Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized, What's for Dinner Mom?

Pork & Patatas Bravas – A Quick & Easy Supper

Pork & Patatas Bravas

A quick and easy supper.
Pork & Patatas Bravas
That’s what we’re after most days of the week and something tasty too and perhaps a little bit different from what we normally serve.  If you have children they may or may not have a liking for smoked food and I’m afraid that is a prerequisite for the success of this dish on your dinner table.  I don’t know how mine acquired a liking for all things smokey, achieved here  using smoked paprika and they’re also huge fans of smoked cheese – not one of my favourites.
This recipe requires very little preparation and will be on the table in the length of time it takes to roast baby potatoes, which in my oven is 25 to 30 minutes.  There is no peeling required and you can hardly call cutting up chorizo chopping so it is really, really easy.
Tray of Roasted Baby Potatoes
What makes it so delicious is the amazing ‘Bravas’ sauce which is from one of Lorraine Pascale’s cookbooks – Fast, Fresh and Easy Food – published in 2012.  Here I’m serving the sauce over the pork instead of over the potatoes as in Patatas Bravas.  I like to blitz the tomatoes in the food processor before cooking for a smoother sauce.
Pork & Patatas Bravas Close-Up

Pork & Patas Bravas

You will need:
Rapeseed Oil
500g bag Baby Potatoes
4 Pork Chops
400g tin tomatoes
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2tsp smoked paprika
1-2tsp caster sugar
150g chorizo ring

Get the oven on to preheat good and high to around 200 C fan oven/ Gas Mark 7.
Spill the potatoes onto a baking tray, drizzle over some rapeseed oil and use your hands to roll the potatoes around so all sides are glistening with oil.  Season with some sea salt and black pepper and put the tray of potatoes on to roast.
Heat a little oil in a large frying pan on a high heat and sear the pork chops on either side for around 2 minutes a side just to colour them nicely.  Pop the chops on a baking tray and place into the oven while you prepare the ‘Bravas’ sauce.
Blitz the tomatoes in the food processor for a smooth consistency and then place in a large sauce pan over a medium heat on the hob.
Add balsamic vinegar, smoked paprika, caster sugar, a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper to the sauce and bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for approx 10 minutes.
Remove the pork chops from the tray in the oven and add them into the saucepan of simmering sauce to cook for another 10 minutes.
Cut the chorizo sausage into bitesize chunks and add to the sauce, leave to cook and heat through for another 5 minutes.
Test the potatoes after 20/25 minutes of cooking with a knife and once the knife can slide easily to the centre they are cooked and ready to serve.
Serve the roast potatoes with some green veg such as brocoli or green beans alongside a pork chop smothered in the ‘Bravas’ sauce.
‘Til next time, Sheila.

Posted in What's for Dinner Mom?

Harissa Pork Chops with Moroccan Couscous

You are unlikely to find a jar of harissa paste lurking around the supermarket shelves in this particular corner of the globe.  It will more likely be waiting amidst a tantalising display of goodies in a specialist food or deli shop.  I am racking my brains to remember where I picked this particular jar up and I think it might have been in The Stuffed Olive in Bantry (if you’ve never been, go, you will love it).  After another stay of execution in my cupboards for a few months the time finally arrived to try it out.
Harissa Paste
Harissa Pork Chop on Couscous
Credited with North African origins, harissa is a spicy paste with numerous variations though most that I’ve come across feature chillies, caraway and coriander, sometimes there is lemon juice and garlic with the particular jar that I have surprising me by including beetroot and carrot though I suspect this was more for colour than flavour.
Harissa Pork Chop close up
Harissa Pork Chops
Harissa Pork Chops don’t really call for a recipe as they are simply chops smeared on both sides with a little harissa paste and olive oil and then seared on a hot pan to colour either side before finishing off cooking through in a moderately heated oven.
Morocan CouscousMoroccan Couscous
(This recipe is one taken from my book)
You will need:
15g unsalted butter
250g couscous
250ml chicken stock
2 peppers (1 red & 1 green)
Half a cucumber
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mild chilli powder
Small handful raisins
125ml olive oil
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
Small handful fresh coriander
Small handful fresh flat leaf parsley
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low to medium heat.
Add the couscous and cook for 2 minutes.
Take pan off the heat and pour over the hot chicken stock.  Cover the saucepan with clingfilm or lid and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Remove the clingfilm or lid and fluff up the couscous with a fork.
Deseed and chop the peppers into cubes, peel and cube the cucumber and add to the cous cous.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat and add the ground coriander, mild chilli powder and raisins and cook for a couple of minutes to plump up the raisins.
Stir the white vinegar into the frying pan and mix with the raisin and spices.
Pour the raisin mixture over the couscous and mix well.
Finely chop the fresh coriander and parsley and mix through the couscous.
‘Til next time, Sheila