Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower
Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower

Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower is not a traditional dish in the cuisine of any particular country as far as I know. Rather, this dish was put together to use and showcase some of my own homemade Simple Cauliflower Pickle. The result does rather have the flavors of South Asia, though, and it would probably fit, both in terms of taste and appearance, in a meal alongside other Indian dishes.


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An Appetizer of Marinated Roasted Red Peppers
An Appetizer of Marinated Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted Red Peppers that have been marinated in olive oil make a lovely Italian Antipasto style Appetizer but they are great to have on hand for a variety of other uses. They can be added to a whole variety of more complex hot and cold dishes, are fantastic when pureed for sauces and condiments, make great garnishes when sliced or dices attractively, and, on a more pedestrian level, go great on sandwiches and wraps.

You can buy some fairly decent pre-made varieties in jars, or occasionally in bulk from the deli section of the supermarket, but they are easy enough to prepare at home and the results are far better…


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Sweet Onion Shreds
Sweet Onion Shreds

Raw onion can often have an unpleasantly harsh ‘bite’ to them, but if you use the following technique, you can produce delightfully sweet onion shreds that can be used in all sorts of ways. They are a wonderful addition to salads, make a great condiment on burgers or sandwiches, and they can even be used as attractive, and edible garnish for appetizers or sushi plates

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Dough being rolled for dumplings
Dough being rolled for dumplings

The Basic Dumpling Wrapper Dough we are making here is of the unleavened, wheat flour variety. It is probably the most common dumpling wrapper dough all around the world, especially among home cooks. You will find it in such diverse types as Chinese Jaozi, Xiaolongbao, and Wontons, as well as the Korean Mandu, Japanese Gyoza, and the internationally ever-popular ‘Pot-Stickers’. The ingredient list is very short, as you will see, and virtually anyone can learn how to make a versatile dough with this extremely simple little recipe.


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Simple Cauliflower Pickle
Simple Cauliflower Pickle

I often buy a commercially made pickle consisting of sections of gherkin, cocktail onions, and cauliflower florets with turmeric as a main flavoring component. The cauliflower is my favorite part but I usually find that there are too few pieces in each jar and, with most brands, they are often just a tad too sweet. This simple cauliflower pickle recipe contains nothing but cauliflower florets, just a little sugar, and a nicely complimentary spice blend that is both tangy and mildly spicy.


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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.


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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).

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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.

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Broccolini
Broccolini

Broccolini may very well look like some sort of ‘Baby Broccoli’, or perhaps regular Broccoli that shot up a little too quickly before the ‘flower’ top grew, but it is neither of these. There is a relationship, though, and the two vegetables are similar, but broccolini tends to be a bit more delicate in texture and flavor. Accordingly, it is even enjoyed by those who don’t much care for its better-known cousin…


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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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