Posted in Foodstuffs

Lee Kum Kee Brand Spicy Bean Sauce (麻婆醬)

When my wife went out to Vancouver a little while ago, I asked her to pick me up some of ‘that spicy bean sauce I like’. I was actually referring to Lee Kum Kee’s ‘Chili Black Bean Sauce’ but I should have been a little more specific in my request because she came back with another Lee Kum Kee product that I have never seen before. I was disappointed to not get what I asked for, of course, but it turned out to be a happy accident of sorts as it gave me a new product to play around with… Continue reading “Lee Kum Kee Brand Spicy Bean Sauce (麻婆醬)”

Posted in Experiments

Experiment: Marinated Clams

I came across an interesting recipe for marinated clams in one of my Chinese cookery books recently (this one translated into both English and Spanish, as it happens). The recipe called for raw clams and used a marinade employing red chili and a fair amount of soy sauce and vinegar. I still had a package of the Mirabel Brand Pre-Cooked Frozen Clams that I used in my Clams with White Wine and Basil experiment not long ago and I thought that they might do nicely in a similar preparation as long as the marinade was a little lighter… Continue reading “Experiment: Marinated Clams”

Posted in Experiments

Experiment: Steak with Lemon-Cumin Pesto

One morning, I returned home from shopping with a couple of nice, small steaks for supper. I didn’t have any particular plan in mind for cooking them but, as I was surfing some food blogs later that afternoon, I came across a lovely recipe by Jen over at The Scrumptious Pumpkin that she called ‘Grilled Sirloin with Lemon-Chive Pesto’. Now, Jen’s recipe is a lovely one, and I urge you to take a look, but I had no chives, nor pine nuts, to work with, as she did, and so I decided to substitute the chives with scallion greens and tweak the flavor a little with a little cumin… Continue reading “Experiment: Steak with Lemon-Cumin Pesto”

Posted in Foodstuffs

Foodstuff: Salted Jellyfish Shreds

Jellyfish is not something that most Canadians of non-Asian descent will have ever tried. Like a number of delicacies in Chinese cuisine, it is enjoyed not for the taste (indeed it has very little flavor) but rather for the unique consistency it possesses. To the uninitiated, the very notion of eating jellyfish is a little scary given the alien appearance of the creatures but, in fact, once you get past the initial cultural resistance to the whole idea, they are actually an interesting culinary experience and well worth the try … Continue reading “Foodstuff: Salted Jellyfish Shreds”

Posted in Experiments

Experiment: Chicken Haldi

This experiment arose out of not much more than a desire to have chicken for supper one evening and no clear idea as to how to prepare it other than to do something vaguely Indian.  I wasn’t especially looking for anything too spicy or complex and I decided to play around with the warmly sweet qualities of both Turmeric and Fenugreek leaf. After settling on the spice blend I will share with you below, I had a hard time thinking of a name for the dish and I finally hit upon Chicken Haldi, as ‘Haldi’ is the Hindi word for Turmeric and the exotic sound of the name just somehow appealed to me… Continue reading “Experiment: Chicken Haldi”

Posted in General

A Nomination: The Versatile Blogger Award

Well here was a nice surprise… I awoke this morning to discover that Alison over at WifeMeetsLife has nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award (Thank you SO much, Alison!).

I have seen the VBA Logo at a number of blog sites and I can’t say I ever expected to receive a nomination… at least, certainly not so soon after getting started in the blogosphere. Anyway, as I read Alison’s post announcing her elevation to the fold, the rules for accepting a nomination require that (in addition to thanking the nominator), I must provide 7 facts about myself and nominate 7 other blogs I think worthy of the award. So here goes….

7 Facts about Yours Truly…

  1. My wife and I have 5 cats who rejoice in the names: ‘Big Fat Kittie’, ‘Fluffy Kittie’, ‘Good Kittie’ (aka: Grey Kittie or Dumbo), ‘Little Black Kittie’ and ‘Little White Kittie’;
  2. For five years I was the most northerly practicing lawyer on the continent;
  3. I was born in England, emigrated to Canada at age 12, and have lived on 3 continents;
  4. Before moving to the Arctic regions, my wife and I raised cows, chickens and turkeys on a little 35 acre hobby farm;
  5. I have a collection of over 300 cookbooks;
  6. I have assisted at over 300 autopsies; and,
  7. I can remember all sorts of obscure facts and figures but need to keep reading glasses scattered all around the house as I keep forgetting where I set them down…

7 Really Worthwhile Blogs…

  1. Back Road Journal … A blog by a New Englander with a lovely garden and lots of nice recipes;
  2. Chow Times … The food and travel adventures of Ben and Suanne from Vancouver;
  3. CoolCookStyle … Recipes and culinary musings by a ‘savoir-vivre’ who goes by the interesting handle: Bacon Biscuit12;
  4. Domestic Diva, M.D. … Recipes and hilarious anecdotes from a newly qualified medical doctor;
  5. Sinfully Spicy … A celebration of Indian food with lovely photography;
  6. Mmm…Yoso!!! … The food travels of a San Diego based blogger; and,
  7. I love you, 2012 … Another Northern lawyer relates his experiences and chronicles 10 impossible projects he plans to complete in 365 days.

Well, there were actually several other blogs I thought should be nominated but I see that they have been so honored already. As for the last blog in my list of 7, I urge my regular readers to take a look. Malcolm (aka: Repo) who writes the blog is a regular travel companion and co-defense counsel with me on Court circuits all around the North. His projects for the year include running a Marathon on the sea-ice which will require him to be dropped out on the ice floe 26 miles from home so that he can make his own way back. I rather expect that after being cooped up for the long Arctic winter we are just emerging from, his wife will be happy to drop him off on an ice floe any old time….

Anyway… Thank you, again, Alison, for the unexpected nomination!

Posted in Experiments

Experiment: Pasta all’ Amatriciana

Years ago, while I was an impoverished law student, I was often forced to improvise meals with just a few ingredients. One evening, having just some bacon, tomatoes and spaghetti, I threw together a simple dish that was so good I have continued to make it to this day. I often add to the bare-bones recipe these days, but the simple preparation of bacon and tomatoes fried together and then tossed with pasta is still a favorite. For the longest time, I thought that I had invented something truly unique and it wasn’t until quite a few years later that I discovered that the Italians had long ago beaten me to the punch. My ‘invention’ is actually over a century old and is known in Italy, and now Italian restaurants everywhere, as pasta all’ Amatriciana…  Continue reading “Experiment: Pasta all’ Amatriciana”

Posted in Experiments

Experiment: Grilled Beef and Jicama Salad

Not long ago, I posted a ‘Foodstuffs’ article featuring Jicama and I included links to a couple of recipes for this interesting vegetable I came across at a blog called ‘Sally’s Place’.  One was just a very simple method for ‘Grilled Jicama’, while the other was a delicious sounding salad incorporating beef and snow peas. I wanted to try making a salad with the Jicama I purchased when I first wrote my introductory post but I also wanted to try cooking it (having sampled it raw already), and I thought that a fusion of the two recipes might prove interesting… Continue reading “Experiment: Grilled Beef and Jicama Salad”

Posted in Foodstuffs

Foodstuff: Pearl River Bridge Brand Light Soy Sauce

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who is not familiar with soy sauce but few people actually appreciate the considerable diversity of this interesting condiment. Most people tend to regard one soy sauce as being pretty much like another but, in truth, there are many varieties, each with their own character and uses. The variety you see pictured above, manufactured by the Pearl River Bridge Company in southern China, has been available in Canada for at least a couple of decades now and is one of the best I have ever come across… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Pearl River Bridge Brand Light Soy Sauce”