Over the past few days we’ve tried out quite a few recipes. Despite my intention to cook lots of new meals this year, it didn’t really happen in January – but we seem to be making up for it this month! We were struck down by a sickness virus last week and ate very plain food for a while, so I think this also spurred us on. I must apologise for the slightly blurry photo here – I was absolutely starving when I took it and I obviously couldn’t keep still!
The first meal that we made was a combination of recipes from different books. We made Pork Marsala with Porcini Rice by Jamie Oliver (from his latest book, 15 Minute Meals) and Broccoli with Lemon and Parmesan by Nigella Lawson (from Nigellissima). There are so many amazing recipes in both of these books, and they’re definitely worth a look. We’ll certainly be trying out a lot more! We didn’t manage to get hold of any porcini mushrooms at our local supermarket so we just used some field mushrooms instead and it still tasted good. I now know why so many chefs use Marsala in so many dishes – it tastes fantastic!
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the rice:
1 mug (300g) of quick cook basmati rice
1 big pinch of dried porcini mushrooms (or a handful of field mushrooms)
1/2 a lemon
A few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme
For the pork:
500g pork fillet
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
1 heaped tsp sweet paprika
1 small red onion
A few sprigs of fresh sage
1 swig of Marsala
70ml single cream (we used 2 heaped tbsp low fat creme fraiche instead)
For the broccoli:
250g trimmed tenderstem broccoli
Zest and juice of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
30g parmesan (freshly flaked or supermarket tub)
1 x 15ml tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Put one mug of rice and two mugs of boiling water into a pan, tear in the porcini mushrooms and add a pinch of salt, the lemon half and lemon thyme. Put the lid on the pan and leave to simmer. (If you’re not using porcini mushrooms, follow the steps minus the mushrooms – we cooked ours separately and added them later.)
2. Score lengthways halfway through the centre of the pork, open it out like a book and then flatten it slightly with your fist. Rub it with salt, pepper, the ground coriander and paprika, then put it into the frying pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil, turning regularly until cooked through.
3. If using fresh mushrooms, chop them into pieces and cook in a little olive oil. Finely chop the red onion, pick the sage leaves and add them both to the pork to fry for a few minutes. Heat a pan of water (we pre-boil the water to speed up the process) and add the broccoli, which should be cooked until the stalk is tender.
4. Once the pork is cooked through, add a good swig of marsala – you can light it if you wish (we didn’t) and then let the flames subside. Then transfer the pork onto a board, add the single cream or creme fraiche to the pan and reduce to a good consistency.
5. Fluff up the rice (adding the mushrooms if you have cooked them separately) and carve the pork into 1cm slices. Drain the broccoli and transfer into a warmed bowl, adding the lemon zest and juice. Toss to coat before adding the parmesan flakes and the olive oil, tossing again.
6. Pour the sauce over the pork with the greens and rice to the side. Enjoy!
I’ve just been looking at the photo again, and have solved the mystery of the extra red onion that was left over after we cooked…it seems that we forgot to include it in the recipe! Never mind!