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Veal with Peppers and Mushrooms

Veal with Peppers and Mushrooms 1

I put together this little recipe to use up the last of the Marinated Peppers I made and posted about a few weeks ago. I followed that original post with another one featuring a dish I called Pasta with Pork and Peppers and that inspired me to do something somewhat similar using veal as the combination of veal with peppers is very popular in Italian cuisine. Since the marinated peppers and their oil are already very robustly flavored with garlic and thyme, I have added little else to this dish by way of seasoning other than some lemon juice, lemon zest, and a little salt and pepper.

You could easily serve this over, or tossed with pasta, but I am just going to serve mine for supper along with just some crusty bread…  Read more

Black Bean Steamed Clams

Black Bean Steamed Clams 1

I don’t recall actually ever seeing steamed clams as a dim sum offering in a restaurant, but this combination of clams and salted black beans, along with other typically Chinese seasonings certainly does make a nice ‘small plate’ delicacy and that’s what I had in mind when I put together today’s recipe. I am using the Mirabel brand of small frozen clams as these are deliciously sweet and look very pretty for this sort of dish, but you can use fresh ones of any type…  Read more

Experiment: Pasta with Pork and Peppers

Pasta with Pork and Peppers 1

Last week, I posted the recipe for a batch of Marinated Peppers I made and I mentioned that I planned to use some the result for a Roast Pork Sandwich project I was working on. Well, I did, in fact, do up a pork roast and I played around with my sandwich Idea using the peppers as well. The result, however, though delicious, was not especially photogenic so I haven’t reproduced a picture here…

Anyway, I used some of the leftover pork and more of the peppers to make the pasta dish you see above. I fried some strips of pork just to brown them and then I set them aside and added a healthy one-third of a cup of the marinating oil from the peppers into the pan. I quickly sautéed about a half-dozen chopped cherry tomatoes in the oil (for a little acidity) and then tossed in some of the peppers and little chunks of garlic that were also in the marinating oil. After sautéeing for just a couple of minutes, I added in a batch of freshly cooked pasta, tossed it well, and then served with grated Parmesan Cheese.

The result was a very pleasant meal. Other than a little salt, the dish needed no other seasoning as the marinated peppers and the oil already pack a flavor punch alone. I have decided that keeping a batch of these on hand at all times is a great idea, not merely for a snack or appetizer emergencies, but also to add a flavor fillip to all sorts of dishes…

 

From the Arctic to the Farm…

Kitty in NS 001

Regular readers of this blog will recall that my wife recently bought a farm in Nova Scotia and that she was to make the move first (with me following at the end of the year or thereabouts). I am now pleased to announce that she has arrived successfully along with our four cats. The process of settling in has begun.

Our oldest cat is the only one to have moved north with us 15 odd years ago. The other three are all Arctic born kitties and have never seen a tree. Squeakers, seen above is enjoying the view of his very first one from the living room. The cats have been kept inside thus far as my wife wants to acclimatize them to their new surroundings. I am looking forward to hearing about their first visit to the outdoors in due course…

 

Marinated Peppers

Marinated Peppers 1

I love making home-made Roasted Peppers, especially for use as an Antipasto dish. Unfortunately, the process can be a bit time-consuming, especially peeling off the skins afterwards as this can be really fiddly.  I wanted to try doing something along the same basic lines, but without doing all the peeling and so forth, and so I decided that flash-frying strips of different sorts of bell peppers would achieve the same sort of smoky-sweet result. After marinating the strips, they could, even with the skins on, make a very nice appetizer selection (perhaps with some crusty bread and cheese), but my actual goal in preparing this batch is to use in a special  roast pork sandwich I am planning to try…  Read more

Baked Celery Chicken

Baked Celery Chicken 1

Way back last summer, I found myself the only guest at the Tujormovik Hotel in Igloolik and, on the weekend, I ended up cooking for myself. I had some chicken pieces but, lacking a wire rack to bake them on, I improvised using celery stalks I found in the fridge. I only meant to use the celery to keep the pieces from sticking to the pan but, as it happened, the result of the stalks baking in the chicken juices was delicious and I made a note to experiment with the idea in the future.

Yesterday, I finally got around to playing around with the basic theme again, this time using chicken drumettes, which are the end part of the wing that looks like a little leg. Instead of using whole celery stalks, I cut the celery into short batons and spread them over the bottom of a baking dish. I was aiming for a vaguely Asian end result here and to keep the celery moist an add a little flavor, I sprinkled these with a tablespoon or two of dry sherry (having no rice wine at the time). Next, I tossed the drumettes with a little salt, garlic puree and Hoisin Sauce, and arranged them in a circle on top of the celery and sprinkled everything with just a little finely diced red pepper. This last step was more for appearance than anything else but you could easily substitute fresh red chili for an additional flavor boost.

Anyway, I baked the dish in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes and the result was delicious. I ate every piece of chicken and every bit of celery all by myself with just a little bread to mop up the juice. Once again, the celery baked in chicken juices really turned out nicely. I think a little more could be done to make the final dish a little more visually appealing, maybe, but the idea is worth working with and you could easily adapt the general idea with a whole host of other flavorings…

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