Little Plates (Page 5)

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

Marinated Sweet Peppers
Marinated Sweet Peppers

The Italian antipasto dish of Roasted Red Peppers is a perennial favorite, but the preparing them can be a bit time-consuming, especially the fiddly task of peeling the skins after roasting.

Today’s dish of Marinated Sweet Peppers is a bit simpler, with three different sorts of bell pepper being flash-fried at high temperature to yield a similar smoky sweetness, and then marinated, with the skins still remaining, in a garlic and herb infused oil. The result is an appetizer style of dish that is terrific served with nothing more than crusty bread.

Read More →

Tiger Skin Peppers - 虎皮尖椒
Tiger Skin Peppers

Tiger Skin Peppers, or so 虎皮尖椒 (hu pi jian jiao) are so named because of the characteristic patterns that form on chilies when seared at very high, giving them a ‘tiger skin’ like appearance. Personally, I actually think that ‘Leopard Skin’ might be closer but I won’t quibble.

Anyway, once seared, the chilies are finished with a simple sauce composed of Chinese Black Vinegar, soy sauce, and, usually a little sugar. I am rounding that out, here in this recipe, with a little chopped garlic here. The result makes for a very nice appetizer or side-dish…


Read More →

Patatas Bravas
Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas are standard on most tapas menus and, as one might expect, there are many variations. Typically, the dish involves potatoes that are deep-fried, but pan-fried, roasted and even boiled versions occur. The sauce, while always spicy, often incorporates tomato and it can be quite copious, or else little more than a glaze. Mayonnaise is sometimes used, both as a sauce ingredient proper, or else drizzled on top, or on the side, before service. Here, in this simple preparation, I am roasting chunks of potatoes and then quickly frying them in a light but piquant sauce.


Read More →

Broccolini in XO Sauce
Broccolini in XO Sauce

Broccolini is very much like the Chinese vegetable, Gai Lan, and a perennial favorite in Dim Sum restaurants is Gai Lan in Oyster Sauce. Here, I am doing a quick little dish inspired by that favorite, except that I am using Broccolini as the vegetable, and replacing the Oyster Sauce with the much more decadent XO Sauce (and just a splash of Rice Wine).

Read More →

Broccolini with Sesame Miso Dressing
Broccolini with Sesame Miso Dressing

Broccolini with Sesame Miso Dressing is inspired by a common Japanese way of dressing spinach and other cold greens. The dressing in question is made by toasting sesame seeds then grinding them to a paste along with a little sugar and mirin, sake and soy sauce, but, here, I have made a few twists on the classic theme.

Read More →

Greek-Style Broccolini Salad
Greek-Style Broccolini Salad

This Greek-style Broccolini Salad came about because I was blanching a fairly large amount of broccolini with a view to making a few different things and I had a little bit of the vegetable leftover. The result is a bit of an amalgam of a few different salads I have seen but, in the main, it is Greek in spirit and very easy to put together.

Read More →

Cocktail Shrimp Boats
Cocktail Shrimp Boats

The name ‘Cocktail Shrimp Boats’ is a bit of a culinary play on words, as it makes a combination of the two very different terms, ‘cocktail shrimp’, and ‘shrimp cocktail’ The shrimp themselves are the tiny variety usually sold as  ‘cocktail’ shrimp, and, for this recipe, they are served in a version of the ‘cocktail sauce’ that is often served along side cold shrimp or other shellfish. The ‘boats’ of course, are the hollowed out plum tomatoes used as edible containers for the cocktail filling itself…

Read More →

Provençal Octopus Brochettes served Tapas-style
Provençal Octopus Brochettes served Tapas-style

Provençal Octopus Brochettes are skewers of octopus tentacle sections that have been marinated in herbs and lemon juice, then grilled until just beginning to char. They make a delicious first-course appetizer, or one of a series of offerings in a Tapas meal.

Read More →