Monday, August 18, 2008

Pot-roasted Pork in White Wine with Garlic, Fennel, and Rosemary

This pork recipe takes me about 5 minutes to prepare and get in the oven, so it's nice and quick as well as being unbelievably light, fresh and tasty. Also, pot-roasting the pork as opposed to straight roasting gives you a lovely natural sauce made with the meat juices and the wine

1 (3 pound/1.5 kilogram) pork loin, off the bone and skin removed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 to 3 large knobs butter

Olive oil

8 cloves garlic, skin left on

1 handful fresh rosemary, leaves picked

4 bay leaves

1 fennel bulb, sliced

1/2 (750 ml) bottle Chardonnay

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
With 2 or 3 bits of string, tie up your pork loin, do this any way you like. It doesn't have to be fussy, you just want to keep the meat in a snug shape while it's cooking. Season generously with salt and pepper, then roll the meat in the fennel seeds until covered.
In a casserole pan or roasting tray, fry the meat for a couple of minutes in half the butter and a little olive oil, until nice and golden.
Throw in the garlic, herbs, fennel, and wine, then cover the tray loosely with some wet greaseproof paper and cook until an inserted meat thermometer reaches 150 degrees F. As the pork loin is off the bone it cooks very quickly. Remove from the oven and allow the meat to rest on a plate. Then, without using any more heat, finish off your sauce in the pan, scraping any goodness off the bottom and adding the rest of the butter. Remove any large bits.

Fruit Cobbler

This is a fantastic American recipe equivalent to our crumble. Particularly good with strawberries and rhubarb, but you can use any fruit combo you like; about 680g/1 1/2 pounds of fruit should do it.


For the fruit:
2 apricots, stoned and sliced
1 pear, cored and thickly sliced
1 pint blackberries
1 pint blueberries 1 pint raspberries
1 stick rhubarb
5 tablespoons sugar
A good glug balsamic vinegar
For the topping:4 ounces butter, chilled
8 ounces (225 grams) self-rising flour
2 1/2 ounces (70 grams) sugar
A large pinch salt
4 1/2 fluid ounces (130 millilitres) buttermilk
A little sugar, for dusting
Vanilla ice cream, as an accompaniment


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C/gas 5). Put the fruit into a pan with the sugar and the balsamic vinegar. Put the pan over the heat, and cook gently, until the juices begin to run from the berries. Pour into an ovenproof dish. Meanwhile make the topping. Rub the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the sugar and salt, stir well, and then add the buttermilk to form a loose, scone-type mixture. Roll balls of the dough and place randomly over the hot fruit. Sprinkle with a little sugar, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream

Spaghetti Puttanesca

1 pound (455 grams) dried spaghetti, the best you can get

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 handful capers, soaked in water and drained
2 handfuls big black olives, pitted
12 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
3 small dried red chiles, crumbled
1 tablespoon dried oreganoExtra-virgin olive oil
2 (14 ounce/400gram) cans tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 good handful fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the spaghetti in salted, boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile fry the garlic, capers, olives, anchovies, chiles, and oregano in a little olive oil for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and continue to cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until you have a lovely tomato sauce consistency. Remove from the heat, plunge the drained spaghetti into it, toss it over, and cover with the sauce. Rip all the basil over it, correct the seasoning, and drizzle with good extra-virgin olive oil