Kecap Pork Curry – My Fave

Posted on: 31 March 2010 3 comments

A Catholic Priest and a Rabbi are riding in a plane. After a while, the Priest turns to the Rabbi and asks, “Is it still a requirement of your faith that you not eat pork.?” The Rabbi responds, “Yes, that is still one of our beliefs.”

The Priest then asks, “Have you ever eaten pork?”

To which the Rabbi replies, “Yes, on one occasion I did succumb to temptation and tasted pork.”

The Priest nodded in understanding and went on with his reading. A while later, the Rabbi spoke up and asked the Priest, “Father, is it still a requirement of your church that you remain celibate?”

The Priest replied, “Yes, that is still very much a part of our faith.”

The Rabbi then asked him, “Father, have you ever fallen to the temptations of the flesh?”

The Priest replied, “Yes Rabbi, on one occasion I was weak and broke with my faith.”

The Rabbi nodded understandingly for a moment and then said, “A lot better than pork isn’t it?”

One of the many ethnically centered jokes that my auld fella used to tell. Kinda rings true at the moment though. Slam the Middle Eastern desert people all you like, but at least their Clerics and Rabbis can get married. And because our boyos over here can’t, they either end up becoming sexual deviants or those weird unapproachable oddballs that carry a look of the lobotomized afterglow with them everywhere.

Yet, here we are now, into the second decade of the 21st century and none of the leaders of the three great monotheistic religions can enjoy, what in my opinion,  is the single greatest pleasure known to the human race – a Rasher and a Ride. In that order I might add.  Surely world peace would be that bit more attainable if our priests could have a bit of slap and tickle and the other lads could have a wee bit of prosciutto?

Of course, as anyone will tell you, religious rules and doctrines are for suckers. I have never known a Muslim who doesn’t take a drink and I’ve never known a Jew who won’t touch a bit of bacon. In fact, this next recipe is an Indonesian staple and it’s a pork curry. And Indonesia’s 200 million Muslims make up most of their population and they lob a bit of pork into loads of their dishes.

The primary ingredient here is the Kecap Manis. You can buy it in most Asian stores. It’s a sweet soy sauce made with treacle and dark soy sauce basically. Make sure you get the thick gloopier one. The thinner one is crap. And don’t bother making your own, it’s a pain in the swiss.

This also happens to be my favourite curry, probably coz of the pork. In a past life, I must have been a bastard son of a Muslim Cleric and a Jewish Princess. Anyhoo, not only is it really tasty but it’s dead, dead simple to make.  It’s colour is quite dark though so the garnishes with the coriander, lime and chilli are a must.

Kecap.1

KECAP PORK CURRY

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 Pork Fillet

- 2 cans of Coconut Milk

- 1 cup of Kecap Manis

- 1 Tablespoon of finely chopped fresh ginger

- 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic

- 4 shallots thinly slice

- 2 Tablespoons of peanut oil

- 1 chilli deseeded and thinly sliced and 1 chilli thinly sliced with seeds still in

- The juice of 1 lime

- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

METHOD:

- Get a griddle pan/frying pan/barbecue really hot and throw on the pork very quickly just to give it a smoky, slightly black coating but really pink in the middle. Remove and let it rest for a couple of minutes.

- Get your wok really hot. Put in the peanut oil. Fry your shallots for about 10 seconds on their own, then lash in the garlic, chilli, ginger and black pepper. Fry them all off for a bit, about 2 minutes at the max.Turn off the heat on the wok for the moment.

- When that’s done. Slice your pork into whatever bite size bits  you’re comfortable with. Turn the wok back on but on to a low heat. Mix the pork into the mix in the wok and fry it all off.

- Pour in the coconut milk and Kecap Manis. Stir it all up. Put the lid on the wok, bring it all up to a slight boil, then take the heat way down and let it cook like that for about 45 minutes with the lid on.

- Then take the lid off , stir it and cook with the lid off for about five minutes.

- Pour the lime juice into the curry and stir. Serve it with some rice and garnish the curry by sprinkling some chopped coriander leaves and a little bit of freshly chopped chili. A lime wedge on the side would be nice too.

Three Shades of Shite – Guinness Starter, Main and Dessert

Posted on: 26 March 2010 No comments

Like a moth to a flame, I am always drawn to booze related news stories. This week I got word from Bangkok that their stocks of Guinness will soon run out and may not be replaced. Irish pubs in Bangers and other tourist areas in Thailand are having mickey fits.  The distibutor will no longer be importing it from the nearest brewery in Malaysia, as apparently they have deliberately kept the price low to get the Thai punters keen and are now looking at hiking it up. This is the kind of severe business tactic that Crack dealers in late 1980’s New Jersey used to apply.

Their only options at present, are to import the black goo from Australia which would be equally expensive or to start shipping in a completely  different stout. Bit of a pain in the bollix really.

And just when I was taking all that in, I read about the James’ Gate Evil Scientist boys concocting a Black Lager.

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Their track record for developing new products has not been the Mae West. Especially their micro brews and woegeously brutal lite Guinness. But it makes sense to start capitalizing on the Guinness brand again. Even before they spent a gazillion euros on Arthur’s Day, the black stuff had started making a mad comeback.  That definitely was all down to the recession. Us Humanoids will always flock back to the old reliables that make us feel better during times of economic crapness.  A comforting pint of plain, from a place that we all hold sacred . As the great philosopher Eamonn Mac Eamonn once said, “St James’ Gate. The only place in Dublin where the smell of Guinness is stronger than the smell of shite.”

So what should all the Thai publicans do with their last few scraps of stout? I suggest a large poster campaign spearheaded by the lovely Ailish Mac Ailish, winner of the Moyross Community Games  and offer a three course meal made with our favourite Oirish tipple.

Three.Shades.2

As anyone in Marketing will tell you, nothing sells better than novelty and knockers.

ONION, GUINNESS AND CHEDDAR SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 sweet white onions, sliced thinly through a blender if you can
  • 3/4 pound of mature red cheddar, grated
  • 1 pint of Guinness
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Pinch of Salt + Pepper to season
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Dalkey mustard

METHOD

Melt the butter and add the oil to a stock pot over medium heat. Heat until butter starts foaming.

Add the onions and stir to separate rings and to coat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions begin to take on color.

Add flour. Stir to incorporate. Simmer for 5 more minutes .

Add stock and Guinness; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer. Sprinkle in Tabasco; add herbs, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in mustard.

One handful at a time, incorporate the cheese into the soup, stirring until it dissolves. Continue until all cheese has been blended in.

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Check after 5 or 10 minutes as a great head of foam may have formed. Stir head into the soup, re-cover and continue simmering.

Put some slices of hearty brown bread into each bowl. Using a ladle, scoop way down to the bottom of the pot get lots of the onions and spoon on top of the bread, add two or three ladles of liquid from the top of the pot to the bowl and serve.

GUINNESS BURGERS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 lbs of minced beef
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1 Kallo French Onion Stock Cube (Liston’s on Camden St)
  • 1/2 cup Guinness stout
  • 4 hamburger buns

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Combine meat, pepper, Tabasco sauce, garlic, chili sauce, dry onion soup cube, and 1½ ozs of Guinness.

Shape into 4 patties.

Bake until brown, about 10 minutes.

Baste with the remaining Guinness.

Continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes, until well done.

Add your favourite burger garnishes and trimmings. Try some Ballymaloe relish, always a winner.

GUINNESS ICE CREAM FLOAT

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pints super premium vanilla ice cream like a Ben and Jerry’s or a posh Irish one
  • 4 tablespoons of brandy
  • 2 tablespoons of crème de Cassis
  • 2 chilled cans of Guinness

METHOD:

Divide ice cream among 6 (16-ounce) glasses.

Combine the brandy with the Cassis and pour 1 tablespoon into each glass.

Slowly pour 8 ounces of Guinness into each glass.

Watch the ice cream fizz just like it would with Coke or Fanta when you were a kid. I know that on paper this looks completely ming, but it’s worth a squirt.

The Soup That Brought Down A Government

Posted on: 19 March 2010 1 comment

THE SOUP THAT BROUGHT DOWN A GOVERNMENT

By measuring a country’s gross domestic product, we are supposedly able to determine how wealthy it is. A quick study into a nation’s cost of living will show you which country is the most expensive to live in. And as you may be aware, there are systems and equations out there that somehow measure a nations’s happiness. Bhutan is the world leader on that front by all accounts. That’s probably because they don’t have X Factor there yet.

If  national happiness can somehow be measured then surely we should start looking at how crazy a country is.  And not just checking out how many registered mentalers they have per capita, that should only count for ten percent of how mad a place is. Political scandals and incidents should make up the rest of the national insanity levels. And even when you compare it with our shower of eejits in charge over here, Thailand has to be the maddest country on Earth.

In the last week, ex prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s supporters have been protesting outside the current PM’s residence by pouring their own blood all over the entrance and the police who are blocking them.  This has to be one of the craziest shows of defiance against a governing power, made all the more surreal by a mysterious leprechaun who was leading the march and encouraged everyone to get shitfaced.

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And of course, there was the curious incident of Samak Sundaravej whose short term as Thai Prime Minister ended 1.5 years ago when it was exposed that he was in fact also moonlighting as a celebrity TV chef. If you want to pin point the exact recipe that was the deal breaker for his political demise, it was his salmon soup. I have read about labour movements and economic meltdowns that have destroyed ruling establishments, but Thailand must be the only country in the world that has given us…….

THE SOUP THAT BROUGHT DOWN A GOVERNMENT – SAMAK’S SALMON

INGREDIENTS: – Any of the Asian ingredients here can be bought down in any Asian Market like the one on George’s St.

  • 1 chicken stock cube, get the Kallo Brand from Liston’s on Camden Street.
  • 1 lb salmon fillets cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Thai pepper powder
  • 1 cup sliced fresh galangal
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh lemongrass
  • 1/4 cup kaffir lime leaves, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 7 tbsp fish sauce

METHOD:

  • Bring 1.5 litres of water to the boil and add chicken stock cube. Use a pestle and mortar to pound coriander seed, garlic and Thai pepper powder into a paste.
  • Add paste to the boiling stock
  • Add the salmon, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and stir. Add mushrooms, followed by coconut milk.
  • Season with fish sauce, bring to the boil and then remove from heat
  • Ladle into a bowl, season with lime juice and sprinkle with chilies.
  • Serve with a mix of 80 per cent jasmine rice and 20 per cent sticky rice steamed together. If you don’t want to do that just boil some jasmine.

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