Honey, Soy and Ginger Pork Loins

SHOE HORN ALERT. We bought a house 🙂 I realise that has NOTHING to do with honey, soy and ginger pork loins, but I just needed to get it out there. We’ve been looking for around a year and finally found our dream home back in June, and exchanged contracts a week or so ago. The really important part is that it’s got a ma-hoo-sive kitchen with a RANGEMASTER oven (omg omg), loads of putting down space and beautiful wooden work tops with loads of natural light. If you’ve watched my Insta Stories you’ll know I currently cook in a tiny kitchen maybe 1-2 metres wide so I am extremely excited to the upgrade! I cannot wait to show you all, we should be in by Christmas.

Anyway now thats out of the way, here’s a nice recipe for pork.

For ages I really wasn’t fond of pork, but then eating it in Chinese food as Char Sui really got me into it. Pork loins are pretty cheap in Aldi or Lidl and easy to cook with too! I love this recipe as a nice quick weekend dinner, just make sure you marinate the meat in the morning and it will be delicious by the time you come to cook it!

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Nasi Goreng with Crispy Shallots

I would never have really thought of making this dish, but when UK Shallots tweeted me asking to create one of their recipes, I couldn’t say no. This was the recipe they sent me and it it was so delicious Gary even said he’d pay for it in a restaurant!

All the ingredients arrived in a delightful little orange cool bag which Nippet now seems to be obsessed with.

Anyway unwrapped, here’s everything that I used. Ooh, Waitrose!

How cute is the shallot with the eyes!! I couldn’t bear cutting him up, so he’s still hanging out in our kitchen.

The original recipe is vegan, but we fancied some meat this weekend so we added in some pork that I’d marinated for a few hours in soy, honey, chilli and a little bit of garlic. You could very easily leave this out though and still have a totally yummy vegan meal.

The only thing I struggled with was getting the shallots crispy, the recipe said to fry until golden brown and they would crisp as they cool. Sadly mine never crisped despite almost burning most of them (maybe I over oiled?) but they were still really nice. Shallots are such a staple in our house, I tend to buy them more than onions as they’re so versatile and also because they’re small they’re great if you’re cooking for one.

Find the recipe here!

Disclosure: I was gifted the ingredients for this post by the lovely UK Shallots.

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Brussel Sprout, Sweet Potato and Smoky Bacon Hash

I don’t know about you but I love a good sprout, and this is obviously the best time of year to get your fill of them. This is a nice recipe if you’re looking for something a little different for breakfast or lunch, not going to lie it is pretty light so add a slice of toast or two  if you’re fully starving.

 

Also please accept my apologies for my poached egg. I cannot for the life of me get the white to wrap around. I’ve tried: straining off the excess white, swirling the water, not swirling the water, vinegar, shallow pans, deep pans, you name it. NONE of these things work for me. I have my eye on some of those pan poacher thingies (like these) maybe Santa will come through. If you’ve used them, let me know if they’re good!

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72 Mighty Meatballs

You can’t just make A FEW meatballs. They’re one of those foods where if you’re making them, you should be making a LOT of them. This happens especially if you’re mixing your meats – mine are pork and beef – because you can’t buy a tiny pack of beef mince and a tiny pack of pork mince. You might as well go whole hog, buy 1kg meat and spending your afternoon well… Ballin’. That’s exactly what I did, and we ended up with 72 meatballs in the house.*

I’ve been making this recipe as long as I can remember, as taught by my dad (author of other delicious creations such as The Best Bolognese Sauce and Tuna, Rice ‘And All Things Nice’) As my tastes have changed I’ve started adding more spice but the basic recipe remains untouched. Spend a couple of hours bulk balling, and you’ll have a freezer full of meaty delights that you can pop on pasta, serve in pittas as per my little packed lunches, or just eat (obviously defrosted and cooked through).

Recipe after the jump!

*Update – there’s like 20 left now

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Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Chorizo Salad with Wild Garlic

Another recipe using wild garlic! Well, when in Rome (or Roundhay Park). I’ve been trying to think outside of the box and look at different ways of using wild garlic instead of in the standard pesto. This recipe uses wild garlic torn into small pieces and it adds a really nice soft flavour to the dish. If it’s not in season or you can’t get any, spinach would work fine or you could omit it completely.

This is one of those elusive delicious desk lunches that don’t need warming up. Make a big batch at home and enjoy at room temperature or from the fridge, no fuss, no muss!

You do need some harissa for this recipe to give it an extra punch – cauliflower roasted by itself tends not to hold much flavour but whack some harissa in there and you’ve got yourself something really delicious! The beans and cheese add some extra protein and you can take out the chorizo if you’re veggie.

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Colcannon with Smoked Haddock and Pancetta

Happy St. Patrick’s day! I have to be honest, I don’t think I’d actually eaten colcannon until I made this recipe, but now I’m HOOKED. It’s not really healthy, what with all the cream and butter, but if you’re in the mood for treating yourself once in a while this is a really great way to indulge.

It was my first time using Albert Bartlett Elfe potatoes too, which I found in Lidl the other week. I’m a keen fan of their Rooster potatoes, they’re so consistent. These took a while to cook, maybe a little longer than a rooster, but mashed beautifully.

I was wondering what to eat this with and then found some smoked haddock fillets in my freezer. I usually keep these for risottos, soups or fish pies rather than eat as fillets, but I thought, what the heck. Let’s eat it as a fillet.

At first I was going to add a sauce but I was in two minds about what it would be. With no white wine in the house (sadly) the only other option would have been a creamy sauce which would have been a bit overkill with the mash. If I made it again, I’d maybe include a buttery white wine sauce just poured over the fish but honestly this was delicious just as it was.


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Chorizo, Sausage and Bacon Spicy Rice

I’m not a big meat eater, and I know processed meat is meant to be soooo bad for us, but don’t you just have days where you want to gorge on meat? Just me?

Most of the recipes I make can be easily made vegetarian, as I don’t eat that much meat as a rule, I kind of grew up learning it was a “weekend treat” rather than something eaten mid week and it’s so expensive these days. This is one you really can’t make vegetarian, sorry veggie friends!

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Creamy Oozy Carbonara

Pasta. Crispy bacon. Salty cheese. Smooth, silky creamy sauce. Are you salivating yet? Carbonara has to be my most favourite comfort food. YUM.

It’s actually taken me years to like it, I couldn’t get over the semi raw egg. So I started making it egg-free (just cream), and then slowly I came around to it, realising you need the egg to thicken it up and get that gorgeous, glossy sauce.

I’m a bit of a purist about it now – I won’t have it unless it’s spaghetti or linguine, these penne versions of it don’t cut it for me, I think you need the long strands of pasta to distribute the sauce properly. That said, if you’re into that kind of thing, this recipe works with any pasta shape.

Be liberal with the cheese, but make sure to eschew any extra salt, as parmesan or pecorino tend to be very salty in themselves, as is the bacon, and this dish can very easily be over seasoned as a result. Go nuts with the black pepper though, it’s essential.

 

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Stuffed Courgette Meatball Pizzas

I’m not a fan of courgette ON pizza – but I am a fan of courgette UNDER pizza! The only downside to these delicious things is that if you’re cooking for one, you need to make 6 and reheat three of them, but is that really a downside?

Also as a side point, I purchased this entire meal from my local Netto – this post is in no way endorsed by them, but the courgettes, mushrooms. meatballs, sauce and the mozzarella are all from our Scandinavian yellow friends. And it only came to £7 or something. Sadly, two days later, they shut the Netto down, so there goes my chances of repeating this recipe again!

Of course, if you’re in less of a rush you could make the  sauce yourself (soften a shallot and some garlic in olive oil, add a jar of passata, cook down for 20 minutes into a thick rich sauce…) but I was strapped for time. I actually really hate canned tomato sauces but this one was quite pleasant and did shave down the cooking time.

You could make your own meatballs too, or use this recipe to use up any left over ones. If you’re veggie obviously you can leave them out or replace with Quorn perhaps.

Anyway, don’t they look delicious? They tasted delicious too, really convincingly pizza-y which is probably down to the mozzarella and sauce situation. They’re probably not great for you with the amount of cheese I used but largely, they’re probably better for you than pizza.

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