Sunday, 21 December 2008

Moroccan Mango Chicken

NAME: _Moroccan Mango Chicken

500g - 1kg chicken meat
2 or 3 barely ripe mangoes (depending on the size of them, may only need 1 or 2)
1 medium white onion
1 - 2 orange sweet potatoes
several cupfuls mashed orange sweet potato
about 1 - 2cm chunk of palm sugar
1 cup reduced chicken stock
2 tbsp Moroccan spice mix
2 tbsp rice bran oil (or use peanut oil if you want that flavour)
1 egg
1 tbsp milk


Slice the onion thinly and fry in 1 tbsp oil with a few flakes off the sugar and a pinch of salt.  Reduce heat and fry until mostly brown, then lift the onions out and line the bottom of a casserole pan with them.

Slice the chicken into fairly thin flat slabs, place in a bag with the Moroccan spice blend and a pinch of salt, shake until lightly coated with spice.  Add the other tbsp of oil to the pan, increase heat again, and fry off the chicken until the outside is seared.  Place chicken in a layer atop the onions in the casserole.

Peel the mangoes and slice the flesh off the stone, put the flesh in the pan along with the remaining palm sugar, crushed, and warm over medium heat until the mango loses texture.  Add the chicken stock, stir well, and pour evenly over the chicken and onions.

Peel sweet potato and slice about 5-7mm thick (about 1/4" or a touch thicker) and place in frypan, use to absorb all the pan juices, then place the slices over the chicken mixture in the casserole.  Add the mashed sweet potato over the top, spread out evenly.

Place in medium hot oven for about 45 minutes, test with a skewer if the sweet potato slices are done.  If they feel done, increase the oven heat, beat the egg and milk together and pour over the top of the dish before returning it to the oven for another 30 or so minutes, until the egg starts to brown in spots.


Let stand for ten minutes or so before serving.

Theoretically, you could use normal potato mash and potatoes for the top, but it's the taste of mango and sweet potato which makes this dish. You could steam or boil the all the sweet potato in slices and top the dish with that - I like the mash and slices because it gives a texture (the slices) and a smooth top.

The idea of the palm sugar is to A) add some caramel tones to the onions and B) take the acid edge off the mango.  Adjust the amount according to taste and how ripe your mangoes are.  Ditto with the salt - if you have to use more sugar, add a smidgen more salt.  If your chicken stock is salty, use a bit less.  The key is to have just enough sugar to tone off the sweet potato and mango, and just enough salt to round out the sugar flavour.  I generally wing this as I go, tasting and adjusting.  It's actually pretty hard to stuff it up, unless you tip in a pot of salt or use ultra green mangoes.

NOTE to the NOTE: I got green chutney mangoes once, some were so unripe they were soft but still white inside.  I added extra palm sugar and used the more ripe, yellowish-fleshed chutney mangoes, and sliced up the white-fleshed ones and sprinkled those with salt and munched on them while I cooked the rest of the meal.  You win some, and you win even more sometimes... Om nom nom!

Disclaimer: I haven't seen this recipe anywhere else.  As far as I know it's not a Moroccan recipe.  I just had the ingredients at hand and thought how well the flavours would go together.  Luckily, it worked out nice.  I've made it a few times since that first time, and it wasn't a fluke.  My accuracy in measuring ingredients, on the other hand....

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Thursday, 27 November 2008

Chicken Nuggets Mexican

NAME: _Chicken Nuggets Mexican

(Approximate for one person, scale to suit size of party.)
chicken meat (you may use dark or white, about one breast's worth per person.)
1/2 carrot
1/2 green capsicum
1/2 jalapeno pepper
1/2 medium onion
1/2 tsp dried crushed chilli
1 clove garlic
1/2 a ripe to overripe tomato
1tsp tomato paste
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp anatto seeds (or turmeric, it's for colour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white corn meal (see notes)
1 tbsp cornflour
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 - 2 tbsp EVOO
rice, around 1/2 cup (dry) per person

Prepare your dusting meal - in a rocket blender or similar, place the dried chilli, the anatto seeds (or turmeric) and about half the salt, whiz to powder. Add the corn meal and blend together. This gets used for several things so set it aside now.

Chop the chicken into approximately 2cm (1") cubes, place in a plastic bag.  Start the rice cooking - add about one cup of water per half cup of rice, a pinch of salt, and once it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer, then later when almost all the water is absorbed, switch off the heat, cover with a lid and let stand while other things are being prepared.

Cut the carrot and capsicum and jalapeno pepper into 5cm (2") strips a bit larger than julienne.  Cut the onion lengthways to same width, and cut the garlic into fine straws, as fine as possible.

Quarter the tomato, place it, the lime juice, the tomato paste, the remaining salt, and the chicken stock into the blender and blend all to liquid, seeds skin and all.

Start about half the olive oil in a good heavy frypan, while it is heating put about 1/2 the dusting meal in the plastic bag with the chicken and shake to coat the pieces.  You may add a bit more dusting meal if needed, but you need about 1/4 of the mixture for the veges.  Place the chicken pieces in the hot oil and let sit for about five minutes on medium high, then toss to turn over all pieces.  Leave for another five minutes.  The nuggets should all be golden and lightly browned.  Scoop them out and place on paper towel to drain.

Add some of the leftover dusting meal (it should be around 1/4 of the initial amount) to the cornflour and mix together well.  (Or blend together.)

Add the strips of vegetables and enough oil to ensure the vegetables are all coated in oil.  Toss a few times, until things are sizzling, then dust some of the cornflour mixture over the vegetables and toss, keep adding dusting mix and tossing until all vegetables are well coated and a bit of flour is loose in the pan.  Keep frying and tossing the vegetables until the cornmeal and cornflour start to smell like tortilla chips, then slowly add the tomato mixture until the cornflour and corn meal start to thicken.  The idea here is to almost embed the vegetables in a corn fritter, not make a liquid sauce, and get the vegetables with "just-cooked" texture, i.e. not too soft.

Serve rice to one side, vegetables to other side, chicken nuggets between, maybe with a few pickled jalapeno peppers.  Best served immediately so the nuggets and vegetables aren't soggy.

I haven't tried this with fine polenta, it may work or it may not.  White corn meal is like a rough grade of wheat flour, and the flavour is just right, polenta might be a bit overpowering.

As far as I know this isn't any official Mexican recipe, I just wanted something that looked and tasted the part.  beware of over-salting this - it's easy to do as there's some salt in the dusting flour and then a bit more in the sauce and (usually) more in the chicken stock.  You may be able to serve this over corn chips a la nachos style, I just wanted rice in the meal too.  If doing nachos style forget the avocado but some sour cream would go nicely.  Don't microwave it over the chips though cos that will make the nuggets and vegetables soggy.

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Saturday, 8 November 2008

Some Things I Take For Granted, That You May Not.

Some things I take for granted, that you may not take for granted or know about:

To me, "rice" means basmati, arborio, or very occasionally, jasmine rice.  Basmati is one of the breeds of rice that is better for nutrition, and I tend to use it for most things except some fine flavoured Asian dishes, where jasmine rice is just a smidgen nicer.  And arborio is great for rice/meat stuffings, and of course desserts.  Brown rice is also nice but takes ages to boil, and sometimes, barley is nice to use instead of rice in some dishes, but also takes ages to prepare.

Rice is generally easiest cooked in a pot (or a microwave rice cooker) at the ratio of one cup uncooked rice to two cups of water, plus a sparing teaspooon of salt if cookign for a savoury dish.  Wash the rice first (I use a strainer) and then put the rice and water and salt in a pot and start it boiling, as soon as boiling starts reduce the heat to a fast simmer, then slowly reduce the heat as the water is absorbed.  It's gonna take 15 minutes, get used to it.

"Oil," to me, means extra virgin olive oil. Often, I use a mixture of 1/2 EVOO and 1/2 grapeseed oil.  As a good rule of thumb, anywhere I am asked to use ( for example) beef dripping or other form of fat, I use 2/3 olive oil and 1/3 required fat.  Keeps the flavour but makes it a lot healthier.  Also, if there's a recipe which has good antioxidant ingredients or vitamins (anything with tomato paste, or the livers in the previous recipe) I use 1/2 and 1/2 because grapeseed oil is a good source of oily vitamin E, and that assists the body to absorb the antioxidants and vitamins much more effectively.

When I say "vinegar," I do NOT - ever! - mean plain old white vinegar.  White vinegar is made from fermented wood pulp, not grapes.  Sorry, white vinegar industry - but screw that.  My body deserves something other than rotten wood.  Use white vinegar for cleaning, or to add a bite to pickles made with other, more nutritious vinegars.  Good vinegars to have in your arsenal are rice vinegar, palm or date vinegar, malt vinegar, red and white wine vinegars, and the old standby, balsamic.  Take a good look at what your vinegar is made of, because nowadays the name is no guarantee.  Vinegar manufacturers are labelling it white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar or whatever - but if you read "acetic acid" as one of the major ingredients they are flavouring and colouring woodpulp vinegar.

I also heartily recommend using red wine, white wine, honey mead, apple cider (same thing - check that it really IS apple cider, honey mead, etc) and good beers in cooking.  By good beers I mean a beer that came from a brewery that doesn't use preservatives or chemicals, or which at least uses very little of them.

When a recipe calls for flour and is not a baking/pasta recipe, I look for ways to get buckwheat flour, or spelt flour, (or anything other than white overprocessed flour,) into the recipe.  Also, think about adding a touch of  psyllum husk - a half teaspoon can make a gravy glossy smooth and beautiful.  Plain white flour is bleached to within an inch of its life and is not very good for you.

On that subject - ANYTHING is better than white sugar in recipes! White sugar also is bleached, and a good friend's doctor father made the observation, almost a century ago now, that wherever he went in Africa and India, there was no major incidence of cancer until a few years after white sugar and white flour arrived.

To anyone that says that's bullshit, I urge you to go to the supermarket and get a bottle of bleach, pour some into a cup, and ask yourself if you'd really drink that.  Because why shouldn't you, it's just white sugar with the sugar taken out... (By the way - DO NOT DO THIS, IT WILL KILL YOU!  I am making an extreme example here, not to be taken as a literal invitation.)  But you do see my point - anything that is bleached is no longer alive or conducive to life.

So those are simple rules of the kitchen that I live by and encourage - and I encourage you to do the same, it may be the difference between a long healthy life and a life with diabetes, cancers, and digestive illnesses and cancers.  And it certainly won't hurt to think about healthier choices.

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Vaguely Middle Eastern Chicken Livers

NAME: _Vaguely Middle Eastern Chicken Livers

300g - 500g chicken livers, fresh as possible
2 -3 tbsp olive oil and grapeseed oil mix
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
sml handful stringless beans
3 - 4 brussel sprouts
1 - 2 small pickling onions
1 tsp palm or date vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp buckwheat flour (See Notes)
Dusting mix:
2 tbsp buckwheat flour (See Notes)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp mild curry powder
1 tbsp dried ground coriander seed
1 tsp celery seeds (optional)
1 tbsp dried thyme or za'tar
2 tbsp dried onion flakes

Place everything under the "Dusting Mix" section in a blender and blend to dust.  Set aside.

Take the stringy veins out of the livers, i.e. cut the livers either side of that bit.  Give the cat the stringy bits it will love you for it...  Cut larger lobes in half.  Place the livers in a plastic bag or a bowl with the dusting mix and coat well, turn out onto a cutting board or plate while doing the vegetables.

Prepare the vegetables - make crescents of the onion by cutting lengthways, cut stems from brussels and remove unsightly outer leaves, and quarter them lengthways.  Cut beans to approximately same length as brussels.

Preheat the oil mix in a good frypan, place as many livers in the pan as will fit single layer and allow to brown on one side. (Takes 3 - 5 minutes, longer if you'd like to have more crispiness.)  Turn over and do the other side.

Start the rice in the water and salt, and when it starts to boil, allow to simmer fast until all water is absorbed, turning down the heat towards the very end. This will take about as long as processing all those livers.  (Allow rice to stand after all water is absorbed, for a fluffier lighter rice.  Trust me, this works without sticking to the pot or going gluggy provided you make sure you keep the temperature to a low simmer and watch for the water to almost all steam away before turning off the heat.)

Once all livers have been cooked and set aside, put the prepared vegetables in the same pan, toss for about three to five minutes in a hot pan.  Add  the teaspoon of flour, stir into vegetables, and then add about a third of the chicken stock, slowly so it steams the vegetables.  Add the palm vinegar, and the rest of the stock, allow to simmer for up to five minutes, until brussels are tender.


Lay rice on plate, pile livers on top.  Add vegetables to the side, along with some of the stock.  Serve with side dishes as noted in the next section.  Should serve two very well.

Buckwheat flour tastes nice in this but you can use ordinary white flour or wholemeal in a pinch.  The less processed the flour, the better the flavour and the better for you.

Things to add to this dish are things like green olives simply processed in brine, a few wedges of tomato, some crescents of pickled onion, flat bread like khobs or lebanese bread.

Liver is inordinately nutritious and good for you, and this recipe makes it a super-tasty meal.  Even naughty big kids have been known to eat liver this way...

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Saturday, 1 November 2008

Medieval Mushroom Soup

NAME: _Medieval Mushroom Soup

1kg field or portobello mushrooms.  I find a large fieldie is better flavour than 30 shirtbuttons
250g white bread.  (See Notes - normal white bread is NOT good)
2tsp caraway seeds
2tsp salt
2 cups water (alternatively, 1cup water 1cup milk or beer - See Notes)
50g butter

Clean any growing medium (soil or straw etc) from the mushrooms, clean any spots that don't look nice.  Slice the mushrooms, turn, slice into straws, turn again and dice.  1/4" (5mm) cubes is fine enough.  Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the caraway seeds and salt, fry lightly for a few minutes then add the mushrooms.  Frying the caraway seeds brings out the oils in them, and the flavour.

Fry the mushrooms until they have gone slightly soft, then add the liquid you're using.  Bring to boil, simmer for about an hour with the lid on.  Stir from time to time to stop it catching.

Cut the crusts from the bread (or dice your potatoes, See Notes) and add to the soup.  Bring to the boil again and simmer for another hour or so, again covered.  Check often to prevent catching. (Sticking to the bottom.)

You can blend this soup for a finer texture or for freezing, I generally leave it as is and there's never enough left to freeze...

Serve as is or with the same type bread you used to thicken, and butter.  Serves two people, be warned, they will come back for seconds!  

Normal supermarket white bread is no good for this, due to the plasticisers and stuff making the dough too clingy to make good thickening for the soup.  I use sourdough natural types of bread, and if I can't get those, arab or lebanese bread.  The amount of bread varies, I generally do three slices worth and then wait and see, adding more if it isn't thickened nicely.  

You can also add one or two medium potatoes, peeled and diced very small, this will thicken the soup without using wheat gluten, albeit not as much.  Potatoes can be pre-boiled or the inside of leftover roasted potatoes, as long as it's very fine and going to boil to thicken the soup.

Aside from trying water and milk, you can also try water and a good beer.  You'd be surprised how well that turns out... 

The reason it's "Medieval" is that it's made and thickened the old way, no additives no preservatives, and this recipe is mentioned in several medieval cooking books.

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Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Bread N Egg Brekkie

NAME: _Bread N Egg Brekkie

1 round lebanese bread or arab khobs
2 eggs
1 tbsp EVOO
zartar (optional)
2 tbsp water

Brush the bread both sides lightly with olive oil, roll up into a cylinder and cut into strips.  Toss strips into a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan, start heat.  

Meanwhile, beat two eggs, the water, and the salt in a bowl.  As the bread begins to turn golden in the pan, toss occasionally to get all the bread strips crisping.  When crisp, drizzle the egg over while tossing the mixture gently.

When the egg mixture begins to get golden brown, toss the zartar into the mixture lightly and remove from heat.

Serve immediately, the above makes two serves if served with sliced tomato and lettuce and perhaps a few thin strips of haloumi or fetta cheese.

Zartar is a dried wild thyme and sesame seed and sumak spice mixture, and it adds a lovely flavour to the dish.  Other things you could try are:  Add a teaspoonful of sesame oil to the EVOO before brushing it on the bread.  Add some pine nuts or tiny pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds or sunflower seeds to the pan at the same time as the bread.  Add a touch of dried crushed chillies.  Try these separately or in combinations, the flavours combine quite well.

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Friday, 17 October 2008

Prawn + Pitta Fatoush

NAME: _Prawn + Pitta Fatoush

1 or 2 rounds of Lebanese bread, Arabic khobs, or pita if you're stuck
lots of EVOO
a dozen peeled deveined prawns, smaller types preferred.
2 - 4 cups mixed salad leaves
1 small pickling onion or shallot onion (optional)

1 tbsp light soya
1 tbsp hoi sin
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp grated palm sugar
1 clove garlic, mashed (optional)

Mix marinade ingredients together well, I usually find a jar with a close sealing lid large enough to hold the material to be marinated (in this case, the prawns) and when well combined and the sugar has dissolved, set aside about a spoonful of the marinade.  Now add the prawns to the main bulk of the mixture and shake.  Set aside.  (You may wish to do this a few hours before starting the meal, perhaps even the day before, in which case, place in a cold spot in your refrigerator.)

Wash and dry salad leaves, toss briefly in salad bowl.

Put olive oil in the pan, heat to almost smoking, add as many marinated prawns as will fit in a single layer, and fry both sides until prawns are cooked through and some of the marinade is caramelised and crisp.  Place on paper towel, set aside.  Cook all the prawns this way.

If you are using the onion, slice this very thinly, put some more olive oil in the pan, and slowly fry until golden-brown and crisp.  onion bits have to be crisp.  Drain, place on paper towel, set aside until cooled.

Roll the bread into a tight roll and slice 1/4" (half centimeter) slices.  Put some more EVOO in the pan, allow to get smoking hot, and put as much bread as will form a single layer at a time, toss and fry until bread strips are crisp and golden-brown, with occasional dark brown areas.  At that stage, place on paper towel, set aside until all the bread has been crisped.

If the prawns and bread have cooled sufficiently (they should be hot to warm, but not so hot as to wilt the leaves) assemble the salad, add shallots and prawns to the salad and toss, then add the bread crisps and toss once more.  Sprinkle with a few drops of the marinade you reserved that didn't have prawns in, drizzle a fine stream of EVOO over.

Can be served as a salad dish with a meal, or just served as meal by itself.  Serve while still warm from cooking.

Fatoush (I think) means "wet bread" or "soggy bread" but in fact it doesn't get soggy for quite a while, it stays crispy and crunchy in the salad.

There are genuine  fatoush  recipes,  and most of them include mint and vegetables and parsley or coriander, and a sprinkling of zartar, which is dried powdered wild thyme and sesame and sumak.  (By "genuine" I mean, of course, that every household in the Arab world has their own recipe, much like baharat mix. I was going for something that used the crisp bread and salad idea but with a savoury Asian component, and this worked together.)

Things you could try and which would go well:  Use a touch of sesame oil in the marinade, or some soya sauce in which you've soaked some sliced fresh chillies beforehand. I'm going to try each of those next time I make this recipe.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Steak and Pommes Parisienne a la Ted with salad

NAME: _Steak A La Ted

(These recipes are set up per person - increase quantities for each extra person.)
1 steak, porterhouse or rump, 2cm thick if possible
1tbsp fresh rosemary needles
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
2 tsp fine salt
1 tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
about 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

100g assorted salad leaves
1 tsp rosemary needles
1 tsp oregano leaves
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp grape molasses (or 1 tbsp red grape juice)
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 tbsp water (less if using grape juice)
1/4 to 1/2 a medium red onion

1 large potato - Nadine or other general purpose
3 small pickling onions (more or less, depends how much you like onions)

Remember that the quantities above are per person.

Prepare steak by trimming off large fat areas around the edges, leave steak intact.  Finely dice the trimmings and place in frying pan.  Knife chop the herbs medium fine, Put a third of the oil per steak into the pan with the trimmings. Mix herbs with salt and olive oil in a pestle and mortar, crush together lightly.  Perforate steak all over with a fork, rub in the herb/oil mixture, and set in a bowl to marinate.

When you've finished all the steaks and they are marinating, chop the herbs for the salad, adding salt, until they are a fine paste.  You could use the pestle and mortar but a knife will eventually give superior results.  Mix the herbs, salt, oil, grape and water in a jar, shake well, and set aside.

By now the steak should have marinated somewhat - this is a strong marinade - so heat the frypan and over medium heat, reduce the beef trimmings into fat.  Once the trimmings are crisp, use a skimmer or strainer to lift them out and dispose of.  Increase the heat to almost smoking, and sear each steak for around two to three minutes per side, then arrange in a baking dish or tray.  Place tray in preheated oven (180 degC) and allow to roast for about 20 minutes.

At this time, turn the steaks over and brush the top with a light coating of Dijon mustard.  Only one side needs this light coating.

Peel potatoes and pickling onions, use a melon baller to scoop as many balls as possible out of each potato. Heat the frypan to just below smoking again, and fry the onions and potato balls for about five to ten  minutes each batch, until the outside of the potatoes is lightly browned and crispy, drain and set aside in a warm place.

Shred or slice the salad leaves to strips about 0.5cm wide, thinly slice the red onion into rings and 
place shredded salad leaves and onion rings in a bowl, toss together, shake the dressing again and pour over the salad, toss one more time to thoroughly coat all the leaves with dressing.  There should be a pool of dressing, to drizzle over each serving of salad once plated.

Steak will have cooked to perfection while you are doing the potatoes - plate up the steak with mustard side up and a pile of potato balls and fried pickling onions to the side.  Garnish the steak with a fine drizzled stream of Dijon mustard.  Add salad with a generous drizzle of the dressing over it.

Serve plated meals immediately, with some crusty bread (such as slices of a baguette) with olive oil to brush over or dip in as a side.

There's no easy way out of this - it WILL take up your entire daily allowance of fats. Also, there's no easy way to get out of using the mustard - without it, the flavours are nice, with it, they positively sing...  Using the same herbs for the salad ties the flavours together, and the grape molasses or juice add a touch of sweetness that the mustard will pick up.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Australia's New Kitchen Nightmare


Hmmm The report on Seven about Ramsay is scary and also amusing. Half a dozen of his restaurants have health code violations, he's proving himself to not only be a rude ****er, but a dirty rude ****er at that.

And now he wants to open a restaurant in Australia, heaven ****ing help us another opinionated ****head Pom that thinks he can cook, tips hat at one Jamie somethingorother that's similarly better off in greasepaint than the cooking grease.

I do have one nit to pick with Seven - they repeatedly refer to Ramsay as a "chef" when in fact I believe he falls squarely under my definition of "cook" - because chefs know how to use more than just one swear word, and codron bleu chefs can also swear in several languages... Sorry Gordon but being fluent in **** is not really enough.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Squidly Noodles

NAME: _ Squidly Noodles

approximately 1 young squid tube per person
approximately 1/4 brown onion per person
1 serve medium thin spaghetti per person (or use fettucini)
1 small clove or 1/2 a large clovegarlic per person
1/4 to 1/2 small red chilli per person (depending on spiciness wanted)
1tbsp olive oil
1tsp grapeseed oil

Prepare the ingredients - slice the squid tube into 2mm thick rings, cut the tentacles separately if desired, slice the onion into crescents 3mm thick. Chop the garlic medium, 1mm - 2mm cubes is fine. squeeze out the seeds and dispose of, and slice the chilli into thin rings.

Start the water boiling, clean salted water sufficient to boil the pasta in. When the water starts boiling place the frypan on medium heat with the oil and drop in the onion crescents and chopped garlic, fry gently for a few minutes, then put the pasta into the boiling water and the squid and chilli rings into the frypan.

Occasionally toss the contents of the frypan and stir the pasta to prevent clumping. Toss a tablespoonful of the salted pasta water into the pan to soften the onion with steam, if desired sprinkle a pinch of salt over everything. The onion should be medium brown and the squid rings gone white as the pasta is done.

Drain the pasta and refresh under cold water for a fw seconds, then put pasta in the frypan and toss lightly to coat all the pasta.

Serve immediately. Enjoy.

This recipe comes out like pasta con aglio e olio but the sweet onion and the mild squid flavours really seem to pop out. Squid seems to have no redeeming dietary features that I can see, but some things don't need no steenking justification...

As it's our winter coming on here in Australia, I am tending towards foods with a few extra carbs and calories - this is a natural cycle our bodies go through as a survival thing. By avoiding trans fats and using EVOO and grapeseed oil at least we can feed the need without too much harm

Fried Pork Liver and Onions

NAME: _ Fried Pork Liver and Onions

As much pork liver as you want. I can generally eat 300g - 500g at a sitting
1/4 of a medium brown onion per 200g approximately
tbsp of olive oil
tsp of grapeseed oil
White sourdough bread, toasted, about two slices per person

Slice the onion into thin (3mm at the widest edge) wedges so it forms many litte "crescents" of onion. Cut the liver into 1cm slices in whichever direction takes your fancy, I generally split it into two or three lenghtways slices as large as possible.

Frypan should be large enough to take each batch of liver and onion without piling up. Start the frypan at medium heat, put in the onion wedges and collect to one side, place in however many slices of liver as fit with it and keep going on medium heat.

Once the underside of the liver has sealed, flipt each piece over and lightly salt the sealed side. Do this again once the other side has sealed. Toss the onions to prevent any overcooking. Let the liver stay until lifting a corner reveals crispiness and browning, at which stage, turn it one last time, toss the onions again, and allow the undersideto crisp to the same doneness.

Serve layer of dark brown fried onion on toast topped with the slices of liver, and a lettuce/tomato vinaigrette salad on the side.

Liver is much maligned, mostly because Lambs Fry is the only way many people know it from, and that's probably one of the least appetising types of liver and the worst possible way to cook it, too... Lamb liver is slightly bitter (strike one) and has a soft pasty texture (strike two) and has a lot less in common with our body chemistry than pork liver. (strike three and that's out of the menu!)

It contains many key hormones minerals and vitamins that we need. Cripsy fried like this, it is delicious and the thorough cooking should kill any chance of parasites - never eat undercooked liver - and the light caramelised taste of the onions sets the flavour perfectly.

You could use beef or lamb's liver but the texture and flavour are not the same, pork liver has a firm meaty texture and a less bitter and more nutty favour. Pork body chemistry is also closer to ours and provides some things that mutton and beef don't. In moderation (i.e. don;t cook this every day for a month) some pork product every month is good for us.

If you're on the Body Friendy Zen Cookbook diet, make this meal at times when you're taking soya products more as it will balance the active ingredients in the soya perfectly.


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