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Grilled Frog Legs

Grilled Frog Legs 01

The first time I ever had frog’s legs was the on first or second night of my family’s arrival in Canada some forty years ago. Even allowing for the size distortion of childhood memories, those legs, served in some sort of white wine sauce were, as I recall, huge and meaty, with just a single joint being some 4 inches long. Since then, the only frog’s legs I have been ever able to acquire have been tiny in comparison and, as such, a little limited in their versatility. Generally, it has been my experience that the smaller varieties are best suited to the sorts of preparations one might use for chicken wings. Today, I have chosen to grill some on my barbecue in the sort of chili-cumin seasoning very popular in Western Chinese cuisine…  Read more

Experiment: Scallop ‘Shu Mai’

Scallop Shu Mai 01

I was experimenting with a dim sum dumpling filling that would normally be more associated with a variety fried in wheat starch dough rather than steamed in the Basic Wheat Flour Dough I’ve used here. The filling in question is composed of chopped scallop and chives with some light seasoning but that is all I am going to say about it here because, quite honestly, it didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.

The reason I have featured this experiment today is the particular shape of the dumplings. While browsing recipes online I came across one for dumplings that were described as Shu Mai despite not having the usual ‘pleated purse’ shape. Possibly, purists might say these are not actually Shu Mai for that reason but they are ‘open-faced’, steamed, and use a flour wrapper so possible they still fit the general category.

Anyway, the end result is, I think, much prettier than the standard shape and is much more easily formed. One simply puts a dollop of the filling in the middle of a dough circle and then pinches each ‘corner’ causing the sides to come up around the middle. My readers might like to try it themselves with filling mixtures of their own creation or possibly with the more standard Shu Mai filling used in my Shu Mai with Pork and Shrimp

 

Grilled Zucchini Appetizer

Grilled Zucchini Meze 01

While in Halifax this summer, I enjoyed an interesting and very nice Mediterranean appetizer at the Efendy Restaurant I enjoyed it very much and, while I wanted to play around with the general theme, I departed from the original by basing it on grilled zucchini rather than fried eggplant…  Read more

Foodstuff: Gnocchi – Delverde Brand™

Gnocchi Delverde Brand 1

When I came across this pre-made, packaged Potato Gnocchi from Delverde I wasn’t aware that such products existed and I was rather surprised to eventually learn that they are actually quite common (albeit not in my part of the world). I am not a huge gnocchi fan, indeed I have probably made the potato variety no more than a dozen times, but this product intrigued me and I had to check it out… Read more

Mint-Grilled Lamb

Mint Grilled Lamb 01

Mint and Lamb are natural together and, aside from serving my home-made Mint Sauce as an accompaniment to a roasted leg of lamb, I also use it as a marinade and baste for other cuts. Today, the ribs from a ‘Frenched’ rack are going to be grilled on the barbecue after marinating with mint sauce and other flavorings. You can do the same using a commercial mint sauce, if you like, or even a commercial Mint Jelly thinned with a little vinegar, but you should follow my first link above as making it yourself is REALLY easy…  Read more

Chicken stuffed with Leek and Prosciutto

Leek Stuffed Chicken Roll 01

I had de-boned some chicken thighs with a view to doing a Yakitori sort of dish but the weather was not very nice for grilling on the chosen day and I decided to just play around a little instead. There were some leeks needing to be used in my vegetable crisper and I rather thought the two could be used together in some way…

I ended up coating some sections of the leek in garlic butter, salt and pepper, and then baking them wrapped in slices of Prosciutto for about twenty minutes (just until the leeks were beginning to soften). Then, I placed the cooked bundles inside the thighs, added some chopped fresh sage and then rolled everything up. I baked the rolls for another twenty minutes or so at 375 degrees and took them out when nicely golden.

As pictured above, I have presented one of the rolls (I did 4) as a sort of appetizer and I think one could play around with this basic idea in any number of ways. Here, I drizzled a little Redcurrant Jelly over top of the roll (sliced in two to display the stuffing), and garnished the plate with a little sprig of rosemary. The roll, of course, could be cut in various different ways for service, and all sorts of other sauces and garnishing’s would work nicely too.

My wife and I actually had two rolls each as part of a main course. I served them alongside a vegetable preparation consisting of sweet corn braised with a little chopped daikon green in chicken stock and apple sauce. For a starch, I included a helping of a store-bought herbed bread dressing I wanted to use up and the whole combination was very nice. I did, however, made some mental notes of things I would change about the chicken rolls…

First, the Prosciutto ended up being just a little leathery. I have encountered this before (especially with the cheaper varieties) and I think that Pancetta, or maybe even regular bacon would be better. A bit more leek stuffing would also have been better and, after thinking about it, I imagine that a hot pepper jelly would be really good as a condiment too. I was pleased with this but I will enjoy fiddling with the basic theme again and maybe you can even try a few twists of your own…

Sesame Miso Beef Ribs

Sesame Miso RIbs 01

I really love the Korean-style ‘Flanken-cut’ beef-ribs, especially for grilling. Usually, they are cut quite thinly (at least by my butcher) but lately, I have been buying some that are a good inch or so thick. For today’s post, I marinated some using a little Miso. This is a popular Japanese grilling technique that works especially well for fish but is also terrific with beef or pork. In this case, I have also included a good shot of sesame oil in the blend for a bit of a Korean touch as well…  Read more

Kofta Appetizer

Kofta Appy 01

Today I can be lazy as I get to do a post without having to create an entire new recipe…

After making the batch of the Basic Kofta I posted about recently, I saved a few of them after they cooled so that my wife and I could have a quick afternoon snack. The white topping is just some of my homemade Tzatziki with just a little sugar added and the red sauce beneath is just some chopped tomato mixed with a dash of chili paste. As a simple, but still rather elegant snack, these were delicious cold but could just as easily be served hot. I fancy there is also all sorts of room for improvisation when I comes to your choice of sauces…

A New Feature…

A New Feature 1

Today’s post is just a quick announcement of a new series of posts I am instituting, all of which will be accessed from the menu heading (shown above) entitled ‘Culinary Experiments’.

Most of my posts involving creations from my own kitchen involve complete recipes with step-by-step photographs. Under this heading however, you will find much shorter essays that feature some particular aspect of my culinary adventures. it may focus on a technique, or else some quality of a finished dish and, as in my more ambitious posts, I will faithfully report any dismal failures…

The very first post in this series will appear in two days. Stay tuned…

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