Sunday, 11 September 2011

Rugby World Cup and Other Stuff

So, the Rugby World Cup has started and the opening ceremony was gobsmackingly awesome...I couldn't believe what New Zealand had cooked up. I had goose bumps and tears and I'm not even a real rugby fan. I admit, I watched it the next day on TVNZ On Demand...and when I tried to share it with friends overseas, they couldn't see it due to 'New Zealand tv copyright' or something weird...seems a shame we can't show off the very best of NZ!

I've watched some...of some games, and as always New Zealand loves the underdog. We shouted for Romania against Scotland (they lost but what a game), and screeched for Japan (how many Japanese are in their team??) even though they lost to France. Argentina was perhaps our favourite against England...was that a grudge match or what!

The best thing abut RWC is not necessarily the rugby for people like me who couldn't really care too much one way or another for the game. But what a huge and momentous moment for New Zealand. We are an awesome country, with so many great things to show the world and I hope that out guests get to see the very best of New Zealand while they are here. I hope they get to sample the best of our food and our finest hospitality.

On that note, here's something I made today. Last Sunday, being Father's Day, I saw a comment on a foody blog, saying they were cooking roast pork for FD. I got inspired and went and bought the very smallest roast pork I could find. Alas, that still meant, I've been eating cold roast pork all week...the crackling was ok, not great but passable. On Friday when I went to watch the first game of the RWC at the local Working Men's Club, it was suggested to me that I make pork patties and freeze them...rather than waste the remaining meat. This is what I did:
Cut the cooked pork off the bone and in to smallish pieces and place in a food processor
1 diced onion
1 slice of bread (I used grain bread)
1 egg
A large handful of fresh, washed and chopped herbs, I used sage, coriander, oregano and parsley.
The rest of a tin of Watties Apple Baby Food that I used as apple sauce.
A splash of tabasco sauce...or maybe sweet chili would be good.
Black pepper and a good pinch of salt
Process until minced. Shape into patties and coat in flour. Fry in olive oil on medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve with whatever you like!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Roast Pork and Other Adventures

I've been back in New Zealand for a week and what week it has been. I started back in my school after 2 and a half terms doing relief (substitute) teaching, while trying to find a job out of teaching. That in itself was an adventure and way out of my comfort zone; there are no jobs in the Wairarapa, unless I want to milk cows or drive fork lifts...and I don't. So back to relieving - I am definitely a nester...someone who likes to have a space and make it my own. So relieving, walking into someone else's class almost daily was a real adventure and I am pleased to tell myself, I did a good job. I got asked back to schools and got put on the top of their reliever's list. BUT being back in my own class is a real relief for the reliever. My kids have lots of learning to do about behaviour and expectations, but they will learn and we will enjoy the rest of our term and a half together.
Then there are my lovely pets...they keep me sane while living on my own. My cats were all here within two minutes of Carly delivering me home, my bunny was hopping round in her cage and George my gorgeous turtle, was swimming his wee heart out. Within an hour of returning I had cracked and destroyed his tank, but he is very happy in his new pimped out, bachelor pad aquarium. My frog Wellington enjoyed his holiday with Millie and I am very pleased to have them all home with me.

So on to dinner's Father's Day and I saw on Facebook, a friend saying she was cooking pork for her dad. My dad passed away in 1985, 2 weeks before my lovely Darren was born. Laughing...back then, whenever I cooked a roast, I had to ring mum...via a very expensive toll call, to ask how to cook it - and it still never turned out like hers.  So tonight, even though it's just for me, I decided to cook the perfect roast pork.
I've NEVER been able to cook pork crackling is always 'soggling' and when I put it under the grill to make it crackling, it usually ends up burnt. But tonight I am determined to become a roast pork queen. I have watched hours of FoodTV, I've taken on board every bit of advice and my pork has just completed the mandatory 15 minutes in a hot oven to ensure the crackling will crackle...stay tuned.

To go with it, I have adapted a recipe I saw on FoodTV this week. I LOVE leeks and think they are much maligned. On Ready Steady Cook UK, they did something with leeks and loads of cream, but I've made my own version which is possibly slightly healthier.
Cut a length off the leek, depending on how many you are cooking for.
Slice it in half lengthwise and wash.
Place into boiling, salted water until just soft.
Remove from the water and drain.
Place into a baking dish which has been sprayed with oil and smear with something like...sour cream, any dip, cream cheese etc. Then dot on parmesan or another cheese. Grill until bubbling. And enjoy!