Thursday, 24 January 2013

Chinese Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup

Chinese Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup

I love this soup, authentic Chinese food is what I aim to cook, and you can be guaranteed that the Chinese people do not eat the kinda food we get in Ireland in their takeaways. There is a little bit more work in this soup than in most others but it is worth it.

Serves 6:

1 large chicken fillet
1 litre of chicken stock
A dash of sesame oil
An inch sized piece of ginger
1 tin of sweetcorn
2 tablespoons of corn flour
2 egg whites
Spring onion to garnish


Poach the chicken fillet by covering it with water in a medium saucepan, place it on a high heat until it starts to bubble then reduce to an easy simmer for 20 mins until cooked and tender. Remove it from the water and allow cooling on a plate, reserving the cooking water for later. When the fillet is cool shred it by pulling it into long thin strips.

In a large saucepan pour in a litre of stock and a dash of sesame oil, grate in the ginger and add the sweetcorn from the tin. Place on a high heat and bring to the boil. In the meantime using some of the poaching water in a cup; make a thin paste with the corn flour. Also beat the 2 egg white lightly with another dash of the poaching water in a separate cup.

When the large saucepan has reached boiling point, add the shredded chicken, return to the boil and stir in the corn flour paste. Now from a height of about 15cm gently drizzle in the egg white mix while stirring (this will ensure it doesn't clump together and that it will cook fully).

Check for seasoning and add a pinch of salt if needed. Serve with a garnish of spring onion cut on the diagonal.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

Here is a great recipe for January, it's quite low in fat and its a hot enough sweet and sour to warm you up in the dark cold evenings. Pork fillet is lean and to make it even more so, trim away any excess fat on the outside of it although there shouldn't be much at all.

I love cooking these kinda meals in the dark evenings, Ciara normally only gets home from work about 8.10 so I start head into the kitchen (if I'm not in it already) about 7.30 to get dinner on. I normally don't like eating dinner that late unless we are out for a meal but that's life for you, it's an excuse not to load up on portion sizes and that way Ciara get's to take the left overs for her lunch to work the next day.

I serve this with fried brown rice, but you can serve it with boiled rice, egg noodles etc. also, feel free to load more veg into it to fill up on the good stuff, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette, squash etc.

Calories 686
343 per portion
(Add 218 pp for brown rice)
Serves 2:

200g pork fillet
Sea salt and black pepper
1 onion
 1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 fat clove of garlic
Half a small red chilli
A thumb sized piece of ginger
Rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon of Chinese five-spice
1 tablespoon of corn flour
3 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
A small tin of pineapple chunks
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Coriander leaves to garnish


Cut the pork fillet length-ways down the middle then cut each side into cubes and season with the salt and pepper. Peel, halve and chop the onion into chunks. De-seed the peppers and chop into bite size pieces. Finely slice the garlic, chilli and ginger.

Heat a large frying pan or wok on a high heat, when hot add the rapeseed oil along with the pork pieces, immediately sprinkle over the Chinese five-spice and brown off the pork for a few minutes. Remove into a clean bowl using a slotted spoon.

Give the pan/wok a wipe down then return to the heat, add more oil then add all the chopped vegetables. Cook this all for about 2 mins stirring frequently. Stir in the corn flour and add the soy sauce, cook for a further minute then add back in the pork along with the pineapple chunks, their juice and the balsamic vinegar.

Check the seasoning and cook for a further few mins ensuring the pork is cooked through (break a piece open to check). Simmer for a few mins until sauce thickens if needed.
Serve with fried rice and a garnish of coriander leaves.

Monday, 7 January 2013

I'm a bad blogger, but I'm writing a fupping cookbook!

Its the start of a brand spanking new year, 2013 and its not looking in anyway unlucky to me.
After my bizarre exploits of last year, this year is looking just as action packed but thankfully jogging will be taking a back seat. Last year I ran, walked and hobbled around Ireland for charity, something I would do again... but taking a years break from that will suit me down to the ground!

After my run finished and I was in recovery I got some great news, the publishers Mercier Press wanted me to write a cookbook, something I had aimed to achieve. So this is my excuse for not blogging of late, I have been flat to the mat experimenting, perfecting, writing, typing and photographing old and new recipes to put in the book... it's all go I can tell you but I'm loving every minute of it!!!

This year I plan a big year for my cakes, I've fallen in love with making them again after a month or so off from taking orders.. my aim as always is to make each one I do (no matter how big or small) the best one I have ever made... in my opinion if you cant bring that attitude into what you do then you may stop doing it and find something that you can work that attitude into. I know I am blessed to be doing something that I love but I did go through a lot of shit jobs to get here and to be honest still do jobs as a handyman that many's a man wouldn't take on with, they are that bad and pointless, but I take them on the chin as the bigger picture is more appealing and lets face it, you gotta paddle through a mountain of crap before you hit the big blue sea!

Well that's me for now as I'm up to my neck in glorious work!!

I will blog better in future and more recipes and gardening to come real soon but for now I'll take my punishment like a man... 100 lines...

I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger
I must be a better blogger

Ah to hell with that... sue me ;)

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