Roast Pork

I’m so excited to share this with you. I made roast pork with CRACKLING! I know!! Proper crispy crackling.  I have always thought that roast pork with crackling is difficult to do, but having do some research, I realised it’s not too difficult but just time consuming.

Having spotted some good looking pork loin all rolled up, I decided to give it a go in making pork roast myself. Scoring the skin, pouring some hot water over it, patting it REAL dry and then sprinkling it with generous amount of sea salt, olive oil and pepper.. I stuck it into the oven for a good 30 minutes on high 230C. Then I slow cooked it for another 1.5 hours before blasting it in the hot oven for another 45 minutes for a real crisp skin.

The result was so worth it. The pork was tender, the skin was crispy. I think we found our favourite roast dinner now!

Pork Roast
1.8 kg of pork loin roast
heaps of olive oil
sea salt
pepper

Preheat Oven 230 C.
Score the skin. Pour hot water over it. Pat very dry with paper towels. Season with generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper on the skin and meat. Roll and tie it up with kitchen string.

Stick in a hot oven for 30 minutes. Remove and season with a little more olive oil. Reduce heat to 170C for around 1 hr to 1 hr 30 minutes.

For the last 30mins -45 minutes, increase heat til 230 C. See the skin crack!! Enjoy with vegetables.

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Lamb Stroganoff

I know that stroganoff is often associated with beef. I did have all the best intentions to pick up some beef for dinner one night, but couldn’t resist the lamb mince when I saw it on sale.

The fun bit about winter is making hearty stews and casserole dishes. A good old stroganoff certainly fits the bill. It didn’t take me long to make this version at all, and it did taste better the next day.

Grocery shopping is a funny thing. Often I have a list of things to purchase in preparation for meals next week. I do however, change my mind quite rapidly when I spot good deals or thought of something else when I am walking through the aisle.

Do you have this experience too?

Nevertheless, I’m glad I attempted to use lamb instead of beef. Certainly tasty!!

Lamb Stroganoff 
700 grams of lamb mince
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 red onion chopped
50 ml of sour cream
2 tsp of paprika
dash of brandy
2 cups of mushrooms chopped

Saute onion and garlic. Brown lamb mince and add the brandy. Simmer with the mushrooms for around 10 minutes. Add sour cream and taste. Season. Serve with heaps of vegetables!

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Green Tea (Matcha) Ice Cream

Finding a good scoop of green tea ice cream in Perth is pretty difficult. I think I did have one before from a Japanese shop but it tasted sweeter than what I would like. Having spotted this version from Nami, I could not resist trying it.

The result is delicious! There is a good amount of green tea powder and more importantly, the right creaminess to it. It’s so good that I couldn’t stop licking my spoon as I scoop it into the container. The best thing is that it is really easy to make- and with no eggs too!!

As I write this, I noticed that Sonia from Nasi Lemak made hers too and it looks just as fantastic!

Green Tea (Matcha) Ice Cream Adapted from Nami’s Just one Cookbook
1 cup of cream
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of sugar
3 tablespoon of green tea powder
pinch of salt

Freeze ice cream bowl.

In a saucepan, bring milk, cream, sugar, salt and green tea powder to a simmer. Keep whisking till it starts to have bubbles. Remove from heat. Cool completely. Fridge it till cold.

Churn in ice cream maker for 25-30 mins till creamy. Spoon in container and freeze till firm!

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Miso Mushroom Soup

Sometimes, I wonder where did I get my ideas from. This came up randomly one evening when I was staring our semi empty fridge, planning for our meals the next week. I still have my little box of miso paste, and love to use it in soups- but not the usual japanese miso soup. Then I decided that I miss my mushroom soups (see how my thoughts jump?) and concluded that I can add miso paste to mushroom , blitz it up and make it into Miso Mushroom soup!

Yup. Pretty random.

Randomness aside, I was pleasantly surprised by how it turned out. Yes, I know! I surprised myself. Ha. I do love the heartiness of the soup and how miso gives it a depth in flavour. I add the paste at the last bit, so not to kill of the lightness of miso.

The only thing though, is that it’s really difficult to photograph black soups. My photography skills needed work anyway but the lighting in my new kitchen is still a little foreign to me. ahhh. I am sure I will figure out a way to have additional white light soon.

Have you ever come up with meals using random ingredients?

Miso Mushroom Soup (serves 8)
800 grams of mushrooms
1 bunch of celery chopped
1 litre of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 red onion chopped

700 grams pork mince
2 tsp of sesame oil
4 tablespoon of soy sauce

Saute onion and garlic. Then add in mushrooms and celery. Add stock and cook till soft. Cool, then blitz vegetables in blender. Return to stove. Shape pork mince into balls and cook them in the soup. lastly, add miso paste to taste. Season with pepper. Serve!

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Thai Style “Pad Thai” Omelette

Eggs- my favourite breakfast or snack. On weekdays, I usually have some yogurt and berries, or maybe soft boil eggs with salmon. On most days, a good breakfast will last me till lunch time.

Growing up, my mother would purchase my favourite breads to entice me to eat something before school starts. I went through a phase as well in baking our own bread. The smell of fresh bread in the morning is just amazing.

While I still do indulge in bread and muesli occasionally, I find that starting the day with protein and some fat seems to sit better with me. I’m not sure if it is my digestive system or just how my body seem to function. Certainly hubby is noticing a difference as well and for the time being, we are sticking to this routine.

Breakfast is still one of my favourite meals of the day. While I wouldn’t say I am a natural morning person, having a good big hot breakfast just seem to make it a bit better isn’t it? Especially a hot breakie on a cold morning.

On weekends, I like to make omelettes or scrambled eggs. In this version, I sautéed some prawns, chill and fish sauce. Somehow, it reminded me of the flavours of pad thai without the noodles. Come to think of it, this can also easily be a side dish for dinner or even stand alone for lunch.

Thai Style “Pad Thai” Omelette (serve 2)
8 prawns
4 eggs
few tablespoon of almond milk or milk of your choice
1 tsp of fish sauce
dash of chinese wine
1 tsp of garlic
1 cup of mushrooms
handful of basil leaves

Saute garlic and cook prawns and mushrooms till done.  Add fish sauce, chinese wine and pepper.
Beat eggs with milk. Pour into pan and let it set. Tear up some basil leaves while it is setting. Serve!

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Chocolate Bliss Balls

Yummy chocolate that is good for you. Well, chocolate is good for you too anyway isn’t it? 😉 I’m totally in love with these little snacks. Health food shops and this, this and this totally inspire me to make some.

It’s packed with amino acids, and healthy fats. Cacao is great for increasing blood flow and anti-inflammatory. Seriously, what not to love!

In the process, I discovered how easy it is to make our own nut butter. Maybe it is a good incidental accident. I blitzed almonds for around 5-10 minutes and slowly and surely, it released its oil and become this lovely butter. I experimented a little and the below version is made up of cashew, almonds and brazil nuts. I can’t wait to try it with hazelnuts and cocoa to make a version of Nutella perhaps or maybe with walnuts!

So I made two versions so far. I have to confess that the first time I made it, I used a canned nut butter jar. The second time, I blitz up different nuts and it tasted even more amazing. And I was very surprised  that I actually liked the version with coconut. Seriously, what is wrong with me!! this coconut thing is growing on me.

Best of all, it’s low in sugar. Hey, one more in my mouth won’t hurt. 🙂

Chocolate Bliss Balls
1/2 cup of brazil nuts
1 to 1.5 cup of almonds
1/2 cup of cashew
1 tsp of coconut butter
1 scoop of your favourite protein Vanilla Powder.
2 tsp of cinnamon

2 tablespoon of Cacao powder/or dutch cocoa powder if you like
2 tsp of honey or 2 tsp of organic coconut sugar

Blitz all the nuts in the processor till it becomes a paste. If it gets too wet, then add some almond meal. Add the cacao powder, protein powder, cinnamon and some honey. Blitz together till it becomes a soft dough. Roll teaspoons into a ball and roll into some cacao or coconut or even sesame seeds! Chill to firm.

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Curried Chicken Sausages

 There are times when I wonder, time just seem to past so quickly. When one is so busy, everything seems to go in a flash.

Recovering from a cold, I had a few days off work. I spent most of the time resting, enjoying our new home and appreciating the warm of my covers and heat packs. I managed to complete all my ironing (yay!) and did some re organisation. I didn’t go to the gym, but chose to take it easy for 2 days.

There is something about a cold and curry that goes together. Must be the heat and spiciness that helps with a snuffy nose. I managed to find a curry paste without any added sugar which is a big bonus. If I can, I would attempt to make my curry pastes, but being sick means I have less patience to be blending anything!

I found some free range chicken sausages at our local supermarket. Free range chicken sausages are often in my freezer as it is quick and easy. I diced it, placed in a pot, add curry paste, some coconut milk and da-tuh. Comfort meal done. Easy no?



Curried Chicken Sausages (Serves 4-5)
1 packet of free range chicken sausages chopped
2 tablespoon of curry paste of your choice.
200 ml of coconut milk
1 red onion
1 small Lebanese cucumber
1 small capsicum
1 small carrot chopped

Saute onion and brown sausages.  Add curry paste and cook till sausages are done. Add veges and if you like coconut milk or water. Serve hot with vegetables.

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Rosewater and Pistachio Ice Cream

 There is something about ice-cream that makes people happy. Maybe it’s the sweetness. Or perhaps it is the cold creamy texture that dances on your tongue while we lick it. Either way, most of the time, kids and adults love indulging in this cold dessert.

This is the first time I used whipped cream to make ice cream at home. It is a tad too milky and creamy for my liking but I love the rosewater. If you were to ask me what is my favourite smell in sweets, I usually go for something with a rose smell for it.  Some days, you can find me enjoying a pot of rose tea in the morning.

Surprisingly, rose is not my favourite flower!

It sounds and looks Persian. That’s because I took inspiration from Javane’s Kitchen. What a lovely blog I have found. The wonders of pin interest.

I halved the amount and reduced the sugar. I did however, double the amount of rose water. I was surprised that it wasn’t overpowering at all!

Rosewater and Pistachio Ice Cream 
200 ml of milk
200 ml of whipping cream
40 grams of castor sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup of rose water
1/4 cup of pistachio nuts

Day before- freeze ice cream bowl (it’s permanent in my freezer now!)

In a jug, mix egg yolks, sugar and rosewater together.

Heat milk in small pot till it nearly boils. Slowly pour egg yolk mixture into the pot. Whisk it slowly till it combines. It is done when it coats the back of the spoon, or if you draw a line on the back of the spoon, the line stays. Do not boil it. Stare at the custard if u need to. Remove and cool.

Mean while, whip the cream.

Fold cream into the cool mixture. Churn in ice cream maker for 30 minutes. Add nuts in the last few minutes. Spoon in container and freeze it. Serve with more nuts if you like.

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Chicken Pot Pie with Almond and Coconut Crust

Oh my goodness. I discovered coconut oil.

Previously, I assumed that coconut oil is over rated. You know, like a media hype about “how nutritious it is”, “how good is it for you”. What got me though, was how good it smelt and taste. As you know, I was never quite a coconut person. Being a recent convert (thanks to my hubby, I just need to do the same to him for eggplants), this was a surprise to me.

I looked at my jar and wondered what should I do with it. I started with sautéing some vegetables and realised quite quickly that it being such a flavoursome oil that it hardly needs any seasoning at all. Further, a teaspoon goes a long way.

I spotted this recipe from Health-Bent and adapted it. What caught my attention is a home made crust. The author used butter, but I used coconut oil instead. The result? Sensational. We loved how good it smelt from the oven. The combination of almond and coconut is so tasty. The only catch is that it is not a flaky crust of course, more like a dough/soft crust.

Chicken Pot Pie with Almond and Coconut Crust (serves 8-10)
4 chicken breasts diced
1 red onion chopped
1/2 bunch of celery chopped
2 cups of mushrooms chopped
1/2 cup of chicken stock
seasoning
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

Crust
1.5 cups of almond meal
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1 tsp of baking powder
pinch of salt
2 egg whites
2 eggs

Preheat Oven 200C.

Saute onions in a pot and brown chicken. Add all other vegetables and stock, simmer. Season with worcestershire sauce and salt/pepper. Taste. Spoon into baking dish.

Meanwhile, combine crust ingredients in a bowl. Using a fork, whisk to combine till it comes together. Spoon onto the filling.

Bake for 10 minutes or so, then change oven to Grill setting. Brown for another 5-10 minutes. Serve with vegetables.

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