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Free recipe Friday – Hot, sweet and sour pork chops with vegetable stir-fried rice

The title says hot, but you can make it as spicy or mild as you like by adding chilli flakes or fresh chilli. So why not skip the take away and finish off the week in style with this take on a takeout.

 

Hot, sweet and sour pork chops with vegetable stir-fried rice Serves 4

For the pork:

½ cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tbsp orange juice (1 orange)
2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
4 pork chops

For the stir-fried rice:

300 g long grain rice
1½ cups water
4 tbsp rice bran oil, for frying
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
4 eggs
4 cups green cabbage , shredded (½ small head)
4 small carrots, diced
4 spring onions, sliced
2 green capsicum, diced
4-6 tbsp soy sauce, to taste

Method:

Prepare in advance: For best results marinate pork chops in the fridge overnight. For an authentic fried rice dish, cook the rice the night before and store in the fridge, which will remove the moisture.

For the marinade, combine ingredients in a zip lock bag or bowl. Add pork and coat well in the mixture, set aside.

To cook the rice, place in a medium pot with the water and salt. Bring to a boil, stir once, then cover with a lid and reduce to a low, yet steady simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, resisting the urge to lift the lid. Remove from the heat and rest with the lid on for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pre-heat the grill to high and line an oven tray with tin foil.

Prepare the vegetables while the rice is cooking. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Shred the cabbage finely. Peel and finely dice the carrot. Dice the capsicum very finely, discarding the core. Slice the spring onion on the diagonal, including most of the green part.

Place the marinated pork chops on a rack over the foil-lined oven tray and place under the grill. Grill on each side for 4-5 minutes, then remove from the oven and rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Handy hint: Don’t be tempted to remove the fat from the chops before cooking, as it will add flavour. Cut off fat just prior to serving if you don’t wish to eat it .

Stir-fry the rice once the pork chops are cooking. Heat a large pan or wok over a medium-high heat and add some of the rice bran oil. Add the ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds without burning. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, discard, and add the eggs. Beat the eggs in the pan as they scramble, then remove from the pan. Keep heat at medium-high and add more rice bran oil. Once hot, add the cabbage, carrot and capsicum and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes until vegetables are just tender. Bring heat up to high and stir in the rice. Let the rice heat through for 2-3 minutes, then place the scrambled eggs back in and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes. Add half the spring onion (the white ends) and reserve the rest for garnish. Add soy sauce and cook out for another minute. Add more to taste if desired. Once the soy sauce is cooked out and the rice begins to dry out, remove the pan from the heat and serve immediately.

To serve, heap vegetable rice onto plates and top with pork chops. Garnish with the remaining spring onion.

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From Italy to Hawaii, with a quick stop in Sweden

Love fusing various nationalities together on a plate? Come here then….

This week we feature Hawaiian pizzas on wholemeal base with Swedish pizza salad on the Express and Family Menu (5 meals).
Hawaiian pizzas are a classic, a real favourite for the little kids in the house especially. You might not find it in your most authentic Italian restaurant though. My foodie father informs me that it was invented by a man of Greek origin, who lived in Ontario, Canada! There’s a fun foodie fact for you! Traditionally it’s made with tinned pineapple, but we like to freshen things up, so we use a real fresh pineapple.

On the side of this hammy, cheesy fruity-liciousness we provide our customers with the ingredients and recipe for a Swedish classic side dish. Where ever you go in Sweden – order a pizza and you get a pizza salad on the side. You would just never eat pizza without it. (Well, perhaps in the most authentic Italian restaurant.) I remember going to Italy as a child and being appalled at the lack of pizza salad on the side of my pizza. It’s basically cabbage and onion in a vinaigrette, with some local variations of course. I would recommend making it earlier in the day or even the night before, because the flavours develop as time goes.
For the Swedish pizza salad:
3 cups cabbage, shredded ½ cabbage
1 spring onion, sliced
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pizzas:
4 wholemeal pizza bases
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
150 g champagne ham, sliced
100 g cheese, grated
1 crown pineapple, sliced
Pinch of dried oregano (optional)
Method: 
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
Slice ham into thin strips. Grate the cheese, removing the rind; trim, core and slice the pineapple into rings.
Spread tomato paste onto the pizza bases then place the bases in the oven and pre-bake for 5-6 minutes until a little golden and crisped up.
While the bases are in the oven, fry the pineapple rings. Add oil to a large frying pan or griddle pan and once the oil is shimmering, add the pineapple rings and char for 2 minutes per side. Meanwhile make the Swedish pizza salad. Slice the spring onion and finely shred the cabbage using a sharp knife, mandolin or cheese slicer. Place in a large salad bowl and mix in vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the pre-baked pizza bases from the oven and top with the cheese, ham and charred pineapple rings in that order.  Pop the bases back into the oven for 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and browned a little.
To serve, place pizzas onto a large board and cut into slices. Sprinkle with dried oregano to taste. Serve at the table with the pizza salad. I hope you give this a go, and enjoy the culinary trip around the world.
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Chicken tikka spice mix recipe

Featured in this weeks’ Original and Inspiration Menus is the Chicken tikka masala with fresh coriander and poppadums. For our customers we provide a handy recipe sachet, but if you’re wanting to recreate this stunning dish, here’s the spice mix recipe!
To take this meal to the next level, I would highly recommend toasting whole coriander seeds and cumin seeds, then grinding them down with a pestle and mortar. Toasting your own spices honestly makes your dishes extra flavourful!

Serves 4 (enough for 600g chicken breast or tenders):
4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
Combine spices in a bowl and store in an airtight container – it will keep for several months – so why not make a double batch to have on hand.
Below is the recipe in full, for those of you who missed out.
For the spice paste:
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tsp ginger, grated
3 tbsp chicken tikka spice mix
3 tbsp rice bran oil

For the chicken:
600 g chicken breast, sliced
4 tbsp natural yoghurt
½ tsp salt

For the tikka:
4 tbsp butter
1 brown onion, sliced
4 tbsp tomato paste
½-1 tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
2 cartons coconut cream
2 tins chickpeas, drained
6 tbsp coriander, chopped

To serve:
16 poppadums
Rice bran oil for frying
2 heads fancy lettuce, wedged

Prepare in advance: For best results, marinate the chicken in the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight. 
Pre-heat the grill.
Prepare the aromatics first. Peel and crush the garlic, peel and grate the ginger, peel and finely slice the onion top to bottom into petal shapes and keep separate.
To make the spice paste, combine garlic, ginger, half the spice mix and oil in a small bowl. To marinate the chicken, combine yogurt with salt and half of the spice paste in a separate bowl. Slice the chicken lengthways into 2-3 cm long strips and add to the yoghurt marinade, coat in the mixture and set aside.
For the tikka, heat butter in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until slightly browned and caramelised. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring continuously for a minute until tomato paste releases its sugars and oil, causing it to darken. Add remainder of the spice paste (not used for the chicken marinade) and the chilli flakes and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
Roughly chop the coriander leaves and stalks. Add coconut cream, chickpeas and coriander to the pan, reserving some coriander for garnish, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes until sauce thickens.
Place the marinated chicken in a single layer on an oven rack with an oven tray underneath to catch the juices. Pop under the grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning once. By the end the chicken should be cooked through and a little browned.
For the poppadum, heat 1-2 cm oil in a small frying pan and cook poppadum for 4-5 seconds, one at a time until puffed up. Drain vertically on paper towel before serving.
To serve, cut the lettuce into wedges and place onto plates. Spoon the sauce onto the plate next to the lettuce. Place the chicken on the sauce and garnish with remaining fresh coriander. Serve the poppadum on a side plate.