Sweet and sour pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

Marinate Pork

  • Vegetable oil
  • 500g Pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chinese wine or Sherry
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 1-inch ginger, fine chopped

Batter

  • 3 Eggs
  • 125g corn starch
  • Mix to form batter with consistency of thick cream

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Ketchup
  • 4 tbsp vinegar
  • 3.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Corn flour slurry, mix 4 tbsp water, 1 tbsp corn flour

Vegetables

  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, fine chopped
  • 2 Peppers, one red, one green, cut in squares
  • 1 Onion, cut in squares
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Chinese wine

Cut pork into thin strips. Marinate in a bowl with the soy, wine, pepper and ginger for a few hours.

Make up the batter by mixing the eggs and cornflour until smooth, with the consistency of thick cream.

Mix cornflour mix into the pork. Heat oil in a wok and add the pork pieces one at a time. Cook for 3 or 4 mins until crisp. Remove to rack. Continue to cook the remaining pork in batches without overcrowding the wok.

Clean wok, add a little oil and stir fry the garlic. Add the ketchup, sugar, and the rest of the sauce ingredients. Add the corn-starch slurry last and let thicken. Add the pork and coat with sauce.

Serve with rice.

Vegetables are optional.

Heat a little oil in a wok, add the garlic, cook for a minute, then add the peppers and the onion. Add a little salt. After a minute, add a dash of Chinese wine. Serve alongside the pork and rice.

Chicken wings

This is a clever way to cook chicken wings by baking. Thanks to Chef John for the tip and the recipe. The kids said they are as good as Elephant and Castle who are the gold standard in wings in these parts.

  • 4.5Kg Chicken wings
  • 1 tbsp salt ( about ½ tsp per kg)
  • 1 tbsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 6 tbsp baking powder

Sauce

  • 1 bottle Franks hot sauce
  • Butter

Heat on 1-part butter to 1.5-part hot sauce. You will need the whole bottle for this volume wings. Mix till the two form an emulsion

Coat the wings in the baking powder mix. Place the wings on a grate sitting on a baking tray. Place in oven at 220 degrees centigrade.  Bake in oven for 1 hour, turning the wings once. Remove from oven. Put wings in a big mixing bowl and pour over some of the sauce. Toss so that all the wings are covered in some sauce. Decant to serving bowl. Serves with extra sauce on the sides with plenty of serviettes.

Singapore noodles

  • Vegetable oil
  • 500 g chicken cut in thin strips
  • 200g prawns
  • Cornflour
  • Soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 packs of medium egg noodles
  • 5 cloves garlic, fine chopped
  • 1 ginger, fine chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseed and fine chop
  • 6 green onions, white part cut in strips, green part chop
  • 1 medium size onion, cut in semi rings
  • 1 carrot, cut in julienne
  • 150 g bean sprout

Sauce

  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder

Place noodle in pot of boiling water and take off heat to let blanch. Check after about 10 mins and when ready, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Cut chicken breast into thin strips. Marinate in the 1 tbsp soy sauce, a little vegetable oil and 2 tbsp cornflour for 10 mins.  In very hot wok, heat 1 Tbsp of oil and cook the chicken in batches, browning on both sides. Set aside. Cook the prawns in a pan if not precooked. Set aside.

Clean wok, heat again and add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add ginger, garlic and chillies and cook for a minute. Then add the onions, green onions and carrot and cook for 2/ 3 mins. Add the chicken and the prawns and bring up in heat. Set everything to the side of the wok, add two eggs and when scrambled, stir in with the chicken/prawn.

Add the noodles and stir well. Reduce heat to medium. Add the bean sprouts.

Add the sauce and stir in. Add 1 Tbsp of curry powder and stir in. Add the coriander.

Serve in hot bowls with segments of limes.

Debone leg of lamb

It’s Easter, so we had lamb.

Chilli Lemongrass Chicken

Ingredients

  • 500g Chicken thigh or Breast
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, fine chopped
  • 2 tsp Dried Red Chilli Flakes
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, cut julienne
  • 150ml Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Tamarind Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar

Marinade

  • 1.5 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 2 Lemongrass, the white part, remove hard tusk and fine chop

Chop the chicken breast across the grain and flatten with a heavy cleaver, its best to cover the chicken with a ziplock to avoid splatter. Mix with the marinade, cover and leave in fridge for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok on high heat. Add the garlic and chilli and cook until the garlic starts to brown. Add the chicken and cook for about 8 mins until it browns. And stock, peppers, sugar and tamarind and cook for 10 mins on a lower heat.

Garnish with coriander and serves with rice and segments of lime.

Carmelised Pork

Vietnamese food is healthy and delicious. The kids rate this in their top 5 and it cured them of the phobia against fish sauce.

Ingredients

  • 500 g Pork Belly cut in ½ cm thick slices.  Or Pork Loin cut in very thin slices.
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 375 ml water
  • Green Onions, cut white part in thin strips, chop the green part
  • Coriander, to garnish

Marinade

  • 3 shallots, fine chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, fine chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Marinate the pork for about 30 mins. Then over high heat stir fry in oil for about 5 mins until it starts to turn brown. Then add the sugar and brown further. Reduce heat a little, add the water and reduce by half for about 10 minutes. Then toss in the green onion, cook for a minute. Then add the coriander.

Serve with Jasmine rice and segments of lime.

Bearnaise Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1 Tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 2.5 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 125g butter, melted and clarified

Add shallot, tarragon, vinegar and a little water to a pan and reduce by 2/3rds. Using a sieve, strain off the herb/vinegar liquid. You will need about 2 tsp for the next step. Note, too much liquid will result in too thin a sauce. Reserve the shallot and herb mix as this can be added back to the sauce at the end, if you wish.

Let the herb/vinegar reduction cool. Place a bowl over a pot of simmering water (Bain Maire). Add the egg yolks and 2 tsp of vinegar reduction. Whisk and cook the egg/herb/vinegar reduction mixture, it will thicken to form a sabayon. Remove the pot mostly from the heat, stopping the cooking. Then very slowly add the clarified butter. It is important to add the melted butter very slowly initially (in drops) until the emulsion takes hold and noticeably thickens. Once it begins to thicken, you add the butter in a dribble as you whisk. Watch the heat is not too strong or the mixture will split.

Add remaining tarragon and stir in. Keep the sauce warm before serving or it will curdle. Add back some of the shallot/herb mixture if you like your sauce that way.

Troubleshooting …

If the sauce won’t thicken and is too thin. Either you have added too much reduction to your eggs or you have added the melted butter too fast. Remove all but 1 tbsp of the sauce from the bowl. Add tsp of the lemon juice or vinegar reduction and whisk in over heat. Once it thickens, start to add the sauce back in slowly as you would the butter.

Sauce curdles? Do the same as if it won’t thicken.

To make a Hollandaise, just skip the reduction, and use lemon juice instead.

Chicken Cashew Curry

Voted one of the best in our house, so we make big batches same as Bolognese and Chilli. Hats off to Chef John from Food Wishes for the recipe.

  • 1 kg Chicken Breast, cut in large cubes, mix with have the spice blend and a little vegetable oil, marinate for a few hours.
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped or sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely minced
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 bag coriander, remove stalks and rough chop the leaves
  • 1 lime, juiced, plus extra wedges for serving

Spices:

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chilli powder
  • 2 heaped teaspoons garam masala

Cashew Cream:

  • 150g cashews
  • 750 ml water
  • Blitz in food blender

In a sauté pan, heat some vegetable oil and brown the chicken pieces in batches, turning to brown both sides. Remove to a bowl. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, tomato puree and spices. Deglaze the pan initially and then cook until a fond forms. Add the chicken back to the pan. Add the chicken stock and the cashew cream, place on a low heat and let reduce. It will gradually thicken after 45 mins. Add the chopped coriander and green onion and lime juice. Serve in hot bowls with some basmati rice.

Fettuccine Alfredo

This is classic Italian restaurant food. Rich, creamy and moreish. Cook at home sparingly otherwise a wide girth awaits you.

  • Olive oil
  • 250 ml heavy cream
  • 350 g fettuccine
  • 40g onion, very fine chopped
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 clove garlic, very fine chopped.
  • 115g butter, cold
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 60g Parmesan, fine grated
  • 60g Romano, fined grated
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cook the fettuccine in salted water for about 8 mins to al dente.

In a pan, sauté the onion and garlic. Add a splash of white wine to deglaze pan. Add the butter and whisk in. Add the cream and stir well. Reduce a little. Reduce heat. Add the egg yolks and stir in. Add the cheese, slowly a bit at a time. Stir and the sauce will be become creamy, add a little pasta water if it thickens too much. Add the nutmeg. Then add pasta and stir in. Add some chopped parsley and serve in hot bowls. A dressed green salad is nice after.

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana

A Roman classic. The kids approved, we’ll cook it again

  • 350g Spaghetti or Bucatini
  • 800g San Marzano tomatoes (2 tins), put in bowl and break down with hand
  • 400g Pancetta
  • 1 tsp dried chilli or 1 fresh red chilli
  • Olive Oil
  • 50ml of white wine
  • 200g Pecorino Romano, fined grated
  • Basil leaves, chopped, torn or chiffonade

Cook pasta to more than al dente in salted boiling water. Reserve some pasta water.

While pasta is cooking, in a saute pain, fry the pancetta in some olive oil in a medium heat for a few minutes until it starts to brown and a fond forms in pan. Add the chilli and cook for a minute. Add some white wine and deglaze. Then add the tomatoes and stir in. Slowly add half the Pecorino stirring well, avoiding clumping. Add basil. Serve in warm bowls, sprinkle with Pecorino.