Monday, November 9, 2015

Parsley, Chilli & Garlic Pesto

I've never been a fan of store bought jars of pesto and sauces. I'm  very conscious of additives and sugars in processed food, and I always like to know exactly what I'm eating. It is for this reason I like to make my own sauces and pesto. I normally just make a bog standard basil pesto (excluding the cheese), but last week I decided to make some pesto with a bit of a twist. I've used parsley instead of basil, and blanched almonds instead of pine nuts. I've also upped the 'kick' of the pesto with a deseeded whole red chilli and a large clove of garlic.  I prefer my pesto pulsed rather than blitzed smooth, the texture adds much more to a dish.

I find that this pesto lasts up to two weeks in the fridge, and it's not only good with plain pasta, I used it last week to pimp up a roast chicken,brushing the pesto all over the chicken before roasting in the oven, and the  other day I brushed it over some thick cod fillets before baking in the oven. Today I'm using it as a sauce for my homemade wholewheat sweet potato gnocchi. There are so many more possibilities with this pesto, I find myself reaching for it in the fridge time and time again.

  • I bag of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 fat garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 100g of blanched almonds
  • Salt & pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  • Extra Vigin olive oil, approx 100mls (add more if you want a 'wetter' pesto)

  1. Simply add all the above ingredients to a mini food blender and pulsed until you get your own desired consistency. Add more oil if you wish.;
  2. Store in a sterilized container or jar.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Indonesian Style Roast Pork

As much as I love a Sunday roast, sometimes I like to do something a little less traditional with my Sunday dinner. I bought a pork loin for my Sunday dinner and thought I would try something a little different with it than roast potatoes & apple sauce (not that there is any thing wrong with roast potatoes and apple sauce). I love Asian flavours, so I decided to try to recreate the flavours of the food we had whilst in Indonesia...( I'm always cooking Thai, so I thought Indonesian might be some fun).

 I loved my time in Indonesia, especially the food. Here's my slow baked Indonesian Pork Loin, that requires very little effort at all, once the marinade is made. You could then serve this with potatoes, but I decided on a Pea and Raisin Pilaf Rice. I think when I make this again, I will cover the meat in foil (To prevent the marinade from turning too dark and burning), until the final 30 minutes, and also perhaps serve it with a satay noodle side.


  • 1.5kg of basted Pork Loin
  • 4 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of smooth peanut butter
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Chinese 5 spice
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 1 onion


  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Combine all the ingredients (except for the pork of course) in a blender and blitz to a sauce consistency.
  3. Pour the sauce over the pork and allow to marinade for a few hours at least, ideally over night.
  4. Cover the pork with tin foil and bake in the oven for 3 hours, remove the foil for the final 30 minutes and turn up the oven to 200 degrees.
  5. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving.

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