Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pork Roast with Chimichurri from Argentina

Besides football players, Argentina is famous for its meat dishes.  It is a country of carnivores and they have perfected the cooking of meat.  Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce made from a mixture of herbs, garlic and vinegar.  It can also be used as a marinade and a meat tenderiser.  The recipe for chimichurri sauce is elsewhere on the blog.

1.5kg pork roast
1 cup chimichurri sauce
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder

Put the pork roast in a large bowl.  Take 1/2 cup of the chimichurri sauce and completely coat the pork roast with it, massaging it into the meat.  Cover and leave for a couple of hours or overnight so that it can marinate.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Remove the pork from the marinade and place in a grill pan.  Sprinkle on the different seasonings.  Place under the grill in the oven for approximately an hour, allowing 20 minutes for 500g.  Turn over the roast half way through the cooking time.  When the roast is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve the left over chimichurri sauce on the side or on top of the pork slices.
Cindy Vine is a South African currently living and working in Kyiv in Ukraine. She is the author of Hush Baby, Defective, C U @ 8, Not Telling and The Case of Billy B. All her books are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format. http://cindyvine.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Frijol con Puerco from Mexico

This black bean and pork stew is delicious.  They say that black beans are healthy for you and some even go on to say that it will improve your intelligence.  This recipe uses left over pork roast.  If you don't have a left over roast you can fry or grill pork tenderloin that you cube before adding to the bean stew.  Alternatively you can fry or grill kielbasa or chorizo sausage that you then cut up before adding to the bean stew.  Of course if you want this to be vegetarian you can leave out the meat altogether and just make it a black bean stew.
4 cups cooked black beans or 4 cans black beans
2 cups pulled pork or leftover pork roast
1 can corn kernels
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion finely chopped
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 chili de-seeded and finely chopped
1 chicken stock cube
2 cups water
1 carrot diced
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Put the cooking oil in the pot and saute the onion, carrot, garlic and chili until soft.  Add in the cumin, coriander and chili powder and stir it in, letting it cook for about 1-2 minutes.  Pour in the water and add in the stock cube, bay leaf, oregano and can of chopped tomatoes.  Bring to the boil.  Add the cooked beans and allow to cook on a low heat for 20 minutes.  Add the pulled pork and corn kernels .  Let it simmer for a further 10-15 minutes.  If you want it spicier you can add in more chili.  Serve with rice or cornbread.  Garnish with the chopped cilantro.

Cindy Vine is the author of Hush Baby, Not Telling, Defective and C U @ 8.  All her books are available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback formats.  Cindy is currently working on a recipe book.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Poached Salmon from Alaska

It is said that the best salmon comes from Alaska.  Alaskan salmon has a firmer texture and richer colour than salmon raised on a fish farm.  Something about the still-pristine icy waters of the North Pacific.  An added bonus is that eating salmon is reported to be good for your health.  You don't have to settle for only smoked salmon.  You can grill, bake, poach or fry it.  It is only when I lived in Kyiv that I started buying fresh salmon to cook.  Probably because fresh salmon was more readily available there than my home town of Cape Town.
4 salmon fillets or steaks
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Cajun spice
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 cup vermouth
1 onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Melt the butter in a large frying pan that has a lid.  Add in the Cajun spice, garlic and onion.  Saute for 2 minutes until the onions are soft.  Add in the vermouth and cook for a further 3 minutes, making sure you stir constantly.  Pour in the water.  Place the salmon fillets skin-side down on the pan.  Sprinkle the salmon with the black pepper and the salt.  Put the lid on the frying pan.  Let the salmon simmer for 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.  When you touch it with a fork and it flakes it is done.  Dribble some lemon juice on each piece of salmon and serve with a salad.
Cindy Vine is the author of Hush Baby, Not Telling, Defective and C U @ 8.  All her books are available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback formats.  Cindy is currently working on a recipe book.

Rabbit Liver Pate from France

Rabbit liver pate is rich, smooth and extremely luxurious.  It's not easily available, but if you see it buy it.  It doesn't have the conventional liver taste.  The flavour is quite delicate and much sweeter than chicken, goose or duck liver.  If you can't find rabbit liver then you can substitute it with chicken, duck or goose liver.
250g rabbit liver
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion finely sliced
1 garlic clove finely chopped
3 tablespoons port
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Melt the butter in a pan.  Saute the onion and garlic.  Sprinkle salt on both sides of the liver.  Add the rabbit liver to the pan and let it sear for a minute on each side.  Remove the liver and set aside.  Add in the port and let it simmer for about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Put the liver and pan contents into a small bowl and use a stick blender to turn it into a smooth paste.  If you are wanting a coarser pate then reduce the amount of pulses of the blender.  Alternatively you can chop it all finely by hand.  Add the pepper and mix it all together.  Serve on toast or with crackers.  Serves 4-6 people.
Cindy Vine is the author of Hush Baby, Not Telling, Defective and C U @ 8.  All her books are available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback formats.  Cindy is currently working on a recipe book.

Sopa de Ajo from Cuba

This soup is strong-tasting and quite rich but extremely delicious.  However it is not recommended if you are planning a romantic evening, unless your partner consumes the same amount of soup as you.  It is definitely something you can knock up quite quickly after a hectic day at work.  This is the Cuban version of a peasant-style Spanish soup.  The Cubans reckon this soup cures all head colds.
8 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 onion finely sliced
½ cup butter
2 stock cubes (Chicken or vegetable)
5 cups water
1 cup cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
4-6 slices bread
4-6 eggs
Melt the butter in a pot and sauté the garlic and onion until soft but not brown.  Remove from the pot and set it aside for the time being.  Fry the bread slices in the pot.  Put them aside.  Pour the water into the pot.  Add the stock cubes, salt, pepper and paprika.  Bring to the boil.  Add in the garlic and onion you set aside earlier.  Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the cream and stir it in and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.  The egg part of this dish can be done in different ways or omitted if you don’t eat eggs.  You can poach the eggs in the simmering soup for 2-3 minutes or you can opt for the more traditional Cuban method.  The traditional method is to put a slice of fried bread on the bottom of each individual soup bowl and break a raw egg over the bread (or croutons if you prefer.)  Pour the hot soup over the raw egg and let it stand covered for about 3 minutes until the egg is cooked.
If you are poaching the eggs in the big pot, then put your bread slices or croutons on the bottom of the soup bowl, add the soup and carefully place a poached egg on the top.
Cindy Vine is the author of Hush Baby, Not Telling, Defective and C U @ 8.  All her books are available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback formats.  Cindy is currently working on a recipe book.

Country Vegetable Soup from England

When I go into a fruit and veg market I always get completely carried away and buy far too much for my family’s consumption.  There is just something about seeing so many colours and varieties that I can’t resist and I find myself going somewhat overboard.  By the end of the week I have to use up the fresh produce to avoid wasting money and throwing it away.  A wholesome Country Vegetable Soup is the answer.  You can put any vegetable in it.  Literally.  And it will taste good.  This is perfect for cooking in a slow cooker.  Put it in the morning before you leave for work and it will be ready for dinner.
1 onion finely chopped
½ cup chopped celery
1 capsicum finely chopped
1 cup chopped spinach or kale
2 large potatoes peeled and diced
1 large sweet potato peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
4 cups water
2 teaspoons Soy sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon cumin
Melt the butter in a pot or slow cooker.  Add the garlic, onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes and sauté until the onions are soft.  Add the celery, spinach and capsicum and mix together.  Pour in the water, add the stock cube and all the seasonings.  Put the lid on and you can let it simmer in the slow cooker for 7-9 hours.  However if you are cooking this on the oven top, let it simmer for 2-3 hours.  If you are wanting a smooth soup, then you can give it a few pulses with your stick blender.  Serve with warm bread rolls.
Cindy Vine is the author of Hush Baby, Not Telling, Defective and C U @ 8.  All her books are available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback formats.  Cindy is currently working on a recipe book.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jerk Pork from Jamaica

Jerk Pork is quite spicy and they say that slaves used to marinate their meat in this spicy mixture because they didn't have fridges and the marinade would disguise the flavour of meat that was starting to go off.  However, Ghanaians make something similar so maybe this recipe evolved from something that was brought across from West Africa.  Whatever the exact origin, this spicy dish is a Jamaican favourite.
1 kg pork tenderloin cut into thick steaks
3 large red chilies seeded and chopped
2 onions roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rum
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Put all the ingredients except the pork steaks into a food processor.  Give it quite a few pulses until you have a thick sauce.  This will be your marinade.  In a large bowl, pour the sauce from the food processor over the pork steaks, making sure that the steaks are liberally covered in the marinade.  Put it aside for 2-3 hours.  Overnight is even better.  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius while you get the steaks ready in a grill pan.  When the oven is hot, cook the steaks for 8 minutes, turn them over and cook the other side for 8 minutes.  Serve with either rice, sweet potatoes or a salad.  Instead of cooking in the oven, this can also be cooked in a BBQ over hot coals.
Cindy Vine is a South African currently living and working in Kyiv in Ukraine. She is the author of Hush Baby, Defective, C U@ 8, Not Telling and The Case of Billy B. All her books are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format. http://cindyvine.com