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Side Dishes

Szechuan Pickled Cucumbers


I got tired of buying Chinese pickles from the local store. So I went looking for a good recipe. This is actually quite a bit better than the type of pickles we were having. Now if I could just find a good Chinese pickled broccoli stalk recipe.

2-3 pounds pickling cucumbers
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp Sriracha
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
1/4 tsp pequin chilies

  1. Slice cucumber into 1/8 inch slices. Toss with salt in a bowl, set aside for 1/2 hour. Soak ginger in 1 cup cold water for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain cucumbers, rinse lightly, pat dry. Drain ginger, press lightly to remove water. Place ingredients cucumber through Sriracha in bowl.
  3. Heat sesame oil in small cast iron pan/wok until nearly smoking. Add peppercorns and chilies to oil and stir for about 30-60 seconds (or until very aromatic). Add contents of pan/wok to bowl.
  4. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate, wait six hours for best flavor.

Mint Raita (Pudine Ka Rayta)


This dish is something we love to have with Indian food. Additionally it makes a great snack as a spread on some pita or bread, possibly with some Hummus (p. [*]). Even though it has chilies and cayenne, it really isn't terribly hot due to the yogurt base.


In fact we like this so much, we actually grow a patch of mint specifically for this. Of course it also gets raided for things like Tabouli and Mint Ice Cream.

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp chopped onion
1/2 tsp finely minced jalapeno
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 cup plain yogurt

  1. Combine all ingredients, refrigerate.

Chicken Liver and Fig Terrine


The sweet notes of the figs and port wine complement well with the buttery unami tastes of the chicken liver in this terrine. Excellent on crackers, or in a baguette sandwich with cornichons, lettuce and tomato.

1 pound fresh chicken livers
1/2 cup port wine
8 dried black Mission figs
8 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
2 small shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

  1. Rinse the liver under cold water, removing any white strands. Pat dry, then combine livers in a small bowl with port. Refrigerate for two hours. Sieve the marinade in to a separate bowl.
  2. Place figs into a bowl and cover with hot water.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 3 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add livers, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Cook for minutes, flipping the livers to ensure they're browned on both sides. Add the reserved marinade and turn up to high. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook 6 to 8 minutes until the liquid is mostly gone. Remove from the heat, discard bay leaves and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the liver mixture to a food processor and process until pureed. Add the remaining butter pulse until smooth. Drain figs and pat dry. Cut the figs in to 1/4 inch pieces and fold in to the liver mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  5. Place in one or two containers, covering any exposed terrine with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. Serve just under room temperature.

Roasted Cumin Rice


This is a good type of rice to accompany Indian cuisine or similar dishes. The dry roasting of the spices adds an aromatic character to the rice.

8 cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
1 tsp whole cumin
1 stick cinnamon (3")
2 cups water or chicken stock
1 cup basmati or other aromatic long grain rice
3/4 tsp salt (if using water)

  1. Dry roast spices on medium heat for 3 minutes or until they start to tan.
  2. Bring liquid to boil, and place all ingredients in pot.
  3. Bring down to a low simmer and cook covered for 25 minutes like you would any stove top rice.

next up previous contents index
Next: Main Dishes Up: The Buson Family Recipe Previous: Salads   Contents   Index
Dane Buson 2016-09-11