Sunday, August 31, 2014

Almost Sorted-Food's Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Okay, okay... So it kinda - sorta looks like a sandwich outta a Horror Film - but that's just BBQ sauce, y'all! And homemade too!!

These pulled pork sandwiches represent one of the first (I think) things I've made from the boys over at Sorted Food... Although that doesn't seem quite right/ fair as their recipes are pretty awesome! They work kinda like my favourite Sam book in terms of approachable, tasty recipes only in internet/ video form.

Anyway! The recipe. As we have established by now, I am me. And, being me, following recipes to the T is something I have about as much talent for as I do sitting still. (i.e. Zero. *fidgets* ... *knocks laptop onto floor* ... "Shit, shit, shit!")

I followed the Sorted recipe Sorta... And still got an awesome, fabulous result! AND managed to make soup out of the left over cooking liquid. Because I am nothing if not resourceful.

So. The changes. The first, and possibly most significant aberration was that I slow cooked, rather than oven-braised my pork. Partially because my oven at home is a little bit crap (not just sour grapes, I swear!) and partially because... Well. I did, Okay?! Rather than the three hours at 160ÂșC recommended by those Sorted Boys - I did 3-4 hours on Low in my slow cooker... (I started prodding the pork at 3 hours... And gave it another 30 mins - keep an eye on it)

My second thing was; here in l'il ol' NZ beer typically comes in 330ml bottle rather than the

Sorted-stipulated 500ml... So I used 330ml of Speight's Old Dark (a link to their Wikipedia page rather than their website as you have to be over 18 to visit, and that was too much like hard work...), 375ml of Bundaberg Ginger Beer (full fat, please - none of this "Diet" BS) the reason for the GB again, was two-fold - one, it was what we had and two, I thought the ginger would add an extra dimension... And topped the liquid content up to a litre with 300ml of water (because, no - I am not taking a tsp of water out to make it exact - that would be overkill!)

Because of the GB, I didn't bother with adding any sugar as I figured the mix would be sweet enough! (I also caramalised, rather than quick-fried my carrots and onions - adding to the sweetness)

Finally, for the pork - I don't typically have garlic powder (for the rub) - but we did have some garlic flakes (why, I will never know...) so I ground 'em up and used them instead! I'll stick with recommending garlic powder - simply because I don't think it's necessary to use the flakes... But I do think it's good to point out that substitutions can be simple too!

For the sauce, I totally ignored the "cooking liquid could make it greasy" warning and used it anyway... It was fine (emulsified) on the day - and you can just lift off the separates once it's sat in the fridge overnight (which is what you need to do with all the cooking liquid if you wanna use if later to make a soup or something). And I used Sriracha rather than Tobassco, but any hot sauce will probably do! :)

The result, when served in a bun with coleslaw (with either vinaigrette [for balance] or mayo [for sheer, unadulterated luxuriousness]) is a delicious, smokey-sweet sandwich that you won't be able to wait to have leftovers of!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rich, Roasted Ratatouille

I like my ratatouille like I like my men: dark, strong, rich, a little bit sweet and tall with blue eyes. Wait. What?

Rat-Stew, as we lovingly refer to this dish in my family is a fabulous dish! Especially useful for using up those potentially slightly dodgy veggies left over from last week's veggie market... The tomatoes, and aromatics are kinda necessary - but the bulking vegetables can be anything that's not too starchy, really.

Funny story, apparently when I was little I would eat courgette but not zucchini. The theory behind this being that my Grandfather referred to

This version, which is oven roasted, comes from my darling Sam Stern's Student Cookbook... I love that book! I have confused many a Boyfriend and flatmate by asking, broken heartedly "Where's Sam? Have you seen him? I've lost him!"... And then predictably locating the book under my bed from when I was reading it before bed...

The roasting causes it to be much richer than the, more usual to me, stove top version... I've never looked back!!

Friday, August 8, 2014


Remember when these were a Thing?

Well, I joined in too!! Way back when...

Admittedly, mine are not as awesome as those done by Professionals, but I still think they're pretty darn cute!!

To make your own, homemade cuteness - froth some milk in whatever manner you can (pumping a French press, milk whisk, espresso machine) - I, and most baristas I worked with, find full-fat milk works best...

And make whatever form of black coffee makes you happiest.

Pour the coffee into your favourite mug/ cup reserving a little (preferably with crema, if you can manage it!) and pour in your frothed milk trying your best not to bring the crema up with the milk reserving some of the stiffer froth.

Use the stiffer froth to make little ears and the reserved coffee/crema to paint a little face on using a toothpick.

And then destroy your newly made kitten by drinking it. Because that's how Life works.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What Else to Do With Maca-wrongs?! (Ambrosia)

Remember my original Maca-wrongs?

I have, since, made Maracons that have worked and were fabulous... But this post is not about them. This post is about how to disguise macarons that haven't worked.

I suspect I undercooked these, once again...

But! To no mind!

I mixed 'em with a little whipped cream, a little fruit yoghurt, some marshmallows and some berries and BOOM: Ambrosia!

My now go-to macaron recipe is referenced here. I'll tell you how I do it, sans tea, when I post my success photos! ;-)

To make my version of Ambrosia whip 250mls of cream with a little vanilla essence and fold through 500ml of flavoured yoghurt. Stir through whatever mix-ins you have - marshmallows, berries, bananas, chocolate chips, crunched up mara-wrongs - the possibilities are endless!

This is a great potluck dish!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Olive Parcels

 I think the original recipe for these, such as it is, came from and Allyson Gofton cookbook... But I am not certain!

Parmesan, pastry and olive these little parcels come together in moments! My Mummy used to make them to take as nibbles (Ladies, a Plate! NZ Style) to Adult Dinners - and I used to try to scoff as many as I could before she noticed... It was a good deal. I usually got in trouble, but it was worth it!

Now that I'm an adult (kinda-sorta) I can make them as and when I please/ have leftover pastry... The olives might make them a little less popular that my other leftover Pastry Snacks - but that just means more for meee!!!
"Leftover pastry" is possibly a slight misnomer here - because the easiest way to make these is to use pre-rolled puff or savoury short crust pastry cut into squares... But you can use any puff or savoury short crust, really - the pre-rolled stuff just saves you time!

Aside from "pitted" the olives can be any of your choice! Kalamata is my favourite - but stuffed, green olives are fun too...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Taste & Create: Thali - Black Sesame Chutney

This is the final Taste & Create Thali recipe from Seduce Your Taste Buds... and it's the visually stunning Black Sesame Seed Chutney...

It's such a gorgeous, glossy, black colour!
PJ's chutney is very creamy looking... I'm not sure how I caused mine to look so different...? I wonder if it's because I used dried, desiccated coconut rather than fresh grated?

The seasonings are very similar to the ones used for the tomato riata and the two accompaniments complemented each other beautifully!

One factor that most excited me about this dish was that I got to make my own chutney with speed and ease rather than my usual (but fantastic) shop-bought mango chutney... :)

This one is well worth knocking up!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Simple Stuffed Pork Loin

Why hello there!

Long time, no post!

Sorry about that...

I've been having a funny old time of it... After returning to New Zealand in February this year, and spending a lovely, but woefully unemployed 4 months at home with my parents - I returned to Wellington and got a job as a research assistant at a market research company... I had a fantastic time and got to learn all kinds of things about what New Zealanders think! I'm now sort of unemployed again (fixed term contracts will do that to a girl) - but I'm about to be included in a 3 week stint as a web-tester, which I think will be a lot of fun, and something new again!

Being back at the dreaded cooking for one has been a bit of a drag - but with an exciting new boyfriend to be cooking for - things could be looking up for me! :)

In the mean time, here is an example of a rather fantastic Kat-in-Sweden staple... Stuffed Pork Loin.

Here we have, clockwise from the top: Pork loin stuffed with feta, red onion and oregano, red(something) leaves and baked potato with tzatziki (supermarket styles!)
In NZ pork loin would be a pretty crazy think for students to buy... But my local ICA had Danish pork loin for a crazy-low price (maybe $10/ kg?!) so I. Bought. That. Shit. UP! It was yummy... :)

I made this dish a couple of times, swapping for different fillings (honey, walnut and goat's cheese was a serious hit!) but only photographed my first attempt... The reason the photograph is kind of pallid and un-appetising is because, although I browned the loin a bit before baking, I did bake it in tinfoil so that it wouldn't unwrap! In later iterations I made tinfoil "string" by fold tinfoil into long strips and sort of twisted them around my stuffed loins to secure them... Resulting in a much browner, prettier loin!

The method is pretty simple:

For each person:

Set the oven to 200C. Slice a (10cm [4"] ish) piece of pork loin almost, but not quite all the way through on the horizontal. Stuff with your chosen filling, something slightly moist so as not to dry out the pork is best! Tie with string or tinfoil ;) and season to taste with olive oil, salt and pepper. Brown a little in a frying pan before baking in the hot oven until the pork is cooked through (usually about 20 mins for me...)

Serve with whatever on the  side and enjoy!