Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fried Seafood Dip

Dippity-dippity-do-da! I likes me dips. I also like making them. And experimenting with different ingredients.

Battered or breaded fish just BEGS for a good dip. And I (being a good dip) am only too happy to oblige.

We had beer battered fish fillets, battered peppery squid rings, tempura battered crab, and homemade chips (fries). Yes it needed a dip. It also needed one I could make quickly.

I was out of horseradish so the ole ketchup n horseradish was out.

Hmmmmm, how's abouts ketchup, dark soy sauce, and wasabi paste? It worked! Delish!

Here's what you do: To a few tbsp of ketchup add a small splash of dark soy sauce (only a bit as it's very strongly flavoured) and wasabi paste to taste. I tend to use more wasabi than most westerners so be careful with the amount. You can always add more, but you can't take it out.

Ta-da. Quick n easy dip for fried fishy stuff.

Oh yeah, don't forget to stir it.

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be putting up various Polynesian recipes as I get to plan a South Pacific Party Menu for a friend in the Berks. Once she's finalised the menu from all the options I've given her I'll write up each recipe and also post them here for you all to enjoy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Olive Update

It's now been two months with the fresh-off-the-tree green olives in the brine. The brine is tasting awesomely good, the flesh of the olives is getting to that perfect consistency. They are, however, still bitter. I'll try them again at the end of August.

Here's the first two posts about this years' fresh olives:

First one

Second one

The whole idea with this batch was to lessen the brining time (6 months) down to one or two months --without using lye. Looks like it'll be 3 to 4 months. Still, better than six months, eh?

A polynesian feast menu coming soon!!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Moroccan Lamb Shish-Kebobs

It's the seasonings that make any shish-kabob unique. Whether it's Indian, Persian, Turkish, Greek, or say perhaps Moroccan, the key is in the seasonings and the way they are cooked.

Many kibob dishes aren't cooked on a grill even! However, we'll be sticking with the one most Westerners are familiar with and that means grilling them. Open flame, gas, or charcoal, your choice.

Shish-kibabs specifically refer to those that are grilled. Yummers!

BTW have you noticed I've used a lot of different spellings for "kabob"? You have? Good for you. I'm doing that since there are many different correct spellings depending on what country you are from.

I'll go with kebob from here on out. Also, I'll drop the "shish" since this whole post is about kebobs cooked on a grill. The reason why you are getting this wonderful dish is that a blog-buddy of mine had a Moroccan Feast Night and I thought this would make a good addition. I was right, of course.

I'm not going to give you an exact amount of meat to use. Why? Well you can use this as a side dish or a main course AND once you have the spice mix you can use it for other things. I keep a tin of it made up in the pantry so I only have to use what I need for the amount of lamb I have.

Oh, this also makes a very good rub for lamb roasts, chicken and beef. It's very versatile.

I realize that not all of you will have access to all the ingredients, so I'm also including appropriate substitutions, no worries.

If using bamboo skewers, make sure you soak them for an hour before using, don't want them to flame.

Here's what you need:

Lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
bbq skewers
Some kind of grill. Gas, charcoal, open flame (be careful!). Heck, you can even do them under the broiler in your oven if need be.

Equal amounts (by volume) of the following:
coriander powder
dried red bell pepper powder
cumin powder
ginger powder
garlic powder
ground, dried sumac
chilli powder (only a bit though)
cassia powder
ground up cloves
sea salt

A tsp of each will make enough for several meals, no worries.

What can be substituted:

Coriander is called cilantro in North America, no worries.

Mild paprika powder can be used in place of the dried bell pepper powder (that's what paprika is, BTW).

Cinnamon can be subbed for cassia -they are so similar some folks think they are the same thing.

Ground sumac is one of the main ones. If you absolutely can't find it, then tamarind powder will work, and as a last resort: Lemon pepper powder.

Here's what you do:

Mix all the powders and seasonings in a bowl. You should have a wonderful, earthy smell from the powder combination. Thread the lamb pieces onto your skewers, and coat them with the rub. If the rub won't stick then you can drizzle a SMALL amount of olive oil on the kebobs to help the rub stick. You shouldn't have do do that though, the rub should stick. Especially if you, ah, rub the rub in.

A little bit goes a long way, btw.

Grill them on a low heat till they are done to your liking.

Serve with a bowl of greek yoghurt for a dipping sauce.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Olives Need More Time

Yes, time. Not thyme, but time.

Remember when I got some fresh green olives at the end of June? Normally they take 4 or 5 months of curing in brine to be really tasty and I thought maybe I'd found a shortcut?

Well, after a month the brine they are in tastes awesomely good, but the olives are still bitter and tough.

So I'll leave them in the brine for two more months and let you know at the end of August how they are, no worries.