Laab

Lip tingling, tongue searing, tastebud rocketing yumminess! This salad is so simple to make but it sings off the plate. Beware, it is VERY hot! I serve with sticky rice to help calm the chilli burn, but sometimes you need to numb your lips with spice! My sister gave me a packet of laab mix
which is what I used tonight and it was the most authentic tasting one I have made to date. I just cannot get enough of thai food right now!

For two people you need
300g pork mince (use quorn mince if you’re veggie or crumbled tofu)
1 packet laab seasoning
1/4 cup water
fresh mint and coriander to serve
as many thai chillies as you want, thinly sliced as a garnish (I used two!)
a thinly sliced shallot or red onion
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1-2 tbsp fish sauce or mushroom soy sauce if veggie/vegan
Thai sticky rice to serve

Heat a wok and stir fry the protein in the water until completely cooked and hot. Add the packet of laab seasoning and mix well. Turn out onto a serving dish and garnish with the shallot/onion, spring onions, chillies, coriander and mint. Serve with the rice and prepare for a taste sensation!

Thai Pork Toasts (Kanom Punk Na Moo)

My sister made these for us as a thank you for helping her to move some stuff about in her house. I was amazed at how simple yet delicious they were. This recipe is more intricate as the pork mince is flavoured, but they’re still a doddle to make and taste fantastic. The original recipe can be found on Supatra’s website.

For four people you need
500g pork mince
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
1 tbsp crushed garlic
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp mushroom soy sauce
1 egg
8 slices white bread, crusts removed and cut into four squares
vegetable oil for deep-frying

Mix all the ingredients, apart from the bread and oil, together till thoroughly combined.

Divide into 24 balls and press each onto a square of bread.

Heat the oil until a cub of bread sizzles immediately upon contact and turns golden brown in about 30 seconds. Fry the toasts in batches, flipping over half way through to ensure the pork is throughly cooked.

Drain on kitchen roll and serve with a dipping sauce. We had one made from fish sauce, soy sauce, chillies, garlic and coriander but anything you fancy will do! Enjoy 🙂

Beef Madras

It’s soooooooo cold out, but this curry will keep you warm from the inside. Spicy and aromatic, it doesn’t take long to throw together but does need at least an hour of gently bubbling. If you have time, make in advance and then reheat to allow the flavours to really develop and mingle into the tender beef. This recipe is taken from the BBC Good Food site.

For 2-3 portions you need

Curry
1 kg braising steak cut into bite sized cubes
2tbsp tomato puree
300ml Beef Stock
2tbsp veg or sunflower oil
1 large onion, diced
Curry Paste
1/2tsp ground black pepper
1/2tsp chilli flakes
2 fresh birds eye chillies, slit up the length of the chilli, stalk left on
2tbsp ground coriander
2tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp turmeric
2tbsp of grated ginger
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
Begin by softening the onions in a large heavy based pan over a medium heat in the oil till cooked and golden. Stir often so they don’t burn. Once they are cooked, remove with a slotted spoon to a plate whilst you seal the beef.

Place the beef in the hot pan (you may need to do this in more than one batch to avoid over crowding the pan). Seal it and remove from the pan and place with the onions.
Place all the curry paste ingredients in the pan and cook for a few mins. Add everything else to the pan, including the tomato puree and stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a slow simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for an hour, stirring every so often. Remove the lid for the last 10 mins to allow the sauce to thicken. Serve with rice and a nice cold beer or tall glass of sweet lassi. We also had some chickpea dhal alongside it as my son doesn’t eat meat.

Roast Shoulder of Pork with Cider Sauce and Baked Apples

I’ve been a bit nervous about blogging this recipe as it’s clearly a meat recipe, and I know a lot of the people who follow my posts do so because they’re mainly veggie/vegan. So apologies in advance if this offends/annoys you but my eating habits have changed, and so, therefore, must my blog posts…

I’ve been experimenting with different cuts of meat recently as I’ve never learned to cook it as I was veggie for so many years. This is a very economical cut, but can be a bit fatty. Abel and Cole didn’t disappoint however and delivered me a reasonably lean joint with a nice bit of skin on the top for crackling. I’d done quite a lot of research into how I was going to cook it and had toyed with the idea of doing pulled pork, but frankly waiting 16-24 hours for my tea wasn’t what I wanted so I simply roasted it, following Hugh’s advice for the 20 min high heat sizzle to begin with before a more gentle roast and then a last 15 min blast of heat for the crackling.

For 2-3 people you need
Roast
1kg shoulder of pork joint
2-3 potatoes, peeled and cut into thirds for roasting
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 onions, cut into quarters
2 apples, cored and cut into quarters, skin left on
salt and pepper
1 head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed

Sauce
300ml dry cider
2 tsp plain flour
salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees. Season the meat with salt and pepper and place on a rack in a roasting pan and pop in the oven for 20-30 mins to seal the meat and give it some initial colour. After the sizzle time is up, reduce the oven to 160 degrees. Scatter the potatoes and carrots in the tin under the rack and add 250ml boiling water. Place back in the oven for 45 mins.

After this time, turn the meat to ensure even cooking. Add the onion and apple quarters to the pan and top up with a little more water if it’s all evaporated. The water helps to create steam which keeps the meat moist, and also ensures the veggies cook with minimum additional fat.

Cook at 160 degrees for a further 30-45 mins, checking to ensure the meat doesn’t over cook. Remove from the oven after 2 hours total cooking time, or when the meat is done. Cut off the crackling if you want it extra crispy and place on a baking tray. Cover the joint in foil on a carving dish to rest. Turn the oven up to 220 degrees again. Season the crackling with a little more salt and roast in the hot oven for 15 mins till totally crunchy deliciousness.

To make the sauce put the flour into the roasting tin and heat gently. Cook the flour for a few mins and then add the cider. Stir thoroughly to avoid lumps and heat until reduced and slightly thickened. Carve the meat and serve the veggies and sauce and enjoy enjoy enjoy!