Grilled Lamb Chop Appetizer
Grilled Lamb Chop Appetizer

Grilled Lamb Chop Appetizer

Lamb Chops tend to be the focus of a Main Dish serving in most Western households. Here however, nice plump loin chops are marinated in a tangy Mint Sauce, Grilled with Yoghurt, Garlic, and Rosemary, then served atop a bed of Sweet Bell Peppers sautéed with Sherry. They make a lovely appetizer, and could just as easily be served as one dish in a Tapas style meal.


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Octopus Grilled at Spiga
Octopus Grilled at Spiga

Octopus Grilled at Spiga

Back in the day, the Spiga Café specialized in Portuguese cuisine down in the fashionable Byward Market area of Ottawa. I had some excellent dishes there, including the Grilled Octopus appetizer you see pictured above, and I was sorry I was unable to work my way through their menu before they closed their doors for good. Everything I ate there was not only delicious, it was, I thought, always very skillfully and artistically presented.


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Octopus Grilled at Mystiko
Octopus Grilled at Mystiko

Octopus Grilled at Mystiko

Octopus is a great favourite in Greek cuisine, and the Greeks are true masters at preparing it on the grill. The Mezze dish of Octopus Grilled shown above was served to me at the Mystiko Greek restaurant in Ottawa’s Centertown district and was the star offering in a really splendid meal.

The menu described the Octopus as being marinated, but I really wasn’t able to taste any particular flavoring beyond the added dressing. Possibly, some lightly acidic marinade without any additions was used to tenderize the flesh of the octopus after simmering it, but I couldn’t t detect that in taste or texture either.


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Grilled Asparagus Salad
Grilled Asparagus Salad

This Grilled Asparagus Salad pairs the wonderful smoky flavors of Grilled Mushrooms, Asparagus and Roasted Red Peppers in a lovely herb and lemon dressing.

Honestly, I didn’t buy the asparagus used here with a view to making this dish. I originally just intended to grill some asparagus to use in another dish, but I had quite a bit of it, and I also had handy some lovely grilled mushroom, as well as some of my own home-made Roasted Red Peppers. Really, this dish just seemed to suggest itself…


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Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob
Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob

Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob will be something of a revelation to those who are only accustomed to corn being boiled and served with butter and salt. Freshly shucked corn is grilled and made spicy in thousands of different all around the world, and it is well worth trying it on the grill if you haven’t done so already. Today’s recipe has its roots in South-East Asia and is easy to follow.


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A dish of Octopus Stew
A dish of Octopus Stew

You can find many different versions of Octopus Stew all around southern Europe, but there is a remarkable commonality in those dishes hailing from Greece, Malta, Spain, Italy and Portugal. The basic theme involves octopus stewed in a tomato base, generally with wine, along with herbs favored in the region. Olives, and sometimes capers, are frequent additions, and many incorporate potatoes. The following preparation is an amalgam of all of these…

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Provençal Octopus Brochettes served Tapas-style
Provençal Octopus Brochettes served Tapas-style

Provençal Octopus Brochettes are skewers of octopus tentacle sections that have been marinated in herbs and lemon juice, then grilled until just beginning to char. They make a delicious first-course appetizer, or one of a series of offerings in a Tapas meal.

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Grilled Octopus Greek Style
Grilled Octopus Greek Style

Grilled Octopus Greek Style is a simple dish featuring tentacles that have first been marinated in the Grecian style using olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and oregano. The finished result, served piping hot from the grill, makes for a terrific Meze type appetizer.

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