25 April 2013

yumyum hoisin pork ribs

Slow cooked easy dinner perfect for Autumn/Winter that is satisfying and will impress. Get some pork on your fork!! Or if pork isn't your cup of tea swap the ribs with some chicken drumsticks or beef short ribs this slow roasting sauce is great on any kind of meat!!




Yumyum Hoisin Pork Ribs


1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup brown sugar
5cm piece peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 star anise
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
5 cm strip orange rind
1 red chilli
1kg pork spare ribs
2 cups rice
2 bunches choy sum

Preheat oven to 130c. Combine sauce, stock, ginger, garlic, star anise, rind and chilli in a large shallow baking dish, add ribs, turn to coat in mixture. Cover and cook for 2 hours.
Turn the ribs, cook, covered, another 30mins. Remove ribs from dish and cover to keep warm.
Pour braising liquid into a saucepan, discard surface fat before bringing to the boil and simmering, uncoverd, for around 10mins or until sauce thickens slightly.
Cook rice until tender. Blanch choy sum in a pot of boiling water for 1min. Serve ribs a top rice and choy sum drizzled with sauce.

12 April 2013

mushroom risotto

With the weather cooling down I am finding myself craving comfort food, food that is warm, filling and full of flavour. Risotto has been on my mind and with recipes for this delicious and satisfying dinner dish showing up in cooking magazines I couldn't ignore my cravings any longer. This is only the second risotto recipe I have tried with the first being a much loved family favourite of tomato and basil. It was the first time I used arborio rice and followed the correct technique of adding the warmed stock half a cup at a time to the rice to ensure it stayed nice and glossy rather than turning into a gluggy mess. The dried porcini mushrooms are the secret ingredient that when blended and cooked with the vegetables add such an earthy and rich taste to the risotto that you almost don't have to add the extra 500g of mushrooms to the dish.....almost. Who am I kidding, the fact that this dish is topped of with crispy buttery, garlicky mushrooms makes my mouth water just thinking of it...this didn't last long in my household!



Mushroom Risotto


1 white onion
1 stick of celery
2 springs of fresh rosemary
15g porcini mushrooms
300g arborio rice
1/2 glass of white wine
1 L of chicken stock, warmed through
500g mixed mushrooms (chestnut, oyster, shiitake)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
a small bunch of fresh thyme
a large knob of butter
40g parmesan
1/2 lemon
 1/2 small bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Warm a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. Roughly chop the onion and celery, put into a food processor with dried porcini and pulse until finely chopped.
Drizzle some olive oil into the saucepan before adding the chopped vegetables. Cook stirring regularly until softened and fragrant. 
Pick and finely chop the rosemary before adding to the saucepan along with the rice. Stir for one minute ensuring the rice is well coated in the vegetables and oil. Add the white wine and simmer, stirring until absorbed. 
Add half a cup of warmed chicken stock and stir into rice until absorbed. Continue to add the stock half a cup at a time until all the stock is nearly absorbed and the rice is tender. 
Roughly chop the mushrooms and add half into the risotto. Pick half the thyme leaves into the risotto. Stir the remaining butter into the risotto and finely grate over most of the parmesan along with a good squeeze of the lemon juice and the parsley. Serve the risotto topped with crispy mushrooms and an extra sprinkling of grated parmesan.
To make the crispy mushrooms, cook in a hot frying pan with a small knob of butter, the garlic cloves, some salt, pepper and the remaining picked thyme. Fry until browned and crispy, before serving atop the risotto.