Potato, roast carrot and corn salad… and its good friend, the BBQ sauce

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potato salad, bbq sauce, barbecue, low and slow
This is a damn good salad.

It’s good with heaps of different other things on the table too.

It’s also just pretty damn good to put a big fat bowl of it into your mouth late night after a little too much rehydration therapy.

It is a salad that has appeared next to some of my favourite meaty things over the past 6 months or so.

I guess now would be a good time to mention that this is not a story about how the little potato salad, the side dish, the supporting actor rose to glory and became the main event in it’s own right. Nope. This is not a win for the little man, this is really quite simply a recipe for a salad. A damn good salad… and it’s good friend at the BBQ table (or breakfast table… dinner table… burger feast… bedroom), the new and improved recipe BBQ sauce.

Read on.

That potato salad

That potato salad

Some other things we put on the table next to that potato salad

Some other things we put on the table next to that potato salad

POTATO, ROAST CARROT & CORN SALAD

With upgrade options.

(serves 4-6 as a side)

3 medium potatoes, diced about the size of the keys on your computer keyboard, boiled or steamed until tender
2 medium carrots, roasted and then cut a similar size to the potatoes
2 sweet corn, kernals removed from cobs, tossed in a pan with some oil for a minute or two
*1 chorizo sausage, sliced
*1 green capsicum (pepper), medium diced
3-4 shallots (spring onions), sliced
1 large handful parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

• Mix it all together. Effing simple as that
• *Add upgrade options if you’re keen
• Season to your liking with salt and pepper
• Fuck yes

That BBQ sauce

That BBQ sauce

I also enjoyed home  made pickled jalapeños on the table with my BBQ. Maybe we should make them together some time...

I also enjoyed home made pickled jalapeños on the table with my BBQ. Maybe we should make them together some time…

BBQ SAUCE

1.25 cups tomato paste
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup (just like cocaine, the pure stuff is best but if the cheap stuff is what you can afford then I’m sure you’re going to buy it anyway)
125ml apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons each onion powder, garlic powder, cumin
1 teaspoons each dried chilli flakes and ground black pepper
scant ½ cup corn flour, whisked into 1 cup water to form a slurry
¾ tablespoon salt
1lt water

• Dump all of the ingredients except cornflour slurry into a large, heavy based pot
• Simmer over a med-low heat for 45 minutes or so, stirring often to avoid burning and fusing to the bottom of your pot
• Stir in corn flour slurry and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly
• Right now you could put it into your smoker at 110C for an hour or so for a little smoky love because we all need a little smoky love in our lives from time to time or you can let it cool, stirring from time to time, and then pour it over just about anything that’s going to end up in your mouth
• Did you notice how “stirring constantly”, “stirring often” and “stirring from time to time” are all use in different points in this recipe? That’s because they are all different things! Work it out!

Pork ribs, truffle mac cheese, chow chow (can be found on these pages somewhere), that potato salad, jalapeños and that BBQ sauce. this made my face happy

Pork ribs, truffle mac cheese, chow chow (can be found on these pages somewhere), that potato salad, jalapeños and that BBQ sauce. this made my face happy

Easy Peasy Smoked Pork Belly with Sticky Barbecue Glaze

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SAMSUNG CSC Smoked pork belly roasted with a sticky BBQ glaze. Put quite simply, go and find yourself a piece of smoked pork belly, make a bare-bones, basic as, easy-peasy BBQ glaze to get that shit all lovely and sticky, much like your sheets on a Friday night, and then roast it for a couple of hours while you sit back and dream about how good this is actually going to be. These things come out of the oven looking pretty black (or lighter tint challenged, if I were to be a little more PC), but they were not burnt no, no, no. Burnt was Anakin Skywalker in “Revenge of the Sith”, the third episode of the Star Wars series. Furthermore, these things were definitely edible and damn tasty, unlike Anikin after his scorching. I am not lying to you when I say this pork was damn tasty. It would go against everything I stand for if I were to sit down to a pork dinner that just wasn’t that good. I’ll be flying to Africa with the express purpose of dirty dancing (”I had the time of my life” plays softly in the back ground) with a sweaty, feverish local to take a hit of ebola before I subject myself to a shitty pork dinner. The point I’m trying to get across (yes, there is a point) is that you should find a piece of smoked pork belly (preferably not in the park or on the street. That pork may not be the best) and give this shit a try.

Seasoned up and ready for some R & R under the warm rays of the oven

Seasoned up and ready for some R & R under the warm rays of the oven

Make a bean salad while the pork is cooking

Make a bean salad while the pork is cooking

The damn tasty version of Anakin Skywalker

The damn tasty version of Anakin Skywalker

STICKY SMOKED PORK BELLY (for 4) 1kg smoked pork belly, cut into 2cm pieces 1 tablespoon oregano 1 teaspoon garlic powder (don’t worry about it if you don’t have some lying around) 1 teaspoon ground white pepper A pinch of cayenne pepper or a splash of hot sauce 1 cup home made or store bought BBQ sauce ¼ cup light soy sauce Green bean and feta salad, to serve • Season pork with oregano, garlic powder and pepper and place on a lined oven tray • Cover and bake at 180C for 40 minutes • While pork is baking, mix together remaining ingredients to make the basting sauce • After 40 minutes remove cover from pork and baste with sauce • Continue to bake ribs uncovered for another 40 or so minutes, until pork is tender, basting and turning every 10-15 minutes. If pork starts to caramelize or blacken too quickly turn the oven down to 160C • Once cooked, pork will be tender and the glaze will be thick and dark, much like it has been soaking over night in a bucket of sump oil • Serve it with green bean and feta salad, and whatever else you see fit

That beans salad. Everyone bass their version of a bean and feta salad but this one, with it's vinegar-y onion-y twang, was perfect with the sticky smoky pork

That beans salad. Everyone has their own version of a bean and feta salad but this one, with it’s vinegar-y onion-y twang, was perfect with the sticky smoky pork

GREEN BEAN, FETA AND HERB SALAD 500g green beans ½ red onion, fine dice 100g feta ½ teaspoon dried oregano 1 handful each coriander and parsley, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 tablespoon good olive oil Seasoning • In a bowl, combine onion, vinegar, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and allow to sit for 10 minutes to infuse • Blanch beans in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, so they still have a heap of crunch about them. Strain beans and immediately add them to onion mixture. Add half of the herbs and toss until combined • Crumble feta over the top of the salad and garnish with remaining herbs

A Cracking Winter Barbecue and My Nana Rose’s Potato Salad

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Cook some sausages on the BBQ and while your at it, get a nice pot of pulled pork on there too

Cook some sausages on the BBQ and while your at it, get a nice pot of pulled pork on there too


I have been on a brief hiatus, much like the syphilis in the old sea farer’s knickers after a quick shot of penicillin (pun well and truly intended), but never fear, I will always return to these pages just like the venereal disease will return to the knickers of the wayward sailor. It’s just that, much like the wayward sailor with the laden purse, I have found a new mistress who promises me pleasures of the flesh… or at least a new job. That’s right, I have a new job. And just like a new mistress that new job will take up a lot of my time. But unlike a new mistress, it will reward me with the a fist full of the queen’s good dollars so I may ensure the bank does not for-close on our mortgage, rendering us of no home and obligated to join the queue of haggard, potato sack wearing folks with clear birth defects, begging the carnie folk to employ our feeble services.

To top off the new job business, Jennee and I have decided to start a new little business venture all of our own. Now, don’t start letting your mind wonder about the you tube clips we may or may not be offering the world in the not to distant future because the little undertaking we are embarking on is totally legit! We, my friends, are starting a catering business.

Oh yes the things we shall do.

So that, in a nut shell (not an actually nut shell, of course. That would make me some kind of squirrel or that weird little creature off “Ice Age” the picture film) is why I have had neither the time nor… well… just the time really, to visit my friends in Blogland.

But here I am with some pretty pictures of another cracking winter barbecue we sorted out recently and, just for your face’s pleasure at your next winter (or summer) barbecue, I shall revisit the recipe for my Nana Rose’s potato salad. This salad is pretty flexible when it comes to the use of smoked pork product and herbs. Smoked Polish sausage is what Nana would use but bacon, speck, ham or any smoked pork product are all very feasible alternatives. Also, I often use dill instead of parsley (of even both if you want to be total rock star), but any herb would work.

It’s great to be back, thanks for having me and you’re very welcome.

Get it on the table so people can eat it

Get it on the table so people can eat it

Give them forks. We are not animals

Give them forks. We are not animals

Plenty to go round

Plenty to go round

Don't be afraid to chuck some flowers on your salad as it tends to impress the shit out of your friends. Just make sure they're edible as poisoning your friends equals no friends for you

Don’t be afraid to chuck some flowers on your salad as it tends to impress the shit out of your friends. Just make sure they’re edible as poisoning your friends equals no friends for you

Smoked sausage, sauerkraut, caramelised onion, mustard, tomato relish, jalapeño relish and gruyere cheese, in a roll and about to make it's way into my belly

Smoked sausage, sauerkraut, caramelised onion, mustard, tomato relish, jalapeño relish and gruyere cheese, in a roll and about to make it’s way into my belly

That potato salad

That potato salad

MY NANA ROSE’S POTATO SALAD

1kg baby potatoes, boiled in their skin, whole, until tender (the potato should slide off easily when you insert a knife. Kind of like a stripper sliding down a pole. Are those things lubed up or what? Wait up. I think I just got it) and cut into bite sized pieces
1 brown onion, peeled and diced
4-5 polski ogorki (dill pickles), diced
1 cup of diced smoked sausage
4 boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
A bunch of parsley, chopped
1-2 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar, or the liquid from the pickles
A splash of oil (not engine oil. Vegetable or light olive oil should do the trick)
Salt and a good hit of white pepper

• The main requirement for making this is that it is mixed while the potatoes are still warm so all of the ingredients can have a little party and their flavours can really get to know each other, just like when you’re at and orgy and you can taste a little bit of everyone on each and every person. This salad is good porn.

Doesn’t look like much but that’s childhood memories in a bowl right there.

Make it today, or go to an orgy. Up to you…

Quinoa and Corn Fritters for Easy Mid-Week Dinner

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I know we have offered up a few posts in the last couple of days and maybe I should’ve saved this one for a couple of days for when I am working too hard, or feel a bit uninspired, or chuck the shits because I have a little sand in my vagina. But the fact of the matter is this recipe is well and truly suited to the easytastygood weekday dinner section of your local supermarket and, as I am on the rise in the polls with the weekday dinner cooking young mums of the world (both on the rise in the polls, and the grandson of a Pole with a rising po… um… that other thing) via this blog, I think it only courteous that I offer this recipe now so everyone has a fair chance of getting on the table tonight.

This is a great way to use up the left over quinoa and roast vegetable salad you had with your dinner last night. What’s that? You didn’t have quinoa and roast vegetable with your dinner last night? Oh that’s right, you weren’t here were you. I wonder who that strange guy with the lisp and the pronounced limp was? Oh, that was you. Well shame on you my friend, shame on you. Very inappropriate… anyway, you should’ve had quinoa salad because it is super tasty and damn well good for you. Our friend Inga provided our quinoa salad and she’s a doctor so if she’s eating it… join the dots on that one.

If you don’t have any quinoa salad lying about in the fridge, being a lazy bastard and generally not pulling it’s weight at all, then 2 cups of cooked quinoa and 1 cup of whatever cooked vegetables you feel like will do the trick.

Once again hashtag the shit out of this one #easytastygood.

Out of the oven...

Out of the oven…

And into my face

And into my face

Tasty business right there

Tasty business right there

QUINOA & CORN FRITTERS (for 4)

3 cups left over quinoa and roast vegetable salad or substitute the stuff I said you could substitute (put your knife through the vegetables if they are big)
2 cobs sweet corn, kernels sliced from cob
A handful of parsley or rocket (or even mint or coriander if that’s what you fancy), chopped
1 spring onion, sliced
1 chilli, sliced
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ cup self raising flour
3 eggs
Rosemary & lemon potatoes, avocado and sauerkraut (I’m am seriously eating it with everything at the moment) to serve
• Mix it all together, it should make quite a stiff batter
• Put a splash of oil into a frying pan over a medium heat and drop heaped tablespoons of the batter into the pan. Press down a little with the back of the spoon or your hand to form into little patties
• Fry in batches if necessary for two minutes each side or until golden brown. Place onto a lined oven tray and into the oven at 180C for 5-10 minutes, until fully cooked through
• Eat in your face with the potatoes and other tasty things

 

Crispy golden potato-y love

Crispy golden potato-y love

ROSEMARY & LEMON POTATOES

500-600g potatoes, chopped into chunks similar to the potato in the photo
½ lemon, sliced into wedges
1 sprig rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
seasoning
• Boil or steam the potatoes in a pot or you can put them in a microwave safe container with ½ cup water, cover and cook/steam/microwave until half cooked or something close
• Drain well
• Lube up a frying pan with the olive oil and cook the potatoes with the lemon and rosemary over a medium-low heat, 10-15 minutes should do the trick. Check by eating one
• If they are cooked but need a bit more colour at the end of the process, turn the heat up to medium high and give them a little crispy loving. Do not go to the shed to smoke a bong while this is going on as they are very likely to burn
• Serve them up once the golden crispness is achieved

These little puppies would be great for breakfast with some good mood enhancer (aka bacon) or smoked salmon, a poached egg and some tomato or capsicum chutney. And coffee – not on the same plate but always with the coffee…

WTF Nachos

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Nothing wrong with this picture

Nothing wrong with this picture

WTF Nachos

NB. This is a dinner that is going to make Jennee’s cousin Sarah hangry*. Very hangry.

This is not just a recipe for nachos no, no, no, my friends. This is a recipe for what I have decided to call “WTF nachos”… or possibly “Off the hook nachos”… nah, I think I’ll stick with the WTF nacho idea. It has a kind of slightly confronting “in your face” factor, and I think the street smart acronym is really going to help it take off with the kids of today. They will collectively love me like I was their new mother… A kind of freaky scenario agreed, but don’t be too concerned, I won’t try and breast feed a single one of the little bastards.

“Why have you given them this moniker though Grazza?” I hear you ask.

The name came straight from my smart brain and the nachos were inspired by some kind of Mexican cheese fondue type thing I saw on another blog on the interweb super highway. That recipe had shitloads** of cheese, fried chorizo and no beans, and upon sighting it with my eyes I decided I must have it. But just chorizo and cheese? As much as I would’ve liked that to be my dinner it certainly wasn’t going to fly with the Children’s Healthy Eating Authority (CHEA). CHEA decreed that, as a parent cooking for his children, I needed something a little more nutritious in this dish. Yes I am still a parent, as much as I feel like I’m one of the kids a lot of the time… most of the time… OK, pretty much all of the time. So anyway, my childish mind and all that comes with it aside, I decided I would cleverly disguise the Mexi fondue by putting a layer of nacho beans underneath it, and we even had a few carrot and cucumber sticks on the side.

Nothing wrong with this picture either

Nothing wrong with this picture either

Nacho beans (Childrens Healthy Eating Authority approved)
1 brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 400g tins red kidney beans, drained
1 400g tin diced tomato
Seasoning
• Sweat off the onions in a little oil
• Once they start to colour add the garlic and dried spices. Cook out for another minute or two
• Add the tomatoes and beans and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, adding a little water if they start to stick
• Blitz beans with a hand wizz to a semi smooth but still a little chunky type consistency
• Season with salt and pepper to taste

Cheesey goodness
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
½ cup ricotta

Chorizoy love
4 chorizo sausages, diced or blitzed to a mince type consistency
• Fry this off in a little oil until crispy and the chorizo has released it’s lush red liquid gold

Corn chips
1 bag of your favourites

To get it all together
• Put the beans into the bottom of a pan that can go under your griller or into the oven. Cover the beans with the cheese and grill/bake on high for five or so minutes, until it is bubbling and golden
• Spoon the chorizo and all of it’s tasty oil (not CHEA approved, but do it anyway) into the center of the cheese
• Serve with corn chips, tomato salsa and whatever healthy shit you feel is necessary, on the side
• Thank me later

*hangry; hungry angry. A term used when seeing pics of food makes you hungry and also angry they you don’t have it (as explained by Sarah Cootes). I thought it could also work well to describe being hungry with a hangover… or being angry because you’re not very well hung (this one would possibly only apply to males… hopefully)

**an actual unit of measurement

Jennee’s Sunday Spread… Thai feast a la David Thompson and her own brain

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Jennee’s Thai spread, if you will. Now please remove your filthy little minds from the gutter and your hands from the top button of your pants as this is not the type of Thai spread that will be hitting fat Australian business men in the face with ping pong balls. This is a Thai spread of even more awesome-ness than that my friends…

Read on.

Jennee is the type of girl that would have a sweet pony saddled up and waiting for me when I arrive home from work so I may trot into the hills and ride away my woes. That is not code for anything, but by Jeeves it could be!

This girl knows how to save a man from the perils of a big week at work like the homeless man knows how to rescue the stray dog… not how to feed or shelter it though, but one out of three aint bad.

At the end of lunch service at work yesterday I did declare to my co-workers and kitchen brethren that I would not be eating dinner tonight unless it was mother effing nachos. I was hell bent that I was going to finish my working week (I know. A little bit different to yours, but that’s OK yeah?) by piling a fat load of shit into my mouth hole. Not actual shit of course, that’s only at the parties the Johnston’s have on the third Friday of every month… but that’s a hell of a story for another time… or not at all. Anyway, needless to say nachos were not to be the end to this working (and actual) week. I was about to flip the fuck out and then Jennee laid this upon our table. I instantaneously realised that all would be OK… I’ll have the effing nachos tomorrow!

For this dinner Jennee drew inspiration from David Thompson’s book, “Thai Street Food”, and her own brain to boot.

A Thai spread for 4.

That rice. Top left

That rice. Top

STICKY RICE WITH GOLDEN DRESSING AND MUSHROOM TOPPING
• Cook 2 cups of sticky rice just like you would normally cook sticky rice. If sticky rice is in the too hard basket, try cooking jasmine rice instead
• Once rice is cooked stir trough golden dressing (recipe follows), cover and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes
• Serve the rice covered with mushroom topping (recipe follows)

Golden dressing
½ cup coconut cream
¼ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sliced tumeric
• Combine the coconut cream with sugar and salt
• Add the tumeric and leave to infuse for 30 minutes
• Douse the hot rice with that and smell the glory

Mushroom topping
150g mushrooms, chopped finely
1 tablespoons dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 30 minuntes, strained
5 coriander roots, washed and chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup finely grated coconut
2 tablespoons shaved palm sugar
2 tablespoon white sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded. Really finely shredded
1 small handful picked coriander
• Using a mini food processer or mortar and pestle, make a fine paste out of the shrimp, coriander root, salt and pepper. Heat oil and fry paste over a medium heat until aromatic – 3-4 minutes – stirring contantly to prevent it from catching
• Add mushrooms and fry for another 3-4 minutes until cooked
• Add coconut and fry for another 3-4 minutes and then add sugars. Keep cooking until sugars are dissolved and then absorbed until almost dry
• Cool
• Check seasoning – it may need a little more salt and/or pepper
• Serve on top of golden rice, garnished with shredded kaffir leaf and coriander. Just quietly, this is well worth the effort

That beef

That beef

BEEF & CHOY SUM WITH LEMONGRASS & COCONUT
500g ribeye or rump steak, sliced into 5mm strips for stir frying
1 bunch of choy sum or gai lan or bok choy, or even broccoli if none of the other options appeal to you, cut into 4-5cm pieces
1 brown onion, diced
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, chopped
1 long red chilli, chopped
5 coriander root, washed and chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
Zest of 2 kaffir limes

2 tablespoons oyster sauce
• Blitz all except beef, choy sum and oyster sauce, to form a rough paste. Marinade beef in said paste for a few hours
• In a very hot wok/pan, add a splash of oil and stirfry beef for one minute. Set aside
• In the same pan add choy sum and oyster sauce and simmer for 5 minutes
• Add beef and any resting juices back to the pan and simmer for another minute
• Get it on the table

That salad

That salad

CUCUMBER, TOMATO AND SPROUT SALAD
1 continental/telegraph cucumber, chopped or cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler or mandoline
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes (or a big handful of cherry toms straight from the garden if you’re lucky enough to have some), halved
200g bean sprouts
2 spring onions, sliced
1 handful each mint and coriander, leaves picked
½ cup black rice, shallow fried in vegetable oil until starting to puff and pop (this is some tasty shit right here and brings a bit of a tasty crunchy party to the salad, as every good Thai salad needs)
½ cup nam jim dressing (recipe right here) or a similar sweet, sour, salty, hot dressing
• Yo yo yo… Toss it all together and put it on the table

Getting pickled… lentils and beans, that is

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Huh. Sepia…

I love getting pickled. In fact, you could say that I have made somewhat of a career out of getting pickled. I don’t know if it is my German-Polish heritage rearing it’s ugly but lovable head, like the child peering around the corner while his parents are engaging in a little “special time”, but without getting pickled, my life is ass pointless as a silent letter.

I think I should probably clarify something right now… I am taking about pickling fruit or vegetables or, as in this case, legumes. What I am not talking about (but possibly actually talking about) is the pickling that occurs to your brain when you drink excessive amounts (or quite possibly just the right measure) of alcoholic beverages.

Why, as I type this now I am slowly but surely recovering from one such evening.

Quite apt really, eh?

The thing I love about pickles is, well, everything. From the taste to the preserving qualities to the taste… but I think I already mentioned that.

Lately I have been pickling lentils, chickpeas and cannellini beans with effing brilliant results. And where did this idea come from? I like to entertain the thought that I actually came up with this idea all by myself… with my smart brains. Clever, clever Grazza. I quite possibly did not come up with this idea by myself but that’s OK because for now I am living the dream.

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Lentils

Lentils

Cannellini beans. Not much to say about these pics really...

Cannellini beans. Not much to say about these pics really…

PICKLED LENTILS or CANNELLINI BEANS or CHICKPEAS
1 400g tin of lentils or cannellini beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 eshallot or half a whatever onion, sliced
1 10cm stick of celery, sliced
½ small bulb fennel if you have some lying around, sliced
A chilli if you want, sliced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (apple cider or sherry vinegar would both be cracking too)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
• Mix everything, except oil, together in a bowl. Season well
• Pour/spoon the mix into a jar or your holding receptacle of choice
• Cover with oil
• Put them in your fridge, not mine, as they will not last for more than a few days in my fridge
• They are best after a day or two and should last for a few weeks in your fridge
• Eat them with a piece of whatever meat or fish you want, charcuterie, cheese, bread or by themselves straight from the jar

Sauerkraut is next!

Foodisthebestshitever – the home of easy-tasty!

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