Thursday, May 22, 2008

Miso Ramen with Five Spice Roast Pork

Here is a warming, quick & healthy meal just perfect for a cold midweek dinner. Everything is prepared in the time it takes the pork to cook & then its really just throwing things into the pot at different stages, I couldn’t believe how easy it was & thought it was sure to be a disaster as it seemed too simple, yet it was delicious & my parents even raved about it, they are big fans of asian style soups & since a recent bout of food poisoning have been too scared to eat any out lately. My only concern was that the miso I used had msg in it, do they all & is it really all that bad for you, it didn’t seem to have any ill effects on us last night?

Miso ramen with 5 spice roast pork (based on a recipe from Delicious)

600g pork tenderloin fillet
sesame oil
1 tspn ground coriander
1 tspn five spice powder
2.5 litres salt reduced chicken stock
200g dried thin egg noodles
4 large mushrooms, sliced
2 x 18g sachets miso soup paste
Bunch baby bok choy
Soy sauce to aste
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 200c. Rub the pork fillet with a few drops of sesame oil & then coat with the blended coriander, five spice & salt & freshly ground black pepper. Place in a roasting pan, then roast for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Cover with foil & rest for 5 minutes, then slice thinly.

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add noodles & mushrooms, then reduce heat to medium & simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the miso, then the bok choy & simmer for a further 2 minutes or until greens are just wilted. Stir in soy sauce to taste. Divide the noodles & vegetables among 4 bowls & top with sliced pork. Ladle the soup on top & add a few drops of sesame oil to each. Garnish with spring onions.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Biscuit Time

It seems like lately it’s been cakes, cakes & more cakes & way too much chocolate, so much so that in fact I am a bit sick of chocolate & cant believe I am even saying that! So to put matters right I baked some biscuits for Megan’s visit this week. I had a little left over lemon curd that had been sitting in the fridge for ages which I was dying to use up & for the rest of the biscuits I opened a jar of sunny ridge strawberry jam which we bought from the farm on our recent long weekend away, super sweet & yum. Tasty bickies with a choice of sweet or tangy too so something to suit everyone (with a sweet tooth that is!)

Lemon Curd & Jam Biscuits

180g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1 ½ tspns vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups (300g) plain flour, sifted
½ teaspoon baking powder
Lemon Curd

Preheat oven to 180c. Place the butter, sugar & vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer & beat until light & creamy. Add the egg & beat well. Stir through the flour & baking powder & mix to form a dough. Roll 2 teaspoons of the mixture into balls & place on baking paper lined trays leaving space between each to spread. Press deep dents into each with the back of a spoon & fill with either curd or jam. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Moroccan loveliness

This tagine I made for dinner the other night was not only easy but it really tasted delicious, my mum even loved it despite the fact that it had fresh coriander in it which she swears she hates (obviously I didn’t tell her I’d snuck it in until she decided she loved it). The spice paste was so simple yet seemed to give the tomatoes a very tangy flavour, definitely the saffron & lemon juice working wonders there I think. The addition of the eggs at the end was unique for me, I have never made a tagine like this before & it finished off the dish nicely lifting it beyond the ordinary every day, though having said that it is perfect for a simple week night dinner. I served this with some simple couscous.

Kofta Tagine (Recipe by Ben O’Donoghue published in Delicious)

1 large red onion, grated
500g lamb mince
2 tblspn chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tspn ground coriander
2 tbspn olive oil
800g canned chopped tomatoes
4 eggs
Coriander leaves, to serve

Spice paste

1 garlic clove
1-2 tbsn finely chopped coriander root
½ red onion, grated
1 tspn groun cumin
2 small pinches saffron threads
Juice of 1 lemon

For paste, pound garlic to a puree with a pinch of salt using a mortar & pestle. Add all other ingredients except juice, then work into a paste. Stir in juice & set aside.

Mix onion, mince, parsley & ground coriander well with salt & pepper. Use hands to shape into 12 balls. Heat oil in a heavy based pan over medium heat. Add meatballs and brown all over, then remove & set aside. Add paste & stir for 1 minute until aromatic. Return meatballs to pan, add tomato & simmer over low heat for 30 minutes until meatballs are cooked & sauce has thickened. Carefully crack eggs on top for a few minutes until cooked through. Serve with coriander.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had another birthday yesterday & to celebrate I made this luscious cake that I saw Maggie Beer whip up on the Cook & the Chef, it is very decadent containing orange zest, whisky soaked raisins, a LOT of very rich chocolate & almonds just to name a few of the ingredients. I went to The Retreat for dinner with the family which was nice & relaxing, for a change there was no mad running around after work cooking & causing chaos in the kitchen & best of all no dishes for anyone.