I love salmon, and the crispy skin. Salt and pepper alone are good, but I also like a simple marinade with a couple more flavours, 30 min prior to cooking. And I thought I would do a 50:50 mix of brown rice and red quinoa. The nuttiness of the red quinoa matches well with the brown rice. And who doesn’t like roasted vegetables? It all goes so well together.
500 g (1 lb) quality salmon fillet, skin on
1 Tb ground cumin
Juice of half a lime
Salt and black pepper to taste
Brown rice and red quinoa
1 cup brown rice
1 cup red quinoa
4 cups water
lob of butter, salt and pepper to taste
Broccoli florets, thinly sliced carrots on the angle, baby asparagus
light oil, salt and pepper to taste
For the salmon, mix all the ingredients with the salmon in a bag and let marinade for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven at 350 F (180 C). Bring the brown rice and quinoa to a boil, cover and reduce to low, and cook for 25 minutes, followed by resting for 5 minutes. Toss the broccoli and carrots in a bit of oil, salt and pepper, and spread on an oven tray and place into the oven. After about 20 minutes, add in the asparagus, mix together, and cook another 5-10 minutes. Back to the salmon. In an oven-proof pan with a bit of oil on medium heat, place the salmon, skin side down. Cook about 3 minutes, turn the salmon over, and place into the oven for about 5-7 min. Drizzle the remaining juices over the salmon and rice, and enjoy.
Are fruit bowls in the past? Does anyone still keep a large bowl with mixed fruits, not only looking delicious, but tasting delicious? Personally, I think having fruits on display, the contrasting colours, textures and aromas, entices you to eat them. And if you’ve got kids, I think it’s an extra bonus to promote healthy eating habits. Give the kids open access to all those nice fruits! My favourite in this particular photo are these baby pears that are just slightly larger than a walnut. Passion pears, they were called, and I found them at the local fruit market. Seasonal. Sweet as honey. Crisp. Finished in 3 bites. Kids love them.
There’s nothing like a simple quesadilla. I’m happy with some fresh mozzarella alone, but it’s good to throw in something green and a sharper cheese. And if your going to throw in some spinach, throw in a bunch! Let’s say about 4 oz, 1/4 lb, 225 g. And a good amount of sharp cheddar! Fry the quesadilla in a bit of oil (or butter for extra flavour), then top with a healthy mound of full fat sour cream and hot sauce. That simple!
There is not much you can say against lamb cutlets. When perfectly grilled, they are slightly caramelised on the outside and tender, moist and succulent on the inside. Hard to resist, especially with the right marinade! And what grills perfectly with lamb? One of my favourite vegetables. Broccoli. Lately I’ve been roasting broccoli, but this time I tossed it on the BBQ! Here’s the simple recipe:
Lamb marinade (for 12 lamb cutlets)
2 Tb ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
Handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Toss the lamb cutlets in the marinade for at least 1 h before grilling, ideally 6-8 h or overnight. For the broccoli, just toss in a bit of oil, salt and pepper to taste. I recently replaced some parts to my BBQ, including the flare guards which now protect the meat a bit more from the open flames. So I find it best to pre-heat on high, and then keep the flames on high for a quick cooking meat like lamb cutlets. On a high heat, 2-3 minutes on each side is enough. To cook the broccoli, toss the broccoli on the grill for about 5 min, and then set aside away from the heat while you cook the lamb. And if there are any leftovers, I think both a great cold!
Everyone loves crispy home-style potato chips. Not the thin crispy style…the thick style with crispy skin and tender potato inside. There are a lot of ways to cook the ‘perfect chip’, and I’m not debating them here. But here is one way that is easy and a lot of the work can be done ahead of time. Many people would argue that the best chip needs to be double or even triple cooked. These chips are double cooked. For these chips I used medium red potatoes. I find these make great chips. I boiled the potatoes whole until ‘just’ fork tender. You should be able to insert the fork into the potato with a bit of resistance. It’s important not to overcook the potatoes. At this stage the potatoes should still be firm and seem ‘under-cooked’. Drain the potatoes and cool a bit under cold water, then leave the potatoes out to cool (and dry out). The potatoes at this stage can be placed into the fridge and stored for up to 3 days. When you’re read for chips, heat a deep pan with your oil of choice, deep enough for the chips to be fully submerged. Chop the potatoes into nice sized pieces (I cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then make perpendicular cuts). Deep fry until browned and crispy, then salt and pepper to taste!
There are a lot of different ways to prepare BBQ pork ribs, and I can’t say which I prefer. But here is one method, and flavour, which worked well. The method is simple. Quick? No. But simple. Yes. And tasty? Very. Place the pork ribs in the oven with a range of wonderful ingredients, cook for a couple hours, then let cool, remove the ribs, cook down the remaining liquid into a basting sauce, then finish off the ribs on the BBQ with the basting sauce. Details below after a few photos.
4 racks of American style pork ribs
2 medium onions, roughly cut
4 garlic cloves, roughly cut
1 can diced tomatoes (450 g, 1 lb)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (I prefer raw, unfiltered)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dark brown sugar + 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (added later for BBQ basting sauce)
1 Tb ground cumin
1 Tb ground coriander
1 Tb sweet paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 Tb dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 dried ancho chile, roughly chopped
2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock
Very simple. Mix all the ingredients into a deep oven dish (with a lid), ensuring the pork ribs are submerged. Cover the oven dish and cook in a 200 C (375 F) oven for 2 h, or until the meat is fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Set the ribs aside, retaining the liquid in the oven dish. Place in the refrigerator overnight if needed. For the basting sauce, strain the liquid through a fine sieve, and reduce under low heat with the addition of the extra brown sugar, about 1 h, until thick and rich. BBQ the ribs under medium heat on the grill, basting regularly, about 15-20 minutes, until ready. I served with roasted cauliflower and carrots, and rice. Yummy yummy yummy.
I wanted to make my own ham for sandwiches, mix with pasta, etc., but didn’t want to make 5 kg (10 lb) that I wouldn’t eat in time! So I bought a small (1 kg, 2 lb) pork ‘leg steak’, a nice boneless cut from the leg. I cured the pork in a brown sugar cure containing cloves, allspice and cinnamon, followed by a low-heat roast in the oven, smothered in a brown sugar, mustard seed and apple cider vinegar glaze. The result was richly sweet, slightly salty and spiced. Everyone had ham sandwiches for lunch that week, as well as some pasta carbonara for dinner!
1 kg (2 lb) pork leg meat
The curing brine
1 L (1 qt) water
60 g salt
80 g dark brown sugar
10 g pink salt (cure #1)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tb whole cloves
1 Tb whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick, broken in small pieces
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tb apple cider vinegar
2 Tb whole mustard seeds
For the curing brine, place all ingredients into a saucepan and heat to simmering, stirring to dissolve the salts and sugar. Let cool and refrigerate until chilled. Cure the pork for about 24 h (1 day per kg or 2 lb) in the fridge, and then rinse with water, pat dry and rub with the glaze, retaining about half the glaze. Bake in a 95 C (205 F) oven for 1-2 h, or until the internal temperature reaches 68 C (155 F), replacing the glaze about 2 times throughout the cooking. Let cool and then store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Enjoy!