dinner with friends – M & G

one saturday evening, we had a special couple over for dinner at our home. they are the reason why i met the love of my life, and i hope he feels the same way, and both of us are never be able to thank them enough.

it feels so special that we are all in tokyo, at this phase of our lives, all with quite different background, let alone our nationalities, but something always puts us together – and at one point i realised that it was food. the 4 of us have an incredible appreciation towards food. the couple are from portugal, and i remember their telling us once that whenever they go on a holiday back home, they always come back with a suitcase full of food – salted cod fish, cheese, hams, port… i used to do exactly the same when i lived abroad. coming back to tokyo with 2 – 3 bottles of good olive oil, or leaving tokyo with a few packs of udon noodles and natto paste…

cooking my comfort food for them was a tremendous pleasure for me – i reckon that it is quite rare for them to be invited to a japanese house (well, mixed, but close enough), and thought it might be a good idea to go totally local. the dishes i cooked for this special evening were very ordinary japanese home cooked meals.

as starter dishes, i made

冷や奴 (hiyayakko, “cold tofu”) – fresh tofu with sliced veggies such as leak, cucumber, myoga, etc. with soy sauce
いんげんのごま和え (ingen no goma-ae, “green beans in sesame paste”) – boiled green beans, ground sesame, sugar & soy sauce
あさりの酒蒸し (asari no saka mushi, “steamed crams in sake”) – crams, salt & sake

the main course was しいたけの肉詰め甘酢あんかけ (shiitake no niku zume amazu an-kake, “shiitake mushroom and meat stuffings with sweet sour sauce”). this time i used minced chicken with chopped ginger, leek and stalk of the mushrooms. the sauce is made with vinegar, soysauce, “mirin” sauce and katakuri powder (starch) to give it a thickness.

and in any japanese course menu, there is always a 〆の一品 (shime no hitoshina “a dish to top it off”) with some carbohydrates. for this occasion i made 刺身タルタル丼 (sashimi tartar don), with ikura (salmon egg roe which look like orange pearls), to make the dish more luxurious than usual.

for a dessert, we had M’s famous chocolate mousse – she does the best chocolate mousse in the whole world – that they brought especially for this occasion (my husband dies for this chocolate mousse).

no 3-star restaurant can beat a home cooked dinner with friends & family like this one tonight, and our thanks go to M & G.

close-up photos provided by M (proudly taken on her new iPhone G4 😉 )

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