Cidered Pork with Pistachio

Cidered Pistachio Pork

Cidered Pistachio Pork

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This is a simple and tasty way to prepare pork chops. Marinating the meat in a little cider not only imparts a delicious tangy flavour, it also helps tenderise the meat.  A still, dry cider (such as Old Rosie’s) is best for this. Pistachios give it a little nutritional boost, as well as adding texture and colour. Serve it accompanied by potatoes or rice, some nice crispy steamed vegetables and dollop on some apple sauce, caramelized apple slices or Pear and Red Onion Chutney.

Tipsy Chicken Leftovers Alfredo

Tipsy Chicken Leftovers Alfredo

Tipsy Chicken Leftovers Alfredo

Given the digestive dramas Beloved suffers when ingesting large amounts of cream, it is rare that I cook this style of pasta sauce. Recently however, I began experimenting with almond and/or coconut milk as a substitute, and I have to say I am most pleased with the results. A generous splash of cider, a few fresh herbs, a large dollop of garlic and some bacon ‘n onion made a delicious (and surprisingly low fat) accompaniment to some vegetable pasta. Leftover roast chicken never had it so good.

Rich and Creamy, Gently Mocha, Chocolate Mousse

Perfect Chocolate Mousse

Perfect Chocolate Mousse

When I was very young, my parents took us on a family holiday all over the South East of Australia. In those days, the main river flowing through Melbourne was a polluted, marshy mess with banks of sticky smelly muck by its side. Imagine my horror then, when Dad made some chocolate mousse and told me he was serving “Yarra Mud” for dessert. I was horrified and flatly refused to eat it, nor did I touch the stuff for decades afterward. My offspring however, were not so scarred, and eventually I overcame my revulsion to create this. 

Sozzled Lamb

Sozzled Lamb, salad and Lime Martini. Perfect Autumn dinner

Sozzled Lamb, salad and Lime Martini. Perfect Autumn dinner

I am quite sure that making friends with your local Butcher is the start of a perfect meal. Balmy Autumn evenings had us thinking of alfresco dining. The Barbeque was standing by for a last fling before Winter drives us indoors again. The last of the Summer salad veg were laid out, all I needed was some meat. Our Butcher listened to my plans thoughtfully as I described crispy salads, sweet potato bake and fresh limes. A mischievous smile played about his mouth as he wandered off to do something dangerous with a bandsaw. A few moments later he presented me with four of the most magnificent lamb-chops I have seen in quite a while. He’d simply taken slices off the meaty end of lamb leg roast. What we had, quite literally, was lamb Osso Bucco. This definitely calls for something special ..

Irish Marrow Chutney

Pride of place on any cheese board

Pride of place on any cheese board

Originally, I made this as a way of using up a glut of overgrown zucchini, something that happens with alarming speed and regularity following Summer heatwaves. I am always astonished at how rapidly tiny dew-spangled zucchini, still clinging to their flower, become enormous woody monsters. These rather dry marrows make the perfect base for a warm and fruity chutney that takes pride of place in any Ploughman’s Lunch or cheese platter. Ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon add aromatic spice. Chili and cayenne give a gentle bite, while the fruit adds sweetness and depth to the complex flavour. Whiskey rounds it all out.

Allow the chutney to mature in a cool dark place for around 6 weeks before opening.  After that, don’t save it just for cheese and greens. It makes a delightful addition to gravy accompanying roast pork or turkey. It adds an extra dimension to beef stew.  It goes well in steak sandwiches, or toasted cheese ‘n chutney. I even have it with eggs and bacon 🙂