Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Belated 2011 Catch-up Part 2

So these will be the last couple of recipes for 2011 I think: pretty damn good ones they are too: the first is basically swiped from Nigella but the 2nd is pretty much of my own devising and is very, very good, I think.

Part1's photo you may have noticed was Polly on top of a packing box - she seemed to love the whole packing element of the move in that it meant she had a multitude of boxes and packing materials to make a beds out of and in.

The photo above is of Jack, newly injured (typical, because I needed a bit more stress at the time) and in his idiot-collar. I pretend that this was when he heard the news that we would soon be leaving N13. Makes me giggle anyway.

Korean Prawns & Scallops
Serves 1

As I mentioned above, this is taken from Nigella Lawson - “Feast” specifically. It is supposed to be made with squid but I didn’t have any, and in the interests of using up freezer contents opted to use the raw king prawns & scallops I had in there. Also, the original uses baby corn but again I was out and so used some mushrooms & green beans instead.

Gochujang (hot pepper paste) - which I have previously used here is a Korean chilli paste that you can get from any Oriental supermarket and has a lovely smooth, slightly sweet & smoky chilli taste. I’m running out actually, so must remember to get some more as it is incredibly versatile.

75g sushi rice
50g frozen raw king prawns
30g frozen queen scallops
35g mushrooms, quartered (or in eighths if large, halve if button)
35g green beans, cut into 1.5in lengths
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp gochujang paste
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
splash sesame oil
1 tsp groundnut oil
3 thin spring onions, sliced
2 tsp chopped coriander

Put the sushi rice on to cook as per packet instructions. I use my trusty rice cooker which has a handy and failsafe sushi rice setting.

Mix the prawns & scallops with the rice wine and leave for 15 minutes.  Remove the prawns & scallops and set aside. Add the gochujang, soy, sugar and a splash of sesame oil to the rice wine in the bowl and stir it all in together.

Put a wok or heavy based frying pan on to heat and when it’s hot but not smoking add the oil. Throw in the vegetables and spring onion and stir around for a few minutes.

Add the prawns and scallops, stirfrting for another couple of minutes until the prawns turn pink and the scallops opaque.

Finally tip the sauce in and stir around for 30 seconds or so until it is all combined and heated through. Serve with the sushi rice with a scattering of coriander over.

Ancho & Chipotle en Adobe Slow Braised Pork Spare Ribs
Serves 2 greedy people with polenta wedges

Operation “clear the freezer” continued apace with one of the last freezer victims being some pork spare ribs that I had bought originally for a BBQ that didn't happen. I also had a jar of Chipotle en Adobo and some dried Ancho chillies from the Cool Chile Co. so decided to devise a slow braised in sauce recipe. This started off fairly Mexican in nature but the addition of maple syrup & bourbon added, strictly speaking, a bit more Tex to the Mex .

This could also I reckon be made with beef short ribs - and would possibly be even better given that beef ribs have a higher meat-to-bone ratio.

1.5 dried anchos, soaked
850g - 1kg ribs, chopped (with a hefty cleaver!) into shorter lengths if necessary
salt & pepper
groundnut oil
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 fat cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3 tbsp chipotle chilli en adobo
2 tbsp maple syrup
400 ml tin of tomatoes
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
60ml strong, freshly brewed, coffee
1 ¼ cups water
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp mexican oregano
3 tbsp bourbon
Tin of borlotti beans

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Soak anchos in warm water until softened.

Meanwhile, heat a tbsp of oil in a large oven-proof heavy bottomed pan with a lid (my cast iron Staub was perfect for this). Season the ribs then brown them off in batches, setting aside as you go.

Drain the ancho chillies (reserving the soaking water) and roughly chop.

Blend the onions, garlic, anchos, chipotle en adobo, lime juice, maple syrup & salt together until you have a loose paste.

Separately purée the tinned tomatoes.

Discard all but about one tsp of oil from the pot then add the cumin & oregano to it over a low heat. Fry for a minute before adding the onion & chilli paste, and continue to cook over a low heat for 5 mins.

Add the puréed tomatoes & bourbon, cooking for a couple of minutes more.

Add the coffee & around 350ml water (use the ancho soaking water and then extra to total 350ml). Bring to a boil before adding the ribs. The ribs need to just be covered by liquid so add more water if necessary.

Transfer to the oven and cook for at least 2 hours, turning the ribs halfway through, before adding the
 drained beans. 

Cook for a further 30 minutes then serve with a side of your choice - we had grilled polenta which went really well.

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