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”
This dish is named for the flavoring additions, which are Preserved (Salted) Radish and Chinese Salted Black Bean, both of which add a rich umami depth to the pork belly and the secondary ‘bulk’ ingredients of Zucchini and Button Mushrooms. I rather threw this together as a means to use up the last of my current batch of salted radish and I didn’t really plan on doing a blog post (hence no ‘prep’ photographs), but it turned out pretty nicely and I thought I’d share.
Basically, I used pork belly rashers that were first oven cooked to render out some of the fat and brown until not quite crispy, then sliced into sections. I browned the mushrooms in some of the rendered pork fat and added a little lemon juice as they were the canned variety and the lemon juice improves the flavour. Then I added in the pork, zucchini, and about 3 tablespoons of chopped salted radish. I created a glazing sauce with a little vinegar and chilli paste, then finally added chopped salted black beans. I meant to start with some minced fresh ginger but I forgot about it… it didn’t matter though as the overall result was really tasty.
A while ago, my Irish blogger friend, Conor Boffin, did a very nice post featuring Braised Beef Shanks he called Daub of Beef. I remembered that I still had some beef shank in my freezer and I decided to use his dish as an inspiration for something along the same lines. I have chosen a very nice Merlot for my wine addition, and I am also using a little Madeira as well. Unlike Conor, I am not using fresh mushrooms, but I do add some chopped, reconstituted Shiitake early on and I also add some diced carrot towards the end. This dish turned out as nicely as I am sure was Conor’s… [ Continue reading “Braised Beef Shank”
Before leaving home on travels recently, I had a large bunch of parsley and some Jalapeno peppers that wouldn’t have survived my absence and so I decided to make a ‘herbed’ jelly with them to use as a condiment and cooking ingredient. Unfortunately, though I preserved the pictures I took of the process until my return, I couldn’t locate my notes and so the ‘recipe’ I provide is a bit general. Still, I think you will have no trouble in following the basic idea and adapting it to suit your own taste… [ Continue reading “Parsley-Jalapeno Jelly”
Enokitake, or Enoki Mushrooms, are commonly used in Japanese cookery, as much (and indeed probably more) for their pretty appearance as for flavour. In the wild, they are most commonly found growing on the stumps of various trees and, in that case, are often a fairly dark brown in color. In consequence, are known in Mandarin as jīnzhēngū 金針菇 (or “gold needle mushroom”). When cultivated, however, they exhibit the stark, ivory white you see pictured above… [READ MORE] Continue reading “Foodstuff: Enokitake”
I have been eating a fair bit of coleslaw these past several moons. Not just because I like it, but, as long as it is homemade, and doesn’t use any of the commercial coleslaw dressings that contain a fair but of sugar, it fits quite nicely into my diet. There are generally two types of slaw; the vinegar dressed sort, and the creamy type based on a mayo dressing. I like the latter but I also like to jazz it up a little by changing the usual sort of dressing recipe. This particular one uses some of the fresh Horseradish Root I posted about recently, and also some of my Spicy Pickled Bell Pepper (although, if this is not an option for you, you can just use the standard slivered or grated carrot instead)… Continue reading “Spicy Coleslaw”
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)”
Eel Sauce is a Japanese preparation sometimes known as ‘Nitsume’ or ‘Kabayaki Sauce’. While it is quite commonly used as a glaze for grilled eel dishes (indeed, the ‘Unagi’ on the bottle label means the freshwater eel commonly appearing on sushi menus), the name arises because it was traditionally made by making a stock by boiling eels and reducing it to a syrupy consistence. Nowadays, sugar, Mirin, sake and soy sauce are all commonly used in the basic recipe and Dashi often replaces eel stock.
I often think of Eel Sauce as being the Japanese equivalent of Chinese Oyster Sauce and the two can be used almost interchangeably. Indeed, the taste is very similar, although, some varieties, especially those made with Dashi, have a slightly smoky taste that goes very well with grilled foods… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Eel Sauce”
Today’s dish illustrates one use of the Preserved Radish that I introduced to you not long ago. In this case, it is a stir-fried dish with the primary ingredient being water-velveted Pork along with some Black Chinese Mushroom … Continue reading “Pork with Preserved Radish”
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”