A stew bursting with savoury goodness that’s also deceptively easy to throw to together. I didn’t have any tofu on hand, but some cubes of the softer variety would add a great textural contrast to the dish.
Sichuan Pork, Mushroom and Lettuce Stew
- a handful of dried shiitake mushrooms
- 4 dried woodear mushrooms
- 300 g pork mince
- ⅓ cup light soy and shaoxing wine each, combined
- Oil, for frying
- 1 tbs ginger, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp sichuan peppercorns, ground
- 1 tbs chili bean paste
- 1 L chicken stock
- 2 tsp cornflour, mixed some water to make a slurry
- 1 small lettuce, baby cos or butter, leaves separated
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
Soaked the dried mushrooms in a cup of water for 30 minutes. Reserve the soaking liquid and roughly chop the woodear mushrooms. With your hands, mix the pork mince with half of the soy and shaoxing wine mixture. Set aside.
Heat some oil in a hot wok. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute or so. Throw in the pork and fry until cooked and starting to brown, about 8 - 10 minutes. Stir in the ground sichuan peppercorns and chili bean paste and fry for another minute. Add the mushrooms and half a cup of the soaking liquid. Pour in the chicken stock and the remaining half of the soy sauce and shaoxing wine and let it come to the boil. Add the cornflour slurry and stir to combine and thicken. Throw in the lettuce leaves and spring onions and allow to wilt slightly till smooth and silky. When ready, serve hot poured over rice.
Last weekend I spent way too much time and money shopping for the perfect pair of sweatpants. It’s a lot more difficult than you think - it has to be the right shade of grey melange, made of a nice cotton and feature a not-too-baggy-not-too-tight fit. The one pair I found have the added benefit of making my #penisoutline look huge. I don’t know why I haven’t been wearing sweatpants out in public earlier. If it’s good enough for sex offenders, it’s good enough for me. Whatever makes unleashing my penis to the world as quickly and easily as possible, I’m totally on board for.
I hope you all had a good weekend. Remember to photograph life instead of enjoying it.
Killer #brunch at The Lockhart. Too full for a walk in Hyde Park.
Now that I’m married, I’m finally in a position to provide sound relationship advice to my single friends even if they didn’t ask for it. The first thing I tell them is to forget about all the haters and their accurate feedback and to project the best possible fake version of yourself to everyone you meet. That way, you can slowly ease people into your terrible personality. You know it took me 4 months before I could stop sucking in my stomach around Sam? Sure I got stomach cramps, but it was worth it because I now have someone who brings me soup when I’m sick and takes outfit photos for my Instagram.
Somewhere in Peckham Rye
I’m unable to resist stealing bay leaves from the next door neighbours. I think of it as payback for all the loud and boring heterosexual sex I can hear from my bedroom. The strange this is, it’s always on roughly the same time every night. Haven’t these idiots heard of morning sex? It’s like sex at night, but you get to have waffles after. Sure, you could theoretically have waffles at night, but then you wouldn’t be able to go throughout your day bragging to everyone that you started your day with a shag and waffles. It’s amazing how easy it is to impress people before 11:30am.
A delightfully simple dessert that makes the most out of the short season of blood orange and forced rhubarb.
Blood Orange Jelly with Rhubarb Granita and Chocolate Cream
- 750 mL freshly squeezed blood orange juice, strained
- 1 tbs caster sugar, more or less to taste
- how ever many sheets of gelatine leaves to set 600 mL
- 4 rhubarb stalks
- 1/2 cup sugar, more or less to taste
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 mL double cream
- 75 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
For the rhubarb granita, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook till the rhubarb completely breaks down. Taste for sugar. Take off heat and blend with an immersion blender till smooth. Pour into a freeze proof container and place in the freezer for a few hours. Scrape the mixture with a fork, breaking up any icy chunks. Repeat every 30 minutes until the mixture is completely frozen.
To make the blood orange jelly, soak the gelatine leaves for 5 minutes in cold water. Meanwhile, heat 200 mL of orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan till hot. Squeeze excess water from the gelatine and add to hot juice mixture. Stir to combine for a minute and then add to remaining cold juice. Separate into 6 tumblers and allow to set. It should take 4 hours.
For the chocolate cream, slowly heat the cream in a small saucepan until it starts to simmer. Take off the heat and stir in chocolate, until completely melted. Pour into a container and allow to set in the fridge.
To assemble, take the jellies out of the fridge and add a spoonful of the chocolate cream and another spoonful of the granita on top.
I know it’s bloody hard to believe, but I am now married. Its taken a lot of hard work but this elaborate hoax that is my personality has finally pulled off and I managed to trick some poor, lonely, desperate homosexual to sign a piece of paper saying that I will get all of his assets when he dies and also that he will take care of me and make me chicken soup when I’m sick? I wasn’t paying much attention with those vows. I was more distracted with the thought of cake afterwards. Will I still get Sam’s Xbox even if he signed in the wrong box? Because that’s exactly what happened. I’m no expert on contract law but I have made about a dozen blood pacts to various groups (Stonemasons, Illuminati, Crossfit) that I plan on upholding to the best of my ability. The only promises I break are the ones that I make to myself. It’s the only explanation possible for the vast amounts of Aesop body products that I have and don’t need. I might as well throw all that shit away now that I’m married. I don’t have to impress nobody. I wonder if flushing £300 worth of facial serum down the drain is liberating or devastating? I’ll let you know. Probably over twitter, because I’ll be too ashamed to show my non-Aesoped skin in public. Married life is so depressing.
Guys, it’s been way too long. So much as happened; the new Beyonce album dropped, I got 3 new Instagram followers… I think that’s pretty much it. I also had myself a very white person Christmas with the in-laws. I really do think the best time of the year to be white is during Christmas. When else is it socially acceptable to drink champagne for breakfast every morning for a week? There is absolutely no time to have a hangover during Christmas when there are trifles to make and family arguments to be had. Hangovers are for people who have regrets and I have absolutely no regrets from the holidays, only because I managed to hook up with so many family members.
At the in-laws.
The Reach, home for the holidays. Exploring the grounds during a brief respite of rain.
Taking out my brand new, very white, birthday-gifted Supergas for a stroll on the beach.
On the train, on my way to the in-laws for the holidays.
Fashioning the leftovers from our engagement party last night into a killer brunch: Korean pulled pork, waffles, a fried egg, caramelised crackling and pickled shallots.