Pretty easy, using up those Sunday BBQ leftovers, cassoulet.

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Today I realised I have not made cassoulet for quite some time. Sure, I’ve made pit beans and I’ve made cowboy beans, but I haven’t made a classic French cassoulet. And today I shan’t be making cassoulet either. Instead I shall be doing that bastardising thing I love to do so much and use a little smoked meat I have left over from the weekends cook to create my own little smoky assed, junk yard dog, mongrel cassoulet. And just like that junk yard dog, this dish is literally begging for you to give it more meat… give it all of the meat.

If I may digress just a little…

The cassoulet is basically a brothel. It has a big illuminated sign above it’s front door inviting more meat to the party. It does not care of the origin of the meat. It’s a “the more meat the better” type situation for the cassoulet… much like the brothel.

But as I said earlier, this is a mongrel version of said cassoulet so don’t go reporting me to the Traditional Cookery Police (TCP) because as we all know; dobbers wear nappies.

If you would like to make a bang up, bona fide, old school, full of fat and confit duck, Frenchy cassoulet, you can find a recipe by a great chef by the name of Guillaume Brahimi, right here.

I have also used tinned cannellini beans to keep it quick and easy. Tinned legumes defo have a place in my cupboard.

Cut the top off the garlic so it looks like this

Saute the meat and vegetables

The mongrel cassoulet sharing the table with some more beans. It’s a pretty friendly sort, really


PRETTY EASY MONGREL CASSOULET

500-750g smoky meaty leftovers (depending on how much you consumed or may have left over from that BBQ comp on the week end ) – start with pork neck or ribs and then add sausage, brisket, lamb and/or chicken – all chopped
2 tablespoons drippings from that meaty goodness
1 small onion (or half a large onion as I have used), diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 bulb garlic, left whole, top sliced off to reveal a little garlic-y flesh
A few sprigs of parsley and thyme
1 bay leaf
2x 400g tins cannellini beans, strained
500ml chicken stock. Homemade is best but sometimes store bought might be all you have on hand and it will still work, I can guarantee that
1 cup breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C.
Lube up a casserole dish or cast-iron pot or something that you can put in the oven with the drippings and then sauté meat and vegetables over medium heat until vegetables are starting to soften and brown a little. Alternatively, you can sauté the meat and vegetables in a pan and then transfer them to an oven proof dish.
Add all other ingredients except bread crumbs, stir to combine and season.
Top with bread crumbs and place in oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until golden brown and smelling delicious.
Eat it.
Put it in your face with a little green salad, or maybe some green beans with onion vinaigrette if you want to be the same as us.

One last pic of the ingredients…

Singapore noodles with smoked pork

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Sometimes I forget how much I love noodles. Especially Singapore noodles. Oh, how I love Singapore noodles.

This is pretty easy, mid-week (should possibly read; great for late evening after maybe one or two too many beers when you forget that a man, and of course woman, needs to eat) cooking that is tasty as fuck and can certainly be toyed with as much as your sweet little heart desires. This time ‘round I had some leftover pork ribs that I took all the meat from like a white man taking land in centuries past, but this could easily be made with pork, chicken or beef mince, or prawns that are cooked off at the start and then returned to the pan as per the recipe, or you could even crumble in a little tofu with the vegetables if that’s your scene.

But for now – less talky, more cooky.

Put all ingredients onto a chopping board to photograph them before you cut them up

…and then maybe cut it all up and take anther photo

High heat sizzle sizzle

Noodles and condiments is good times for my face

So much about this makes me happy to be alive


SINGAPORE NOODLES WITH SMOKED PORK (serves 4)

400-500g smoked pork (or some kind of meat or non meat substitute)
Rice vermicelli
1 medium brown onion or a few shallots (scallions), sliced
2 cups of chopped vegetables – today my refrigerator had celery and zucchini for me and then I found some sugar snap peas in the garden
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated or chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons curry powder or garam masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Chopped chilli, crisp eshallots and fresh shallots to serve

Place noodles into a bowl that is big enough to fit them plus some. Cover noodles with room temp water for 20 minutes.
Now for another opportunity to impress your friends with your smoking hot wok antics. So yes, you will be needing a smoking hot oiled wok… or possibly a very large pan… or maybe even two regular sized pans.
Add the vegetables, garlic and ginger and give them a couple of minutes of fiery stir frying.
Now add all remaining ingredients plus the pork (or substitute meat or non-meat product) into the pan.
Give that a quick heat through and get it on the table… or possibly on a plate followed closely by onto the table, garnished with chilli and shallot.

Goodnight

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

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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.

Cowboy beans! Yeehaw!

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So I made some cowboy beans.

Actually, I’m not even sure what cowboy beans are, but this is what I imagine they may be. But they may not be this at all. Definitely do not tell your friends these are OG cowboy beans as that may not be fact. I would even go so far as to say there is a high chance it would not be fact. It could even be said that you pretty much just shouldn’t take any of the words on these here pages, or indeed those that pass my lips, as being fact. I’m pretty much a big fat faker. This is not gospel and I am not the lord. Onto those beans…

I feel they would be most authentic served from a big pot on the back of the chuck wagon. That is a fact.

Time for oven loving

Now it’s get into my face time


COWBOY BEANS

(For the family. Like the whole family. Like extended family, neighbours, stray kids and those carnie folk just barely clinging onto life in the cage under your back stair case… and then there will probably still be some to freeze down for later.)

500g navy beans, black beans or whatever the frick kinda dried beans you have floating about in the back of your wagon, soaked over night and then cooked until tender
500-800g whatever meat you have floating about in the back of your wagon. BBQ leftovers are the best for this – smoked brisket, pork ribs, actually any cut of pork or sausages… roast left overs… or just some nice smoky porky things from your local man
1 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder and hot sauce
1 tablespoon each American ballpark mustard and Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Big Red Rub or your favourite BBQ dry rub
½ cup tomato ketchup
3x 400g tins crushed or chopped tomatoes or something similar
Salt and pepper
Fried eggs (or crack them straight into the beans and bake for an extra 5 minutes for tasty-assed one pan glory), chopped fresh herbs, jalapenos and toast to serve

Chop meat/s into bite sized chunks.
Heat a splash of oil in a large oven pan over medium heat. Add meat/s and sauté until browned a little.
Add all other ingredients and cook out for 5 minutes.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary (that’s what your salt and pepper is for).
Place into 180-200C oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Add a splash of water if mix starts to dry out – kinda saucy is kinda good I reckon. (You could finish these beans totally on the stovetop if you don’t feel like lighting your oven… or you just don’t actually have an oven… but they really do benefit from a little oven bubbly caramelized tomato bits. Jus’ saying)
That’s it. Serve it up – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pretty simple, just how the cowboys would’ve liked it. Yeehaw.

Pretty easy sausage meatball pasta

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This is easy-tasty-good piss-easy mid-week cooking ala foodisthebestshitever personified.

The big secret here is if you get a good sausage you will defo be a happy woman.

Wait…

Um…

What I meant to say is; if you get a good sausage from your butcher half the work is already done for you. Yup. That’s my big secret.

Seriously.

A decent butcher will have a few different sausages to choose from so I would suggest something herby or something with some spice, like a fresh chorizo, and then half the battle is already won. Literally then the hardest thing you will need to do to get a decent dinner on the table is to boil the correct amount of pasta needed to feed only the people sitting around said table and not the population of a small northern Italian village.

Add a few vegetables that you have wrestled from the grip of the depths-of-the-back-of-the-fridge-demon, a few subtle herbs*, a splash of whatever trashy white wine you have in the coffee cup in front of you and some cooked pasta (or instant noodles if you’re feeling reals trashy), and you will be eating a pretty damn fine pasta for your dinner.

And don’t feel like this could only be done on a stove top. Anything you can cook in a pan can be cooked on the coals or on a grill… just saying… it’s a pretty good way to do camping like a boss.

Little balls of meaty goodness getting made by my children. So bloody simple.

Brown those balls

Get some green things into the pan

…and then get some pasta in there too

A few subtle herbs. Bahahahaha… subtle herbs

Get into my face time

SAUSAGE MEATBALL & GREEN STUFF PASTA

Serves 4

Enough cooked pasta for 4 people, plus a tablespoon or two of the water it was cooked in
500g good thick sausages, each sausage pushed from its skin and formed into 5-6 meatballs
1 anchovy
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large handful chopped fresh herbs – sage, thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary and curly parsley
2 cups diced green vegetables – zucchini, broccoli and green olives… even peas would work so very well
A splash of white wine
Olive oil
Grated parmesan or pecorino to serve

Heat a splash of oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add meatballs and sauté for 2 minutes, turning every 30 seconds to get a little browning on a fair bit of the ball.
Add anchovy, garlic, half of the chopped herbs and the vegetables, and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until starting to colour a little.
Deglaze pan with a splash of white wine. Deglaze your own face with a large tumbler of said white wine. Cook out for another minute.
Toss through pasta and 1-2 tablespoons of pasta cooking water and heat through.
Toss through remaining herbs.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Distribute that good stuff between 4 bowls. Top with parmesan and a splash of olive oil if you’re feeling it.
Eat it in your face.

*Bahahaha… subtle herbs. I don’t even know what a subtle herb is. Man up and get some punch-in-face herbs in that pasta so they may party with the sausage like a cheap prostitute and they can all hit the front page of tomorrows local rag together.

Chicken schnitzel burger and a small chat about nostalgia

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As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of nostalgia.

I especially love food memories. Actually, it’s pretty much just the food memories that I really love.

The meals that my mum and nanna would cook mostly amazed the fuck out of young me… sometimes they didn’t really amaze me heaps (that would be the viciously-boiled-way-past-the-point-of-being-dead Brussels sprouts and the “stir fried vegetables” that would be slowly-braised-way-past-the-point-of-being-dead in the electric frying pan and then have a jar of store bought gelatinous strange looking stir fry sauce added. You can imagine my surprise when I went to Singapore when I was 15 and realised what a stir fry was actually meant to be), but most of the time I truly couldn’t believe how these ladies made things taste so good.

The chicken schnitzel was one such meal.

Chicken that was expertly crumbed (breaded) and then shallow fried in mum’s big* electric frying pan and then served with whatever else mum felt like rustling up. No set recipe, just whatever mum was feeling on the day. It was a classic in our house. When I think about it though, I’m pretty sure anything that was crumbed and fried was immediately lifted to the pedestal of “classic”, and often even granted “food of the gods” status.

Tastes change fo’ sho, but sometimes my face just begs me to let it have a little of those good ol’ times… and of course if my face has been a good boy, I happily oblige. If, on the other hand, my face has been behaving like the foul mouthed little sailor’s spawn, then I shall give it a damn good beati… n… g…

Chicken schnitzel – this time it’s going on a burger (sandwich) because I really like burgers.

Electric frying pan boogaloo.

The chicken schnitzels could’ve been a little smaller I guess…

Two good times.

CHICKEN SCHNITZEL BURGER

(per person)

1x 120-150g chicken breast, hammered out a little and crumbed. Your butcher may be able to do that for you**, if not just do it yourself
1 burger bun, you may buy this from the supermarket if you like. I don’t mind a dirty white death roll for a burger. Just as long as it’s not some kinda sour dough or other artisanal crusty crap that’s going to push the entire contents of the burger out of it’s arse and onto the floor
1 handful of coleslaw, home made or heck, you can even get that from the super market too, you lazy bastard
A splash of hot sauce or BBQ sauce

A squeeze of lemon juice

Salt and pepper

—————————–

Shallow fry schnitzels in a pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side until cooked through.

Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Layer burger buns with chicken, ‘slaw and sauce.
Get that right into your face so that it may smile again ☺

* That electric frying pan always seemed really big, but I realised years later that it was just a normal sized electric frying pan.

** Please do not use those fucked up looking “chicken schnitzels” or “crumbed chicken burgers” you can find in the freezer section at the supermarket

Tasty assed grilled chicken with gochujang and smoked honey

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grilled chicken recipe
This was another one of those happen-to-have-a-really-good-looking-chook-on-hand-and-I’m-pretty-keen-to-put-something-on-the-bbq type situations. You know those ones, right?

I also had in my possession a bottle of gochujang – the fermented chilli (red pepper) paste of Korean origins that I had been hearing so much about lately cos I am a fricking ear-to-the-ground kinda guy.

Also in my possession was a flagon of rum. But both you and I know that was going to be used to get those carnies dancing as the evening went on…

Back to that really damn good chicken.

The chicken was bathed in a very simple marinade, containing, if my time learning mathematics at school serves me correctly, no more than 5 or possibly 6 ingredients. You know what that means? Less prep time. You know what that means? Less time in the kitchen. You know what that means? More time enjoying a refreshing beverages and watching those drunken carnies dance… oh, how I love to watch them dance…

I ate chicken… I was left smiling – a big red sticky mess… and this time it couldn’t all be blamed on the beard…

The chicken looked like this at the start but it was so pretty and sticky and red by the end of the cook

The chicken looked like this at the start but it was so pretty and sticky and red by the end of the cook

Just grillin' some really tasty chicken... really tasty chicken

Just grillin’ some really tasty chicken… really tasty chicken


REALLY GOOD GRILLED CHICKEN WITH GOCHUJANG & SMOKED HONEY MARINADE

(Serves however many people you serve with a roast chicken. You could also sub in 2kg of chicken wings for a quicker result and a really fucking tasty little snack during a long night of watching the drunken carnie dancing or even a game of actual sport if that’s what you’re into)

1 whole chook, butterflied or cut into 4. I’m pretty sure your butcher will do that for you
½ cup gochujang
½ cup butter, softened (a little sun shine or 10 seconds in the microwave should look after that for you)
2 tablespoons smoked honey* (straight up honey will also do a very good job here)
1 teaspoon salt
Sliced shallots (scallions) and toasted sesame seeds to serve
Napkins. You defo need napkins for this stuff

• Mix gochujang, butter, honey and salt. Pour the mix over the chicken and let it marinate for an hour or so.
• Whack it on the grill over some gentle coals for approximately one hour, depending on how well you tend your BBQ. Check and turn and baste with the extra saucy goodness every 15 minutes.
• (45minutes in a 180-200C oven will also do the job of cooking your chook)
• Once cooked allow to rest for 10 minutes.
• Serve with extra gochujang if you love that, shallots and sesame seeds

*I found some nice peeps who make smoked honey called Blend Smoked Honey. You can find them right here. It’s well worth a hit. PS I certainly do not get paid for my under-thought opinions… although with this sort of entertainment value I probably should ay… I gotta work on that.

A pretty average pic of a really tasty dish

A pretty average pic of a really tasty dish

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