Entries in andrea gentl (44)


tofu part 2.


I know some of you asked where to buy a tofu mold. Williams Sonoma sells a nice one here, complete with non GMO soy beans. Here is another source for a tofu making kit and nigari, the natural coagulant we used to make our tofu.
Below is part two of our Tofu post complete with Camilles's  recipe notes. Part one is here.
Tofu Skins
follow below recipe from previous post until you reach the part pertaining to the Tofu Skins



1 ½ cups of high-grade soybeans

14 cups total spring or filtered water, room temperature

1 ½ teaspoons dry nigari




Large heavy bottomed pot


Large strainer or colander



-Soak soybeans in 5 cups water for at least 12 hours. 


-Heat 6 cups of water in a heavy bottom pot.   In a blender, puree beans and their soaking liquid in 3 batches for 2 minutes each time, you may risk burning out your blender if you puree it all in one shot.   Add the puree in batches to the hot water and mix thoroughly after each time.  Allow to come up to an almost boil on a medium-low setting.  Stir frequently to avoid soybean pulp sticking to the bottom and scorching.  Keep your eyes on the mixture making sure it doesn’t boil over.  Remove from heat, cover and leave to cool for ½ hour.


-Make sure mixture is cooled enough to handle then strain using a muslin lined strainer or colander.  Grab corners of the muslin and twist to press out all the soymilk.  The leftover parched pulp is called okara and in Japan it is often times cooked with vegetables.  Clean muslin out of all the pulp well, we will be using it again.


-Rinse pot out well and add the drained soymilk to it.  Warm gently on low till the temperature reaches 175 degrees this process will take about an hour. 



Tofu Skins

 Yuba, the skin that forms on the surface of hot soy milk is a favorite amongst the Japanese.  These  thin, egg-like sheets are delicious served simply with a dashi or soy sauce and wasabi.

-Warm soy milk gently on low till the temperature reaches 175 degrees this process will take about an hour.  You will see the skin form as the soy milk reaches desired temperature. 
Using chopsticks gently pull out the yuba and roll it on a plate.  Once you remove the skin another one will soon form.



The tofu skins or Yuba are served room temperature. They have the consistency of a super thin omelet. It takes some time to accumulate enough yuba for a few people to eat. We added some micro greens  and herbs on top of the Yuba for a bit of crunch and hit it with some soy. You can add a  little gomasio if you would like.. The tofu skins can be made ahead of time and stacked between pieces of parchment paper.



Seaweed +Sesame  Gomasio

2 tablespoons toasted sesame
1 tablespoon toasted seaweed
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Hemp Seed Gomasio

2 tablespoons toasted hemp seeds 
1 tablespoon toasted seaweed
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
-In a mortar add the ingredients and pound till desired coarseness.

Tofu Custards

2 cups freshly made soy milk, chilled
3/4 teaspoon dry nigari
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Dissolve the nigari into 1/2 cup filtered water.

-In a large measuring cup stir together the soy milk with the nigari solution and pour it into ramekins (we used 8 ramekins that held approximately 2 ounces). 

-Place the filled ramekins in baking pan and fill the pan with room temperature water, enough so that the water comes half way up the ramekins.  Cover with foil and steam in oven for 15 minutes or until the tofu is set to the consistency of a creme brulee, depending on the heat, type of nigari and the concentration in the soy milk this may take longer than the 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, cool until just warm and serve.  Can also be served at room temperature or cool and topped with sweet topping.  Will stay in the fridge for up to two days.












Mushroom Broth

4 cups filtered water
1 1/2 cup dried shitaki
soy sauce, to taste
-Boil water and pour over the mushrooms.  Allow to steep overnight.
-Strain and heat to a simmer.
-Add soy sauce to your desired preference.
We added some soba noodles and steamed pumpkin to our both along with a cube of fresh soft tofu. We garnished it with some cilantro and a bit of chili oil.





thank you April and Camille. awesome collaboration.



japanese pickles

Lush spring and summer produce is currently feeding my pickle obsession. I am dreaming pickles these days.

Lately I have been into exploring Japanese pickling techniques.

I have been delving into the recipes in Nancy Singlton Hachisu's book Japanese Farmhouse Food. Below are a few images from the current issue of Kinfolk Magazine







recipes to come.

Ceramics by the insanely talented Jessica Niello.

Knife available at  QUITOKEETO 



hungry ghost 2012 gift guide

click on any image to get link.


I have put together a list of a few of a few things that have caught my eye over the last few months! If you are anything like me you may have left your shopping to the last minute. The storm somehow threw the whole calendar off. Speaking of the storm, this is the time of the year to think of those in need. Many of our closest neighbors were and are still affected by the hurricane. Please remember them when you sit down to make your lists. Below is a link to an organization called Smallwater, dedicated to rebuilding the Rockaway’s and offering disaster relief. Take a moment to donate to your less fortunate New York neighbors or go on line here to find a list of other organizations providing continuing disaster relief.











 The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck / $40.00




Le Labo Cedre Candle / $70.00






Blackcreek Mercantile Cutting Boards 

Ranging in price from $100 to $225






Juniper Ridge Wildcrafted Inscence / $12.00





Vermont Qwick Lite Fire Starters /  $ 12.00 




 Gather Journal / $19.99




Upstate Silk Noil Kimono /  $216.00




 Blackcreek Mercantile Hand Carved Utensils/ Call for pricing.



 Michael Hemmer Knives Oregon/ $70.00




 Small Forest Axe. Gransfors Bruks. / $ 119.00



 Juniper Ridge Smudge Stick/ $7.99



 Nobel Handcrafted Maple Syrup/ $24.00




Mast Brothers Chocolate Bars/ $ 10.00






Gather Journal Shop Amethyst Crystal/ $ 35.00



Goat Milk Organic Super Cute Kids Clothing/ Prices vary look on line at Goat Milk or available at Warm in NYC.



Industry City Distillery Vodka. / $19.99 



 Santa Fe Stoneworks Lockback Knife / $55.00



 Faviken Cookbook/ 49.95


 Fool Magazine/ SEK 99.00



 Bluebird Pickling Crock Brooklyn Kitchen/ $31.95



Wild Gourmet Food CSA From Vermont Wild Gourmet Food/ TBD depending on plan




Saltie Cookbook / $25.00






Stitch and Hammer Denim Stripe and Leather Apron / $92.00




Herriot and Grace Beeswax Salve/ $18.00





Bellocq tea Atelier Hindu Holiday/ 70.00 






 Eric Bonnin Ceramics Dinner Plate/ $60.00 available at / www.ericbonninceramics.com or Warm NYC

An Everlasting Meal: Cookong With Economy And Grace /$15.00



For those who really want to indulge; Mauviel Copper Pots and Pans. / $ 140.00 to 740.00

Lastly, here is a list of great alternative food/gastro magazines from Saveur to feed your soul!





















where the wild things are. the blue pearl.


One afternoon, a couple years ago, around a tiny fire outside their farmhouse in Southern Vermont, Les Hook and Nova Kim cooked up some wild mushrooms we had gathered that morning nearby. In a  large cast iron pan, they seasoned them with nothing more than a little butter or olive oil and some salt and pepper. It had just begun to snow steadily when we set out to gather. Large fat flakes  floated around us amd landed on our eyelashes.Les pulled over in his red Subaru, flashers glowing in the wild flurry of white. He deftly put up a twenty-foot ladder against a slippery maple tree and quickly climbed up. He pulled of the biggest Blue Pearl Oyster Mushrooms I have ever seen off that tree. We drove back to their place and lit the fire. It was then that Nova told us about her non-turkey, perfect for vegetarians on turkey day or for any feast any time of the year for that matter. You must start with a large fan of a mushroom, as you can see from the photo it kind of sweetly resembles a turkey's tail! Though I have roasted many a mushroom from them, it took me two years to get to this post. I asked Nova to save me a large Blue Pearl that I would pick up from the New Amsterdam Market. Luckily my snail mail reached her in time and I was able to get a beauty from them the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I kept in a paper bag on my fire escape until cooking day. Now I know I have sung their praises before but people, if you have not been to the market on a day when they are there then you are SERIOUSLY missing out. If you are interested in finding out when The Vermont Wild Food Gatherer's Guild will be in town go to The New Amsterdam Market website and check the vendor and calendar listings! They always have something special and if you have never been to the market then what are you waiting for? It is every Sunday from 11-4pm.

Back to the mushrooms...

The mushroom I got from Les and Nova was held together by a stretch of bark. I left the piece of bark on the mushroom while I roasted it.

I brushed the mushroom with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkled it with French sea salt cracked black pepper and thyme.

I put in my largest Cast iron pan...this was a BIG mushroom 14 inches across at least. I threw it in the oven at 350 degrees for a slow roast and when it started to brown at the edges I put about a 1/4 cup of water in the pan and covered it with tin foil to add a little more moisture. Mushrooms are essentially like sponges so they soak up all that moisture. I may not have needed to do this if I had roasted it right away but since I had waited a few days I thought it might help to add the additional moisture.. I took the tin foil off for the last five minutes or so of cooking. I can't give you a specific cooking time because it depends on how big or small the mushrooms are that you are roasting. So use your intuition. You want it to be moist and almost meaty when you slice it.

We loved this so much that we could almost forego the turkey next year and just eat this!

It was really good with gravy... 


Thank you Nova for this brilliant idea!



Roasted Wild Blue Pearl Mushroom Tail

Set your oven to 350 degrees 


1 large Blue Pearl Mushroom fan approx 12-14 inches in length

1/4- 1/2 cup olive oil brushed and drizzled on the mushroom

Seas salt to taste

Cracked black pepper to taste

Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

Gently brush any dirt or debris off the mushroom with a small mushroom brush or a small pastry brush

Place the mushroom upright in a large roasting pan or cast iron skillet

Brush and drizzle with olive oil. Mushrooms really soak it up so be generous with your application.

Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper

Add some fresh thyme leaves and a sprig or two for looks


Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of our mushroom.

Put about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water in the pan and cover with tin foil

When the water is all evaporated the mushroom will be done. 

Uncover for the last five minutes or so.

The mushroom should be moist and easy to slice along the grain.


Cooking time really depends on the mushroom size so keep and eye on it!@ You don’t want it to be too tough!!!


As always, a word of caution where wild mushrooms are concerned. Leave the gathering to an expert!!











thanksgiving. a few moments.

Now that the dust has settled and the soup is on the stove, I have a few moments to share some photos from the past couple days. Thanksgiving was spent rather spontaneously with our good friends Helen and Benoit and family as neither of our families had made a concrete plan as of Wednesday morning.  So, while I was at the Greenmarket, I spoke to Helen and we decided to join forces and do it at our place in the city. The reason we were ambivalent in the first place is that the kids protested so much about going upstate and to be totally honest we were a little beat from work  and somewhat incapable of making a decision. They wore us down. The city won and I have to say it was nice not to travel. 

  We had a lovely Thanksgiving despite our initial ambivalence. The day started at 2 and ended at midnight after a long meal, dessert and a walk to visit friends and more dessert and cheese and bubbly. All was perfectly as it should be, except for my insanity of trying to cook Thanksgiving and shoot at the same time.

Below are few highlights from dinner. 

I am not posting any recipes here just yet. I will get on it soon.


It goes without saying that we all have a lot to be thankful for this year. I can not get my mind off all those that have lost homes or family. It will be important in the next few months to keep on with the volunteer work and donations to those in need.





Vermont Heritage Turkey with Wild Mushroom and Pecorino Stuffing

Cast iron Brussel Sprouts with Pan Fried Procuitto

Roasted Radishes with Juniper Sea Salt

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Roasted Blue Pearl mushrooms with Olive Oil and Thyme

Butter Leaf Lettuces with a Concord Grape Shrub Vinagrette

Dragon Carrot Puree

Heirloom Cranberry with Maple And Shaved Ginger

Blushing Apple Pie

Pumpkin Pie




Objet for the table.

The basics.



The cheese course.



For the Blushing Apple Pie.



Heirloom Cranberry With Maple And Ginger. 


Cast iron Brussel sprouts with pancetta.


The bird. From Vermont's Tamarack Hollow Farm .


 The bird. From Vermont's Tamarack Hollow Farm 




What remains. But not for long.