Little Plates (Page 2)

Little Plates cover that whole gamut of light fare from the culinary traditions of Antipasto, through Dim Sum, and all the way to Tapas and Zakuski

Rice-Wine Marinated Clams
Rice-Wine Marinated Clams

Rice-Wine Marinated Clams

There are many Asian dishes, both hot and cold, that make a pairing of clams with rice wine in various combinations. This particular recipe, which also includes ginger and rice vinegar, certainly falls very much within that basic theme, but it was actually inspired by a European appetizer in which clams get a similar treatment with white wine and basil. Whatever the inspiration, though, the combination of flavors makes for a terrific cold appetizer dish.


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Mizuna Potato Nimono
Mizuna Potato Nimono

Mizuna Potato Nimono

A ‘Nimono’, in Japanese cuisine, is a dish in which the main ingredients are simmered in broth. Generally, the broth will be made with Dashi, and enhanced with Soy, Sake or Mirin, Miso, or other seasonings.

In this recipe, Potato is paired with Mizuna, which is a peppery salad herb quite commonly used in Japanese cookery, but not yet widely known in the west. It can be found in markets occasionally, but if it is not available, substitutions are easy.


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Grilled Asparagus Salad
Grilled Asparagus Salad

This Grilled Asparagus Salad pairs the wonderful smoky flavors of Grilled Mushrooms, Asparagus and Roasted Red Peppers in a lovely herb and lemon dressing.

Honestly, I didn’t buy the asparagus used here with a view to making this dish. I originally just intended to grill some asparagus to use in another dish, but I had quite a bit of it, and I also had handy some lovely grilled mushroom, as well as some of my own home-made Roasted Red Peppers. Really, this dish just seemed to suggest itself…


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My Double-Smoky Mussel Appetizer
My Double-Smoky Mussel Appetizer

I came up with this Double-Smoky Mussel Appetizer while trying to find creative use for my homemade Bacon Jam. I mostly liked the result, but it could be better. If you can improve on my efforts, then read on to see exactly what I did, and get instructions for where to send pictures of your own versions.


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Scallop Bhaji Appetizer
Scallop Bhaji Appetizer

Scallop Bhaji are not a proper traditional Indian dish, as far as I know. A ‘Bhaji’ is an Indian fritter, often served as a street snack, or an appetizer dish, and I have re-created the basic form here using scallop meat as the primary ingredient. The Japanese do something very similar in their Kakiage style dishes, but here the seasoning that is used makes for a little appetizer that is much more Indian in spirit.


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My Taiwanese Pickles
My Taiwanese Pickles

These Taiwanese Pickles were inspired by a dish of ‘Taiwan Pickled Vegetable’ served to me at a Dim Sum Restaurant. That version was also composed of slivers of Red Bell Pepper, Cucumber and Ginger, and the dish was obviously a salt-macerated ‘quick’ pickle. The pickling medium (more of a dressing really), was quite sweet, just a little sour, and had just a faint touch of chili heat…

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A ‘True’ Greek Salad
A ‘True’ Greek Salad

I have read, and been told, on many occasions that a ‘true’ Greek Salad never (ever) contains lettuce. I never questioned this assertion before but, when I came to actually reflect upon the notion, it began to strike me as a bit suspect.

Think for a moment… one can probably encounter scores, if not hundreds of different types of salad in Greece so trying to specify the ingredients of a ‘Greek Salad’ is no different than dictating what constitutes an American, or a British Salad.

What most people mean by ‘Greek Salad’ is, I suspect, something that contains (vaguely) Greek ingredients but is only called a ‘Greek Salad’ outside of Greece…


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Spicy Scallop Appetizer
Spicy Scallop Appetizer

A Spicy Scallop Appetizer

Back when I was a kid growing up in Maritime Canada, Clams and Chips were nearly as popular is Fish and Chips and, if you were in a restaurant that served both of these, it was generally a safe bet that you could get Scallops and Chips as well.

Scallops and Chips generally used the larger variety usually of scallop referred to as ‘Sea Scallops’, and even a half-dozen of these, along with chips and coleslaw, made for a very filling meal. For this appetizer version, I am using the smaller Bay Scallops, and I have jazzed up the usual plain batter coating …


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