I have been playing around with all sorts of pickling recipes lately, both the lactic acid ferment variety and those done with vinegar. Today’s recipe is one of the latter and I am curious to know if the spices I used here might inhibit a lactic acid pickling as some spices are supposed to have an anti-microbial effect. I shall have to try it sometime to find out, I guess. Anyway, I put this recipe together as I like pickled zucchini and I wanted to use some small fresh root turmeric I found in my local store… Continue reading “Spicy Pickled Zucchini”
Today’s offering is inspired by a Sichuan dish that features flash-fried green beans combined with ground pork, plus chilli and other typical Sichuan seasonings. The dish you see above departs from the basic theme by using zucchini, and the ‘three flavoured’ appellation stems from the fact that three different taste components are represented. The dish is spicy hot with homemade Simple Chilli Oil, salty, from Preserved Radish, and rich in the umami flavour of Chinese Dried Shrimp. Anyway, I have to apologize that I managed to lose my notes made whilst making this preparation but I think I can describe the basic idea as follows:
Reconstitute and then finely chop dried shrimp reserving the soaking water. Chop a similar amount of Preserved Radish finely. Fast fry batons of zucchini at very high temperature to sear the surface but leaving the flesh still crisp tender. Fry a little ground pork, separating the meat into ‘crumbs’ then add some minced ginger, white pepper, and garlic salt, followed by the radish, chopped shrimp and the soaking water. Add a little rice wine and cook until the liquid is almost gone. Add the zucchini and sauté until heated through then stir in some chilli oil (including the solid chilli flakes) and serve hot
I think you should be able to get the basic idea from the above. In any event, the result was really delicious…
This dish came about largely as a means to use up some zucchini and the last of a jar of black olives. I didn’t have any special ‘nationality’ in mind but the end result reminded me of the Sicilian eggplant dish called Caponata. The flavors are all very Mediterranean and pretty darn delicious… Continue reading “Zucchini Siciliano”
I am not sure of the pairing of shrimp with grilled eggplant and grilled zucchini has ever actually occurred in an actual Thai recipe, but the spice paste I have put together for this dish is very Thai in spirit. I have a very dense (over 600 page) cookery book simply entitled ‘Thai Food’ written by David Thompson (no relation as far as I know), and it contains hundreds of recipes, almost all of which feature a unique spice blend based on the Thai palate. I find endless inspiration for culinary adventures in these pages and I love mixing and matching various ingredients in different quantities for my own creations. I never know exactly how a given concoction will turn out, but I am happy to report that the blend I arrived at for today’s post is a definite winner and well worth using again… Continue reading “Thai Shrimp Curry”
Not long before writing this post, I happened to throw together a little vegetable side dish for a steak I was cooking. I used a half zucchini I had left over, along with some tomatoes and herbs, and the result was so tasty I thought I would share. I actually ended up embellishing the original recipe somewhat, notably by including mushrooms this time, but, as you will see, my opinion as to the success of those embellishments was a little mixed… Continue reading “Zucchini with Mushroom and Tomato”
I love mint as both a sweet and savory flavoring but it struck me recently that I really only use it in a limited number of ways. I decided to remedy that and came up with this vegetable dish as a result. It is a dead simple production, should you want to try it, and it is the sort of thing that would work as a side dish in any number of meals… Continue reading “Minted Zucchini and Mushrooms”
I had a rather large zucchini leftover from a bunch I bought for other purposes and, being left home alone for the past few weeks while my wife is away, I decided to play around a little. A first, I thought I might do a pickle of some sort based on a minted vinegar (and I still plan to do so sometime), but then I decided to do something spicy in a vaguely Indian type of preparation that could be used as a side condiment, or even a ‘bread and butter’ type accompaniment.
Now, I will say at the outset that, though the result of this experiment was pretty, I did find that some tweaking is necessary. Accordingly, if you are inclined to play around with the basic idea yourselves, you may wish to read my notes at the end of this post… Continue reading “Experiment: Grilled Zucchini Pickle”
While in Halifax this summer, I enjoyed an interesting and very nice Mediterranean appetizer at the Efendy Restaurant I enjoyed it very much and, while I wanted to play around with the general theme, I departed from the original by basing it on grilled zucchini rather than fried eggplant… Continue reading “Grilled Zucchini Appetizer”
Last year, I posted a dish I called Fish-fragrant Pork Belly with Pineapple, and I briefly mentioned the origin of the name. There is a group of dishes in Chinese cuisine (chiefly that of Sichuan and, to a lesser extent, Hunan), which are referred to using the Chinese characters ‘魚香’ (pronounced ‘yu xiang’). The first means ‘fish’ while the second can be translated as ‘fragrance’ or ‘aroma’. A ‘fish fragrant’ dish is characterized by a technique wherein garlic, ginger and scallion are first sautéed in oil and then the main ingredients are added along with a sauce composed of Chili-bean paste enlivened with sugar and vinegar.
The name, as we shall see below, actually has little to do with fish. Occasionally, once comes across a very unfortunate Chinese to English translation in which the characters are rendered as ‘fish-odor’ or ‘fish-smelling’ but very often, in the west, a dish will be described as being served in ‘garlic sauce’ or ‘spicy garlic sauce’. If you see these on a menu, look for the ‘Yu Xiang’ characters and you will know that you are dealing with a ‘fish fragrant’ dish. Two of the most common main ingredients are shredded pork and eggplant but it is also possible to come across a fish-fragrant fish dish as well. For today, I am doing an eggplant version but, since I only had a very small eggplant to work with, I am supplementing it with zucchini, which should do very nicely too… Continue reading “Yu Xiang (Fish-fragrant) Eggplant and Zucchini”