Porky Mrs Portly

No, the diet’s not going as well as I’d like, apparently the Sauvignon Blanc Plan is over-rated in weight-loss terms. But if you think I’m being hard on myself, I’m not.

The Mrs Portly I’m talking about is my porcine namesake, raised by our friends Karon and Simon at Stackyard Nursery here in Suffolk. I’ve watched her progress with interest. Continue reading

Glazed Gammon Steaks

I read somewhere recently that the phrase “a quick supper” was a cliché. What? Why? Surely it’s a descriptor. Most of us eat supper or dinner or tea, call it what you will. And there are times in a busy working week when we want to produce something tasty in a short amount of time.

So cliché or not, this is a quick supper dish. Continue reading

Pork with Pink Peppercorns

Image of crushed pink peppercorns

Q. When is a peppercorn not a peppercorn? A. When it’s pink.

Pink peppercorns are actually the dried fruits of a shrub, Schinus molle, also known as the Peruvian peppertree and sometimes from the related species Schinus terebinthifolius, or Brazilian pepper. They are not related to our usual black, white or red peppercorns and – a word of warning – come from the cashew family so can potentially provoke anaphylaxis in anyone with a nut allergy. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

For the rest of us though, they are an interesting addition to the kitchen cupboard. Continue reading

Korean Barbecued Spare Ribs

Image of a tub of gochujangIf you haven’t come across gochujang before, I urge you to get your sticky mitts on a tub of this fabulous Korean chilli paste. Traditionally gochujang was made by adding powdered red chili peppers and glutinous rice powder to soybean paste and ageing the mixture under the sun. ‘Ooh yum’ I hear you mutter sarcastically, but trust me, it tastes amazing. Continue reading

Spanish-style Rice

According to Catalan cookery expert Rachel McCormack, when a Spanish man cooks rice, it’s called a paella. When a woman does it, it’s called a rice dish. Humph.

This is closer to a Spanish-style stir-fry, a version of what my in-laws call a chuck-in rice. It is nonetheless delicious and it’s very quick to make, assuming that you have some cooked basmati sitting in the fridge. If not, it’s worth cooking some just to make this. Continue reading

Sausage Pie

It’s British Pie Week, an event which cannot go unmarked in Mrs Portly’s Kitchen. So I’m going to give you a pie recipe every day from Monday to Friday this week and I’m starting with an old-fashioned family favourite.

There are fancier pies, it’s true, but when it comes to classic comfort food few things beat a good sausage pie.  Continue reading

Baby Toads with Onion Gravy

Image of common toad

Picture: Alice Jane Woods

Toad in the hole, for anyone reading this outside the UK, does not involve eating amphibians. It is a traditional British recipe for sausages cooked in Yorkshire pudding batter and is an economical way of making a few sausages feed a whole family. Continue reading

Mushrooms Stuffed with Pork and Chestnuts

Shirley Conran once famously said ‘life’s too short to stuff a mushroom’. I know she was talking about prioritising your time and I imagine she’s heartily sick of this quote but honestly, how long does it take? Personally I’m rather partial to a stuffed mushroom so I didn’t begrudge the 20 minutes or so it took to assemble these (and most of that was taken up by frying the onions). Another 25 minutes in the oven and supper was ready. Continue reading