Little Plates

Little Plates are appetizer sized dishes ranging from Antipasti, through Hors d’oeuvres and Smorgasbord, all the way to Tapas and Zakuski.

Pork and Daikon Dumplings (蘿蔔豬肉水餃)

Pork and Daikon Dumplings (蘿蔔豬肉水餃)

Pork and Daikon Dumplings (蘿蔔豬肉水餃)

The Chinese name for the dumplings pictured above is 蘿蔔豬肉水餃, or 萝卜猪肉水饺 in simplified characters. The first two characters specify Daikon (Lo Bok, in Cantonese), the next specify Pig Meat, or Pork, while the last two characters indicate that these dumplings are ‘Water Dumplings’, meaning that they are poached. The filling is easy to prepare and, once the dumplings are formed, they are very simple to cook.

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Celeriac Salad (Celery Root Remoulade)

Celeriac Salad (Celery Root Remoulade)

Celeriac Salad (Celery Root Remoulade)

The simple little dish you see above sounds better when called a ‘Remoulade’ rather than a Salad, and ‘Celeriac’ tends to sound a little more impressive than ‘Celery Root, though the two are, of course, the same thing. In any event, in this preparation, thin matchsticks of the vegetable are marinated with Lemon and served in a mayonnaise-based sauce that you can add to, or adjust, as you like.

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Shahi Kebab Appetizer

Shahi Kebab Appetizer

Shahi Kebab Appetizer

The ‘Shahi Kebab’ is a relatively common restaurant offering and generally consists of highly spiced ground lamb or beef that is then grilled, or sometimes fried or baked, in a sausage shape around a long skewer. The word ‘shahi’ is Hindi for ‘royal’ and the term is vague enough to allow for almost any combination of ingredients to fit the description. This particular recipe was inspired by the very nice, and similarly named Seekh Kabab at the Shafali Restaurant in Ottawa.

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Steamed Mussels a.k.a Moules Marinière

Steamed Mussels a.k.a Moules Marinière

Steamed Mussels a.k.a Moules Marinière

I never follow a precise recipe when I steam Mussels. Each version is just slightly different than the one before, but, essentially, I steam them whole in butter, garlic, onion, white wine and parsley.

I may add to these ingredients (lemon zest, chopped tomato and fresh Basil, all work nicely), but the simple form is still my favorite, and is essentially a version of the famous Moules Marinière. It is easy to make and goes great with crusty bread to sop up the delicious broth that is created by the steaming process.

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