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

Sausages and lamb ribs and eggplant… and red rice.

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I would like to start by informing you all that I really like a good sausage.

These sausages are quite frankly what I consider to be the best sausages in these here parts – made by the fine folks at Hayters Hill Butchery. His bratwurst (Well, not his bratwurst. I know nothing of this man’s sausage and that is the truth) was my sausage of choice on this day – absolutely a pleasure to put in mouth. Hmmm. I’m sounding more and more like a “lady of the night” by the word…

I’ll try again.

The sausages were reals good after 2.5-3 hours at 110C (220-230F) over ironbark. Really bloody good. The Hayters Hill crew also do a cracking chunky pork snag which is also a tasty tasty thing after a few hours in a smoker. I am also pretty sure that these sausages would even be hella tasty raw, but that it just a guess and based on absolutely zero personal raw sausage eating experience I will admit it.

You will probably not be able to find any Hayters Hill sausages at your local market because we pretty much buy all of there stuff up here in the northern rivers of NSW, so you can use whatever it is that you consider to be a great sausage in your own mind…

The lamb ribs were given that same ironbark-smoky 110C treatment, and very similarly to how you may do pork ribs, they were given 3 hours of smoke, followed by wrapping and another hour in the smoker, followed by a 1 hour rest after that. The internal temp was 92C (200F) and they were fricking perfect.

Lamb ribs are definitely not pork ribs but they are still damn tasty in the smoker and something a little different for you next BBQ. They can also offer that same sort of smoky ribby wow factor but at a heaps cheaper price tag than pork or beef ribs… that is, until the butchers work out that they are just as tasty as their high-end friends and bump the price up on these puppies too.

I also made some red rice and miso & maple glazed eggplant, and placed some peppery hot sauce and smoked salt on the table to complete the package that was our dinner on this evening. It was all plenty tasty. My eldest son, Seba, even commented that although he doesn’t like eggplant, and this was certainly no exception, it was the best eggplant he’d ever been forced to eat.

You’re welcome.

Those sexy little lamb ribs

I borrowed the recipe for red rice from right here

The eggplant looked pretty sexy

The whole thing looked rather sexy, actually


MISO AND MAPLE GLAZED EGGPLANT

(serves 4 as a side with left over miso glaze for next time)

1 large eggplant, cut into 8 wedges
3 tablespoons red miso paste
2 tablespoons each rice vinegar, maple syrup and water
1 small knob ginger, grated or finely chopped
Oil for cooking

Heat a little oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet or pan. Add eggplant and cook for 2 minutes each side until browned and starting to soften.
Using a pastry brush or your fathers best paint brush, glaze the eggplant generously with the miso number.
Place under a pre-heated grill (broiler) until caramelized and sexy.
Eat it and force your children to eat it even if they don’t like eggplant.

Easy chicken crisp shell tacos

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easy chicken taco shells
Some times when you take your children shopping with you they like to ask for things they may not normally be allowed to eat. Breakfast cereal that has more sugar than actual cereal, strange plastic looking loosely termed cheese slices, all of the confectionary section and crisp taco shells… they always want crisp taco shells.

The tacos of my childhood, these things were about as culinary adventurous as my mother would get… although she would never use any kind of Tex-Mex spice mix no no no. That was way to ethnic for her (herself the child of Polish and German immigrants). Avocado? I didn’t even know what an avocado was when I was a child. Salsa? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Nope, my mother would make a beef and gravy number with grated tasty cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, grated carrot and sliced tomato all placed on the table in bowls for us to sort ourselves out. And we damn well loved it.

But crisp taco shells do have a very fundamental design flaw of shattering like dropped glass with the first bite. That’s right, they are almost impossible to eat with out pieces of taco and filling falling and consequently adorning much of your upholstery. How could that one get through the defenses? My bet is someone at the “Edible Foods Consideration Bureau” was defo napping on the job when that application came through.

These things are superfluous to their own cause.

The inability to actually be eaten aside, crisp taco shells do own a special bit of property in my heart and every now and then the time comes around again that I will crumble to the pleading of my children (and that little voice inside me that the doctor keeps telling me will go away if I’d just take the medication she has prescribed, but it really upsets my stomach so I feed it to my cat) and put the crisp taco shells into the shopping basket, and then onto the evenings dinner menu and back into my heart… and all over the table… and a bit on the floor too.

This is one of those things your can do pretty quickly if you have some left over roast chook (chicken) from last nights dinner or you could also very easily cook up a couple of chicken breasts and use them. S-C-I-E-N-C-E.

Fry you're chopped chicken. That's pretty easy

Fry you’re chopped chicken. That’s pretty easy

My Tex-Mex spice mix is also pretty easy to make. Seba keeps it real in the back ground

My Tex-Mex spice mix is also pretty easy to make. Seba keeps it real in the back ground

Add your spice mix and a little splash of something wet. That's pretty easy too

Add your spice mix and a little splash of something wet. That’s pretty easy too

Put it on the table with some crisp taco shells and a few other bits and pieces. That's all still pretty easy

Put it on the table with some crisp taco shells and a few other bits and pieces. That’s all still pretty easy

CHOPPED CHICKEN TACOS in the crisp shells (enough for 10 or so tacos)

½ roast chicken, 2 cooked chicken breasts or similar equivalent of whatever meat you got, picked from the bone and chopped
½ onion, diced
2 tablespoons Tex-Mex spice mix (recipe follows)
A splash of chicken stock or water
Salt and pepper
10 or so crisp taco shells
Shredded iceberg lettuce, grated carrot, grated tasty cheese, tomato salsa (recipe will magically appear here very shortly) and hot sauce to serve

• Heat your tacos according to the instructions that I hope are on the packaging.
• Heat a splash of oil in a pan over medium flame. Add your chopped meat and onion sauté for a minute or two.
• Add Tex-Mex spice mix and cook out for another minute.
• Add a splash of chicken stock to moisten and make it kinda saucy, and cook out for one more minute.
• Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
• That is now done and you are left standing there staring at it wondering how that could have been so easy.
• Close your mouth before a passing fly makes it his new home and get that shit on the table homie!

TEX-MEX SPICE MIX

¼ cup each dried thyme, oregano and ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes (or more if you like it hotter)

• Mix it all together and store extra in an air tight container for your next Tex-Mex feast. See, pretty easy eh.

Busted ass taco shell glory. I generally end up with a big pile of taco chips, meat and salad which I savour when my tacos are done

Busted ass taco shell glory. I generally end up with a big pile of taco chips, meat and salad which I savour when my tacos are done

Hastily Roasted Squab

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roasted squab
This recipe, like many of the few I have posted over the past year or so, is of a meal I cooked a while back. After which I would have scribbled a few words and maybe a piece of the story that was to accompany it a then put it on the bench with the intention of “getting onto that really soon”.

But as with many things for me at the moment I do not “get onto that really soon”. Instead I hastily type a story which requires so little thought a piece of wood could in fact write it, and is about as funny as a poo in a bathtub.

The content thing I can handle, but the humour… well, I really thought I was funnier than that.

I used to be funnier than that didn’t I?

Fuck it. I can still cook.

Glaze them up with the smoked honey for added sex appeal

Glaze them up with the smoked honey for added sex appeal

Yup

Yup

Get that salad together while the squab are resting

Get that salad together while the squab are resting

Eat it up

Eat it up

HASTILY ROASTED SQUAB WITH PEARL BARLEY & ROASTED CARROT SALAD (serves 4)

4-8 squab, depending on the size of your squably appetite
1-2 tablespoons Big Red Rub
1-2 tablespoons butter, softened
1-2 tablespoons Blend brand smoked honey (plain ol’ honey will still do the trick)
2 cups cooked pearl barley
1 cup sauerkraut
6 medium carrots, roasted with a little oil until tender, and then cut into kinda decent chunks*
6 eshallots or baby onions, peeled and halved and roasted with the carrots*
2 spring onions or shallots, finely sliced
1 handful each parsley and mint, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
Apple cider vinaigrette to dress

• Rub the squab with butter and then season with salt and pepper and Big Red Rub. Get it into a lined baking dish and then into a preheated 200C oven for 15 minutes. Glaze with the smoked honey and return to oven for 10 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes before serving (save those pan juices)
• Combine salad ingredients, dress and season
• Now if you can just put it on a plate everything is going to work out fine
• Dress with reserved pan juices and get it into your face hole

Tasty little birdy

Tasty little birdy

Shit. And I just remembered I should get onto something Christmassy pretty soon too. Really soon…

*Your smart brains will tell you that it is totally feasible to put the carrots and onions in the oven at the same time as your squab and then chop it into the salad while the squab is resting

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

Gumbo. Smoked lamb gumbo…

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lamb gumbo
Today I made gumbo… or something that is sort of gumbo, I guess.

Best as I can figure gumbo was created in Louisiana as sort of a use-up-all-of-the-shit-in-your-garden, chuck-in-whatever-bit-of-meat-you-can-afford, roux flavoured, file or okra thickened, po’ folks type food, so I’m pretty sure that means I’m following the brief… and not even with a chance of getting locked away… like if I was following the briefs… like the knickers… sniffy, sniffy… hmmm, quite possibly going in a bad direction here I think.

Straight up digression. Certainly not breaking any new ground here, am I.

So the thing is I had some lamb loin in the smoker, and I had some Andouille sausage in the fridge, and then I went and Viking raided the absolute crap out of all of the leafy green things in Jennee’s garden. The answer to that question is definitely GUMBO. Oh, and I do know there wasn’t actually a question there. I’m just checking if you’re on your toes. Well done little fella, you passed. Next up we’ll check which way you sit on a toilet seat and then… um. Digressing again. Soz. I write recipe now.

The only ingredient I didn’t have on hand was file powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), which I read is quite essential for thickening a good gumbo. But then I also read (yeah, working my peepers over-time here) that okra is also used for the same purpose. So this time I just happened to have some okra in the fridge so that’s what I went with. I’ll try to get hold of some file for next time…

Get a heap of green things from the garden...

Get a heap of green things from the garden…

...and chop it the heck up

…and chop it the heck up

Get that roux nice and chocolate brown

Get that roux nice and chocolate brown

And then get the rest of it in there too

And then get the rest of it in there too

Save that smoked lamb until the end though

Save that smoked lamb until the end though

Get it into your belly, washed down with whatever you see fit

Get it into your belly, washed down with whatever you see fit


SMOKED LAMB GUMBO

(Serves 4-6)

800g lamb loin*, smoked at 110C (230F) for 4 hours
1 andouille sausage (or what ever smoked sausage you can lay your grubby little mits on), diced
3 tablespoons butter or bacon dippings
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green capsicum, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
10-15 okra, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bunches mixed green things – curly kale, Russian kale, cavolo nero, spinach, chard, turnip leaves, broccoli leaves, grass, whatever, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon cayenne or died chilli
2lt some kind of stock
Salt and pepper
A large handful parsley, chopped
Hot sauce and rice to serve if you want to be somewhat traditional. Otherwise, serve it with whatever the fuck you want – I actually had mine with potato salad and a splash of olive oil… don’t tell anyone please

• Make a roux with the butter and flour (you can google that I reckon) and cook it out slowly until it is a nice medium-dark brown colour
• Add sausage, onion, capsicum, celery, okra and garlic and cook out over medium heat for another 5 minutes
• Add greens and spices and cook out for another 5 minutes
• Add stock and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 30 minutes
• Add lamb, smoky lamb juices and simmer for another 20 or so minutes until lamb is tender
• Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
• Hit it with a heap of parsley and get it into your face

This shit is so damn good.

*The flavour of the awesomeness that is Gumbo is one that will lend its self to be a suitable home for just about any other meat. Don’t be afraid to sub in chicken, seafood, beef, pork, koala, emu and any other coat of arms animal you can think of.
gumbo

Iluka and a damn tasty bowl of white curry mee

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IMG_6713
Beach side getaway. It’s real and it’s name is Iluka.

When it comes to a weekend away, hanging out near the ocean, plenty of fresh seafood and booze on hand and a refurbished old school fisherman’s shack to keep you safe and warm and night Iluka, on the New South Wales north coast, ticks all of the boxes… and it’s nice and it’s close to where we live to boot. So this mythical Iluka joint is indeed a place we try to visit as often as possible.

This time away though, I must confess I was feeling a little under the weather. But I had a plan. A plan to make me strong like ox once again. I would be looking for my time in Iluka to rejuvenate the metaphorical worn grass and naked fields of the landscape of my life. And then I shall call upon the almost mythical three hit combo that is the fully charged power animal, the centered and sexually satisfied chi and the ginger minge to piss that under-the-weather type feeling right the heck off.

I hope you’re paying attention.

Iluka turned on the happy smily weather for us

Iluka turned on the happy smily weather for us


Iluka.

I think one of the highlights of my time in Iluka was (and please don’t think any less of me for saying this… bahahahaha. Any less of me? As if that could actually happen, ay. I just made myself laugh a fair bit) a pack of white curry mee. I don’t even know what white curry mee is or even where the hell they came from, but I do know these instant noodles were one of the pinnacles of my day. Cheap, easy, fast and somehow they kinda left you feeling just a little bit dirty, these things were not dissimilar to a three buck hooker… but they certainly were a whole heap tastier… a whole heap tastier.

I realised pretty quickly that is was indeed “taking a little break” AKA a holiday, so I found it very appropriate to obtain myself a glass of some fermented red relaxedness enhancer. Oh yes. That relaxy-dinky-donky-doo feeling.

Feel it?

When staying near the ocean I find it essential to purchase local seafood food sustenance as well as enjoyment

When staying near the ocean I find it essential to purchase local seafood food sustenance as well as enjoyment


Later in the afternoon I felt it appropriate that I should make soup. A little chickpea and vegetable number would be the go I reckoned as that would be good for me plus it would also be good for my friend Ainsley – who is one of my top 2 favourite vegetarians in the word (yeah Gitana, you’re up there too) – as it would not contain meat thus would be deemed edible by said vegetarian friend, Ainsley. Little did I know that Ainsley had also considered it a worthy day to make soup so had brought with her an offering to the soup eating vegetarian gods of her own, clevery disguised as a pot of pumpkin soup… or actually just straight up a pot of pumpkin soup.

Needless to say, much soup was enjoyed by everyone present.

The next morning I awoke at a time that I could only call ridiculously early… or maybe ridearly… or possibly even earliculous… but I certainly wouldn’t stray too much further than that. But I did get up early. Like, the kids weren’t even awake and the sun was still sleeping too.

We ate the meal often called breakfast for sustenance as well as enjoyment. I smiled at everybody’s morning hair as I find morning hair quite entertaining. This is a little known fact about me.

The day was filled with all of the activities you might expect from some kind of lakeside summer camp. Except we were all keen participants and not ostracized step-children, ditched by our families for the holidays because of our annoying belching habits and yet undiscovered skin conditions. We played scout-esque, sickeningly feel good family bonding games, skateboarded, shot hoops, went walking, blah-di-blah-blah.

And then we did that all over again some more.

That’s all.

White curry mee in all of it's glory. Props by Iluka Beach Shack Co

White curry mee in all of it’s glory. Props by Iluka Beach Shack Co


WHITE CURRY MEE

Packet instructions seemed to work fine for me.