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.

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King Oyster Mushrooms
King Oyster Mushrooms

King Oyster Mushrooms (officially named Pleurotus eryngii) go by quite a lot of different names. You may well encounter them as ‘King Trumpets’, ‘Trumpet Royales’, or even ‘French Horn Mushrooms’, depending on where you live.

The flavor of this variety is not especially remarkable in that they have roughly the same fungi-umami 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 ‘Oyster Mushrooms’ (which are similar, but just haven’t been elevated to ‘royal’ status). 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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Dongpo Pork served with Baby Bok Choy
Dongpo Pork served with Baby Bok Choy

The classic Chinese dish, Dong Po Pork, is named after the Chinese poet Su Dongpo, who, by all accounts, loved pork belly prepared this way. The dish is an example of the Chinese technique of ‘red-cooking’ (紅燒), meaning that the main ingredients are braised in a soy sauce based cooking medium. Here, as in the classic Dongpo Pork tradition, aromatics and sugar are added for sweetness, and the slow-cooking of the fatty pork belly makes for a result that is rich, unctuous, and absolutely delicious.

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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…

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