Posted in Ingredients

Introducing… King Oyster Mushrooms

A close-up picture of King Oyster Mushrooms

If you have encountered Pleurotus eryngii before, you may know them as ‘King Trumpets’, ‘Trumpet Royales’, or ‘French Horn Mushrooms’, rather than King Oyster Mushrooms.

The flavor of these mushrooms is not especially remarkable in that they have roughly the same umami/fungi taste you would get from, say, Portobello’s, fresh Shiitake, or even just the plain white Button variety. What is special about them is the texture, which is very meaty and chewy, much like the similar and related [non-King] Oyster mushrooms. They can be lovely in stews or braised dishes, but are also terrific when grilled or pan-fried by themselves with just a little seasoning…

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Posted in Recipes

Marinated Sweet Peppers

A dish of marinated peppers

Today’s recipe is a bit of a twist on the common Italian antipasto specialty of roasted and marinated sweet peppers. As the process of making those can be a bit time consuming (especially the fiddly task of peeling off the skins), I tried the technique of flash-frying strips of different sorts of sweet bell peppers and then marinating them, with the skin still on, in seasoned oil. The process turned out to achieve much  the same sort of smoky-sweet flavor roasting and made for a terrific appetizer…

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Posted in Recipes

Japanese Dressed Cucumbers

Dressed Cucumbers 1

Dressed Cucumbers appear quite commonly on Japanese restaurant menus and today’s post is inspired by such a dish I enjoyed in one of them a while ago. I haven’t tried to completely reproduce that recipe (it was quite spicy, for starters), but I have borrowed the idea of using good, thick slices rather than the thinner ones you generally get…

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Posted in Restaurant Adventures

Happy Hour at Brooklyn Warehouse

2795 Windsor St, Halifax, NS B3K 5E3 – Website

The rather singularly named Brooklyn Warehouse is a bistro style establishment with a fairly comprehensive wine and beer cellar and a small but interesting menu. They advertise themselves as having the lowest markup on wine than any restaurant in the city, but, from what I could tell, this would seem to apply only to bottle prices rather than to wines by the glass They do, however, have ‘Happy Hour’ on Monday through Saturday between 4:30pm and 6:30 pm, during which certain wines, beers, and oysters go for a pretty decent price…

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Posted in Recipes

Snow Peas with Chinese Sausage

Recipe using Chinese Sausage and Pea-pods

Chinese Preserved Sausage has a lovely sweet, apple-like taste that makes it a nice addition to to vegetable dishes featuring robust greens like Gai-Lan or Green-Beans, but, personally, I think it also works nicely with the more delicate crispness of fresh snow-pea pods. You could pair the two to make a side dish within a larger meal, of course, but it is quite rich and I conceived today’s recipe as more of an appetizer, or a small offering served in a series of dim-sum type dishes…

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Posted in Product Reviews

Testing the ‘Beyond Meat Burger’

Beyond Meat™ Burgers have been a bit of a phenomenon for quite a few months now, although the California based company that produces them released their first burger patty back in 2015. The reason, I think, that these, and similar products, are really only now filtering in to the public consciousness is that so many of the major fast food chains are offering meatless ‘burgers’ as part of their regular menus. I still have not tried a restaurant plant-based burger yet, but I came across the package you see above while shopping for other things and I decided to see what the fuss is about…

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Posted in Recipes

Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers

Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers 1

The filling for these Jalapeño peppers is very straightforward and simple… not much more than ground pork with scallion and garlic, really. It is the sauce, though, that I think makes this little appetizer so special. It is based on Oyster Sauce mixed with some rice wine and a little chilli oil, and the sweetness of the primary ingredient is just right without needing any added sugar…

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