Saturday, November 19, 2005


Indian Greens

2 1/2 lb Swiss chard leaves, washed and coarsely chopped. The white stems are optional, if used wash and cut not too big.
1/2 tsp asafetida
1/3 cup olive oil
red chilli and salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a pan, just medium heat. Add the chilli and asafetida. Cook for a minute.
  2. If using the stems, add them now to the pan and cook for two or three minutes.
  3. Add the leaves and about 1/2 cup of water. Stir. Cover and let it cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook for another five minutes without the lid to let the water evaporate.
  4. Add salt and serve warm.

NOTE - Use ghee or neutral oil for a more authentic Indian flavor. The hot peppers are optional. If using Indian chillies, use 2 or 3, or to taste. The Spanish chillies I keep in my pantry are so hot that a little strip does the trick.

If you are cannot find asafetida, substitute it for two cloves of garlic, peeled and slivered.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Anise pepper

Sichuan Duck with Hot Pepper Sauce

4 cups Chinese leaves, shredded
1 cup parboiled bean sprouts, cooled
3 cups cooked duck breast, sliced
2 tsp freshly ground anise pepper
2 tsp ginger root, grated
2 tbsp scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted

  1. Mix the Chinese leaves and bean sprouts in a serving dish.
  2. Arrange the duck slices on top.
  3. Combine anise pepper, ginger root, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, water, vinegar and sugar. Stir energetically until blended.
  4. Add the chopped scallions. Mix well.
  5. Pour the sauce over the duck breast.
  6. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the duck and sauce.

Sunday, November 6, 2005


Lemon-Anise Baked Fish

a whole white fish, like sea bream or sea bass, scaled, clean and ready for the oven
(2.2lb would render 4 servings)
4 tbsp olive oil, and some for the pan
4 tsp aniseed
3-4 lemon slices

Warm the oven to 390F (180C)

  1. Score the fish on one side two or three times and introduce a half lemon slice in each cut.
  2. Introduce a few seeds inside, season with salt and pepper, and brush with olive oil.
  3. Set on an oven pan, cover the bottom with olive oil to prevent the fish from sticking to the pan, and scatter a few more seeds on the oil.
  4. Bake until ready. Be careful not to overcook. It should take about 40 minutes for a 2.2lb fish.
TIP - You can cook the fish on top of a grill, turning once. Try the lemon slices inside. A charcoal fire adds extra flavor, but an ordinary grill can do a good job.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005


Jerk Pork

1/4 cup allspice berries
3 tbsp olive oil
3 scallions, chopped
1-2 fresh red or green chillies, seeded and chopped
1-2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper, best if it is freshly ground
4 pieces of pork chops or boneless loin, approx. 1/2 lb each

1. Toast the allspice berries in a small pan for 3-4 minutes.
2. Combine them in a blender with the scallions, chillies, bay leaves, oil and seasoning. Work to a thick paste., adding a little olive oil or water, if necessary.
3. Rub the paste into the pork and leave it covered for at least two hours, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator.
4. Slowly grill the chops for about 40-60 minutes, turning them after half the cooking time. A charcoal fire is preferable.

Tip - to give the meat an authentic aroma, throw allspice berries on the charcoal.