Thursday, 31 January 2013

Really Pork

Pork Fried Rice

When I was studying, and completely skint, Chinese food was a necessity. Eating it cold and in bed for breakfast was my absolute favourite..

It never looked this fancy though- it was all take-away boxes and forks! And the portions were much, MUCH bigger!

There's this misconception I have about restaurant food. It's like I can't even try to reproduce it at home, because I wouldn't be able to guess the ingredients and get it right. But fried rice? There's no subtlety there.

Happy kitty loves it :-)

I am loving cooking and baking lately- I needed a bit of a break after a tough 6 months of studying but the whole becoming-a-wife thing has me in this dreamy state where I want to cook, bake, clean and give foot massages and just in general act like a 50's housewife- and I'm loving it! A month and a half to go!!

Pork Fried Rice
Adapted from All Recipes

3 small carrots
500g pork- no bones
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tblsp sunflower oil
2 eggs
2 cups Basmati rice
soy sauce

1) Peel the carrots, and pop them into some boiling water. Cook until tender.
2) Put the rice into boiling water, cook for 20 minutes and drain.
3) While the carrots and rice are cooking, cut up the pork into small pieces- roughly 1cm by 2cm.
4) Drain the carrots over a sieve containing the frozen peas. This will defrost them nicely. Chop the carrots up into small pieces.
5) Now, heat up oil in a large pan or wok over a high heat.
6) Add the pork, and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook until browned - when those sticky caramel bits appear on the meat.
7) Add the carrots and peas, and cook them for a couple of minutes. Season again.
8) Crack the eggs straight into the pan, one at a time, stirring furiously to scramble and distribute.
9) Add the rice and stir it around to combine.
10) Now, start adding the soy sauce. Add a few squirts, and stir them around to colour the rice. Taste and serve or add more and repeat.
11) Serve hot.

This meal goes on and on- fed me for 4 days of lunches! Gotta love Chinese food..

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The French aren't all that Bad

Ratatouille Niçoise

The holy grail of recipes for me is one that is guiltless, fun to make and shaky-hand craving inducing. This is one of very few that fits the bill. I did.. Um.. Guilt it up a little though.

I was a teeny bit weary of eating a dish made entirely out of vegetables (vegetables eeeeuw!), so I thought I might make it a bit easier to handle with a bit of Mornay (cheese) sauce and a Ciabatta roll.

So, yes, I added the slutty creamy cheese sauce to the somewhat formal healthy French vegetables. And you know what? They made a gorgeous couple. A whole lot of common sense with a little bit of fun :-).

In fact, I would even leave the roll behind and just have the gooey comforting yet nutritious mixture wrapped in a blanket while watching a movie.

Ratatouille Niçoise
From Larousse Gastronomique

6 aubergines
6 tomatoes
3 green peppers
2 onions
10 baby marrows
 3 garlic cloves

1) Firstly, prepare the veggies. This is the longest part:
  • Peel the aubergines, and cut them into rounds.
  • Peel the tomatoes (awful- I know, but you'll get through it!), cut each into 6 pieces and remove the seeds.
  • Remove the stalks and seeds from the green peppers and cut into strips.
  • Peel and chop the onions.
  • Slice the baby marrows into rounds.
  • Peel and crush the garlic cloves.
2) Now, heat up 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a LARGE pan (I had to use a pot- my pans were too small) . Add the aubergine, a bit at a time, until it's all browned. Add salt and pepper generously.
3) Add tomatoes, green peppers and onions, and cook for 5 minutes or so. Season a bit more with salt and pepper.
4) Add the baby marrow and garlic.
5) Cook for about 30-40 minutes
6) Season to taste and serve hot.
7) I found the dish tasted even better the next day!

I feel so bum-shakingly proud now that I have made a proper fancy named French recipe- no tears, ducks, or murder!