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Sea Cucumber with Beef-balls and Mushrooms

Sea Cucmber with Beefballs 1

I introduced the rather exotic delicacy commonly known as Sea Cucumber not long ago and, in that post I detailed the somewhat lengthy process for rendering the dried product edible. Today’s dish, featuring an already reconstituted specimen, is a fairly commonplace preparation wherein the sliced flesh is braised with other ingredients; in this case, seasoned beef-balls and dried Chinese Black Mushrooms in a rich braising medium…  Read more

Steamed Chicken with Mushrooms

Steamed Chicken with Mushrooms 1

Today I am showcasing a simple, light meal I put together one evening. It could easily be made with any chicken parts (chopped into small pieces) but I used the wing drumettes on this occasion.

Basically, I just seasoned the drumettes with salt, pepper, and a little sugar and then tossed them with flour to coat. I then placed them on a bed of finely slivered celery and drizzled over some chili oil. On top, I scattered a little more celery, including the leaves, as well as some finely sliced Black Chinese Mushrooms. Finally, I spooned over about a quarter-cup of a sauce made from a little soy sauce and oyster sauce diluted with rice wine and then steamed everything for about 30 minutes.

The Verdict? This was really excellent…. The Chicken was so tender and the flavoring was understated but just right. My wife especially enjoyed it. I think this would make a great dish as one of several in a Chinese meal but, in future I might also divide everything into smaller portions and steam them as Dim Sum type dishes. Give this a try!

Potatoes with Fresh Fenugreek

Potatoes with Fenugreek 01

My wife included a small crop of Fenugreek in her greenhouse this summer. There wasn’t a lot to play around with and one of the dishes I used it in was this spicy Indian potato side- dish made with the Bengali spice blend Panch Phoron…  Read more

Roast Pork Belly with Pickled Mustard

Roast Pork Belly with Pickled Mustard 1

Today’s short culinary piece features some leftover Roast Pork Belly with Crackling steamed with Pickled Mustard to make a small dish suitable for a dim sum type meal. Today, I used a Commercially Packaged Pickled Mustard I quite like, but one could easily use a Home-made Pickled Mustard Greens instead.

The process consists only of putting slices of the belly in a suitable dish along with the pickle and then steaming for about twenty minutes or so. Here, I also added a little chopped red pepper for a nice visual appeal as well. I was a little disappointed with the pickle as it was a bit dark, having been in my store cupboard for quite a while, but it still tasted the same as it usually does and I think the overall appearance wasn’t too bad.

Steaming pork crackling changes it so that it is no longer crispy but the new texture is still delightful in a rich, unctuous sort of way and I often use leftovers this way. For serving, I made up a dipping sauce made with chili oil sweetened with sugar and just a dash of sesame oil. It occurred to me afterward that I could have drizzled this over the pork and pickle before steaming and I think I will do it that way next time…

Pan-Seared Beef Carpaccio

Seared Carpaccio 1

A ‘Carpaccio’, most commonly made using beef, can actually consist of raw slices of almost any meat or fish and, as such, can probably be considered as Italy’s answer to Sashimi. Occasionally, raw slices of beef are passed quickly under a broiler to add a little color before being served with a dressing and other accompaniments, and sometimes one finds recipes where the original piece of beef, or what have you, is seared lightly before being sliced. In this regard, preparations of this sort are much more like the Japanese Tataki… Today, I am putting together a little appetizer that builds on the basic theme by first searing the meat in a spicy crust…  Read more

Foodstuff: Camelina Oil

Camelina Oil 01

I must confess to having heard of Camelina before, much less Camelina Oil, but it appears that the plant, native to Europe and Central Asia (but now cultivated in North America), has been grown agriculturally for about 3000 years. It is also known as ‘Siberian Oilseed’ and ‘False Flax’ and, though the oil is still not widely known, it gives every indication of becoming one of the latest health-food fads. This brand touts the Omega Oil content and several sites I visited were extolling the supposed benefits, As I have said before, however, I usually pay scant attention to extravagant medicinal claims as it is just too hard to separate the actual facts from the nonsense or the merely frivolous wishful thinking… Anyway, the bottle I purchased is packaged by a Canadian Company called Three Farmers and I noticed they also sell some other Camelina Oil versions infused with garlic, herbs and the like. I thought for now, however, I would just give the plain type a try…  Read more

I Do NOT Respect Your Religious Beliefs!

Religious Beliefs

To all you Muslims, all you Christians, all you Jews, Hindus, Wiccans, Pagans, or what have you… I DO NOT respect your beliefs.

  • I DO respect your right to hold whatever beliefs you do have;
  • I DO respect your right to express your beliefs in speech, writing, music or art;
  • I DO respect your right to practice your religion in rites or other observances as long as those practices cause no harm, nor interfere with the rights of others…

BUT (and this is the important part)… I recognize you as having absolutely NO right to demand that I, or anyone else, to treat your beliefs with the same solemnity as do you…  Read more

Chili Coriander Beef

Chili Coriander Beef 1

Today’s dish is basically a curry, but it doesn’t belong to any particular cuisine or other aside from vaguely being South-East Asian in character. I put it together in order to try braising beef with Coconut Water as a sort of follow up to my recent Vietnamese Braised Pork dish made with that particular ingredient. By the way, the Coriander in this reparation is not the leaf Coriander also known as ‘Cilantro’ (which I hate), but rather the ground seed (which I love) …  Read more

Foodstuff: Dried Sea Cucumber

Sea Cucumber 01

You might be forgiven for mistaking the above two objects for fossilized dinosaur droppings but they are, in fact, a dried marine delicacy commonly called ‘Sea Cucumber’. These ‘cucumbers’, also known as ‘beche-de-mer’ or ‘trepang’ are widely harvested and consumed but are especially popular in Chinese cookery where they are known as 海参 or ‘hǎishēn’, meaning ‘sea ginseng’. Like tofu, these delicacies are prized more for their texture rather than their intrinsic flavor, which is practically non-existent and they are typically braised, or otherwise cooked with rich sauces and other ingredients from which they then absorb flavor.

Despite being called sea ‘cucumbers’, these culinary treats are actually a type of marine animal and, while it is possible to buy then fresh in some places, or occasionally frozen, they are commonly sold in the dried form you see above. Accordingly, sea cucumbers must be reconstituted before use and, although you will sometimes find them being sold with this process already completed, more commonly you will need to do it at home. It is a bit of a lengthy process and we will be looking at this below…  Read more

Happy New Year Everyone!

Squeakers 1

After yesterday’s rather sad post, I thought something a little more cheerful was in order…

The little guy pictured above is ‘Squeakers’, one of the two latest additions to our family. This is image is actually a few months old and Squeakers is too big to sleep in his favorite fruit bowl anymore… I like this picture because it rather looks like he has a had a bit too much catnip as part of the season’s celebrations.

Anyway, I’d like to thank my readers for their continued support and kind comments. I plan to keep much the same post schedule as I have done for the past half-year or so; that is to say, two regular food-related posts per week and the odd supplemental feature when something interesting happens. Cheers!!

 

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