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Sweet Onion Shreds

This post is less of a recipe than it is a culinary tip. Basically, it is a useful technique allows you to produce fine shreds of onion that have been processed to a lovely sweetness and thus can be used in a variety of ways where one would normally use raw onion (such as in a salad), but would prefer to avoid the sharp onion bite. I have been doing this for years now (decades even), and I don’t really have a specific name for it, so… ‘Sweet Onion Shreds’ it is… Read more

Review: The Food & Cooking of Cambodia

by Ghillie Basan

2008  Aness Publishing   ISBN-13: 978-1844763511

Almost all of my experience with Cambodian cuisine comes from trying the odd recipe from books broadly focusing on Asian, or somewhat more particularly, Southeast Asian cookery. There is no shortage of books on Vietnamese or Thai food, of course, but Cambodia has thus far received short shrift and it is not easy to get a sense of the cuisine of that nation from those generalized cookery books in which Cambodian dishes are not widely featured. As such, it was indeed a pleasant surprise when I came across this very nice little volume… Read more

Samosas with Pork

Samosas, for those unfamiliar with them, are Indian snacks consisting of a deep-fried stuffed dumpling that are now popular around the world. In India, there are a variety of regional names and different forms: They can be bite-size tiny, or things the size of a small baby’s head, they can be folded in triangles or half-moons, and can contain all sorts of fillings such as spiced meat, potatoes or other vegetables. Some even contain sweet fillings apparently, although I have not encountered these myself as yet.

Meat-stuffed Samosas usually contain beef, lamb or chicken, but I am going to use pork for this version as it will allow me to use some of the pulled-pork I had left over from my recent Sunday Gravy experiment… Read more

Tulugaq, Tulugaaq, Tulugait…

I’ve always been fond of this picture, and since I am currently twiddling thumbs in Arctic Bay with no internet connection to speak of, I decided to do up a short post introducing the ubiquitous Arctic Raven who appears in this suitably Hallowe’en-like photograph.

There is no shortage of avian species here in the Territory, but only a few are commonly seen. Seagulls and the tiny snow-buntings make an appearance for a few months a year, and there are geese and ptarmigan as well, but the one bird, known to all Nunavummiut is the raven, known up here as the ‘Tulugaq’…. Read more

Spice: Black Salt

Black Salt, or ‘Kala Namak’ as it is known in Hindi, is not a seasoning that will be commonly found in western kitchens, but the unique taste will be somewhat familiar to those who have experienced the increasingly more popular Indian snacks known as ‘chaat’. These snacks, often consisting of deep-fried bits and pieces, are generally seasoned with spice mixtures collectively known under the name ‘Chaat Masala‘, in which dried mango powder and black salt, with its signature sulfurous quality, figure highly. The salt, while still only commonly found in Asian groceries in the west, is, nevertheless, relatively inexpensive to purchase and well worth seeking out… Read more

The Sunday Gravy Experiment Part 5- Simmered Pork Roast

Well, on Day 4 of our Sunday Gravy project, I cooked Sausage and Meatballs in the sauce and served the results with pasta. Our sauce, now a genuine ‘gravy’, has been resting for a number of days now and, on Day 10, it is time for a new addition.  I actually took the sauce out the other day to heat it up (a good step to keep it fresh), but it looked just fine so I decided it could wait in the fridge just a little longer.

Anyway, the next experiment will be to use the gravy to simmer the nice looking 3lb. pork shoulder roast you see above. My plan is to cook it slowly for several hours and then cut off a good size piece while the meat is still quite firm to use for sandwich cold-cuts. The remainder I will return to the pot and let it simmer until it is really well done and has given lots of nice flavor to the gravy. At that point (while it still retains some flavor of it’s own) I shall retrieve it and use it for some interesting pulled pork applications… Read more

Foodstuff: Coconut Oil

I have been seeing coconut oil being mentioned and used and quite a lot recently, mostly by bloggers touting various health benefits, and when I saw some in our local store I decided to give it a try. I was curious to see what it was like but, given the price (around $12.00 for this little jar), I doubt I will be using it in large amounts… Read more

Pork Belly with Pickled Mustard Greens

When I featured Pickled Mustard Greens in a recent foodstuffs post, I mentioned that my wife and I especially like them cooked with pork belly slices. My wife is out of town at the moment but I have a hankering for this homey dish so I thought I would whip up a batch for my supper and share the very simple little recipe with you…  Read more

Foodstuff: Giant Water Bug Essence

Apologies, first of all for the poor quality picture, but it was not possible to get a full shot of such a tiny label…

Anyway, on a recent culinary excursion, I was unable to resist buying a product with the words ‘Water Giant Bug’ on the bottle, even though I didn’t have even the remotest idea what it might be. The name, I thought, sounded as though it may be one of those ‘poetic’ ones, and not reflective of any actual ingredient, but it definitely made me curious… Read more

Cioppino

Thanksgiving (the Canadian edition) will have come and gone by the time this gets posted but, this year, I decided to forego the rack of lamb we usually have and make a Cioppino. For those unfamiliar with the dish, this is an Italian-American seafood stew (or soup, if you prefer) created in San Franciso in the 1800’s. It combines shellfish and sometimes (but not always) fish in a rich broth containing wine and tomatoes. Regular readers of my blog may recall the review I did of the Fish Market Restaurant in Ottawa where I had a dish that they called Bouillabaisse which, while very good, was really much more of a Cioppino. I have had a hankering to cook the dish ever since then and (some months later) I finally managed to get around to it… Read more

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