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Saturday, 14 September 2013

Hash Browns with Corn

So rad. I have tried to make hash brown a few times before and consistently sucked at it. I made breakfast for the kids last week and gave it another crack, went super simple and it worked. So much so that the kids demanded I make another batch immediately. Made them again today but added corn. Wicked. I served this with poached eggs and snow peas and used the little bits of errant corn as garnish.

1 large potato washed and grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Some fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Kernels from 1 cob of corn
Oil for frying

Pat the potato dry with absorbent paper. Combine the ingredients. Heat the oil to medium high. Pinch about 1 tbs or more of the potato mixture and lay it into the oil and spread it out a bit. Don't overcrowd the pan and cook in batches. Remove to a wire cooling rack to become dry and crispy. Nom nom nom nom....

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Pork Rack Cassoulet with Cherry Tomatoes

I've been meaning to make this for some time now. I had intended on making it slightly differently but I left some diced lamb in the butchers. Thankfully however the apple and cinnamon pork sausages that I bought easily had enough flavour. I thought that this would have been more labour intensive than it was, it was really very simple actually, give it a crack.

1 pork rack
2 pork sausages (apple and cinnamon)
1 tin crushed cherry tomatoes
1 tin cannelini beans, drained
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic diced
2 tsp chopped rosemary
1 slice of bacon, diced
4 or 5 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper
A little Pesto Aioli
Olive oil

Colour the sausages in the pan you are going to cook the dish in, with a little olive oil - remove to a clean plate. Saute the garlic, onions, rosemary and bacon. Pour in the cherry tomatoes and cannelini beans and the chicken stock. Slice the sausages and place them in too. Give it a good mix along with the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, turn down to very low and let it do its thing four a couple of hours.
Oil the pork rack and rub plenty of salt into the rind. Place on a roasting tray then place into a preheated 180C oven for 25 minutes. Increase the temperature to 220C for another 15. Keep an eye on the rack that you don't overcook it or burn the crackling. Remove to a plate and allow to rest covered loosely with foil.
Check the cassoulet for seasoning adding more salt and pepper as required. Remove the bay leaves. Slice the pork rack between the bone. Spoon the cassoulet into bowls, bang on your piece of pork, drizzle over some pesto aioli and a sprinkling of chives.

Pesto Aioli

Hooray! Not for the faint hearted however, it is rather strong... Would work very well with some rare beef or would be great with some hot chips.

1 handful of basil
250ml extra light olive oil
1 head garlic
1/2 an anchovy fillet
1 handful pine nuts, toasted
2 egg yolks
1 tsp white vinegar
1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Wrap the head of garlic in some foil and drizzle over a little oil. Roast in a 180C oven for about 20 minutes or until soft, remove and allow to cool. In the meantime, blitz the basil with the oil and allow to infuse while the garlic cooks and cools. Drain through a fine sieve or muslin wrap and discard the solids. Grind the garlic, pine nuts and anchovy fillet in a mortar and pestle until it is a fine paste. In a mixing bowl using an electric whisk incorporate the garlic mixture with the egg and vinegar then gradually introduce the oil in a thin stream until it is all gone. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Mix and check for seasoning adding more of what is missing.

Crumbed Stuffed Mushrooms

Some people I know made this a few years ago at a New Years Eve bun fight which was later topped off by eating 700gms of meat-sweat-inducing rib on the bone steaks. I have tweaked it a little but it is still pretty close the original. Tastes good.

200 gms cream cheese
1 rasher of bacon
Some rosemary
1 clove garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Porcini salt
Bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
Some milk
Light olive oil

Chop up the bacon and garlic and fry with rosemary and extra virgin olive oil. Remove and mince the stems from the mushrooms with the bacon etc with a knife. Stir the mushroom/bacon mix through the cream cheese with some porcini salt and cracked pepper until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps. In batches dip the mushrooms in the milk then flour then egg and finally the bread crumb so that they are well covered. Heat some light olive oil to medium high. Fry the mushrooms in batches on both side until they have great colour.
(If you have some lemon, squeeze some over the finished product once cooked - I didn't but it would taste nice)