Southern-style Ribs

Full-flavoured, smoky ribs…the best we’ve ever had on the BBQ

 

Ingredients:

2 Lbs of ribs

2 tsp garlic powder

1 TBS fleur de sal

1 TBS crushed black pepper

1 tsp Cayenne pepper

2 tsp ground cumin

1 TBS smoked paprika

1 TBS dry mustard powder

2 TBS brown sugar

2 tsp worcestershire sauce

2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice

 

Sauce (optional):

2 TBS English Mustard

2 TBS soy sauce

2 TBS honey

Juice of 1/2 an orange

1 tsp dried garlic flakes

4 TBS olive oil

Boil the ingredients for 5 minutes and keep to baste the ribs 5 minutes before serving.

(Note: If you’re going to use the sauce, which does add a lovely wet sweet glaze to the ribs, only use one TBS of brown sugar in the paste above.)

 

Method:

Make a paste out of the ingredients listed with the ribs above. Smear it liberally onto both sides of the ribs. Wrap the ribs in tin foil and transfer to a baking tray. (If you can pour half a cup of water into the foil to help steam the ribs when cooking and prevent them from drying out or burning beneath). Cook on a low-medium BBQ heat (around 160 degrees celsius) on the upper level of the BBQ for 2 1/2 hours.  If you can only place the baking tray on the lower level of the BBQ (close to the coals or flame) it is even more important to ensure the heat is low-medium and keep the tray moist with a bit of water.

Smokey, fall-off-the-bone stuff. Yum!

Serve with home-made potato and butternut chips grilled on the bbq in a tray with olive oil, oregano, fresh crushed garlic and lemon juice.

 

 

Thai Seafood Curry with a Basar Masala twist

This dish is eye-rollingly good! So fresh. So swimmingly pleasing. A gimme-more taste sensation.

 

Ingredients:

 

For the Thai Curry Sauce:

1/2 Cup fresh coriander (stems and leaves), chopped

1 Can coconut milk

1/2 a small yellow onion, finely chopped

1 Thumb fresh ginger, grated

4 Garlic cloves, crushed

2 TBS fish sauce

1 tsp Basar Masala curry powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp shrimp paste

1/2 tsp dried chili flakes

Zest of half a lime

 

For the curry:

400g fresh or frozen fish fillets (nice chunky ones like cod)

1/2 cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 red pepper, chopped into 1/2″ squares

1 medium tomato, cut into small pieces

Handful of fresh coriander

3 Kaffir lime leaves crushed and crumbled

 

Method:

Blend the Sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender until it forms a smooth sauce. Pour the sauce into a large frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Add the kaffir lime leaves to the sauce at this stage and bring to a boil. Add the frozen fish, mushrooms and red pepper (if you have fresh fish you can add it a little later). Stir well, then reduce the heat slightly so that it simmers. Cover and let it simmer for around 7 minutes. Then add the  tomatoes and gently stir in. Simmer for another 3 minutes.

Taste. If it needs more salt, add more fish sauce. If sweetness is desired, add more sugar.

Serve with basmati rice and brace yourself for a exquisite dish!

Caramelised, BBQ-charred, Pork

 

 

I never thought a pork dish could taste and deliver the same satisfaction of a delicious steak…until now! This is our favourite BBQed pork dish. The right pork cuts with the perfect amount of fat, cooked over a high heat BBQ… the marinade on the pork caramelises, the fat melts and you will beg  for more!!

 

Ingredients:

I KG of assorted pork (we used 3 boneless loin chops and 500g of thinly sliced pork belly). The important thing is to get the right amount of fat. Too lean and the pork will dry out. But with the right amount of fat, you will get a caramelised, crispy pork dish that will knock the socks off any steak dish.

4 Garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 cup honey (plus 2 TBS for the sauce)

1/4 cup soy sauce (plus 2 TBS for the sauce)

1/4 cup worcestershire sauce (plus 2 TBS for the sauce)

1 TBS Ketchup (plus 1 TBS for the sauce)

 

Sauce:

Keep the sauce ingredients aside to be heated and served with the pork.

 

Method:

Marinade the pork with the rest of the ingredients (except for the sauce ingredients) for a few hours. Remove. On a high direct BBQ heat, slap the pork down on intense heat. If flames lick the pork, all the better. The fat will crisp and the pork will develop a delightful caramelised appearance. Slight blackening is not bad, but be careful not to burn. Loin chops need to be cooked different to the pork belly as they don’t have the fat to protect them from the intense heat and will dry our quickly.  If you’ve got the heat right, 10 minutes will be all that is required. Pour remaining marinade onto the singing pork at intervals to keep moist.

Remove from BBQ and drizzle with sauce. Serve with baked potato and caeser salad. The salad adds a delightful contrast to the intense flavours arising from an exquisite pork dish.

Algarve piri-piri chicken

 

Mouthwatering, succulent and oh-so-tasty! Our best Portuguese piri-piri chicken to date.

 

Ingredients:

A 1000g chicken

2 TBS red pepper paste (massa de pimientos) – if you can’t find…crush some roasted red peppers with salt

3 Bay leaves, crushed

Juice of a  lemon (3/4 for the marinade and 1/4 for the drizzle)

1 tsp of dried chili flakes

4 Garlic cloves, crushed (2 for the marinade & 2 for the drizzle)

2 TBS butter

Handful of Italian parsley (to add to the drizzle)

 

The paste:

Mix the red pepper paste, bay leaves, juice of 3/4 lemon, 2 crushed garlic cloves and the chili flakes.

 

The drizzle:

Warm 2 crushed garlic gloves, 2 TBS butter, the rest of the juice of 1/4 lemon in a small pot or ramicun. Throw in the parsley. To be poured over the chicken once cooked.

Method:

Spatch-cock the chicken and cut slight incisions into the skin all over at one inch spacings.  Pop the spatch-cocked chicken into a ziplock bag. Pour in the paste. Seal the bag. Massage the paste around the chicken and leave in the fridge overnight.

Remove and sprinkle the chicken generously with Fleur de Sal (or another coarse salt).

Cook the chicken on the BBQ over a medium-high heat for 45 minutes (either indirect method or with a drip-tray beneath to catch oils and prevent a flare-ups).

Once cooked, remove and cover with drizzle and serve.

 

 

 

Cabanas de Tavira Chili-Lime-Cilantro Drizzled Herring (2 alternate recipes)

Hey! We’re on the Algarve again and are in Cabanas de Tavira so we have to name the dish after Cabanas. But, it essentially has a Korean twist…and what a delightful fresh taste-popper dish this is. For an alternative, which we loved even more,  scroll down for the 2nd recipe.

 

Ingredients:

2 x 10″ plump herring

2 x 8-10″ plump horse herring

Coarse sea salt

Olive oil

Cilantro

Lemon

 

For the drizzle:

1 1/2 TBS light extra virgin olive oil

1 Large red chili, finely chopped

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

2 tsp honey

Zest and juice of a lime

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp fish sauce

1 TBS finely chopped Cilantro

 

Method:

Wash the fish. Pat it dry. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Leave for an hour, in the fridge if warm or at room temperature if cold. Stuff cavities with 2 sprigs of cilantro and one or two thin slices of lemon. Make 3-4 cuts in skin on each side. Rub the salt in. Fire up the BBQ to max heat. Reduce to med-high. Rub grill with olive oil. Place the fish on the BBQ and grill 7 mins each side. Remove and drizzle with chili-lime-cilantro dressing. Leave for 2 minutes before serving on spinach leaves (if you’re not so hungry) or basmati rice or scalloped boiled potatoes.

Mmmmm…Algarve meets Korea.

 

Even better alternative recipe:

 

Fish:  we used 3 horse Mackerel and 3 other small local Algarve-caught fish for this dish. The marinade/sauce would work for any fish.

 

Marinade:

4 TBS Oyster sauce

2 TBS fresh Cilantro, chopped

4 TBS soy sauce

8-10 small-medium Garlic cloves, crushed

1 TBS Fish sauce

2 TBS Brown sugar

1/4 TBS crushed black pepper

1 TBS Lime juice

1-3 red chillies, finely chopped

 

Method:

Stir the marinade ingredients and set aside. Cut shallow incisions one inch apart in the skin of the fish. Keep some marinade aside for a sauce later. Spoon 3 TBS of the marinade over the surface of the fish and set in the refridgerator for an hour or more. Cook the fish on a medium-high BBQ heat. 7 minutes each side. Turn once, spooning another TBS of the marinade shared over all the upturned fish. Remove after next 7 mins. Serve with rice of baked potatoes, remembering to use up all that awesome left over marinade /sauce.

(Note: I’d normally stuff the little fish cavities with thin sliced lemon and some Cilantro sprigs, but forgot this time and it was still exquisite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

 

Orgasmic Thai Seafood Curry !!!!!!

Okay…”orgasmic” is the work that immediately sprang to my mind when experiencing this creation of Sherry’s.  Yet Sherry, herself, had noted back in 2009 that this was a dish so exquisite  she “wanted to breathe it”!

C’est-la-vie, women are always going to describe the experience different to us blokes,  but I knew that I was going to have to reach deeper to justify the term “orgasmic” in describing this dish…so here it is: the MacMillan Dictionary Thesaurus describes words similar as “making you feel excited, exciting, alive, fast, dramatic, exotic, compelling, thrilling, exhilerating, enthralling and eventful”. And I couldn’t describe this dish better. It’s a Thai seafood dish you’ll create from scratch and your tastebuds will just know it!!

 

Ingredients:

Seafood: your choice is not particularly important here.  Some fish and some prawns will do the job. Here Sherry used 400g of skinless salmon cut into one inch cubes and 225g of shelled shrimp.

Veg:

1/2 a regular eggplant or one small Japanese eggplant

1 red pepper chopped into one inch pieces

1 cup of cherry tomatoes chopped into wedges

1 cup of fresh basil

Sauce:

1 can coconut milk

juice of a lime

1 small yellow onion,  roughly chopped

4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 thumb of ginger, roughly chopped

2 kaffir lime leaves

1 stalk fresh lemongrass roughly chopped

3 tsp dried chili flakes

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp crushed cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 TBS brown sugar

2 TBS soy sauce

3 TBS fish sauce

 

Not for the sauce but extra: 1 can of pineapple chunks or 1 and 1/2 cups of fresh pineapple chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

 

Method:

Take all the sauce ingredients plus half the can of coconut milk and place a blender. Blend into a thick paste

Pour the sauce into a large pan or wok and bring to a bubble over a medium-high heat. Add the vegetables, holding back the basil. Stir.

Reduce the heat to simmer , cooking for 5-8 minutes until the eggplant has softened. Add the rest of the coconut milk gradually during the process.

Add the salmon. Stir in and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the shrimp and pineapple. Stir in cook gently.

Make a final taste test to determine whether more fish sauce is required (in this case another 2 TBS were added but it really depends on your level of taste and the sweetness of the pineapple).

 

Sprinkle with the basil and serve with basmati rice.

Prepare to be blown away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Bacon-wrapped stuffed rolled turkey breast – the perfect Christmas dish.

The days are growing shorter and the chill is setting in. Before we know it’ll be Christmas and here’s the perfect Christmas dish for 6-8 people and those not wanting a fridge crammed full with leftover turkey. Taking a turkey breast, stuffing it and rolling bacon around it and then serving it with a rich thick gravy and cranberry sauce yields the concentrated flavours of the perfect Christmas dish and will leave everyone content, happy and with a rosy glow.  Visually, it’s a showstopper.

(Note:  this dish was served with a potato and celeriac mash, a thick rich gravy, boiled french green beans and cranberry sauce. You can serve it with the vegetables and starch of your choice but to enjoy the full Christmas flavour the gravy and cranberry sauce is a must. We found the Ocean Spray cranberry sauce really hit the spot – not too sweet, nicely firm not runny and full of lovely fruit)

 

Ingredients:

1kg skinless, boneless turkey breast

10 thin slices of poitrine (chest) bacon – or bacon that is thin and fatty, not meaty, as you need the fat to self-baste the roasting turkey

 

Stuffing:

2 cups of leeks, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

300g pork sausage mince

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 TBS brown sugar

2 TBS parsley, chopped

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup of crushed pistachio nuts

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

 

Method:

Cook the pork sausage meat in its own fat. With a wooden spoon, keep the mince reasonably separated and add the fennel seeds and stir. Then add the leeks and cranberries, sugar, parsley and broth. Cook until the moisture is reduced to half the original. Add the pistachio nuts and panko breadcrumbs. Mix thoroughly. (you will have some stuffing left over for another dish depending on the size and surface area of the turkey breast).

Flatten the turkey breast out to a 20cmX30cm rectangle. Actual size is not important but try to thin it out to half inch thickness by using a combination of clever insitions and basic pummeling (in our case….with a wine bottle). Place the flattened breast on a film of clingwrap.  Press the stuffing into the top surface of the breast until you get a consistent 1/4 thickness of stuffing, but leave an inch border all around. With the aid of the cling wrap, roll the breast, peeling back the clingwrap as you go. When the breast is completely rolled and end meets end, remove the clingwrap. Using 5 pieces of string, bind the roll so it doesn’t unravel and the meeting ends don’t separate.

Wrap the bacon strips around the girth of the rolled turkey. It helps to overlap the bacon across the joined ends of the turkey roll so that when it comes to removing the string once cooked the bacon strips keep the joined turkey seam from opening. It also helps to leave a little of each of the 5 pieces of string visible to that you can locate, cut and remove them prior to carving once cooked.

Cook for 35 minutes at 200C (or 400F). Then turn the heat off and leave it in the oven for a further 15 minutes whilst you finish preparing the accompanying gravy and mash.

Scissor-snip the string and remove. Carve 3/4 inch slices and serve with gravy, cranberry sauce, mash and green beans.

Serve this and see the glowing faces as it is devoured!

 

 

 

Penang sweet-potato chicken curry

 

More than occasionally, Sherry tweaks a dish and absolutely blows my socks off. Taking the Green Thai sweet potato & chicken curry dish of a few posts back, Sherry magically kicked the dish up so many notches it’s become my “beg-for” dish.

 

Ingredients:

500g of skinless, boneless chicken thighs, 1-2 inch cubed

3 medium shallots, finely chopped

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 thumb of ginger, finely chopped

4 TBS Penang Thai curry paste

1 400g can of coconut milk (half for the rice and half for the pot)

400g sweet potatoes or yams, half-inch cubed

1 TBS oyster sauce

1 TBS soy sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

1 heaped tsp chili flakes

1 TBS unsweetened shredded coconut

1 TBS fish sauce

1/2 cup fresh basil

1/4 lemon squeezed

3  crumbled Kaffir lime leaves (if you have them)

1 handful of skinny green beans chopped 1-2 inch lengths

1 TBS crunchy peanut butter

 

Method:

The curry:

Saute the shallots, garlic and ginger for a few minutes until the shallots are translucent. Add the Penang Thai curry paste. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add a quarter of the can of coconut milk with the sweet potatoes/yams, the green beans, the oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili flakes and kafir lime leaves.  Cook until the potatoes are al dente, not soft (around 15 minutes). Add the  cubed chicken thighs and another quarter can of coconut milk. When the chicken is cooked, add a TBS of crunchy peanut butter, the shredded coconut, lemon juice, and fish sauce. Stir in for another couple of minutes and then add the basil.

The rice:

200ml of basmatic rice

200ml of water

200ml of coconut milk

1 tsp salt

(Boil and steam the rice the absorption method).

 

I said before with the Green Thai curry: “If this doesn’t sing Thai-delight on your tongue and make your eyes roll back, I’ll be amazed!”

Well, with this Penang dish you’ll have simply reached nirvana!

Oh-so-simple, Asian-glazed chicken

This dish is so easy a three-year-old could make it! Delightful asian flavours and simplicity make it a keeper. Plus the ingredients are common to any household.

It is served here with Japanese noodles but would be just as tasty either by themselves or with rice. And you can use skin-on chicken drumsticks or thighs or dice some boneless skinless thighs.

 

Ingredients

8 large skin-on chicken drumsticks or  700g  chicken thighs

1 cup of chicken stock

1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 1/2 TBS sugar

4 garlic cloves finely chopped

1/2 tsp chili flakes

 

Method:

Place everything except the chicken in a pan over a high heat. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and increase the heat. If you use skin-on drumsticks, introduce them earlier. If using boneless skinless chicken thighs (diced or whole) introduce them a little later. You want to reduce the liquid to a glaze but still keep the chicken succulent. Remove the chicken when cooked and strain any remaining garlic from the glaze. Pour the glaze over the chicken and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

Tagliatelle Alfredo New Orleans style

Now here’s a dish that surprisingly makes it into our top favourite spicey meals and, perhaps, our yummiest pasta. Italy meets New Orleans in this superb creamy alfredo. The flavour in this dish builds on your palate until you’re simply blown away with the mingling delights of parmegiano, sun-dried tomatoes and basil smoothed over with the warmth of cajun spice. It’s like the blend of a fun Piaggio scooter with the smooth warm ride of a cadillac

 

Ingredients:

500g boneless/skinless chicken thighs diced into 1-inch pieces

350g fresh tagliatelle

2 Dsp (20mls) of cajun spice

2 TBS butter

1 large green onion (scallion) chopped into 1/4 pieces (finer if adding the white)

2 cups whipping cream

2 TBS chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup fresh chopped basil (or 1/2 tsp dried)

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup of grated parmegiano cheese

Salt to taste

 

Method:

Toss the chicken and cajun spice in a bowl until the chicken is evenly coated. On medum heat, saute the chicken in a skillet/pan with the butter until the chicken is tender (about 6 minutes). Reduce the heat and add the green onions, cream, tomatoes, basil, garlic powder and black pepper. Add salt if you wish but the cajun may be salty enough. Pour over the hot tagliatelle and toss with parmegiano cheese.

So simple and so sublime!