Ah, sweet and sour... memories of a container of deep fried 'chicken' balls accompanied by a paper cup full of bright orange gloop.. oh dear! But don't panic - we can share with you the way to make a proper sweet and sour, the way they make it in Hong Kong, and this is a completely different beast. The secret weapon here is our freeze-dried pineapple powder, which when hooked up with fresh pineapple makes for an exotic explosion of fruity flavour. The sauce works equally well with chicken, pork, fish or prawns.
This lovely Middle Eastern salad uses the distinctive flavour of Golpar, a spice from Persia. It combines so well with the fresh, sweet and colourful beetroot (which is used raw, to keep hold of that colour and sweetness) and the earthy goodness of the lentils. The salad is lovely as a side dish to any Middle Eastern meal, particularly as part of a mezze, and it is also lovely for lunch served with some warm pitta bread.
This curry is from Malaysia, and is a result of the Indian immigration to the peninsula in past days. A lot of Malaysian food has distinct Indian influences, but this recipe is the perfect example of this fusion. It is a hot curry, but uses a lot of coconut to mellow it out a bit, and the flavour of lemon grass and other aromatic spices balances everything. Also, it is one of those dishes which positively improves if you cook it a day in advance, then heat it up to eat. The flavour will mature and develop overnight. A perfect side dish is a crunchy cabbage curry. This curry goes really well with chappatis, roti or naan bread, but of course can always be served with rice.
This Portuguese recipe stars our Piri Piri blend (which we call Portuguese Chicken), and combines tender pork shoulder with juicy clams to create one of the perfect meat and seafood marriages. Another thing is that Portugal is about the only country in southern Europe which favours coriander over flatleaf parsley in its food, which gives it a fresh difference. The best clams to use are small ones such as Palourde, and as always with shellfish take care to wash them well, and to discard any which do not open when cooked. The Aleppo pepper used here is not Portuguese, of course, but it is a great addition, bringing along an extra bit of fruity, spicy colour to the dish.
This lovely recipe was shared with us by a customer, the Pudding Post, who were kind enough to use our raspberry fruit powder in it. Pudding Post send out a monthly subscription box, with everything you need to make the perfect pud included – find them at www.thepuddingpost.com to find out more. And in the meantime, enjoy making and eating this deliciously sinful mousse!
Our range of freeze dried fruit powders is certainly becoming more and more popular. Every week we receive compliments and beautiful pictures of people’s wonderful creations. Do give them a try!
Despite its name, this dish actually comes from Macau, the old Portuguese enclave on the South coast of China near Hong Kong. It is the local take on classic Piri Piri chicken, the main differences being a more complex blend of spices and cooking the chicken in the oven rather than on a grill. It works best on a quartered whole chicken, although obviously there is no problem just using thighs, drumsticks or legs. Marinade the chicken for as long as you can, preferably overnight, for maximum effect. This has to be one of the easiest ways to create a really tasty dish!
This amazing pork stew comes from the state of Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico, the capital of which is Monterrey. It is a simple dish but so full of flavour due to the cooking method used and the use of flavour-packed dried chillies. The two chillies used are guajillo and ancho, both mild rather than hot, so the dish comes out with a gorgeous warm flavour, fruity and smoky at the same time. Another essential ingredient is Mexican oregano, which is more pungent and 'wild' tasting than the European version. As this dish takes a while to make, it is worth doubling the quantities and making enough to freeze. A note - many Mexican dishes use lard as a cooking fat, and it really does make a difference to the flavour of the finished dish, but your asado will still be delicious if you use olive oil.
Despite the fact that it is as easy to find a terrible chilli con carne as it is to find a good one (think that dish of vaguely spicy mince swimming in tinned tomatoes that's been cooked for half an hour, as a guide!), when done properly this dish really is a prince amongst men. The secrets are correct spicing, and most of all, patience. A proper chilli takes at least three hours to cook, ideally more. And as it seems to work better cooked in larger quantities, have some freezer containers ready and you'll have a few suppers handy for those 'can't be bothered to cook' evenings. This recipe has a more typically Mexican flavour than some chillis, and it is pretty hot. And it may seem like there is an awful lot of spice in the recipe, which is true - this is one reason why long, slow cooking is essential, as it allows the spice to blend, mellow and mature.
The Mexican way to get your eggs for breakfast, Huevos Rancheros is a spicy, tomatoey treat when served alongside some warm flour tortillas. It works so well for a weekend brunch (and is also a noted hangover cure!), in fact perfect for a Saturday morning while planning a visit to Borough Market and Spice Mountain to top up the spice cupboard! You don't need a long list of complicated ingredients for this one, however, most of the things needed will be sitting there in the kitchen cupboard. If you are a fan of a more meaty breakfast/brunch, grill or fry a few chorizo sausages to go with your Huevos Rancheros.
As a balance to all the Southeast Asian delights this month, how about this robust, old school soup from Scotland and the north of England? It relies on barley for its particular texture and creamy flavour, and is a great way to use up the end of a Sunday roast lamb. Wash the barley well and cook it separately until al dente. The soup is hearty enough to be served as a supper alongside some hot crusty bread, and it will work just as well at lunchtime. It also freezes very well. Some people enjoy a splash of fresh cream stirred into the Scotch Broth before serving.