dimanche 19 septembre 2010


Thanks to my new Luxembourgish golf friends Hana and Dan, I had large bunches of fresh parsley and mint at my disposal and Tabbouleh immediately sprung to mind.  Tabbouleh is the Lebanese parsley salad made with bulgur or cracked wheat, tomatoes, green (spring) onion, mint, lemon juice and olive oil.

Many Mediterranean countries have their own similar versions of this dish.  The Lebanese version uses more parsley than bulgur in the dish than the other versions.  
The bulgur should be well drained to ensure that the salad is not too watery.  Adjust the amount of dressing to suit the type of bulgur used and the time that it needs to absorb it.  The salad can be served as an accompaniment to other dishes as you would rice or pasta,  or it can be served as a starter or snack on lettuce leaves (romaine works especially well) or with pita bread.    

Serves 6-8
125 mL (1/2 cup) bulgur
250 mL (1 cup) boiling water
125 mL (1/2 cup) fresh lemon juice
125 mL (1/2 cup) olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1250 - 1500 mL (5 - 6 cups) parsley, finely chopped
250 mL (1 cup) fresh mint, finely chopped
8 green onions, chopped
4 large tomatoes, finely diced
Rinse bulgur under cold running water; cover with boiling water and let soak for 20 minutes.  Drain well, squeezing out excess moisture with hands; place in a large serving bowl.  Stir in lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning.  Set aside.
Combine parsley, mint, green onions and tomatoes; add to bulgur mixture.  Toss and serve.

dimanche 5 septembre 2010

Shrimp & Mango Cocktail

I thought of Shrimp Cocktail as one of the classic appetizers or starter courses, served in martini glasses with a dollop of dipping sauce of spicy horseradish and tomato in the bottom and peeled shrimp hanging from the rim.  Or more elegantly served in specially designed two part shrimp cocktail glasses (the bottom glass to hold crushed ice and the top bowl for the dip). 

 That was until I tasted a version in Mexico that was a mixture of seafood and spicy sauce served in a taller tulip shaped ice cream sundae glass. 

Ever since I tried this Camarone Coctal at Hacienda Xcanatun in the Yucatan, the shrimp and mango variation has become my favourite kind of shrimp cocktail.

Most basic shrimp or seafood cocktail sauce recipes call for either ketchup or chili sauce.  I tried out both for this recipe and found to my surprise that the one with good old ketchup tasted better than the one with the chunky chili sauce.

Shrimp and Mango Cocktail                                           
Serves 4

16 medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped
1 small mango, chopped

Cocktail Sauce:
125 mL (1/2 cup) ketchup (or chili sauce)
15 mL (1 Tbsp) finely diced red onion
30 mL (2 Tbsp) freshly squeezed lime juice
Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, to taste
30 mL (2 Tbsp) freshly grated horseradish (black radish - radis noir)
15 mL (1 Tbsp) coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped

 Blend together all cocktail sauce ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour before using.

Stir in shrimp and mango; spoon into serving glasses.
(Or arrange alternating layers of sauce, shrimp and mango in serving glasses.)