Steamed pork rib with black beans


There is not much I do not enjoy about the yum cha (dumpling) table.

Normally I would write a few more words to introduce a recipe.

Not today.

This Christmas thing makes a chef’s life too bloody busy 

A few things I consider to be essential at the dumpling table

Pieces o’ pork
That pork ready to hit the steamer
The sticky rice ready to be tucked in covered with its #cheflife ALSCO towel
Dish that up

Just like that

STEAMED PORK RIBS WITH BLACK BEANS, STICKY RICE AND A FEW OTHER DUMPLING HOUSE GOODIES

500g pork belly with or without rib, pork spare rib or St Louis cut pork ribs, cut into 2cm pieces (your butcher might do this if you are nice to him/her. Otherwise you may need a meat cleaver…)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon Shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 clove garlic, peeled and smashed with the flat of a knife
½ onion, diced
1 long green chilli, deseeded and diced
½ red capsicum, diced
2 tablespoons Chinese black beans
2 cups glutinous white rice, soaked for a day or overnight in 1lt of water
1 bunch choy sum
A splash of oyster sauce
Assorted store-bought dumplings
Sriracha, soy sauce and/or whatever it is you like to dunk your dumplings into, to serve

Combine sugar, Shaoxing, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper and garlic. Mix through pork ribs to marinate. Set aside overnight or at least one hour to do its thing.
Add onion, chilli, capsicum and black beans, and transfer to a bowl that will fit in your steamer basket.

Set up steamer in the usual fashion – simmering water in the bottom, and then the layers with the holes in them go over that (dumplings, vegetables, rice and steamed pork go on these levels), and then the lid looking thing goes on top of them.

Line the bottom level of your steamer with a towel, add strained rice and then wrap extra cloth over the top like you were tucking the rice into bed. Now you should say goodnight to the rice. Place steamer basket over simmering water.
Place bowl with pork ribs into top basket. Place onto steamer and cover with lid.
Steam for 25 minutes or until rice and pork is fully cooked.
Remove rice and pork from steamer. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Line bottom steamer basket with baking paper. Place dumplings in basket, ensuring there is ½ cm between each dumpling so they don’t stick together. Place over simmering water.
Place choy sum on a dish that will fit in steamer basket and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce. Place steamer basket over dumplings and then cover with lid. Steam choy sum and dumplings for 6-8 minutes or whatever the instructions on the packaging of the dumplings might tell you.

Get it all on the table now.
Now is the time to eat it.
Place your chosen morsel into the big hole in your face, chew it a little or a lot and then swallow.
You are now eating.
Thumbs up.

Put-on-anything, back up, corny, feel good salsa


This (or some kind of slightly bastardised, red headed step child of a version of this) is the salsa you will now use to impress people when you don’t actually have the brain capacity and/or motor skill to impress people.

This is the thesaurus of the intellectually incapacitated… it is the bath for the homeless man… it is the Google of the modern child… it is the facelift for the elderly whore… it is… time to move on.

The thing is, it will make you seem like a heaps cleverer person than you actually are.

The scenario may be something as simple as you impressing the heck out of yourself with a hangover dinner of shit-in-a-tin nachos topped with this little ray of sun shine of a salsa, or maybe you just want to mix it with a little chopped lettuce for “your own version” (wink, wink) of a chopped salad, or maybe you invite a heap of pretty girls over and impress the knickers off of them with some tasty assed tacos topped with this look-like-a-champion salsa, or maybe even your boss comes for dinner and you serve this with a beautifully roasted piece of chicken (you can find that a few posts back), sautéed spinach or kale and a delicious pan gravy.

Seriously, I am even starting to impress myself a little right now, and believe me – I’m pretty tough to win over.

Grill that corn or flash it in a pan if that’s all you got

Really close to the corn salsa

Really far away from the corn salsa

CORNY SALSA

2 sweet corn, grilled, kernels stripped
2 medium tomatoes, dice (I really can’t be too fucked to remove the seeds)
1 lebanese cucumber, deseeded and diced (Yes. I fucking deseed the cucumber. It’s heaps easier and more efficient than deseeding tomatoes though)
½ red onion, diced
50-100g feta, crumbled
½ bunch coriander and/or oregano, roughly chopped
A splash (or 10) of your favourite hot sauce
Juice of 1-2 limes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Get it all into a large mixing bowl.
Mix gently to combine.
Put on something and eat it in your face.

Apple cider vinaigrette and my sincerest apologies


Apple cider vinaigrette

This is a recipe that I constantly forget to give you fine folks, and for that I’m sorry. But I am giving it to you right now (Well, I’m not actually “giving it to you” right now because that would be perverted… unless it’s consensual I guess… a conversation for another time fo’ sho), and for that you should probably be pretty thankful.

Tangy, a little bit sweet and really good for putting on just about anything – leafy herby salads, potato salad, coleslaw, warm salads such as this one and yes, the use of the term “anything” does definitely include your girlfriends boobies or your boyfriends whatever thingy that a boyfriend has. You will wonder how you have come so far in life with out it… just like everyone else wonders how you have come so far in life full stop… and indeed if you could be trusted to sit the right way on a toilet seat.

This is the sort of thing you can make days, weeks or even years ahead of that “big date” with “the one”, or even permanently have on hand as it will last approximately 1 million years* in your refrigerator.

These are probably some of the most average photos I have attached to a post… And they are definitely in some really good company…

APPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE

(makes heaps enough for a few salads)

¼ cup yellow mustard (or whatever mustard it is that you like)
2 tablespoons castor sugar
100ml apple cider vinegar
400ml some kind of neutral tasting oil
A pinch of salt

Slowly emulsify oil into other ingredients using a stick wizz or whisk or possibly a small branch with the leaves removed (it’s the same as that mayonnaise thing you learnt about that one time).
You could even try the ol’ put-all-of-the-ingredients-in-a-jar-and-shake-it-up trick if you’re keen.
Store that in the fridge for the rest of your life.

*Might not last quite that long. Let me know how you go.

Friendly Fire; Sushi

pork sushi
“ANOTHER SHARK ATTACK AT BYRON BAY” has been the headline news a little too often in the last few months.

Are there even more sharks or are we just looking a little harder for them now?

Who knows. Either way, the sharks have been hungry this year.

I think it’s possibly because we have been taking a lot of the food from their under water cafeteria. I could be wrong, I have certainly been wrong before, but it’s a theory I have. So, due to the seemingly insatiable appetite of sharks in the Byron Bay area I have opted out of using seafood for my “Friendly Fire Sushi Challenge” on this occasion and have instead headed to the hills and found myself some pork.

Pork is not generally the primary food source for sharks or for any other creature that has been remotely sensationalized and/or thrusted (yeah I just said thrusted) into peoples lives as being a ruthless killer so I feel that it is something that I may use today with out consequence nor burden to add to the weight of my already obese conscience.

I’m sure Dana got to use some kind of delicious seafood that she wasn’t stealing from the mouths of the wee sharky bairn and therefore forcing poppa shark to work a whole heap harder for his money and actually start walking onto the beach on his fins to steal a lone, unaware, overweight, sun glazed tourist and then drag said tourist back into the ocean to feed his family, thus resulting in the end of beach going as we know it today through fear of land walking sharks… The picture I created in my own head right there was probably far more amusing to me than it actually came across…

Brain images 1 – conveying funniness to wider community 0.

So to summarize I can and will tell you that statistically you have more chance of getting killed by falling out of bed or from eating a hotdog than you do from a shark attack, and there is a 100% chance that I shall be making a porky nori rolls for the sushi challenge today.

Epic food battles of history. Who wins? You decide…

See Dana’s (more informative and possibly just darn right better) creation right here.

Get it all together
Get it all together

Mmmm, pulled pork. This was really good and I will probably sort out a recipe for it really soon
Mmmm, pulled pork. This was really good and I will probably sort out a recipe for it really soon
Get a little rice down
Get a little rice down
Stack it up... Not too up though
Stack it up… Not too up though
And then roll it up. It's as easy as that... I'm too OG to even use a rolling mat, but I reckon Dana will be nice enough to tell you about that
And then roll it up. It’s as easy as that… I’m too OG to even use a rolling mat, but I reckon Dana will be nice enough to tell you about that
The pork belly and hoisin number
The pork belly and hoisin number

Chop them up so they fit in your mouth and then fit them into your mouth with a little extra QP and possibly some soy and wasabi if you're keen
Chop them up so they fit in your mouth and then fit them into your mouth with a little extra QP and possibly some soy and wasabi if you’re keen

PORKY SUSHI #1

Cooked brown rice (it’s a Northern Rivers thing)
200g cooked (steamed or roasted) pork belly
QP Japanese mayonnaise
Hoisin sauce
Bean sprouts
Coriander (cilantro)
Shallots
Nori sheets

PORKY SUSHI #2

Cooked brown rice
200g barbecue pulled pork
QP Japanese mayonnaise
Pickles
Slaw
Shallots
Nori sheets

Now you just sorta, um, well, maybe just look at the pictures and roll them up kinda like that. The thing is, when you are rolling nori rolls you just gotta think “teenage years” and remember your mad spliff rolling skills and get them back into play. Certainly not a very good lesson on sushi rolling technique but I think we can all agree it is some sound advice and gripping social commentary from you friends here at foodisthebestshitever.

Anyhow, the sushi; they were both damn tasty but the pulled pork number defo made my face smile the most!

That’s it.
pork sushi

Smile… it’s Christmas

christmas ham mojo
“Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…”

This was true of our house this Christmas; the night before and the morning of.

It was as if we had official National Department of Communicable Diseases’ tape and a big sign with an important signature on it at the front gate stating we were quarantined due to sweaty faces and risk of E-bola contamination…

There were some ducks at the lake. We did not eat the ducks
There were some ducks at the lake. We did not eat the ducks

In actual fact, in a rare venturing from the track of entertainment central, this year we have abstained from inviting hordes of friends and relatives to stay and have instead veered down the road of the relative silence of an “us” Christmas. Just me, Jennee and the boys at home this year. No waking up and stepping over bodies scattered everywhere, cooking breakfast and brewing coffee for the state rugby team or waiting in line to use the shower.
I smoked my own Christmas ham and then hit it up with a mojo marinade, just like I said I would
I smoked my own Christmas ham and then hit it up with a mojo marinade, just like I said I would

We would have a picnic at the lake and catch up with some friends and have a few drinkies and some nice food, but this Christmas our house shall be our sanctuary. We shall be the endangered small bush land marsupial and our home shall be a refuge from the progression of modern society; a place where we shall be able to live safely and breed again… but soon they shall release us back into our natural habitat. Next year we shall be returned to the wild, in vast numbers and with a veracious appetite for loose women and the white mans devil water!
It was nom-licious (a hybrid of nom nom nom and delicious… it could take off)
It was nom-licious (a hybrid of nom nom nom and delicious… it could take off)

Oh yeah, and I did make that mojo ham with the pina colada salsa. Smoked my own ham and the whole package (not my “whole package”, I feel I should add. More of a figuratively speaking type “whole package”). I am so full of ham now I am almost past the point of having a food baby, or food baby twins or even food baby sextuplets. In fact, I am so full that if I were to have an actual food baby the call would go out to the next shire for more midwives to facilitate the delivery.
I made a cake. Chocolate fudge cake in fact, with a coconut and berry mousse centre. I based this recipe on one I found at heaps cool blog - Laura's Mess. I'll put the link at the bottom of the page because I can't put it in this caption
I made a cake. Chocolate fudge cake in fact, with a coconut and berry mousse centre. I based this recipe on one I found at heaps cool blog – Laura’s Mess. I’ll put the link at the bottom of the page because I can’t put it in this caption

It’s been a great Christmas. We hope yours was full of good food, good booze, great chums and other things that make your face smile.

Lots of love from the couch,

Your friends at foodisthebestshitever x

Find Laura’s Mess (the blog, not the actual mess) right here

Mojo Chicken (or Christmas Ham… you still have time) with Pina Colada Salsa

mojo chicken or christmas ham
First, a side note if you will entertain the notion; Please be aware that I have not been sleeping heaps lately due to the large body of people who have massed in this area like bugs around one of those fluro zapper lights, and are clearly all starving. Famished. Haven’t eaten nary as much as a small crumb for days.

We are at the mercy of these consumers… or should that be customers?

This is not the industry to enter if you are looking for a lazy holiday season. I work and then I work some more and then I sleep… and that shit is well and truly on repeat. When I wake up it feels like the Acme Concrete Co. has dumped a load of it’s finest in the corner of my eyes. I noticed an SES (State Emergency Service) recovery helicopter circling yesterday morning trying to spot survivors in the rubble. They sent in goddam sniffer dogs! Sniffer dogs!

Needless to say, this past week has not been jam packed with the most comprehendible moments of my life. So when I wrote this little number I thought I was doing a great job… or at least OK, until I re-read it and realised I seem to have written it in point form. I can’t change it, I don’t know how.

Grill that chook on some nice low coals...
Grill that chook on some nice low coals…

Yes, we’re back to the salsa thing. I told you already that summer is all about the salsa for me… well, that and the all the cooling off and rehydrating that needs to be done. Just in case you are simple, cooling off and rehydrating if definitely code for something.

I am so into this salsa thing I am actually considering enrolling for salsa dancing lessons just so there is more salsa in my life… and for a chance to finally meet Paul Mercurio. What a guy…

As I was pondering the whole salsa thing I came across a recipe for mojo chicken. I was multi-tasking the hell out of life as I pondered and trawled the interweb at the same time.

Right about now is when I feel like getting my salsa on (either definition of the word would work here)
Right about now is when I feel like getting my salsa on (either definition of the word would work here)

Please remember that a good salsa will spice up your dinner table like a good salsa would spice up a boys weekend away. Just to clear it up for you (and me too), the second salsa would be referring to the dance and it should also be made clear that you will probably want to pay a young lady dressed as some kind of scantily clad Penelope Cruz type character (or just Penelope Cruz I guess) to do the salsa, and not go for the not-very-sexy rendition of the salsa as performed by one of your drunken mates.

I will be doing a mojo ham this Christmas. That makes me excited. I am also excited by hot wax and vacuum attachments but I don’t think we need to get into that right now.

That's the first incarnation of the Pina Colada salsa at the top. It was a little chunky and has been refined as we have eaten this exact same meal again since… it's just that I forgot to get photos… or just didn't take photos… or was too tipsy to be able to take photos
That’s the first incarnation of the Pina Colada salsa at the top. It was a little chunky and has been refined as we have eaten this exact same meal again since… it’s just that I forgot to get photos… or just didn’t take photos… or was too tipsy to be able to take photos

MOJO CHICKEN (serves 6-8)

2kg chicken marylands/ pieces
½ cup fresh orange juice, plus the zest of 1 orange
¼ cup fresh lime juice, plus the zest of 1 lime
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
A splash of olive oil
Seasoning

• This is really good cooked over med-low coals for 30 minutes or so, turning regularly and basting with remaining marinade
• If have neither fire nor technology needed to cook on it a hot oven will do the trick. 200C for 30 minutes, baste, turn etc

PINA COLADA SALSA

½ medium fresh pineapple, diced (you need 2 cups or so of diced pineapple)
2 shallots or ½ red onion, diced
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup coconut cream
½ long green chilli, deseeded and diced finely
10-12 mint leaves, chiffonade
A pinch of brown sugar
A splash of rum if you feel like getting real
½ – 1 lime, juiced
Seasoning

• Combine all ingredients in a food processer and pulse twice for a second or two to break it up just a touch
• If you don’t have a food processer you should go to the shop and buy one. Alternately you can dice everything nice and finely, and then mix thoroughly to combine
• Allow salsa to sit for ten minutes or so before serving so all of the ingredients can get to know each other properly
• Get that puppy on the chicken… or some prawns, a piece of pork or Christmas ham
• Thank me later