Showing posts with label BBQ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BBQ. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Get Well Soon - Herbed Cream Cheese and Prawn Pizza

Get Well Soon - Herbed Cream Cheese and Prawn Pizza

Lance and I both got hit by the flu that was going around. It knocked us around quite a bit and in an attempt to kick it, I started amping up the health-promoting ingredients in all of our dishes. This on top of the lemon, honey and ginger teas we were drinking like they were going out of fashion. One Sunday we were both feeling sorry for ourselves, the sun was shining and I was a bit over the soups. So I made these cold-kicking cream cheese pizzas – full of garlic, ginger, chilli, fresh herbs and lemon and honey squeezed over the top. We sat out in the sun to get some vitamin D and shake off some of the germs and cobwebs from being in bed for a week. 

It felt a lot like the sitting at the pub and having a gourmet pizza that we were missing out on, and it perked us up enough to get back to work the next day.

You don’t need to be sick to enjoy these. But they’re easy enough to cook when you are. I think this is going to make a few appearances over Spring and Summer. Possibly with real, homemade pizza bases!

Get Well Soon - Herbed Cream Cheese and Prawn Pizza
Get Well Soon - Herbed Cream Cheese and Prawn Pizza

Herbed Cream Cheese and Prawn Pizza

100g peeled raw prawns
4 lebanese loaves
250g Philadelphia cream cheese
2 bunches coriander
1 bunch parsley
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp red chilli, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
¼ tsp salt
Handful bean sprouts
1 tbsp capers
Handful rocket
Lemon wedges for serving

Preheat the oven to 170C

Throw your cream cheese, coriander, parsley, garlic cloves, chilli, salt and ginger in a food processor. Pulse until it’s all chopped up and evenly combined.

Spread over the Lebanese loaves, then distribute the prawns, capers and bean sprouts. Pop in the oven and cook for 20 minutes until the prawns are pink and the cheese is getting golden at the edges.

Serve with a handful of rocket on top, then drizzle over some honey and add lemon wedges.
Even better with a beer or crisp white wine

Get Well Soon - Herbed Cream Cheese and Prawn Pizza
Get Well Soon - Herbed Cream Cheese and Prawn Pizza
Get Well Soon - Herbed Cream Cheese and Prawn Pizza
Get Well Soon - Herbed Cream Cheese and Prawn Pizza

Monday, June 23, 2014

Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork

Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork
Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork

There’s a quote from a butcher in the Recipes and Ramblings 2 Cookbook that states “slow cooking is a path to someone's heart”. I couldn’t agree more. And neither could Lance. If he had his way, there would always be pulled pork in the house for when he wants it. Which is always. He’s even taken to looking at the ads when he reads the newspaper and comes home with legs of pork when they’re on special for me to cook.

The most common way I do it is Puerco Pibil, but for something a bit different and a bit subtler in flavour, I thought I would braise it in cider. Pork and apples is a classic combination, but for this batch I used one of Rekorderlig’s flavoured ciders – Apricot and Peach. Partly because I thought it’d go really well with the pork. Partly because I had a bottle left in the fridge. Sage and mustard seeds round out the flavours.

Because it’s a subtler flavour, it lends itself to being eaten in so many different ways. Either simply, or dressed right up with extra flavours.

The first night we ate this with steam buns which I made using the Momofuku recipe (but feel free to buy frozen ones from your local Asian grocer). Then we ate it with waffles and eggs for breakfast. Then in Kaiser buns with hickory BBQ sauce and coleslaw. Then we ate the remainder in tacos with mandarin segments fresh from our tree.

Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork

Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork
Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork
Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork

Cider Braised Pork

1 tbsp sage
3 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp mustard seeds
500mL cider (such as Rekorderlig Apricot and Peach)
2 dried bay leaves
1 pork leg roast

Carefully cut the skin and fat layer off the bottom of the pork leg with a very sharp knife. Discard. (Or if making your own steam buns, put the skin in a frypan on medium high heat to render the fat out).

Mix the sage, salt, pepper and mustard seeds together, and rub generously all over the pork leg. You may not need it all. Leave for an hour or so. Place in the base of your slow cooker, pour 400mL of the cider over the leg and add the bay leaves. Cover and cook on high for around 4-5 hours, or until the pork is falling off the bone. Remove the bay leaves

Peel the skin off the top of the roast, and remove the bones. Using two forks, shred the pork. I usually do this in the base of the slow cooker in the cooking juices still but if you want you can pull it out, shred it and put it back in the juices. Mix through the liquid and cook for a further 20 minutes or so to soak up these juices and make the pork super moist.

When ready to serve, pour the remaining 100mL of cider into a small saucepan and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes until reduced and syrupy.

Serve pork with the reduced cider drizzled over the top, either in steamed buns, or normal bread buns with you choice of accompaniments, such as coleslaw or pickled beetroot and onions

Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork
Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork
Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork
Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork
Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork
Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork
Slow Cooker Love - Cider Braised Pork

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Resolution Follow Through - Cornbread Waffles

So, remember how making more cornbread was part of my late-recognised New Year’s Resolution? Well, I’m extending the definition of cornbread to include these cornbread waffles. We received a waffle maker as a wedding present, and I don’t use it anywhere near as much as I should do. Waffles are awesome. Sweet and savoury, I love them all. I currently am in love with these specific cornbread waffles. I love the savoury/sweetness that using cornmeal automatically adds. They taste chewy and dense but light and waffly all at once. We don’t really do the savoury waffle thing very much in Australia, but I am a champion of it. So here you’ll see it served with BBQ beef. So. Unbelievably. Good. This makes a pretty big batch. Way too much for the two of us for dinner. I wrapped the remainder in single serve portions of foil and froze them, then toasted them as required in the toaster. I took some down to Molloy for a group getaway and they made the most delicious breakfast with hickory bacon and creamy scrambled eggs. 

Cornbread Waffles1 cups plain flour¾ cup cornmeal 2½ tsp baking powder ½  tsp bicarb soda ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper ½ tsp smokey paprika½ tsp sweet paprika 1 cup ricotta 2 large eggs 1 cup milk½ cup water 4 tbsp melted butter 2 tbsps finely chopped herbs (I used parsley, basil and coriander) Butter for the waffle iron Preheat the oven to 150C to keep cooked waffles warm. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk the ricotta and eggs until smooth. Add the milk, water and melted butter and stir to combine.
 Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until no flour remains. Fold in the herbs.
 Heat the waffle iron and brush with melted butter. Add the required amount of waffle batter for your size iron. Mine makes small heartshaped ones, so I only need 2 tbsps or so of mixture per waffle. As you can see in the photos above, I was incredibly messy! Cook 5-8 minutes or until crispy and golden. Remove to a plate and put in the oven to keep warm while you cook the remainder. Serve with BBQ shredded beef and roast tomatoes and grapes. Or bacon and eggs and maple syrup. Or just a drizzle of maple syrup and an extra cracking of pepper

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Birthday Meals - Fig and Apple BBQ Pasta Sauce

My husband and I both tend to have birthday week, at least. Sometimes birthday month. We generally don't buy each other presents unless there’s something specific we find (this is true for all gift-giving occasions). Instead it becomes a week or so full of birthday-related activities. This year, his parents threw their annual party. The day of his birthday I met his boat after work and we had tapas and beers at Monk Brewery with a few friends and the next day I cooked him this for dinner for his Birthday + 1. I had told him I wanted to cook him something special for his birthday and he told me he doubted I could. Everything I cook was special. Bless him.

We are both big fans of ribs. Sticky, BBQ sauce smothered ribs. Preferably smokey. Along with my collection of hot sauces, I have a handful of different BBQ sauces in my pantry, too. I was thinking about how they all have a similar base flavour, and started contemplating what it was that makes a BBQ sauce taste like a BBQ sauce. Basically it’s a combination of sweet, salt and vinegar. The ‘sweet’ is usually fruity. And then it’s got some spice in there. Pretty simple, really. I knew I didn’t have enough time to come home from work and cook ribs (they are so much better slow-cooked), but I still wanted that sticky sweet sauce. I got it in my head to make a pasta, but didn’t want to just use a BBQ sauce from the bottle because they tend to be a bit ‘much’ in large quantities. The vinegar and sugar can take over.

I had been given a few sundowner apples from my parents’ after an orchard trip. I’m not the hugest fan of them to just eat, I find they can be a bit ‘floury’. I like my apples tart and crisp – like pink ladies, or fujis. But, I thought they’d make the perfect sweet base for a BBQ sauce. I added some figs, because I had some. You can always substitute another apple, or maybe a few nectarines or peaches seeing as they’re in season. To me, the sauce turned out perfectly and Lance swears up and down that it wasn’t BBQ sauce but was delicious. I asked him what it tasted like and what BBQ sauce tasted like. He repeated back all of the same flavours for both. What was ‘missing’ was it being further reduced to concentrate the flavours like the traditional condiment – but this was the reason I didn’t want to just use a bottled sauce in the first place. So, I am going to make this again, but cook it in my slow cooker for a few hours to reduce it further, then puree it to make a condiment BBQ sauce. And as a compromise, I am calling this a BBQ Pasta Sauce instead of just a BBQ sauce.

To make the pasta, I had some beautiful little yellow squash and zucchini, then some leftover roast beef that I shredded. Some pork or chicken would go well, too. Then I added a tonne of basil and flat leaf parsley at the end. I wanted it to be more of a vegetable than a herb.
This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but most of them are spices, so don’t get too overwhelmed by that. For me, they are all pantry staples. The mustard seeds and cumin seeds I measured before I toasted and ground them. If you have pre-ground spices, then you’d probably need a little less.

Fig and Apple BBQ Pasta Sauce
(serves 4-6)
2 shallots
4 cloves garlic
2 apples
6 figs
1 shot bourbon
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smokey paprika
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
½ cup apple cider vinegar

Assembling the Pasta
6 yellow squash, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
1 cup shredded cooked beef
Bunch basil leaves, roughly torn
Bunch flatleaf parsley leaves, roughly torn
500g egg noodles

In a large, tall sided pan (I used my tagine pan) on a low heat, add the olive oil and when it’s warmed up, add the shallots and garlic and sautee for about 5 minutes until translucent. You don’t want to colour them, you want it sweet and soft. Then add the apples, figs, salt and bourbon. Stir well, then cover and leave to simmer around 10 minutes while you prep the rest.

In a dry pan, toast the cumin and mustard seeds for 15-30 seconds until the mustard seeds ‘pop’. Add to a spice grinder or mortar & pestle with the peppercorns and grind until fine. Add the two paprikas and chili powder to the spice mix. Mix together the water, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and honey. Pour into the apple mixture. Add the spice mixture into the pan as well and mix everything really well. Cover again and simmer away for at least 20 minutes. The fruit should break down and go mushy turning into a delicious sticky sauce. Check for seasoning.

Meanwhile, place a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Cook according to packet instructions. Add the squash, beef and zucchini to the sauce and cook until warmed through and the vegetables have softened – 10 minutes. Add the pasta when al dente, and the herbs, and stir through. Serve!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

One Pot Potatoes - Diced Potatoes with Lentils and Olives

I don’t tend to eat potatoes very often. As in, normal, white potatoes. And it’s not because of the bad-wrap they got in the carb-hating phase that swept the world. I’m just not a big fan of them. Unless they’re roasted, I tend to find them pretty boring. A sweet potato I can microwave or boil and eat without anything else done to it. A white potato for me always needs a little extra help. I know other people will disagree with me. I know some people love them. That’s the brilliance of difference.

I did have a few potatoes left over from when I bought them to do a roast (because then they are an absolute necessity), and when I was given some lamb chops by a wonderful friend of mine (from her parents’ sheep farm, no less!) I thought they could be the perfect side. One of my favourite ways of preparing potatoes is this combination of fry/boil in a pan. I’m sure there’s a technical term for this type of preparation, I don’t know what it is. I just know that it’s easy and results in extremely flavourful potatoes. It also means that I can cook lentils in with it in the one pan.

Whilst you can serve these potatoes with any other meats and veg you have on hand I think this combination works extremely well. The caramelized sweet grilled figs, the rich juicy lamb and the salty creamy textured potatoes just….work, you know? The potato was enough to serve two for dinner and me for lunch the next day. The accompaniments were just for the dinner.

Diced Potatoes with Lentils and Olives
5-6 baby potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary leaves, minced (about 1 tbsp)
¼ cup uncooked French lentils (du Puy lentils), rinsed and picked through
1 cup water
½ tsp sea salt
Good few pinches of black pepper
6 olives, de-pitted and finely sliced
Sprinkling flat leaf parsley, chopped
Splash of grapefruit juice (or lime)

 Served with
4 Lamb chops
4 Figs, halved
1 Sweet paprika, halved lengthwise, core removed
1 Small zucchini, sliced into 1cm slices, lengthwise

Peel and dice the potatoes into 2cm chunks. In a high sided frypan with a lid (or a makeshift lid of aluminium foil), heat the olive oil to medium heat. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the potatoes and lentils and stir well to coat in the garlicky oil for about 2 minutes. Crack some pepper over the top to taste. Add the water and sea salt, mix through and turn the heat up to bring to the boil. Once there, turn down to low, cover with the lid and allow to cook until the lentils and potatoes are tender – around 25 minutes.

After about 10 minutes, heat your BBQ, lightly oil and grill the vegetables. Place the figs cut side down and don’t turn. The zucchini and paprika need to be turned after about 5 minutes on each side. Grill the lamb to your liking, I do mine about 3 minutes either side for a touch of pink in the middle.

When the potatoes are ready, turn the heat off and stir through the olives, parsley and a splash of grapefruit juice to ‘brighten’. Check for seasoning.

Serve with the lamb chops and grilled vegetables.