Posted in Recipes

Oil Sizzled Shrimp

Today’s little appetizer is adapted from a Chinese recipe I first tried many, many years ago. I can’t quite recall where I saw it, but I am fairly sure it is Cantonese. Although it is ‘oil sizzled’ the shrimp are actually first steamed with some aromatics, and hot oil is drizzled over them just before serving to really enhance the flavor. Once you have done the finicky part of ‘prepping’ the shrimp, the process is pretty easy… Continue reading “Oil Sizzled Shrimp”

Posted in Recipes

Simple Chili Oil

I always like it when I eat at Asian restaurants and they provide each table with jars of the simple sort of Chili Oil that includes a thick layer of chili flakes at the bottom of the red-hued oil itself. It may not always be made in-house, but, home-made or not, a basic Chili Oil without any additional flavorings (like garlic, ginger, or Sichuan peppercorns, for example) is one of my favorite table condiments. You can cook with it too, of course, but I especially enjoy the unctuous, toasted chili flavor when it is drizzled over boiled Chinese dumplings… Continue reading “Simple Chili Oil”

Posted in Ingredients

Foodstuff: Camelina Oil

I must confess to having heard of Camelina before, much less Camelina Oil, but it appears that the plant, native to Europe and Central Asia (but now cultivated in North America), has been grown agriculturally for about 3000 years. It is also known as ‘Siberian Oilseed’ and ‘False Flax’ and, though the oil is still not widely known, it gives every indication of becoming one of the latest health-food fads. This brand touts the Omega Oil content and several sites I visited were extolling the supposed benefits, As I have said before, however, I usually pay scant attention to extravagant medicinal claims as it is just too hard to separate the actual facts from the nonsense or the merely frivolous wishful thinking… Anyway, the bottle I purchased is packaged by a Canadian Company called Three Farmers and I noticed they also sell some other Camelina Oil versions infused with garlic, herbs and the like. I thought for now, however, I would just give the plain type a try…  Continue reading “Foodstuff: Camelina Oil”

Posted in Recipes

Garlic Oil

Having a jar of home-made garlic infused oil on hand is almost a must in my kitchen. You can use just a bit of the garlic in recipes that call for it (and it is so much better than the commercial varieties of chopped garlic), or you can also take only the oil for stir-frying, or adding to salad dressings, etc. I personally find using a little of both is great for the base of marinades and the like.

Making some for yourself is not difficult at all, but you do need to be a little careful as improper procedures can result in potentially harmful spoilage. Both salt and refrigeration are required if you wish to keep the preparation for any longer than a few days and, after years of doing things this way, I can happily say that I have never had any problems… Continue reading “Garlic Oil”

Posted in General

Hot and numbing Chicken – 麻辣雞

This is my first experiment with the Sichuan Pepper Oil I featured in a ‘Foodstuffs’ post a few days ago. I originally planned to do a cold salad with cucumber but I had some nice chicken breasts on hand and decided to do a ‘ma-la’ style dish which, readers of my Sichuan Peppercorn post will recall, uses a Sichuan recipe technique that combines the numbing ‘ma’ effect of Sichuan peppercorns with the ‘la’ spiciness of chili. There are countless ways one can throw together a mala chicken dish, of course, but I came up with what follows:  Continue reading “Hot and numbing Chicken – 麻辣雞”

Posted in Ingredients

Sichuan Pepper Oil – 黎紅 Brand

In a recent ‘Spice Pages’ post featuring Sichuan Peppercorns, I mentioned that the pepper is sometimes used in the form of an oil that can be either prepared at home or purchased as a commercial product. I picked up the bottle you see above on a recent trip to Montreal and it has been sitting on a shelf for the past two months. This is the first time I have ever bought Sichuan Pepper Oil, though I have made my own in the past, and this week I finally opened the bottle to investigate…  Continue reading “Sichuan Pepper Oil – 黎紅 Brand”

Posted in Ingredients

Foodstuffs: Truffle Oil

A while ago, my wife was visiting Paris for a conference and I insisted that she go to the famous Maxim’s restaurant. Indeed, I put some money in her account so that she would be sure to go… Anyway, while there she had a number of dishes, one of which was a salad of lobster and truffles. I was especially envious of this because I have still yet to experience the taste of actual truffles and, so far, have had to make do with its lesser cousin, truffle oil, which is traditionally made by steeping truffles in olive oil. Continue reading “Foodstuffs: Truffle Oil”