Month: June 2009

Where’s my pork chop?

Eh? Brainchild of Dan of Food Urchin and wild garlic distribution fame, where’s my pork chop is a side project, born out of frustration from reading our collective tweets about our dinners, while poor Dan is stuck at work, working late shifts and watching hungrily from the sidelines. He came up with a solution, and asked if we’d be willing to offer him our leftovers and he’d give us something in return. I thought it sounded great and was only delighted to take part, and that’s how I found myself at Oxford Circus one lunch time, cradling leftover prawn curry. That’s also how I got my free tickets to Taste of London, I’ll blog about that another time. Thanks Dan! Why prawn curry? It’s one of my favourite dishes, homely and comforting, fruity and fragrant. Light and perfect for summer, with a fruity tomato base, and creamy cocnut overlay, it seemed a good fit for a man stranded in an office, watching life go by on the internet as he slogged away, all the while …

Fresh Garlic, Chorizo & Pork Burgers

I love the weekend for many reasons. I don’t have to get up early, I don’t have to work, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I love lie ins, large cafetieres of coffee, indulgent and creative breakfasts and the weekend papers. Within the weekend papers, my first stop is always the magazine, and within this, the food section. I particularly love Yotam Ottolenghi on Saturday in The Guardian and Nigel Slater on Sunday in The Observer. Recently, Nigel Slater wrote about burgers, gorgeous pork and chicken burgers packed full of spices and fragrance and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since. I wanted to make some. And I wanted also to try my hand at making my own. I was determined yesterday, so I meandered home via the deli and the butcher and bought some boisterous cooking chorizo, good quality minced pork and fresh flat leaf parsley. I already had a stockpile of fresh garlic from the Isle of Wight Garlic Farm, and I chose one particularly …

Summer Pasta #1 – Crab Linguine

I adore light summer pastas, so I thought that I would do a little series, starting with one of my favourites, crab linguine. Crab is a wonderful delicate meat. Light and fluffy and tasting of the sea. One of my favourite restaurant dishes ever, was a River Cafe starter of crab on toast with a light salad. It was so simple and gorgeous, with stunning fresh ingredients. Growing up in Ireland, I thought that eating crabs was plain insane. Our elderly neighbour used to catch enormous ones in a bucket at a rocky beach near our house and boiled them up for her alsatian dog. I envy that dog now but at the time I felt it was an act of cruelty. I was also terrified that she would come near me with her bucket of living sideways walking friends. I was afraid of crabs, and really anything living in the sea, I remember standing on an isolated rock shrieking with horror as the crabs ascended. I thought that they would eat me. They didn’t …

Slow Roast Pork Shoulder

Complex, you would think? A gorgeous hunk of meat, that is full of flavour and moisture. A HUGE and gorgeous hunk of meat. Complex? No. All it requires is your time, your patience, your oven, and a good cut of meat supplied by your local friendly butcher. That’s it! Mine had some extra complexities. That probably won’t surprise you. These were not the fault of the pig, or the oven, the oils, or any attendant spices. The issue my friends, was my accent. The most complex thing about it was ordering it. I called my butcher in advance and ordered a shoulder of pork, bone in. He had explained previously that I would need to order it in advance, as they rarely have bone in joints on the premises. I wanted the bone in, as it would help retain the moisture over a slow roasting time and would retain much more flavour. Bone in, my butcher repeated. I had discussed it with them last time I was in the shop, so satisfied that the joint …

And I’m back…

Hola! I went awol there, apologies. An unintended break and longer than expected, life intervened, as it tends to do. I’ve been busy with work, on a particularly demanding project which has just wound up. Work aside, I have been personally busy, lots of events, visitors and unpacking (still ongoing and in the slowest manner possible – I have a mental block with it!). I am in the process of making some changes here too, but it’s taking a little time so watch this space. I failed to write the last two (was it three?) monthly round ups, this was deliberate because it felt like I wasn’t blogging enough throughout the month to do them, but I will resume next month. It seemed senseless to start summarising so few posts. This little blog had it’s second blogiversary, which, in the flurry of activity that was last month, went unnoticed. Happy Birthday Blog! I also celebrated my birthday and my first niece was born the day before. I visited an English vineyard, found a new favourite …