Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Summer Food

Summer brings out a craving for barbecue, which can still be good, even when you're up on the sixth floor and nowhere near a charcoal pit. I faked it for the Independence Day gathering simply by marinating the chicken and the pork spareribs overnight in garlic, lemon juice and beer. The sauce is a combination of things but includes brown sugar to give a little glaze as the meat cooks, plus a smoky-flavored sake vinegar I found. Another preparation technique here is corn on the cob, cooked in milk. It brings out the sweetness, and provides a flavor hit for people who like butter but don't really want the cholesterol that goes with it. We are supposedly going through a butter shortage in Japan now, too, so the absence of butter is a reminder of how cooks learn to improvise.
If you look closely at the salad, you could see it is all herbal, plus seafood, marinated overnight also in white wine, garlic, oregano, basil and different kinds of pepper, plus a little olive oil. The salad also has black olives, roasted garlic, tomatoes, red bell pepper, shiso leaves and two kinds of edible flowers.
Desserts are pumpkin pie, as in the Thanksgiving kind, and a red-white-and-blue fruit pie that is simply raspberries, blueberries and mini marshmallows in whipped cream, poured into a baked pie shell and refrigerated. It was a relatively uncomplicated menu, and what with doggy bags, no worries about leftovers.