July 26, 2010

ladies who dine

Last night's gathering again did not disappoint, & may actually have been my favorite yet; a tough call owing to how consistently excellent each meal has been. Someone aptly noted that every month is like Thanksgiving, in that we look forward to getting together & eating incredible food to the point of bursting, all minus any potential family drama.

Japanese cuisine is a favorite of mine, & we have the incredibly good fortune of having someone in our midst who lived in Japan & worked in a sushi restaurant in San Francisco, as well as someone who has insider knowledge of Letamaya Chef Hiroshi Hayashi's recipes, a fantastic restaurant our little town was lucky to be home to for a short but sweet time. Add to that the culinary imagination & expertise of all present, & it was in a word, amazing. I'm salivating just recalling everything.

We also got to help our lovely friend warm her charming gem of a new home, so some healthy house-envy also factored in.

Oh, a month seems a long wait until next time...

fruit tempura
a sweet dessert variation on the traditional dish

1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 cup ice water or cold beer

prepare the fruit
cut a variety of fruit into bite-size pieces: I used mangos, plums, peaches & bananas;
pineapple, strawberries & nectarines would be excellent as well.

for the batter
Combine the dry ingredients. Beat the egg, add the chilled water & combine well. Add the liquid mixture to the dry, mixing until just moistened & lumpy.

to deep fry
Dip the fruit into the batter & deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels & serve immediately while warm.
I served the results with vanilla ice cream & a chocolate wasabi sauce (bittersweet chocolate with butter, & wasabi to taste).

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