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Jul 20, 2016

Air-fried Chinese Roast Pork Belly






I must confess. 

As much as I love roast pork, esp the crackling, I've never attempted this at home ... til now.
Fearing all that splatter in my oven and the smells that might contaminate my cakes, etc etc, I've managed to live on store bought roast pork. In this region, I can get by quite happily since there are so many good ones about. 
Then the air fryer came about, caught my eye, got me wondering, wanting, checking out various recipes that have been successfully done in one. I've been putting off getting an air fryer for the longest time. You know, new toy, play with it for awhile, get tired of it and then makes way for the next new gadget and takes up what little space I have. Wait and wait some more ...shall I, shan't I?
Then I visited a neighbouring country and found a locally made air fryer for less than half the price of the popular branded one. Everything about it screams COPY but hey, works the same and it might be sitting on the shelf in a couple of months due to boredom or whatever. Why the heck not?

So here I am, trying out everything I possibly can with it. And boy, I am so happy with this thing, I'm willing to put it in the same <3 category as the slow cooker. 


I've done the basics of potato fries, eggplant, you know .... zzz

I needed to do this at least once and you can see why I'm so happy with it. The crackling turned out super! I'll definitely be making this again.

Cleaning was easy and the color was nice and even. And I believe it takes a shorter time than in a regular oven. Meat below the crackling was moist and tender. The only complaint is having to pierce the skin....I really need to find a better and easier way to do that. But, Oh, the satisfaction of seeing that bubbling crackle!

I'm using the basic instructions from bakecooklove and tweaked some.


Ingredients


about 700g pork belly (with skin intact, cleaned and wiped dry)


salt

white vinegar

Marinade: 


1 tsp 5 spice powder

half tsp white pepper
pinch of salt
roasted garlic paste (just plonk a whole bulb of garlic in the air fryer, cook for a few minutes @ 180°C until it's soft enough to mash)

Method


I did not blanch or boil the meat as instructed as I figured all that natural sweetness would just go to waste. 


Pierce the skin with a fine, sharp skewer. Don't get lazy with this part. The more holes the merrier. 

Rub the marinade ingredients into the meat part only.
Leave in fridge overnight uncovered to dry out the skin.
(I pierced more holes after drying out the skin ... )
Preheat the air fryer at 180°C.
In the meantime, brush the skin with white vinegar and coat with salt. (Just put salt in a wide bowl or plate and dip the skin onto it. )
Wrap the bottom part with foil, leaving the skin exposed.
Air fry for about 20 mins. Remove from air fryer and scrape off the caked up salt.
Air fry again for about another 20 mins or until skin is nice and golden and crackly.

Enjoy while warm. 

Should there be any leftovers (you're kidding!), just plonk it into the air fryer for about 3 mins and the crackling will be nice and crunchy again. 








Jan 10, 2016

Easy Like Sunday Morning (Avocado Toast)






It’s a Sunday!
And it’s a day of rest, altho I’m sure for some, it’s pretty hectic spending time with family and kids and chores and errands and groceries and …. gosh, I’m feeling tired already.
Feel blessed you have things to do. Feel blessed you have people to do it with.

As for me, I’m taking a break and taking it easy. For lunch/brunch. 
There’ll be some face stuffing later with the tribe.

It’s been a lovely yet stressful week. (How can a mere seven days cause so many mixed feelings?)

Had someone very close to my heart visit for a few short days. It’s always too short. But it was good.
I miss her already.
That’s obviously not the stress part.

A word of advice on texting that most probably already know but we all need reminding, esp folks like me who have diarrhoea of the mouth and thumb/fingers.
Anything you type/text can be misread. It all depends on the other person who’s reading it, what kind of a mood they’re in, whether they’re menopausing/andropausing and possibly a host of past traumatic history they’ve gone thru and one word might just trigger some negative response. 
They could read it as a ‘Grrrr’ or as an ‘Awwww’. 
Sometimes concern can be misread as criticism … how? …. only they know. 
And sometimes, they’re just too damned sensitive. Bah! Humbug!
I have no energy for dramatics.

And then I find out I have no chickpeas …. AARRRGGHHH!!!

*Breath*
*count to ten*

Make do….

1 Avocado, nice and ripe
2 Garlic cloves, nice and chubby
1 can Canellini beans, Chickpeas would’ve been nice
1 handful coriander leaves
Juice of half a lemon
Drizzle of sesame oil
1/4 cup Grapeseed oil, or Olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Some toasted pine nuts


Plonk them all into a food processor except for the pine nuts (you can add it in but I like some crunch).
Buzzzzzzzzzzz
It’s up to you how smooth you like it

Sprinkle pine nuts.

Use as a dip, a spread on toast or toss with some cooked pasta (just add some grated parmesan for extra flavour)

Easy!
No stress …..