Monthly Archives: April 2013

Asian Pork Steak with Coconut Rice and Stir-Fried Vegetables

I just now dipped a spoon into the left-over sauce I made for this recipe to re-inspire myself to write this with all the flavour this dish has!  It’s definitely yum and not difficult to make.  Can I just say, though, if a dish that’s substantial, delicious and satisfying takes me over an hour to make I don’t think that’s a horrendous amount of time, but then I’m a foodie, so if I’m craving something- I have to have it!  It was a lighter type of meal last night..filling, but much lighter ( than the meatball hero), the weather is slowly improving here (quite stunning today, in fact), and there are, finally, definite signs of Spring arriving.  Photo0981 (My snakeheads  (fritalleria meleagris) for example…guess you’ll have to zoom in on those…hang onPhoto0951there’s a close-up of the white ones…the purple are more stunning with their clear snakeskin patterns, but I digress.

When you have to have (definite crave) the ginger, and the fruity and the garlic, oh yeah and the spicy with a good piece of meat.. then this is the dish for you.  And the coconut rice…if you’ve never tried it, then get a life and make it.  It is gorgeous.

To produce this on a Monday night when I’m not home until after 7 was challenging (Monday is usually a blissful  ‘left-overs’ night in this house, but due to some extra cooking over the weekend I didn’t feel like blogging, let alone cooking on Sunday,wait now,  actually – I did cook, but there wasn’t any left-over!!)

Asian Pork with Coconut rice and Stir-Fried Vegetables ingredients needed for Asian Pork with coconut rice and stir-fried vegetables

For the coconut Rice which serves 4 (because it’s very rich)

1 cup (8fl.oz) Thai Jasmine rice, 1/2 (4 fl.oz) cup water, 1cup (8fl.oz) coconut milk, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 Tablespoon caster sugar

For the Pork:

1 Pork Steak (Fillet of Pork), 1 Tblsp. sesame oil and 1 Tblsp. vegetable oil, 6 large cloves garlic (20 grams) grated, crushed or finely chopped,  1 oz./25 grams fresh ginger, grated, 1/2 medium sized red chilli, seeded and finely diced, 1 tsp. wasabi paste (optional if you don’t like it!), 2 Tablespoons soft, dark brown sugar, 1 mango (cut each large side off the mango, peel and dice.  You will be left with the edges which you can make into fans for garnishes at the end). 1 fl. oz. sweet sherry (or white wine and a bit more sugar), 2 cups (16 fl.oz) freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 &1/2 fl. oz. soy sauce, 1 fluid oz. rice wine vinegar, 2 Tablespoons runny honey, garnishes of fanned mango (or mango fans “Yea!!!! we love mangos”, if they’ll fit on the plate!)

For the StirFried Vegetables: (I usually use what vegetables I have, then cook the ones that take longer first and add in the rest at the end)…here’s what I used last night:

1 Tblsp. sesame oil, 1 Tblsp vegetable oil, 5 mushrooms, sliced, 2 sticks celery sliced, 50 grams green beans, 20 grams mangetout peas, 3 cloves garlic, chopped; 10 grams ginger, grated; the other half of the de-seeded chilli, finely chopped; 1/4 pint chicken or vegetable stock, garnishes of chopped scallion (green onion) and fresh coriander (cilantro)

For the coconut rice : Put the rice in a sieve and rinse under the cold tap until the water is clear.  Drain and place in a saucepan with the other ingredients, bring to a boil, stir gently, cover and reduce heat to very low and cook for approx. 25 mins.  The rice will be sticky (it’s in its nature, so don’t worry), fluff the rice with a fork or two chopsticks, cover and keep warm. Not on direct heat, just warm!  When the coconut rice is cooked, fluff with a fork or 2 chopsticks, cover and leave in a warm place to rest

When you first put the rice on simmer, start your pork dish.  Heat the oils in a deep frying pan over a medium heat.  Lightly fry the pork fillet until golden brown on all sides (so you’ll have to turn it!).  Cook the pork fillet over a medium heat until golden brown all over.  Remove from pan and set aside  When it’s all golden brown, set aside.  Drain off fat from the pan and add the garlic, ginger , red chilli and wasabi paste, if you’re using it.  Stir that around in the pan Drain off excess fat then add ginger, garlic and chilli and wasabi paste(if using)to the pan and toss ...then add the brown sugar, and diced mango, stir again and then deglaze the pan with at least (;-)1 fl. oz of sweet sherry.

Combine: fresh orange juice ( By the way, I HATE when people say  ‘the juice of 1 orange’ or’ the juice of 1 lemon’…since when does 1 lemon have the same amount of juice as the next?!!) , soy sauce,rice wine vinegar , honey and add that to the pan.

Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down so the liquid is just simmering with a bubble to itself (kind of like those people you see walking down the street that have attitude, but aren’t quite arrogant). Pour combined liquid of orange juice, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and honey into the pan and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat so the liquid is just simmering and replace the pork fillet back into the pan.

Replace the pork steak into the pan and baste and turn the fillet regularly (not obsessively, just regularly.  You could, for example be preparing your vegetables at this stage…..I’m really trying to teach you how to multi-task, but hesitate to use that word because some people hate it). Baste the pork steak regularly with the sauce, turning the steak regularlyThis process takes about 20-25 minutes.  Lift the steak and set aside in an ovenproof dish.  Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of the liquid over the meat and cover with foil.  Place in a low oven to rest.  Put the sauce with the mango chunks into a tall container and whiz with an electric hand whisk, check the seasoning…you should have a sweet and sour sauce with quite a lot of zing from the rice-wine vinegar and the wasabi.  It hits the back of the tongue very nicely for me and then has an after ripple of heat from the chilli and wasabi, but nothing overbearing.  The sauce has a beautiful texture from the mango being liquidised and frankly, it’s simply sexy.  Transfer to a small saucepan and keep warm while you stir-fry your vegetables .

Yes, I do cook like this almost every night and yes, he is very lucky.  Sometimes he actually has to tell me how lucky he is (when it’s ultra special) before he can get his plate!!  (i.e. “what are you?”  “very lucky” ). But I’m very lucky too (Awwwww).

In a wok-type pan, heat the oils for the vegetables over quite a high heat, but not an obscene Heat sesame oil in a wok or wok-type frying pan over fairly high heat.  Add vegetables that take longest to cook first and cook until they still have a bite.heat. (You may notice I use sesame oil and vegetable oil, which is  because if you are using a good sesame oil, I find it can be over-bearing and take over more subtle flavours.  It’s completely up to you what you want to do).  Add the mushrooms, celery and green beans and stir constantly, cooking until they have a good bite to them still.  Add the mangetout and almost instantly the garlic, ginger and chilli.  Stir-fry for a.n.other minute or two add the chicken When all the vegetables are nearly cooked, add finely chopped garlic, grated ginger and stir frequently for 2 minutes.  Add 1/4 pt. chicken stock, toss and serve.  (Hilary Jenkinson's noodle bowls are perfect for the this!)stock.

To Plateup the dish:

Find a suitable mould, such as a small mug or a pudding mould and press the warm coconut rice into it.  Invert onto the plates and spoon some of the sauce around the rice.  Slice the pork fillet (3 slices is usually enough per serving), and distribute around the rice.  Decorate with mango fans, chopped coriander and chopped scallions.  I have used Hilary Jenkinson’s noodle bowls for the vegetables, but you can serve them on the plate with the pork if you prefer.  To plate the dish, press the warm, cooked coconut rice into a small mug or suitable mold then invert onto your plate.  Spoon some sauce around the edge of the rice, place pork steak on top of sauce. Garnish with chopped coriander, scallions and mango fans

Hope you try it…and hope your tastebuds tingle for the right reasons! 😉    (Let me know)



Meatball Hero

So much fun having a website….now dinner is two hours later than usual!!! David has to smell the aromas for longer while I’m arranging to take photographs, tummies are grumbling louder than usual and I’m click-clicking as well as chop-chopping!!

I had a craving for a good meatball hero last Friday evening so purchased some minced beef and minced pork (half a pound of each) from butcher, Dick Dooley as well as some smoked rashers (bacon). I bought a couple ciabattas, some beautiful fresh basil, mozarella cheese, parmesan and of course was going to put to use one of my tubs of tomato and fresh basil sauce.  They were to die for, so I thought I’d share them with you.  Photos were taken on my phone this time, as the battery wasn’t charged for the ‘real camera’  (typical).  My creativity doesn’t wait for technology, and as I mentioned earlier the stomach was already growling….so I hope they’re adequate.

Unfortunately, the weather in Ireland this year is very slow to come round to Springtime, so we’re still on comfort food over here….hence, the meatball heros.  These meatballs can, of course, be served over a bed of spaghetti, but it was the hero I was craving. My meatballs don’t have breadcrumbs or eggs in them, so the meatballs themselves are coeliac friendly….just find a good coeliac friendly breadroll and or a gluten-free pasta and you’re made.  My sauce is also gluten free, as are all my sauces so that’s another plus. I use grated parmesan cheese to bind the meatballs…if you’re on a non-dairy diet press ‘escape’ now!!

So, combine the minced beef and pork and add about 2 slices very finely chopped smoked rasher (don’t mince them as they add texture to the final result).  Finely chop a medium sized onion, as well as a couple Tablespoons of celery (I like using the centre sticks of celery as well as some of the celery leaf as they’re more flavourful), peel and grate (microplane) 4 large cloves of garlic and finely chop 1 long red chilli which has been deseeded ( if you like really hot leave the seeds in, but a good in-between heat compromise is to seed, then heat….(keep reading).  Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan (medium-low heat) and soften the onions, garlic, celery and chilli .  By cooking the chilli this way it introduces a bit more heat without taking the face off you.  By cooking the onions and garlic you will be adding a sweetness to the onions and a courtesy to your diner(s) by not providing unwanted repeated tastings.  Incidentally, it’s also fun to make meatballs with chorizo instead of the smoked rasher….but we’ll do that another time. (Get used to it, I interrupt myself all the time….it’s a sign of passion for my subject!)

When the veg is cooled slightly add to the meat ingredients along with a heaped Tablespoon of double concentrate tomato puree, a really good few shakes of Worchestershire sauce, a cup and a half of loosely packed, finely grated parmesan cheese and about 2 Tablespoons of fresh basil, finely chopped or shredded as well as freshly ground black pepper.  I find these meatballs don’t need salt, and I like salt.  There’s salt in the rasher, the worchestershire sauce and the parmesan is salty, so enough already!

Shape into meatballs and place in a roasting tray.  Now here’s the question we all ask ourselves…big or small?!  My own opinion is if I’m making the hero sandwich, I like them small and many, if it’s meatballs for spaghetti and meatballs I like them large and few.  It’s completely up to you, but you will obviously have to amend the cooking times to make sure they are cooked through to the centre.

Put into a 180 C oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, prepare a green salad or have a glass of wine!  When they’re finished cooking open a 454 gram tub of ‘Danette’s Magic’ Tomato and Fresh Basil sauce (or heat the same amount of another sub-standard sauce!!) place it in a medium-sized saucepan and heat gently. Lift the cooked meatballs with a slotted spoon (there will be a lot of fat in the juices), add to the tomato sauce and baste for a further 15 minutes.

Slice some crusty rolls almost all the way through, but not quite.  If they’re very thick rolls remove some of the bread on the bottom portion of the roll and spread both sides with a good pesto (you guessed it, I make that too!)Wrap the rolls in foil and warm in the oven.  At the same time, transfer the meatballs and the sauce into an ovenproof dish and top with grated mozarella cheese.  Return the meatballs to the oven until the cheese is melted. Fill the warmed rolls with several meatballs (we had 6 small meatballs each because by the time I finished photographing all this food we were RAVENOUS! and top with some more grated parmesan, some finely shredded basil and serve with a green salad.

 Magic!  Sorry about the glare on some of the photos…..I think it’s acutally the magic from the sauce exuding into the atmosphere!  Can I also say that half a pound of mince and half a pound of pork in this recipe yielded 25 meatballs, so we get to do this again tomorrow night, but it will be a lot quicker and even tastier, because this is the type of left-over dish that gets better with a day or two in the fridge.




Welcome to Danette’s Feast/ Danette’s Magic

Thank you for visiting this website. And thank you brother Dennis for getting me this website for my birthday!  (superb present)

I am currently working on the format of the site …so bear with me because I’m also busy chopping, stirring and packing in the kitchen, where I’m creating some really tasty sauces, so tasty we had to call them ‘magic’…’Danette’s Magic’ to be precise.

If you’re living in the South-East of Ireland you can avail of some of that early magic as the sauces have just started to don the shelves of Dick Dooley’s butcher shop in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.  So far, the sauces available are:  Tomato and Fresh Basil (a really good all-round Italian tomato sauce); Carbonara (which is really an Alfredo, because it’s full of cream, white wine, smoked rashers, mushrooms, leeks, free range eggs and cheese); Pesto (the real kind!! ), Salsa (not too hot on the chilli side, but full of flavour including fresh coriander, garlic, tomatoes and scallions), Ranch Dressing (highly addictive blend of herbs in a buttermilk, sour cream and mayonnaise based dressing that’s just as good on the end of a spoon as it is on the end of a crisp, or drizzled over a salad).   There are more sauces to come, and more destinations for them, about all of which  I will keep you posted.  I will be providing lots of recipe ideas to accompany my sauces as well as just lots of recipes!!!

Back to peeling garlic and onions!