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The Mandatory recipe Thread

1013 posts in this topic

The question you need to be asking Anders is what it is you are living for? Back in the 70's you would have been drinking beer and eating T-bones and enjoying your life. Once you start taking tests (and associated drugs) you start on the slippery path to worrying about your longevity but not enjoying your life. By all means exercise because that adds to your quality of life but what ever you do don't become a slave to a "healthy" lifestyle. You'll end up being far less fun and you will create a need to increase the national health budget. Mortality is part of life. The end part. smile.gif Don't live in fear.

Yeah, you're right...

I'm not living in fear (other than of prostate exams) - I just want to start treating my body as well as I treat my car with some regular preventative maintenance.

But it is a blow that my doctor complained about my liver and cholesterol. I thought my liver would be the strongest organ in my body, considering all the exercise it gets.

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But it is a blow that my doctor complained about my liver and cholesterol. I thought my liver would be the strongest organ in my body, considering all the exercise it gets.

Did you know that (unless scarred) the liver can heal itself? Huzzah!!

For the record I started a moderate middle-aged-man regime of 30-40 mins cardio 4X a week about two years ago and feel much better in the day-to-day now...and still eat and drink (mostly) like I used to. The unexpected side-effect of workouts was that I actually got hungrier... which makes some sense. "Why do you go for your workouts? Because I like to drink beer and eat a bit too much." It's a small price to pay.

I refer you to the planked salmon recipe.

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Did you know that (unless scarred) the liver can heal itself? Huzzah!!

For the record I started a moderate middle-aged-man regime of 30-40 mins cardio 4X a week about two years ago and feel much better in the day-to-day now...and still eat and drink (mostly) like I used to. The unexpected side-effect of workouts was that I actually got hungrier... which makes some sense. "Why do you go for your workouts? Because I like to drink beer and eat a bit too much." It's a small price to pay.

I refer you to the planked salmon recipe.

Thanks for the advice - I shall heed it with serious consideration.

Sorry for derailing this wonderful thread - but it really sucks to feeling the effects of ageing. Here's a story:

An old man was interviewed on his 100th birthday by a young female journalist in the village:

"You were known to be quite a strongman in your heyday?"

"Yes", the old man replied. "I used to be able to bend a 1/2 inch copper pipe over my erect pecker"

"Oh, gosh! Ah... hmmm... but you're not able to do that these days, are you?"

"No, sadly not - I've lost all the strength in my arms"

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Normandy. Tonights effort was an attempt to transport Ms clown and I to this little apply paradise. No that I have ever been there but I do have an extraordinary imagination. I pictured friendly farmers in an idyllic rural setting passing me the best pork, apples and calvados. All three are combined in this made up dish. I bought a bottle of Calvados to experiment.

Six pork scotch fillets steaks

2 sticks celery

1 carrot

1 onion

1 tbsp sage chopped finely

1 tsp thyme

3 fresh bay leaves

100 ml calvados

1 cup chicken stock

4 apples diced (I used 2 granny smith and 2 red delicious – the red delicious disintegrate to form part of the gravy and the grannies stay solid bless ‘em)

Methode:

I fried the mirepoix (finely diced celery carrot and onion for the uninitiated)

Added the bay leaves. Fried till translucent.

Removed from pan and browned the porkage on high heat .

Added the calvados to deglaze. Flambé’d. and removed the hair on my forearm and eyebrows. Add the stock, herbs, and cored chunked apples and place the whole thing on low heat for an hour.

Served with potato gratin and asparagus spears. Lovely.

porkAndAppleCalvados.jpg

Not the most visually attractive dish I grant you but damn the flavour is Normandy, :)

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A bit of theory.

OK so I had this idea for something similar to rillettes only with chicken. The theory is that drumstick chicken is sticky. That means you can make a terrine.

So I had the idea that roasting a bunch of drumsticks then stripping the meat while still warm them compressing the drumstick meat would make an excellent terrine. And it's cheap.

Here goes:

ingredients:

12 chicken drummies

6 stalks rosemary

24 sage leaves

a bunch of thyme

2 cloves of garlic

3 Tbsp garlic

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

Methode:

Smash up the herbs, garlic and olive oil in a mortarium into a paste.

rub the herb paste on the drummies.

roast for 50 mins (fan forced) at 150c

lett to cool slightly.

strip the meat of the drummies, pour in the juices and mix. Pack into a square mould and apply some weights to compress in a fridge overnight.

Turn out and slice up. Serve with cornichons and a good bread. Preferably whilst watching jazz in the park with a bottle of Pinot Gris.

terrine_zpse39782f2.jpg

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I made Tartare. The Girlfriend ate it. Therefore it is not bad :)/>/>

~200g Eye fillet.

Trimmed all the obvious fat and membrane bits.

Sliced it thinly, then sliced some more, and sliced some more until it looked much like mince.

Apparently the key is to slice it and not chop it. I am led to believe that if you chop it you may as well grind it. I sliced.

Seasoned with salt and pepper, I figured I would use the amount I would put on it if I was frying it, maybe 4 or 5 grinds of salt and 10 of pepper.

Shaped it and put it in the fridge for half an hour.

Chopped some gherkin (Krakus brand, which is polish and so won't get me in trouble so long as I don't call it gherkin or make suppositions regarding how it is pickled)

Chopped some white onion (which wasn't as sweet as I wanted but I can't remember which onions are the sweet ones)

Fresh free range egg yolk on top and done.

Put it on a plate and served it with little dry toasts because we didn't have any good bread. I thought I had some pumpernickel which would have been okay (but that sourdough previously in this thread would have been better).

p1050616k.jpg

Got kisses for my efforts.

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I made Tartare. The Girlfriend ate it. Therefore it is not bad :)/>/>/>/>

~200g Eye fillet.

Trimmed all the obvious fat and membrane bits.

Sliced it thinly, then sliced some more, and sliced some more until it looked much like mince.

Apparently the key is to slice it and not chop it. I am led to believe that if you chop it you may as well grind it. I sliced.

Seasoned with salt and pepper, I figured I would use the amount I would put on it if I was frying it, maybe 4 or 5 grinds of salt and 10 of pepper.

Shaped it and put it in the fridge for half an hour.

Chopped some gherkin (Krakus brand, which is polish and so won't get me in trouble so long as I don't call it gherkin or make suppositions regarding how it is pickled)

Chopped some white onion (which wasn't as sweet as I wanted but I can't remember which onions are the sweet ones)

Fresh free range egg yolk on top and done.

Put it on a plate and served it with little dry toasts because we didn't have any good bread. I thought I had some pumpernickel which would have been okay (but that sourdough previously in this thread would have been better).

p1050616k.jpg

Got kisses for my efforts.

Nicely done! :)

The sweeter onions are the "salad" onions.

white_salad_onions.jpg

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Aargh...

Don't get me started on sweet onions!

Once in a very long while Coles sells "sweet" onions. They are worth buying, as they are vastly different from ordinary brown onions (which they vaguely resemble in shape and colour, but not taste) although they are not quite as good as proper sweet onions, which I have not found outside of the US.

Proper sweet onions (Vidalia is the best known variety, but there are others. There is some debate about whether "Vidalias" are a cultivar, or the result of specific growing conditions - terroir for onions!) can be literally eaten like an apple and are simply delicious in any dish where you'd use raw onion. They don't cook particularly well, but it doesn't matter, because if you like them, you don't want to cook them in any case. :)

Instead, you find yourself looking speculatively at the fruit salad and wondering if a little chopped onion might not be an improvement. :)

As for decent pickles, Globus does a reasonable job for a supermarket brand, offers a few different varieties, and is fairly widely available.

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Speaking of sweet onions...

Best Marinade ever stolen from Luke Nguyen

Smash up a bunch of spring onion whites in a mortar and pestle/blender (12) Keep the green bits and fry them on low in oil. Throw away the green bits and keep the oil. Shallot oil. :) Set aside.

Add 8 Tbsp fish sauce

4 Tsp white sugar (palm sugar if you have it)

4 Tbsp honey

4 cloves garlic

2 tsp black pepper

4 Tbsp vegetable oil

Pork neck/scotch fillet finely sliced (3mm slices)

Skewers

Marinade the pork overnight

Thread on to skewers

BBQ over charcoal. You can grill it but t won't be as awesome in terms of the smoky BBQ flavour.

Cut up cucumber, fresh mint, vietnamese mint, coriander, bean sprouts, finely sliced carrot, daikon radish and whatever else you think works with asian salad.

Rice noodles soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes

Combine cooked pork, salad, noodles and garnish with peanuts and fried onions and shallot oil in bowls. I bought nuoc cham sauce but you could make it to be pure (it's pretty easy) and pour 2 Tbsp over the lot.

Truly exquisite and kinda healthy . :)

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Speaking of sweet onions...

Best Marinade ever stolen from Luke Nguyen

agreed. i've made that (saw the same episode as you), sans peanuts and salad. i only marinaded for about 4 hours though. ppl i have talked to who marinaded overnight said the meat got far too salty, but i recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried, it's really, really good. i am tempted to go and buy a charcoal grill just for this recipe--it's not the same over gas.

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agreed. i've made that (saw the same episode as you), sans peanuts and salad. i only marinaded for about 4 hours though. ppl i have talked to who marinaded overnight said the meat got far too salty, but i recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried, it's really, really good. i am tempted to go and buy a charcoal grill just for this recipe--it's not the same over gas.

I saw a Rick Stein in Vietnam show with a street vendor cooking over charcoal in a old fry pan with a bbq grill rack.

super_grill_basket.jpg

Seems like a reasonably cheap option and definitely authentic. He had a fan blowing on the coals to keep up the heat. The flavour isn't the same without the charcoal.

Multicultural festival this weekend. :):drool:

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Science. It has been Done! By a drunk guy.

I watched the Heston "make a steak" thing.

His tips:

  1. Steak to room temperature before cooking (I didn't even bother checking he was right, he is)
  2. Salt but no pepper on the steak prior to cooking because the pepper will burn
  3. Hot pan (again not tested)
  4. Turn the steak every 20 seconds and baste

So 1 & 3 are kind of required as far as I am concerned and I couldn't be arsed making inedible steak to test the bad side of the theory.

2. Salt but no pepper. It made a teeny tiny difference. I will probably continue doing this in future simply because pepper before or after is the same amount of work and the only issue is remembering.

4. Turn the steak every 20 seconds and baste. This was interesting. The steak tasted no better by the judge but it did cook about 3 minutes faster (I do steaks from a standing rib roast and so the "30 seconds each side" thing is ludicrously insane). It is kind of time wasting though if you had something else to do. My opinion (as a biased judge) is that the steak was actually a little better and I will do this in future given time constraints. I think the basting was really the value for money though.

All in all I think it is another pretty minimal difference to a bone in thick steak (and if you eat anything else I pity you). If you can make a good crusty bit and minimal chewy bits that stick in your teeth then I figure you have a pretty good steak and you probably ought to direct your attentions elsewhere, like making lentils tasty.

Hooray, yet another half arsed person shooting down a michelin chef, at least you guys can trust me that I am totally as good as him in this regard :)

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These are currently the favourite dish at the Tiger household. Easy to make. Tonight I used frozen sweet potato sourced from Woolies, they worked just fine. So the whole recipe has storable ingredients (Frozen Sweet Potato, Salsa, refried beans and just freeze the wraps)

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Science. It has been Done! By a drunk guy.

I watched the Heston "make a steak" thing.

His tips:

  1. Steak to room temperature before cooking (I didn't even bother checking he was right, he is)
  2. Salt but no pepper on the steak prior to cooking because the pepper will burn
  3. Hot pan (again not tested)
  4. Turn the steak every 20 seconds and baste

So 1 & 3 are kind of required as far as I am concerned and I couldn't be arsed making inedible steak to test the bad side of the theory.

2. Salt but no pepper. It made a teeny tiny difference. I will probably continue doing this in future simply because pepper before or after is the same amount of work and the only issue is remembering.

4. Turn the steak every 20 seconds and baste. This was interesting. The steak tasted no better by the judge but it did cook about 3 minutes faster (I do steaks from a standing rib roast and so the "30 seconds each side" thing is ludicrously insane). It is kind of time wasting though if you had something else to do. My opinion (as a biased judge) is that the steak was actually a little better and I will do this in future given time constraints. I think the basting was really the value for money though.

All in all I think it is another pretty minimal difference to a bone in thick steak (and if you eat anything else I pity you). If you can make a good crusty bit and minimal chewy bits that stick in your teeth then I figure you have a pretty good steak and you probably ought to direct your attentions elsewhere, like making lentils tasty.

Hooray, yet another half arsed person shooting down a michelin chef, at least you guys can trust me that I am totally as good as him in this regard :)/>

I most heartily approve of drunken science. Like the drunken conversation you can repeat it over and over and it is always fresh. :)

I agree with points 1,2 & 3. Point 4 is sacrilege. I'm a turn once subscriber. But I haven't done the science. No doubt Heston would have done some kind of sub-molecular comparison using his electron microscope. What do you baste with?

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These are currently the favourite dish at the Tiger household. Easy to make. Tonight I used frozen sweet potato sourced from Woolies, they worked just fine. So the whole recipe has storable ingredients (Frozen Sweet Potato, Salsa, refried beans and just freeze the wraps)

All storable ingredients should appeal to the doomsday preppers out there. :D

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I most heartily approve of drunken science. Like the drunken conversation you can repeat it over and over and it is always fresh. :)/>

I agree with points 1,2 & 3. Point 4 is sacrilege. I'm a turn once subscriber. But I haven't done the science. No doubt Heston would have done some kind of sub-molecular comparison using his electron microscope. What do you baste with?

Heston was of the opinion that because the temperature on the face up side drops so quickly you don't get as much of the maillard reaction. Just baste with the oil / butter in the pan. It doesn't make the steak worse though so I guess it is interesting that the "only turn once or you'll ruin it" thing seems to be incorrect. I think it should be revised to "only turn once or you are wasting a lot of time".

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Heston was of the opinion that because the temperature on the face up side drops so quickly you don't get as much of the maillard reaction. Just baste with the oil / butter in the pan. It doesn't make the steak worse though so I guess it is interesting that the "only turn once or you'll ruin it" thing seems to be incorrect. I think it should be revised to "only turn once or you are wasting a lot of time".

hehe. I had to look up the maillard reaction. Just as I was thinking my cooking science knowledge was a bit ordinary that fake french jerk weed on that repulsive My Kitchen Rules show announces that microwave ovens cook from the inside out! What a douche. (Ms clown is hooked) Made me feel much better though.

I'm going to have to give it a go. I will employ a turn once control for comparison.

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hehe. I had to look up the maillard reaction. Just as I was thinking my cooking science knowledge was a bit ordinary that fake french jerk weed on that repulsive My Kitchen Rules show announces that microwave ovens cook from the inside out! What a douche. (Ms clown is hooked) Made me feel much better though.

I'm going to have to give it a go. I will employ a turn once control for comparison.

I got tricked into watching an episode of that. A bunch of lacklustre personalities with mediocre skills talking up their restaurant critic skills.

In the words of TISM:

"By Christ, when your life's speciality is forcing another morsel of over-glazed lamb shank down your oily, globular, over-opinionated gullet, when, of all the things in the world men are called to do. Of all the vocations of love and adventure. Of all the trials of the emotions and amongst all the voyages of spirit mankind can embark upon, when, given this whole universe of possible callings, the one you choose is to sit on your crapulent crack and lazily whine about someone else's cooking, that's when you know you are at the very acme of the BFW sh*t heap"

Not that I feel strongly about it of course.

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I got tricked into watching an episode of that. A bunch of lacklustre personalities with mediocre skills talking up their restaurant critic skills.

In the words of TISM:

"By Christ, when your life's speciality is forcing another morsel of over-glazed lamb shank down your oily, globular, over-opinionated gullet, when, of all the things in the world men are called to do. Of all the vocations of love and adventure. Of all the trials of the emotions and amongst all the voyages of spirit mankind can embark upon, when, given this whole universe of possible callings, the one you choose is to sit on your crapulent crack and lazily whine about someone else's cooking, that's when you know you are at the very acme of the BFW sh*t heap"

Not that I feel strongly about it of course.

:yes: Very nice indeed. Man I want to go on that show solely so I can play that song to the Australian viewing public. :lol:

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Tricksiness, laziness and a magical trick that no one knows about!

Tricksiness: Salads are good and all but they are a pain to make. Here is one designed with Anders in mind (hey that rhymes)

Salad Designed With Anders In Mind:

Cous Cous, make some. Do the "too much butter" thing. Seriously, otherwise it is pasta without enough oil.

Chick Peas, one can, drained

Hummous dip thing from the shops

Parsley, chopped

Mix the lot together. Pretty much done, it is a bloody salad, no one worth speaking to cares that much.

Laziness: Side dishes make dinner look like you spent more time than you did and get you more kisses.

Left over salad thing from above (mine was huge, I don't know how much bloody couscous I made but it was enough for a LadyFriend work lunch after the dinner and there was still 1.2 litres of reasonably well packed left overs).

Add a whicked egg for gooey factor

Push it into a ball

Shove a wee bit of cheese into it (maybe 3 cm long and half by half cm) depends on your personal ball size I guess (hehehehe)

Shape it back into a ball trying to cover the cheese

Flour, egg wash, crumbs of some type (I used those cornflakes ones)

Deep fry

Bit of yoghurt with mint if you have some.

Acceptable side dish.

Magical trick: (lots of people watch too much master chef)

Presentation is, apparently important. Normally I say f*ck that - it tastes good and you didn't pay? shut up and eat it

However the flour / egg wash / crumbs thing always annoys me as you have to keep washing your hands or end up with some form of gargantuism in the fingers which you start wondering if it could be fried and whether it would be tasty.

So I used little bowls of flour and crumbs and instead of touching the balls just dropped them in and spun the bowls.

This resulted in almost perfectly spherical balls. If I can figure out a bowl that holds the egg wash I would spin all three. In fact I might start a company selling "crumbed balls maker" which has all three bowls on a spinning platform is how damn good these things looked. I have never seen this trick before and neither has the Girlfrind (who watche smany cooking shows instead of cooking). I figure it will work as trick for any ball styled (hehehehe) cooking.

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Tricksiness, laziness and a magical trick that no one knows about!

Tricksiness: Salads are good and all but they are a pain to make. Here is one designed with Anders in mind (hey that rhymes)

Salad Designed With Anders In Mind:

Cous Cous, make some. Do the "too much butter" thing. Seriously, otherwise it is pasta without enough oil.

Chick Peas, one can, drained

Hummous dip thing from the shops

Parsley, chopped

Mix the lot together. Pretty much done, it is a bloody salad, no one worth speaking to cares that much.

Laziness: Side dishes make dinner look like you spent more time than you did and get you more kisses.

Left over salad thing from above (mine was huge, I don't know how much bloody couscous I made but it was enough for a LadyFriend work lunch after the dinner and there was still 1.2 litres of reasonably well packed left overs).

Add a whicked egg for gooey factor

Push it into a ball

Shove a wee bit of cheese into it (maybe 3 cm long and half by half cm) depends on your personal ball size I guess (hehehehe)

Shape it back into a ball trying to cover the cheese

Flour, egg wash, crumbs of some type (I used those cornflakes ones)

Deep fry

Bit of yoghurt with mint if you have some.

Acceptable side dish.

Magical trick: (lots of people watch too much master chef)

Presentation is, apparently important. Normally I say f*ck that - it tastes good and you didn't pay? shut up and eat it

However the flour / egg wash / crumbs thing always annoys me as you have to keep washing your hands or end up with some form of gargantuism in the fingers which you start wondering if it could be fried and whether it would be tasty.

So I used little bowls of flour and crumbs and instead of touching the balls just dropped them in and spun the bowls.

This resulted in almost perfectly spherical balls. If I can figure out a bowl that holds the egg wash I would spin all three. In fact I might start a company selling "crumbed balls maker" which has all three bowls on a spinning platform is how damn good these things looked. I have never seen this trick before and neither has the Girlfrind (who watche smany cooking shows instead of cooking). I figure it will work as trick for any ball styled (hehehehe) cooking.

The cheesy cous cous balls sound similar to arancini. Except these use leftover risotto rice.

The industrial balling machine sounds cool. I think you're on to something here. There must be room in the market for more unusual types of balls. You could knock them out to catering companies. Just make sure you market them as containing no horse meat. :)

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DSC_9716_zps7a4d6cf6.jpg

Flourless orange syrup cake.

Worlds greatest shave morning tea tomorrow and this is my entry pass to glom someone else's

sausage rolls. :thumbsup: Made it before and it's a winner. :)

Melted butter, to grease

2 oranges

3 eggs

215g (1 cup) caster sugar

300g (3 cups) almond meal

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

Orange Syrup

1 orange

155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar

Step 1

Preheat oven to 170°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) springform pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line base with non-stick baking paper.

Step 2

Place the oranges in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return to pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes (this will reduce the bitterness of the peel). Refresh under cold water. Drain. Coarsely chop oranges. Remove and discard any seeds.

Step 3

Place the orange in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.

Step 4

Use an electric beater to whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Add the orange, almond meal and baking powder and gently fold until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.

Step 5

Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.

Step 6

Meanwhile, to make the orange syrup, use a zester to remove the rind from the orange. (Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to peel the rind from orange. Use a small sharp knife to remove white pith. Cut rind into thin strips.) Juice orange.

Step 7

Place rind in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain. Return to pan with orange juice and sugar. Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens.

Step 8

Turn cake onto a serving plate. Use a skewer to gently prick the top. Spoon over syrup. Cut into wedges to serve.

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Was bored and had some pork chops in the freezer (nominally for katsu kari) and made this:

In a pot which only just fit all 4 pork chops at the bottom sort of squeezed in a little fry the pork chops a little just to get some fat and juices in there

Remove pork

Add a chopped onion (I used a red one as it was the very last onion in the house somehow) fry a little

Add 3 apples (I had some red delicious)) chopped into 8's fry a little

Deglaze with cider. I used Rosies cloudy Scrumpy [1]

Put pork back in and shuffle everything around

Cover all with cider (this was about a litre)

Throw 3 cored but not chopped apples on top, I tried to squeeze them down into the cider a bit

Bring to boil then simmer for an hour or so

Chop up 1/4 cabbage (just normal) and get 2 bunches broccolini

Heat wok to a meeeellion degrees

Throw cabbage and broccolini in

Ladle a couple of spoons of the apple / cider liquid from the pork over the veges

Cover and boil the crap out of them until the broccolini is just tender

Cabbage & broccolini on a plate, pork on top, some of the sliced apples on top, ladle of cooking liquid on top.

Surprisingly good for a simple idea, the pork was actually really nice and I don't usually like pork that much.

[1] I used it because it comes in a hillbilly jug and I couldn't resist buying it

027%5C5014201510027%5CIDShot_225x225.jpg

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Was bored and had some pork chops in the freezer (nominally for katsu kari) and made this:

In a pot which only just fit all 4 pork chops at the bottom sort of squeezed in a little fry the pork chops a little just to get some fat and juices in there

Remove pork

Add a chopped onion (I used a red one as it was the very last onion in the house somehow) fry a little

Add 3 apples (I had some red delicious)) chopped into 8's fry a little

Deglaze with cider. I used Rosies cloudy Scrumpy [1]

Put pork back in and shuffle everything around

Cover all with cider (this was about a litre)

Throw 3 cored but not chopped apples on top, I tried to squeeze them down into the cider a bit

Bring to boil then simmer for an hour or so

Chop up 1/4 cabbage (just normal) and get 2 bunches broccolini

Heat wok to a meeeellion degrees

Throw cabbage and broccolini in

Ladle a couple of spoons of the apple / cider liquid from the pork over the veges

Cover and boil the crap out of them until the broccolini is just tender

Cabbage & broccolini on a plate, pork on top, some of the sliced apples on top, ladle of cooking liquid on top.

Surprisingly good for a simple idea, the pork was actually really nice and I don't usually like pork that much.

[1] I used it because it comes in a hillbilly jug and I couldn't resist buying it

027%5C5014201510027%5CIDShot_225x225.jpg

I bought a hillbilly jug of scrumpy in the UK once. 3 squid. Tasted like rotten apples. It's funny how you can acquire a taste for rotten apples. :)/>

I don't think you can go wrong with pork, cabbage and apples/cider. Calvados would make it posher.

I have made portugese custard tarts. I was toying with the idea of posting in the replicating expensive takeaways as these puppies are expensive to buy.

These are better than the bought ones. There's a really good trick though. The custard is pretty standard. The inclusion of half cream gives it the required richness. The secret however is in the pastry. It is bought puff with a twist. You cut a sheet in half and lay the two halves over each other. Roll the layered halves up into a cylinder. Cut the cylinder into about 1 cm discs and roll the discs into thin 10 cm rounds. A standard puff sheet is 24 cm so halving one sheet gives twelve tarts. It changes the whole texture of the puff and they taste fantastic.

The method is stolen from Bill Granger.

Portugese custard tarts

Servings: Makes 12

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Preparation Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time and 5 minutes standing

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

3 egg yolks (I prefer 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg)

115g /4ozs caster sugar

2 tbsp cornflour

230ml/8.11fl ozs Cream (I don’t use cream, I use milk)

170ml/6fl ozs Milk

2 tsp vanilla extract (I use Queen Vanilla Bean Paste)

300g/10.6 ozs rolled puff pastry (I use one sheet of puff pastry)

Method

1. Lightly grease a 12-hole 80ml muffin tray.

2. Put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a pan and whisk together. Gradually whisk in the cream and milk until smooth.

3. Place the pan over a medium heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer the custard to a bowl, cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C.

portugeseTarts_zpsf8a3a434.jpg

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In another telling sign that this country is going down the toilet, mediocrity in the form of allowing packet cake mix into CWA baking competitions has been sanctioned.

CWA throws packet cake recipes into contest mix

"People who do cooking at home, who feel perhaps they can't compete with some of the older CWA bakers who have been cooking for years, it just opens the competition up."

Longreach cook Nikki Heslin says she is a bit of a traditionalist but thinks it will allow younger people to participate.

"I would definitely encourage some of the younger mums and people that I know, and dads for that matter, to do it," she said.

The new rules will take effect at a competition in the north Queensland town of Charters Towers later this month.

The Western Australian Country Women's Association has expressed disbelief at the decision of their Queensland counterparts.

WA member Heather Allen says the state does not have state-wide cooking competitions like the eastern states.

However, she says it is sad that entrants can now resort to supermarket cake mixes.

"I just think it's pretty sad that they're not going to nurture the young ones and teach them how to make the cakes," she said.

"I was talking to our state president and she said to me, 'well, if they're going to go to packet cakes, why don't they just go and buy a cake ready made from the supermarket?'"

People without talent should be given rewards too you know.

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