I mentioned before how much I liked the recent Nigella transformation, her new TV show and updated recipes. I even bought the book and already cooked 1/3 of its content and wasn’t disappointed with any of the recipes. No fuss, lovely ingredients, full of new ideas and new takes on classics.
One such recipe is a Stir-fry with double sprouts (Brussel sprouts and bean sprouts), chilli & pineapple. It’s good enough on its own, but even better with some pulled ham hog. I also didn’t have beansprouts this time, which makes my version ‘single sprout’ one.
BRUSSEL SPROUTS, CHILLI, PINEAPPLE AND HAM STIR-FRY
250g Brussel sprouts, trimmed, thinly sliced
3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
3cm fresh ginger, grated
1 fresh chilli, finely chopped
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
150g fresh pineapple, chopped into cubes
250g cooked and cooled brown rice (or any other rice of your choice)
250g cooked pull ham hog (optional)
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
chopped fresh coriander to serve (optional)
- Prep and chop all ingredients beforehand.
- Heat up a wok, add groundnut oil. Add the Brussels sprouts, chilli, ginger and spring onion and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
- Then add the rice and pineapple chunks, stir-fry for 3 minutes or so, before adding the ham hog pieces, season with soy sauce and lime juice. Stir-fry for another minutes or until everything is hot, sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve immediately.
I love aubergines in all forms and in any kind of dish. I was intrigued to see Gok Wan’s version of cooking the aubergine in his recent Cookbook. He braised them with pork and anchovies. The result is delicious and extremely easy to achieve.
The only thing, my dish didn’t look as good as Gok’s and looks like the pork mince rather than the aubergines was the star of the show. The aubergines literally melted and sank to the bottom, forming the most delicious base of this dish. It proved once again that you can’t judge something but its look.
BRAISED AUBERGINE WITH PORK
3 teaspoons groundnut oil
150g minced pork
4 anchovy fillets, drained and finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
2 aubergines, trimmed and chopped into 3cm dice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
3 teaspoons sesame oil
4 spring onions, sliced
- Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat. When hot, add the minced pork and stir-fry for 2 minutes until the pork starts to brown at the edges.
- Add the anchovy fillets and garlic and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add the cubed aubergines and stir intermittently for the next 3–4 minutes, until the aubergines begin to brown and soften at the edges.
- Reduce the heat to medium, pour in both types of soy sauce and add half the water. Bring to the boil and put a lid on the wok. Simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes. It’s important to ensure the pan does not run dry, so keep checking and add more water, using the entire 200ml if necessary.
- Cook the aubergines down until they are virtually falling apart. At this point, stir in the sesame oil and remove to a plate. Sprinkle liberally with sliced spring onions and serve with rice.
I also chopped some coriander on top before serving,- I like the taste, but it’s also to brighten up the colour of very brown looking dish.
Here is the one of many versions of the traditional dish from your local Chinese takeaway. Chicken breasts are coated in a light batter, then fried along with any vegetables of your choice, before being served with a tangy lemon sauce. Serve with rice or noodles.
LEMON CHICKEN STIR-FRY
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
2 skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 2 cm pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen sweetcorn
1 yellow pepper, diced or sliced
3-4 spring onions, chopped
sesame oil, for drizzling over (optional)
- In a bowl zest 1 teaspoon lemon zest, juice the lemon and whisk 3-4 tablespoons of the juice with water, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add sliced pepper, cook for another 3 minutes, add sweetcorn, continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.
- Whisk the sauce mixture and add to the pan; cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add spring onion at the end of cooking and serve with rice or noodles.
Happy Chinese New Year 2016 to everyone who celebrates! Best wishes to all!