Monday, February 28, 2011

Mexican Style Pork Roast

I handed the recipes of three different cuisines to my husband and asked him to choose what he'd like to be served for Saturday dinner and this pork was his choice which was coincidentally what I'd like him to pick!

I loved the dish once I first saw it posted here and was really keen to give it a go.. What attracted me is not only its scrumptious look from the photos but the cuisine and method also caught my attention!! Honestly speaking, Mexican food is one of my favorites, yet not what I cook regularly unless I've found an interesting recipe and this pork happened to be the case..

I adjusted amount of spices to suit my taste bud and opted for tortilla to serve along with it.. To make a meal perfect, I also had homemade guacamole , iceberg lettuce, sour cream and grated Parmesan on the table and let everybody make their own choices to assemble their dinner.. What a happy family meal!!

The recipe ( Slightly adapted from here )

7 dried bird chillies, stemmed and half of them deseeded
2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 small white onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 tsp mixed dried herbs

Pinch cloves

2 tbsps vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt

1kg pork shoulder

Rehydrate the chillies by steeping in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup of water, transfer chillies and reserved liquid to a blender.

Tear bay leaves in pieces then add to the blender with the vinegar, onion, garlic, mixed herbs, cloves and allspice. Process to a smooth paste. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the spice paste and fry for five minutes until dark in colour.

Heat the oven to 160 degrees, cut the pork into pieces that are roughly 3 inches thick and make 1 inch incisions all over the meat. Lay the meat on top of the paste and ensure that it is all well coated. Pour 1.2 cup of chicken stock around the meat and put the dish into the oven.

Baste the meat every 30 minutes. After 2.5 hours the meat should be tender and falling apart. If the liquid dries out at any point during the cooking time then top up with water.

Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes before serving. Remove the fat from the cooking liquid and reducing it down to create a thick sauce to serve with the meat.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Malty and Chocolatey Cookies

Cookie is not a thing I'd particularly like to bake but it's not something that I would miss giving a try either if I find it interesting somehow!

These cookies happened to be the case because there are few ingredients called for that I had never used in my cookie baking era before..So, with all ingredients in hand, it didn't take me long to discover how scrumptious the cookies are!

The recipe ( adapted from here )

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup Horlick malted drink powder

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup caster sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup whole milk

2 cups  chocolate-covered malted milk balls ( Maltesers), coarsely chopped

1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until very smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing just until it disappears into the batter. Mix in the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. With the mixer still on low, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the malted milk balls and chocolate chips.

3. Drop about 2 heaping tablespoonfuls worth of dough (I used a large cookie scoop) onto the sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until puffed and set but still slightly soft to the touch. Let the cookies rest for 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blue Cheese Biscuits

Time seems to fly very quick since the year has started while my blog has been left unupdated's not that I have no time to cook and bake but there have just been lots of things happening to intervene! Anyway, I finally found my way back to blogging and do what I like here!!

Now speaking of the biscuits, I've found it on David Lebovitz's blog and what made me keen on giving it a try is a blue cheese which happens to be a favorite cheese of both my husband's and mine! Nothing is complicated to prepare the dough but you need some time to let it set in the fridge which I left mine overnight before baking!

As for a verdict, if you are a big fan of blue cheese , then this is one of things you shouldn't miss.. it's a real savoury biscuit and made a great snack..And I guess it would be great to serve it along with a bowl of soup or salad which I've planned to do when I make it next time!

The recipe could be found here..