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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Chicken Mushroom and Kale Pasta with Lemon Herbed Bread Crumbs

This is the first time I have used fried bread crumbs with a pasta and it made feel silly I'd never done it before. So much flavour and crunch for so little effort. Quick and easy and another excuse for me to bung some kale into something else - I love that stuff.

500 gms chicken thighs fillets
2 handfuls mushroom roughly chopped
3 big kale leaves chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 cloves garlic finely minced
2 rashers of bacon in dice
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil (may need more)
1/2 cup white wine or bubbles
1/2 cup chicken stock
Juice of half a lemon
Rind of half a lemon
2 thick slices of nice bread (I used sour dough)
1 tbs of basil leaves minced
1 handful of minced parsley
1 knob of butter
Parmessan cheese
Chilli flakes
1 packet of spaghetti
Salt and pepper

Blitz the bread, mix with the minced basil, lemon rind and minced garlic. Pour in a little extra virgin olive oil and combine well. Roast spread out on a tray at 180C for about 10 minutes, keep your eye on it. Remove from the heat when done.
Have your pasta water boiling and ready.
Season the chicken with salt and fry in most of the extra virgin olive oil over a medium high heat, remove to a clean plate when you have great colour. Fry the bacon until you have great colour then add in the chopped garlic, throw in the mushroom and some salt and pepper, get some nice colour.
Cook the pasta.
Add the kale to the mushroom/bacon mixture and toss through the flavoured concoction. Chop the chicken then add back to the pan along with any juices. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce for a minute or two. Pour in the stock, lemon juice, half a cup of the pasta water and half of the parsley and continue reducing. Add in the knob of butter and toss/shake about to emulsify the sauce. Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce.
Spoon into bowls, top with parsley, a little salt and pepper, a good helping of bread crumbs and chilli flakes and a little extra virgin olive oil.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Salsa with Pork Belly

Tonight I had a revelation.
Pork belly sauces made from the meat juices and cream etc are nice and all but you are always left feeling heavy afterwards. Today I made a very simple salsa for some taco boats (lunch) and used the remainder on some pork belly (dinner). It is the first time I have walked away from pork belly feeling refreshed. The acidity from the tomato, lime and red wine vinegar just smashed through the unctuous pork fat. The salsa took a mere 5 minutes from start to finish. Whilst I wouldn't mess with the simplicity of the salsa, some mint probably would work quite nicely in there too. The photo is terrible as I hadn't anticipated that this would be anywhere near as great as what it was.

Pork belly
10 cherry tomatoes
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 bunch of coriander
1/2 tbs sugar
1/4 of a red chilli
1/2 a red onion in dice
1 tbs garlic oil
Juice of half a lime
Salt and pepper
Salad of any description

Cook some pork belly, make sure you get some proper crackle on that shiz. Salt it hard cook it at about 30 mins per 500 gms at 180C and smash it in the last 20 mins at 220C. I find poultry scissors are great at dealing with crackling - pro tip.
For the salsa? Just blend the rest of the ingredients but leave it chunky. Check for seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper or lime or red wine vinegar. Add salsa to pork, eat some salad (optional).


Wiltof Triple Cream Brie and Lemon

I've never eaten wiltof before prior to this. It was more bitter than I was expecting but it has a refreshing taste. Prep for this was about 10 minutes and it has only about ten minutes cook time. Nice snack. I think next time though I would have grilled the cheese over the top. Cheap and simple.

4 wiltof quartered
Garlic oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Triple cream brie in slices
A lemon cheek or two
Chopped parsley

Oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on a grill over high heat for a couple of minutes until you get some lines/colour. Top with a piece of brie, a squeeze of lemon and some parsely. I reckon chilli flakes would be rad too.