Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce

I decided to make Sweet Chilli Mushroom Stir Fry with Pak Choy. As usual, I gathered all my ingredients…mushrooms, rice, pak choy, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce….

Disaster! Panic! Pandemonium! No sweet chilli sauce! None. Not a drop. What to do. Google.

Google provided a plethora of sweet chilli sauce solutions. All claiming to use ‘kitchen cupboard staples’, and so long as chillis and sherry are staple items in your cupboards, then you’ll be fine…

IMG_3517

Continue reading

Fragrant Crispy Pork Belly with Parsnip Puree

My wife showed me some pictures my youngest sister posted on Facebook last night. She and her husband (check that; her husband – my youngest sister is married. How old am I?) treated themselves to a trip to The Fat Duck, home of the food wizard-cum-scientist Heston Blooming-utter-nutter-thal or whatever his name is.

She noted that the menu took about three hours to get through, which it should do given it’s £200-a-head. The pictures of the food items looked very familiar – and they are to many foodies of course because you see them on TV – whisky jellies, snail porridge (which looked alarmingly green – I mean like fluorescent green), various foams, foggy mist-like creations and so on.

Heston Blumenthal is an interesting character – well known over here in Blightly; elsewhere I don’t know. He is the antithesis of the better known Gordon Ramsay. Where ‘G’ is a shouty, sweary cartoon-like creation, Hessie is more menacing – shaven-headed, thick rimmed spectacles, piercing stare.

But my personal preference in the celebrity cook stakes is Tom Kerridge. A man mountain, Kerridge cooks things that I can relate to – food you can find in a gastropub. Things like bacon joints braised in maple syrup, carrots cooked in loads of salt, butter and sugar…you get the idea.

But just because it’s food that you understand, and looks like something you recognise, doesn’t make it any easier to cook. Oh no. Try pork belly.

IMG_2053

Continue reading

Thai Fishcakes with Cucumber and Carrot Salad

You know that thing where you cook something with the intention of blogging it, forget about it, go back to it and than can’t remember what the ingredients were? No? Well you’re a better blogger than I.

I’ve got a big backlog of recipes stored up on the my old laptop. Some good, some not so good and some disasters. This one was good. I just can’t remember the exact ingredients.

I’ve made fishcakes before, ages ago. That time I tested homemade against shop-bought from the local Wing Yip. The Wing Yip version won hands down; the homemade ones were too dry; they were deep fried and I cooked them too long.

These ones are much better – shallow fried just long enough to brown them up a bit and then ten mins in the oven.

This creation began when the wife presented me with three items for a side dish she wanted me to make to go with the fishcakes, and I had to guess what she wanted me to make….

IMG_0580

Continue reading

Steamed Barbeque Pork Buns (Char siu bao)

I’ve got a list of things I have to try and cook. Steamed Pork Buns had gotten to the top.

IMG_1728

Currently a suicidally tedious diet, excruciating work shenanigans and flood issues which are now more irritating than worrying has made blogging about food reasonably* challenging.

Continue reading

Potential Good Start to January – Swordfish

‘Tis the season…to start regretting the previous month of culinary debauchery. The pies. The roasted meats. The big breakfasts. Mimosas at 9am. Chocolate cake at 3 in the morning. Well that’s my experience anyway.

The wife has found Gwyneth Paltrow’s food/lifestyle website (named Goop). It contains a plethora of obscure ingredients and recipes (try ‘Licorice and Mung Bean Soup’). She is writing down a long (and I do mean long) list of requirements; I have a feeling things might be getting healthy this January. It’s detox time suckers.

With this in mind I whipped the rib roast out of the freezer and it is currently thawing out in the fridge. If I’m going down, I’m going down fighting. But that bad boy is for another day.

Meanwhile I’ll settle for Swordfish, with an Oriental twist.

IMG_8751

Continue reading