bonus dinner

Here comes my bonus dinner! These dishes are made with the bits from my friends' Christmas dinner-party. My friends organised a big party again and I helped it as a cook. 
We woke up early in the morning and headed off to the Billingsgate. This time we bought 3kg tuna, 1 salmon, half cod, 2kg scallop, 1kg clam, 4kg prawn and 6 sea bass from the market and we made sashimi, sushi and hot pots and they all disappeared as soon as they got ready! It was so fun to watch them going!
(From the top) Pasta with Sauce Americaine. This is now my once-a-year dish. As I got more than 100s of prawn head this time, I tried making two versions: one with butter, cream and tarragon and one with olive oil and without wine. The both tasted lovely but the one with butter always taste nice to me...!
Sea bass steamed in Cantonese style. As I don't have a steamer this is my original cooking style: Spread spring onion on a sesame-oiled pan and put the seasoned fish on top of it. Stuff and sprinkle julienned ginger and coriander. Pour some sake (30ml-ish) and a bit of soy sauce and steam it with lid on it. Cook it for 7-10 mins with low-medium heat until it's done. I had it with the very seasonal chestnut rice.
Balancing dinner: Beetroot soup and roasted parsnip and squash. I only used onion, celery, beetroot and bouillon for the soup. As I like the warm and sweet flavour of beetroot, I don't put herbs, instead, I have it with savoury topping such as feta cheese. It is so simple and yummy!
In Japanese we have two names for months. December is 'the 12th month' and 'Shiwasu'. 'Shiwasu' means 'master runs' as it is so busy even the calm master would run. 
To end a year and welcome a new year we have lots of things to do. One of the memorable things for little me was to make 'osechi' in 'jubako'. 'Jubako' is like big bento boxes stuck up, and we have the New Year menu 'osechi' in it. We would start making about 20 menus at least 3 days before as most of them take a long time to cook. I would help my mother cooking all day everyday. Once we couldn't finish it even before the midnight when we had to prepare another menu: bridging-the-years-noodle 'toshi koshi soba' at the same time. My father was really fussy about the noodle and you cannot mess up with it. I hope you could imagine how chaotic it was in the kitchen. It was always a lot of hassle for the New Year but I always loved it. For me this time always is the season to feel home. 



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