Friday, 29 January 2010

Fish Fragrant Slivers of Pork

Lou was supposed to be out and I was Baby Sitting! Great - time for Sichuan! Unfortunately Lou's night was cancelled. Not mine though :o)

From the awesome Sichuan Cooking by Fuscia Dunlop you get the history of the strangely named dish....

“The so-called ‘fish-fragrant’ flavour…is salty, sweet, sour and spicy, and infused with the heady tastes of garlic, ginger and spring onions. The hot taste comes from pickled chillies, which also stain the cooking oil a brilliant orange-red. The most classic fish-fragrant dishes are based on pickled chillies chopped to a puree with a cleaver blade, although some versions use Sichuan chilli bean paste instead… This delicious combination of flavours is thought ot have originated in traditional Sichuanese fish cookery, which would explain why other ingredients prepared in the same fashion whould have instantly recalled the taste of fish to those who are them, hence the name. Some food experts, like the famous chef Xiao Jianming of the Piaoxiang Restaurant in Chengdu, say the flavours conjure up the actual taste of little crucian carp (ji yu), which are widely eaten in Sichuan – another explanation for the title. The term may also be connected with the fact that whole crucian carp, which may also be connected with the fact that whole crucian carp…are sometimes actually added to vats of pickling chillies to improve their taste.”

Always good to have in the store cupboard - dried cloud ear fungus

I cannot resist - every time I cook Chinese it has to have a Bok Choi in Oyster sauce. kick it up a notch!

Before the chilli oil does it work in terms of infusing....

And after - fantastic


Sorry Lou - it had to be cooked!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Quick Beef and Mushroom Stir Fry

A bit of beef and a few bits and bobs from my Chinese Larder

The holy trinity of chinese marinades

Fermented Black beans

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Huevos rancheros

On Friday night we'd had a quick Mexican fajhitas (not on the blog!). There was, as always - some tortillas and various bits left over.

On Sat we were in Giraffe - and one of their brunches is Huevos Rancheros. Ah ha - Sunday evenig's tea was born.

As left over meals go - this was right up there!

That Chorizo had seen better days. I darn't look at the sell buy date!

Cubed and fried

Made a salsa with the chorizo and fresh toms.....browned off the totillas in a large pan - dumped a few eggs on top with the cheeses and lobbed in under the grill



Served with an obscene amount of sour cream and guacamole. Very good!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Pot au Feu

Inspired by an elderly lady sitting next to me in Chez Paul last week, I decided to have a go at this French classic. It also helped that I was in Ridley Road market and they had some 'shin' for sale.

I also got to use my fantastic shiny new casserole pot!

Some bacon frying

I always chuckle when a recipe asks for this sort of thing


And after...

Unfortunately - the shin was far to 'cheap' a cut - and ended up being all gristle. Shame - as the sauce was excellent. Not the greatest dish - and certainly not like a classic Pot au Feu. You win some - you loose some.