Monday, 27 September 2010

Slow Cooked Jerk Pulled Pork

I love Becky at Girl Interrupted Eating she always cooks recipes I want to try and has a passion for slow cooked hearty meal like I do.  So when I spied this recipe for Jerk Pulled Pork on her blog I knew I was going to try it straight away!

I have not changed much from her recipe, but will add my own observations.

I used a 1.5Kg boneless rolled shoulder of pork skin on.  I used Shwartz Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, approx 4 tsp and to this I added the juice and zest of one lemon, 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, 1 tsp dried oregano and a few bit of grated nutmeg.

This mixed together and rubbed all over the joint gave it a wonderful fragrance which really permeated throughout the entire joint.  Like Becky, I will probably try to make my own blend of seasonings and spices next time. I think a lot of fun can be had changing/amending/playing with this simple recipe.

The meat was kept extremely moist during the 3 hours cooking time and once transferred to the roasting tin and the temp heated up, we did find that the sugars in the meat caramelised and became very sticky and blackened.  The skin did not go crispy, but it did render down until very soft, melting rather than chewy.

I served this with flat tortilla wraps and I made up a few components for salad accompaniments.  Grated carrot with finely minced garlic and Greek yogurt was fantastic. 
I also made cucumber with yogurt and mint, some de-seeded diced tomatoes and diced cooked beetroot with crumbled feta. any or all of these added to the wrap with some sweet chili sauce drizzled over the top and plenty of the delicious pulled pork wrapped up, total heaven. 

A really fun meal to have and so utterly yummy, I have not had such a tasty meal in quite a while, the meat was a total star!  There was plenty of leftovers for round two the next day.

Chorizo & Cheese Tortilla

I love to cook tapas to start a meal and I am always on the look out for a quick and easy recipe for Tortilla as this one, although delish, can be a little time consuming and faffy.  So I was very pleased to find this lovely little recipe in one of my many tapas cookbooks. (Everyday Tapas ISBN: 978-1-4075-7845-3)

Chorizo & Cheese Tortilla

2 small potatoes
4 tbls olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
140h chorizo, finely chopped
8 large eggs
2 tbls cold water
55g Manchego, grated (or Parmesan)

Cook the potatoes in a small pan  of boiling water until just tender.  Drain and set aside to cool, then dice.
Heat the oil in a pan that can be safely placed under the grill later (mine was 8.5" dia). Add the onion, pepper and tomatoes and cook over low heat for 5 mins.  Add the potatoes and chrizo and cook for a further 5 mins.
Beat the eggs with the water and season to taste.  Pour into the frying pan and cook for 8-10 mins or until the underside is set.
Lift the edge of the tortilla occasionally to let the uncooked egg run underneath.
Sprinkle the grated cheese over the tortilla and place under a hot grill for 3 mins or until the top is set and the cheese melted and golder.

Serve warm or cold cut into thin wedges.

This served with marinated anchovies, olives and brushetta were a great way to start a celebratory family meal followed by the Chicken with Garlic Sauce .   It was so good I only just remembered to take photos before we guzzled the lot!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Another one of the comfort foods I am craving whilst in my sickened state has been lovely thick creamy soup with crusty bread. Finding I had a butternut squash in the veg rack I went about turning it into a scrummy warming supper.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 Butternut Squash
1 Onion Chopped
1 ltr Vegetable stock
1 tsp chopped fresh Sage
Rapeseed oil
Double Cream (Naughty, but hubby could not find the creme fraich at the shop)

Preheat you oven to 200oc, cut the squash in half length ways, remove the seeds and score the flesh in a check pattern, this will help it cook more quickly. Drizzle over with the rapeseed oil and season with S&P. Pop into the oven to roast for at least half an hour.

Remove and once cooled scoop the flesh out of the skin, put to one side

Fry the onion in a little olive oil till soft add the squash pulp and the stock and further seasoning.

Leave to simmer covered for 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped sage for the last few minutes.

I then used a hand blender to remove most of the lumps from the soup, I like to leave a few chunks for a bit of texture. Then pour in a drop of cream, swirl and serve with warm crusty bread.

This soup was so thick and creamy, in my haste to scarf it down I forgot to take a photo of the dished up dish! The fresh sage really added a lovely zing to the soup and using the rapeseed oil to roast the squash with adds an extra 'roastiness' taste. So quick and easy to whip up.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Spicy Pinto Beans

I am starting week 3 of a lovely chest infection. It is slowly getting better, but I am left totally drained and weakened by it. With this in mind all I want to eat is easy peasy comfort food. Having got some chipolatas in the fridge I decided on a bangers and mash type dish, but I wanted baked beans - a real craving for them, which is strange as I am not all that keen on the old BB so it was no great surprise that I found none in the cupboard, but I did not let stop me, I concocted the following recipe:-

Spicy Pinto Beans

400g Pinto Beans
400g Chopped Tomatoes
1 clove garlic - crushed or minced
1 tbsp Oil
1/4 jar of roasted peppers
1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
1 tsp Sugar

Heat the oil in a pan, add the crushed garlic and fry gently, add the chopped tomatoes and heat through. Then add the pinto beans, peppers and chili, S&P.
Cover and simmer gently for 10 mins until the beans have thickened slightly the sauce.
Add the sugar to taste to take away the harsh acidity of the tomatoes. Serve.

These were the most delicious beans I have ever had, the flavour was fruity and with a bit of a kick, the garlic came through and added almost a smokey flavour with the chili. They went together so well with the chipolatas and the oven roasted potato chunks. Real comfort food that will propel me on to the road to recovery.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Chimichurri (on Rib Eye Steak)

Riffling through the Saturday Times a couple of weeks ago I came across a recipe for Chimichurri, the Argentinian sauce/salsa for drizzling on top of your steak. Finding that I actually had all the ingredients in the cupboard I set to work making it.
Since then I have thrown away the newspaper and I am loathe to pay Times Online to get hold of this recipe again, so I googled it and found there is recipe upon recipe for this accompaniment and they are all pretty much of a muchness. Therefore this recipe is a mish mash of all those other recipes.

Chimichurri Salsa

1 Medium Onion - Finely Chopped
2 Red Chillies - Finely Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic - Finely Chopped
1 Tbsp Parsley - Finely Chopped
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp Dried Oregano
Salt & Pepper

Basically mix all the ingredients together, maybe tweeking a little to taste.

This is a fabulously fresh sauce that smelt wonderful, I think I put a little too much on my pan fried rare ribeye steak as it was a little overpowering, but utterly delicious. I will definitely make this again. I served with crushed new potatoes with grain mustard and stringless beans.