Boys Night… Roast Pork in the Camp Oven

I know we’ve given you a bit of an amusingly-witty-great-food-cooking-blog overload today but… you’re just gonna have to deal with it. Write your local member of Parliament or something.

Cookingfoodwithyourkidsisthebestshitever

This evening the boys spent a fair while trying to decide if he said, “honey, don’t play with your food” or “Ted, don’t play with your food”… We’ll never know. Until next time we watch Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax”. Which will quite frankly, probably be within the week. And apparently Luke kissed Darth Vader. Still got a bit to teach these kids obviously.

We also combined our forces like voltron, lit a fire and danced ceremonially in a ritual we call “Boys Night”*.

Riveting conversation aside, I offered them a choice for the evening meal. I had a pork shoulder roast, a leg of lamb and a kilo and a half piece of rump steak… all looked good but I was pushing them towards the lamb. I really felt like lamb roasted over the coals. But as Jesus once said, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. So pork it was. We also pulled out some cabbage, onions, apples, apple cider vinegar and anchovies. We can’t eat without anchovies at the moment. Not literally of course. I can eat just fine without an anchovy there to tell me to chew my food before I swallow so I don’t choke and die. I can also clean my own bottom when I go to the toilet. Oh, how far I’ve come!

So it’s clearly not all about me… not when I have children around that’s for sure. And when you can get in the kitchen with said mini yous, then good times are to be had by all. Unless you live in a shack in the hills and your children are a product of coital union between you and your sister. Then shits gonna get fucked up when little jimmy comes in to the kitchen to help his ma (your sister) fix some road kill raccoon mighty white sandwiches fer supper. That kid has no place there…

We cooked, we poked sticks in the fire, we watched a sea of gold come flowing out from under the mother duck (and realized quite quickly that it wasn’t actual gold, instead she had hatched out 16 ducklings), we ate (Not the ducklings. Not yet anyway), and then the kids asked me if they could stay up for the whole night watching movies. To which I politely replied no. No you may not.

Shopping list, check. I especially like the spelling of anchobies.

Before the pot.

Put the pork in a camp oven, season with salt and pepper (just a little salt because we have a few anchovies heading in for the ho-down a little later), and place in your fire pit with some coals on top to create “the camp oven”. After 30 minutes add your other ingredients.

After another 30 minutes check to see if things are going as they should. If it need a bit more time let it have some. You don’t own time, you know? When it’s smelling like really awesome tasty things smell bring it to the table but let it rest for 10-15 minutes just to make sure the available awesome-ness is fully achieved.

Carve it up while your son pretends he is a Japanese tourist… again…

Nom, nom, nom, burp, aaaah. And then tomorrow we go camping so there’s sure to be more fire cookery posts from that. Rock on dark continent, we love you!

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. That’s the sound I make when I pass out because I had a little to much (or maybe just the right amount) of wine… mmmmm. Passed out…

*Boys Night. A night where you hang out with your boys and do cool shit.

“An ode to Bargearse” by my wife Jennee… aka dumpling night

So the time has come for me to enter into my husbands “other” world. He tells me tales of this world that are laced with adventure and excitement, naked women throwing themselves at him and the adoration of a nation of fans…. so I thought I should get me some o that!!! I, not unlike the g man, have spent a year or two in a commercial kitchen with the sweat and anxiety of service hot on my heels. I have come home caked in sugar (bahahah- that’s my first hilarious pun) from my days in the pastry section and have been yelled at a number of times for not getting the chips to cook faster. And as you can probably tell by my lament of times gone by, I have left the kitchen to graz, and have found a life where the only burn I get is from the sun. However, I do the odd cameo appearance and every now and again when I can wangle my way into the kitchen past gray (he usually gives me a small portion of the bench to work my magic) I churn out what can only be described as , pretty much amazing (copyright… chitty bang)….
So I have just spent the weekend at my lovely sisters house and after a heated discussion (as in every discussion is heated as it’s the tropics!!!) about yum cha (I am pretty sure that anyone who is a semi regular follower would know our familys love for this sport). My son chose the meal for the evening before he fell asleep on the journey home… and you guessed it- dumplings…Seba rolled more than half of the 40 that we made and ate about the same amount..
Granted this meal is not the type of meal you would make on a school night after a 9 hour day and with the kids breathing down your throat whilst trying to kill each other. Unless of course you have the small hands and dexterity of a china man who has spent the good part of his life working in a dim sum factory!!!!! However, if you have the time these little nuggets are pure gold… We did them 2 ways- steamed in the swell new steamer that Queenie gave gray for his bday and fried- as in potstickers ( my personal fave) and served them with an Asian slaw. However if you wanted to channel the 90s character made famous by the “D-generation” comedy crew, you could go bargearse on these suckers and have “a shitload of dim sims and a bucket of soy sauce!!!!!”

Note the concentration…………..

The eye patch helped him focus!!!

Seba on the job…..

The dumplings
I whizzed up an onion with shitloads of coriander, parsley and mint and a few cloves of garlic as well as a knob of ginger,
I added this mix to some pork mince and then added some fish sauce,…
Sorry about the quantities- but I am off the chef clock so my measuring system is such… you cant go too wrong – unless you add shitloads of fish sauce- then it might go pear shape!!!!

As for Asian slaw, I shredded, cabbage, snow peas, carrots, and ribboned cucumbers the dressing was whizzed up cori, mint , lemon juice, palm sugar, fish sauce and dried shrimp…. DAMN FINE!!!!!!!!

I couple of things have come to my attention today. After the last couple of posts it appears like we may be running an illegal child labour kitchen type set-up at our house (we don’t even give them a shirt for goodness sake), and clearly with poke them in the eye with a stick if they don’t work fast enough… I can neither confirm or deny these allegations. Also, and I think Pauly’s going to feel this one too, Jennee seems to have a delightful mix of our humor and writing styles with less (or none even) gramatical errors. Well done Jennee! – G

Mondays ain’t so bad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toasting marshmallows on the fire with the boys and having a cheeky beer or three is definitely not a bad way to spend a Monday afternoon. I think that’s all I’ve got right now…

Actually… In a food related story I did make a mongrel crossbreed moussaka for dinner. Sweet potato, zucchini, lentils, anchovies, and a garlicky oregano-y tomato sauce. And that is most of the correlation it has to actual moussaka. That and the bechamel sauce. *Just a little side point about food with bechamel sauce eg. lasagna, moussaka, and anything else you want to bake with this creamy beauty; bake it until it’s golden brown and crusty and sauce is bubbling up from the sides of the dish. That’s what makes it taste soooo damn good.

Damn yeah it did taste good.

 

 

 

 

 

if life gives you a lemon…

If life gives you a lemon ask life for some salt and tequila too… And maybe a couple of hot Canadian backpackers to share it with. And while you’re at it tell life that it should probably be concentrating more on helping out bloody buggery bollocksy boring a-holes (that’s asshole for those amongst us who are a little dull) and a little less on handing out free fruit.

Someone once said you could also make lemonade.

But I suggest that if life didn’t give you the tequila and backpackers etc. to go with your lemon, try preserving it for later use. If life did give you the extras, don’t forget to thank it…

Preserved lemons are great for any kind of North African sort of cooking and can also be used to add extra depth (I know, what a wanker) to any dish you use lemon in, or just replace it totally for a different kind of lemony goodness that will have your friends wondering… and not just about your mental well-being for a change.

For example
• Fish and chips with tartare. Incorporate finely diced* preserved lemon into a mayonnaise or tartare sauce. Mmmmm.
• Any kind of tagine
• Stir through yoghurt and serve with fishcakes or croquettes, or a curried lentil soup
• Try preserved lemon in a bloody mary, or in a bloody mary dressing for oysters
• Preserved lemon and tequila chicken
• In a salad with parsley, croutons and bone marrow to go with a steak

Preserving lemons is this easy
1. For every lemon you need a handful of coarse salt, ½ a cinnamon stick (I didn’t have one lurking on my spice shelf so I used cassia bark** instead) and 1 small bay leaf
2. Quarter your lemons into a large bowl and rub them with the salt, making sure to squeeze and thoroughly rub each piece
3. Pack into a sterilized jar with a piece of cinnamon and bay, and some of the salty lemon juice in between each layer
4. If there’s any salty juice left pour it over the top
5. Store in a cool dark place next to the thought you had about going to see the new batman movie, and forget about it for at least a month. Except in the case of the new batman movie which you should forget about forever.
6. After one month you may use with total disregard for any rules and regulations
7. Remember to thank life for the lemon

*most recipes using preserved lemon call for the flesh and pith to be removed and discarded, and the peel finely chopped.
**cassia bark. Closely related to cinnamon but not as subtle in flavour, and the older bark is much rougher in texture.

Boy’s night at our place

It’s just me and the boys so we’re having a steak

Tonight is boy’s night at our place. That means no girls allowed! I am excited. We get to eat steak and lay around on the couch in our undies. Let all of our hair down. Yeah, who needs girls anyway? Yeah, go away smelly Jenny…

This is after an hour of medieval forces banding together against me this afternoon.

The events that transpired…

What a great time to start writing a post this was. I was stuck on the side of the road in the middle of the ass end of a place that used to be (this may or may not be an exaggeration), with a flat battery in my car… not my phone because that would not render me incapable of movement. Although it may do to a large % of teenagers these days…

What? I thought to myself. I can’t leave my head lights on indefinitely? I was just hanging out, playing a bit of drawfree, and waiting to pick my kids up from the bus.

Look at me now. I’m sitting here scribbling on a bit of old toilet paper I found in the bushes. The kids were going to play handball in the back of the CRV but they discovered a spew that Max (the dog) had done in there earlier today. I wish I had a stash of moonshine inside my door lining. Hmmm… I’ll be back in a minute. Nope. Nothing. Excellent. Now I may have to go and search for firewood so we may stay warm and cook our new “boys night dinner” of foraged berries and grubs…

I hope Jenny gets here soon to give us a jump start…

THE END

STEAK NIGHT WITH THE BOYS

Steak
We have 3 pieces of exactly 200g scotch or ribeye steak (this will vary for the amount of boys you have in your fam. Maybe get a couple of extras for the ones you “may have” sired so you have an extra one or twelve for yourself).

Marinate your steaks in olive oil, parsley, rosemary and thyme, garlic and salt and pepper. Set aside for 20 minute while you cook the potatoes.

When the potatoes are almost ready heat a splash of oil in another pan over a high heat. When it’s hot put your steaks in. 2 minutes either side should be perfect (Unless you like your steak well done. In which case you shouldn’t be eating steak). Remove the steak from the pan and rest in a warm spot while you make the sauce. You should be frying your eggs about now, too.

Wine sauce
Add a tablespoon of flour to the pan that has all of the awesome steaky little caramelised bits in it. Stir quickly with a whisk and then add a glass of red wine (the one you have in your other hand will be fine) and keep whisking. Add the resting juices from the steak and a splash more wine if it needs to be a bit looser. Heheh. I guess a sauce is quite like a young lady in some ways…

Potatoes
Scrub some potatoes and cut them into wedgey sized chunks. Blanch them in boiling water or steam* them in the microwave for 5-6 minutes.

Now pan fry them with a splash of oil, over a medium heat for 15 or so minutes, until they’re cooked on the inside and nice and golden and crispy on the outside. When yer ‘tatoes are just about ready, slice a few onion rings into the pan. Season and cook for a few more minutes. Potatoes are your bitch once again…

Take your potatoes and onion out of the pan and whack a little more oil in there and, do yourself a favour and add a good knob of butter to. This is to cook your eggs…

Eggs
Once the butter in the pan starts to foam, it’s time for the eggs to be fried. Crack them in there gently, and as close to the surface as you can. This way you get a nice, undamaged fried egg. Unlike my son Seba, who cracked his egg with his fist and then chucked it into the pan from a foot away. Put some seasoning on your eggs because eggs, just like potatoes, are one of those things we cook that really likes to be seasoned. It’s like a morning shower in the middle of winter for them. Rain that salt on down on me…

Plate up
Hopefully you have some kind of cooking coordination and can get this all finished within a few minutes of each other. Plate it up, put a bit or rocket and parsley on there (You may be excused for thinking I use a lot of parsley and rocket in my cooking right now because I do. I have a garden full of them and quite frankly, I love them. Yeah, I’m thinking about marrying them already), or don’t because it’s boys night so you don’t have to eat your greens if you don’t want to. I do though. Hi Jen.

*to steam “stuff” in the microwave put your “stuff” into a bowl with a splash of water in the bottom, cover well with cling wrap, and microwave.

the dinner jen cooked

This is the dinner that Jen cooked last night. It is coincidentally the best meal she has ever cooked. I am still thanking her for it. And with the addition of a few spices, the leftovers were magically turned into nasi goreng for breakfast. Yeah. Crazy I know. We eat rice for breakfast ’round here.

Seba pounds the papaya salad. Get them workin' while they're young is our motto
The boys were hella keen to get their faces into that shit, but we kept it civilised

Pork hocks braised in young coconut juice, black cardamon and star anise, green papaya and herb salad from our garden, pickled cucumber from our garden, brown rice and great company. Could not have asked for more…

...and nasi goreng for breakfast