I find pork chops quite uninteresting, even though pork is my favourite meat. Of the cuts, I think the chop is the least exciting and I often find myself shallow frying it and adding interest by means of a mustard sauce of some sort. This time I decided to treat the chop as any other cut that can be slow cooked (think pulled pork…).
This easy peasy curry is inspired by a recipe by Mimi Spencer – one of the authors of The Fast Diet. Mimi’s purpose was to create a low-calorie delicious meal for fasting days. Here I have removed that restriction and made my own version, which is not particularly fattening but probably not suitable for those days, if you happen to be following the diet.
One of the staple foods of Portugal is salted cod or ‘bacalhau‘, as we call it. It may well be THE staple food. The tradition of eating salted cod is at least 500 years old and we pride ourselves in preparing salted cod in hundreds of different ways. Literally hundreds, and some claim thousands. Cod is the only fish the Portuguese don’t eat fresh and somehow the tradition has stuck to the point that buying fresh cod in Portugal is hard if not impossible but buying any other fresh sea creature that can be eaten is easy. We love our fresh fish but we wouldn’t have our cod any other way!
‘Migas’ are a traditional Portuguese and Spanish dish that was created by shepherds who, as they went to the fields to look after their flock, had little more than stale bread and wild garlic to cook with. The story goes that the tradition stands and that they still cook the dish today.
This is so traditional Portuguese/Spanish, even the sterner connaisseur of Iberian foods would agree. And it’s proper peasant food! Is there anything more authentic? As usual, garlic and olive oil feature abundantly and it is surprisingly simple to make.
Nothing can go wrong when you use pulled pork in a dish. Nothing.
And this is no exception. I wanted to use leftover pulled pork (which freezes really well, by the way) without making the usual sandwich with slaw on a brioche bun. I remembered my favourite breakfast in one of my favourite London breakfast places – The Breakfast Club in Hoxton. I always have the same and even though their menu is extensive I just can’t resist their Chorizo Hash Browns. It’s a potato, onion and pepper ‘hash’ with chorizo, eggs on the side and feta as an optional extra. It really works! So I thought if I used pulled pork instead of chorizo it should still work. Oh and it worked. It really really worked.
If you ever find yourself throwing away the bones, skin and remains of a roast chicken, roast chicken thighs or wings, stop! Approximately one hour separates you from that moment and a delicious chicken broth that will feel like a warm hug.
Throw those bones, skin and chicken debris in a pan with a few vegetables and olive oil, add water and small pasta, let the heat do its magic and you will be suitably rewarded. It really is that easy.
This is an essential recipe to have. Tomato sauce can be used in an infinity of dishes from pasta sauces (on its own or with other ingredients, like cream), meatballs, pizza, roasted or braised meats, stews and even fish dishes. This one is really easy and can be frozen. That means that you can make a batch and divide into individual portions for freezing and use as you need it.
I finally have my kitchen back and it’s about time! I decided to cook something comforting as it was the weekend and being in the new kitchen with the family around just begged for comfort food. Braised beef cooked in a pot roast was just the perfect winter warmer and I knew it would make the house smell gorgeous for hours.