#Stellar Chicken Marabella, #chicken

Yottam Ottolenghi’s newest cookbook Simple has some great recipes but sometimes not so simple in terms of quickly getting some of the specialist ingredients which might not be in your pantry.

However I have found that they are simple enough to understand the flavours being created and to play around with them using ingredients on hand to still create delicious meals.

For example his chicken marabella recipe calls for date molasses and dates….I substituted dried apricots and pomegranate molasses which I had in the cupboard which worked well.

The chicken can be marinated overnight to develop the flavours more and or just for 15 minutes.

The quantities can also easily be adapted if you are cooking for more than 2…or if you want to serve as part of a buffet shared style meal.

Prep time: 10 minutes Marinating time(optional): 15 mins-12hrs
Cooking time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

2 chicken Marylands skin on (thigh and drumstick still joined)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of fresh picked oregano leaves
2 tbspoons red wine vinegar
2 tbspoons olive oil
50g pitted green olives
2 teaspoons capers and 1 tbspoon of their juice
3 tbspoons chopped dried apricots (about 100g)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup white wine
Salt and black pepper
Oregano leaves to garnish

Method

1. Score each piece of chicken 3 or 4 times to the bone.

2. Place in a bowl and add all the ingredients except the wine and molasses and gently mix along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grind of black pepper

3. Marinate for as long as you can …overnight if possible but not essential

4. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius in fan forced oven

5. Spread the chicken on a high sided snug baking dish that allows the marinade to surround chicken. Whisk together the wine and molasses and pour over chicken. (I lined my baking dish with baking paper to prevent the marinade from creating too much of a mess to clean up!)

6. Cook chicken in oven for 45 minutes, basting a few times through cooking process. You want the chicken to get golden brown and be cooked until juices run clear.

7. Sprinkle generously with fresh oregano leaves to garnish.

Serve with salad and accompaniments of your choice, goes well with cous cous lr with crusty bread as the sauce created with the marinade and chicken juices is delicious.

Serves 2

#Indian Spiced Roast #Pork Belly

I usually just make a simple roast pork belly seasoned with salt and pepper, and then jazz it up like in Crispy Asian Pork Belly Salad or serving with a tasty side like braised Italian.red cabbage.

Last night I decided to try adding some Indian flavours by using a sea salt rub and spicy paste, then roasting over a bed of dried chillies, using a similar technique technique to Indian Hunters Style Roast Lamb, but not needing any extra ghee or oil.

The fat from the roasting pork “fries” the dried chillies and curry leaves underneath releasing a smoking, spicy flavour into the pork. There is hardly any fat or oil left when the cooking process is complete as the chillies absorb all the oil.

The resulting pork was slightly spiced and went deliciously with my Pineapple, coconut and chilli sambal and a crispy, crunchy Shredded Brussel Sprout and Green Bean salad.

Prep time: 2 hours including marination cooking time: 2 hours

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:
600g boneless pork belly with the skin scored (Ask your butcher to do that)

Sea Salt Rub
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Garlic Spice Paste
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil

For Roasting:
15 dried red chillies
2 stalks of curry leaves

Method:

Combine sea salt rub ingredients in a small bowl.

Crush garlic with table salt to a paste in a mortar and pestle.

Combine garlic spice paste ingredients in a seperate small bowl

Place pork skin side down on a board.

Pierce meat side of pork with a knife to make lots of little “holes”.

Rub garlic spice paste thoroughly into the meat side of the pork.

Turn pork over.

Pat top of pork (skin side) as dry as you can get, and then rub half of the sea salt mixture into the skin and scored surfaces.

Place pork in fridge uncovered for 1-2 hours or overnight to dry out.

Heat oven to 220 degrees celcius on fan force.

Line a roasting tray that the pork can fit snugly into with foil, then baking paper.

Break dried chillies in half and lay with the curry leaves on the tray in area that pork will be placed on.

Remove pork from fridge, pat top dry again and rub rest of sea salt mixture into the skin side. place pork directly on the bed of dried chillies and curry leaves.

Place in oven to roast for 30 minutes at 220 degrees then reduce heat to 170 degrees for another 1 hour and 20 minutes. Pork should be just cooked by now with juices running clear.

Turn on grill or turn up oven to highest heat to finish off the crackling, watching carefully so the skin puffs up more but doesn’t burn

Remove pork from roasting pan, brushing off all the chillies and curry leaves from the underside, then allow to rest for 10 minutes or so, before sticking into thinking pieces to serve.

Serve with sides such as Pineapple, coconut and chilli sambal or Roasted Cauliflower, Orange and Baby Spinach Salad

Pineapple, coconut and chilli sambal

This is such a delicious accompaniment to roast meats. The combination of sweet pineapple, green chilli, mustard seeds and desiccated coconut is brilliant.

We had it with roast pork belly with crackling tonight and it was a great substitute for the usual apple sauce or red braised cabbage.

Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:1 small can of pineapple pieces

1/2 onion finely chopped

2 green chillies sliced lengthwise

5-6 curry leaves (optional)

1 teaspoon crushed fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon of cummin seeds

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons desiccated coconut

1/2 cup of water

Method:

Heat oil in pan over medium heat, add cummin seeds and mustard seeds and cook until just fragrant, watch not to burn seeds, then add onions and chillies and cook until onion is translucent.

Add crushed ginger, pinch of salt, sugar and pineapple and heat, then add water and desiccated coconut, cooking until water reduces.

Take off heat and allow to cool to room temperature before serving as an accompaniment…ideal with roast or cold meats.

Luke Nguyen inspired Split King Prawns

A few years ago I was gifted Luke Nguyen’s France cookbook which has some great cross-cultural French and Vietnamese recipes in it.

My version of this recipe is easy and great for entertaining if you do the prep beforehand as it just requires quick shallow frying at the end,

Splitting and flattening the king prawns before marinating them allows the flavours of the marinade to be absorbed by the prawns.

The addition of fish sauce to the marinade brings out the “prawnness” in the prawns when they are cooked, and using butter as well as oil to fry them in makes them super tasty.

In my simpler version, I don’t have some of the “fancier” ingredients such as kaffir lime leaves and perilla leaves which are a bit harder to get hold of. I substitute parsley or coriander to garnish, and add lime juice at the end. I also don’t bother to make the suggested vietnamese dipping sauce which is made from more fish sauce and lime juice as the juices from the pan are great with the extra lime juice added at the end.

Hope you like it!

Prep time including marination: 50-60 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:

1 kg green/raw king prawns
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 lemongrass white part only finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2-3 red chillies chopped
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Parsley or coriander to garnish

Method:

1. Remove heads and veins from prawns but leave shells on. Split prawns down their backs using a sharp knife but make sure you don’t cut all the way through. You want to butterfly them so they can be flattened in their shells.

2. Put prawns flat with shell side up in a dish or tray and place baking paper over them and weigh them down to flatten. Leave in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile make the marinade by crushing the lemongrass, garlic and chilli to a paste in a mortar and pestle or blender.

4. Combine paste with fish sauce and then coat both sides of the prawns in the mixture and leave to marinate for 20-30 minutes. (The prawns might close up a bit again when you do this.)

5. Heat oil and butter in a non-stick pan and add prawns cut side down first to cook over high heat, for 1-2 minutes pressing them down with a spoon or spatula to flatten them. Turn over and “scorch” the shells.

6. Squeeze over lime juice, transfer to serving dish with pan juices, sprinkle with garnish and serve with a salad and bread to mop up the delicious juices.

Chicken and Zuchinni #Curry

Last night I chopped up 2 zuchinnis and put them into the chicken curry towards the end of the cooking process.

The resulting flavours were delicious as the zuchinni absorbed the delicious chicken stock flavours from the curry.

Just add the zuchinni for the last 5 minutes of cooking in this classic and chicken curry recipe ….

https://freespiritfood.net/2017/09/17/south-african-indian-boneless-chicken-curry/

South African Indian Chicken and Zuchinni Curry

Thai style Sweet potato noodles and #beef #stir fry, #sweetpotatonoodles

We are trying to cut down on carbs and have been experimenting with the great range of vegetable products now available in supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths in Australia) to replace noodles and rice such as zucchini spaghetti, cauliflower rice and sweet potato noodles. Now you don’t have to even make them yourself.

This stir fry combining the sweetness of the noodles with thinly sliced beef and Thai flavours of fish sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, white pepper and chilli with capsicum, carrots and spinach was delicious. The sweet potato noodles were an excellent replacement for rice noodles.

Ready in under half an hour, it’s a great option for a quick, healthy weekday meal.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 onion, finely sliced
1 small carrot diced
1/2 red capsicum diced
1 packet fresh sweet potato noodles (250g)
2 cups baby spinach leaves
Handful of coriander chopped
400g beef sliced for stir fry
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 teaspoons Thai red chilli paste OR
2-3 cloves garlic and 3 red chillies crushed to a paste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
Coriander leaves and slices of capsicum to garnish

Method:

1. Heat oil in wok over medium heat, add chilli paste and stir fry for 1 minute, add carrots, capsicum and onion and stir fry for 2 minutes until starting to soften.

2. Add beef, oyster sauce, fish sauce, white pepper and sugar and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until beef has all beef seared.

3. Add sweet potato noodles and spinach and gently mix through taking care not to break “noodles” and cook for 2-3 minutes until noodles are just al dente. Add chopped coriander and stir through beef mixture.

4. Squeeze over juice of 1/2 lime, if seasoning is to your taste and adjust if necessary.

4. Garnish with coriander leaves and capsicum slices and serve in bowls.