Crispy Pork Belly

Crispy Pork Belly

Ingredients

Liquid marinade

  • 3/4c Chinese cooking rice wine
  • 1T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2T coconut amino acids
  • 1T lemon juice (or 1 lime)
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 1 sliced red chilli
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250 ml water

Everything else

  • 1-2 brown onions (cut into wedges)
  • Pork Belly
  • Neutral Oil (i.e. Rice Bran Oil)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Water (added at intervals during cooking)

Allergies: gluten free, soy free, dairy free, egg free, nut free

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220’C.
  2. In a big roasting pan, mix up the liquid marinade.
  3. Cut the onion(s) into wedges and place in a line in the pan. There needs to be enough onion to cut as a support for the pork belly. It will help to moisten the meat and also act as a structural support to keep the crackling raised up out of the jus.
  4. Prepare the pork belly. You will need a very sharp knife in order to score it; I like doing a diamond pattern. This is important not only for helping it to cook but also for cutting it up later in order to serve! Dry the pork belly, apply a little oil over the top, then rub in salt. Crack some pepper over the top as well (if desired).
  5. Place the pork belly onto the foundation of onions (with the fat on top).
  6. Cook at 220’c for 30-40 minutes or until the rind has crackled.
  7. Add 1/2c water to the liquid in the bottom of the pan. Reduce oven heat to 160’C and cook for another hour.
  8. Add 1/2c water to the liquid in the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking at 160’C for approximately another 60 minutes or until the pork is very tender.
  9. Reserve some of the juices to drizzle over the pork when serving. Consider serving with green vegetables and steamed rice. (I chopped up bok choy and other greens, lightly braised them in the marinade, and stir fried before serving as a side dish with the onion, chilli, garlic etc.).

Mu Shu Pork – Chow Mein – Chop Suey all from one basic recipe!

Mu Shu Pork.jpg

Mu Shu Pork

I came across this recipe by Cybele Pascal  in a chapter of her allergy friendly cookbook about making takeaways at home. I haven’t heard of Mu Shu Pork before but apparently it’s a popular takeaway in the United States and based on a stir-fry dish made in northern China and eaten rolled in small pancakes rather than over rice. This recipe has a few adjustments (such as not including soy sauce or egg) in order to make it free of the top 8 allergies. The recipe is also very similar to how we make Chow Mein in New Zealand, it’s all about what you serve it with!

Mu Shu Pork: Serve with Chinese pancakes (delicious scallion pancakes can be picked up from the freezer section of most Asian supermarkets) OR use rice paper wraps OR use gluten free wraps or corn tortillas. *Food allergies mean getting a little inventive! I’ve used both rice paper (like making summer rolls) and gluten free wraps; both are delicious.

Chop Suey: Serve over rice. Consider garnishing with crunchy crispy Chinese noodles (from the snack section of the supermarket).

Chow Mein: Serve with noodles. You can cook with glass noodles (mungbean or rice vermicelli) or with thick egg noodles. Consider garnishing with crunchy crispy Chinese noodles (from the snack section of the supermarket).

Ingredients:

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 1/2 chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2T coconut amino acids (or soy sauce)
  • 2T neutral oil (i.e, rice bran oil)
  • 1T rice vinegar
  • 1T cornstarch, or tapioca starch, or superfine white rice flour
  • 1 tsp honey

Stir Fry

  • 1T neutral oil (i.e, rice bran oil)
  • 400-500g pork mince (ground pork)
  • 1c red onion, finely diced
  • 2T minced or grated ginger (or 2tsp ground ginger)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1c thinly chopped shiitake mushrooms
    • Can also use wood-ear mushroom or substitute in a local mushroom. Note: you can often buy dried shiitake mushrooms more cheaply than fresh; they’ll need 30 mins or so to soak in water before using.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3c shredded cabbage
  • 100g snow peas, sliced into thin vertical slivers
    • I subbed green runner beans.
  • 1c grated carrot
  • 1-2 green onions (spring onion), white and green parts, chopped.

Plum sauce (optional dipping sauce)

  • 1c plum jam
  • 1/2tsp garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced or grated
  • 2T cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1T Sriracha or other chile-garlic sauce

Allergies: gluten free, soy free, dairy free, egg free, nut free.

Directions – Mu Shu Pork

  1. Mix up the stir fry sauce.
    • Tip: Put into a jar or small sealed container; put on the lid and shake until the honey and tapioca starch have dissolved.
  2. Heat the oil over high heat in a non-stick wok or frying pan.
  3. Add the pork, onion, and ginger. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until the pork is no longer pink and the onion is tender. Break up the pork with a spoon so that the mince is nicely crumbled.Add the garlic, mushrooms, and salt; cook for 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to brown.
  4. Add the cabbage, snow peas, carrot, and spring onions. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the stir-fry sauce and stir. Cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Serve with chinese pancakes / rice paper wrappers / tortillas.

 

Directions – Plum Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer over a high heat. Reduce to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Let cool to room temperature and then puree in a blender.
  3. Makes about 1 cup that can be stored covered in the fridge for several weeks.

Flavourful Black Beans

Flavoursome Black Beans.jpg

Flavoursome Black Beans on Rice

This is such a wonderful recipe free of all the top 8 allergens that is cheap, quick, and easy to make. It’s fantastic to have as a base recipe that can then be served with rice, tortillas, wraps, empanadas, quesadillas, or to make lunchbox pies.

Ingredients

  • 400g tin of black beans (rinsed)
  • Ham or bacon or pancetta (finely chopped)
    • Check ingredients carefully if you have food allergies, such as soy.
  • 1 diced brown onion
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1T balsamic vinegar
  • 1T coconut amino acids (or soy sauce).

This is the base recipe; it’s delicious as is or you can vary it as desired by adding mince, diced chicken, chilli, peas & corn, celery, etc.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Directions

  1. Brown the onion and garlic in a frying pan.
  2. Add ham, balsamic vinegar, and coconut amino acids.
  3. Add black beans.
  4. Cook until hot. Can be served immediately.
    • If you have the time, lower the heat to minimum and slow cook for 20 minutes. This allows the flavours to simmer and the onion to caramelize.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How to make Teriyaki sauce (soy & gluten free)

Teriyaki Pork stir fry.jpg

Teriyaki Pork stir fry

I posted recently about discovering Coconut Amino Acids as a soy replacement and they are the secret for making Teriyaki Sauce that is soy free. Miss 2 LOVED it 🙂

There are two recipes below, one for a small amount (i.e. for a stirfry) and one for a larger amount (i.e. for marinating chicken thighs).

Allergies: soy free, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Ingredients (stir fry)

  • 2T coconut amino acids
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1T rice vinegar

Ingredients (marinade)

  • 6T coconut amino acids
  • 3 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/8 tsp pepper
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 T liquid honey
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 3 T dry sherry

 

Source: “Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking. 30-minute meals without gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and sesame.” by Cybele Pascal

All-purpose Breading Mix (delicious, easy, and gluten free!)

Gluten free breading mix.jpg
Gluten free breaded kumara chips & fried chicken

This gluten free breading mix is easy to make, stores for up to two months, and is really versatile.  Often food allergies mean that takeaways are a thing of the past, so it’s always nice to have a few recipes up your sleeve that allow you to make them at home.

You can use this for everything from breaded zucchini, to fried kumara (sweet potato) chips, chicken nuggets, and fried chicken. I’ve used it both in the oven and in a shallow oil fry and it works both ways.

Ingredients

  • 2c superfine white rice flour
  • 1/2c fine cornmeal (polenta)
  • 2T onion powder
  • 2T garlic powder (garlic granules also work)
  • 1T paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free.

Note: Gluten free ingredients are often sold at bulk food stores or Asian supermarkets if you’re having trouble finding them in your normal supermarket. Spices are also much cheaper and have a wider variety at bulk food stores!

Directions

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 months and use as needed.

Source: Elizabeth Gordon’s “The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook.”

Five Spice Chicken Tenderloin

wp-1486712538834.jpg

Five Spice Chicken Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 300g chicken tenderloins
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1T balsamic vinegar
  • 3T neutral oil (i.e. rice bran oil)
  • Optional: Chilli flakes, fresh coriander.

Allergy: soy free, dairy free, gluten free, egg free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Directions

  1. Mix the marinade together and place the chicken tenderloins in it. Refridgerate for 1-2 hours.
    • Note: Using a pyrex dish is ideal as it can go from marinading to the oven.
  2. Place in a preheated oven and cook at 180’C for 30 mins. Flip the tenderloins halfway through and check periodically to see if they need basting. (Alternatively, you can pan fry these).
  3. Once the chicken is cooked and still moist, grill briefly to brown.
  4. After removing the chicken, add a little cornflour and whisk to create a dipping sauce.

The busy mum’s guide to making quick & easy gnocchi

wp-1486186942853.jpg

Potato gnocchi with basil pesto

I’ve never made gnocchi before and was keen to give it a try. I read about ten different recipes / blogs / tips & tricks posts and soon realized that it’s easy to make gnocchi but hard to make good gnocchi. Gnocchi should apparently be light fluffy clouds of joy that practically melt in your mouth rather than dense like they often are. If you’re making them using traditional methods then top tips seem to be: Use russet potatoes (or one’s generally dry & starchy), never use a blender / stick / food processor, use a ricer not a masher, add only just enough flour, and don’t over mix.

My favourite photo-blog by someone truly passionate about gnocchi and experimenting to make perfect gnocchi was by Daniel Gritzer.

This is a cheat’s way of making quick gnocchi for busy mums (apologies to any Italians reading this)! You can also make an egg free version and fry them as a tasty snack!

Ingredients

  • 1c potato flakes
  • Optional: 2 tsp parmesan powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2c boiling water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2c – 3/4c plain flour

Note: Makes dinner for one adult. Double (or increase) recipe as needed. You can also lay gnocchi flat (single layer) and freeze for a couple of months.

Allergies: soy free, gluten free, dairy free, tree nut free, peanut free.

Directions

  1. Put the potato flakes, parmesan, and salt, in a bowl. Add approx. 1/2c boiling water and stir.
    • Normally I’d add about 3/4c water to make mashed potato but adding less water means that you don’t need to add as much flour to balance it out.
  2. Add flour and stir / knead to combine into a dough. The mixture should be smooth, pliable, and not sticky. Don’t over knead.
  3. Roll mixture into 4 balls (or more depending on if you’ve doubled / tripled the recipe etc.).
  4. Using a floured bench, roll each ball out into thumb width ‘wriggly worms’ (as Miss 2 deems them).
  5. Chop them into 1/2″ – 3/4″ pieces.
  6. If you have a gnocchi board then you can use that to do the ridges. I don’t and used the alternative method which is to press and roll them off a fork and indent the back with your thumb.
  7. Bring salted water to the boil in a large wide pot.
  8. Drop in gnocchi in batches (so they’re not touching). They’ll need about 2 minutes to rise to the surface and 1-2 minutes at the top.
  9. Pull out with a slotted spoon.
  10. Serve with sauce.

 

 

How to make quick & easy fried gnocchi (a.k.a. rapid roastini)

wp-1486177347251.jpg

Pan fried quick & easy gnocchi – so much yum!

So I was trying to make gnocchi for the first time this afternoon and decided to make a mini batch that excluded egg. I could tell (from the many blogs / tips & tricks / recipes that I’d read prior) that this batch would not make good gnocchi. It was much denser then the first batch that I’d made. On the other hand, being a frugal mumma means experimenting in the kitchen so I proceeded to roll it out and make little gnocchi. I was pretty sure that they were just the right texture to pan fry and they turned out as a delicious gluten-free snack that Miss 2 thought was delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1/2c potato flakes
  • 1 tsp parmesan powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked garlic salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4c boiling water
  • 1/4c plain flour

Note: This makes a snack for one adult (to share between adult & toddler) just multiple the ingredients by the number of serves you want to make.

Allergies: gluten free, soy free, egg free, peanut free, tree nut free. Can be made dairy free.

Directions

  1. Put the potato flakes, parmesan, garlic salt, and onion powder in a bowl. Add approx. 1/4c boiling water and stir.
  2. Add flour and stir / knead to combine into a thick dough. The mixture should be smooth, thick, and not sticky. Don’t over knead.
  3. Roll mixture into 2 balls (or more depending on if you’ve doubled / tripled the recipe etc.).
  4. Using a floured bench, roll each ball out into thumb width ‘wriggly worms’ (as Miss 2 deems them).
  5. Chop them into 1/2″ – 3/4″ pieces.
  6. If you have a gnocchi board then you can use that to do the ridges. I don’t and used the alternative method which is to press and roll them off a fork and indent the back with your thumb.
  7. Heat a frying pan and cover the bottom in a thin layer of oil (I use rice bran). Once the oil is hot drop in the gnocchi.
  8. It only takes 1-2 mins to fry them on each side (you can turn using silicon tongs or a spatula).
  9. Place them on a paper towel and lightly pat off the oil.
  10. Serve with chili mayo or your choice of dips.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Potato Latkes

latkes

Potato Latkes

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
    • I use around 450g per batch.
  • 1 small red sweet onion, finely diced.
    • I have used brown onion as well for more of a hashbrown flavour.
  • 2 eggs, beaten.
  • 3T flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste.
  • Oil (or butter) for frying.
  • Toppings: sour cream & apple sauce.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Directions:

  1. Grate the potato.
    • A food processor is great for this! I have also hand grated. In some countries you can buy bags of frozen pre-shredded potato.
    • Note: if using a food processor for the potato then you can also use it for the onion but remove the potato first.
  2. Squeeze the potato with your hands to remove excess moisture and then pat dry.
  3. Put the potato in a mixing bowl and add onion, eggs, seasonings, and flour. Mixture should be thick and cohesive.
  4. Heat and oil a frying pan and fry batches of potato mix (I use about 2T for each patty).
  5. Fry for several minutes on each side.
  6. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately or keep warm in the oven on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
    • If you want to wait and have everyone eat together then you can brown each side of the latkes on a higher temperature, cook for a slightly shorter time, and then finish them all off in the oven for 5-10 mins.