of bread.
  7. Spread the egg salad onto the bread as shown. You’ll need to leave one end empty as the whites make the egg salad a bit lumpy.
  8. Spread some plain mayonnaise onto the empty part to seal the roll.
  9. Roll the bread tightly (from the right in this picture).
  10. Slice each roll into 3. Use a gentle sawing motion and don’t press down on the knife.
  11. Rest the rolls on a plate with the edge at the bottom for a while before standing them up.

Anchovy Infused Cream Cheese RollsAncheese Sandwich

  1. Allow 200g of cream cheese to warm to room temperature. You can also use a short burst in the microwave oven.
  2. Dice the remaining 1/2 red onion into fine bits. The bits should be smaller than for the egg salad rolls, since you’ll be eating them raw. Reserve half of this for the smoked salmon rolls.
  3. Peel and cut a cucumber into thin strips as long as your bread. Try to avoid the seedy core as it is less crunchy. Slice more strips than you need as you’ll be using some for the smoked salmon rolls as well.
  4. Mash 2t of anchovy in the oil they came in.
  5. Mix the anchovy emulsion, 2t maple syrup and half of the onion bits into the soft cream cheese.
  6. Cut the crust off and then flatten 4 slices of bread.
  7. Spread the anchovy cheese mixture onto the bread. Add a few cucumber strips as shown. Be sure to leave one end empty.
  8. Roll the bread tightly (from the left in this picture). Slice each roll, following the instructions as per above.

Smoked Salmon Avocado RollsSalmon Sandwich

  1. Cut the smoked salmon into long strips and marinate with a little bit of oil, some black pepper and dill weed.
  2. Mix the remaining diced raw onion with 150g of guacamole or avocado dip. Avocado is soft even when cold so there is no need to let it warm up.
  3. Cut the crust off and then flatten 4 slices of bread.
  4. Spread the guacamole evenly onto your bread.
  5. Arrange pieces of smoked salmon with a few cucumber strips on one end as shown.
  6. Roll the bread tightly using the salmon as the core.
  7. Slice each roll, following the instructions as per before.

 

 

The Professional Look  Sushi Sandwich

  1. Even the best made sandwich rolls following all the rules of sandwich rolling might unroll a bit at the loose end.
  2. One way to prevent this is to apply a few bands of Nori (Japanese dried processed seaweed) before you cut your rolls as shown below. All you need to stick the ends of the Nori strips to each other is a dab of water. You can see the final result of banding in the photo right at the top.
  3. You can also cover the entire roll with Nori to create sandwich sushi, as shown on the right.
  4. All the your rolls will look alike if you cut them the same way. Slicing the rolls diagonally will give some variation to your sandwich rolls. This will help your guests distinguish between the different varieties that you made.
  5. Yellow bread is another option for differentiation.
  6. You can also give some colour to your sandwiches by dusting (the outside surface, and do this before you apply the spread) them with some fine coloured spices. Paprika for example will result in a light orangey coat.

Sandwich Platter Sandwich Banded

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Posted by on June 27, 2015 in Appetizers, English, Recipe, Seafood

 

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Japanese Dried Mixed Noodle Toppings


(serves multiple portions)
Dried Noodle Toppings are something you keep in the fridge and sprinkle over freshly cooked soup noodles to instantly transform a mundane bowl of noodles into a symphony of tastes and textures. The toppings are created from a mix of small dehydrated vegetable and seafood items which come back to life after a few seconds in hot soup. While great with instant noodles, they also go very well with oatmeal, congee or any kind of gruel. With Dried Toppings, you needn’t worry about cooking meat to go with your noodles ever again.   
 

Ingredients Mixed Noodle Toppings

  1. Wakame (a.k.a. dried sea mustard)
    a delightful bouncy seaweed which is commonly found in miso soup. It has a mild taste and mainly serves to add the texture of seaweed to your noodles.
  2. Nori (a.k.a. laver)
    a type of crispy seaweed which is processed into paper like sheets. You have probably come across them in sushi rolls. Nori practically falls apart when it gets wet but it does provide gives the flavour of seaweed that Wakame provides the texture of seaweed lacks.
  3. Sakura (a.k.a. cherry shrimp)
    These give your noodles that occasional something crispy and tasty to munch into. They also give your broth an undertone of seafood flavour. You can find out more about sakura on this page.
  4. Dried Shrimp Roe 
    These deepen the hint of seafood from the sakura. You can find out more about this item on this page.
  5. Wheat Spirals
    This is a mainstay of Japanese noodles in clear soup. When hydrated, these spirals feel and taste a bit like a mini rolled up omelette. They also absorb the taste of the broth very well. These are made of gluten, so gluten-phobics be aware.
  6. Dried Bean Curd
    These are small bits of bean curd which have been toasted till they are completely dry. They impart the balancing taste of bean curd to your soup.
  7. Sesame Seeds
    These are a dry substitute for sesame oil. According to convention you should use white sesame if you are using whole seeds (nice crunch) and black sesame (flavours the soup) if you intend to mill them into powder.
  8. Dried Scallion
    You can dry these out in an oven wrapped in foil or just buy them in a bottle. They add a hint of cooked onion to the soup.

Toppings Ingredients

Preparation 

  1. Rather than give you the exact amounts of ingredients, I’ll refer you to the picture above with all the ingredients in the right proportions.
  2. The two types of dried seaweed are required in larger amounts than the rest of the ingredients as you can see and they are essential for noodle toppings. All other ingredients are optional or substitutable with other dried items.
  3. You basically just mix all the ingredients in a bowl and them store them in a zip-loc bag or air tight box in the fridge. All the ingredients are fully dehydrated so they will keep for a long time in the fridge. If any of your ingredients come with a pouch containing drying agents when you purchased them, you should throw these into the zip-loc/box to keep all the ingredients bone dry.
  4. The amount suitable for a big bowl of noodles is whatever you can grab with three fingers. Do not use too much of the toppings or your noodles will get over powered. I usually put the toppings in the bowl before pouring in the noodles and soup (which would make them bottomings) so there is sufficient hot soup to hydrate them properly.

NotesBefore and After

  • Try not to substitute in too many items which have been preserved using salt. Otherwise, your noodles may become too salty.
  • Use only small bits. Don’t substitute in dried items which are too large to rehydrate in a few seconds of boiling water. So things like whole dried mushrooms are out. 
  • You can buy ready mixed noodle toppings as well, at any place which sells dried Japanese goods.
 
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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Japanese, Recipe, Seafood, Soups

 

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Spaghetti with Seafood in Miso Cream Sauce


(serves 3 full portions)
Spaghetti in Miso Cream is quite the quintessential Japanese pasta and is on the menu in family restaurant chains all over Japan. You will find the fusion-style dish a refreshing adaptation of the more traditional pasta sauces. This recipe is a special version of the dish with crustacean flavour infused into the miso cream. To accompany the pasta, I have used soft tender scallop slices and lightly cooked morsels of prawn.    
 

Ingredients Miso Pasta

  1. Scallops (8=150g)
  2. Large prawns (4=300g)
  3. Miso
  4. Crushed Garlic (4t)
  5. Sesame Oil (1/3 cup)
  6. Cream (100ml)
  7. Spaghetti (300g)
  8. Shredded Nori (Dried Seaweed)
  9. Coriander Seed Powder
  10. Honey
  11. Cognac

Preparation 

  1. Mix 4T of sesame oil with 0.5t salt, 1t coriander seed powder.
  2. Cut the heads off the prawns and stir fry the heads in a pot with a few dashes of oil and 2t of crushed garlic. Use a low flame and when the garlic begins to brown add 1.5 cups of water. Cut the heads up with a pair of scissors while they are in the pot and leave to simmer. You should end up with a rich red broth.
  3. Slice each scallop into 3 round slices.
  4. Shell and devein the prawns. Slice the prawns lengthwise into 2 and then into small pieces.
  5. Marinate both the scallop and prawn pieces with the salted sesame oil but in separate bowls.
  6. Mix together 2 heaped t of miso with 2t of crushed garlic. Fry this mixture in a pan with 3T of oil on low heat. After a minute, add 3T cognac and 1t honey.
  7. Slowly pour in 100 ml of cream and mash the miso till you get a nice even emulsion with no lumps. Pour in the prawn head stock through a strainer. Simmer down till you get a nice sauce and remove from heat.
  8. Put 300g of spaghetti into the pot of boiling water with 1t salt and a dash of oil.
  9. Reheat the sauce and when it is boiling add the prawn meat. When the prawn meat has curled, add the scallop slices and immediately turn off the fire. Mix well to make sure no scallop slices are stuck together and leave for a minute.
  10. By this time the pasta should be al dente. Strain and plate the spaghetti, and pour the sauce over it.
  11. Garnish with black pepper, some Nori and serve.

NotesPrawn Stock

  • If you want to go the extra mile, add Uni (raw sea urchin) together with the scallops into the pan in step 9. It is the Japanese equivalent of adding truffle shavings to a pasta.
  • The stock will not be red (see photo) or have a rich taste if you use small prawns or shrimp. The prawns have to be large, i.e. 4 per 300g. 
  • Most of the greyish stuff in the ‘spine’ of the prawn is roe. When deveining the prawn, you really only want to find and pull out the alimentary canal. 
  • You’ll notice I did not mention olive oil. The taste of miso is quite distinctive and will clash with the hint of olives. You’ll do better with a milder vegetable oil.
  • Reduce the amount of cream by half if you want a very light sauce.
  • For more information on Miso, refer to this page
 

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Two Colour Seafood Terrine


(serves 6 to 9)
This is a recipe for a cold semi-firm seafood terrine that is half red and half green. The use of canned lobster bisque and Nori (dried seaweed) sheets makes it much easier to get a full spectrum of seafood flavours while using just fish and prawn as you base ingredients. The lobster bisque is also used to make a lobster-shallot sauce that goes superbly with the terrine. Another nice touch is the use of brioche, which gives your terrine a nice buttery tone. The result, a juicy flavourful seafood terrine that everyone will enjoy.
 
Ingredients
  1. Sole Fillet (500g)
  2. Prawns (150g)
  3. Scallops (150g)
  4. Brioche (cubed, 2 cups)
  5. Cream (200ml)
  6. Lobster Bisque (1×400 ml can)
  7. Nori = Dried Seaweed (2 large sheets)
  8. Eggs (2)
  9. Shallots (9)
  10. Mayonnaise
  11. Butter
  12. Brandy
  13. Liquid Smoke
  14. Basil
  15. Dill Weed

Knife Work

  1. Spoon one heaping T of mayonnaise into a bowl so that it will be at room temperature by the time you need it.
  2. Cut each of your 9 shallots in half, peel them, then slice finely.
  3. Cut as much brioche as you need into small cubes until you get 2 cups full.
  4. Cut with scissors 2 large (like A4 paper sized) Nori sheets into confetti.
  5. Shell your prawns and dice them together with the sole fillet into pieces about the size of half a finger. Dust your seafood with salt and pepper from a shaker as if you were going to pan fry them.

Blending the Terrine

  1. In a pan, stir fry one third of the shallots in a dash of oil till they begin to brown. With the pan sizzling hot, add half the can of lobster bisque, 2T brandy and 1t basil. Let the mixture boil for 30 seconds and turn off the heat. Mix in 1 cup of brioche cubes. Allow to cool in a bowl.
  2. In the same pan(after washing it), stir fry another third of the shallots in the same way. This time add 200ml of cream, the Nori confetti, 2T liquid smoke. Let the mixture boil for 30 seconds and turn off the heat. Mix in 1 cup of brioche. Allow to cool in a second bowl.
  3. Place half the fish, half the prawns and an egg in a blender, then add the contents of the first bowl. It must be cool enough such that the egg doesn’t start cooking. Don’t liquidize it completely, just blend till you get a lumpy paste. Spoon the paste back into the bowl.
  4. Blend the rest of the fish and prawns with a second egg with the contents of the second bowl, using the same procedure.

Cooking the Terrine

  1. Line the inside of 6 ramekins with oversized pieces of clear cling film. Spoon the seafood paste from the two bowls into 6 ramekins as shown. Poke with the small end of a spoon to compact the paste and get rid of air pockets.
  2. When you are done, cover each ramekin with a second piece of smaller cling film and tuck the loose bits under the ramekin to seal everything up. The terrine will expand while it is cooking (although it will shrink back after that) so do not fill the ramekins too close to the brim.
  3. Set up your steaming rack in a pot with an inch of water and set it to boil. When the water is boiling. Arrange 3 ramekins within (see the picture below) and steam for half an hour on a low simmer. You can stack the other 3 ramekins on in an overlapping fashion if your pot is tall enough. If not, repeat with the second 3 ramekins.
  4. Allow the ramekins to cool and then chill them in the fridge with the clear film still attached. You can leave them in the fridge overnight.

Sauce 

  1. In the same pan(after washing it again), stir fry the remaining one third of the shallots in a few T of oil. This time you want to stir-fry on low heat until they are a nice deep brown.
  2. Pour in the remaining lobster bisque while the pan is sizzling, add 2T brandy, the warm mayonnaise, 1t dill weed and 1t sugar. Let it boil for 10 seconds and then set aside to cool. When it has cooled enough, spoon into a bowl and  chill this in the fridge as well.

Scallops

  1. Cut each scallop into half from the flat side, then slice them into thin semi-circular pieces.
  2. Melt a large knob of butter in the same pan (after washing it yet again) and then allow the pan to cool. Arrange the scallop pieces in the pan and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Turn the heat on and cook without touching the scallops at all. The moment you see the scallops get opaque, which is very fast, turn off the fire. They cook fast and this is the best way to ensure each piece is cooked the same and done just right.

Putting It Together

  1. Remove the chilled terrine blocks from the ramekins and clear film and pat dry with kitchen towels.
  2. Slice any uneven bits (like a rounded bottom) off the biggest blocks and mash them up (in their separate colours) so you can use them as fillers later.
  3. Slice each circular block into 2 thinner blocks.
  4. Arrange on plates with the clean cut surface facing up. Fill in any gaps with your mashed bits.
  5. Spoon the sauce onto the plate, around but not on the terrine.
  6. Finally, arrange the scallop petals on the plate on top of the sauce.
  • The structure of seafood terrines
    Fish Terrine 1000

    Another terrine I made on another occasion.

    varies widely. Mine is a simple one with no solid bits but you can put chunks of any kind of seafood you like in yours. Just make sure they cut easily (i.e. nothing chewy like clams)

  • You can make the colours more vibrant if you wish. One option is to use salmon as the fish for the red part and add some blanched chopped spinach to the green part (see picture).
  • I used a stainless steel round form to divide the terrine into inner and outer layers. If you don’t have these in your kitchen, one option is to make a Swiss-roll by spreading a thick layer of fish paste on a suitably sized sheet of Nori, rolling it up and standing it up in the ramekin as the centre. You’ll get a nice spiral pattern as your core (see picture). You can also just dispense with appearances and use a simple left-right arrangement.
  • Traditionally terrine is made in one large loaf shaped block (see picture) but I found that it is much easier to steam ramekins. If you want to make a one loaf terrine, you’ll have to cook the terrine on a pan of water in the oven, and replace the cling film with the more cumbersome parchment paper or perhaps blanched spinach leaves.
 
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Posted by on August 3, 2013 in Appetizers, French, Japanese, Recipe, Seafood

 

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