Pan-Fried Gnocchi and Blue Cheese Salad

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I am LOVING blue cheese at the moment and am loving experimenting with different ways of using it. I came across this recipe and juggled it slightly and was super stoked with the outcome! All  the beautiful flavours of blue cheese buddies with the soft comforting yumminess of the soft, scrumptious gnocchi.

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 1 Package of dried gnocchi
  • A pinch of salt
  • 50g Walnuts
  • 200g or a small pack of streaky bacon
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • 50g Dried cranberries
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • A big bunch of fresh Rocket (Arugula)
  • 80g Blue cheese of your choice

 

Method 

  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the gnocchi straight from the packaging to the hot melted butter and saute until golden brown. (5 – 10 minutes)
  • Add the walnuts and garlic to the pan with the gnocchi and cook for about 3 minutes
  • Put the gnocchi and walnuts into a warm dish and return the pan with any juice to the stove and add the bacon, onions and cranberries and saute until the onions are soft. add the Gnocchi and walnuts and toss and leave to cool for a little bit.
  • Add the rocket and toss together and crumble the blue cheese on top with a bit more rocket to garnish and serve immediately.

 

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Pork Belly Kebabs

 

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We recently had a kebab cook off  as a team building exercise which was loads of fun! Being a competition I immediately started researching for something different, something fresh and unique to blow the competition away. (Im not competitive at all *coughs*) Anyway…. I came across these kebabs on the Food24 website and the ingredients immediately stood out for me. Our team agreed and so we went about preparing these little beauties and braaied (barbecued) them. Constantly basting with the marinade.

I was nervous about cooking the pork belly in a new way as I have only ever slow cooked pork belly. But they turned out beautifully and the soy, honey, ginger, garlic, chilli flavours worked SO well with this cut! My husband said it was the best kebab he has ever had. I think he might just be very excited that I have started cooking properly again after a few months off! But they were really good!

Definitely use the reduced sodium or light soya as they can be quite salty if you don’t.

oh, and I know you are wondering… yes – we WON!

  • 1kg pork belly, bone and skin removed but with some fat left
  • 8-10 kebab sticks

For the Marinade:

  • 150ml reduced salt or light soy sauce
  • 100ml water
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 fresh chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 1 lemon grass stem, bruised

For garnish:

  • Chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds

 

Method:

Slice the pork belly in 1cm thick and 5cm long slices.
Make the marinade by whisking all the ingredients except the lemon grass stem.
Pour the marinade over the pork belly, add the lemon grass stem and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Remove the pork from the marinade and thread the strips on the kebab sticks.
Grill on a griddle pan or on the barbecue turning on each side until cooked through. Garnish with the chopped spring onions and the toasted sesame seeds.

 

 

Photo and recipe from Food24.com

Pork Fillet with Roast Crushed Baby Potatoes, Prosciutto and Balsamic Dressing

 

Pork Fillet with potatoes and balsamic dressing

I’m halfway through my pregnancy and the first trimester pretty much obliterated my desire to cook! Last night I was desperate for some ‘proper’ and interesting food and found this recipe on the Taste website. It was very easy and pretty quick to make with a really fantastic result. The pork fillet turned out beautifully and tender and the combination of proscuitto, rocket, balsamic vinegar, whole grain mustard and red onion is such a winner.  My poor family have obviously been a bit deprived of tasty food and devoured it! I will definitely make this again! Its absolutely divine!  Enjoy!

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

Leaves from 1 large sprig rosemary

4 garlic cloves, sliced

750g piece pork fillet, trimmed

500g baby potatoes

1 red onion, cut into wedges

4 slices prosciutto

Rocket leaves, to serve

 

Balsamic dressing

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon grainy mustard

 

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the rosemary leaves and sliced garlic.
  • Brush a little over the pork fillet.
  • Par-boil the potatoes for 10 – 15 minutes, then drain and lightly crush. Toss the potatoes and onion wedges with the remaining garlic and rosemary oil, then place on a large baking tray and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork filet and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning to brown all over.
  • Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the pork and add to the baking tray with the potatoes and onion, and roast for the remaining cooking time (20 minutes). For the final 5 minutes, add the slices of prosciutto to the tray to crisp.
  • While everything is cooking, make the dressing. Place the olive oil, balsamic and mustard in a jar and season with salt and pepper. Shake well.
  • To serve, place some rocket onto each plate and divide the potatoes and onion among them. Slice the pork thickly, place on top and drizzle with the balsamic dressing. Place a shard of crisp prosciutto on top of each.

Serves 3 – 4

Recipe and photo from the Taste.au website.

Peanut Satay Pork Rice Paper Rolls

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Delicious little rolls that are healthy and taste great!  The nice thing about these is that you can put just about anything in them! mine change all the time. I made these on Saturday for a picnic which worked so well! I packed them into little containers and they were the perfect picnic treat.

For the wraps:

1 x 500g pork fillet

1 tsp chinese 5 spice

20 rice paper discs

1 red baby cabbage (thinly sliced)

3 carrots (finely julienned)

1 punnet watercress (torn up)

1 packet of baby spinach (torn up)

100g almond flakes

100g dried coconut shavings

3 tbs sesame seeds

Sesame oil

For the Satay sauce

2 Tbsp oil

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp dried chilli flakes (or fresh chili)

60ml peanut butter

80ml Hoisin Sauce

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 cup coconut cream or milk (I used the coconut milk – way less fattening)

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

 

  • To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small saucepan and fry the garlic and chilli. Combine the rest of the ingredients and add to  the saucepan. Stir over medium heat for about 2 – 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • While the sauce is cooling, take a clean dry frying pan and on a medium to high heat, toast your almond and coconut flakes until golden brown. (stirring constantly) Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Finely slice the pork fillet, season with salt, pepper and the chinese 5 spice. Heat some sesame oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the pork and stir fry quickly until JUST done! Add about half a cup of the sauce when it is done, mix it up and remove from the heat and place into a separate bowl so that it can cool down.
  • Get a casserole dish wide enough to fit a rice paper disc in and fill it with warm  (not boiling) water
  • Place a clean, dry towel on your work surface. You need at least half a bath towel worth of space… I hope that makes sense.
  • One at a time, place a rice paper disc in the warm water and wait about a minute until it is soft, take it out and place it flat on the towel for a few seconds, then fold in half, but slightly more on the side resting on the towel (look at the pictures below).
  • When you have done that to 10 discs you can fill them.  Mix the carrots, cabbage, spinach and watercress together in a bowl  and place a little of that veg mixture on each half moon shaped rice paper disc. Then put a little of the almond and coconut flakes on.

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  • Next, take some of the pork mixture and place this on top of the almonds, coconut and veg mixture.

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  • Now you can roll these babies!
  • Fold the bottom section (the curved side) up over the mixture (it will just go over the bottom bit of mixture)
  • Then take the left side and fold it over the mixture and roll from left to right over the ’empty flap’ until you get a roll resembling this:

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  • The rice paper is pretty sticky (it’s amazing stuff) and will stick to itself so as soon as you have completed the roll, the rice paper will seal itself. EASY PEASY!
  • Continue with this process until all your rolls are done and you can then pack them up for a picnic or serve them on a platter with a little bowl of your satay dipping sauce. (which is missing from my photo – sorry)

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They are quite cute and can stand up by themselves, making your plating fun and interesting.

Feel free to change it up! you can put fillings in like sweet chilli chicken with cabbage dressed in olive oil, soy sauce and white wine vinegar and some sugar (see my oriental cabbage salad recipe)  or you can do Pork with plain hoisin sauce and some lettuce, carrots and cucumber… ah – just use your imagination. Its endless really!

Enjoy

Serves 4 – 5

Tray Baked Pork Chops with Herby Potatoes, Parsnips, Pears and Minted Bread Sauce

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This is not as complicated as it sounds! Its one of those stick everything into the oven dishes and wait! Your home will be filled with delicious smells as the pork chops roast in the gorgeous herby lemony garlicy deliciousness. The key here really is to try an find THICK pork chops. Otherwise you need to put your veggies in first and your pork chops in a little later. you can also use chicken thighs or chicken pieces or lamb chops will also work beautifully. The bready sauce seems a bit strange but is delicious smeared over the chops! Its a perfect winter sunday lunch meal.

6-8 thick pork chops

3 parsnips, peeled

3 small smooth skinned pears – cores removed

4 large potatoes , scrubbed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the Marinade:

2 handfuls of fresh rosemary (no stalks – leaves only)

6 cloves of garlic, peeled

The juice and zest of 3 lemons

5 tbsp olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

 

For the Minted bread sauce:

3 handfuls of fresh mint (no stalks – leaves only)

1 handful of chopped ciabatta loaf

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp whole grain mustard

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

 

–       Start with making the marinade. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small food processor and blitz until well combined. Cut slits into the pork chop fat to prevent the chops from lifting up during cooking and then rub the marinade all over the pork chops. Place them in a glass or ceramic dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours. This marinade can work with Lamb, chicken and beef as well if you want to switch the recipe up a bit.

–       Preheat your oven to 220 C. Wash the parsnips, pears and potatoes. Cut the parsnips and pears into quarters. Slice your potatoes up into wedges (you can leave the peels on or remove them).

–       Take the pork chops out of the marinade and toss all the veggies and pears and pork chops together getting the marinade mix to coat everything. Line one or two baking trays with foil and brush lightly with a little olive oil. Then spread it all out on a large baking tray (or even on two if you can fit that into your oven) Try not to overcrowd the baking tray. Season well with salt and a bit more pepper and then place in the oven to roast for 45 minutes.

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–       While that is roasting you can make the minted bread sauce by placing all the ingredients for the bread sauce into a food processor and blitzing it all up until well combined. If it’s a bit  thick you can add a touch of water to loosen it a bit. Let it sit while the chops are roasting as the flavour develops well as it sits. You can taste and balance flavours if need be.

–       Serve the veggies on a plate with the chops on top and then top with sauce.

 

Serves 4

Recipe by Janet Swanepoel

 

Rory’s Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Apple Cider and Gorgeous Gravy

Slow Roasted Pork Belly

This recipe was given to me by our good friend Rory, who is a master in the kitchen! We love when he comes to visit as he always teaches me so much and spoils us with an incredible meal! I loved this one. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon!

1 pork belly (+- 1 kg)

3 whole star anise

1 level tbsp cinnamon powder

4 whole all spice berries

4 whole Juniper berries

1 tsp sea salt flakes

1 tsp whole peppercorns

1 Tbsp Olive oil

2 onions, sliced thickly

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 x 5cm piece of fresh root ginger, sliced

+- 750mls Apple Cider (like Reds) or white wine or beer

500mls chicken stock

3 tbsp Flour

– Preheat your oven to 150 C

– Score the pork belly skin and fat, careful not to slice any of the flesh

– Remove all moisture from pork rind by dabbing with high-grade paper towel. This will ensure the pork rind crackles perfectly

– Crush the star anise, cinnamon, all spice, juniper berries, salt and pepper in a pestle and mortar until a fine powder is formed. Add the olive oil, mix and then rub that mixture into the pork belly and the skin, working it into the rind.

– Place a large sheet of tin foil in a baking tray or large casserole dish and place the onions, garlic and ginger down in the centre. Then place the pork belly on top of that.

– Fold the tin foil up and around so that it forms a ‘nest’

– Pour the Cider into the tin foil nest, filling it up until all the meat is covered (not covering the skin and fat though).

– Tighten up the edges of the tin foil so that the onions, garlic, ginger and cider are supported well. The foil should surround the pork flesh but leave the skin exposed to crisp up well.

– Roast for 3 hours.

– Take it out of the oven and place the pork belly on a warmed plate and set aside. Don’t cover!

– Pass all the juice through a sieve and then press all the onions and bits through the sieve as well. Then place all that liquid in a non stick sauce pan or frying pan with the chicken stock and add the flour and mix over a medium high heat until thickened to your liking.

– And in the words of Rory – “BOOM” you have amazing slow roasted pork belly with a delicious gravy. To be served with veggies and fluffy rice.

  • you can adjust the spice blend according to the size of your pork belly.

Recipe by Rory Clark

Photo courtesy of google.com

Sticky Pork Ribs

sticky lamb ribs

Who doesn’t love ribs? This recipe is divine with incredible flavour. Taste and adjust as you go so you get the balance right. But this one  is a winner! Thanks Gordon! 🙂

1 kg pork ribs

Olive oil

5cm piece of fresh root ginger, sliced thinly, length ways

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp dried chilli flakes

1Tbsp szechuan pepper corns

4  whole star anise

8 Tbsp honey

4 Tbsp soy sauce

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

300ml Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

5 spring onions, sliced

400mls chicken stock

– Preheat the oven to 180 C

– Season the ribs with salt and pepper and brown in some olive oil in either a large roasting pan on the hob, or a frying pan (in batches).

– Make sure that the ribs have some good colour and then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute or two. Place the ribs in a large oven proof roasting tray where they can be spread flat (not on top of each other). Then add the chilli flakes, szechuan peppers, honey, soy sauce, vinegar and rice wine (or sherry). Mix everything together well and the flatten the ribs on the surface of the tray. Add the spring onions and chicken stock.

– Roast in the oven for 30 minutes and then turn them over and cook for a further 30 minutes.

– After that, place the tray on the hob again, or put the ribs in a frying pan with the juice that they have cooked in and on a medium / high heat, fry them for a few minutes each side to finish off the glazing process.

– You can now refrigerate them for the next day (just reheat when you are ready to serve). The flavours will continue to develop. Or you can serve immediately.

Recipe by Gordon Ramsay

Sesame Pork Rice-Paper Rolls

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I find that anything wrapped in rice paper feels healthy and fresh! And I also love the idea to serve as a starter. You can make them ahead of time and you can present them in such an attractive way. They are also SUPER easy!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 tablespoons grated ginger

300g pork fillet, trimmed and sliced

24 rice paper rounds

½ cup (125ml) hoisin sauce

4 cups grated carrot

6 spring onions, sliced

2 cups coriander leaves

2 cups mint leaves

2 cups basil leaves

–       Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add the oil, sesame seeds and ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sesame seeds are golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

–       Add the pork to the pan, in batches, and cook for 1–2 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Remove from the heat. Add to the sesame mixture, mix to combine and set aside.

–       Soften each round of rice paper in warm water for 1 minute and pat dry with absorbent paper. To assemble, divide the pork, hoisin sauce, carrot, green onion, coriander, mint and basil between the rice papers. Fold over the base and roll to enclose the filling.

–       Keep covered with a damp, clean cloth until ready to serve.

–       Makes 24.

Recipe by Donna Hay

Aromatic Pork and Apple Curry

Pork & apple curry

This Curry is so quick and does not take ages to cook! My family love it and its a recipe that I know by heart because I have made it so often. The apples really add a freshness to it and cut through the spice.

500g – 750g lean pork fillet– cubed

45ml (3T) cake flour

45ml (3T) garam masala

10 ml olive oil

1 onion – chopped

1 leek – finely chopped

3 garlic cloves  – finely chopped (I use fresh crushed garlic)

1 Tbs crushed ginger

2 cinnamon sticks

2 small apples

Salt and black pepper

250ml vegetable stock

Fresh coriander to serve

  1. Mix the cake flour and masala in a large bowl and season with salt. Toss the pork through the spice mixture until the pork is thoroughly covered
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan until very hot and brown the meat very quickly on all sides and remove from the pan
  3. Use the same pan and sauté the onions, leeks, garlic, ginger and cinnamon until the onions and leeks are soft
  4. Quarter the apples after peeling them and add to the onion mixture, cook slowly until it they soften slightly
  5. Add the meat to the onion and apple mixture and add the stock. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste
  6. Remove from the heat and serve with brown basmati rice and fresh coriander.

Sautee of Pork Fillet with Cashews, Lime and Coriander

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I can’t say enough about how good this recipe is. It is so quick and easy too. I’m mad about this one and can’t wait to make it again! I used sesame oil to do the pork in which I thought worked really well, so feel free to substitute, otherwise olive oil works perfectly too! Also be sure to slice the pork thinly as it will then be very tender when cooked!

1 large pork fillet (about 500g)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red pepper, cored and sliced thinly
3 spring onions, sliced
2 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh root ginger
100g unsalted cashew nuts
Grated zest and juice of two limes
5 tbsp naturally brewed soy sauce (eg Kikkoman)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper

– Trim the fillet and slice into thin rounds. Heat a large non stick wok until you can feel a steady heat rising , then add 1 tbsp of the oil. Quickly stir-fry the pork pieces until nicely browned but still red inside. About 2 minutes.
– Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and add the remaining oil. Stir fry the peppers, onions, garlic and ginger for about 2 minutes.
– Toss in the cashews and heat through, the add the lime zest, juice, soy sauce and vinegar. Bring to simmering point, the return the meat to the wok and toss in the herbs. Let the pork sit in the mixture until the meat has just cooked. This will only take a few minutes as it would have continued to cook while it has been resting.
– Serve straight away with lovely jasmin rice or egg noodles.

Serves 4
Recipe by Gordon Ramsay