Cake pop tutorial (what not to do!)

Clown cake pops pre smudging

Anyone who has been reading my blog lately will know that I’ve been up to my eyeballs in party preparations – possibly to the detriment of all other rational thought, and a big element of my ‘home-made’ circus theme was to be my clown cake pops. I’d never made these before, or even tasted one in real life. In fact the closest I’d ever come to a real one was probably behind the glass counter at Starbucks.

Looking at Pinterest had given me the idea though – they are clearly something a bit different and unique for a beautifully crafted party theme – a bit of a show stopper if you will.

I watched a tutorial on You Tube and realised that you don’t actually need an electric Lakeland pop cake maker or even moulds to create them. However, in the process of of actually making a large batch (23) – despite having had a mini ‘test run’ earlier in the week – I came to the realisation that there is no substitute for trial and error (definitely error!).

So this is my tutorial, and these are my mistakes, so you don’t make them too! The actual process of making cake pops is quite easy.

  1. Bake a cake. I baked a two layer Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake (other box cake mixes are available 😉 ) – too easy – just add oil, eggs and water, stick in oven and wait for burning smell to alert you that they’re done.
  2. Wait for cake to cool down
  3. Crumble cake into a large bowl. Cake should already be fairly moist, so only add a small amount of ‘frosting’ – (I used Betty Crocker vanilla buttercream-style). I used 1 dessertspoon full.
  4. Mix together crumbs and frosting using your hands. It should come together into one big dough ball.
  5. Make the mixture into ball shapes. You should be able to judge the size – I began making them too big but a quick attempt at inserting the stick proved to me that it was far too top-heavy!
  6. I’m not sure if this makes a huge difference because I never tried to do it any other way, but melt some of your chocolate (I used white chocolate and melted it in the microwave) and dip your sticks (I used 6″ sticks because I think anything shorter is not workable) before inserting into cake balls.
  7. At this point I made my big mistake. The best thing to do is now put your cake pops into the freezer (or chill in the fridge until you want to decorate and then put in the freezer) for 20 mins to half an hour. Given the fact that I was doing this in a heatwave in late July I should have guessed, but when I dunked my first batch into melted white chocolate they were almost impossible to decorate. I was adding mini-smarties for clown’s nose and hair and they were slipping off, and the chocolate just would not dry and harden so that I could draw on the eyes, mouth and eyebrows. It took some time in the fridge for this to work! If you freeze first, the chocolate begins to set straight away, to the point where you actually have to work quite quickly if you’re sticking anything on!
  8. At this point my ambition got the better of me. I had set myself the task of adding clown hats made from the bottoms of ice cream cornets (if anyone’s got any suggestion for how to use 23 ice cream cornets with no bottoms, now’s the time!) and then painting on a little face using gel food colouring (the squeezy tube type). Unfortunately in making such a big batch several of the hats broke off, but worse, the gel food dye – particularly the black one which I used for the eyes – would not set, no matter what I did – fridge, freezer, hours of chilling – and in the end, the vast majority were smudged to the point of looking like something from one of those scary clown nightmares. Sigh.

un-iced cake pops

Cake pop operation

Smudgy cake pops

Lesson learnt. Now I know my limitations I will definitely make cake pops again – just no gel food dye next time! They would have been so much easier just sprinkled with hundreds and thousands or rolled in popping candy, etc.

Having said that, a lot of very kind party guests said they were impressive and everyone seemed to enjoy eating them (particularly the birthday boy who is quite partial to chocolate cake for breakfast 😉 ).

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Love the Little Things Week #8

READ

Still deep in summer reading mode! I’ve started reading One Step too Far by Tina Selkis – I thought I’d better give myself an Emily Barr break! This is the third of three that my Kindle recommended to me when I’d finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, the first being The Husband’s Secret by Lianne Moriarty (bit pants) and the second being Emily Barr’s Sleeper – neither of which were in the same league as Gone Girl in my opinion. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel about this one – apparently it has a serious twist to it!

Blogging-wise I really enjoyed Emma’s Who Decides What a Successful Blog is Anyway?, Lucy’s Jolly Good Sport and thought Sian’s Bully was really brave and honest.

WATCHED

I started watching my latest offering from LoveFilm – Now You See Me:

Now you see me

This essentially seems to be an American, big screen version of Hustle. I always enjoyed a bit of Hustle – total ‘check your brain at the door’ lighthearted entertainment so I’m looking forward to the rest of this!

WORE

At the weekend I was out with the JJ (see Sunday’s coming Ordinary Moment!) and just happened to notice this unusual top from Phase Eight as we were leaving John Lewis:

(I think I might be slightly more ‘curvy’ than the model!!). With a sizeable reduction in the sales I thought there was no harm in trying it on and ended up buying it. It’s great with leggings and I always love an unusual piece of clothing – asymmetrical skirts or something with a little novelty to it so this was right up my street!

HEARD

After mentioning the fact that I’ve been loving Mr Probz Waves as a total feel summery song this year I started thinking about my own summer anthems of past years and I’ve had a little nostalgia fest! Who didn’t love Ace of Base All That She Wants?!! Any song that talks about lying on the beach and having fun is alright in my book (but I definitely don’t want another baby 😉 ). Then there was Lola’s Theme by the Shapeshifters, Summer Breeze by the Isley Brothers and, for me, there was this little spate of fab tunes from 2000 which remind me of my ‘big’ wedding (the first one!) – the best bit of which was dancing the night away with my besties (which probably says something about the fact that the marriage was doomed!!) – Woman Trouble by Artful Dodger, Don’t Call Me Baby by Madison Avenue and Lady Hear me Tonight by Mojo. Here are some of my all time Summer faves for a bit of a blast from the past:

MADE

I went a bit mad this week in my spare time and decided to try my hand at three new things – firstly, due to my current avoidance of wheat and craving for cake I knocked up these banana oat muffins:

Wheat free Banana Oat Muffins

I wasn’t expecting the children to be interested, but they confounded me by nicking a couple off the cooking rack – a sure fire sign of success!

Secondly I wanted to try out some ‘overnight oats’ – a new discovery for me – and attempted this ‘apple pie’ version (I added some strawberries):

Apple pie overnight oats

This has oats, greek yogurt, almond milk, apple and pinch of cinnamon. I enjoyed it but for my sweet tooth it could have used a little honey. The next day I made the same base but added some honey and then in the morning mixed in some banana and pecans and it was so yummy and filling!

Lastly I wanted to continue my pursuit of healthy eating and I remembered a good tip from The Fat Tummy Club book which really advocates soups as the way forward. I know soup is often thought of as a winter food, but the Fat Tummy Club has a lovely recipe for a Portuguese chicken, mint and lemon soup which receives rave review and ticks that summer food box too.

portuguese lemon and mint chicken soup

I halved the ingredients as I only wanted two portions for my work lunches but this came out (for me anyway!) basically a risotto, not a soup! I was worried that it might be a bit overpoweringly lemony for my tastes but actually I did quite enjoy it and it was great to be able to jar it up for work – really very easy!

AND LASTLY…

My boys have been bonding this week – when I got up for work this morning I could hear EJ calling to his brother from the cot which was cute. JJ slept right through it! I can see them having the same kind of relationship as my nieces used to, with the youngest always wanting the eldest to be there as a playmate and the eldest sometimes wanting a bit of space!

JJ had his transition to school sessions at big school this week. It didn’t start off too well to be honest – at nearly 5 he was clinging on to my leg and crying whilst 3 year olds gleefully ran past him without a single look back at their mums! Once I left I knew he was going to be OK because I had a sneaky look through to the playground and he was smiling and riding a bike!

I was very happy to finally have got my act (slightly) together and sent out invitations (OK, created Events on FaceBook I admit it!) for both kids’ birthday parties! Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to need for each (and EJ’s is only three week’s away – eek!).

On Tuesday I had an impromptu meet up with one of my good friends and her boys after JJ asked if we could invite ourselves round to their house when I picked him up from pre-school. It turned out she was going into town to take the kids for a sneaky ‘child friendly’ tea and so we all met up and the kids ate together and ran around like loons whilst we had a lovely catch up.

I had marinaded a lamb steak earlier in the day with olive oil, dried oregano, crushed garlic and fresh lemon juice. I’ve never done this before and I wasn’t convinced that something with such simple and few ingredients would be anything to write home about but I have to say it blew my socks off! I grilled it on my George Foreman and it tasted absolutely amazing – just like the taste of Greece – the taste of summer. I can’t rave highly enough about this although I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who will be well aware of the awesomeness of this classic combination.

I’ll leave you with this little quote my lovely sister put up on Facebook last night – and frankly, I’ll be happy if I only ever use quotes by the Cookie Monster from this day forward:

Cookie monster mindfulness

Happy Friday Little Loves!

 

butwhymummywhy

Peach and Banana lollies #TastyTuesdays

Banana Peach lolly

It was quite hot last week. I thought I might try my hand at some home made ice lollies but I wanted something a bit unusual and I found this recipe on Pinterest. It includes plain almond milk – I’m experimenting with various dairy alternatives at the moment – for no good reason other than curiousity really but I hope that this will appeal to anyone who is lactose intolerant or suffers dairy related allergies.

Ingredients

peach & banana lolly ingredients

I used one ripe banana which had been frozen in advance (this apparently helps with the texture of the final product); about half a tin of peach slices (although you could use a fresh ripe peach), about 250ml of almond milk (I used plain); a tsp of vanilla essence and a squirt of agava nectar (to taste – I probably used a bit too much as my banana was really ripe and very sweet already!); and a pinch of cinnamon.

Whizz all the ingredients up together and pour into moulds:

peach & banana ice lolly making

Leave in the freezer for a couple of hours until set and enjoy!

(I assume that the tip about having the banana frozen in advance has to do with the fact that, oftentimes, homemade ice lollies come out with an unpleasant, sharp little ice shard texture. Apparently this is to do with the fact that home freezers do not freeze fast enough so speeding up the process by having a colder mix to start with should help. I will probably try freezing other fruit ingredients next time too).

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

The Snack Trap

jelly babies

I realise lately that one of my major battlegrounds with my children is in the arena of food. JJ has always been a fussy eater, preferring baked beans to any other kind of veg, refusing to eat rice, and for quite some time pasta, hating peas, shunning pretty much anything green really. He is also a fiend for demanding unhealthy snacks and I have had very little opportunity to curtail this trend as his father is a lifelong ‘bad snacker’ and huge multi-packs of crisps, cupboards full of chocolate bars and ice cream are always ‘appearing’ in the house unannounced! On the two days of the week when the hubster is alone with the children for any length of time he invariably takes them to the Golden Arches ™ for lunch – I know this because our house is absolutely littered with Happy Meal toys!

It is also a very rare occurrence for us all to sit down together as a family to eat a meal as the hubster’s random and varied shift patterns mean that he is generally hungry at all the wrong times, and I often cook different meals for the children and eat my dinner after they’ve gone to bed.

Lately they’ve been having their meals out in the garden and this has only proved a negative for JJ’s eating habits as he tends to have one mouthful before running off to park the Little Tikes car, shoot head first town the slide or cycle laps of the lawn. Nothing I say can prevent this from happening (he’s suddenly into the “if you say/do that I’m not going to be your best friend” phase – essentially my name is mud for even hinting at an intelligent and sociable pattern of calm and focussed mealtimes!).

His little brother is much better for eating up and trying more variety of foods but he can’t help but pick up on his brother’s bad habits and want to join in.

I will readily admit I am weak-willed, a bad mum, who invariably caves and loses this battle.

I envy others who can parent with their partner as a team and maintain a united front – I feel that this is one key area in which it would be so helpful to break bad habits and instil good ones. Healthy snacks only in the house would be ideal, but I fear that even with this measure in place it would be a hard slog to de-program a child who has come to expect everything from Wotsits to Jelly Babies on demand at any given moment.

I feels like I’m making excuses but I find it very difficult to find the time to lovingly prepare healthy meals that my kids will most likely, eat. Working part time means that the children are all over me when I’m around and they need constant supervision at this age. The last thing I feel like doing after they’ve gone to bed is use any of my precious left over time sourcing and preparing toddler meals.

However, I have had a little success lately and in the past, with a couple of hidden veg recipes. I stumbled across the website of a woman who dubs herself ‘The Sneaky Chef‘. It’s all incredibly American – her real name is Missy Chase Lapine!! But I quite liked her coloured purees. Purple – blueberries and raw Spinach leaves blitzed; Green – steamed spinach, broccoli and peas); White – cauliflower and peeled courgette. I have in the past made her chocolate brownies with the purple puree (sneaky spinach – tee hee!), and lasagne with the green puree sneaked into the tomato sauce and the white sneaked into the cheese sauce! I actually made the lasagne (minus sneaky white puree) last week and just as an example of how fussy JJ is, even though he likes carrots, he made me pick out all the finely diced pieces he came across because he didn’t like the ‘crunchy’ texture (which frankly amazes me as those babies had been fried, boiled and baked during the course of preparation!).

Another recipe that I tried out last week was a new one for me (recipe here!) although not dissimilar to an Annabel Karmel recipe I tried last summer – Sainsburys Little Ones chicken burger with grated courgette and sweetcorn in the patties (I also substituted grated apple for grated carrot as I know JJ has a love-hate relationship with our little orange friends). I thought this might go down quite well as they tend to enjoy food which is easy to pick up with little hands and dunk generously in ketchup! EJ did so well, finishing off his two burgers whilst JJ did at least (eventually) get through one and a bit with a bit of broccoli & carrot on the side – broccoli getting another look in thanks to pre-school!

I really liked this recipe as it is pretty much a meal in a burger with the chicken, fruit & veg, breadcrumbs and an egg in there to bind as well. I’ll definitely make these again, although maybe not immedidately as the children are also wont to go off things previously enjoyed for no apparent reason other than over-familiarity!

I have to say that I always feel happier when healthy food has gone in – I feel like a better mother, I feel calmer and more in control. So when I read about other people’s children snacking on pro-biotic muesli bars and happily swigging pure water it still gets me down, but at least I know I’m trying (unless its a bad day and then all I want is happy children and I’ll just have to live with the sugar rush!).

*Just as a footnote to this – I have to share this question from JJ yesterday as he carefully examined a half chewed jelly baby: “Mummy, why does sugar hate teeth?” – difficult to answer but gratifying to know that this fact is bouncing around inside his little head!).

 

Chicken and sweetcorn burgers with courgette and apple

chicken and sweetcorn burgers

Last week I decided enough was enough and I needed to get my children’s diets back on track a little bit with something a bit healthy and which would include some veggies that they would actually eat happily! I’ve made Annabel Karmel’s Chicken and Apple Balls before in the past, so when I came across this recipe on the Sainsburys Little Ones web site and noticed the similarities I thought it was worth a go. The kids love finger food and these burgers could almost be described as a meal in a burger as they have chicken, breadcrumbs, courgette and apple in them, all bound together with an egg. I swapped out the grated carrot from the Sainsburys recipe with grated apple as I know my four year old will object to too many obvious ingredients that he can examine in any given foodstuff and also, I had a couple of half gnawed apples from the two of them which needed using up!

It was definitely a good recipe for using bits up as I also had some bread starting to get a bit stale and that was perfect blitzed up for the breadcrumbs. I ended up using about three slices blitzed, which was quite a bit more than the recipe stated, but I think the apple just made the mixture so wet that it needed something to firm it up a bit more. In the event they came out just fine. I served them up with broccoli and carrots on the side although normal people could just pop a bit of salad in a roll (my kids won’t go near anything even resembling the dreaded ‘salad’!).

 

I grilled the burgers off on my George Foreman grill (which I love!), just brushed with a little light olive oil, so this was a pretty healthy recipe all round and the boys seemed to enjoy them – result!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

Half a courgette peeled and grated
Small appled peeled cored & grated
2 large chicken breasts minced
2-3 slices of bread blitzed into breadcrumbs
A couple of handfuls of sweetcorn (to taste)
1 egg (lightly beaten)

Squeeze any excess juice from the courgette and apple and add to the chicken, breadcrumbs, sweetcorn and egg and squish up together with your hands until all combined.

Form into patties of whatever size preferred, I made ten smallish burgers which was great as it means two burgers each for the boys, so 2.5 meals (I froze 6 burgers for another day).

Cook the burgers – either grill or fry or even BBQ I guess! – making sure that they are cooked right through.
Add to rolls, salad, with chips or just extra veggies on the side. Et Voila!

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

 

Link up your recipe of the week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunny Sunday Lunch

Woodmansterene the place to be!

This Sunday was a working day for the hubster, which normally means that my ‘go to’ location with the boys is my mum and dad’s, however they were away at a wedding in Lyme Regis this time, so I immediately wondered if it would be possible to get together with my sister and her family (who we only get to see sporadically these days due to distance and busy lives). Originally I invited them to come to us, before remembering that they are currently without a car and the 40-odd mile journey would be much easier for us to make by car.

My sister suggested a pub lunch at a child friendly venue and it was agreed. It was another beautiful sunny day – it really did feel like mid-summer! Like us, my sister and her family have ended up living just on the borders of leafy Surrey, except in their case they are on the London side, whilst we are on the Hampshire side. In both cases this means we have easy access to a lot of beautiful and scenic locations (and possibly across the line into Chelsea Tractor territory! Where I live in particular you can go from one end of the socio-economic ladder to the other in about five minutes depending on the venue) but I digress as this was not a feature of our day out!

My sister had spotted this particular pub, The Woodman, in Woodmansterne, a while ago and made a mental note that it would be the perfect place to go with the boys for lunch one day, so Sunday proved the ideal opportunity to try it out.

It is romantically located on the far side of some lavender fields and when you arrive you immediately know where you are as there is a lovely little park with a very intricately carved out fallen tree trunk spelling out the location. Just behind the pub is a little playground which the kids had fun running around before we headed into the pub garden to find a table. I don’t know whether it’s a permanent feature, but out in the garden was a bouncy castle – perfect!  JJ was in heaven and EJ was pretty impressed too.

There was a 50th birthday party in a reserved spot over by the barbeque and a live band playing some jazzy summery music which added to the party atmosphere! Although it was very busy and we had a fairly long wait for our food it was probably the easiest meal out I’ve ever had with the boys with none of that tension you usually get as they get hungry and whiney and bored – in fact we barely saw them up close for a long time as they were happy playing – its hard to imagine this scenario indoors in the winter months!

Any trouble they ran into on the bouncy castle was swiftly dealt with with the aid of my lovely 14 and 15 year old nieces (at one point we had to intervene as there was a bit of a bully upsetting JJ briefly. My niece quickly sprang into action, bounced straight in there and had polite words – what a star!).

What with good food, good company, sunshine and happy kids, it was a fab way to while away a summer’s afternoon. Being outdoors is defininitely one major key to happiness with small children so thank goodness for the intervention of summertime and hello Vitamin D surge!!

Linking up to The Theme Game (this week’s theme being ‘Outdoors’) at The Reading Residence and Red Peffer, What’s the Story over at PODcast and Magic Moments at The Oliver’s Madhouse.
The Reading Residence

 

Homity Pie #TastyTuesdays

040

Homity Pie is an old English classic. I first heard of it back in the 80s when my family had a Cranks recipe book. I’m not sure if the younger generation will have heard of Cranks – I read today that it was shut down in 1991 by it’s parent company – the owners of Nandos. It’s a shame really because Cranks were pioneers in wholefood, vegetarian fare and one of their specialties was the Homity Pie.

I decided to attempt to broaden the range of food I offer my family and as my boys are very much lovers of ‘cheesy potatoes’ (baked potatoes cooked in the microwave in five minutes, skinned and then mashed up with grated cheddar), I thought this might be a winner. This is also pretty versatile and you could add just about any other ingredients – mushrooms, bacon, or other root vegetable – if you fancied.

I wanted something that would be easy and quick to cook but tasty. I could probably have attempted my own pastry but I decided to opt for some Jus Rol premade instead.

I used a small bag of medium sized salad potatoes but it is probably better with an older, more floury variety.

I rolled out the pastry on a floured surface and buttered a pie tin. Then placed the pastry in the tin and chopped the excess from round the edges. I then tried to do something a bit more interesting than nothing at all by cutting a bit of a wave design round the edge but it wasn’t exactly a roaring success decoratively!

Next, peel and cook potatoes until tender. Chop a large onion and fry until soft then add two crushed cloves of garlic. Then mix in a couple of tablespoons of milk, a beaten egg and half of your grated cheddar (about 350g). Add seasoning and mix all together.

Place the filling in the pie case and cover with the other half of your grated cheese.

Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until done.

I had some offcuts of pastry after I’d rolled it out so I decided not to waste them and knocked up some simple jam tarts using my dad’s homemade blackberry and apple jam (made from produce from his own allotment). As you can see below, EJ was really quite pleased with these when I got him up from his nap!

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Apple, pecan and cinnamon cake #TastyTuesdays #CreativeChallenge

I love The Great British Bake Off and watched the entire thing agog last season, but in particular I loved the episode all about sweet dough recipes. Kimberley made Chai Spiced Ginger and Date Loaf (drool!), Howard made German sticky pecan buns (dribble!), Glen made Almond and Apricot brioches (yum!) – yes its fair to say I’ve got a very sweet tooth and I love my carbs! Which is unfortunate when it comes to the waist line but lets gloss over that!

I have been wanting to try out something like this for a while now and decided that this week in my bit of spare time I would attempt Paul Hollywood’s cinnamon spiced buns. I decided to make them with pecans and sultanas. I bought all the ingredients. Then I read and re-read the recipe and realised that, with three separate provings, the preparation time and the actual bake, I would be looking at a day spent rushing to and from the kitchen and essentially have to bin off everything else in my (very busy) schedule. Now I look again at the demographic of the contestants on GBBO all I’m seeing is the more mature ladies, the gay men and the students. Not a one of them appears to be the mother of toddler. There’s definitely a reason for that!

So any hoo, I decided best put all those fab ingredients to some other, slightly less demanding task. I did a quick google on the ingredients and came up with this apple, pecan and cinnamon cake recipe from Waitrose.

Unfortunately for me, although I did everything to the letter, I’d forgotten that my flipping gas oven never cooks evenly and always burns anything baked at the temperatures and times given. When I came to remove my lovely cake from the oven I already knew that I was in trouble and as soon as I peeled it out of the tin I was presented with a layer of pure charcoal round the edges and all over the bottom of the cake.

Fortunately, with a bit of slicing I managed to salvage about two thirds of the cake. As you can see below it doesn’t look all that bad and I can absolutely, 100 per cent guarantee that it is absolutely delicious!! The combination of the toasty pecans, cinnamon and moist apples is sooo good!

Here’s what you have to do:

Ingredients:

150g butter
150g light brown sugar
150g self raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs beaten
2 tbsp milk
2 eating apples (I used Gala apples) peeled and cored
100g pack of pecans roughly chopped
75g sultanas

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4 and then grease an 18cm loose bottom or springform cake tin and line with non stick baking parchment (I did this but I’m not exactly sure why you need the parchment and I found the paper got a bit burnt).

Add the softened butter (cut into cubes) to the sugar and mix together.

Add the sifted flour, the cinnamon and the eggs and mix in. Stir in the milk.

Mix in the apple pieces, sultanas and pecans.

Transfer to cake tin and put in the oven for 1 hr – 1 hr & 10 mins, or until cooked and a skewer, when inserted, comes out clean.

I then made a very quick and simple icing using about a tablespoon’s worth of unrefined golden icing sugar and a couple of squeezes of orange juice from a freshly cut orange and I drizzled this over the top. And voila!

 

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

 

Creative Challenge

Pork marinaded in garlic, ginger, soy and red chillis #TastyTuesdays

038

Bit of a late addition to the Tasty Tuesdays here but I had to cook this for my dinner so I couldn’t take the photos til I was in the throes! (I know bad planning on my part – should have had it for dinner last night!).

This is a dish that I chanced upon last summer when I was looking for an addition to my somewhat limited dinner repertoire. We often have beef or chicken or even fish but not often pork. I was put off pork as a child by my (very well-meaning and lovely) Nana who used to cook pork chops to within an inch of their life! It was a bit like eating the sole of someone’s shoe unfortunately (she was more a pudding person).

This particular pork dish allows you to create the most wonderful, soft, melt in your mouth meat (or old boot leather – whatever your preference…) and it also gives me the opportunity to whip out my George Forman (any excuse!) for a lovely low fat meal.

Now, I’m not by any means a lover of spicy hot food – I’m good for a medium curry but not much beyond. For that reason the red chillis in this dish work just fine for me – a nice heat on the palate afterwards.

What you will need is:

013

Some pork. I like these nice lean medallions, or a pork fillet cut up into medallions – not the cheapest but often on offer if you don’t mind buying extra for the freezer. I would say about three medallions per person is about right. You need to create a marinade by grating about a thumb-sized piece of root ginger, chopping one red chilli pepper, crushing a large clove of garlic and adding all these ingredients to a freezer bag along with a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, a couple of tablespoons of reduced sodium soy sauce and a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar (this adds a delicious caramelisation to the cooking meat).

Chuck the ingredients plus medallions into the bag, squish about a bit and leave to marinade for, I’d say at least an hour but I left mine all day in the fridge.

When you’re ready to cook, heat your grill and chuck the meat on.

035

Soon it should start looking a bit like this:

 

037

I’d say give it at least 20 minutes, turning regularly, depending on the thickness of the pieces of meat. I cut sideways through to check that they aren’t still raw in the middle, but I like them just cooked so that they retain that softness which is just such a beautiful texture.

I ate mine with some brown rice and a little salad, but this would probably be quite nice shredded up with salad in a sandwich or flatbread or with some crushed new potatoes and green beans.
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com