Wednesday 20 June 2012

Satay Noodles With Grilled Pork Loin

I love satay noodles; I can eat them cold or hot, for lunch or for dinner! It’s really a versatile menu item, and can be as easy or as interestingly difficult as you’d like it. I tend to keep it simple, but sometimes I jazz it up. This recipe I jazzed it up a bit but you can feel free to add in or omit any items depending on what you have and how you like it. Serves 4-6 (Leftovers are awesome!)

For the Sauce:
1 tbsp. sesame oil (toasted kind not the clear kind)
1-2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. red chili flakes
1 tsp. dried ginger
1 tbsp. soy sauce (light)
2 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter (Use creamy if that’s what you have)
1 juice of a lime

For the dish:

400-500g (~1lb) pork loin
Pak choi (can substitute snow peas or any green crunchy veg)
Carrots (sliced)
Onion (sliced)
Red/green/yellow peppers (sliced)
250g fettuccine noodles

To Start:
Make the sauce by incorporating all the ingredients until smooth, if too thick add a little bit of water and thin it out. Set Aside.
Slice all vegetables if you need to at this point.

For the Pasta:
Heat a large pan of water and cook pasta as directed.

For the pork:
Salt and pepper.
Heat a grill pan with oil until near smoking.
Set the pork on it and let sit grilling for at least 6-8 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile the veg:
If your grill pan is big enough add the sliced pak choi, carrots, peppers and onion.
If it’s not add in another pan and cook separately.

To Finish:
Drain the pasta, immediately mix with the sauce and toss completely.
Add in the cooked vegetables.
When the pork loin is done, let rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice on the diagonal and serve accordingly. Enjoy!

Monday 18 June 2012

Fabulous-Fresh-Fennel Salad

Normally I roast fennel with things like chicken, but this time I had a bulb and I thought I would try something fresh for summer. It turned out simply delicious even though I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the fennel-y, anise-y taste of fennel coming through. Regardless of my pre-conceived notions of what it might be, it was amazing! My next plan of attack was to serve it to my husband and get him to enjoy fennel again as I had burned him out on the roasted fennel thing, I was hoping to spark his interest in the salad and it worked! It will be served often on our table.

1 large fennel bulb (or two small ones)
1-2 cups salad leaves for serving
½ red onion
6 radishes
Handful mint, basil, oregano (all fresh)
1 rib celery
1 tbsp. honey
Juice of one lemon
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh Parmesan cheese
2 fresh vine tomatoes
½ avocado

To Start:
Slice thinly with a sharp knife the top ends of the bulb of fennel off, and the root end on the other side.
Continue to slice as thin as possible, you can use a mandolin or a very sharp knife, add to bowl.
Slice thinly the red onion, radishes and celery.
Chop up all the herbs together to a fine dice and add to the bowl.

Mix up the dressing by combining honey and lemon in the bowl until combined.
Slowly add the oil and mix into a vinaigrette.
Salt and pepper.
Pour over fennel salad in the bowl and mix to combine.

To Finish:
On a plate lay a bed of salad leaves (arugula, baby salad leaves..etc.)
Mix up the fennel salad more and lay a large mound on top of the salad leaves.
Top with shaved parmesan cheese and pepper.
Garnish with tomatoes and avocado.

Monday 11 June 2012

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

First of all, sorry for my absence,although I do have a myriad of recipes to catch up on, I will be posting more often now. For now this dish is for special occasions. I’ve been wanting to do something with lobster for a really long time, and this dish always appealed to me even though I’m not a big pasta person. I wanted to give it a go when I found out where I could get lobster where I didn’t have to kill it myself! This recipe is super simple, and you can omit the lobster if you want or replace it with shrimp or scallops, whatever you like. Serves 4 with leftovers!

What you’ll need:
1 large lobster (1-2kg I had my fish monger cut it up into pieces so it was easy to dismantle when cooked)
250-300g pasta – macaroni, elbow, spiral, something firm
2 c shredded gruyere cheese
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
¼ flour
4 tbsp. butter divided
2-3 cups milk
½ small onion
Freshly ground nutmeg
2 garlic cloves minced
Salt and pepper
½ bread crumbs

To Start:
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the lobster for 12-13 minutes per 1.5kg.
Drain, cool and peel out the meat dice in large chunks. Set aside.
(If using any other shellfish, I'd suggest not cooking it prior to cooking it in the casserole)

Boil another large pot of water, cook pasta according to package, drain and set aside.

For the sauce:
Dice the onions very small, crush the garlic as well.
Have cheese prepared and ready.
In a large sauce pan, melt 3 tbsp. butter. When melted add onions and garlic until fragrant.
Add flour and stir around until all the butter is absorbed.
Cook out the flour taste for about two minutes constantly stirring.
Slowly add one cup of milk at a time until thick and creamy. (Note: You can always add more milk if too thick)
Take off heat when it coats the back of a spoon. Add the cheese and nutmeg.
Taste then add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the pasta and the lobster mix well and put in a baking dish.

To finish:
Melt the remaining 1 tbsp. butter, and add the breadcrumbs to it.
Sprinkle on top of the casserole.
Bake at 180C or 350F for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown!!