Lemongrass Pork Winter Warmer

This one was borne out of the necessity to use the lemongrass that has been in the fridge for about a week. A simple, broth-y dish which will keep you warm on a cold evening. With an Asian twist 😉

Thin strips of pork (1 kilo), free range is best
2 stalks of lemongrass, bashed and tied into knots
Half a bulb of garlic, crushed
1 or 2 cans of coconut milk
Shredded cabbage
Sliced pepper
Mange tout
Salt (or fish sauce) and pepper to taste

Sauté crushed garlic until aromatic. Stir in pork, cook until all pinkness is gone. Pour in coconut milk. In go the lemongrass stalks too. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the veggies, mix in, and cook for another 3-5 minutes (cabbage should still be green-ish). Season to taste.

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Salt and Pepper Chicken

Since adopting the paleo lifestyle, I have been ravenous most of the time. It requires adequate planning in advance, with enough variety to keep things from heading to boredom-ville. This recipe, if you could even call it that, is simple and easy. All you need is good quality chicken. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of quality ingredients: free-range chicken. If you have that, you can do no wrong. 

I learnt butchering chicken while growing up so I use whole chicken all the time.  You get a variety of textures and flavours from the different cuts. My favourites are thighs and chicken oysters. The alternative is to buy your favourite cuts but as it is free-range, it might cost you and arm and a leg. Best tip is to get a good quality cleaver and get over your fears of butchering. I also include most of the skin now. If you have good quality chicken, you get good quality fats (e.g., omega 3). I should add that crispy chicken skin is food for the gods. It literally is.

Place your cuts in a bowl. Pour in 1 tablespoon of good quality olive oil, salt and lots of pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes, although overnight is better.

Heat a heavy pan and cook the cuts with bones first (legs, back, wings, and thighs if you have not de-boned them). No need to add oil if you left the skin on. Fat will render out and make the skin crispy.  Cover to steam/fry for about 10 minutes.  Add in the boneless bits thereafter.  Turn every now and again for the next 10-15 minutes to make sure they get browned evenly. Drain and sprinkle with smoked sea salt.

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Best hangover food.

Supperclub: Budaya Kusina

First Supperclub!!!!!

Ok…excitement over… Yes… You read right… @InnovativeBaker (Lyn) and I will be having our first ever Supperclub.  We will be cooking up a serious fusion of sorts mashing Malaysian and Filipino food down to the dessert for a night to remember.

Just FYI, @CheapEatsBlog has not had any experience on supperclubs or anything of that sort.

Lyn is the main driver of this event, having attended  brunches and crashing the supperclub events.

A consensus on twitter and encouragement from friends has led us to come up with…. (drumroll…………) BUDAYA KUSINA!!!!!

Taking the two cultures, the Filipino and the Malaysian and fusing it with our languages and food, Budaya Kusina was born. Kusina means kitchen in Tagalog while Budaya is culture in Malay. Thus meaning kitchen culture in English. Ok… That aside, you must be wondering what the menu is????? Here it is…

Nibbles
Kuih Rose – fried Malaysian coconut milk biscuits shaped like roses
Inang-Inang – fried sticky rice much like rice crackers but ala Malaysian style

Starters
Roti Jala (Malaysian turmeric net pancakes) with 3 dips

Mains
Pork Belly Adobo
Malay slow-cooked Beef Rendang
Achar Awak (Malaysian pickled vegetables)
Steamed Okra with dried prawn sambal sauce
Ibus (Filipino sticky rice)

Desserts
Nyonya kuih
Kaffir lime leaf sorbet

Petit fours
Pineapple tarts with Malaysian aerated tea – Teh Tarik with tea dust from Sabah

Wow!!!! That many dishes!!!! Must be expensive!!!! Well… As this is our first supperclub outing, we will only be charging £20 for the whole night. Corkage is free!!! Lol!!! And who knows!! You might just get a surprise gift too!

So when are we doing this? Details are as follows:

Date: 4th Aug 2012 (Saturday)
Time: 7.30pm onwards
Location: Camberwell, London, UK.
Places: 6 only

Interested? Email me at donnowhat2cook@gmail.com or Barry at bongguapo@gmail.com. Hurry! Cos 6 places can get filled up quite quickly. Or message us on twitter at @Innovativebaker or @CheapEatsBlog.

We’d kindly ask for a deposit just to secure your place if you don’t mind. Details will be given upon confirmation via email. The rest can be paid after you’ve devoured the food.

I know we have takers already, so hurry and email us!!!  Can’t make it??? Don’t worry, there will be more supperclubs planned with various other Foodies.  Follow us on twitter and we’ll keep you updated!

Photos of our escapades leading up to the supperclub will appear on twitter so keep track on seeing what goodies are being miraculously concocted. Don’t miss out!

Paleo-friendly Bars

We have recently tried adopting the paleo way of eating. This is based on the understanding that human bodies have not yet evolved to break down food that have only been introduced in the last hundred thousand years. There are a lot of resources on the internet about this, and we would encourage you to look them up.  Bottom line is, remove dairy, legumes, potato, grains and all processed food in your diet. Meat, fruits, nuts, seeds and veggies you can eat in abundance.

Anyway, this paleo-friendly bar recipe is inspired by such, and could help those partial to sweets.  (Just FYI, been doing paleo for 3 weeks now, and have lost 2 kg [Baz here], feeling better, no sugar crash. Although I also fit in at least five Body Combat sessions a week. But I eat a lot. I mean, a LOT.)

Ingredients:

200g ground almonds
50g unsweetened shredded coconut
1 dozen chopped medium pitted dates
2 free range eggs
Handful of walnuts or other nuts
1 tbsp honey
Handful of linseed / sunflower / pumpkin / sesame seed mix
A bit of water maybe 2 tbsps
2 tbsps peanut butter
2 tbsps coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together. It should feel a bit doughy and moist. If not, add a bit more water.  If you want it sweeter, add more dates.

Pack and flatten into a baking pan. 20-25 minutes at 180C. Let cool before cutting into bars.

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Note 1: Try and experiment with different nuts. And maybe use pandan extract or cloves instead of vanilla.  Next time I’ll include a bit of fennel seeds for that fresh liquorice taste! 😀

Note 2: Some claim peanuts are non-paleo. Perhaps use almond butter instead if you want to be super strict.