Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Chorizo in Red Wine

Prior to my birthday spiced pork roast lunch I served up some little nibbles on a tapas theme, first came my tortilla and then a most pleasing and simple recipe.

Chorizo in Red Wine

500g Chorizo, I used cooking Chorizo
200ml Gutsy Spanish red wine

Prick the chorizo several times, place in a small saucepan and pour in the red wine.  Bring to the boil and simmer away for 20 min.  Leave to cool and then cover and leave for 8 hours or overnight to marinate. Drink the remainder of the bottle of wine.

Next day slice the chorizo into 5mm slices and quickly fry in a frying pan, add the remaining red wine and cook away until the sauce has reduced and gone thick & sticky.  Serve hot.

This really was spectacular, everybody loved it and I only just managed to get a photo taken before it was devoured!

Spiced Pork Roast

With my birthday on the way I decided to cook a Sunday lunch for my family to celebrate.  I then spent days deciding what it should be, but in the end traditional roast won out when I saw this recipe from the March 2012 issue of Good Food Magazine. A lovely recipe from James Martin incorporating dishes packed with flavour.

Spiced Slow Roast Pork
Serves 8 with plenty for leftovers

4Kg boned and rolled shoulder of pork
5 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp chilli flakes
zest & juice 1/2 a lemon
1 tblsp oil

Make a rub out of all the ingredients and massage into the pork.  Place the pork on to a trivet of onions and pop into the oven at 220oc for 30 mins to get the skin to crackle.  Turn the heat down to 150oc or 130oc for fan and roast away for a further 3 hours.

I then removed it, transferred it to a serving plate and covered it in foil for 30 mins whilst my roast potatoes cooked and I made up gravy with the juices and onions in the pan.  When the time was up I whacked it under the grill for 5 mins just to let the skin crackle up again, then served.  Lovely dish the chilli and thyme giving a little taste kick to a traditional roast.

I served it with roast potatoes, swede and carrot mash, peas and another James Martin recipe for -
Red Cabbage with Apples & Star Anise.

Shred a red cabbage
2 bay leaves
3 star anise
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
200ml veg stock
75ml cider vinegar
50g caster sugar
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges

Put everything except the apple into a heavy pan.  Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 mins.  Add the apples and simmer away for a further 15 mins or until soft.  I made this the day before and it reheated very well still giving the cabbage a slight bite and some really excellent anise flavouring that blasted through the pork.  A very yummy birthday dinner indeed.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Chicken Piccata

One of the crafting blogs I follow recently added this recipe and said it was sooo good, so who am I not to take them at their word.  I did have a few misgivings that it would be a little sharp, but they were pretty much unfounded and yes, it was sooo good.

Chicken Piccata
Serves 2 WW Pro Points approx 9 per serving

2 chicken breasts - small or one large, sliced in half
100ml chicken stock
1 tblsp flour + 1tsp flour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tblsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tblsp Capers in brine, drained and chopped
1 tblsp butter
2 tblsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tblsp oil

Take your chicken breast/s place in a plastic bag and bash them flat with a rolling pin.
Taken the 1 tblsp flour add a little salt and pepper then coat the chicken in it.
Heat 2 tsp of oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken approx 2 minutes each side until crispy and golden.  Remove from the pan and put to one side.

Whisk together the stock and lemon juice with 1 tsp flour.  Add the remaining oil to the pan and gently fry the garlic for a minute or so, add the stock & lemon mix and bubble up until thickened, add the white wine vinegar, capers and parsley and simmer away for a couple of minutes, add the butter to make it all glossy and thick.

Serve the chicken on a bed of pasta and drizzle the sauce over the top.

The picture really does not relate how yummy the sauce was and I know that by looking at the ingredients you too may be thinking sharp, well it is, but the butter really helps balance out the flavours and when it is mixed in with the pasta it just adds kick and lip smacking deliciousness!

Noodle Soup

Having just spent a week in Hong Kong sampling all the wonderful sights and sounds of such a vibrant city and sampling some really excellent food one of the best meals I had was a simple noodle soup served after a Chinese New Year celebration meal at the home of a Hong Kong family.  It was simple yet full of flavour so I tried to recreate it upon my return.

1 ltr Chicken stock - fresh homemade would be better, but I used a stock cube
1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
1 Star Anise
200g fresh egg noodles
Half a chinese leaf cabbage, sliced into chunks
3 Spring onions, sliced

Heat a little oil in a large pan and fry gently the spring onions.  Add the spice and star anise, then pour over the stock.  Heat through for a few minutes then add the noodles and cabbage, simmer for 3 minutes so the cabbage retains a little bite and serve.

Simple yet delicious.