Cook Up A Storm Part II
Excuse the photo quality not being as good as it should be now that I’m learning the art of excellent photography, I had to take these in the evening as that is when my family sat down to eat the epic meals we cooked up earlier in the day.
The two meals featured are sweetcorn fritters and fillet of pork with mushrooms in a cream and mustard sauce with creamy mashed potatoes. The sweetcorn fritters are an Asian dish and I don’t know about you, but there is nothing quite like the smell of Asian food wafting through the house. It is my favourite smell in the world, and brings back nostalgic, wonderful memories of my travelling adventure a couple of years ago.
From Asia, we travel to Europe for fillet of pork in a creamy sauce with the best mash in the world. Honestly, I make mash at uni the simplest way I know how and it pales in comparison to this mighty mash. Our lovely teacher Justine taught us the science behind boiling potatoes and mashing them just right, removing the scum from the top of the water and mixing the potatoes with a blend of warmed whole fat milk (and a bay leaf) and butter. Adding nutmeg is something I would never have tried but it makes the mash truly restaurant-worthy and I never thought I’d wax lyrical on beaten potatoes. Excuse the presentation of the pork dish not looking exquisite – my parents and I were just so excited to start eating that we forgot about making the plate look top-notch for photographs!
A couple of tips Justine, the Kitchen Coach, taught my Mum and I, was to always, always prep all your ingredients before you start cooking. Like you see on the television, when the chefs have all their ingredients weighed out and chopped up at the ready in bowls, this is what you need to copy. It makes the whole process so much easier and stress-free. If you’ve prepared everything before hand, it really is a process of simple steps and that way you avoid curdling/burning/ruining anything because you were too busy prepping whilst cooking.
This pork dish was absolutely delicious and was honestly far better than the food I’ve eaten in restaurants recentlyIf you wish to recreate the meals above, here are the recipes (each dish serves 4): Sweetcorn Fritters 3 free range eggs 120ml coconut milk 75g self-raising flour 30g cornflour 3/4 tsp ground cumin 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 3 tbsp coriander seeds 1 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 225g peeled butternut squash (about a 1/3 of a butternut) grated 3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced 15g chopped coriander 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped sunflower oil 100g padron peppers 3 limes, cut into wedges 1. Put the first 10 ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk to a homogenous batter 2. Add the squash, sweetcorn, spring onions, coriander and chilli and stir to combine 3. Pour enough sunflower oil into a medium frying pan to come 1cm up the sides 4. Place the pan over a medium-high heat for a few minutes, until oil is hot 5. Scoop a heaped tablespoon of batter into the oil and cook for a couple of minutes. Using your hand, carefully push two to three peppers into the surface of the fritter while it is frying and fry for another minute 6. Throughout the frying, monitor the temp of the oil, so the fritter doesn’t brown too quickly. Turn over with a fish slice and fry for a further three minutes, until golden brown all over 7. Transfer to a plate covered with kitchen roll and keep warm 8. Repeat with the remaining batter. Once all the fritters are cooked, serve hot with lime wedges on the side to squeeze over Creamy mashed potatoes 900g potato (King Edwards or Maris Piper) 100g butter, cut into cubes 100ml whole milk Salt Nutmeg 1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into large, even chunks and place them in a pan of salted cold water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and then turn the heat down as soon as they boil, so that they simmer very gently 2. Meanwhile heat the milk very gently, together with a bay leaf and 4 black peppercorns, being careful not to let the liquid boil. It should be hot, but not boiling 3. Now test the potatoes, which should be soft to the point of a knife, then drain them 4. Pass the potatoes through the ricer as quickly as you can, into a bowl. Add the butter cubes and strain the hot milk into the bowl 5. Mix vigorously and season with salt and nutmeg. Either serve immediately or cover with cling film directly onto the potatoes, to stop a crust forming. When ready to serve, place the bowl over a pan of boiling water to heat through, and add a few more small cubes of butter at the end and mix well before serving Fillet of Pork with mushrooms in a cream and mustard sauce 500g piece of pork loin fillet 50g butter, clarified (this means, melt 1/2 a packet of butter in a frying pan slowly until the golden fatty butter separates from the white residue. Keep the golden butter) 200g chestnut mushrooms, cut into quarters 50ml Vermouth 1 pork stock cube in 100ml boiling water 200ml soured cream or creme fraiche 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp Wholegrain mustard Salt and pepper to taste 10g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 1. Remove any nerves and trim the meat well of any excess fat. Cut the fillet in two so that it will fit into a medium frying pan and season the meat well with salt and pepper 2. On a medium high heat, melt the butter in a frying pan and seal the pork fillet on each side quickly so that it is golden brown but not cooked in the middle. Now remove both pieces and cover with foil to rest. Remove any excess oil from pan 3. Now add the mushrooms to the pan and fry them for 2-3 minutes, stirring well, until they start to colour, then remove them from the pan and place in a small bowl 4. Add the Vermouth to the pan and let the alcohol burn off as the liquid bubbles for 2 minutes. Then add the pork stock and simmer for a further 2 minutes 5. Now turn the heat down to a low flame, and stir in the mustards and sour cream, combining well. Cut the meat into pieces, about 2cm thickness, and you will see that the outside is brown and the inside is still very pink which is what you want. Return the meat pieces and mushrooms to the mixture and coat them well with the sauce 6. You can now leave the pan off the heat until later, and cover with foil to prevent the meat from drying out 7. When ready to eat, heat the pan through very gently so that the sauce simmers gently and the meat pieces turn from dark pink to light brown when they are cooked and ready to eat. Be careful not to heat it through too fast, to prevent the meat from losing its lovely tender texture 8. Add finely chopped parsley and served with the mashed potato above