Tender Stir-Fried Pork with Black Bean Sauce and Cashew Nuts

As much a pleasure to make as it was to eat. My knife skills got a workout with this one. There is something very satisfying about chopping veg really fine. A perfect garlic, ginger and onion mix accompanies the black bean sauce. The rich, sticky, deeply savoury sauce grabs your taste buds and doesn’t let go.

Cornflour, who knew. If you want soft succulent pork with a nice crisp outside then toss it in cornflour first before adding it to your pan. It produces the same tender meat but with a slight crisp to the outside, adding a little texture to the mix. Before you cook the pork cook your cashews in a dry pan until they turn brown. Then leaves them to one side. Then in the same pan add some oil and cook your pork in batches. If you crowd the pan then there will be too much steam and that will basically stew your meat and loose that crisp your trying to achieve with the corn flour. Put the pork to the side and in the same pan again add some more oil and cook your pepper and carrot for a few minutes then add the garlic, ginger and the whites of your spring onion. Cook for a minute then add the pork back to the pan. Mix in your black bean sauce and mix for a minute before serving on a bed of rice. Like most things its the little extras that makes the difference between something nice and something great. Here it is the cashews, every now and then you get a crunch and that subtle nuttiness that works so well with all the other flavours.

I used a new macro lens filter for some of my shots. I cannot afford a proper macro lens so this filter lets me do closer shots. Obviously its not as good as an actual lens but for my purposes it seems to do just nicely.

This meal was from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk

Tuscan Pappardelle with Rich Fennel Pork Ragu

This is such a simple meal, you will be amazed at the amount of flavour it gives you in return.

Pappardelle, originating from the Tuscany region and with a name that origins from the word “pappare” which translates to “gobble up”you know that you are in for a treat. The long thick strands allow them to carry so much sauce and flavour. In a previous post I mentioned gnocchi as being a great vehicle for carrying sauce due to its shape. Well if that’s the case pappardelle is an articulated lorry carrying all that flavour directly to your taste buds.

The tuscan sausage which we have had before is lovely. Tuscan sausage is apparently usually seasoned with basil, fennel, garlic, and white wine. I could definitely taste the fennel in there. The other flavours are all in there im sure, I just don’t have the pallate to pick them out. All that matters though is they are amazing sausages. The sauce is simple onion, garlic, fennel seeds and chopped tomatoes. at the end of cooking stir in the parsley and grate on your cheese.

These dishes are why I love cooking. Obviously I like cooking really hard dishes with a shopping list as long as my arm for the ingredients. using new techniques and equipment to create a delicate plate of art that everybody cant help but say wow at. This dish and others like it are what it is really about. You don’t need lots of ingredients, you just need the right ones.

Grilled Salmon Tarator with Bulgher Wheat Tabbouleh

This is not my recipe. This recipe came with our Hello Fresh box. www.hellofresh.co.uk

Follow the link to the recipe on their website The Recipe

Tarator, tarathor, taratur, or ttalattouri (Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian: таратор, Albanian: Tarator, Turkish: tarator, Greek: τταλαττούρι (Cyprus)), is a soup, appetizer, or sauce found in the cuisines of Eastern Europe. It generally includes ground walnuts, garlic, and yogurt or tahini, and often cucumber, herbs, and vinegar or lemon juice. – Wikipedia

Thank you Wikipedia, never heard of this before but will definitely do it again. Mine was quite thick, which is how the recipe showed it. It complemented the salmon perfectly. I would also be happy to just use it as a dip for an assortment of vegetable sticks. I have to say we ate this dish late and the mint and parsley had to be thrown so I replaced them with coriander and basil from the greenhouse.

 The walnuts didn’t really add flavour but gave the dish some bite. The onions were also a great addition. I have obviously cooked onions before but just adding red wine vinegar while they cook and letting it evaporate gave them that little bit extra. 

I probably over cooked my salmon a bit but it was still soft and flaked apart. I also had to drain my Bulgher wheat, I measured the right amount of water but never mind. It didn’t affect the flavour. Maybe I added too much oil? Not sure if this would affect how much water it absorbed. 

All in all this meal didn’t go perfectly or should I say I didn’t do it perfectly. However it was still a great easy dish that I would give an easy 7/10.