Tindora Pakora Appetizer

Tindora Pakora Appetizer

Pakora are Indian snacks made with vegetables and sometimes chicken or other meats. These are deep fried in a batter most commonly made with Besan (chick-pea flour), and, usually, with added spices. Vegetable Pakora are the most common type and the vegetables can either be a single vegetable in chunks, or one can use a variety of different veggies that are shredded and mixed before being dunked in the batter. Here, I am using lovely Indian vegetable known as Tindora, or Ivy-Gourd, which are first split lengthways and then stuffed with a Chili Pickle before being battered and deep-fried.

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Madrasi Grilled Beef Skewers

Madrasi Grilled Beef Skewers

This spicy little preparation can be made with almost any Indian Masala you like, but I created it as a vehicle for my Homemade Madras Curry Paste. For this post, I have served the skewered Beef appetizer style on a bed of finely shredded cabbage and Jalapeno peppers that were macerated in a little garlic salt before being tossed with some oil and lemon juice. However, you could also serve a larger number of skewers per person as a main dish along with rice and other accompaniments.

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Salt and Pepper Squid

Salt and Pepper Squid

In Chinese ‘Salt and Pepper’ dishes, the Pepper is generally, Sichuan Pepper, or Chili Pepper, or both, rather than the more common Black Pepper, but here, all three are used to season strips of fresh Squid, that are then deep-fried to crispy goodness.

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Minted Tataki Beef with Shrimp

Minted Tataki Beef with Shrimp

The inspiration for this dish originally came from a Vietnamese recipe I came across for a salad of Pork and Shrimp. I ended up replacing the Pork with thin slices of Beef prepared using my Basic Beef Tataki Recipe, which, of course, uses a Japanese rather than a Vietnamese technique, and I have changed the dressing constituents considerably. Ultimately, the dish has travelled exceedingly far from its basic roots, but it still makes a great appetizer for two at any Asian or Western table.

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Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

This spicy little dish of Stuffed Anaheim Peppers doesn’t attempt to reproduce any particular ethnic recipe but, with the addition of cumin and added hot sauce, is probably to being Mexican, or ‘Tex-Mex’ in spirit. There is a bit of preparation involved but none of it terribly difficult and, while I created this as an appetizer, it could easily be part of a main meal if served with rice and a little salad.

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Hoisin Braised Chicken Drumettes

Hoisin Braised Chicken Drumettes

This little appetizer is very easy to put together and is rich with the sweet and salty depth of Hoisin Sauce blended with Soy Sauce, Garlic and Shaoxing Wine. Any cuts of chicken could be used, but the large wing sections known as ‘Drumettes’ are perfect.

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Wensleydale Bites

Wensleydale Bites

Sometimes I like just playing around in the kitchen, and this little appetizer I put together one day turned out very nicely. I chose the name ‘Wensleydale Bites, because the star of the show is the delicious, rather cheddar-like Wensleydale Cheese from Yorkshire, in England. I am not providing you with a recipe, as such, for none id really needed, but if you read on, you can see how I put these together.

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Mint Grilled Lamb Chops

Mint Grilled Lamb Chops

I often buy a Rack of Lamb for roasting, but the individual Rib Chops cut from small rack are wonderful on the grill, especially where the rack has been ‘Frenched’ by having the meat and fat trimmed from the ends of the bone as you see in the picture above. Here, these succulent little chops are given a traditional pairing with Mint, and some other aromatics, both in the marinade, and also while being basted on the grill.

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Asiago Stuffed Chicken Rolls

Asiago Stuffed Chicken Rolls

For a long time, I just made these rolls as the focus of a main meal, along with a starch, usually Saffron rice, and some vegetables of one sort or the other. They do, however, make a very nice starter dish, and may be wrapped in Bacon, Pancetta, or, as in this version, slices of Prosciutto.

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Lemongrass Chicken Wings

Lemongrass Chicken Wings

This dish was inspired by the description of a dish of ‘Lemongrass Chicken’ a friend of mine once tasted and liked very much. I decided to use just wings for this recipe and make it more of an appetizer than a main dish of larger chicken parts as was described. Lemongrass is the dominant aromatic component here but, with the amounts I have used, it comes through as more of a delicate highlight rather than an in-your-face flavoring.

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