Char-grilled Chorizo Rolls

Image: Gourmet Traveller http://bit.ly/15JFCsP

Image: Gourmet Traveller http://bit.ly/15JFCsP

The final weekend of the NRL season is here and what better excuse to fire up the barbie?! This year, ditch the bulk-buy snags and horrible, artificially flavoured chicken kebabs for a delicious char-grilled chorizo roll. Served with two yummy sauces and salad sides, these rolls are sure to be a hit.

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh smoked chorizo – if you use fresh chorizo you may need to increase your cooking time
  • 6 soft torpedo rolls, split lengthways
  •  Rocket

Ingredients – Roast tomato salmorejo

  • 500 gm (about 2 punnets) cherry tomatoes
  • 90 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 90 gm coarsely torn crustless sourdough bread
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar

Ingredients – Salsa vinagreta

  • 40 gm tiny salted capers, rinsed
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup (firmly packed) oregano
  • 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml white wine vinegar

Method

  1. For roast tomato salmorejo, preheat oven to 200C. Place tomatoes on an oven tray, drizzle with 30ml olive oil, season to taste and roast until dark golden (8-10 minutes), transfer to a food processor. Combine bread in a small bowl with 60ml cold water, stand until soft (2-3 minutes). Add to food processor with garlic, process until smooth, then, with motor running, add remaining oil in a thin steady stream until emulsified. Add vinegar, season to taste, process to combine. Makes 250ml, will keep refrigerated for up to five days in an airtight container.
  2. Meanwhile, for salsa vinagreta, process capers, egg and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add herbs, process until coarsely chopped, then, with motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream and process to a fine paste. Add vinegar, season to taste and set aside. Makes 250ml, will keep refrigerated for up to five days in an airtight container.
  3. Preheat a char-grill or barbecue to high heat. Cook chorizo, turning occasionally until browned (6-8 minutes). Split lengthways, then stuff into rolls and serve with wild rocket, salsa vinagreta and tomato salmorejo.

Best washed down with an icy cold beer!

Enjoy!

Caramel Chicken

Image: Super Food Ideas – August 2011, Page 61. Photography by Mark O’Meara.

Caramelised Chicken or ga kho is a sticky, sweet and spicy Vietnamese dish. And, before you get freaked out by the words Caramel and Chicken appearing alongside each other, it is savoury caramel rather than a sweet caramel. So don’t worry you won’t be tucking into a bowl of Jersey Caramels with a side of chicken thigh!

This Vietnamese style savoury caramel sauce weaves together the perfect blend of salty, sweet, sour and spicy by making a caramel using sweet brown sugar, salty fish sauce, sour lime juice and spicy chilies along with some garlic which reduces to a glaze while it cooks, for a full flavour punch. Delicious.

Ingredients – Caramel Chicken

  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 800g chicken thigh fillets –  trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • Steamed rice to serve

Ingredients – Pickled Cucumber

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbss caster sugar
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers – cut into thin ribbons
  • 1 green onion – thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of cold water

Method

  1. To make the pickled cucumber, place the vinegar, sugar and 1/4 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, add cucumber, stir to combine and set aside to cool completely. Once cooled, stir in the green onion.
  2. Place the chicken and oil in a bowl and toss to combine. Heat a large frying pan or wok over a high heat until hot. Add half the chicken and cook for two minutes on one side until lightly browned, turn and cook for another minute. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add a little extra peanut oil if needed. Add the onion and garlic and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Return the chicken to the pan, add the soy sauce, chilli flakes and stir to combine.
  4. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high, add the sugar and stir to combine. Cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes, or until the sauce is rich, dark and syrupy.
  5. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and stir to combine.
  6. Place in a serving dish and serve with steamed rice and pickled cucumber.

Enjoy!

Dumplings!

Ben has recently proclaimed that his favourite food ever is dumplings. Boiled, steamed, pot sticker or even gyoza – he is sold! And you know what, I love them too. Delicious morsels of tasty meat and silky wonton wrappers – what’s not to love?

This tasty recipe is for a quick, simple and delicious boiled dumpling; which I can’t more highly recommend you try!

Ingredients – Dumplings

  • 500g pork and veal mince
  • 150g minced fresh prawn meat
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 tsp of lemongrass
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 2 tbs of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs of sesame oil
  • 1 tbs of fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs – more if the mixture is still too wet
  • 2 packets of wonton wrappers

Ingredients – Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs of sesame oil
  • 1 tbs of fish sauce
  • 1 tbs of fresh chopped chilli
  • 1/2 bunch of chopped corriander leaves

Method

  1. Put the onion, carrot, garlic and stalks from the coriander in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
  2. Add the mince, prawn meat, lemongrass, 1/2 coriander leaves, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce and breadcrumbs to the food processor and mix to combine.
  3. Now onto folding the dumplings – there are many, many ways to do this. If you have a sure thing technique then go for it! But, what I like to do is grab a wonton wrapper, place 1 tbs of mixture in the centre, wet the edges of the wrapper with water, fold to form a semi-circle, press tightly to seal, now pinch the edges to form a pleat – I can usually do about 4 per dumpling, place on a dry surface and repeat!
  4. Pressing the edges to form a seal and pleating will ensure that your dumpling is water tight – this means when you plonk them in the water to cook they won’t explode or get all soggy and gross.
  5. Bring a large pot of boiling water to a rapid boil, add the dumplings in batches so they don’t stick together, cook for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, add all ingredients for the dipping sauce to a bowl and mix well to combine
  7. Remove from the water, drain and serve with the dipping sauce.

Enjoy!

15 Minute Monday – Sweet and Sour Pork

Hi my name is Jessica and I love pork.

That’s it plain and simple. I love pork in any which way it can come – pork chops, bacon, ham, jamón ibérico, prosciutto – I love it. Unfortunately for me Ben isn’t as bigger fan of this delicious anomal as I am, but he is well and truly coming around to it thanks to my delicious recipe for sweet and sour pork.

After some research and recipe tweaking and I have come up with a recipe for the most delicious, succulent and non-deep fried sweet and sour pork that you will ever have. In fact, this recipe has become a weekly request in my house with pork finding its way to our shopping trolley without my guiding hand. So ditch the take-away menu and the jars of suspiciously gelatinous, fluro ‘sweet and sour sauce’ because this recipe is chinch to make and it is delicious!

Ingredients

  • 600g of pork – I use heart smart steaks, diced. You can use chicken if you’d prefer
  • 2 tbs of cornflour
  • 2 tbs of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbs of peanut oil
  • 1 medium brown onion – halved and sliced
  • 1 large red capsisum – cut into strips
  • 1 large carrot – cut into matchsticks or julienned if you’re feeling fancy
  • 1 head of broccoli – cut into florets
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Steamed rice to serve

Ingredients – Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tbs shao sing wine (Chinese cooking wine) or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbs ketchup manis
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 tbs tomato paste

Method

  1. Place the pork, cornflour, plain flour and salt in a bag, combine, add pork and shake/rattle/roll to evenly coat the pork. This coating works thicken the sauce and to provide a healthy version of the delicious coating you get on sweet and sour pork in Chinese restaurants without having to deep fry the pork.
  2. Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
  3. Meanwhile, heat peanut oil in a large pan over high heat. Add onion and fry until translucent.
  4. Add pork and stir well to ensure all sides brown.
  5. Meanwhile, cook rice in rice cooker as per packet instruction, if you have a steamer tray on your rice cooker add your vegetables to the steaming tray halfway through cooking. I like to add the harder vegetables to the bottom layer i.e. carrot and broccoli stalks, then the softer vegetables like capsicum on the top layer.
  6. Once the pork has browned add the sauce, water and stir to coat all pieces of pork. Add the vegetables, reduce to a low heat and cover to simmer for five minutes or until the pork is cooked.
  7. Serve with steamed rice. 

Now I can’t go past a post on pork without one of my favourite pork quotes….

Tomato and Chilli Chutney

Chutney’s, relish’s and conserve’s are a fantastic way to preserve seasonal fruit and veggies for ongoing use throughout the year, they are also pretty delicious when freshly made!

Living in the country means that I have access to wonderful seasonal produce from neighbors, farmers markets and generous farmers alike. As a firmer subscriber to the waste-not-want-not rule I always like to think of ways to use any leftovers I have; be it making a chutney or scavenger hunt Sunday – where I use up any leftovers in the fridge or cupboard for the week.

This recipe is one of my favorites and it could not be any simpler to make, you dump everything in a saucepan and cook it until it’s thick, rich and delicious. I love to serve this as part of a cheese board or take it on picnics; it is also delicious with fresh bread, on sandwiches or served with roasts.

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion – sliced
  • 1 long red chilli – diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 400g of fresh tomatoes quatered OR 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup of sultanas
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp of curry powder – I use Clive of India
  • 1 tsp of mixed Mexican spices – I use Stonemill available from Aldi
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 large red capsicum – sliced

Method

  1. Add everything to a saucepan and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until reduced and thickened.

Note: this will keep in the fridge for approximately 2 weeks or in the freezer, stored in batches for easy use, for 3 months.

Enjoy!

Asian Glazed Pork Chops

This meal is so easy to prepare and even easier to eat. While it does take some time to cook, preparation is a breeze. It is perfect for a midweek meal to set and forget while you clean, work, look after kids or relax in the bath as I did. It is so tasty that you could serve it at a dinner party, with all the components placed on the table for guests to serve themselves and I am sure the recipe won’t stay a secret for long!

Ingredients

Pork

  • 700g pork – you can use chops, belly, strips etc. I used chops but it is entirely your choice
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • The roots of 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 long green chilli halved and sliced – don’t worry about this chilli being too hot, the bigger they are the milder they are. If you are concerned about the heat remove the seeds and the white membrane which is the hottest part of the chilli
  • 2 tsp Chinese five spice

Vegetables

  • 1 leek – white part only
  • 2 bok choy or pak choy
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 6 drops sesame oil
  • Brown rice to serve
  • Fresh coriander leaves to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180⁰C.
  2. Place the stock, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, sweet chilli sauce, sesame oil, garlic, coriander roots, green chilli and Chinese five spice in an oven proof dish and mix to combine. Ensure that the honey and sweet chilli sauce are fully dissolved in the sauce.
  3. Score any edged fat on the pork chops in 1.5cm intervals, add to the dish and turn to coat. Place either a lid or al foil over the dish and place in oven to cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning half way through cooking.
  4. Remove the pork from the oven, turn, uncover and place in the oven for 10 minutes each side.
  5. Meanwhile, cut the bok choy into 3cm lengths, cut the leek lengthways and finely slice and cut the capsicum into strips.
  6. Add the olive and sesame oil to a pan and heat, add the leek and stir until tender.
  7. Add the bok choy, capsicum, sesame seeds and soy sauce. Cover and allow to steam – you may need to add a dash of water here if the vegetables appear to be sticking.
  8. Remove pork from oven and serve in a bowl with steamed brown rice, vegetables. Top with the juices from the pork and fresh coriander leaves.

Enjoy!