Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Spicy Braised Ginger Pork Belly

Tender morsels of pork simmered with ginger, garlic, chili peppers, brown sugar and soy sauce make this spicy braised ginger pork belly the most succulent meal!

Food Lust People Love: Tender morsels of pork simmered with ginger, garlic, chili peppers, brown sugar and soy sauce make this spicy braised ginger pork belly the most succulent meal!

This is a recipe I’ve been sitting on a long time because I never seem to have time for good looking “after” photos when it’s done. So please excuse the terrible lighting. I promise that this dish is much tastier than my photos make it look! I chose to share it now because with B for braised and B for belly, it is perfect for today's Alphabet Challenge post. (More on which after the recipe.)

I like to serve this dish with fluffy steamed rice, either long-grained basmati or brown, and stir-fried greens, like baby kalian. A good substitute, if you can’t find baby kalian, is broccolini aka tenderstem broccoli. 

Spicy Braised Ginger Pork Belly 

It takes a while to braise so that the pork belly is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Also, you don’t want to rush the process by using a high fire when reducing the sauce or it could burn. This dish is so worth the wait. Your patience will be amply rewarded.

Ingredients
800g or 1.75 lbs pork belly
2 red chili peppers
4 cloves garlic
2 inch or 5cm knob ginger
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g dark brown sugar
1/4 cup or 60ml soy sauce
1/4 cup or 60ml Shaoxing wine or substitute dry sherry
1/4 cup or 60ml rice vinegar

To garnish: fresh cilantro leaves

Method
Trim any gristly bits off of the pork belly and discard. Cut the pork belly into small chunks. 


Peel and chop your garlic and ginger. Slice the chili peppers. 


Add the pork, ginger, garlic, peppers and brown sugar to a wide pan that has a tight-fitting lid. Add in the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and rice vinegar. Stir well. 


Now add just enough water to almost cover the pork. This amount depends on the size of your pan.


Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. 


Cover with the tight-fitting lid and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding a little water, if necessary. Remove the lid and raise the heat a little, cook till you have reduced the liquid to deliciously thick stickiness. 


At the very end, a spatula or spoon should leave a gap that the sauce doesn’t immediately run in to close again. 


Garnish with some fresh cilantro leaves when ready to serve. 

Food Lust People Love: Tender morsels of pork simmered with ginger, garlic, chili peppers, brown sugar and soy sauce make this spicy braised ginger pork belly the most succulent meal!

Enjoy!

As mentioned above, I'm sharing this recipe today as part of the 2024 Alphabet Challenge. Every other Wednesday we will share a recipe starting with the next consecutive letter of the alphabet. Many thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm for including me. This is our second post so, of course, we are highlighting the letter B. If you missed A, you can find those links here in my Anchovy Deviled Egg post



Pin this Spicy Braised Ginger Pork Belly!

Food Lust People Love: Tender morsels of pork simmered with ginger, garlic, chili peppers, brown sugar and soy sauce make this spicy braised ginger pork belly the most succulent meal!

 .

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Egyptian Mahlab Bread #BreadBakers

Puffy and crispy yet chewy around the edges, this Egyptian mahlab bread is sprinkled with kalongi aka nigella seeds for flavor and decoration. 

Food Lust People Love: Puffy and crispy yet chewy around the edges, this Egyptian mahlab bread is sprinkled with kalongi aka nigella seeds for flavor and decoration.

First, I have to tell you that this bread doesn’t actually contain mahlab. I haven't even been able to figure out why this particular kind of bread is called mahlab. It has nothing to do with cherries or the spice made from the kernel in their pits. 

Suffice to say that it is Egyptian so it fits this month’s Bread Bakers theme of Mediterranean breads and that’s gonna have to be good enough for me right now. If someone has more info, please let me know. 

Egyptian Mahlab Bread

This recipe is adapted from several I found online. It makes 8 mahlab breads. For some reason, they all didn’t puff up but even the flatter ones were still delicious. 

Ingredients
For the bread dough:
1/2 cup or 120ml warm water
3/4 teaspoon dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups or 187.5g flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the egg wash:
1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon milk

For flavor and decoration: 
Kalongi aka nigella seeds

Method
In your mixing bowl, mix the warm water with the yeast and sugar. Set aside for a few minutes to make sure your yeast is active. It should start to foam up.

In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour and salt. 


Add the flour and salt to the warm water/yeast bowl a little at a time and stir well until you form a soft smooth dough. I have a Danish whisk that is perfect for this job. 


Knead the dough by hand for several turns then form it into a ball. Place it in an oiled bowl and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size. 


As you can see from this photo, I let mine over prove but no harm, no foul. Life got in the way. Just punch it down and carry on. 


Divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Mine each weighed about 38g.


Use a cupped hand to roll them into balls against the countertop. 


Roll out the balls to a 1/4 inch or 6mm thickness, brush the tops with the egg wash.


Sprinkle the seeds on top.


Let the little dough circles rest for about 10-15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C. They will rise again slightly. 

Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the bottoms are nicely browned.


Remove from the oven. If you'd like the bread crunchier, leave it to cool completely. 

Enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: Puffy and crispy yet chewy around the edges, this Egyptian mahlab bread is sprinkled with kalongi aka nigella seeds for flavor and decoration.

As mentioned above, it’s Bread Baker time! Yep, it's the second Tuesday of this new year (and month) and that means it’s time for my Bread Bakers to share their recipes. My daughter Cecilie chose the theme of Mediterranean bread and I was grateful since my brain wasn’t working so great. Fortunately, a lot of my fellow bread bakers are more organized than I am. Check out all their links below:

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.


Pin this Egyptian Mahlab Bread! 

Food Lust People Love: Puffy and crispy yet chewy around the edges, this Egyptian mahlab bread is sprinkled with kalongi aka nigella seeds for flavor and decoration.

 . 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Anchovy Deviled Eggs

Filled with salty minced anchovies, lemon zest, mayo and Dijon mustard, these tasty anchovy deviled eggs will disappear quickly from your party table.

Food Lust People Love: Filled with salty minced anchovies, lemon zest, mayo and Dijon mustard, these tasty anchovy deviled eggs will disappear quickly from your party table.

Every Christmas Eve our menu is all appetizers, a throwback to the days when we had plenty of presents to wrap and so no one had time for a sit down dinner. 

We pop open a bottle of Champagne and fill our small plates with artichoke dip, smoked or cured salmon with avocado, caviar with its necessary accompaniments of chopped egg and onion, bacon wrapped smoked oysters and, of course, deviled eggs. The cheeseboard also boasts a variety of cheeses and duck liver pâté.  

On Christmas morning, we usually make something special for breakfast but my favorite part is the leftover deviled eggs. They make a perfect Christmas morning meal! 

Anchovy Deviled Eggs

This recipe is adapted from one I read in The Guardian newspaper and saved almost three years ago. I can’t say that they’ll replace my classic deviled eggs which I adore but the anchovies and lemon zest add a lot of flavor. In short, we liked them a lot!

Ingredients for 14 deviled eggs
7 eggs, hard-boiled
7 anchovy fillets, packed in olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil from anchovy jar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus an extra sprinkle for garnish
7 tablespoons mayonnaise

Green onions, finely chopped, for garnish
Cornichons or small pickled onions, optional to serve

Method
Using a sharp knife, mince the anchovies very finely. 


Put the anchovies in a bowl with the oil then add the lemon zest, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise and mix until smooth. 


Peel your hard-boiled eggs and cut them in half lengthways. Scoop out the yolks and add them to the anchovy mixture.


Mash them into the rest of the filling with the tines of a fork. Mix well. 


Spoon the filling into each egg white or use a piping bag with a large tip to fill them. If your filling is quite chunky, it might keep getting stuck if the tip hole isn’t large enough. 

Decorate with a light sprinkle of paprika and a few bits of green onion.

Food Lust People Love: Filled with salty minced anchovies, lemon zest, mayo and Dijon mustard, these tasty anchovy deviled eggs will disappear quickly from your party table.

Serve chilled or at room temperature with a few cornichons and/or pickled onions, if desired.

Food Lust People Love: Filled with salty minced anchovies, lemon zest, mayo and Dijon mustard, these tasty anchovy deviled eggs will disappear quickly from your party table.

Pour your favorite tipple to accompany this excellent appetizer and enjoy! 

Happy New Year!

Last year was extra busy (and frankly a bit fraught) so my blog was fairly neglected. This is a creative outlet that gives me a lot of pleasure, from recipe development, baking and cooking, and then finally writing about the process. I hope to find more time for this hobby I enjoy in 2024. To that end, I am joining my fellow bloggers every other week, to create recipes and work our way through the alphabet, starting with, of course, A. 

Many thanks to the group creator and lead, Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm. Check out all the A links below. 


Pin these Anchovy Deviled Eggs! 

Food Lust People Love: Filled with salty minced anchovies, lemon zest, mayo and Dijon mustard, these tasty anchovy deviled eggs will disappear quickly from your party table.

 .