Tori Karaage at Minato Sushi

Tori Karaage at Minato Sushi in Halifax

The Minato Sushi restaurant has received some decent reviews, but my one visit to the place didn’t leave an especially favorable impression. Most of the items I selected from their menu ranged from very poor to mediocre, but the star of an otherwise disappointing meal was their Tori Karaage, which was really delicious. 

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Zucchini Siciliano

Zucchini Siciliano

This dish came about largely as a means to use up some zucchini and the last of a jar of black olives. I didn’t have any special ‘nationality’ in mind but the end result is called ‘Zucchini Siciliano’ because it reminded me of the Sicilian eggplant dish called ‘Caponata‘. That dish is generally served cold, however, while I originally created this with a view to serving it hot. That being said, it can easily be served as a hot side-dish, or a vegetable appetizer served hot or cold.

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Steamed Dungeness Crab

Steamed Dungeness Crab in Vancouver’s Chinatown

The dish of Steamed Dungeness Crab you see pictured above was served to me at a little restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown whose name I sadly forgot to record in my notes. The restaurant had a tank of live crab, from which I was able to select my ‘victim’ (as shown in the inset above), and that was a rather novel experience for me as far as my crab-eating experience goes. The menu allowed me to choose how I wished the crab to be prepared and the result was terrific.

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Chimichurri Baked Chicken

Chimichurri Baked Chicken

Recently, I posted a recipe for the Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce for grilled meats, and I noted that the preparation is also used as baste and marinade during the cooking process. Chimichurri is probably most closely associated with beef, but the tangy-herbaceous notes also work very nicely with chicken. For this recipe, I am baking the chicken in the oven, but it would also be great on the barbecue.

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Mint Grilled Lamb Chops

Mint Grilled Lamb Chops

I often buy a Rack of Lamb for roasting, but the individual Rib Chops cut from small rack are wonderful on the grill, especially where the rack has been ‘Frenched’ by having the meat and fat trimmed from the ends of the bone as you see in the picture above. Here, these succulent little chops are given a traditional pairing with Mint, and some other aromatics, both in the marinade, and also while being basted on the grill.

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Uni Appetizer at Wasabi

The Uni Appetizer at the Wasabi Restaurant in Ottawa

Uni is sometimes referred to as the roe of the Sea Urchin but is actually the gonads of the creature and can produce roe or milt (semen). It is a delicacy in Japanese cuisine but it is seasonal, and, for that reason, is not always easy to obtain. At the now defunct Wasabi Restaurant in Ottawa’s Byward Market, the Uni Appetizer consisted of five individual pieces served sashimi-style in pretty cucumber cups.

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Sichuan Red-Cooked Beef (紅燒牛肉)

Sichuan Red-Cooked Beef (紅燒牛肉)

I have discussed the Chinese cookery technique known as 紅燒, or ‘red-cooking’ in many previous posts, and have most notably illustrated it in my Red-Cooked Pork Hocks recipe. That particular example of red-cookery used a pre-prepared Master Sauce as the braising medium, but here the soy sauce enriched stewing medium will be an ad hoc preparation.

The name ‘Sichuan Red-Cooked Beef’, like the Western ‘Beef Stew’, is fairly generic, meaning that as long as you are stewing beef, you have a fair latitude as far as additional ingredients are concerned. This rendition follows no specific recipe, but it does cleave relatively closely to a basic Sichuan preparation both in terms of the aromatics (except as discussed a little further on) and the vegetables. The one main departure I have madeto my 紅燒牛肉 is that I have included potato in addition to Daikon and Carrot. Possibly, this is now becoming a more mainstream ingredient in China these days, but, in any event, I very much like the addition for this sort of dish.

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Tuna Tataki at Sushi Nami

Tuna Tataki at Sushi Nami Royale in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

As I mentioned in my recent post on the Beef Tataki at Sushi Nami Royale, a Tataki involves searing meat or fish at high temperature leaving it ultra-rare at the center, and then slicing it for service. After having tried the Beef, which was excellent, we also tried the Tuna version, which turned not to be grilled in the traditional manner, but was every bit as good.

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Spring Roll at Chu Shing

Spring Roll at the Chu Shing Restaurant in Ottawa

I first visited the Chu Shing Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown over ten years ago, and since then I have been back many times. The service in that cavernous Dim Sum is by push-cart and on the occasion that I sampled the Spring Rolls you see above, the carts were coming by at an unusually frequency and it was all I could do to keep up. It ended up being a memorable visit, though, and the shrimp stuffed rolls, while not the star of the meal, by any means, were pretty decent.

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Pesto Piccante Pasta Sauce

Pesto Piccante Pasta Sauce

After having made variations on this recipe for quite a while, I discovered that the name I came up with, Pesto Piccante, has, already been used before, chiefly, as far as I can see, for commercial tomato-based productions looking a bit like an Italian Salsa. Well, screw it … I am going to use the name anyway.

I originally put together this Pesto with a view to doing something a little different than the usual Genoese style with garlic and pine-nuts, and I decided to use green olives and green Jalapeno for a tangier, spicier result. As with the typical Pesto alla Genovese, this sauce is quite versatile and can have many used beyond being a pasta (as a Bruschetta topping, or a condiment for grilled meat, for instance), but it definitely shines on freshly cooked pasta and, if you follow along, I will show you an example of a very nice spaghetti dish using it that way.

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