Welcome to the Polyphagous Dragon!

Hearty greetings from the Rainbow Dragon to all visitors to my digital kitchen in the blogosphere!

As my blog title suggests, these pages contain a wild mix of recipes which sample a wide range of flavours and cultures. I won't even try to apply an over-arching theme to this project other than to say that every dish is about creating good food!

The Polyphagous Dragon offers multiple options for site navigation in the sidebar panels. Use the Contents box to search for recipes by dish type, the Blog Archives to search for a specific recipe by title or the Ingredients Index to pull up all recipes that feature a particular ingredient. See also my Cooking Philosophy notes for further insights.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Scallop Croquettes

Scallop Croquettes

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup carrot
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 oven roasted garlic
  • 1lb scallops
  • fresh parsley or cilantro
  • flour, eggs and bread crumbs for coating
  • olive oil for frying


Dice onion.
Chop carrots finely in a food processor.
Melt butter in a frying pan.
Add onion and carrot. Cook until softened and onions are translucent.
Add flour. Cook for one minute.
Add milk, incorporating thoroughly.
Remove from heat. The mixture should be a thick paste at this point.
Purée scallops and garlic in food processor.
Chop herbs.
Fold puréed scallops, garlic and herbs into mixture.
Refrigerate mixture one hour or more.
Shape scallop mixture into small patties.
Coat each patty in flour, then quickly dip it in a beaten egg, then roll in bread crumbs.
Assembling Scallop Croquettes

Heat oil in a large frying pan.
Cook croquettes until they are browned on both sides and heated through. (Approximately two minutes per side.)
Serve with Lemon Tarragon Cream Sauce.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lemon Tarragon Cream Sauce

This delicate yet flavourful sauce is excellent with seafood.

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


Chop tarragon into small pieces.
Melt butter in a small saucepan.
Add cream and tarragon.
Heat gently, bringing mixture to a boil.
Simmer until sauce is reduced by half. (Approximately 5 minutes.)
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
Serve immediately.

Stilton, Apple and Parsnip Soup

A hearty winter soup with a delicious medley of flavours.

Stilton, Apple & Parsnip Soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 bunch leeks
  • 1lb parsnips
  • 3-4 large apples
  • 1/2 cup apple wine
  • 3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 oven roasted garlic
  • 300g Stilton cheese
  • 2 cups light cream or half & half


Melt butter in large pan with lid.
Mince garlic.
Dice leeks (whites and "solid" pale green portion of shoots).
Dicing Leeks

Cook garlic, leeks and butter until leeks are translucent. (Approximately 5 minutes.)
Remove pan from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Peel and dice apples and parsnips.
Dicing Apples

Add apples, parsnips, wine and stock to pan.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until parsnips are tender. (Approximately 20 minutes.)
Cooking the Soup

Add oven roasted garlic.
Crumble cheese into soup and stir until cheese is melted.
Purée soup in a food processor.
Return mixture to pan.
Add cream.
Heat gently until soup is hot.
Serve immediately.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Side Dishes

Quinoa Jumble Pot

Healthy whole grain quinoa adds a nutty flavour to this hearty dish.

Quinoa Jumble Pot

  • 3 cups red and white quinoa grain
  • 4.5 cups water
  • 2 cups sweet corn kernels
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 garlic
  • 300 g spicy smoked sausage
  • olive oil for frying



Bring water to a boil in a large pan.
Add quinoa.
Reduce heat and simmer until quinoa has absorbed most of the water.
Slice tomatoes into wedges.
Peel and dice onions and garlic.
Slice sausage.
Stir fry onions and garlic in oil until onion becomes soft and translucent.
Add sausage and cook until browned.
Toss all ingredients together in a large pot and cook over low heat until jumble is heated through and flavours have had a chance to blend.

Minted Cucumber and Tomato Salad

This is a delicious and refreshing salad, perfect for those summer garden parties.

Minted Cucumber Salad

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 fresh mint sprigs
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime


Seed and dice cucumber and tomatoes.
Tear mint leaves into small pieces.
Toss vegetables with mint.
Combine yoghurt with lime juice.
Stir dressing into vegetables.
Allow salad to sit for an hour before serving, to give the flavours time to blend.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hemp Nut Salad

Hemp Nut Salad

  • salad greens
  • tomato
  • avocado
  • sun-dried tomato vinaigrette
  • cottage cheese
  • cilantro
  • shelled hemp seeds


Line single serve plates or shallow bowls with salad greens.
Arrange tomato and avocado in alternating slices around the circumference of the plate.
Drizzle vinaigrette over top.
Place large spoonful of cottage cheese in the centre of the salad.
Sprinkle cilantro and shelled hemp seeds over top.
Enjoy immediately.

Hot Potato Salad

  • 2 lbs small new potatoes
  • 1 jalepeño, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 garlic, peeled and minced
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Spicy Island Hot Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz montery jack cheese with peppers
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro


Drop potatoes into a large pot of boiling water.
Cook for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are tender (but not falling apart).
Combine jalepeño, ginger, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, hot sauce, soy sauce and honey. Slowly add oil, whisking constantly.
Drain potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl.
Toss warm potatoes with dressing.
Set aside to cool for 20-30 minutes.
Add onion, cheese and cilantro to potato mixture.
Toss and serve.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

When I first met my friend Loretta, she did not eat vegetables.


More than a little bit frightened for her health, I took to hiding vegetables in whatever seemingly non-vegetable dishes I could get away with. This recipe was one of my more successful efforts.

Sixteen years later, I'm pleased to report that Loretta's diet is now much improved -- and this cake still tastes great.

  • 4 oz butter
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 oz granulated sugar
  • 8 oz brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 12 oz all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 lb zucchini, peeled and grated
  • 8 oz chocolate chips


Cream butter, oil and sugars until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs and milk.
Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa and allspice together.
Fold flour mixture into wet ingredients.
Stir in grated zucchini.
Butter and flour a large lasagna pan or square cake pan.
Spoon cake batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over top of batter.
Bake at 375°F for 35-45 minutes, until a pick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Cut into squares and enjoy warm or cooled.

Chicken Broccoli Lasagna

  • 1 lb. broccoli
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic
  • olive oil for frying
  • 2 cups thick tomato sauce
  • fresh basil, minced
  • fresh oregano, minced
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 300 grams chevre
  • 300 grams mozzarella, grated or thinly sliced
  • freshly grated parmesan


Precook lasagna noodles.
Cut broccoli into small florets and steam until nearly tender.
Peel and mince onion and garlic.
Stir fry onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.
Dice chicken and add to onion and garlic.
Fry until chicken is lightly browned.
Stir minced herbs into tomato sauce.
Spread 1/3 of tomato mixture over bottom of large lasagna pan.
Cover with a layer of noodles.
Spread 1/3 of tomato mixture over the noodles.
Add half the chicken mixture, half the broccoli and half the chevre.
Follow with another layer of noodles topped with the remaining sauce, chicken, broccoli and chevre.
Cover with the third layer of noodles.
Arrange mozzarella over top of the lasagna.
Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes until mozzarella is golden brown.
Slice and serve, sprinkling freshly grated parmesan over individual portions.

Sweet Potatoes with Bacon

  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • cayenne pepper
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1 onion
  • 4 oz. lean bacon
  • 2 oz. fresh bread crumbs


Peel and cube sweet potato.
Bring a pan of water to the boil.
Add lemon juice and sweet potato.
Simmer for 8-10 minutes. Sweet potato should be cooked but not too soft.
Mix flour and cayenne together.
Drain sweet potatoes and toss with cayenne/flour mixture.
Fry onion until soft.
Add bacon and cook over low heat for 6-8 minutes.
Add bread crumbs and sweet potatoes and fry for 5-6 minutes until potatoes are browned on both sides.
Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Celery Cheese Bake

  • 1 ounce butter
  • 1 head of celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces chevre, crumbled
  • 3 ounces Lancashire cheese, crumbled
  • 4 tablespoons light cream
  • freshly ground black pepper


Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pan.
Fry celery in hot butter for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 3-4 tablespoons of water to the pan.
Cover pan and simmer celery over low heat for 5-6 minutes until celery is tender and water has evaporated.
Remove pan from heat and stir in cheeses and cream.
Season with pepper.
Transfer mixture to a shallow, buttered casserole dish.
Cover dish and bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.
Serve immediately.


  • 1 cup bulghur wheat
  • 2 tomatoes, diced.
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cucumber, diced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • minced fresh parsley and mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped kalamata olives
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil


Place wheat in a bowl and cover with water.
Set aside until water is absorbed (approximately 20 minutes).
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Chill salad two hours before serving.

Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche Pudding

Yes, even bread pudding is better with chocolate!

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 + 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 3 oz. chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 slices brioche or egg bread, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped roasted hazelnuts or almonds


Butter four ramekins.
Bring milk and 1/4 cup cream to a boil.
Remove from heat and stir in 1 oz. chocolate until chocolate is melted.
Whisk eggs and sugar together.
Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture, a few spoonfuls at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Place bread and nuts in ramekins.
Pour chocolate mixture over bread.
Let sit for ten minutes.
Bake in a water bath at 350°F for 25-30 minutes.
Bring 1/3 cup whipping cream to a boil.
Stir in two oz. chocolate until chocolate is melted.
Pour sauce over pudding.
Serve immediately.

Eggplant Parmigiana

  • 2 lbs aubergine, peeled
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • 3 lbs ripe plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • freshly grated parmesan
  • olive oil for frying
  • ground black pepper
  • fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1/8 cup dry wine
  • 1/8 cup water
  • grated lemon peel
  • nutmeg


Beat together flour, egg yolk, water and wine until a smooth paste is formed.
Let paste stand for two hours.
Whip egg white until stiff.
Fold egg white, lemon peel and nutmeg into batter mixture.
Sauté garlic in oil until golden.
Add tomatoes, basil and pepper.
Simmer tomato mixture for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.
Slice aubergines into 1/3 inch thick slices.
Dip aubergine slices in batter and fry in oil until golden on both sides.
Line a large casserole dish or lasagna pan with tomato mixture.
Layer dish with aubergine, tomato mixture and cream cheese.
Sprinkle parmesan over top and dot with butter.
Bake at 350°F for thirty minutes.

Spicy Island Hot Sauce

  • 1 papaya
  • 1 mango
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 garlic
  • 4 habañero peppers
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root
  • 1/3 cup dark rum
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • cardamom
  • anise
  • cloves
  • tumeric
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • black pepper


Peel, seed and chop papaya.
Peel, pit and chop mango.
Peel and chop onion and ginger.
Peel garlic.
Stem, seed and chop peppers.
Purée all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Transfer mixture to a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Simmer for ten minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Bottle in a glass jar and refrigerate.

Curried Pasta Salad

  • 1 tablespoon tomato/tamarind based curry paste (such as Patak's hot)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 340 grams dry pasta shells or rotini
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts


Cook pasta, drain, and set aside to cool.
Combine curry paste, olive oil, stock and raisins in a saucepan.
Bring dressing to a boil, simmer for five minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
Slice peppers and onion thinly.
Chop parsley.
Toss pasta with dressing.
Mix in vegetables, parsley and nuts.
Serve chilled.

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Okay. This isn't technically a vinaigrette. (It contains no oil or vinegar!) But it tastes good.

  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • liquid honey


Pour equal parts lemon juice and honey into a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid (or a similar, non-reactive vessel which can be used as a shaker).
Seal lid onto jar/shaker and shake vigorously.
Use immediately, drizzled over your favourite salad, or refrigerate until needed.

Orange Coconut Mango Cheesecake

This delightful flavour combination isn't just for your breakfast juice anymore.

Orange Coconut Mango Cheesecake

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 + 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut rum
  • 1 coconut
  • 2 lbs. cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream


To make the base:

Drill coconut and drain water.
Bake coconut at 350°F for 20 minutes.
Break coconut open and remove flesh.
Peel brown skin from coconut flesh.
Finely grate coconut flesh.
Whisk 2 eggs.
Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, salt and rum.
Fold in grated coconut.
Press onto bottom of buttered springform pan.
Bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes.

To make the filling:

Peel mangoes and slice flesh into chunks.
Purée mango flesh in blender or food processor.
Zest and juice orange.
Beat the cream cheese until soft.
Add 1 cup sugar and corn starch and beat until smooth.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Beat in sour cream, mango and all but 2 tablespoons of the orange juice.
Pour filling over crust and bake at 350 F for 75 minutes (or until set).
Allow to cool completely (8 hours) before garnishing.

To garnish:

Whip cream with 2 tablespoons orange juice and 2 tablespoons sugar.
Spread cream over top of cooled cheesecake.
Garnish with orange zest.

Orange Coconut Mango Cheesecake