Pork and Peanut Rice Noodle Salad

Pork and Peanut Rice Noodle Salad

This is inspired by a Nigella Lawson recipe I read a while back, however I’ve tinkered with some of the ingredients to make it gluten free and to encompass  some of the leftover meat from my roast dinner at the weekend.
Flat rice noodles
Red pepper
Left over roast pork
Spring onions
For the dressing:
Peanut butter
Sweet Chilli sauce
Lime juice
Soy sauce
A splash of sesame oil
Vegetable or sunflower oil
Soak the rice noodles until soft.  Slice the peppers, cucumber and pork into fine sticks.  Slice the spring onions and roughly chop the spinach. 
Mix the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl, taste it as you go to find the right balance, I  think I used about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, a tablespoon of sweet chilli, the juice of one lime and then tinkered with the soy and oil to taste.  If your peanut butter is a bit hard, give it a quick blast in the microwave before mixing in with the other ingredients.
Mix all the salad ingredients and dressing together and serve.  Some chopped coriander would go really nicely with this if you have some.
I made this for dinner this week then packaged some up for lunch the next day , no soggy salad just delicious, fresh peanutty goodness!

Pork and Fennel Meatballs with a Tomato Sauce

I may have accidentally copied this from Jamie Oliver, I had pork and fennel in my head as a good combination for meatballs, then Googled the concept and stumbled upon one of his recipes.  I skimmed it this morning and haven’t been back to it since, so I’ll tell you what I did and if you want to report me to the Jamie Oliver plagiarism police then do it, but just to be fair I’ll link to the recipe I peeked at earlier here:  http://www.jamieoliver.com/foodwise/article-view.php?id=1884

Right then, so let’s just continue as if this was all my wonderful idea and I’ll give you the haphazard, rough list of ingredients, and maybe  you’ll have a go sometime or maybe you’ll order a takeaway, because after all, sometimes you just like to read about food, and then it makes you hungry and then you can’t be arsed to cook. 

Ok so ingredients…

A big pack of pork mince (this is bloody good value fare btw), also I can’t remember how much was in the packet I used and I don’t want to go rummaging through the bin so pah!

A couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs (gf for me)

An egg

1/2 an onion, finely chopped

About four teaspoons of fennel seeds, crushed – did I tell you, I bought a very lovely pestle and mortar from a big supermarket chain today, very reasonable and not associated with one of those megalomaniac celebrity chef’s that seem to be taking over the world with their brands (sorry Jamie, I know I nicked your recipe but you are on everything these days)

Salt and pepper

Method:  Mix up all the above ingredients in a big bowl with your hands, get in there, get sticky.  Then roll into balls.  Stick on a big tray and put into a hot oven for about 25 min until lightly browned.

Whilst these are cooking you can knock up a tomato sauce, so…

Chop up the other half of the onion, soften in a pan with some olive oil then add a chopped clove of garlic.  Once translucent, add tomatoes (I added a tin of chopped and a few old tomatoes that were rolling around the back of our fridge.  Add a pinch of sugar, a splash of balsamic, a teaspoon of veg bouillon, some salt and pepper, and oops, a squirt of ketchup.  Simmer away for a few min then blitz and sieve.  Oh yeah and taste this then add/alter the ingredients until it tastes good.  I was thinking this might be nice with a splash of cream in to go with these meatballs but we didn’t have any and I’m not buying anymore now because the holiday is nearly over and I have to start being a bit more sensible sometime.

Once done, chuck your cooked meatballs in the sauce and heat through.  I made some mash to go with mine, but clearly this would be good with pasta or rice even.  We’re very Irish in this household and love our spuds.

Pork and Cider Casserole

A lovely winter warmer…
Serves 4-6

500g pork shoulder, cubes ( I got hand of pork, apparently right by shoulder as they had run out at the butchers)
3 carrots, sliced
2 onions, cut into chunks
1 leek, sliced
1 stick of celery, sliced
2 glasses of cider ( I used medium still cider, but I’m sure any will do)
Pork gravy granules ( I know this is crap cooking but it makes life easier)
Salt and pepper
A generous shake or two of marjoram

Brown pork in large heavy based saucepan or casserole dish.
Add onions, leek, carrots and celery and fry for a couple of min.
Add cider. Let bubble down for a few minutes.
Top up with boiling water.
Simmer for about an hour/ hour and a half until pork is tender.
Season, add gravy to thicken and sprinkle in marjoram.

Serve with a nice buttery mash, I made potato and swede mash. Now that should warm your cockles…