We are hurtling officially towards summer down here (ie tomorrow) and to be frank I am not pleased. I do not do hot weather and even moreso, humidity. I was truly born in the wrong country although Tasmania would probably do quite nicely. Beautiful countryside, lower temps, less humidity and a great food culture. Let’s sit with that for a moment shall we?
The only redeeming feature for me in these hotter months, apart from washing drying on the line in an hour rather than a day, is the food. Stone fruits, mangos, papaya, crisp Asian salads loaded with lime, mint, coriander and chilli and cooking outside.
Actually Sydney’s climate means I could/should use the BBQ year round but I always tend to forget it’s there once the heater is in action. The main reason I like cooking outside is I don’t have to clean down the cooktop. Yes, I am that lazy.
This dessert is fairly and squarely placed in my summer repertoire and all the boys love it. Along with the black sticky rice it sits in relatively high rotation, topped with mango or other summer fruits, drizzled with a palm sugar syrup, extra coconut cream and lime to give it zing.
Some people call it sago, some call it tapioca, we call it frogs eggs. There are myriad recipes for its use but this is my go-to.
Oh my lordy be, these sticky pork spare ribs are good. I reckon you could also do it to a whole piece of pork belly or to American style ribs, even beef ribs and get a sensational result.
There is a two step cooking process so you’re probably not making this on a school night but don’t let me stop you. We had it a couple of nights ago and there were leftovers (unheard of) (they were DELICIOUS cold too) but I’m already hankering for them again. I’ll going to experiment with different cuts of meat so I’ll keep you posted.
12 Chinese pork spare ribs (these seem to be slightly different everywhere I get them, but they strips generally without a bone in them but sometimes a little bit of bone in them. Isn't that helpful. I now just get them at the Asian butcher because I figure it's gotta be right from there.)
4 star anise
4 slices ginger
1 cup kecap manis (a thick sweet soy sauce, most supermarkets now stock it)
¼ cup honey
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes (it sounds like a lot and the result is spicy but not mind-blowingly so, and that's on my palate which doesn't tolerate stupidly spicy food. Oscar also eats them and he is a no go zone for spicy food. Weird huh.)
2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
Pop the pork, star anise and ginger into a saucepan and cover with cold water
Bring it to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes
While the pork is cooking make the marinade by mixing it all together
Preheat your oven to 180C
Line 1-2 baking trays with baking paper
Drain the ribs and lie them flat on the trays
Using a pastry brush liberally cover the pork in the marinade on both sides
Bake for 20 minutes, turning half way and basting with any left over marinade when the mood takes you (sometimes I completely forget the basting and guess what, still delicious!)
In some very exciting news I have teamed up with Mrs Woog for a podcast we have ingeniously called Woog & Berry. Stay tuned, we should be going live in early December. Such a development!
In our first episode we talk about #everyfuckingnight and just how many things you can do with mince. Preferably we steer clear of 70s favourites of curried mince but embrace the rissole. I of course had to go all show pony and talk about this Thai mince, properly referred to as Laab.
It is an absolute snap to make and oddly enough all of my kids eat it. Granted I can not guarantee all of yours will but it is damn tasty and even if they have a bowl of cereal for dinner again you get something good down your gullet.
So I finally recently bought Smitten Kitchen‘s cookbook which is as good as I had hoped. I have followed her blog for as long as I can remember and have never ever had a recipe of hers fail. In the cookbook is a version of this using cranberries for the festive season.
This slice is divine, plain and simple. A basic shortbread base that is also scattered over the top of the blueberries. I’ve made this with apple and rhubarb (that I’d stewed previously) and blackberries and every time it turns out a treat.