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    Saturday, August 18, 2007

    A Tasting -Bob Dylan and Champagne and Oyster Soup

    Last Saturday we went to see Bob Dylan. It was a pleasant night and we live not more than a 10 minute walk from the Arena..
    We booked in at the Daikoku Teppanyai Restaurant, just down the road from the Arena.
    I love this kind of dining.
    We were first introduced to the Benihana Restaurants experience on a trip to Honolulu in 1980.
    We were immediate fans and over the following years we ate at as many Benihana’s as possible. New York, San Francisco, London, Anaheim, New Orleans and L.A.
    In fact the L.A. branch is close to the airport and we have gone there often whilst on a stopover.
    Benihana was the first time we had experienced the “Let’s look after Birthday Boys and Girls”. My husband was desperate to be honoured and told a little white lie about his birthday.
    Birthday Cake, singing and I think if I remember correctly another shot of Sake for our Unbirthday Boy. It just goes to show you are never too old to want to be King for a day…

    I loved the food, the sauces, the Japanese Onion Soup and the continuous stream of tasty morsels being cooked before your very eyes. The clever little Chefs show great knife-skills, perform juggling acts with bowls, salt and pepper shakers all to the delight of the diners.
    Back to Daikoku, it is an imitation, not as good but we still enjoy the experience.
    Of course they don’t encourage people hanging about so we called into a Pub en route to the concert for an extra glass of wine.

    It was fun to see Bob Dylan. He looked like a mad Amish Preacher and certainly was exceptionally energetic. His Band was excellent. I had a problem hearing the lyrics which is a pity when his lyrics really are the reason for Bob Dylan!!!
    But we did have a great night and I’m glad we went.
    We walked home…Excellent outing.
    But to start the day off I made this soup for lunch.

    Champagne and Oyster Soup

    Well blow me down I had to open the bottle of Methode Champagnoise
    And I as I was writing this I sipped away. And very nice it was too.
    I saw Joanne Weir on Food TV the night before making this soup.
    I love oysters and they had a special at the fish market.
    Frozen Bluff Oysters @ $6.90 per dozen. I don’t normally buy frozen oysters but they absolutely perfect for soup or chowder.
    Especially at that price.
    Also frozen oysters yields more liquor.
    Bluff oysters are considered to be if not the best in the world amongst the best.

    I had to make a couple of changes to the basic recipe due to not looking at my list whilst at the supermarket.
    I forgot to buy fish stock.
    So I have substituted chicken stock and it really is very good.
    Plus she used clam juice. I don’t think we can buy that in New Zealand.
    I also popped in a bay leaf pretty essential in any white soups I think.

    So here’s my take on
    Champagne and Oyster Soup

    2 doz oysters and their liquor

    50g butter
    1 bulb of fennel diced
    1 large onion diced
    3 stalks celery diced
    Sea salt and ground white pepper
    1 large potato peeled and diced
    Try and make all the vege the same size.
    250mls chicken/fish stock
    Champagne about 150mls

    Saute fennel, onions and celery in melted butter till tender

    Add potatoes, toss around to coat with butterey vege
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Add stock, and champagne
    It froths up beautifully

    Add enough water to cover vege plus about 2.5 cms above that

    Bring to boil and simmer till potatoes tender.

    Remove half of the soup and puree
    Return to pan
    Add oysters and their liquor
    Then add a slosh of cream
    Then just warm the oysters through and serve with some
    fresh French bread and butter. Garnish with some of the fennel fronds.

    A piece of Catherine’s slice (see previous post) and the rest of the champagne.
    What a perfect lunch.
    Dougie our painter joined us for lunch I think he was impressed.

    Just a little asideThe lovely little bowl holding the oysters was given to me many years ago by John Parker a New Zealand Potter of some note. It looks metallic but is in fact pottery. I love it…it looks great with whipped cream


    Barbara said...

    Years ago we ate in a Benihana restaurant in Hawaii. I remember being impressed. Lovely pottery bowl.

    katiez said...

    Your soup looks lovely - and poor you having to sip the rest of the champagne!
    But I would have loved to have seen Dylan - what fun!

    So Simple said...

    Barbara My mouth is watering with the thought of it.
    I know, its a hard job but someone has to do it.