Tag Archives: Lahloo

Foodie Penpals the Sixth

31 Aug

Woah, six months on foodie-penpalling – surely this can’t be true? Well it is. I might even collect all my posts in one place now … how do you like them apples? If it’s the sort of apple you’d like a bite from check out RockSalt for the rules!

This month my package came from Helen who has the Patient Gardener Blog. This is a lovely blog and Helen’s relationship with her garden (with other sides to her many interests too). I am a struggling, starting-up grower-of-things-that-don’t-immediately-die. Potatoes are my only continuing success … I think that’s my Lincolnshire blood seeping out. Helen’s blog is nice for me to read because she tries to appeal to people (like me) who are trying to have a go. She is also a SeedyPenpal.
So, what did I get? Well …

Yup, that’s some anticipation for you. When I open my parcels, I do try to make an event of it, so I’d brewed some tea and sat down with some chocolate.

Of course, I used my favourite Smoky Tea from Lahloo, my favourite Emma Bridgewater mug and some Rococo chocolate (that I found when I moved house – lavender flavour). Then I realised that I had probably morphed into being a bit of a poncy twat … and if I had read what I’ve just written I would be shaking my head in despair. But nice things are nice and I find it hard to write about savouring nice things without sounding like a tool.

Nevertheless, Helen sent me a lovely parcel full of great things:

I know, it’s amazing! A living sage plant, home-grown shallots, porcini mushrooms, homemade Cornish fairings (plus recipe), goji berry and seed mix, sesame snaps and two packets of tyrells crisps. Lovely!

Helen sent the sage because she felt it went well with meat – which is does of course – pork and sage is a classic, as is liver and sage! It was prescient (what a great word @carllegge) because my sage was/is dieing. Shallots are great – I usually use onions, so was pleased to have a new, fresh flavour to use. I love vegetable crisps and sesame snaps so two great ticks there. The porcini have already been used in my stuffed spleen (more of that another day). I’m toying with the idea of making my own granola because A) the only one I love is Mornflake apple and it seems to have disappeared from the shelves of Leeds and B) I can be proper fussy (as above), so I am sure the goji mix will get in there. Best of all were the Cornish Fairings which are a gingery, chewy biscuit. Super tasty!

I used some of the shallots up in a chilli-kale combo: put some oil in a pan, then add three peeled and quartered shallots and cook for five minutes, add enough kale for two people and one teaspoon chilli flakes and about a quarter of a pint of stock, stir and cook til kale is done. Yum. The shallots were well nice cooked with the chilli and stock – next time I’m going to just cook them on their own so they are a total star.

I have even managed to keep the sage alive for over two weeks!

It even stayed alive while I went on holiday. So Sandra the Sage I hope will live a long and happy life! What a nice forever present.

My parcel went to Switzerland this month – to Ratri who writes another lovely blog about food and her travels called NomadicFeastKitchen. Carol Anne and I recently had a twitter exchange about the worry that what you’ve sent in your eyes is quirky and thoughtful, can come across as weird and emptying out the cupboards-y. On that note, go see what Ratri made of my parcel …

And of course, you should totally join in here.

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Pork chaps … not: pork, chaps?

12 Apr

A pork chap is a pig cheek. They seem to be having a bit of a moment and you can buy them pre-packed in my local Morrisons. You can however buy just packs of pig skin in my local Morrisons. Either it is offal central in Kirkstall, or there are lots of trainee tattooists fuelling demand. It is good though. You can get 3 for 97p. I’m sure this isn’t actually very bargainous, but heigh ho, fuel the conglomerates we must!

This recipe I made up entirely out of all of my own head. I say this, because as I am reviewing the ingredients, it sounds … well, a bit weird. However I do know it was delicious. TRUFAX.

Here I am holding a pig cheek, next to my cheek. Whatever will I think of next?

I am also doing an oink at this point. My face doesn't always have such a sultry pout on it

This was another piece of slow cooker magic. Slow cookers are magic. Everybody needs one! You can even bake in them!

Ingredients: 6 pork cheeks, 4 tbsp flour, 2 tsp caraway seeds, 1 tsp sugar, knob of butter, half tsp nutmeg, 2 chopped carrots, 2 sticks chopped celery, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp caraway seeds, 1 tbsp japonica jelly, half a pint of Lahloo Smoky tea (or another lapsang souchong) that has been brewing for at least 30 minutes, 100ml red wine.

  1. Brew your tea. I used 1 tbsp to a teapot and had a cup while I did the rest of the preparations.
  2. Mix flour, 2 tsp caraway and sugar in a bowl. Dip cheeks into mix so they are well covered.
  3. Melt butter in a frying pan, then fry the cheeks on each side for til they are sealed.
  4. Transfer all frying pan contents to slow cooker.
  5. Add vegetables and other ingredients to slow cooker, including any of the flour mixture that is left over. (Make sure the tea has brewed for long enough.)
  6. Cook on high for about five hours. The cheeks will just melt away into the sauce.

I also made apple dumplings to go on top. You follow the dumpling recipe on the suet packet, but add a chopped apple to the mix. You then put them in about an hour before you want to eat. So this was after 4 hours of cooking:

Looking back on this recipe, it seems I’ve brought up a few questions i.e. white wine with pork? a tea-based casserole? what is a japonica? why has the stew gone purple? veg in sticks not rounds in a stew? To you, I say, well I steal someone else’s words, whose I can’t quite remember, but, to you say “What is that? A rule? A convention? HIIIIIIIIIYAHHHHHHHH” *motion of karate chopping wood*

When you cook the face of an animal, you need to take some risks.