pork, chorizo & orzo

The perfect TV meal! Quick and easy and perfect for a bowl and fork.
The orzo pasta can easily be replaced with rice or any other pasta like penne or farfalle. The choizo sausage adds a beautiful smoky flavour to this dish as well as depth so I will not recommend leaving it out of the recipe. You can however use pancetta or bacon instead.
I used pork sizzler sausages and removed the skin so that all the beautiful meaty flavour is easily released into my dish. Do not hesitate to replace the sizzlers with a different alternative such as a spicy sausage, or any other sausage of your preference. In turn, really making this dish your own.
Serve this dish with a simple side salad.
A great family meal, on the table in no time. My idea of food heaven!

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
3T olive oil
2T butter
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into blocks
5 pork sizzlers or any other pork sausage of choice
2 chorizo sausages (160g), sliced and halved
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 large or 2 medium sized tomato/s, roughly chopped
1.5C orzo / rosmarino pasta
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1tsp paprika
1C white wine
2.5C chicken stock
chives, for garnish
2T butter
1/2t salt
1/2t black pepper

how to do it
Using a sharp knife, cut down the sizzlers, opening up the sausage to reveal the meat. Gently fold out the inside and discard the skins. Break into even sized pieces, to get about 5 pieces from one sausage.
Set aside.
In a medium sized skillet, heat the olive oil &. butter. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until glossy, about two minutes. Add the pork sizzlers pieces and fry until browned on all sides.
Add the red pepper and toss for about two minutes. Add the chorizo & garlic and toss for a minute. Add the paprika and stir through.
Pour the wine into the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat until reduced. Add the orzo / rosmarino pasta and stir to coat. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet, stir well and reduce the heat to low. Place a tight fitting lid on top and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked al dente. (The occasional stir will prevent the pasta from burning on the bottom).
Once the pasta is cooked and the broth reduced, add the chopped tomato, one sliced spring onion, thyme, salt & pepper.
Stir though and cook for a further four minutes, while stirring. Stir the remaining two tablespoons butter through the mixture.
Remove from the heat and garnish with the chives and remaining spring onion.

*You can also add parmesan shavings to this dish.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x


pulled pork & zucchini tart – another great meal using leftover meat

I am always thinking about the next dish, using food that was left over from the previous day / evenings’ meal. I cooked a beautiful large pork belly on Sunday, which obviously cannot be devoured by only two people. Please don’t think I didn’t try.
With my very simple three ingredient shortcrust pastry that I made ahead of time on Sunday evening, this dish was on the table in almost no time at all. I often make two batches of shortcrust pastry as it freezes really well. Thus saving time when you quickly want to whip up a tart or quiche.
This is also a great way to get the kids to eat their veggies!
I don’t think there are any rules when it comes to savoury tarts. It really depends on what you like and what you have on hand. Quiche is the perfect dish for using all the vegetables that are really just lying around in your fridge and then adding an egg custard to a very simple tart shell.
Thank me later.

ingredients | 1 standard size tart | easy
for the tart shell
225g plain flour
100g butter, chopped
pinch salt
1/4c cold water

Place the flour, salt & butter into a food processor and blend until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. (You can also do this by hand by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs.)
With the processor running, slowly add the water until the dough comes together so that it can form a ball without crumbling.
(You do not have to use all of the water and can add more if necessary.)
Dust your work surface with flour and gently knead the dough by pushing it back and pulling it forward again. Repeat this for about three minutes.
Form the dough into a disc, wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Should you wish to freeze the dough, place the wrapped disc into a freezer bag or freezer container, date it and freeze for up to one month. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Dust a flat work surface and roll the pastry out to fit your tart tin. Grease a tart tin with non stick spray.
Press the dough into the tart tin and into the sides. Trim the edges with a sharp knife. Dock the pastry with a fork a few times and place a large piece of baking paper on the pastry shell. Fill the shell with uncooked rice, beans or baking weights.
Place the shell into the oven and blind bake for 12 minutes.
Remove the pastry and gently remove the baking paper and weights. Place the pastry back into the oven for a further ten minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. (Keep the tart shell in the tart tin for baking the quiche later.)

For the filling
1/2 white onion, chopped
2tbs olive oil
2tbs butter
1tsp chopped garlic
300g cooked, pulled pork or any other meat like chicken, bacon or sausages
300g zucchini, half sliced and the remaining half chopped
100g onion marmalade
1.5tsp dijon mustard
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
100g grated parmesan (optional)
1/2tsp salt
grind of black pepper
3 large eggs
1c cream, full fat
1/2c milk, full fat

heat the oil & butter in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion and cook until glossy. Add the chopped zucchini & garlic and cook for one minute.
Add the cooked pork or your choice of protein and cook for about two minutes or longer if your meat is uncooked. (Cook until the meat is fully cooked.)
Add the thyme, salt & pepper, stir through and cook for one more minute.
Put the tart tin on an oven tray and sprinkle the base of the tart shell with the parmesan. Turn the heat of the oven up to 175 degrees C.
Break the eggs into a large jug, add the cream, dijon mustard & onion marmalade and whisk until combined well.
Spoon the meat & zucchini mixture into the tart shell. Pour the egg custard into the tart shell and very gently stir move around with a fork.
Place the sliced zucchini on top and gently, taking care not to spill the egg custard, place the tart into the oven and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes until the egg custard is set and the top has browned lightly.
Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool for about fifteen minutes before slicing into wedges.

Serve the tart with salad or tossed, buttered greens.








meatballs in curry cream

Mince is just one of those ingredients that i always have in my freezer as there are so many wonderful dishes i can cook using it.
Good, easy and quick food is really what I am after most days. Not because i don’t have enough time or because I am lazy but merely because I also want to spend quality time with my family.
I served this dish with basmati rice although mash will also make a wonderful accompaniment to soak up all the wonderful, flavourful juices.
And if you prefer a mixture of beef and pork mince, you are welcome to make that change. I, however, only had beef mince on hand.
You might think the meatballs are fairly plain, considering what i added to the meat, but it works really well as the sauce is wonderfully fragrant.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
500g mince meat
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1tsp minced garlic
1/2c fine breadcrumbs
1 egg
1tsp salt
black pepper

place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. using your hands, roll balls almost the size of a golf ball. set aside on a baking tray covered with baking paper.

curry cream sauce
2tbs Olive oil
good knob of butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2cm ginger, grated
2tsp mild curry powder
2tsp turmeric
1tbs brown sugar
2tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp onion seeds
1/2tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 can chopped tomato
1 can coconut milk
bunch fresh cilantro
spring onion, sliced at an angle
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

method
Heat about 4 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and brown the meatballs on all sides. Set aside.
Blitz the canned tomato until smooth. Set aside. In the same skillet, heat the olive oil and butter. Saute the onion until glossy. Add the ginger, curry powder, turmeric, sugar, & onion seeds and cook for about a minute. Add the chopped tomato and fish sauce, stir it through and cook for one minute. Season with salt & pepper. Add the chilli flakes now, if using.
Slowly pour the coconut milk into the skillet and bring the mixture to a light boil. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and add the meatballs. Cover with a lid and cook on low for about ten minutes, turning the meatballs once.
Remove the lid and cook for a further ten to fifteen minutes until the sauce has thickened and reduced, turning the meatballs halfway through cooking.
Roughly chop the cilantro and add it to the dish. Garnish with sliced spring onion.
Serve with basmati rice of mashed potato and a side dish of roasted pumpkin or sweet potato.


tuna cakes

the fish cake. now this is a dish that will make a lengthy debate as everyone has their own recipe or version of ‘the fish cake.’ wether it is their own recipe, a passed down family recipe or a recipe that was cooked by the butler, it seems to be one of the most talked about, shared recipes out there.
this version is as simple as it is delicious and what i love about it is that the main ingredient comes from a can.
i served the tuna cakes for lunch with a sweet soya dressing (shop bought) and an asian like slaw.
this is another great, budget friendly meal that is ready in no time.

ingredients | serves 2 – 4 | easy
2x tinned tuna, liquid drained
1/2 small onion, very finely chopped
2cm fresh ginger, grated
1/2tsp finely chopped or grated fresh garlic
handful fresh cilantro, chopped
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1tbs fish sauce
2tsp fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1/4c finely grated parmesan
1/2c fine breadcrumbs + more to dust cakes
2 eggs

how to do it
drain the tuna without pressing down too much. (that will dry it out completely.) place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined. do not over mix.
portion the mixture into even sized patties. roll lightly in the fine breadcrumbs.
coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and heat to medium. carefully place the patties into the oil, frying the patties in batches, until golden on each side.
remove and place on kitchen towel paper to remove excess oil.

serve with sweet soya sauce, a mixture of mayo & wasabi or a fish sauce vinaigrette.


Phyllo baked fish parcels

A quick and tasty meal, perfect for lunch or dinner and great to make ahead! I often make a double batch of these as they freeze really well, which makes long days such a pleasure! These tasty phyllo bakes are great served with a zesty salad, lemony green beans or broccoli. And I love it with a cucumber, mint & yogurt sauce.
Cheap, quick & easy…just perfect!

Ingredients
White fish fillet (500g) I used hake
One roll phyllo pastry, thawed
1/2 C Butter, melted
Olive oil
1/2 Red onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 Small red chilli, chopped
1 Tbs Fish sauce
1/3 C Coconut milk
250ml Fish stock
Salt
Black pepper
Fresh dill
Fresh coriander

How to do it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Heat olive oil in a skillet, add onion, garlic & chilli and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, fish stock & fish sauce, salt & pepper and bring to a simmer. Gently place the fish fillet into the poaching liquid and poach for 10 minutes, turning halfway. Remove the fish from the poaching liquid and scoop the onion & garlic mixture into a bowl. Once cooled, flake the fish and remove any small bones. Mix the fish, onion mixture, dill, coriander and 1/3 C of the poaching liquid together.
On a flat surface, cut phyllo dough in half. Place one sheet on the surface and brush with the melted butter. Repeat twice more. Place a few scoops of the fish mixture on top. Roll into a pocket and butter and press the sides to seal. Brush the parcels with butter and place on an ovenproof tray. Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until beautifully browned and crisp.
Serve with a side of your choice and the cucumber yogurt.

Cucumber yogurt
1C Double cream plain yogurt
Cucumber, cut into blocks
Fresh mint, chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt
Black pepper

From my kitchen to yours, with love x