Archive for ‘Summer’

June 10, 2011

A New Favourite: BBQ Lemon Ginger Pork with Sweet Apples and Crushed Potatoes


How lucky we’ve been to have had lots of sunshine over the last months … and we’re only technically 10 days into summer … though technically it is raining and the big cloud looming over London is looking angry. I’m doggedly optimistic that it will blow away by tomorrow because, being the weekend it’s time to BBQ!

Max and I have already been busy barbecuing away on our tiny little terrace so I have a few upcoming entries. But first would you mind if I revisit one of my  favourite BBQ dishes? We originally made this BBQ Lemon Ginger Pork with Sweet Grilled Apples on a bed of Crushed Potatoes back in December when we were in Australia. Seeing it was then British Winter, I reckon it deserves a repost now it’s British Summer. It’s a very simple dish to make and can all be done on the BBQ or grill … even the crushed potato.

So follow the link for the recipe and give it a try … Max and I will certainly be having it again soon.

Sarah x.


December 19, 2010

Good Bite In Australia: Gone Fishing


For many modern men the hunter gatherer instinct can only be displayed in their masterful control of a shopping trolley around the supermarket aisles; squeezing and tapping produce as they go. I can’t even claim this as Ocado do the hunting and gathering (and delivering)  for me. But that’s London.

On the remote island  in Western Australia where S and I have been staying there are no supermarkets. No Ocado. In fact there are no shops of any description. The nearest town is a boat ride away. We have a packed fridge so there is no fear of going hungry but the promise of fresh fish is there in the estuary. I’ve not fished since childhood and then it was with a cheap rod or a net. We didn’t catch much and what we did we’d throw back. So with this in mind I’m eager but not overly optimistic.

Optimistic ... maybe not

The Almanac tells us that the fish will be biting at 11.43 and biting they were. I get a few nibbles on the line before a big pull. Initially I haven’t a clue what to do but I soon have 3 people shouting instructions. The Aussies seem doubtful of my ability as essentially a first time fisherman and only Englishman in the group. But I almost surprise myself as I reel the fighting fish in and it drops onto the jetty. Flipping wildly until the hook is removed, it’s identified as a Black Bream and large enough to keep. It’s our first of the day and mine.  An Australian Herring follows into the bucket and I’m looking for my hat trick. It doesn’t come, though anything the others catch is thrown back for being under-size. Boasting the only catch of the day I feel I’ve done my bit for the reputation of Englishmen.

My Catch of the Day!

We return to the island with 2 fish between 6, which while hardly a main meal will make a good starter.

Straight from the river to dinner

S’s sister’s boyfriend gives us an impromptu masterclass on fish preparation on the jetty; where he descales, guts and removes the head. Both fish will be foil wrapped so it’s just seasoning that is required for the prep.

Ready to Cook

To the Black Bream we add lemongrass, chopped red chilli and lime. To the Herring a more subtle seasoning of lemon and fennel seeds. Straight onto the BBQ they go.

Onto the Barbie

We serve on the kitchen counter top and eat straight from the foil. Somehow fish from Ocado will not be the same again.

River to Barbie to Mouth

M.

December 14, 2010

On the Barbeque: Lemon Ginger Pork, Sweet Apples and Crushed Potato


It’s been a blazing hot day. M and I are down at my parent’s holiday home and after a day leisurely meandering along the coast and eating ice-cream it’s time to unwind for the evening. But after a few nights being treated to some of the old family favourites by my wonderful Mum, it’s my turn to cook. It needs to be simple as the suns setting and there’s beer to be drinking.  We’re definitely barbecuing tonight!

Being that there’s no shops to pop to, dinners coming from what’s in the fridge. When I pop my head inside it’s pork chops, potatoes and apples that I come out with.  A quick marinade of lots of lemon juice, lots of fresh ginger, lots of honey and a little dash of soy and I leave the chops to marinate while the sun goes down with M, the family and beers in hand.

Of course as soon as it’s set, everyone is suddenly hungry so the barbie’s fired up …

not long later …

Lemon Ginger Pork, Crushed Tats and Grilled Green Apple

It is easier than it looks.  The potatoes are done on the barbie in a foil packet to be quickly turned into a crushed potato with a fork and a little parsley and butter. The pork, basted in the warming depth of lemon, honey and ginger, cooks quickly and simply. And the sweet, lemony apples which top off the warmth and richness of the rest of the dish, are simply grilled on the side of the BBQ.

A Delicious BBQ Stack

Sat under the stars, our bellies full, a wee tot of the Whiskey we’ve brought from home is all we need for the night to come to a perfect end.

S.


So what do you need BBQ it like this?

Pork Chops

Potatoes

Green Apples

Honey

Lemon Juice

Fresh Ginger

Soy Sauce

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Parsley

Butter – just a knob

Tin foil

First do all your prep ….

Pork Chops marinated in mixture of a good few squeezes of lemon juice, lots of fresh ginger, a big spoon of honey and little dash of soy sauce. Make the marinade to taste – I think it’s good to make lots of it so that you can use it to baste the chops while they cook. It’s up to you how strong you make the individual flavours but don’t be afraid to try to make them big.

Potatoes peeled, roughly sliced then placed on large sheet of tin foil. Toss in a little oil and salt and pepper then seal foil around potatoes so it forms a package with no openings.

Thinly Sliced Green Apples tossed in a mixture of Honey and Lemon. Don’t peel or core the apples, just slice them as they are and push out the seeds with a skewer or a finger, that way you keep the nice star shape.

Once the BBQ is fired up …

Put the packet of potatoes on first, not too hot as you want the steam that’s created inside the packet to cook the potatoes. Turn packet halfway through cooking. They are done when they are light and fluffy – you can just press down on the packet with the tongs and see if they feel soft, if you’re not sure open it up. If they are finished too long before the chops and apples it doesn’t matter, just leave them in the foil as they’ll stay hot.  When the chops and apples are almost done you can do the ‘crushing’. Empty the package into a bowl and with a fork, stir through a knob of butter, and parsley. As you do this break up the potato roughly so it has a crushed texture. Season to taste.

The chops can go straight from the marinade onto the BBQ. Don’t overturn them and you’ll get nice sear marks on them. Make sure you baste them with the left over marinade while they’re cooking.

The apples will take the least time and just need to be placed on the grill or griddle and let to colour and soften a little … don’t let them cook too much or they’ll fall through the grills. You want to turn them half way through so you get the nice grill marks on both sides.

Elements complete … all you need to do is make your stacks!

December 13, 2010

Good Bite In Australia: Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice


Back in Australia and M is about to share in one of our family traditions. I realise it might sound silly but a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice holds an important place in our family.

Orange Tradition

Growing up it was Mum, my stepdad A, my two sisters and me. Each week when Mum and A went to the farmers market they’d cart home a massive 8kg bag of oranges. Each week without fail.

A sack full of Juice

And each morning without fail A would make us all a glass of orange juice using his old depression glass orange squeezer. Five glasses a day no matter what the season or how sweet or sour the oranges. Thick and gloopy with pulp it would be there waiting for us every morning before school.

The Daily Squeeze

I’m sure at some point he worked out how many oranges he squeezed over the course of a year …. it was a lot.

Freshly Squeezed

With all of us grown up and moved out there’s no longer the need to buy that 8kg sack however whenever we’re home we’re likely to get a juice or two squeezed by A with the good old green glass orange squeezer.

Just like the old days

And this time is no different. So M, welcome to the tradition! And thanks A for all those glasses of juice.

S.

October 14, 2010

Good Bite in my Lunchbox: Beetroot, Green Beans, Feta and Toasted Pistachios


M and I both take a packed lunch to work whenever we can and generally take turns to prepare them. But day in day out packed lunches can easily slip into being monotonous. So a couple of times a week we try to mix it up a little. Not with anything that takes a ridiculous amount of time to prepare,  just something different from normal. So today I’m starting recording these with what I’m calling Good Bite in my Lunchbox. First up is today’s lunch, a salad of Beetroot, Green Beans, Feta and Toasted Pistachios.

 

Salad of Beetroot, Green Beans, Feta and Toasted Pistachios

 

So what do you need:

Trimmed green beans, lightly steamed so they retain their colour and crunch, then rinsed under water until cold. (I love them raw too – but that’s up to you)

Cooked and peeled beetroot (use pre-cooked packaged beetroot if you like, just not the vinegar kind … or if you have any left over roast beetroot use this)

Greek Feta

Pistachio nuts, shelled and toasted lightly in a 170 degree Celsius oven with a little sea salt (You can buy them pre-shelled and most Asian supermarkets)

Handful fresh mint leaves

Splash lemon juice

Splash Olive Oil (Optional)

Honey – about half tspn per person

Salt and Pepper (nuts and feta are both salty so you won’t need much)

Note on quantities: Now I am loath to dictate exactly how much you should put of this or that as I believe you should make it according to how you like it balanced – and also how much you want to make. If you have a glut of beans, put loads in … likewise with beetroot. Just be careful not to go overboard on the feta and pistachios – both are very salty and you don’t want to make the salad too rich.

So how do you do it:

In a cup, whisk together the lemon juice, honey and oil. Place beans in the bowl / lunchbox and give a light with dressing. Add a touch of salt and pepper. Lightly toss to mix through. You do this now as once you start adding the beetroot it will transfer colour to everything. Layer on quartered segments of beetroot, crumbled greek feta,  pistachio nuts and mint leaves. Lid on – ready to go.

 


Good Bite in my Lunchbox Number 1

 

Looking forward to lunch now!

S.

NB: If a salad isn’t quite enough for your lunchbox, this would go well with some ryebread / ryecrackers or sourdough on the side … or even a piece of grilled chicken. Also if you don’t have pistachios then walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds would all make good substitutes.

October 12, 2010

Good Bite In 15 Minutes: Haddock and Minty Pea Salad


I mentioned before that things have been a bit hectic and sparing time to cook hasn’t been easy.  It’s periods like this that I usually resort to those easy to whip up dishes … the kind I think we all have to fall back on when need be. This is one of mine that I usually make summertime but yesterday when London decided to have a last ditch effort at pre-winter sunshine it seemed the perfect thing to whip up.

 

Haddock and Minty Pea Salad

 

It really is dead simple:

You need:

1 tray and 1 bowl

A couple of fillets of white fish eg. Haddock (I usually use a fillet per person)

1 red onion

2 cups peas (feel free to use fresh or frozen)

A handful of mint to taste

A few splashes of lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of lemon grass minced (Optional but give it a bit of something extra)

Salt and Pepper

Then:

– Place fish on a tray lined with foil for easy cleaning. Drizzle with a little lemon juice and a touch of salt and pepper. Place under a medium grill. Depending on your grill it should take about 10 minutes to cook, while it cooks you can prepare the salad.

– Steam your peas but only so much as they soften but still remain their colour.

– Meanwhile, slice the onion into as fine rings as you can.

– Place peas and onions in bowl. Tear up mint into pieces and add them in. Add lemongrass and lemon juice. Toss together.

– Fish should be ready by now. If you’re not sure if it’s done check that the flesh lightly flakes off when prodded with a fork.

– Either serve fish whole with salad on the side or else flake the fish up and stir through the salad. It’s nice both ways.

S.

%d bloggers like this: