Saturday, 19 July 2014

Crispy Pork Chops with Apricot Drizzle

These are pounded very thin and quickly pan fried in great extra virgin olive oil. I have served them with an apricot sauce but you can use your favourite or none at all.

You will need:

  • 4 pork loin chops - bone in, fat removed, pounded thin
  • 2 fresh apricots (or peaches)
  • 1 shallot - chopped fine (1/2 is cooked and 1/2 added raw)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 chili - sliced
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp Za'atar spice mix
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • more olive oil for frying (halfway up chops)


Step 1: remove fat and pound thin. You can place between plastic wrap or wax paper. I actually like them even thinner than this so they cook super fast and stay crispy.


Step 2: chop a few apricots, shallot, garlic and fresh chili of your choice. I like the save a bit of the shallot to add raw at the end. Cook in olive oil a few minutes until soft.


Step 3: let cool and puree in a blender to make smooth. I add honey and shallots depending on how sour the apricots are. Set aside.


Step 4: add seasonings to your flour and dredge meat once.


Step 5: cook in good olive oil. I add enough oil to come halfway up the chops. Wait until they are browned well on one side before turning to sear the other. I wait until pan is very hot then I add oil and then sear meat to get it crispy. The cast iron pan helps.













Sunday, 6 July 2014

Spinach, Mushroom, Feta Burgers


When it is too hot to heat up the kitchen turn on the grill!
These are moist and juicy burgers filled with the bold flavour of dried mushrooms, spinach and crumbled salty feta cheese. I also created a simple tomato relish for the topping along with some crunchy lettuce served on a soft brioche bun. 


You will need:

  • 1 oz of dry porcini mushroom - re hydrated with 2 oz boiling water  & chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread with crust removed 
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • handful of fresh spinach chopped fine = 1/3 cup
  • 2 fresh basil leaves - chopped fine
  • 1 oz crumbled or chopped feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp dry Italian seasonings
  • lots of salt and pepper to be put on just as you grill.
  • 4 fresh brioche hamburger buns
  • fresh lettuce leaves
Tomato Relish
  • 1 tomato chopped into small dice
  • 2 spring/green onions - chopped finely
  • a few slices of hot chili - chopped fine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • squeeze of lemon

Start by gathering all your ingredients. I like to make sure my burgers are a room temperature before grilling.


Step 1: take a handful of dry mushrooms. I used porcini that I re hydrated with some boiling water in a small bowl. It takes about 5 minutes until they are softened. I then remove the mushrooms from the liquid (don't throw this liquid away!) Chop mushrooms finely and add back to the liquid they were soaking in. Add some aged thick balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, a slice of bread (any kind but remove the crust) and let the bread soak up the liquid. I simply use my hands to squish bread and mix. Add the meats to a large bowl and then add your mushroom mix. If you can grind your own meat the burgers are always the best however, they are still good with store bought ground.


Step 2: take a handful of baby spinach and basil and chop finely (you don't want the pieces too big )


Step 3: chop spring onions and crumble feta, dry Italian seasoning and gently toss throughout the meat. I like to keep the mix loose to make a nice tender burger if you compact it too much it can make a tough burger.


Step 4: divide meat into 4 big burgers and form patties. Apply a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper to the meat just as you put on a hot grill.


Step 5: chop some tomatoes, spring onion, a few slices of a hot chili pepper, salt, pepper, olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Mix and set aside with your favourite toppers.


Slice the perfect bun.


Grill to your liking and serve hot!


Juicy perfection!













Thursday, 3 July 2014

Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce


I love these because they are very thin and grill quickly. You can marinate the meat and make the peanut sauce the night before for a great week night dinner. Double or even triple for a crowd.


You will need:

  • 2 sirloin steaks or piece of flank steak - sliced against the grain and pounded thin
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
Basting sauce
  • 1 small shallot - chopped fine = 2 tbsp chopped
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tiny can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 6 squished Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
Peanut Sauce
  • remaining portion of tiny can coconut milk (3 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp green curry paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 3-4 tbsp water to thin out


Step 1: freeze meat for 30 minutes for easy thin slicing. Slice meat into thin strips.


Step 2: In a small bowl add meat, brown sugar, fish sauce, extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Stir and marinate 1 hour on counter or over night in the fridge.


Step 3: in a small bowl add all ingredients for peanut sauce, mix to combine. If it is too thick you can always thin out by adding more water.


Step 4: in another small bowl add all ingredients for basting sauce. Stir to combine. This is the sauce you will use to baste the meat while cooking on the grill. 


Step 5: meat should be at room temperature before grilling. On metal or wood skewers weave meat and spread out for quick grilling.


Cook a few minutes on each side basting with basting sauce as they cook.


Serve with your favourite veggies. Don't forget to dip the meat in the peanut sauce!