Apricot and Pecan Stuffed Pork with Honey Glazed Carrots and Green Mash

I know there are no photography awards on its way to me for this one. I also know it isn’t much to look at on the plate, there are however some things worth mentioning, aside from the watery mash and the burnt carrots. This blog is my food journey after all and that means my failures as well as my successes.

I’ll keep this quick, there were two great parts to this meal. The first was the honey glazed carrots. I have never had chantenay carrots before and they were super sweet and super tasty. They honey caramelised and made them sticky and even sweeter. Unfortuanatley i cooked them a bit too long and they came out a little shrivelled and burnt around the edges. They kept their flavour though and if I had the choice I would always eat my carrots like this. The second part was the stuffing for the pork fillet. It was only sausage meat, apricots and pecan nuts but they complemented each other so well. The mash was just broccoli and potato mashed together with a little butter and seasoning. It was OK but when I started mashing it together the broccoli released water like a squeezed sponge. I was left with what i would call a potato puddle.

All in all this was ok, it had great potential and I’m sure on a better day it would be a really nice meal.

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.

Spiced sausage with tomato risotto

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

Forgive my photography and plating style. But believe me when I say this is probably the best risotto I have ever had. Adding the Passata to the stock that makes the risotto rice is a genius idea. I can’t believe I never cooked risotto before, this is my second in as many weeks and like the cod dish I posted I was so surprised by the flavours it gives. The sausage used was definitely a factor here as well. The more I cook the more it is evident that the quality of your ingredients really does matter. I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t cook unless you only use organic, grass fed, free range, ethically sourced produce but, always get the best you can afford. Or better still grow your own fruit and veg and have more money to spend on your meat and fish.

Whenever I watched my wife cook rissoto in the past I aleays thought it was more complicated than it looked. When really the reality is you just need to watch it and be with it the whole time. There are probably those who are reading this saying “well yeah its only a risotto” but when you never cooked it before you don’t know, and it tastes more complicated than it actually is.