Posts Tagged ‘Pork’

Sweet & Sour Crunchy Coated Pork (or Chicken, or Turkey)

September 24, 2009 2 comments

Sweet & Sour Turkey

Returning, once more, to Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy, this is the first meal I cooked from the book. Everyone loves sweet & sour, no? So, this is my adaption of this recipe, and I think the crunchy coated meat would work in a number of dishes, so I’ll post separately two ideas for a sweet & sour sauce.

Recipe adapted from Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy

Sweet & Sour Crunchy Coated Pork (or Chicken, or Turkey) (serves 2)

  • 2 pork loin steaks, fat removed, or 2 chicken breasts, or 2 turkey breast steaks
  • 6 tablespoons dry roasted peanuts, or the same amount of whole roasted soya beans and a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of ground white pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons ground nut oil

Place your meat between two sheets of clingfilm on a suitable surface, and then bash with a rolling pin or other appropriate instrument until it’s about half the thickness it was. Cut the meat into large chunks (or leave as whole, large steaks if you wish).

Next, make the crunchy coating for the meat. Tip the peanuts and chilli flakes into a mini-chopper or food processor, and a pinch of ground white pepper, a blitz to a coarsely ground coating.

Pour the coating onto a plate or shallow dish, and then firmly press each side of the meat pieces into the crumbs until well coated.

Heat the ground nut oil in a large frying pan, or wok, and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until thoroughly cooked. Serve with this fresh modern take on sweet & sour sauce, or this more traditional takeaway-style one, and egg fried rice.  

Categories: Mains, Recipe Tags: , , , ,

Pork and Parmesan Cannelloni

September 10, 2009 Leave a comment

One of my all time favourite meals is my home made lasagne, so it’s perhaps a little surprising I’d never made cannelloni. When I came across this in June’s Sainsbury’s Magazine, I thought it sounded great, and was sufficiently different from my usual lasagne so definitely worth a try. This uses pork, not my usual beef, and the richness is balanced a little by using creme fraiche instead of full-on bechamel, albeit laced with cheese. The ingredients list is quite long, and since this needs making in parts and then assembly, it’s quite time consuming, although not particularly difficult, but stick with it, the results are worth it. And I suspect you could make the meat filling and tomato sauce the day before, keep in the fridge, and do the assembly job the next day if you so wished. I’ve fiddled with the original topping slightly, mostly because I found there wasn’t enough of it, but otherwise this is fairly faithful to the original.

This is quite filling, and the serving suggestion is a green salad (what else?) on the side, but for comforting baked pasta dishes I tend to want more carbs than is sensible at one sitting, with lasagne that means chips, and here I was planning to make potato wedges, but I got some really nice, huge potatoes from the market, so everyone got a massive jacket potato, dripping with butter, instead.

Pork and Parmesan Cannelloni (serves 4)

For the meat filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500g pork mince
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 60g breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 250g pack fresh egg lasagne sheets (from the chiller, not the dried ones) (6 sheets in mine, btw)
  • 1 egg
  • 50g parmesan, grated

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (I used the mini-chopper for the onion and red pepper, which does finely chop, but also gives you a bit of a mush – this is fine here)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 600ml passata
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

For the topping

  • 200ml creme fraiche
  • 125g mozarella, sliced
  • 50g parmesan, grated

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

First, make the meat filling. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the mince, onion and garlic for about 10 minutes until the mince is browned and the onion soft. Add the tomato puree, breadcrumbs and oregano, and give everything a good mix. Season well. Leave to cool while you get on with the next bit.

If you need to cook your lasagne sheets, follow the pack instructions. Mine only had oven cooking instructions, but I soaked them in a bowl of boiling water for 5 minutes anyway. This made them much more pliable, especially helpful as I had frozen and re-thawed them, and they appeared to have dried a little. Anyhow, I’d recommend you soak them even if not frozen. Drain well, but handle them carefully, they’ll try and stick to each other, and may split easily.

Next, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan, and fry the onion, garlic and red pepper for about 5 minutes, until nice and soft. Pour over the passata, then add the oregano, sugar and vinegar, and stir well. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Next comes the assembly job.  Stir the egg and parmesan into the meat filling, and then divide the mixture into six portions. Place a portion at the short end of a lasagne sheet, by hand or by spoon, roll it up, and place it in a baking dish. The recommended size is about 20 x 30 cm, but basically you want it big enough to place in the six rolls with a gap around each. Repeat this with the other 5 lasagne sheets. Pour the tomato sauce over the whole lot.

Blob the creme fraiche over the top with a spoon, and then spread it out gently with a spatula, trying not to push it into the tomato sauce too much. Arrange the mozarella on top of this, and then sprinkle with the parmesan. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden and delicious looking.

Categories: Mains, Recipe Tags: , , ,

Spanish Style Easy Pork Stew

August 3, 2009 Leave a comment

My cooking is not often constrained by the seasons – that is to say the supposed weather rather than available produce – and while, for some, stews are winter fare, and the summer is time for salads, I like to eat what I fancy whatever the time of year – toad in the hole with mashed potato and onion gravy was a recent evening meal, eaten al fresco in the last of the day’s sun. So, it isn’t unusual to find me making something traditional and hearty even in the height of summer, but this dish does seem to fit, it’s Spanish influence evoking memories of a holiday in the sun. And, of course, being August in Britain it was tipping down with rain anyway.

The recipe, as I made it follows, influenced by others, but do experiment. A can of chickpeas in place of the beans would work well, likewise chicken instead of pork. If you’re in a hurry, the whole thing probably doesn’t need to simmer for quite so long for cooking reasons, but does give the flavours the opportunity to mingle. I served this with rice (in fact, I lazily tipped in some cooked rice towards the end of cooking just to heat through), but it would go just as nicely with some crusty bread and salad, and is delicious over a hot, buttery jacket potato.

Spanish Style Easy Pork Stew (Serves 4)

  • 4 pork loin steaks (or indeed, whatever pork or chicken you fancy or have to hand. I trimmed the fat off of my steaks), cut into 1cm strips
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced into strips
  • 1/2 chorizo ring (about 100g ish), sliced into fat coins and then in half
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 x 400g tins good chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 410g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed 

In a large pan, preferably with a lid (for later use!), heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pork strips, and turn in the hot oil until coloured. Remove to a plate.

Heat another tablespoon or so of olive oil in the pan, and add the garlic, onions and peppers. Turn to coat, clamp a lid on the pan and sweat, over a low-ish heat, for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Return the pork to the pan and add the chorizo pieces. Replace the lid and cook for another few minutes, until the delicious orangey-red fat begins to melt out of the chorizo. Give everything a good stir.

Add the smoked paprika, and stir again. Add the tomatoes and beans, season, give everything a last stir, and replace the lid. Let everything simmer gently for an hour.  

Serve, and enjoy, dreaming of more exotic climes.

Categories: Mains, Recipe Tags: , ,