Laksa-flavoured leftover pork knuckle meat with coconut creamed rice and a side of broccoli

Laksa-flavoured leftover pork knuckle meat with coconut creamed rice and a side of broccoli

Sunday tea. Laksa-flavoured leftover pork knuckle meat with coconut creamed rice and a side of broccoli.

Ingredients

  • Leftover pork knuckle meat
  • Rice
  • Coconut cream
  • Lime leaves
  • Laksa paste
  • Lemongrass paste
  • Spring onion
  • Broccoli florets

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice some leftover pork knuckle meat.
  2. Crush some lime leaves in your hands to release the oils and aroma of the lime. If you don’t have strong hands (like me!) you can crush the leaves in a mortar with a pestle or beat them with a wooden stick like a rolling pin.
  3. Heat a wok and add in some laksa paste, lemongrass paste, and crushed lime leaves.
  4. Add in a tin of coconut cream and mix everything and bring it to a simmer.
  5. Cook for a few minutes to ensure the flavours and aromas all intermingle.
  6. Add in the sliced pork knuckle meat and bring everything to a simmer and keep cooking for a few minutes until the pork knuckle meat is warmed through.
  7. Stir in some cooked rice and bring it back to a simmer and allow the liquid to reduce and thicken.
  8. Turn off the heat and mix through the green part of some sliced spring onion.
  9. Aliquot some of the curry into a bowl and the rest into a container to refrigerate for a meal later in the week.
  10. Cook the broccoli with microwave radiation.
  11. Serve the broccoli as a side in the style of my BFF.

Pork knuckle and vegetables

I’m using a pre-cooked pork knuckle from Coles.

Pre-cooked pork knuckle. Slowly cooked and packaged for reheating.

While the Coles product is pre-cooked, to get the crackling crispy and crunchy it needs some more cooking.

I went with this because during the week I had a lovely pork belly dinner but the crackling was disappointing. It was soft and limp. I needed some crispy crunchy crackling stat im.

Ingredients

  • Coles pork knuckle
  • Queensland nut oil
  • Flaky iodised salt
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Baby green peas
  • Birds Eye potato mash

Instructions

Pork knuckle

  1. Remove the pork knuckle from the vacuum bag.
  2. Remove all the jelly and solidified fat that is clinging to the pork knuckle.
  3. Put the jelly and fat into a small skillet and gently simmer to reduce to a thin sauce.
  4. Dry the surface of the pork knuckle with absorbent kitchen paper.
  5. Rub a little Queensland nut oil over the surface of the pork knuckle and then liberally season with flaky iodised salt.
  6. Place into a baking tray and then into a hot oven (220 °C) for about 50 minutes.
  7. The endpoint you’re trying to achieve is crackling which feels hard when you tap it with a knife.
  8. When the pork knuckle is ready, remove it from the oven and coddle it with aluminium foil keeping the crackling exposed to avoid it going soft and limp.
  9. Allow the pork knuckle to rest for at least 10 minutes in its “space blanket”.
  10. Remove the aluminium foil and peel off the crackling and then cleave off the muscle bundles and slice.
  11. Keep the remainder of the meat aside and refrigerate for consumption later.

Potato mash

  1. Put the bag onto a plate and then into a microwave radiation oven.
  2. Set the timer for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Because my oven is malfunctioning, in that the “2” button doesn’t work, fiddle and cook in two instalments so the total cooking time is 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
  3. Allow the potato mash to rest in the bag for 1 minute.
  4. Cut the bag open and extrude the potato mash onto the pre-warmed dinner plate and spread artistically on the plate.

Vegetables

  1. In the reduced simmering pork knuckle jelly and fat add some Brussels sprouts and baby green peas and cook to your liking.
  2. I also finished mine in the oven because I could.

Plating up

  1. Lay some pork on top of the potato mash.
  2. Top the pork meat with the crackling.
  3. Place the green vegetables next to the potato mash.

Final thoughts

  • Do you like pork?
  • How do you like your pork?
  • Do you prefer having your pork prepared by someone else before you finish it off and put it in your mouth?

Fusion duck and penne pasta

Fusion duck and penne pasta

Vacuum packed duck breasts

Rather than go and buy noodles, I thought my duck and laksa-paste flavoured soup would work just as well with penne pasta.

Ingredients

  • Sous vide duck breast
  • Penne pasta
  • Spring onions
  • Laksa paste

Instructions

Penne pasta

  1. To maximise the resistant starch content, I cooked the pasta at lunchtime. I drained it and put it into the refrigerator until I needed it. 
  2. I cooked the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

Duck breast

  1. I cooked this yesterday, and you can find the recipe and full story on the blog.
  2. I took the refrigerated duck breast out of its vacuum bag, dried the duck with absorbent kitchen paper, and then sliced the cold duck meat thinly.

Meal preparation

  1. I cut up some spring onions cutting the white parts at an angle for that fancy look and cutting the green parts to form fine rings.
  2. I boiled some water and added a tablespoon of laksa paste, and stirred it through.
  3. I then added in the cold penne pasta and allowed the pasta to warm through.
  4. I turned off the heat and mixed through the spring onion and sliced duck meat.

How to eat this

  1. Eat this meal from a bowl with chopsticks and a spoon.

Final thoughts

How do you feel about combining a laksa flavour with penne pasta?

Sous vide duck breast with lentils, broccolini, and potato mash

Tonight I made sous vide duck breast with lentils, broccolini, and potato mash. For the full recipe and story go to Yummy Lummy.

Filet mignon and crunchy chickpea salad

Filet mignon and crunchy chickpea salad

Check out the full recipe and story at Yummy Lummy.

Penne pasta “mac and cheese” with pesto

Over at Yummy Lummy, I’ve posted a recipe for Penne pasta “mac and cheese” with pesto.

Because of the Facebook ban on Yummy Lummy, I’m sharing the link to the post here. Please do me a solid and click on the link which will take you to Yummy Lummy and the recipe.

Thanks.

Prawn roll

Prawn roll

I had my heart set on a bug roll, that is, a Moreton Bay bug (slipper lobster) roll. I got to the seafood shop this morning, and there were no bugs, no lobsters either! There were prawns though, so I bought prawns for a prawn roll.

Prawn roll with wasabi mayonnaise, pickled jalapeño peppers, red chilli, and parsley served with a side salad of lettuce, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes.

The motivation for this was again Lorraine Elliott who is better known as Not Quite Nigella. This week, Lorraine wrote about lobster rolls

Ingredients

  • Prawns (cooked and peeled)
  • Mayonnaise (I used Kewpie wasabi flavoured mayonnaise)
  • Pickled jalapeño peppers (chopped)
  • Red chilli (diced)
  • Bread roll (I bought a crusty baguette)
  • Butter (Lurpak spreadable)
  • Iodised salt
  • White pepper
  • Parsley (chopped)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl add some mayonnaise, the chopped jalapeño peppers, and chopped chilli. Mix with a fork and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Fold some chopped parsley into the spicy mayonnaise.
  3. Roughly cross-section cut the prawns and fold the prawn meat to the mayonnaise.
  4. Make a midline longitudinal incision along the baguette’s ventral surface and spread the two flaps apart with your thumbs to open the incision.
  5. Spread a nudge of butter on the incision surfaces of the baguette.
  6. Spread a little butter on the outside of the baguette.
  7. Toast the lateral surfaces of the baguette in a sandwich press.
  8. If you’ve added too much butter to the incision surfaces, some melted butter will bleed from the incision. The question I have for you though is, is there such a thing as too much butter?
  9. Once the baguette’s outer lateral surfaces are toasted, remove it and gently open the incision and spoon the prawns coated in spicy mayonnaise into the buttery baguette’s incision.
  10. Serve the prawn roll with a side salad of shredded lettuce, sliced cucumber, and halved cherry tomatoes.

Final thoughts

I am a little disappointed I couldn’t get a Moreton Bay bug today; however, the prawns were a reasonable substitute.

The spicy mayonnaise complemented the prawns nicely, and the warm buttery baguette provided great contrasting mouthfeel. As far as rolls go, this prawn roll was pretty good.

What would you prefer? Lobster? Bug? Prawns?

Postscript

After chopping and dicing the pickled jalapeño peppers and chilli, I had to attend the water closet.

Without going into any inappropriate detail, I will be buying disposable gloves to wear on my hands for when I chop and dice pickled jalapeño peppers and chilli. This experience took the shine off, enjoying eating the prawn roll.

Boneless rolled lamb shoulder

So, here I am. I succumbed to the commercial marketing and bought a lump of lamb to cook and eat on the gazetted public holiday officially known as Australia Day. 

Resting rolled shoulder of lamb.

Ingredients

  • Boneless rolled lamb shoulder
  • Iodised salt
  • Whole black peppercorns
  • White refined sugar
  • Chilli flakes
  • Kent pumpkin
  • Brown onion
  • Broccoli florets
  • Gravox instant gravy
Seared rolled lamb shoulder with pumpkin and onion.

Instructions

  1. The night before, or the morning of cooking, remove the lamb from the plastic vacuum wrapping. Dry the surfaces with a towel. Season the outer surfaces with salt and put the lamb back into the refrigerator to dry brine.
  2. Turn on the oven and set the thermostat to 180 °C.
  3. With a pestle, grind out some salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli flakes within the mortar chamber.
  4. Rub the ground salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli onto the lamb flesh and fat. Don’t be gentle, really rub it in.
  5. Heat a skillet to be smoking hot.
  6. Sear the outer surfaces of the lamb in the skillet. There’s no need for any extra oil. The sugar and the rendered fat from the lamb will caramelise the outer surfaces of the lamb.
  7. Insert a wireless thermometer probe deep within the flesh of the lamb. You want the tip of your temperature probe to hit the perfect spot.
  8. Smear some cooking oil onto a baking sheet and place the seared lamb on it.
  9. Rub leftover salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli onto the surface of a wedge of pumpkin and place it next to the lamb.
  10. Top and tail the brown onion.
  11. Put the lamb, onion, and pumpkin into the oven and cook according to the app connected to the wireless thermometer probe you’ve inserted deep into the flesh. The aim is to get an internal temperature of 54 °C.
  12. While the lamb and pumpkin are roasting, steam the frozen broccoli florets and allow the florets to cool a little.
  13. Put the broccoli florets into a mixing bowl and season with salt and add a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Toss the broccoli florets in the salt and oil. When the app suggests 20 minutes are remaining for the lamb, add the broccoli florets to the baking sheet.
  14. According to the app, observe the resting time to ensure a succulent, juicy piece of meat.
  15. Make the gravy according to the instructions for use on the tin.
  16. Carve enough of the lamb with a sharp knife for the meal.
  17.  Wrap the remaining lamb and refrigerate for lunches and dinners throughout the week.
  18. Serve the meat with the gravy and vegetables.
Lamb shoulder with pumpkin, onion, broccoli and gravy.

Final thoughts

How did you spend today?

Chickpea Jalapeño potato salad

Chickpea Jalapeño potato salad

Potato, Chickpeas, White onion, Chilli, Pickled jalapeño peppers, Spring onion, with wasabi mayonnaise and king prawns. I also added some Cracker Barrell maple-infused cheddar with toffee bites!

Lorraine Elliott, who is also known as Not Quite Nigella inspired this meal. This is her recipe with a few additions from me.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Kewpie wasabi mayonnaise
  • White onion
  • Pickled sliced jalapeño peppers
  • Chilli
  • Tinned chickpeas
  • Spring onion
  • Iodised salt
  • Whole black peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Boil the spuds until you can use a long sharp tool and penetrate the skin and flesh easily with no resistance.
  2. Remove the boiled spuds from the water and refrigerate overnight to permit the formation of resistant starch.
  3. Smile knowing my microbiota will be grateful (if bacteria were sentient).
  4. The next night, cut the cold boiled spuds into bite-sized pieces with a sharp knife.
  5. Put the spuds into a large mixing bowl and then squirt in some Kewpie Wasabi mayonnaise and a small handful of pickled sliced jalapeño peppers.
  6. Finely dice a white onion and add the chopped onion to the mixing bowl.
  7. Finely slice the spring onion and add the spring onion to the mixing bowl.
  8. Add in the tin of chickpeas because legumes are also useful for my microbiota.
  9. Gently mix everything to avoid disintegrating the spuds.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix.
  11. Peel the shells from the prawns and undertake a colectomy to remove the alimentary canal.
  12. Transfer everything to a serving bowl and garnish with some peeled prawns.
  13. Grab a fork, take the bowl, sit in front of the TV, and watch a movie while enjoying the potato salad.

What movie did I watch?

I watched one of my favourite movies, viz., Chariots of Fire. I love the story of Eric Liddell and how he put God and principles before King and country.

What’s all the microbiota talk?

Readers who know me know that I like listening to books. I’m not much of a reader of books, but I’ll happily listen to a book. 

I’m a fan of the Audible app and buying audible books from Amazon. To get more users, Audible has provided some free books to get people in.

One of the recent free offerings has been a 10 episode podcast by Dr Joanna McMillan. Joanna is a nutrition scientist and a practising nutritionist. Check her out at her website.

I think some people assume that we learn everything we need to know in medical school about nutrition. Given I went through medical school from 1983 to 1989 (yes that’s seven years, I did an extra degree during the course) it’s no surprise I’m a bit behind. My interest in our microbiota has been in the context of pathology and infection. It’s only recently, as I’ve endeavoured to improve my health that I’m thinking more about my microbiota.

If you’re interested in gut health, I reckon you’ll enjoy listening to Joanna. Her Scottish accent also helps!

Resistant starch

One topic that Joanna bangs on about is resistant starch. For a good synopsis of resistant starch, you cannot only listen to Joanna, but you can read about it on the CSIRO website.

You’ll see more legumes and raw oats in my Instagram feed in the future.

Potatoes and rice are useful sources of resistant starch if you cook them and then allow them to cool before eating them. That’s why I cooked the spuds yesterday and then refrigerated the potatoes.

How was the potato salad?

It was good. It certainly had a big kick to it with the jalapeño peppers, wasabi mayonnaise, and the red chilli. I split it in half and will finish it off tomorrow night. 

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