Bad-ass many meat gumbo

gumbo
This is a beast of a meal that originated from a surplus of leftover cooked meats from weekend catering jobs that were loitering in my refrigerator that I needed/wanted to use… and I had a raging desire to get a bit of variety into the diet of the carnivorous dinosaur I keep as a pet under my back stairs.

It is quite simply the same as my recipe here (because we still have a shit load* of all sorts of varieties of kale taking over the place we once called a garden and they are now petitioning the parliament for cessation from the Commonwealth and acknowledgement of their new sovereign state; Kaleland… I really think they could’ve been a little more creative with the name of their new state but let’s just remember, kale is renowned for being really healthy and shit, not for it’s intellectual capabilities.), but instead of the whatever meat was in the original recipe I subbed in a pile of leftover roasted chicken legs and thighs, roasted lamb shoulder and roasted pork belly.

I am not so stupid that I don’t realise that it’s not every week that one has a few different types of leftover meat hanging around so just so you know what? It is very OK to go out and buy a bit of this meat and a bit of that meat until you feel the T-Rex you have living under the back stairwell will be satiated.

And before you eat it you should douse it with your favourite hot sauce.
gumbo

gumbo

gumbo
Get on it.
gumbo
*an actual measurement

Flood goals #2: roast chicken with fruity nutty stuffing

roast chicken with fruit stuffing
The rivers and creeks that have swelled more than Gina Reinharts chin banks will eventually subside. The waters shall recede like George Costanza’s hairline and the semi rural vista shall become apparent once more. It shall sink to depths lower than teenage despair, it shall become shallower than last years prom queen and as weak and feeble as my famous person analogies. That’s what the water will do…

Until then we shall relax and enjoy this forced hiatus from the outside world. At a town meeting we shall decide that we actually prefer this cessation of ties with the outside world. We shall talk about forming our own government and who should be in charge. We will be divided through our options, heightened with a splash of cabin fever. Alliances would be formed. Weapons would be made. The townsfolk will become angry and fights will break out. Oh no, Piggy got smashed with a rock.

Maybe we just need to hope and pray for these waters to subside a little quicker…

While we wait I will take that chook I spoke about last post – you know, the chook of noble upbringing and reputable past – and I shall make a stuffing worthy of being rammed into it’s butthole. And then, my friends, I will indeed ram that stuffing into the chook’s butthole and then we shall roast it and eat it in our bellies.

That’s what I’m going to do.

Stuffy stuffy stuffing
Stuffy stuffy stuffing

Nah, that chook's stuffed mate
Nah, that chook’s stuffed mate
I do believe this would be called the money shot
I do believe this would be called the money shot
Oooh. Nom nom nom
Oooh. Nom nom nom
I told you braised greens were a good side...
I told you braised greens were a good side…

It was really good
It was really good

FRUITY NUTTY CHOOK STUFFING

1 thick slice sourdough bread, diced nice and small
2 dried figs, chopped,
1/4 cup almonds or cashews or whatever your favourite nut might be right now or a mix of the lot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder
A big handful chopped herbs – parsley, sage, rosary and thyme (yeah, sing it)
A splash of white wine or apple cider to moisten slightly
1 chicken to put the stuffing inside of
Oil
Butter
Salt and pepper

• Pre heat oven to 180-200C

• Massage all of the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl (Yeah massage. Get right in there. But probably leave the essential oils out of this one…), season with a little salt and pepper and then leave to soak up the love for a few minutes

• Get the stuffing into the chicken. I do not believe there is polite and tidy way to do this so I just stuff it in there best I can

• Rub the chicken with a little oil to get it’s sweaty bald man sheen on, and then season with salt and pepper

• Into the oven for 1hr 20mins or something thereabouts – until the juices in the leg joint run clear is a good indicator. After 1hr rub chicken down with a little butter to get that all over tan going on. Once that sexy bitch is cooked rest for 15 minutes and then carve. Pan gravy and braised kale from the garden was a damn fine side for this delicious bird

When the water was at it's peak it would have been close to 2m up that cactus in the fore ground
When the water was at it’s peak it would have been close to 2m up that cactus in the fore ground

Roasted Pork Belly with Vegetables From The Garden

roast pork belly
We here at foodisthebestshitever are venturing forward in a new direction, we shall go forth and expand our culinary vision and facilitate this vision through the exploration of contemporary cuisines previously unbeknownst to us. We shall visit regions previously deemed out of reach, in the spirit of searching out something totally new and different.

Yes folks, today we shall be exploring the wonderful work of… well… pork.

Ok, you got me. I’m not doing anything profound or original for this blog. I am merely cooking pork again and am trying to make myself feel better about my addiction. I use the local free-range pork if that’s any conciliation for the armchair activists out there.

Today I’m talking pork belly.

Pork belly is one of my favouritest pieces of meat of all time. If I were a gay man I still think pork belly would be at the top of my favourite meat list. There is not a whole heap I don’t like about pork belly; it is flavoursome, luscious, tasty, delicious, really good and a whole heap of other synonyms for the same word. It is a meal that I always want a little more of, and I always cook extra so I have leftovers for the next day… and mostly that extra pork even makes it to the next day. Actually, a lot of the time we eat it all on the night… well, most of the time. You see, Jennee brings her “we all know the crackling won’t be any good tomorrow” game to the table (what I like to call her A game) and generally manages to convince us that it’s OK to finish the lot now because it is a certainty the crackling will contract a disease rendering it flaccid and inedible, in turn contaminating the remaining pork and making it unfit for human consumption.
Well, this night I was going to take my chances with flaccid crackling and rancid meat, as I was already hella keen on pork belly for my dinner again tomorrow. Hella keen…

We have had a good harvest of heirloom carrots and kale so they featured heavily in the meal. This is truly my favourite eating; food that comes from our own garden or is grown by people close to us. Food that was cared for before it hit the pan. Food that, well, food that just doesn’t come from one of the big supermarkets really…

The belly didn't really fit into the pan but eventually it did after a bit of post coital shrinkage set in
The belly didn’t really fit into the pan but eventually it did after a bit of post coital shrinkage set in

Porky belly all cooked up
Porky belly all cooked up
Those roast vegetables were damn fine
Those roast vegetables were damn fine

Yes, those roast vegetables
Yes, those roast vegetables

ROASTED PORK BELLY with VEGETABLES FROM THE GARDEN (serves 4)

1.5 – 2kg pork belly. That should be enough for leftovers…
½ – 1 teaspoon garlic powder
A good pinch of salt and pepper
A selection of vegetables from the garden/fridge. We had potatoes, heirloom carrots, radish and onion
½ tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
A bit more seasoning
Olive oil
Sautéed curly kale and jagallo nero (a spindly awesome type of kale) with oyster sauce and carrot top salsa verde to serve

• Pre heat oven to 160C
• Season pork belly with salt, pepper and garlic powder
• Roast pork belly in oven for 2.5-3 hours until the smell causes you mouth to water and your loins to stir, and it is super tender
• While pork is cooking chop your assorted vegetables into fairly similar sized chunks. Put them into a separate oven dish, lube up with a splash of rendered fat from the pork belly, splash with the vinegar and season. After the pork has been cooking for 1.5 hours the vegetables can go into the oven too. Roast for one hour or until vegetables are just cooked, and then remove from oven until pork is ready. Once pork is ready turn the oven up to 180-200C and return the vegetables to the oven for a final five to ten minutes to get a bit of crispness, and that should do the job on the pork crackling for you too (if crackling is being a bit stubborn a few minutes under the grill (broiler) will sort it out)
• Carve the pork and serve with roast vegetables, carrot top salsa verde and sautéed greens… and try not to eat it all tonight…

One more look at that pork belly
One more look at that pork belly

Left over roast chicken filo snail pie

SAMSUNG CSC

This is for all of the cheap and easy mid-week mums out there… actually, that did not sound quite right. Let’s say it’s for all of the mums out there who appreciate the value of good honest cheap and easy mid-week cooking. And if you are an actual cheap and easy mid-week mum inbox me… please.

If you don’t have any left over roast chook for this then you are certainly screwed… Not really. I fricken tricked the shit out of you right there, eh. I’m stilling LOLing all over the place. So, if you don’t have any left over roast chicken you can just cook some chicken and use that. You can do that, right?

I had a heap of left over chicken which was kinda handy because we had this for dinner last night and the kids loved it so much they insisted, with threat of attack by small people, that I make this pie for dinner again tonight. “Keep your darn carnies,” I said to them. “You shall have pie”.

And then the children were fed.

It may look something this
It may look something this
Filo and chicken for miles
Filo and chicken for miles
A pretty photo… nice change
A pretty photo… nice change
Make rolls for the kids lunch boxes if you have some left over, or just cut it off the end of your snail if it won't fit in the pan
Make rolls for the kids lunch boxes if you have some left over, or just cut it off the end of your snail if it won’t fit in the pan
Snail pie sans snails. Eff yes
Snail pie sans snails. Eff yes

LEFT OVER ROAST CHICKEN FILO SNAIL PIE (for 4)
400-500g left over roast chook, shredded. Or 500g boneless chicken thigh, cooked in a little oil and then shredded
1 brown onion, sliced
1 bunch of cavolo nero, kale or silverbeet, shredded
100g feta, or ricotta if you don’t do feta, crumbled
½ lemon, juice and zest
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
1 pack of filo pastry (you only really need 9 sheets but you cant just buy 9 sheets around here, so stash the rest of the pack in the freezer up near that acid you’ve been saving since ’94. And please don’t accidently grab that sheet of acid when you’re going back for the filo… Wednesday night dinner isn’t ready for that yet)
Seasoning
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Cumin and sesame seeds to sprinkle
• Sauté cavolo nero and onion in a little oil, until starting to soften. Season and set aside to cool
• Once cooled, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix it all together. Check seasoning and give it some if it needs it
• Lay three filo sheets out on the bench so they are just overlapping on the sides. Brush with melted butter and lay 3 more sheets over the first 3 so they overlap like bricks in a house. You’ve seen bricks in a house, yeah? Now brush with butter and lay the remaining 3 sheets over the top so they line up with the original 3. You should have a long rectangle of filo in front of you now… or at least something that vaguely resembles a rectangle… I hope
• Place a 4cm wide strip of the chicken mixture at the front of the filo and roll that thing up like a big assed sausage roll. Go nice and slow and gentlemanly like so as to avoid tearing the crap out of the vagi… um… filo
• Gently coil the whole lot up like a snail or two snails depending on the size of your pan… or coil it up like a rattle snake if snails are too pussy for you
• If you have any chicken mix left, try making a few filo rolls for the kids lunch boxes
• Slide it into a buttered pan/dish that is big enough to hold it snuggly (use two if you need to)
• Brush the top with a little eggwash, or milk if that’s all you’ve got
• Sprinkle with sesame and cumin seeds and bake in a pre-heated 180C oven for 15-20 minutes, or until nicely browned
• A little garden herby leafy salad is a good side if the weather is still allowing for it

#easytastygood

Baked pasta with pork and sage meatballs and kale

1903212_10152227915629933_1913005187_n

I have felt like eating something similar to a recipe from my friend over at Cottage Grove House (which you may find here) had posted since I saw it in the wee hours of the morning. 5:30am to be exact. But this is bound to happen when you get up at 5am every morning to go fishing because you’re on holiday and suss out the blogs you like while having your morning necessities ie. Coffee or toast or whatever it is you consider to be a necessity in the morning. When I say similar though, I mean I want something with pasta, some kind of sausage or meatball type thing and something green. OK. Once again I head to the fridge… there’s pork mince in there so that shall be my meatball/sausage. There’s also sage in the garden so there’s a winning combo, much like the 20 bucks in your pocket and the sideshow alley entertainment of dubious origin. I also spied some kale in the fridge and there is pasta in the box of goodies I have brought with me to Iluka. Also, in a quick “fuck it”, I have decided I’ll chuck in some of that zucchini hiding in the bottom of the fridge where all the vegetables the kids hate go to die too (the kids hate it, but I love it so THEY WILL LEARN TO LOVE IT TOO. Or something like that).

I don’t even need to make a trip to the shops today… time to crack the lid on one of those bottles of goodness in aforementioned fridge. The ones that are filled with something that can only be described as looking like urine, containing an alcohol content of 4.5% and having a silhouette of a pregnant or possibly obese woman in a circle with a line through it on the label. I think this piss-like alcoholic beverage is not meant for fat ladies. That right there could land me in a bit of strife but I have no better judgement, so I shall run with it.

In a moment of good judgement though, I feel, I have decided to bake this instead of trying to do it in a pan… mostly because there is nary a pan bigger than my palm in this kitchen. Baking pasta is a great way to feed the masses (or even just two ravenous children) with out the need for a big pot/pan. Everyones got a big baking dish right? Good.

All in the oven dish
All in the oven dish
Whack a bit of béchamel and cheesy goodness on top
Whack a bit of béchamel and cheesy goodness on top
Add a few garlic croutons and you're ready to go
Add some garlic toast and you’re ready to go

BAKED SPIRAL PASTA WITH PORK & SAGE MEATBALLS AND KALE (for 4)
1x 250g pack pasta spirals (I would’ve preferred penne, but spirals is what we had so spirals is what I used… and the kids eat the shit out of those bloody things)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 zucchini, diced… I’ll see if they notice. They didn’t… suckerrrrrrs
Pork and sage meatballs (recipe below)
2 cups béchamel sauce (you know how to make this by now, yes?) because anything that is baked with béchamel is a winner with the kids. And me too actually
Grated cheese to top
• Cook pasta just like the instructions on the pack tell you to. Strain and put aside for a minute or two while you get the rest of this together
• Hopefully you have made a béchamel sauce and it is ready and waiting. And your meatballs should be ready to go, too
• Sauté zucchini and garlic until it starts to colour, add kale and toss to combine. Cover and simmer for another minute to get that party started
• Combine everything except the béchamel and cheese, check seasoning and then lay it down softly into a baking dish that will fit it all comfortably
• Top with béchamel and then a layer of cheese
• Bake at 200C for 15 or so minutes, or until it looks like lava and you fear for a new stone age just a little
• Eat it now. A little salad or some crusty bread or even garlic toast would probably find a happy home right here

Mixy mixy
Mixy mixy
Bally bally
Bally bally
Cooky cooky
Cooky cooky

Pork & sage meatballs
400g pork mince
½ brown onion, bruniose
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small handful each parsley and sage, chopped nice and fine
A pinch of chilli flakes or chopped fresh chilli, or more if you love it
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
Seasoning
• Mix it all together
• Form into little balls, roughly the size of a tiny little ball
• That in your hand is a meatball, my friend, a meatball
• Brown them in a pan with a little oil. This will only work if you have heat under said pan. Med-high for 5-6 minutes will do the trick
• You’ve done well. Go and get yourself a beer. Seriously, you deserve it