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The Soup Dumpling Secret

Soup Dumplings 01

If you have ever tried any of the Chinese delicacies generally known as ‘soup-dumplings’ or their (often) larger, and well-known cousins, Xiaolongbao, you have probably enjoyed the way that the steaming, liquid content squirts in your mouth when you bite into them. Quite possibly, it also occurred to you to wonder how on earth the cook gets the delicious broth into the dumplings in the first place…

Not long ago, when I featured the technique for making a Basic Chinese Pork Stock, I hinted at this ancient Chinese secret. If you haven’t guessed the answer yet, read on…  Read more

Grilled Vegetable Salad

Grilled Veggie Salad 01

I experimented with quite a lot grilled vegetable dishes this past barbecue season, many of which were designed to be eaten cold. One of my favorite combinations was a delicious salad made with grilled and marinated, mushrooms, red peppers and asparagus…  Read more

Foodstuff: Hoisin Sauce – Asian Family Brand™

Asian Family Hoisin 01

I have seen a number of Asian Family™ products turn up on our local supermarket shelves in the last little while but their Hoisin Paste is the first I have tried. Normally, I use the Lee Kum Kee™ Brand Hoisin Sauce, which is pretty good, and in my written review of that product I provided something of a discussion of Hoisin Sauces in general. Much of what I said in that post, including the comments relating to usage, applies to the Asian Family product so, today, I will limit my comments to a comparison of the relative qualities…  Read more

Broccoli Meze

Broccoli Meze 01

Broccoli quite frequently appears as an item on crudité platters but, all too often, it ends up being dry, dull and rather uninteresting. Today’s preparation is not really a crudité, as such, as the broccoli florets are blanched before being dressed. However, it also can’t really be called vinaigrette salad either, for that matter, as the olive oil dressing includes no more than a few drops of lemon juice. Instead, I am calling this little appetizer dish a ‘meze’ as it is somewhat reminiscent of a Greek (or Turkish?) small plate I once encountered. Still, although I will be preparing broccoli florets in olive oil, I also stray a little from the original… Read more

Kofta Curry

Kofta Curry 01


Today’s recipe uses a batch of my Basic Kofta in a very spicy sauce. It isn’t supposed to be any specific dish in particular but it definitely reflects the flavorings of India…  Read more

Foodstuff: Pork Potstickers – InnovAsian Brand™

InnovAsian Potstickers 01


I very much enjoy making my own dumplings but when I saw these commercially prepared frozen Potstickers in my local supermarket, I was curious to see what they might be like. This particular variety is produced by a company I have not heard of before called InnovAsian Cuisine and a visit to their website reveals that they do quite a number of similar Asian snacks and entrees. I don’t expect to be buying many of these on a regular basis, to be honest, but the Pork Potstickers definitely seemed worth a try…  Read more

Basic Chinese Pork Stock

Basic Chinese Pork Stock 01

This stock, made with raw pork bones and meat is sometimes called a ‘White Stock’, or even a ‘Milk Stock’, by the Chinese because, unlike a Superior Stock, or even an everyday Chicken Stock, is quite opaque and somewhat ‘milky’ in appearance. As such, it doesn’t have quite the same elegance as a clear Superior Stock (and it would thus not typically be used in banquet soups, for example), but it is definitely rich and hearty and is particularly popular for use in Ramen style ‘soup-noodle’ dishes…  Read more

Notable Nosh: Dublin Nachos

Dublin Nachos 01

I had this rather novel, if decidedly un-Irish, snack food at the Halifax Alehouse during my visit to Nova Scotia this past July. The menu, at this rather pleasant Pub, describes their special Nachos as ‘thinly sliced potatoes piled with tomatoes, green onions, black olives, jalapeno peppers, and bacon, covered with our mixed blend and feta cheese.’ It sounded interesting (and perhaps was, I suppose), but I can’t really say I feel an overwhelming urge to indulge a second time…

Making an ‘Irish’ version of Nachos using potato is rather a clever idea, I grant you, but the execution was a bit less appealing. One of the pleasures of traditional nachos is the contrast of textures between the toppings and the crisp chips… Nearly soggy potato slices don’t quite ‘cut it’, sad to say.

I liked the toppings, actually… Feta and Black Olive is not standard and is something I’ll try on my own Nachos sometime. As for the Irish-Mexican fusion, a little work needs to be done… Chimichangas made with Boxty, maybe?

Potato Mizuna Nimono

Mizuna Potato Nimono 01

During my vacation from writing blog posts over this past summer, I was experimenting quite a bit with the Japanese class of dishes known as ‘Nimono’ or ‘Simmered Things’. Essentially, these are dishes in which the main ingredients are simmered in a ‘Shiru’, or broth, chiefly made with Dashi and other seasonings such as Soy, Mirin, or Miso. I will be looking at quite a few different sorts of Nimono in the upcoming months but today’s post illustrates a very simple example of the technique and allows me to use some of the Mizuna my wife grew over the summer…  Read more

Basil Pimento Crostini

Pimento Basil Crostini 1

Today’s post barely counts as a recipe, as such… rather it’s just a short record of something I improvised one afternoon and which turned out well enough to try again… By way of background, my wife planted Basil this summer (three sorts actually) and needed to thin out the crop a little. Accordingly, I was directed to ‘make something that needs Basil’. I already had substantial meal plans for the next several days and so I opted to use the leaves my wife provided to me in an appetizer…

I used about ½ a cup of (as yet, tiny) leaves and chopped them very finely. I mixed the result with a little of my home-made Garlic Oil along with a little black pepper and ended up with something a bit like a very rustic pesto. I grilled some baguette slices and topped them with the ‘pesto’ and the sprinkled on some nice ‘stretchy’ Mozzarella. Next, I added a couple of strips of my own Roasted Red Peppers put on some more cheese, and garnished each crostini with a slice of black olive. A few minutes under the grill melted the cheese nicely and a little sprinkle of dried dill gave a nice little touch of color before serving.

Next time, I may try a sharper cheese but the result here was very nice and I am sure you can all things of lots of great ideas to ‘riff’ on the basic idea…

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