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Three Shred Duck – 三絲鴨肉

Three Shred Duck 1

Today’s recipe is a very Chinese sort of preparation you can use for leftover duck. In many Chinese restaurants specializing in Peking duck, one often gets the skin and some of the meat served as a first course with Mandarin pancakes, the carcass is used to make soup, while the leftover meat is typically shredded and made into a stir-fry.

The meat I am using today actually came from a regular roast duck but it will do nicely here in this typical sort of stir-fry used for Peking Duck leftovers. Since my dish will use julienned celery, carrot and spring onion I am giving it a Chinese name that reflects the preparation. There are three shredded ingredients in addition to the duck, so it will be:  三絲鴨肉, or ‘three shred duck’ ….  Read more

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Japanese Cucumber Salad 1

This very simple little preparation is an example of a Japanese Sunomono, or ‘vinegared’ dish. There are all sorts of variations on the general theme but this is about as basic as it gets. You can, if you like, simply use plain rice vinegar for the dressing but, today, we will be using a prepared nihaizu seasoned vinegar preparation… Read more

Chinese Superior Stock

Chinese Superior Stock 1

A good Basic Chicken Stock is essential in the Chinese kitchen but for very special soups and other banquet-quality dishes (Shark’s –fin soup, for instance), a very rich broth known as ‘Superior Stock’, or 上湯 (shàng tāng), is required. Basically, a Superior Stock is prepared using chicken, pork and ham, very often the prized Chinese ham known as ‘Jinhua ham’. A select few other ingredients are used, ginger and scallion usually, but not much else in the way of other vegetables are added. It is a very rich and complex preparation and a good stock can make all the difference between a mediocre dish and one that is truly special…  Read more

Culinary Chinese 101: A Character Study…

CC Character Study 1

Today, we are beginning our post with a new character. However, you will probably notice that, contrary to previous practice, I have provided you with neither the pronunciation nor a definition. The reason for this is that we will be looking at both of those things next week. The 炒 character doesn’t often appear on restaurant signs but it will appear lots of times on just about every menu you will ever encounter. It is a very useful character to know and we will eventually have some fun exploring it in more detail.

That being said, I am trying, in these lessons, to alternate the interesting and instructive stuff with information that is a bit less exciting but nevertheless critical. Next week’s post will be a lot more fun, I promise you, but, today, please bear with me as we wade through a bit of technical stuff. The best way to begin is to dive right in by stating a few basic, but essential principles…  Read more

Roast Pork Belly with Sage and Apple

Roast Pork Belly with Apple 1

We have been getting whole, rind-on pork belly pieces quite regularly in our store lately and I very much wanted to roast a nice chunk for supper one night. Apple and sage always make a great pairing with pork in all forms and I decided to prepare the roast ahead of time in a way that the meat would be infused with the fragrances while cooking…  Read more

Leek and Potato Soup

Leek and Potato Soup 1

Today’s recipe is for one of my favorite soups. Basically, it is a Vichyssoise, but, while that particular creation is usually (although not invariably) served cold, I like mine piping hot with crusty brown bread and butter on the side…  Read more

Oven Baked Indian Rub Ribs

Indian Rub Ribs 1

My wife confessed to a hankering for ribs and I was happy to oblige her. I was feeling a little adventurous though and so, instead of one of my standard preparations I decided to play around with a vaguely Indian blend involving of Cumin, Coriander, and the maple-warmth of Fenugreek Seed . I am calling the result ‘Indian Rubs’ and, though it needs a little work, perhaps some of you might like to play with the basic theme… Read more

The ‘Maki Sushi Ki’

Maki Sushi Ki 1

I can’t remember exactly where I purchased this little gadget. It was quite a long time ago and the thing ended up languishing in one of my kitchen drawer for ages waiting for me to get around to trying it. I seem to recall that I found the product in the ‘bargain bin’ of a food shop down south somewhere and it came with neither an identifying label (other than the logo on the device itself), nor any instructions. This last omission was rather significant as I first misunderstood the basic function of the ‘mold’ and I used it in a way that is not specifically intended…  Read more

Foodstuff: Broccoli Stems

Broccoli Stems 1

I have noticed that many people who go to the bother of using fresh rather than frozen broccoli only use the florets and then throw the rest of the stem away. This is a bit of a shame really as this part of the plant is not only quite versatile, it is also tender and delicious as well. Indeed, I think I would have to say that I actually prefer it to the florets…  Read more

Saltimbocca

Saltimbocca 1

Saltimbocca (the name means ‘jump in the mouth’) is an Italian classic that traditionally consists of veal paired with prosciutto and fresh sage leaves, and served, most commonly, with a reduction sauce of the pan juices and Marsala wine. It is sometimes served as a main course but appears more often as an appetizer and there are, of course, different variations. Chicken is quite often used in place of veal and, today, I will be using very lean pork as, not only is good veal almost impossible to obtain up here, pork makes a very delicious substitute.

It has been years since I last made this dish and the last time I hate it was at a restaurant in Montreal. It was actually a very good Italian restaurant (and Montreal has many of these), but this particular offering was awful and consisted of dried out slices of veal spread out on a plate with overcooked prosciutto just scattered randomly on top and a few flakes of dried sage visible here and there but not otherwise detectable. I am fairly confident that today’s version will be better….  Read more

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