Sunday, February 16, 2014

Crackle with Jamie

Mothership Roast Pork
I'm sure that you know how much I love Jamie Oliver. Now, if it's possible, I think I love him a little more. His new(ish) book "Save with Jamie" is a great concept. He has recipes for a "mothership" recipe using different types of meat and large fish to make that special Sunday night dinner, and then a selection of recipes to follow that use up all the leftovers in tasty and creative ways. I've always been on the look out for good ways to use the leftovers of a roast - which, otherwise, invariably sit in the fridge for a few days to be picked at and then tipped into the bin a week later when another roast comes along!

Anyway, I digress, it's not exactly for his handy recipe book that I love him more. It's for the Mothership Slow Roasted Pork recipe. If you go back through my blog, there are a few things I love - crackling and slow cooked meat, juicy and falling apart.

Cripsy Pork Tacos
Combine Jamie Oliver, and these two things and I
believe you have a WINNER. The recipe was so easy (but you did have to plan ahead a little to make sure it was in the oven quite a while before you would think of putting a roast on normally) and turned out the most amazing crackling as the top crispy layer to succulent - pull apart - don't need a knife pork.

Then, we got to enjoy it in a fantastic Crispy Pork Taco recipe too - crackling and all crisped up with some paprika, blackbeans and capsicum & red onion pickle. A completely different take so we didn't feel like we were eating leftovers at all!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pick up Your Fork

Late last year I attended the launch of Your Fork, a website started earlier this year to bring home cooks and eaters together. It's an interesting concept where home cooks are encouraged to register with the site as Cooks and prepare and sell home cooked meals to rival Dominoes or other takeaway restaurants. After placing an order earlier in the day from one of the registered home cooks, the team at Your Fork will pick up the meal from the cook and deliver it straight to your home.

It was an interesting gathering with several of the cooks giving us a taster of the cuisine we can expect from the dinner boxes that are advertised on the site. We sampled raw food, gluten free delights and some great hearty Egyptian dishes. Now on their site they have meals from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Japan and Italy, and their goal is to expand their home cook network to represent many more countries.

It is a great concept and they've set it up to suit the cooks, as well as the diners who can expect authentic recipes from cuisines they're craving at a reasonable price, so instead of picking up the phone to the pizza place, why not have a different dish on your fork!

Monday, November 18, 2013

White Chocolate Mojito Cheesecake

I haven't joined the SABH hop for a while as I'm trying to cut down on the desserts that I was preparing, and even monthly was getting a bit too much for our waistlines but I thought, given the theme, I would hop back in!

My hubbie's favourite dessert is cheesecake. Probably Mango Cheesecake. With the mango season only just beginning, I was able to convince him that for a dinner party dessert, and for the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop hosted by Nic from Nic Cooks, it was time to try a different variety that's been on my list of recipes to try for ages (since I saw the recipe in Delicious Magazine in November 2009!): White Chocolate Mojito Cheesecake. It definitely had the kick and flavour of a mojito with the creaminess of a normal cheesecake. It was really simple to make, and because it didn't require baking, or even much cooling, was fantastic for making in the morning for the evening party.

White Chocolate Mojito Cheesecake (serves 6)


For the base
150g ginger biscuits
20g butter

For the filling
juice and zest of 3 limes
110g caster sugar
100ml Bacardi (or another kind of white rum)
1 cup of mint leaves
120g white chocolate
400g soft cream cheese
250g mascarpone

For serving
handful of pistachios
sprinkle of kitchen grade lavender (optional)


  • Melt the butter
  • Whiz the ginger biscuits in a food processor, add the melted butter and pulse to combine
  • Split the crumb mixture between 6 low ball glasses (or other serving glass) and put in the fridge to chill
  • Bring sugar and 60 ml water to boil in a saucepan and let the mixture simmer for about 5 mins till it makes a syrup
  • Add lime juice, zest, rum and mint and muddle with the end of a rolling pin to bruise the mint. Let this sit for 20 mins or so to infuse
  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (a bowl over boiling water), then leave it to cool slightly - but not till it goes hard!
  • Put the cheese in the cleaned food processor and whiz till they are
    creamy and combined. Pour in the strained mojito syrup and keep whizzing till it's mixed. Scrape in the white chocolate and whiz just a little till it's all combined.
  • Spoon the cream mixture over the crumbs and chill in the fridge till ready to serve
  • When it's time to serve sprinkle over edible lavender and some crushed pistachios (crush with a mortar & pestle, or put some in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin) - the real recipe suggested edible flowers, but I couldn't find any. They would look pretty!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What's for Dinner, Curtis?

As a chef stalker, I was so excited to meet Curtis Stone and have his new book, What's for Dinner? signed earlier this year. He's managing to muscle in between me and my thing with Jamie, and I've been cooking through a few of his recipes so far.

What I love about his book is the diversity - quick things, healthy things, not-so-healthy-but-very-yummy things, seasonal dishes, classics and new interpretations of old favourites so I wanted to show a few of his collection.
Chicken Cassoulet with Fennel and Bacon, with Endive and Shaved Fennel Salad

I have been trying to hide pulses in our dishes trying to trick my hubbie who claims to be not a big fan. This was an amazing dish for that and he even asked for seconds even after discovering that they were beans). I Apart from the chicken pieces being juicy and moist, the veg and bean concoction underneath was so flavourful. This was a great and cost effective low carb choice on a cool night.

Spiced Lamb Chops with Grilled Zucchini, Feta, and Olive Gremolata (served with Curtis' pickled onions)

I loved the simplicity of this dish, and it is great for preparing earlier and putting on the barbie when everyone is having a drink out on the balcony to admire the aroma - or in our case rushing to try to stop the smoke alarm beeping (think we need to clean the BBQ) The grilled zucchini is a good trick to make veg taste amazing; and with the onions and feta, this dish goes from a traditional meat and veg to a delicious, different but very healthy dinner.
Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches with 'Fireworks' Coleslaw (and Apple Bourbon Sauce)

This recipe, and in particular the sauce, are the reason to buy this book! I amended the slow cooked pork recipe for my slow cooker (I didn't basically the same but cooked it in the slow cooker for 8 hours instead of 2 1/2 which Curtis recommended. The pork falls apart, and it's the amazing sauce/chutney that puts it back together and makes an amazing sweet, tart, spicy sauce. Served with the coleslaw (where I substituted yoghurt for the mayo to make it healthier) this was a great dish for a posh night or casual night in!

Hope you can grab a copy of the book and try out a few. If you're anything like me, you'll love it! 

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