Category Archives: Pork and Stuff

Smoked Pork Schnitzel

Hello hello hello hello

I love smoked food.  Smoked salmon is delicious, my favourite spice is smoked paprika, smoked cheese makes me happy, lapsang souchong (which is smoked tea) tastes fabulously decadent (even after my friend Christina described it as tasting like ham…), I was thrilled when I discovered smoked almonds at the supermarket and bacon is utterly pointless unless it’s smoked.  Imagine my excitement when I discovered that Morrisons has just started selling cured, smoked pork tenderloin!  We spied it last week, but it was somewhat too expensive.  It was 1/3 off this week, so we snapped it up.  You can, of course, use normal unsmoked pork tenderloin instead if you prefer.

A Man has made escalopes before and they were delicious, but a little on the dark side.  This time he used one of our new kitchen toys – a cast iron frying pan that we didn’t need but only cost £5 so we had no choice but to buy it.  The advantage of using cast iron for this sort of meal is that it heats up well, retains the heat and cooks evenly.  It worked really really well!  The schnitzel were perfectly golden, and tender and juicy on the inside.

We’ve been eating quite a lot of salad so far this month, after the disgraceful excesses of Christmas.  I wanted salad with this meal (particularly as the escalopes are fried in butter!) but also wanted something a bit more interesting.  This salad was delicious slightly warm, and we made a huge bowl full so there’s leftovers for me to take to work (yay!).  The goat’s cheese was one of a selection of mini truckles that we bought just after Christmas for 20p each, which were reduced simply because they were mini truckles of cheese which apparently supermarkets only sell at Christmas.  It added just enough of the cheesy taste without being overpowering.  Yum!

The ingredients list is a bit ridiculous, but you can chop and change it as you please.  And in case you’re curious, smoked cured pork tenderloin is fairly salty, and brilliant cooked like this.

Smoked Pork Schnitzel

1 smoked pork tenderloin (we cut ours in half and put half in the freezer as it was too big for two!)
Flour
Beaten egg
Breadcrumbs (I usually have some in the freezer, but make fresh if you don’t have any)
1 lemon
Parsley
Butter
1 red, 1 green and 1 orange pepper
3 small, fresh beetroots (with tops if possible)
1/2 fennel
1/2 butternut squash
3 carrots
Fennel seeds
Dried thyme
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Rocket
Romaine lettuce
1 beef tomato
1 small goats cheese log
New potatoes
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
Mayonnaise

A Man fries the schnitzel in our fabulous new pan!

A Man fries the schnitzel in our fabulous new pan!

  1. Preheat the oven to around 200OC/400OF/Gas mark 6.  Slice the tenderloin into 3 slices per person.  Sandwich each slice between two sheets of cling film or baking parchment and bash with a meat tenderiser until around 5mm thick.  Mix the chopped parsley and zest of the lemon with the breadcrumbs.  Dredge the pork first in flour, then beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs and set aside.
  2. Half the peppers and remove the seeds.  Chop the tops off of the beetroots and half.  If they are young enough, you can eat the skin.  Chop the stalks off of the fennel and discard, but keep any fronds.  Cut the 1/2 fennel in half again, keeping the core to hold the layers together.  Slice the butternut squash and carrots into fingers, leaving the skin on.  Place all of the veg on a baking tray and season well with fennel seeds, thyme, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil (this won’t be wasted – it’ll be used to dress the salad).  Place in the preheated oven for around 1/2 hour, or until all of the veg (particularly the beetroot) is completely roasted.

    A preview of what's to come...

    A preview of what’s to come, together with my pretty olive wood salad spoons…

  3. Whilst the veg is cooking, very finely chop the beetroot tops and place in a large salad bowl.  Finely chop the fennel fronds and add to the beetroot.  Chop the tomato and romaine, and add these and the rocket to the bowl.  Slice the cheese and add this.  Set aside for the time being.
  4. Boil the new potatoes.  Mix the finely chopped onion with the mustard, a small squeeze of lemon juice and a spoonful of mayonnaise.  Once the potatoes are fully cooked, cool slightly and mix with the mayo mix.  Add more mayonnaise if you like, but you don’t want it to be swimming in the stuff.
  5. Once the veg has fully cooked, remove from the oven.  Place the frying pan on a medium-high heat and melt the butter.  Turn the oven off, but place a plate in there to warm up.  Chop the veg into bite sized pieces, mix the oil and herbs on the tray with the remainder of the squeezed lemon juice.  Add the veg to the salad bowl, stir the oil and lemon juice well and pour over the salad.  Toss the salad well.

    What a tosser...

    What a tosser… I do love my salad to have a lot of vibrant colours and diverse flavours.

  6. Once the butter is bubbling, fry the schnitzel a couple at a time until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, turning occasionally.  Don’t crowd the pan or they won’t cook properly.  Once each batch is cooked, place them on the warm plate in the oven.

    Action shot!  I forgot to take any photos until the meal was nearly finished, so you're getting a lot of late ones.

    Action shot! I forgot to take any photos until the meal was nearly finished, so you’re getting a lot of late ones.

  7. Plate up once the schnitzel is fully cooked and enjoy with a nice cold G&T!
A Man doesn't like mayonnaise, so he just had plan new potatoes but I thought the potato salad went really well with this gorgeous salad and the beautiful pork.

A Man doesn’t like mayonnaise, so he just had plain new potatoes but I thought the potato salad went really well with this gorgeous salad and the beautiful pork.

Crumbed Garlic Ribs

I had my hen do this weekend (yay!) and had an amazing time.  I had (rather fortunately) booked today off of work too so that I could recover which was just as well as there was no way I would have been productive in the office, but I managed to get a fair bit done at home.

Over the weekend A Man went shopping and suggested that we should have ribs tonight as well as suggesting that lots of garlic may well be in order.  I also had some breadcrumbs in the freezer and decided to improvise a new way of cooking ribs.  It worked incredibly well – they were flavoursome and juicy and tender and I will definitely be doing this again!  The crumbs protected the top from drying out and the apple and water steamed them from the bottom so that the meat just fell off of the bones and the slow cooking just emphasised that.  All in all it was a wonderfully successful experiment!

Much love

Gemma xx

Crumbed Garlic Ribs

1 Rack of Pork Ribs between 2 people
2 apples
2 onions
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
At least 6 cloves garlic, more if you really like garlic!
Salt
Flour
1 egg, beaten
1 handful breadcrumbs
Dried thyme, dried oregano and fresh parsley, chopped finely
New potatoes
Olive oil
Spices of your choice for the potatoes (I used a Peri Peri mix)

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  1. Slice the apples, leaving the skin on and core in – you won’t notice them so there’s no need to go to the effort of removing them.  Slice the onions and place with the apples in a wide, shallow casserole.  Preferably a pretty teal-coloured one 🙂
  2. Peel the garlic and place in a pestle (or possibly a mortar…) with some salt and grind to a sloppy paste.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs with the herbs.  Dredge the ribs in flour and then beaten egg and place on top of the apple and onion, with the meaty side up.  Spread the garlic paste over the top of the ribs and cover with a layer of breadcrumbs.
  4. Very carefully pour the vinegar around the edge of the dish.  Make sure it does not touch the ribs.  Pour some water around the edge too, to almost cover the apple and onion.  Make sure this does not touch the ribs either.
  5. Cover the casserole with a lid and put into the oven at around 120°C.  Cook for about an hour and remove the lid.  Put the casserole back in the oven uncovered.  Top up the water as necessary.
  6. Slice the potatoes into wedges and put into a bowl with some olive oil and the spices of your choice.  Add around the edge of the ribs and place back in the oven.  Cook for around another hour.
  7. Turn the heat up to around 160°C.  Cook for another half an hour to crisp up the breadcrumbs.
  8. Separate the ribs and plate up with the potatoes.  Mix the apple and onions together into a sauce.  Serve with some peas.

Chop chop

Evening

I decided this evening it was about time to blog some dinner, and what better to blog than some pork n stuff?  Usually I’d make this with cider, but we don’t have any open at the moment, so instead I’ve added some glugs of Apple and Fig juice.  Obviously standard apple juice or cider would do fine.

I love having excuses to use my beautiful teal casserole, but the problem with slow cooked chops is that they can end up a little on the flabby side.  The chops in question were from A Man’s dad’s pigs and as such have a really thick layer of fat on them.  To remedy the flabbiness, I snipped the rind and fried it off before cooking the meat – I think it worked OK, although you’re never going to get true crispiness when cooking this way.

Much love

Gemma xx

Pork chops in garlic and apple jus

1 pork chop per person

Butter and olive oil

1 red and 1 white onion

About half a dozen cloves of garlic (I used half ordinary and half smoked garlic)

2 eating apples

2 sticks celery

3 mushrooms

Herbs of your choice

Apple juice or cider

  1. Snip the fat on the pork chops every inch or so.  Don’t trim down to the meat!
  2. Heat the butter and oil in the pan.  Chop your onions and add them to the oil, frying gently.  Peel the garlic cloves and add them whole to the pan.
  3. Fry the rind of the chops in the pan but don’t cook the meat.  I achieved this by closing my tongs around the chops and locking them closed, so they stood up by themselves.
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    Continue to stir the onions and garlic.  When the chops have cooked for a few minutes and the rind has started to crisp up, remove them from the pan.
  4. Core the apple and chop it into chunky slices.  Finely slice the celery and mushrooms and add everything to the pan with some herbs.  Stir occasionally.
  5. After a few minutes, add a little juice or cider and allow it to reduce slightly.  At this stage I also added some of my apple and thyme jelly.
  6. Nestle the chops amongst the onions and apple and add a lid to the pan.  Place in a low oven for around 40 minutes.
  7. Check the sauce before serving and reduce on the hob slightly if necessary.  Serve with mashed potato.
Seriously, this pork was so tender it basically required no chewing.

Seriously, this pork was so tender it basically required no chewing.

Chorizo Stew

Oh hi there!

Happy new year.  Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.  Ours was fab and I’ve created an experimental dish to use my favourite present – a beautiful teal coloured cast iron casserole dish given to us by my parents.  It’s bloody heavy but that metal helps to distribute the heat evenly across the dish.  The enamelled surface is great because you get a crust of deliciousness which can be easily scraped up into the sauce thanks to how non-stick it is.  The lid condenses all of the steam back into the sauce, and it’s virtually silent when it’s boiling.  And thanks to how pretty it is, you can feel proud to take it to the dinner table. 🙂  In short I adore it!

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A Man’s dad gave us a mandolin which has already been used to make coleslaw and to slice a gammon joint.  I foresee a dauphinoise or gratin in my future…

I also bought A Man a new knife – a rather dangerous looking beast of a cleaver.  We’ve agreed that I’m banned from using it, because given the ease with which it cuts through an entire chicken I’d be quite likely to go straight through my finger.

The sword and shield of the kitchen!  A Man's  chopper and the lid of the casserole.

The sword and shield of the kitchen! A Man’s chopper and the lid of the casserole.

My other kitchen-related present was a trio of teapots.  I’ve got a feeling that I’ve become a bit predictable…

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That’s a glass teapot for fruity teas, a Le Creuset teapot for posh teas and an “It’s always Time for Tea” teapot because, well, it’s true.

The stew I made with some little sausages made with garlic and paprika.  They were from Morrisons and I would thoroughly recommend them – they were yummy!  I was really pleased with this meal and the only thing I would change would be to add some spice (I dropped some of my chilli jelly into the leftovers for next time we eat it).

Much love

Gemma xx

Chorizo Stew

Olive oil
Red onion
Garlic cloves
Chilli (optional)
Fresh tomatoes
Fresh parsley
Green pepper
Cavolo nero
Chorizo sausages
White wine
Brown rice to serve

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  1. Heat a good splash of olive oil in a wide pan.  Dice the onion, crush the garlic and chop the chilli finely if using.  Fry gently in the oil.


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    This photo’s out of sequence because I didn’t go snap-happy until slightly too late. Deal with it!

  2. Dice the pepper and add to the pan.  Finely chop the stalks of the parsley and cavolo nero and stir in.  Chop the tomatoes and leaves of the parsley and cavolo nero to add later.
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  3. Brown the sausages with the onion.  Cook for several minutes.
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  4. Add the cavolo nero leaves and cook for a couple of minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and a small glass of white wine.  Cover the dish and leave to simmer for 30 – 45 minutes.

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    Action shot!

  5. Taste the sauce and season as necessary.  Cook the rice.  Remove the lid and allow the sauce to reduce slightly.  Add the parsley just before serving.

    Open wide!

    Open wide!

Hijacking A Man’s New Griddle

Well hello there.  Long time no post.

I’d like to have a good excuse for having not written up any new recipes, but truth be told I’ve been pretty lazy.  I’ve not felt inspired to cook recently and have been rehashing old recipes which I can assure you wouldn’t have been especially inspiring.

Yesterday was A Man’s first day in his new (permanent!) job and I had intended to cook him something exotic, exciting and celebratory for tea.  That never quite occurred, but what I cooked instead was I think a resounding success.  It was a slightly different take on an old favourite of ours – pork topped with cheese and apple.  The apple came from my parents’ garden (more on that in a later post) and the cheese was a tomato chutney cheddar, which added something a little unusual to the proceedings.

The griddle is A Man’s latest kitchen toy, but as I cook more often than he does I pinched it to use for this recipe.  It was a leaving gift from his former colleagues, and is cast iron and purple and brilliant.  I love the excuse to use it on the hob and under the grill 🙂

Love love

Gemma xx

Griddled cheesy pork chop

1 bulb fennel
Handful of mushrooms
Pork chops or steaks
Cheese
1 apple
Olive oil
Butter
Cider

  1. Warm plates in a fairly low oven.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in the griddle on a medium-high hob.  Slice the fennel into 8(ish) pieces, leaving the core intact to keep the leaves together.  Trim the stems from the mushrooms.
  3. Place the fennel and mushrooms in the griddle and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and turn regularly, until they have started to brown nicely.
  4. Once the veg is cooked through, either push it to the sides (if the griddle is large enough) or transfer to a warm plate.  Place the pork on the griddle to start cooking.
  5. Peel and core the apple and grate with the cheese, mixing together well.  Turn the pork after a couple of minutes and add some butter to the pan.  Top the pork with the cheese mix and pop under the grill to brown.
  6. Transfer the pork to the warm plate and return the griddle to the hob.  Once the juices have started to foam, add a generous slug of cider.  Reduce by around half.
  7. Plate up the pork and veg.  Swirl the griddle to ensure the sauce is well mixed and pour over the top.  Serve immediately.

Yet another example of my poor presentational skills…

Man Cook. Man Hit Food With Hammer.

Hello

I’ve been meaning to write up this post for a few days now, but haven’t quite found the time to sit and type it up.  The other day I went up to Bristol to meet up with a friend, and A Man agreed to cook tea for when I got home.  My parents often buy him kitchen equipment for Christmas and birthdays, and one of these recent gifts was a meat tenderiser.  It was generally agreed that, of all his utensils, a hammer is about as manly as it’s likely to get.

The Ikea Värdefull Meat Hammer. My dad insisted on making some lewd comments about it being dual use, owing to the tapered, yet rounded shape of the handle…

I have banned A Man from calling it a ‘Meat Hammer’, because it reminds me of this scene from the hilarious Dr Horrible’s Singalong Blog

Anywho, I digress.  We were shopping at the weekend and A Man suggested he could make pork escalopes for dinner which was an excellent plan and what he did.  They tasted so good – highly recommended!

Love love

Gemma xx

Lemon and Rosemary Escalopes

Pork tenderloin
Fresh breadcrumbs (use a cheese grater if you don’t have a food processor)
Zest of 2 lemons
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper
Plain flour
100ml milk
2 eggs
100g butter
Olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1 small glass cider

 

  1. Slice the tenderloin into several pieces.  Lay between two sheets of cling film or baking parchment and bash them to around 5mm thick.
  2. Add the lemon zest, rosemary and some salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs.  Whisk the milk and eggs together.
  3. Dredge the escalopes first in flour, then egg and then breadcrumbs.  Repeat the egg and breadcrumbs to ensure they are well coated.
  4. Heat a large frying pan with some olive oil and around half the butter.  Place a plate to warm in the oven.  Once the butter has melted and is foaming, cook the escalopes on both sides until browned, crispy and cooked through.  Drain on kitchen roll and keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. Once all of the pork is cooked, melt the remaining butter and add the lemon juice and cider.  Turn up the heat to reduce the sauce by half.
  6. Serve the escalopes with roasted onions and butternut squash wedges, and steamed sugarsnap peas.
  7. We had leftover pork that we couldn’t finish.  It was absolutely fantastic chilled in a sandwich the next day!

Spicy Sausage Bolognese

Morning

In case you haven’t noticed, we appear to have summer this week!  Because of this I’ve been trying to avoid being in the kitchen for too long; for one thing it gets too warm and for another I’d much rather be outside.  Meals have tended towards the quick and simple and haven’t exactly been blog-worthy.

Last night I had karate and A Man went to kickboxing and I swear I very nearly passed out from the heat.  I really didn’t feel like making tea when I got home, but realised I probably ought to have something before bed or I’d wake up starving in the middle of the night.  I had planned our go-to easy meal of sausage pasta but realised we had very little in the way of salad to go with it, hence the development of this little dish.

It’s not difficult to make, and is pretty light for a pasta dish making it great for the summer.  It’s definitely one I’ll keep on the books.

Love love

Gemma xx

Spicy Sausage Bolognese

Good quality, highly seasoned sausages or chipolatas
Red onion
Garlic cloves
Red chilli
Yellow pepper
Apple
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil
Tinned tomatoes
Spaghetti
Rocket and grated parmesan or grana padano to serve

 

  1. Remove the sausagemeat from the skins and shape into balls.  Set aside.
  2. Heat some olive oil on a medium-high hob.  Chop the onion into small dice and chop the chilli and garlic finely.  Fry in the olive oil for a few minutes, until starting to soften.
  3. Chop the pepper into thin strips and the apple into fairly chunky pieces (you can leave the skin on).  Add to the onion and fry for a couple of more minutes.  Add a fairly large glug of balsamic vinegar to the pan.
  4. Add the sausage balls to the pan and shake around to cook the outside of each meatball.  Add the basil to the pan, followed by the tinned tomatoes.  Turn the heat down slightly.
  5. Cook the spaghetti according to the packet’s instructions.  Season the tomato sauce to taste with a pinch of sugar, salt, pepper, dried herbs and chilli flakes.
  6. Serve as soon as the pasta is cooked.  Top the bolognese with a handful of fresh rocket and lots of grated cheese.