Spiced Pork and Rice

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IMG_5393This super simple supper dish is a perfect way to eat pork tenderloin. You can choose to spice it up as much or as little as you want depending on your tastes and it is a great dish to add your own touches too.

Ingredients for 4

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin wedges
500g pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices
50g chorizo sausage, skinned and cut into 5mm slices (optional)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 red and 1 orange or green  pepper, deseeded and sliced
100g green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp hot chilli powder (or more if you fancy!)
150g easy-cook long-grain rice
750ml chicken stock, made with 1 stock cube
Salt
Black pepper

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick deep frying pan or sauté pan. Fry the onion wedges over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes until they’re softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly.
2. Season the pork with salt and black pepper, then add it to the pan and stir-fry with the onion for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the chorizo, garlic, peppers and beans and stir-fry together for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with the spices and stir in the rice, then pour over the stock and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice and pork are both lovely and tender.

This is a great dish for your kids to try out – get them in the kitchen and get them cooking!

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Creamy Kale and Bacon Pasta

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Kale is such a favourite green of mine….makes me feel good every time I eat it. It has a wonderfully deep green earthy flavour and a real crunch to it. And it just looks so beautiful too!

Anyway, the other night I had several leaves left over and loitering in the fridge with little to do from a previous meal so I fancied a pasta dish and i fancied kale – a marriage made in heaven!

I pan fried a clove of garlic chopped finely in olive oil with three strips of good smoked streaky bacon chopped into small pieces. You could use lardon also or pancetta.

When it was cooked, I turned the heat down, sliced the kale leaves into small strips and added them to the pan, stirring them round over a medium heat to let them wilt a little – just a minute or so. I had already cooked my pasta. I drained it and left to one side whilst I stirred 150 ml of single cream into the bacon and kale mixture, added a grind or two of black pepper and turned the heat down low whilst I stirred all the ingredients together.

I then tipped the drained pasta into the pan and stirred it all round to coat each piece – I used rigatoni.

You could add a little dried chilli to it with the kale if you fancied a little zing.

It really is a fab way to eat your greens, I have to say!

Oh it’s such a pearfect day….I’m glad I ate this with you!

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Oh it's such a pearfect day....I'm glad I ate this with you!

Supper last eve was rounded off with the simplest of dishes – glimmering green conference pears halved, seeds scooped out gently and then placed carefully, flesh side down, into a frying pan in which around 80 gm unsalted butter and 2 or 3 tablespoons of brown sugar were nicely melted and unctuous.

I left them for around ten minutes on a low heat, then added a splash of brandy. Several minutes later I turned the pears and
popped a lid on the pan for ten minutes.

The result was the softest and most succulent of pears encrusted with a caramelised coating.

On to a plate – a drizzle of cream, and more of the buttery sugary brandy mix spooned over.

There can be fewer tastier simpler desserts.

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Simple Salmon says…eat this….!

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Simple Salmon says...eat this....!

Ok…a few quick fire posts…last night we had 4 gorgeous salmon fillets to deal with and my kids wanted pasta – so I did a version similar to another earlier dish on this blog but with a few differences. Firstly, it was fresh salmon which I wrapped in foil with a little unsalted butter and baked for 20 minutes at 160c. I then skinned it and flaked it. In a frying pan I popped a carton of crème fraîche and 50 gm of unsalted butter and stirred over a low heat until it melded together. I then added a teansy weansy dash of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper and about a teaspoon or so of dried tarragon-fresh would have been better but forgot! I then added the flaked salmon and stirred it gently once more.

I left this to one side whilst the pasta cooked al dente, drained it and tipped the creamy unctuous salmon mix in and allowed it all to get very friendly.

Variations – well, you could first pan fry a small onion finely chopped until soft, then add a glass of dry white wine and let it bubble together, then add the crème fraîche or single cream if you prefer – no need for butter in this case. You could also add a cup of peeled prawns as well as the salmon. You could also plump for dill instead of tarragon.

Choices, choices!