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!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Totoro Bento and Hot-Dog-Opuses

 I can haz interwebz?

So - I did the moving to the Wellington. Yay! And the finding a new job. Yay! And the re-connecting with friends. Yay!

And then the internet decided that it no-longer loved me and wanted to be somewhere else. Not yay!

And then my new flatmate, Mark fixed it!! And now I am re-connected with the world, and it is most exciting! :)

Bento is totally cute, and after a long time spent watching YouTube videos - I decided to try my hand at making my own fancy bento lunch!!

It was surprisingly easy, and enormously filling... But, in practice, not something I do every day...

I chose Totoro because I looove him! (Although the Catbus is technically my favourite...)

I made him with brown rice and ground up black sesame and nigella seeds... Stuffed him with a little pulled pork and put his little cheese and nori features on...

It was all easy enough - and doesn't really require any specialist equipment! But, if you're gonna be bento - making full time you might wanna invest in some!

I also made a moulded egg and the most adorable little hot dog octopus!!

I'll just link you to Ochikeron's video for how to make Totoro Onigiri... Because I'm lazy. But below are the instructions for the cute hotdogopuses...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Taste & Create: Prawn Scampi

This was a tasty little pasta dish I whipped up for Taste & Create this month...

I was once again paired with the lovely Tamy of 3 Sides of Crazy... I was entranced by her recipe for Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi... and you should be too!

The finished dish was light and refreshing, easily whipped up after a long work day!!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Souper Thursday: Asian-Esque Beefy Broth

So; I mentioned last week (on what would have ideally been last Thursday; but was, if fact, last Friday... Whoops!) that it's a Swedish Tradition to serve soup on Thursdays. Which is awesome.

I'm using my love of Sweden and Swedish culture to influence what I am now referring to as "Souper Thursday" wherein I force my family to eat soup every Thursday. Thus far, this proposition has gone down remarkably well. It is coming into winter in NZ, after all.

I like soup.

This is an easy soup. It looks fantastic and classy.

Look at that classy soup. With that fancy, mixed focus photography.
But all it is is beef stock boiled with a couple of star anise and a few, whole cloves before being poured over vermicelli noodles and thinly sliced beef (here I used schnitzel)... Topped off with some bean sprouts and julienned carrots and cucumber, a soft(ish) boiled egg and sprinkled with fresh coriander and finely sliced chilli and spring onion.

And that's it. Honest.

In other news I'm about to move (back) out of home and down to my beautiful capital city... in the hopes that being in the city I want to work in will improve my chances of being actually employed.

I'm excited because this will be my first time cooking for one in my "natural" (or rather "familiar") environment! I will now be able to augment my previously "flat friendly" meals with meals and baking designed for one. Because, although I am no longer a student (I graduate in December - WOO!), I will still be on a budget, and cheap, flavourful and healthful food will still be my aim!

Here's to an exciting, if unknown, future together: you, me and this blog!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Taste & Create: Broccoli Soup

Did you know that in Sweden it is traditional to have soup on Thursdays? Specifically; yellow split pea soup because yellow split peas are associated with Thor and Thursday is, after all Thor's Day!

This recipe is not for yellow spilt pea soup. This recipe is for Broccoli Soup. This is because we had approximately a million (AKA 2) broccolis and no spilt peas (I used them making soup for last Thursday!)...

This soup that I made for Taste & Create this month is simple, tasty, vegan (if you let it be, I didn't) and requires very few ingredients. It's fantastic for Students and Real People alike! It also came out the most fantastic shade of green:
I fried the cumin seeds and garlic in butter as PJ of Seduce Your Tastebuds recommended in butter because I like butter. And I think garlic tastes better fried in butter, over oil... But, as oil is such an easy substitute; I still think it's fair to store this recipe as a vegan option.

The potato gives the blended soup a creamy texture without the addition of milk or cream. PJ pressure cooks her potatoes and broccoli; but I don't have a pressure cooker in my student kitchen so I boiled my potato and steamed the broccoli over it... Feel free, however to boil your broccoli and potato together; bearing in mind that the broccoli won't need quite so long to cook as the potato and over-cooked broccoli is a kinda funky colour...

I really enjoyed this soup, and hope you do too!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Taste & Create: Thali - Tomato Riata

This is my penultimate Taste & Create Thali recipe from Seduce Your Taste Buds... :)

It's a year, one month and 23 days since I posted my original review of 6 of PJ's delicious recipes... and today I will tell you, in greater detail about the 6th: Tomato Riata...

I really loved all the colour matching going on with the riata in this particular bowl...
Now, you may be like me, and of the belied that riata always contains cucumber. And cumin. And mint. Yes? No? Well; it turns out - we're wrong. Shocking, I know!

If you check out PJ's Menu page and scroll half way down (ish) she has a whole HOST of riata dishes! Only one of which contains "cucumber" in the title... So there. You learn something new every day.

This riata is a little more acidic tasting than its more conventional contemporary - but tasty none the less! I recommend giving it a go even if only to say that you have...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Taste & Create: Thali - Sambar

Taste & Create Thali recipe from Seduce Your Taste Buds #4!!

For today's Sambar recipe, you will need 3 teaspoons of yesterday's Sambar Spice powder recipe...

Hand ground Sambar Spice
Sambar, as a general rule is not my favourite way to serve lentils. I chose to make this recipe in the hopes that making my own Sambar, completely from scratch, would teach me otherwise.

It didn't.

Don't get me wrong! This Sambar is lovely! My friends and family think it fantastic! It's just not to my taste...

The original recipe called for "drumstick" which is not something I'd encountered before... PJ offers a variety of alternatives at the end of her post; I used peas because that's what I happened to have at the time.

So today, I will provide you with the recipe and encourage you to come to your own conclusions...

Clockwise from top left: Garlicky Spinach Rice, Aloo Fry and Sambar