Today’s dish is a variation on the Chinese classic Twice-Cooked Pork , but rather than the meat being simply boiled with a few seasonings, it is first ‘red-cooked’ in a sweet soy based sauce before being quick fried with bamboo and a little celery… Read more
1177 Rue de la Montagne – 514-868-1177 – Website
Date of Visit: April 24, 2014
Montreal, though essentially French in culture and spirit, is actually very well known for its excellent Italian Restaurants. On my recent visit to the city, I made sure that at least one of my meals would be at one of these establishments and I chose Il Campari as the venue for my last dinner in town. I had rather expected this to be the most special of all my restaurant adventures on this particular trip but, sadly, it was a little bit disappointing… Read more
This rather simple little preparation is a standard on most tapas menus and, as one might expect, there are many variations. Typically, it involves potatoes that are deep-fried, but pan-fried, roasted and even boiled versions occur. The sauce, while always spicy, can be quite copious, or else little more than a glaze, and recipes often incorporates tomato in the mix, with mayonnaise sometimes being added, both as a sauce ingredient proper, or else drizzled on top before service. Today, I am going to roast chunks of potatoes and then quickly fry them in a light but piquant sauce… Read more
This curiously named dish, with origins in Sichuan, is a classic in Chinese cuisine. It is based on the wiry, thin Mung Bean Starch noodles (粉絲), whose transparency yields the common English names of ‘glass noodles’ or ‘cellophane noodles’. Ground meat, generally pork or beef, is cooked in a sauce and then tossed with the noodles so that the ‘grains’ of meat give the appearance (with some poetic license) of ants climbing the branches of a tree. In Sichuan, Chili Bean Paste, and sometimes chopped fresh or dried chili, is incorporated into the sauce, while in Taiwan or other parts of China, a less spicy version results from the use of the milder black or yellow bean sauces. Our version today will be of the traditional spicy, hot variety… Read more
I have quite a number of Chinese cookery books printed in China that contain recipes for a small plate preparation consisting of peanuts fried with a type of tiny white fish. I actually have all the necessary ingredients to prepare this for you sometime but, just recently, I was fortunate to come across a commercially packaged snack that I just had to try… Read more
The name of this very common and classic Chinese dish, 回鍋肉 (huíguō ròu), translates directly as ‘Return to the Pot Pork’. In English, however, it is usually rendered as ‘Twice-Cooked Pork’ as two separate processes are used for cooking the meat. Basically, a fatty cut (most commonly Pork Belly) is simmered in a flavored liquid, then cooled, sliced, and fried, typically with a vegetable or two.
The dish is probably Sichuanese in origin, but it is prepared in homes and restaurants all over China and has many variations on the basic theme. Often a simple sauce based on bean paste coats the finished ingredients, with Chili Bean Paste common in Sichuan, and Sweet Bean Sauce elsewhere. I like to fry the meat with sweet green peppers sometimes, but leeks are quite often used as well. Today, I am preparing a non-spicy variety that would probably be very much at home in Taiwan, and I am using simple Scallion for the sole vegetable addition… Read more
1450 Crescent St. – (514) 286-0303 – Webpage
Date of Visit: April 24, 2014
There are several Indian Restaurants in downtown Montreal that I have wanted to try. On my most recent visit to the city I made plans to visit one on Peel Street but it was closed when I wanted to dine and so I ended up going to Devi instead. Happily, my initial disappointment at missing the first choice was assuaged by a very pleasant experience… Read more
The potato has historically not been widely used in China (although that is probably changing with the incursion of western-style fast food) and, where it does appear, it is not as a major starch component of a meal, as it usually is in the west. Instead, it is treated more as a secondary vegetable and will often appear alongside rice based dishes, or even noodles. Today’s dish is a good example of a Chinese potato preparation and, while it appears to have originated in Sichuan, is becoming widely popular elsewhere as well.
The basic form of the dish is simply potato shreds stir-fried to a tender, yet still slightly crunchy, state. Some preparations add little else other than a bit of salt or soy for seasoning while others are more complex. Sichuan variations often include dried chili and Sichuan Peppercorns, while others are less spicy and may include green onion, red or green bell peppers, or shredded carrot. Today, I am going to walk the middle line and use shredded green chili for color and a little spicy kick… Read more