Bacon explosion and magic dust

I’ve been wanting to make this dish for ages but my reluctance to have a heart attack meant that I had to wait for a suitable occasion when there were people to share it with. We’re invited to some friends’ barbecue tomorrow so I’m jumping at the chance. 

The recipe followed is here http://blog.bbqaddicts.com/recipes/bacon-explosion/ but as we don’t have access to a lot of barbecue rubs in this country we made some magic dust which we found the recipe to here http://bbq.about.com/od/rubrecipes/r/bl50617d.htm. 

We used Stubbs barbecue sauce and we don’t have a steamer (it’s also chucking it down with rain) so we cooked it in the oven. Please remember the temperature on the recipe is Fahrenheit so adjust to about 130C or gas mark 1/2. We wanted to cook it before tomorrow so it can just be finished off on the grill when we get there and (hopefully) nobody will be poisoned. We are cooking ours for 3 hours and have kept it wrapped in the tinfoil. Crispy outer coating will be from the grill. 

Published in: on September 10, 2016 at 3:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Summer kebabs

This is another one of those recipes that you can really make your own. There are no rules when it comes to cooking. (OK, there are some rules, but feel free to experiment. Heston Blumenthal didn’t discover his recipes by copying Jamie Oliver). 

These kebabs started from a recipe but were adjusted, half-assed style, to make them better. We bought diced lamb, a pepper, a red onion, cherry tomatoes, and chestnut mushrooms. All these were marinated in a sauce which included tomato ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, hot sauce, ginger, and garlic. Make up the quantities.

After the marination process (we left ours for about 5-6 hours), make the kebabs and cook on the barbecue or grill. Baste the kebabs while cooking. Serve with pittas and home made garlic and chilli hummus.

(That’s just what we did. You can add whatever you want to the marinade, use whatever meat you like, add whatever ingredients you want to the kebabs, and serve with whatever you want. You don’t even have to use a barbecue or grill, although that bit is highly recommended.)

Published in: on August 13, 2016 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bermese pork hinleh

Anyone whose read this blog knows we love a good slow cooker recipe. This is possibly one of the simplest ones we have done to date. It’s from the book ‘easy slow cooker’ which is shocking as it is a slow cooker recipe and it’s really easy. 

We double all our slow cooker recipes as we have a large crockpot and if we don’t, they tend to dry out (half-assed tip if you find your slow cooker does the same). The quantities below are for the small, normal version.

Basically, make a curry paste by putting 4-6 bird’s eye chillis, 5 garlic cloves, 1/2 onion, 5cm fresh ginger, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 2cm fresh galangal (use ginger if you can’t get any), a lemon grass stalk (outer leaves removed), 3 anchovies, and 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce in a food processor and blitz. Add a little water if it’s too thick. 

Stir fry the paste in 3 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil for 5 minutes. Add 750g boneless pork sparerib (in chunks) and stir fry until sealed. 

Add everything to the slow cooker and add 350ml of beef stock. Cook on high for 7 hours. Serve with rice and sprinkle with coriander leaves and more chilli if you like. 

Published in: on June 19, 2016 at 1:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Churros

We didn’t cook these, and may possibly never try to cook these, but just in case you read our Mexican feast post and want to know how badly we messed them up, this is what they should have looked like. 

Published in: on June 9, 2016 at 4:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Fresh mackerel 

We are lucky enough to be holidaying in Mexico and took the opportunity to go out fishing this morning. Now when I say fresh, the fish was probably dead less than two hours before it hit the pan. 

With fish that fresh, my advice would be to keep it simple. I added olive oil and a little butter to the pan over a low to medium heat. I just sprinkled salt and pepper on the flesh side of the fillets. 

Place the fish skin side down and cook until you see it is cooked half way though. Turn and cook until finished. We threw in a splash of beer and some lime juice during cooking. 

That’s it. If you have fresh parsley or dill, throw some of that in too. We didn’t have any but it was still delicious. 

Published in: on June 1, 2016 at 8:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Half-assed brisket

This is my favourite type of cooking. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good recipe and I love looking through our many, many recipe books to decide what we’re going to cook. Sometimes though, you’ve just got to make it up and go with it. Unfortunately (for me) that means I have to type out the ingredients, which I haven’t done recently, as it takes so long, but for you, our loyal blog followers, nothing is too much trouble.

So, brisket. Not something I knew too much about 8 years ago, but something which I now love. It does need a long time to cook and I think we may have blogged a slow cooker recipe a long time ago. It is, however, cheap. I used a 2kg ‘bone in’ brisket for this, which cost less than £8 and serves 4 people. 

If you aren’t confident in the kitchen, a roast dinner is a very good place to start. I grew up learning hints and tips from my mum (she has no idea and/or will never admit how much she taught me). A brisket joint was not one that she cooked. However, Liz’s Jewish grandmother was no stranger to it. Hence my introduction to a nice brisket. 

Once you can cook a simple roast, which is really all about timing, you can start to experiment. My inspirations in the kitchen have always been my mum and her mum (my gran) and I always wonder what I would have grown up eating if they had access to all the fantastic ingredients we take for granted today. This recipe reverts back to the very basics I grew up with ( and a few we take for granted, like chilli and garlic) and I hope you enjoy it.
Recipe

2kg bone in brisket joint

5 red onions

6 shallots

2 green chillis

5 cloves of garlic

Bottle red wine

500ml bottle coke (full fat, leaded)

Couple sprigs thyme

Coupe sprigs Rosemary

Salt and pepper

Olive oil for browning
Method

The idea was for a sweet sticky gravy to accompany a slow cooked, falling off the bone, beef joint. 

Preheat oven to 120C, 230F, gas mark ‘as low as you can get’.

Cut the onions and shallots into chunky slices. Cut the chillis by halving them lengthwise and then into large bits. (We kept the seeds in but you do what you like). Crush and roughly chop the garlic. Put all the above with the sprigs of thyme and rosemary into a large roasting tin and mix with your hands. 
Push the onions, etc, into a pile and then pour the coke and wine around the outside. Brown the joint by using a large pan with a little oil at as high a temperature as you can. This step is not essential but does help make the gravy browner. 

Place the joint on the pile of onions. Cover the roasting tin with foil and cook for 7-8 hours. Don’t check it. Don’t even look at it. It will be fine. The photo below was taken after 8 hours cooking. 

Remove the meat from the oven and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes. Pour the contents of the roasting tin through a sieve into a saucepan. Whisk in a dessert spoon of flour and continue to whisk over the heat to make the gravy. Season the gravy as desired. Remember you haven’t added an salt yet.  Serve with roast potatoes and peas. 

We used all the fat, the onions from the pan, any left over gravy, and the bones, to make beef stock for another dish. 



Published in: on May 1, 2016 at 8:44 pm  Comments (1)  
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Mexican feast with Tony and Eddie

Some days things go perfectly to plan. Other days…well…!  Let me clarify. The food today has been amazing but we ended with one of those absolute disasters, which if you cook, and try new things, you will hopefully be familiar with. Keep reading and all will be explained.

We started with fish tacos. I should have known that things were not going to go smoothly when I forgot to take any photos. Sorry! You’re going to have to take my word for it that marinaded cod, cooked and flaked, with vinegar soaked onions and a fresh salsa, wrapped in a tortilla, with a bit of sour cream, is delicious. And this was just the starter. The recipe was from epicurious.com.

The main course was a Christmas meatloaf. Meat wrapped around eggs. This recipe is called ‘pastel de carne navideno’ and was found on hispanickitchen.com. We left out the olives but it was delicious and we served it with a winter salad from the Wahaca cookbook. This part of the meal was a complete success.

And then we came to dessert.  We made churros…or we tried to. The recipe was to make 20 churros. We thought that was way too many so we halved the recipe. I’m not sure what quite went wrong but the mixture wasn’t thick enough. And then the oil wasn’t quite hot enough. And therefore the result did not look quite right. The chocolate sauce was fantastic. If you want to try this recipe from bbcgoodfood.com I’m sure you will have more success than we did. The result tasted good but you can judge the presentation for yourself. There is a reason we’re half-assed.

We had an amazing day cooking with great friends and that is much more important than sad looking churros. You need to google a picture of churros to see just how bad these are.



 

Published in: on March 12, 2016 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Coming next week

As usual, we go through phases of blogging and not blogging. We continue to cook new dishes between the blogs but life gets in the way of spending time writing about it.

However, next weekend, we have promised very good friends of ours that we will blog a meal we cook with them. We have shared very many amazing meals together over the past 8 years, some home cooked, and some in restaurants. On Saturday, 11th March, we will be cooking a Mexican feast together and blogging the results.

I warn you now, as we usually enjoy the odd beer or glass of wine as we cook, the blog posts may be less coherent than some but we will try our best.

Stay tuned!!!

Published in: on March 5, 2016 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Root vegetable pie

As Spring approaches and the weather reverts back to November temperatures, we get sunshine, hail, rain and sleet in one day. What better to cook on a cold miserable day than a great vegetable pie? ‘Well’, I hear you cry, ‘you could cook a meat pie’. You are right, of course. I would always be an advocate of meat over vegetarian but tomorrow, I’m making Tom Kerridge’s pork meatballs with gravy, so today, we have vegetable pie.

The recipe is from Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty More’ book. It involves frying off caraway seeds with mustard seeds and curry powder before adding onions, garlic, carrots, parsnip and butternut squash at carefully measured stages, with stock added to ensure the vegetables cooked. We made pastry. We put pastry in a muffin tin, filled the pastry and then put a little pastry lid on and cooked it for about 30-35 minutes. 

As the pastry called for sour cream (don’t ask questions), we used the left over for garnish. I think the only thing that would have made this better was a small amount of chicken.

  
  
 

Published in: on March 5, 2016 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rhubarb crumble

Rhubarb is in season and we love rhubarb so I had to make crumble. I boiled the rhubarb with sugar to taste and then put it in ramekins to cool. The crumble today was equal weights of butter, flour, porridge oats and Demerara sugar. Feel free to add chopped nuts, cinnamon or whatever else you think will add to the flavour. 

Sprinkle on top of the rhubarb and cook for 25 minutes at 180C, gas mark 4, 350F. The perfect complimentary dessert to pork belly. 

   
 

Published in: on May 17, 2015 at 8:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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