Tag: Appetizer

Sambuca Flambéed Shrimp

Sambuca Flambeed Shrimp 1

Today’s dish is my own take on an appetizer I was served a while ago in Yellowknife called ‘Flambé Sambuca Shrimp’. Now, I rather ‘panned’ that dish for what I felt was a rather poor execution but, after giving the basic idea a try, I rather owe the cook in question a (partial) apology. One of my criticisms was that the typical anise flavour of Sambuca was entirely absent, leading me to think that they had unfairly skimped on this part of the production. However, in my own attempt, I used quite a bit of the liqueur myself and experienced the very same result. Possibly, it is the flaming of the liquid that causes this? In any event, despite that particular ‘flaw’, I think my effort was the better of the two… Continue reading “Sambuca Flambéed Shrimp”

Notable Nosh: Flambé Sambuca Shrimp

Flambe Sambuca Shrimp

I had this little appetizer at Diamante during a layover in Yellowknife not long ago. It was described on the menu as ‘Tiger shrimp flambéed in Sambuca and finished with honey lemon cream sauce’ and I wasn’t really sure if the that I would like the strong anise flavour of Sambuca with delicate seafood. As it happened, though, I needn’t have worried as, for the life of me, I couldn’t detect even a hint of the liqueur anywhere in the dish.

Sadly, the above deficiency wasn’t compensated for in the rest of the execution. First, the 8 or 9 Tiger shrimp I was promised turned out to be the very small (and generally tasteless) variety one usually finds in supermarket ‘Shrimp Rings’ destined to be consumed with horseradish based cocktail sauces. The butter based sauce in this particular offering was creamy in texture but it did not seem as though any actual cream was used. It had honey, though, to the point of being almost cloyingly sweet, and while this may have been balanced by the advertised lemon, this also did not seem to be included save for a small section of whole lemon sitting in the sauce.

Anyway, overall, this appetizer was pretty much a disappointment. That being said, though, I am glad I tried it as it inspired me to give the basic idea a try myself. I even brought a little bottle of Sambuca back from Yellowknife to this end and I will post my results in due course.

Tiger Peppers (hu pi jian jiao – 虎皮尖椒)

Tiger Peppers 1

It has been years since I last made Tiger Skin Peppers (as many as twenty, maybe). For a long while now, I have wanted to prepare the dish for my blog but I waited in vain for the right sort of peppers to turn up in local stores and it wasn’t until this past week that some finally appeared. I grabbed a good quantity of them and will devote a small portion to this present offering.

The origin of this dish is, I believe, Sichuan, but it is very popular elsewhere. It is so named because the characteristic patterns formed on the chillies when seared at very high heat in a wok or other pan gives it a ‘tiger skin’ like appearance. Personally, I actually think that ‘Leopard Skin’ might be closer but I won’t quibble.

Anyway, once seared, the chillies are finished with a simple sauce composed of Chinese Black Vinegar, soy sauce, and, usually a little sugar. I am rounding that out with a little chopped garlic here (which is sometimes, though not always, used) but, in any event, the result makes for a very nice appetizer or side-dish… Continue reading “Tiger Peppers (hu pi jian jiao – 虎皮尖椒)”

Experiment: Tea-Fried Squid

Tea-Fried Squid 1

Somewhere, in my Chinese cookery book collection, I have a recipe for Shrimp that are prepared by poaching in green tea (complete with reconstituted tea leave shreds). As yet, I haven’t tried it but, not long ago, I saw a picture of squid that had been fried after dusting with greenish fragments that weren’t identified. It was clearly an Asian preparation (I forget where I saw the picture), and I suspected the green ‘bits’ weren’t any common herb as might be used in the west. I wondered if, perhaps, it might be powdered tea. Anyway, the idea sounded interesting and so I put together the little appetizer you see pictured above. The idea is still rather a ‘work in progress’, but the first attempt was interesting enough that you might like to try something along the same lines yourselves… Continue reading “Experiment: Tea-Fried Squid”

Beef Tataki with Horseradish Sauce

Beef Tataki with Horseradish Sauce 1

The little appetizer you see above is made with the Japanese style rare beef, which I have already introduced to you as Beef Tataki, and pairs it with a Horseradish Sauce and a little salad garnish made from lightly salted shreds of cabbage. If you look at my post on Horseradish Root, you can see the basic sauce I made from it in the last picture. The sauce here is essentially that, although I blended it to be a little smoother and added some finely minced scallion and parsley. The combination that results here is something of an east-west fusion, although the spirit is mostly Japanese as the horseradish is very similar to Wasabi and shredded raw cabbage is the standard accompaniment for Tonkatsu. Anyway, although I found the beef needed a little salt at the table, this was a very nice little light lunch…

Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Stuffed Anaheim Peppers 1

Today’s recipe doesn’t attempt to reproduce any particular ethnic recipe but, with the addition of cumin and added hot sauce, is probably closest in spirit to being Mexican. There is a bit of preparation involved but none of it terribly difficult and the result can make either a main course, if served with, say, rice, or a nice appetizer… Continue reading “Stuffed Anaheim Peppers”

Leek Stuffed Chicken Roll

Leek Stuffed Chicken Roll B

I start lots of culinary projects with a view to publishing them on my blog at some point but, sometimes, the odd one gets put on the back burner and languishes forgotten in a directory on my computer. I have been going back though some of these recently and have found a couple I thought my readers might like to see. This first one was for a nice little appetizer I tried one day and, though I never got around to recording all the steps, or writing up a proper recipe, I am able to reproduce my original notes:

Halved Leek sections seasoned with garlic salt, pepper and butter, wrapped in Prosciutto. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until Leek softened. Place inside a boned chicken thigh, add chopped fresh sage and roll up. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Bake until golden. Drizzle with melted red-currant jelly.

And… for the verdict I recorded?

Nice but the prosciutto was a little leathery. Bacon or Pancetta next time?  Hot Pepper Jelly might be nice here too.

Sweet Pepper Parsnips

sweet-pepper-parsnips-1

I had been planning to use some parsnips along with my Red Bell Pepper Sauce as a side for a roast one day when it struck me that the preparation might make a very nice Spanish Tapas sort of dish, rather along the lines of Patatas Bravas. The difference here, of course, is that I am substituting the sweetness of red peppers  for the usual tomato based sauce, and adding just enough chili to make it ‘sparkle’ rather than being very spicy … Continue reading “Sweet Pepper Parsnips”

Shrimp and Pork Stuffed Mushrooms

shrimp-and-pork-stuffed-mushrooms-1

Combining shrimp with pork is quite common in Chinese cookery and a well seasoned blend of ground pork and chopped shrimp is one of may favorite dumpling fillings. That being said, I wanted to experiment with the typical filling for dishes that don’t include the carb load of a dumpling wrapper and today’s post shows you the first of a few little ideas I tried… Continue reading “Shrimp and Pork Stuffed Mushrooms”

Scallop Clusters

scallop-clusters-1

The technique used in the preparation of these little appetizers is very much like the Japanese ‘Kakiage’ style of Tempura. However, I have departed from the Japanese roots a little by combining chopped scallop meat, not only with shredded Wakame seaweed, but also some finely diced Chinese Preserved Sausage. I still want to play around with the basic theme in variations to come, I think, but the result here was very good indeed … Continue reading “Scallop Clusters”