Hung Shao Pork

I adapted this from Delia Smith’s recipe. The recipe calls for a fireproof casserole dish which I don’t have, mine are only good for the oven but not for the hob (I cook with gas) so I had to think outside the box!

Ingredients:
450g belly pork, including the skin (buy it as a whole piece)

for the marinade:
6 tbsp dark soy sauce
½ cup of hot water
1 tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp brown sugar
a thumb size piece of finely chopped fresh ginger
1 red chilli finely chopped.

You will also need
a handful of dried porcini mushrooms

green vegetable selection
(1 leek, 2 salad onions, small savoy cabbage, all finely shredded)
salt

rice

First I cut the skin of the belly pork with a sharp knife in a crisscross pattern so it would be easier to cut the pork into cubes once it’s cooked. Rub some salt into the skin.

Put the kettle on and boil some water. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water while you prepare the marinade/sauce. Marinate the meat in the sauce, then place the meat with the marinade in an ovenproof casserole dish. Add the porcini mushrooms (without the water!), then stick the dish in a preheated oven (gasmark 4) and cook for about 90 minutes.
Once the 90 minutes are over crank the oven up to a high temperature to get a nice crackling on the pork and put the water on for your rice. When the water for your rice boils, take the pork out of the oven and let it rest in the sauce.
Boil the rice and steam your vegetables (I did buy the green vegetable selection that was on offer)
Take the pork out of the sauce and cut it into cubes. Taste the sauce and if needed season it. Dish up by putting the rice into the middle of a plate, the vegetables on top and finally the pork cubes. Spoon the sauce with the mushrooms over it! This tasted absolutely delicious and was so easy to cook!

Simple tomato and chorizo spaghetti

I first wanted to have a meat free evening meal but then I spotted a chorizo in my fridge and thought it’s perfect for spicing up my tomato sauce!

Ingredients:

2 chorizo sausages cut lengthwise and then sliced
1 yellow or red onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
a healthy glug of olive oil
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp dried mixed Italian herbs
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp of cayenne pepper
½ a pint of tomato juice
a few drops of Worcester sauce
salt and pepper for seasoning
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly chopped basil

Put a deep pan on the stove, turn the heat on and slowly fry the chorizo, onions and chilli in the olive oil. Once the onions turn a bit softer add the garlic. Then add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and let it simmer until your noodles are ready. Plate up and sprinkle with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

Keralan fish curry

A Jamie Oliver Recipe that sounded good but turned out to be quite bland.
Here are the original ingredients:
Groundnut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
20 curry leaves
6 shallots, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 x 2.5cm piece of ginger, finely sliced
1 green chilli, finely sliced
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
750g firm white fish cut into chunks
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Chopped coriander, basmati rice and naan bread, to serve
and here is what I added to it, to give it more flavour and spice:
1 tbsp tamarind chutney
1 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
a small squeeze of ketchup
Seeing that I tried this recipe for the first time I stuck to the instructions but realised quite soon that the timing is totally off because I ended up with my fish being overcooked and falling apart.
So, for best results, just do this:
Heat a lug of groundnut oil in a large pan and fry the mustard seeds with the curry leaves till the seeds start to pop (this happens quite quickly!). Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli, and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes until softened. Mix together the chilli powder and turmeric with a splash of water, and then stir into the pan. Fry for a minute, then add the coconut milk and tomatoes. Season with garlic salt and pepper and add the chutney and the curry powder, plus the ketchup.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add the fish. The fish (I used cod) doesn’t take long to cook through. The same time you put the fish into the curry put the rice into the cooking water. When the rice is done then your fish is done, too.
I served it without the coriander because I don’t like coriander. Flat leaf parsley is a good substitute or fresh dill. Or Thai basil works fine too.