Posted in Foodstuffs

Foodstuff: Mint Jelly – President’s Choice Brand

Mint Jelly 1

When I was a kid growing up in England, a lamb roast was always served with my mother’s homemade mint sauce, or else a very nice mint jelly made by a Scottish company called Baxter’s. Once we moved to Canada, Baxter’s couldn’t be found and the only commercial variety we ever had in the house after that was a truly awful concoction I couldn’t stand. Honestly, I couldn’t understand why my parents continued to buy the stuff after the first time we had it as it was a horrible fluorescent green muck that tasted like toothpaste. Occasionally, over the years, I have managed to find imported varieties, including Baxter’s, in specialty stores, but I recently came across this domestic version from ‘President’s Choice’ that is really quite good… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Mint Jelly – President’s Choice Brand”

Posted in Recipes

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…  Continue reading “Mint-Grilled Lamb”

Pastes, Powders, Sauces and Condiments

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Easter Lamb with Gremolata

Lamb Gremolata 1

For our recent Easter feast, I vacillated between duck, goose or leg of lamb, but the realities of northern living settled the issue for me as I could find none of the above and had to settle for a lamb shoulder instead. Thus far, I have only bought the shoulder so as to cut it up for use in curries or Chinese dishes involving bite size pieces, and I have to confess to never having cooked one whole. When I was bemoaning the fact that I could find neither lamb leg or even chops for our Easter meal, Stefan over at Stefan’s Gourmet Blog suggested that I do the shoulder sous-vide or braise it, but since the former is technically beyond my equipment-wise, and since my wife prefers roast lamb, I decided to go ahead and do it in the oven using a herb-spice combination known as a Gremolata.

A Gremolata is similar to another well-known preparation known as a Persillade, which, in its simplest form is just parsley minced with garlic. The essential difference between the two is that a Gremolata includes lemon zest but, like the persillade, there are many variations on the basic theme. Some versions include sage, thyme, rosemary or mint, and in Milan, I gather, anchovy paste is sometimes used. Oil, chiefly olive oil, may also be added depending on the intended use for the finished preparation. For today’s dish, I am keeping my Gremolata fairly simple… Continue reading “Easter Lamb with Gremolata”

Sauces and Condiments…

Here you will find preparations intended to be bases, dressings or seasonings for more complex dishes, used either as ingredients or else added later at table…

Small Plates & Appetizers…

Small plate dishes may be served as appetizers, or preludes to other more substantial courses, or they can be served independently of any particular meal as a snack. Best of all, perhaps, one can ‘graze’ on a series of different delicacies and thus make a whole meal of many diverse tastes. Many cultures of a tradition of small plate service, all the way from the Italian Antipasti to the Russian Zakuski and that is how I have organized my selections here…

Chinese Dim Sum (點心) and other Small Plates (小吃)

Indian Appetizers and Snacks

Italian Antipasti and Spanish Tapas

More Mediterranean

Japanese Small Plates

Korean Banchan and other Small Plates

South-East Asian Snacks and Small Plates

Western Classics, Fusions and New Discoveries

Posted in General

Exotic Asian Drinks in Ottawa

Just a brief, rather light sort of post for today… I usually feature actual foodstuffs rather than beverages but, on my last trip to Ottawa, I happened to come across a couple of drinks at a Vietnamese grocery store that are definitely not on the list of common liquid refreshments amongst the majority of Canadians. Coke and 7Up are ubiquitous, of course, but ‘Tamarind juice’ and ‘Grass Jelly Drink’ don’t seem to have made the popular rounds yet as far as I can tell… Continue reading “Exotic Asian Drinks in Ottawa”