A serving of Cottage Pie

A serving of Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie Recipe

Not long ago, I posted a recipe for a Classic Shepherd’s Pie. The recipe here is a variation on that but, since it uses ground Beef instead of Lamb, it is more properly called a Cottage Pie. It also employs a variation that my mother came up with for Shepherd’s Pie, in that it includes frozen Corn, and a generous dollop of Apple Sauce for a lovely sweetness. I now invariably make my Cottage Pies this way and the result is pure comfort food.

Read More →
Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber

Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber

Pork with Tree Ears and Cucumber

This easy to prepare stir-fried dish uses an ingredient unfamiliar to most Westerners. It is a type of dried Black Chinese Fungus known, somewhat poetically, as 木耳. This directly translates a ‘Wood Ears’ but is more commonly known in English as ‘Tree Ears’. It has very little flavor of its own, but is prized for its interesting texture. Cucumbers are, of course, widely used in the West, but for most it is a salad vegetable. It actually works very nicely when used as vegetable in stir-fried dishes as well.

Read More →
Steak with Lemon-Cumin Pesto

Steak with Lemon-Cumin Pesto

Steak with Lemon-Cumin Pesto

The recipe here is really all about the Pesto. It bears some similarity to my Chimichurri Sauce except that it is less fluid, and contains Cumin, as well as the citrus tang of Lemon Juice. It is used as a Steak topping here, but can easily be adapted to a wide range of other uses, such as in sandwiches, as a dip, or a spice rub for grilling or roasting other meats, like Chicken. It is easy to prepare and can be varied to taste with other herbs or spices.

Read More →
Fish-fragrant Pork Belly with Pineapple

Fish-fragrant Pork Belly with Pineapple

Fish-fragrant Pork Belly with Pineapple

The dish you see pictured above is prepared in the well-known Sichuan ‘Yu Xiang’ (魚香) style, which simply means that It incorporates the spicy heat of chili against an umami background of bean paste and sweet and sour notes.

The name ‘Yu Xiang’ is most accurately translated as ‘Fish fragrant’, but it has, in some unfortunate instances, been translated as ‘fish-smelling’ (as in ‘Fish Smelling Pork’) and, in one memorable but unfortunate translation, ‘Pork with Fish Odor’.

The actual origin of the name and its relationship to the traditional ingredients is a fascinating one, and beyond the scope of this post, but for now just suffice it to say that no fish will be harmed in the preparation of this dish, nor will it smell or taste even vaguely fishy…

Read More →
Kheema Saag

Kheema Saag

Kheema Saag Recipe

In Indian cuisine, ‘Kheema Saag’ is a delicious and aromatically spiced dish combining minced meat with some sort of greens. The minced meat (Kheema) is often Lamb, or Goat, while the ‘Saag’ is commonly Spinach. In the version you see pictured above, I am using the fairly standard Spinach, but using Beef as the mincemeat. The spice blend is a little complex, but the dish is otherwise very easy to prepare.

Read More →
Oven ‘Barbecued’ Beef Ribs

Oven ‘Barbecued’ Beef Ribs

Oven ‘Barbecued’ Beef Ribs

I created this recipe one weekend afternoon out of a frustrated desire to have Barbecued Beef. At the time, it was the dead of winter in Canada’s Arctic and I had also lost my barbecue to an unfortunate fire not long before. In any event, I have reproduced here the same ‘Dry Rub’ mixture of spices and seasonings I originally used. It produces the nice smokiness and rich flavor of the barbecue, even though the ribs are actually baked in the oven.

Read More →
Spicy Pork with Sea Cucumber

Spicy Pork with Sea Cucumber

Spicy Pork with Sea Cucumber

Recently, I posted a recipe for Sea Cucumber with Beef-balls which was very Cantonese in spirit. The dish pictured above is somewhat similar, except it replaces the Beef with Pork and ramps up the flavor profile considerably. The umami quotient is given more depth with Fermented Shrimp Paste, and a spicy fire is produced with Cumin and Chili.

Read More →
Fricassée à la Forestiere

Fricassée à la Forestiere

Fricassée à la Forestiere

A classic Fricassée is a dish in which cut-up meat is first sauteed (but not browned), then simmered in a light sauce, often with added cream. I have called the dish you see above a Fricassée à la Forestiere because of its rustic nature, and because I use my fathers technique of giving lean Pork a lengthy marination in Wine to simulate the taste of Wild Boar.

Read More →
Sea Cucumber with Beef-balls

Sea Cucumber with Beef-balls

Sea Cucumber with Beef-balls

The rich dish pictured above features two dried ingredients much prized in Chinese cuisine. The unique, gelatinous texture of reconstituted Dried Sea Cucumbers is paired with the umami-rich flavor of Chinese Black Mushrooms, and together they are braised with lightly seasoned Beef-balls to elevate the simple to the heavenly.

Read More →
Kung Pao Shrimp

Kung Pao Shrimp

Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe

I have mentioned elsewhere that Kung Pao style dishes come in two basic forms. There is the classical Chinese version, and then there are more Westernized interpretations that tend to be a bit sweeter and take other liberties with the basic form. This Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe, as the name suggests, replaces the more common Chicken with Shrimp, substitutes Cashews for Peanuts, and uses a sweetened Chili Paste rather than scorched dried Chillies.

Read More →