Asian Marinade for Chicken or Pork

Asian Marinade for Chicken or Pork

 

I love the balance of flavours in this marinade, it just has the right amount of sweet, heat, sour and salt …. and caramelizes perfectly on the grill.  I find it works really well on pork chops or chicken thighs but I’m sure it would be great on just about anything.

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp minced ginger

1 tbsp Sriracha sauce

1 tbsp chile garlic paste

2 tsp sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

zest & juice of 1 orange

juice of 1/2 lime

Make enough marinade for 8 pork chops or 12 chicken thighs.

Garnish:  lime, roughly chopped cilantro and green onions.

Place all marinade ingredients in food processor and give it a good whiz.  Pour half of it in a ziplock bag with meat and reserve the rest.  Give the meat a massage and allow to marinade for 30 minutes at the least and up to 8 hours.

Put reserved marinade in a small sauce pan and cook over moderate heat until reduced and thickened.

Heat grill, and grill meat, brushing with the reduced marinade.

 

 

Pork and Prawn Burgers

These delicious burgers have an Asian twist to them, and are absolutely dripping yumminess!

Pork and Prawn Burgers

1 pound (450 grams ish) lean ground pork

1 bag of frozen RAW prawns (around the same weight as the pork), chopped in small but identifiable pieces

2 eggs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 heaping tbsp fresh ginger, minced

2 tbsp. soya sauce

2 tbsp. sesame oil

1/4 cup finely sliced chives

In a large bowl mix up the eggs, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Gently toss in the pork, prawns and chives.

Form patties, and allow to rest in the fridge to set up.

Either grill or cook on hot griddle.  These are delicate, so make sure not to try and turn or rotate until they are well cooked on the first side.

Serve on a toasted bun with aioli on the bottom, and pickled cucumbers on top.  To take this on to the most delicious burger, be sure to serve with the dipping sauce.

Sweet Chili Sriracha Aoili

4 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. sriracha (or other Asian style hot sauce)

1 tbsp. sweet chili paste

 

Blend well and allow to sit in fridge for flavours to come together.

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

1 cup very thinly sliced cucumber – tossed with rice vinegar, and seasoned lightly with salt, pepper, and a few chili flakes

 

Dipping Sauce

For each person, use a little individual dipping bowl and in each:

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp. rice vinegar

drizzle of chile oil or chile flakes (to taste)

a couple slices of fresh garlic, and fresh ginger

sprinkle of chives or spring onion

 

 

Thai Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Chicken

All Thai dishes should have a balance of hot/sour/salty/sweet. Whatever recipe you use, keep tasting and adjusting until you get that balance just right. I do a lot of Thai cooking, and we love it all – but this is the first recipe that our Thai student Ping claimed was exactly like chicken he eats at home.

hot-sour-salty-sweet Gotta get that balance in Thai cookery!

hot-sour-salty-sweet
Gotta get that balance in Thai cookery!

MARINADE:
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp asian fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (white if you have it)
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate

Blend all ingredients together well – then add chicken.

This is enough to do 4 chicken breasts, or 8 chicken thighs. If using breasts I like to pound them lightly first – just enough to make them equal thickness which is easier to grill. Allow to marinate for whatever length of time you have – I have made this with only 1/2 an hour to marinate, and up to overnight.

Grill until cooked through – slice into strips and serve with dipping sauce.

DIPPING SAUCE
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1/4 cup asian fish sauce
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 minced clove garlic
1 small Thai chile – seeded and minced
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients except cilantro – TASTE!! Adjust to your preference, and if you like it really spicy, drizzle in a little chili oil. I have also drizzled on sesame oil to finish it. Once you have a good balance of flavour (which means you can’t stop yourself from continuing to taste) then stir in the cilantro.

Prosciutto wrapped nectarines

Anything wrapped in prosciutto has to be great! These are fabulous little appetizers that – once you have made them for anybody – are sure to be requested again. I have made them with both nectarines and peaches – whatever looks best in the market.

These appetizers are sure to be a crowd pleaser

These appetizers are sure to be a crowd pleaser

Cut fruit into wedges large enough to handle – probably 6 wedges out of one piece of fruit. ( try to use fruit that isn’t too soft…..)
Put 1 heaping teaspoon of goat cheese into cavity from stone
Tightly wrap prosciutto (I usually halve slice lengthwise)
If desired, glaze with a bit of warm apricot jam

Grill just until you have beautiful grill marks and the prosciutto crisps up a bit.

Sweet Basil Pesto

I think one of my favorite herbs is basil – always makes me think of summer and freshness – drinking Holy Basil Tea right now in fact!!

Basil Pesto

3 cloves garlic

4 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1/3 cup finely grated best quality parmesan cheese

2 tbsp lemon juice

2/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

drop garlic cloves into food processor while it is running, continuing with basil, pine nuts, parmesan, lemon juice and salt.  Pulse after it is finely chopped, and with motor still running slowly add oil – scrape down the side of the bowl a few times. Do another couple pulses just to make sure it is all finely blended.

This keeps easily in the fridge for up to a week, and will store well in freezer also.  Either freeze in small containers, or in ice cube trays.  Once they have frozen in the trays, pop them out and store in a ziplock bag.

This makes an amazing pasta dish – toss it with freshly cooked pasta, adding either a bit of the pasta cooking water or heavy cream, whichever is your preference that night!  

Other suggestions:

Pizza topping, with prawns and carmelized red onions – sprinkle with fresh spinach

Blend with butter and spread on french bread for an alternative to garlic bread

Top a grilled steak with a tbsp of pesto

blend 1 tbsp with 2 tbsp red wine vinegar & 5 tbsp olive oil for a salad dressing

Grill Roasted Pasta Sauce

I love the flavour that comes out of the vegetables right out of the garden – give them a grill before simmering this pasta sauce and you will be treated to that flavour all winter long.  

30 roma tomatoes, halved

12 cloves garlic, peeled

5 small onions, unpeeled and sliced very thick

3 sweet red peppers, whole

Grill all vegetables until you get nice grill marks and the garlic and onions are soft, lightly browned.  As soon as the sweet peppers are charred, put them in a ziplock bag or a tightly covered bowl and allow to steam for 15 minutes – remove the skin and seeds.

Put all tomatoes with the vegetables in a large pot and simmer until tender. 

Add:  

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp chopped fresh or dried oregano

3 tsp white sugar

3 tsp salt

Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer just until all flavours have had a chance to blend well.  Make sure to taste it and adjust seasonings if you need a little more.Image

Either freeze in freezer safe containers, or process in hot water bath.

 

To preserve in hot water, canning bath – fill jars to within 1 inch, cover with hot seals and rings.  Process in hot water bath 35 minutes for pints.

This recipe makes about 7 pints.

Italian Salad Dressing

P1110070

4 tbsp. minced red onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 cup good quality olive oil

Soak minced red onion in cold water for 15 minutes, and drain well

Combine all ingredients except olive oil.  Using blender or immersion blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.  Gradually add the oil until creamy – taste for seasonings.

This keeps well in the fridge to use on anything from salad dressings to grilled vegetables – try brushing it over grilled steaks after removing from the grill.