Bean-Curd Roll at May Garden in Bedford, Nova Scotia

Bean-Curd Roll at May Garden in Bedford, Nova Scotia

Bean-Curd Roll at May Garden in Bedford, Nova Scotia

The May Garden Restaurant in Bedford, Nova Scotia does a very nice Dim Sum menu on the weekends, and many of the dishes available are excellent. Their Bean-Curd Roll with Shrimp was prepared a little differently than is common, but the result was very taste and pleasant nevertheless.

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Fenugreek a.k.a. Methi

Fenugreek a.k.a. Methi

Fenugreek a.k.a. Methi

The plant known as Fenugreek is widely used all over the Indian sub-continent, where it is known as Methi. All parts of the plant are used and it is consumed both as a vegetable, and also as an herb and spice seasoning in all sorts of recipes. It is till not commonly used by Western cooks, but it is becoming increasingly more widely available and is well worth investigating for use in your own recipes.

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Yuxiang Eggplant at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal

Yuxiang Eggplant at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal

Yuxiang Eggplant at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal

I have had many occasions to post some fairly scathing reviews of dishes I sampled at the now defunct Piment Rouge Restaurant in Montreal. What had once been a high-end restaurant went into noticeable decline in its final days and this showed in both service and food quality. The Yuxiang Eggplant Appetizer you see above, however, was on of the few dish I ate there that was actually pretty good.

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Larb Stuffed Endive Boats

Larb Stuffed Endive Boats

Larb, or ‘Laab’ as it sometimes spelled, is a cold salad of meat, herbs and other seasonings that is not only reckoned to be the national dish of Laos but also quite common in Thailand as well. The meat is often beef or pork, sometimes raw, sometimes cooked, but fish and poultry version exist as well. Often, this is served in a bowl with lettuce or other leaves for wraps, but, here, I have used the basic recipe theme to pre-stuff endive leaves as a simple, but tasty appetizer.

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Duck-Tongue and Hog-Guts at the Juxianyuan Restaurant

Duck-Tongue and Hog-Guts at the Juxianyuan Restaurant

Duck-Tongue and Hog-Guts at the Juxianyuan Restaurant

After sampling the Grilled Squid at the now defunct Juxianyuan Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown, I returned a few days later for more of their Northern Chinese Barbecue specialties, all of which are broiled with a dusting of dried Chili and Cumin. I tried three items, actually, but the first two seen pictured above were Duck Tongues and Hog-Guts (although, on the menu these were just referred to as ‘Pig Intestines’.

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Freshly made Sambal Belacan

Sambal Belacan Recipe

Many westerners are now familiar with the simple Chili Paste known as Sambal Oelek as it is available in supermarkets, and in many restaurants these days. This Sambal Belacan recipe is considerably more complex as it adds the Malaysian Dried Shrimp Paste known as Belecan, along with a host of other aromatic spices. It is perfect for use as a spice base in Malaysian style Curries, but is versatile enough to be used in a wide range of different dishes.

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Squid Steamed at the May Garden Restaurant in Bedford

Squid Steamed at the May Garden Restaurant in Bedford

Squid Steamed at the May Garden Restaurant in Bedford

The Steamed Squid dish you see pictured above was one of 8 items I sampled at a recent Dim Sum lunch at the May Garden Restaurant in Bedford, Nova Scotia recently. It not only turned out to be the star of the meal, it was probably the best version of this classic Dim Sum dish I have ever made, or been served in a restaurant.

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Chicken Haldi

Chicken Haldi Recipe

The ‘Haldi’, in the name ‘Chicken Haldi’, is the Hindi word for Turmeric. The spices used in this baked Chicken dish are moderately complex, but they are dominated by the sweet, slightly pungent flavor of the bright yellow, dried Turmeric powder, along with the warm, maple-like notes of Kasoori Methi, or dried Fenugreek Leaf.

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Squid Grilled at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal

Squid Grilled at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal

Squid Grilled at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal

When Le Piment Rouge Restaurant closed its doors in Montreal, it was already a once high-end establishment in decline. Several of the dushes I was served there were badly plated and executed poorly. Unfortunately, this was true of the Grilled Squid dish you see pictured above.

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Fish Maw with Shrimp and Mushrooms

Fish Maw with Shrimp and Mushrooms

Fish Maw with Shrimp and Mushrooms

Not long ago, I recently posted an introduction to Fish Maw, a Chinese dried seafood ingredient that is not widely known or used in the West. This ingredient, prized for its texture rather than its almost non-existent taste, is probably most commonly used in soups. Here, this recipe for Fish Maw with Shrimp and Mushrooms, illustrates a use of the reconstituted Fish Maw in a stir-fried dish.

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