I know I haven’t posted to my blog lately. I have been busy with school and the boys. It seems that when it rains, it pours. Between the work at school, and the boys’ activities, I don’t have time to do much extra stuff.
Today though, I tried a new recipe and made up a recipe. Some friends of mine love to cook and introduced me to an author named Nigel Slater. He has written several cookbooks, one of which I own – Kitchen Diaries, A year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater.
Slater takes you on a journey through his cooking, shopping and pantry with recipes ranging from the very simple to much more complex recipes. I thoroughly enjoy reading not only his recipes, but also the inspiration and reasons for creating them.
Pork Burgers with Lime Leaves and Cilantro
4 red hot chili peppers and their seeds
4 medium garlic cloves
The stalks and leaves from a small bunch of cilantro
A thumb sized lump of ginger
6 lime leaves
4 oz pancetta
1 ½ lbs ground pork
Vegetable oil or peanut oil for frying
Chop the scallions, peppers, garlic, and cilantro and finely grate ginger. Roll up and finely shred the lime leaves – they should be as fine as you can get them – then put the lot in a food processor and process until all in finely chopped wand well mixed. Scrape the paste out into a large bowl. Cut up the pancetta, then put it into the processor and process it to a coarse mush. Now add it, with the spice paste, to the ground pork. Mix everything together – I like to do this with my hands – grinding in some salt and black pepper as you go. Set aside in the fridge for about half an hour for the flavors to mingle.
Squash the seasoned pork into about 12 small balls, then flatten them into patties. Pour a little oil into a heavy, shallow pan, just enough to cover the bottom. When it is hot, add half the meatballs and let them cook for several minutes over a high heat, turning them halfway through, till t hey are cooked in the middle and nicely brown and stickily, sensuously glossy on the outside. Enough for 4 with rice and salad
See what I mean? His writing is almost sensual. The way he talks about food, it is almost another guest in the room. If you get a chance, look for one of his books. I thought the burgers were very good. I really liked the freshness of the lime leaves and cilantro. That is a flavor combination that I am really beginning to like. I do think I overcooked them a bit. Since I am not used to cooking pork on the stove; Hubby usually grills or I cook in the oven.
My second recipe is my own creation. I confess, I really like Lipton Noodles and Sauce. I don’t like the idea of artificial flavors, though. Anyway, tonight I tried to make my own noodles and sauce. I am putting the ingredients down, but I have no exact measurements.
My pasta turned out really good – I was impressed, if I do say so myself. I must confess though, I got the idea from Melissa D’Arabian from The Next Food Network Star. She cooked a similar orzo dish. The stock and cheese made a nice little sauce for the pasta – it was an easy one dish meal that could very easily be adapted for any taste profile that one might want.
Orzo Pasta with Sauce
Tri color orzo pasta
1 clove garlic – peeled
Chives – fresh or dried
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Cook orzo in chicken stock – I used about a quart. Only drain off excess – there should still be liquid in pan, I just drained off a little stock from the top. Remove garlic clove, add chives, salt pepper, and cheese. Stir to combine, check seasonings and serve.