30 Apr 2013
LOVE THIS SIMPLE QUICK QUESADILLLA
I made this in the USA with their fabulous melting cheeses, that I can not get at home in the UK, Monterrey Jack, Swiss and Mexican cheeses, fabulous fresh tomato's and coriander salsa, and it was everything I wanted, a crispy crunch followed by the soft warm creamy rich gooey cheesy centre with the cold fresh salsa and coriander bursting through, finished by the cool rich sour cream and creamy guacamole, just a perfect mouthful...
(makes 2-4 portions)
2 8" flour tortillas
100g mozzarella grated
100g Swiss cheese grated
100g mild cheddar grated
2 fresh tomato's fine diced
4 sprigs coriander fine chopped
1/2 onion fine fine chopped
1 fresh chilli fine diced
Place a non stick frying pan on the stove, medium heat and place on flour tortilla in the pan, sprinkle over half the cheese, then the fresh tomato's, coriander, onion and chilli, and finish off with the rest of the cheese, place the other tortilla on top and cook for approx. 7 minutes, flip the quesadilla, (I like to use a plate placed over the pan and turn the quesadilla over on to the plate and then slide the un-cooked quesadilla back into the pan, cook for a further 5 minutes until nicely toasted and then served cut into quarters with some salsa, sour cream and guacamole with salad.
FANTASTIC FRESH ZINGY ZESTY SALSA VERDE
I love this super fast and so easy salsa verde because it packs a green fresh zingy zesty flavour that is super versatile. I always have a fresh batch sitting around in the fridge ready for dipping with corn chips or to compliment, burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, this salsa is also great as a sauce over chicken.
(makes 500ml approx.)
6 fresh green tomatillos
1-2 fresh green jalapeno chilli's
1 habanero chilli (instead if you want to pack a wahoo punch)
10 stalks of coriander
1 large pinch of sea salt
1 small onion fine fine chopped
Very simple and quick place all the ingredients except the onion into a blender and blend or pulse until smooth, transfer into a bowl and add the onion, mix well and taste, adjust the seasoning if needed and then for the best flavour chill before use.
If you want a more earthy robust salsa verde, roast the green tomatillos off in a dry pan or under the grill first before blending, you can also roast off the jalapenos too. You can also just cook out the raw salsa before using to make a softer sauce for chicken or meats.
9 Apr 2013
FRAGRANT SPICY TURKEY & PORK BURGER WITH LEMONGRASS, GINGER, HARRISA, FRESH CORIANDER & CHILLIES
(makes 6 burgers)
500g Turkey mince
500g pork mince
2" fresh ginger grated
1 lemongrass grated
2 hot red chilli fine diced/sliced
1 tbsp madras curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp harissa paste
1 tsp tamarind paste
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3 tbsp. fresh coriander
salt & white pepper
fresh baby plum tomatoes
FOR THE CHAPATI WRAP
165g chapatti or wholemeal flour
1 tsp oil
3/4 tsp of salt
First make the chapati wrap, mix all the ingredients together, knead for a few minutes and then rest for 10 minutes, take the dough and cut into 6 balls, then roll out to thin disks that just fit your frying pan, dry pan fry until puffed up & browned on each side. Keep warm wrapped in a heated tea-towel.
Meanwhile take the turkey and pork mince and add the lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, 1 chilli, madras powder, harissa and tamarind paste, coriander powder and 2 tbsp of fresh coriander then season with salt and pepper.
Mix well together and form into 6 patties. In a non stick pan or plancher cook the patties until nicely caramelised, I like to add some water and place a saucepan lid on top of the frying pan or plancher to finish of the patties with a blast of steam, this helps keep the pattie juicy and ensures the pattie is cooked all the way through.
Load your chapatti wraps with some sour cream, coriander, chillies, the burger and top with more sour cream, coriander, chillies, fresh tomatoes and enjoy.
7 Apr 2013
SWEET & STICKY FIVE SPICED STEAM ROASTED BELLY PORK SERVED WITH LEMONGRASS, GINGER AND COCONUT STICKY RICE
750+g piece of belly pork skin on
3 tsp ground five spice
3 star anise
large pinch salt
50ml kenjap manis soy
25ml dark soy
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks lemongrass one finely grated
2" fresh ginger grated
1 hot red chilli fine chopped
1 green pepper diced
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 cup of rice
1 tin of coconut milk
1 cup water
100ml reduced chicken stock
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees and place a roasting tray with a rack on top in the oven to warm up, place a litre of water in the tray with the whole star anise, Pat your pork belly skin dry with some kitchen paper and sprinkle generously with salt, then rub the whole of the belly pork with the five spice powder. Place on the rack in your pre-heated oven and cook for 40-60 minutes depending on the size and for the skin to crisp up and have crackling. Once cooked remove and leave to cool.
TO COOK FABULOUS RICE
Take the cup of rice, (for sticky rice I don't rinse), place the cup rice in your saucepan with the coconut milk, half a whole stick of lemon grass the water and chicken stock, not stirring bring to a simmer and place the lid on, reduce heat a little and cook for 6 minutes, take off the heat, do not be tempted to stir, throw in half only of the grated lemongrass, ginger, coriander, green pepper and chilli, place the lid back on and do not touch for 10 minutes, this allows the rice to finish cooking.
While the rice is cooking and the pork is resting I like to take the crackling off the belly pork at this point, if my hubby is about we cant help ourselves and we eat this now!
To finish the pork while the rice is resting, square chop the juicy rested pork into chunky cubes and heat in the wok over a high heat toss in the kentjap mantis, soy, sugar, then the last half of the lemongrass, ginger, chilli and green pepper for a couple of minutes then serve on top of the rice with a generous sprinkle of fresh coriander
6 Apr 2013
Tidying up the garden today we found a nest that our chickens had made and have been laying their eggs in, we have been short on eggs for a few months but just assumed that the cold weather, our girls getting older and free range chicken eggs being a hint seasonal that they had naturally slowed down, now we know that is not the case, so eggs are back on the giving to family menu.
Our girls woodland home where they get to flap, run, root and scratch around all day.
TIME TO PUT THE GARDEN BACK TO A GARDEN FOR THE SUMMER
This is the first day our piglets arrived and our garden still resembled a garden, we were completely prepared for mud and lots of it, but I did find having the wettest year on record in over a hundred years a little bit of a challenge, mainly due to the personal pressure we had put on ourselves not to have any smell, as we are urban mini garden small holders in a very built up area and out of respect to our neighbours most of who have been outstanding and loved our pigs, we have had so many families in our garden meeting and petting the pigs and our fabulous neighbours opposite said they have really enjoyed watching ten's of cars pull up and people getting out and looking through the gap in the hedge at the pigs and then driving off,
Mud glorious mud...
5 ton of earth and 45 sq metres of fresh turf and a days hard work and the garden already looks almost back to itself. Now just to grass seed where the chickens have scratched and we have walked bald areas over winter and the garden will be all done until next time !!!
In all we have really loved having the pigs for 5 months, and really look forward to doing this again, but this time hopefully we wont have to extend the pig run as we hope to have our pigs from August till December, when it will be drier rather then October to March and not to have Tamworth crosses, (ploughs on legs), we will go with the breed we originally wanted Gloucestershire Old Spots, nice old squat noses that take their time to rootle.
First tulips are up and out, very small unfortunately but a flower non the less.
The sparse start to my French Monet's garden, looking forward to the hundreds of bulbs that are under the earth and hoping that this late cold snap has not delayed or stopped them.
The pig run at the bottom of our garden, now working hard on levelling out the ground with top soil, 5 ton's so far and laying the turf so that we can enjoy the garden for the summer.
A hard days work and what a transformation where the pig run was.
One of my most favourite flowers.
My little start of Monet.
Woodland girls, loving that spring is finally arriving.
Been a frustrating start to the year re-growing vegetables and flowers, we had that wonderful window of warm spring in February which lulled me in to a knowing false sense of security, and I got all excited and planted out my tulips, nanus, zantedheilas, daffodils, agapanthas, another nanus, bluebells and lavenders all sort of doing ok, holding strong but they have flowered low stem.
Last week I could not wait any longer and I gave in on Good Friday and planted out my onions, leeks, garlic, potato's, beetroots, and carrots, fingers crossed they take.
4 Apr 2013
CRISPY CRACKLING & BACK FAT RENDERED DOWN TO MAKE GORGEOUS FLAVOURED LARD FOR PASTRY
Pork back fat (from your butcher)
Pork skin (from your butcher)
Very simple process, pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees and place the back fat and skin in a roasting tray. Get a deep baking tin out ready to receive the rendered down fat, which you will need to pour off from the roasting tin a couple of times during cooking.
After half an hour, pour off any rendered down lard into your baking tin, repeat this process until there is no more fat being let down by the pork, this takes approx. 1 hour. Leave the lard to cool on your work top and then place in the fridge to set, later remove the whole block of lard and cut into approx. 250g blocks and wrap in parchment paper and store in the fridge for up to 3 months.
This home rendered lard is full of rich creamy crackling flavour that en-riches your pastry giving any pie or quiche a fabulous depth of flavour in the pastry that leaves your mouth melting.