>Minestrone Soup and Goan Pork

>Another two fabtastic dishes from my new cookbook, called Eat Yourself Smart. It was written by the chef who fed the employees of Google. The cookbook is filled smart ways of cooking and eating, picking fresh vegetables, healthy food to nibble on and some more. The cover and design of the book are quite good, that was what attracted me to the book. I like smart cookbooks rather than ones that just focuses on just food. There should be a reason why we eat the foods that we do and one that supports and elongates life rather than indulgences which shortens life.

This recipe was made up from both minestrone and split lentil soup. This is a beautiful warm soup, especially now that the weather’s getting cooler (our a/c counts as cooler weather!). This is simple, a fair bit of preparation but it’s really exhilarating at the end to see satisfied tummies.

The ingredients are:
1 carrot, diced
2 onions, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped into small pieces
1 handful of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1 can of diced tomato
1 cup of chickpea, cooked
1 cup of barley, cooked
1 chicken breast meat, steamed
1 whole chicken stock
salt and pepper
thyme, oregano and basil

This dish cannot be any simpler. First of all, put the carrots, onions and chicken stock into a big pot with 3 bowls of water (depending on how many people you’re feeding – 1 additional bowl for evaporation). Meanwhile, put the chicken breast to steam. Pour the chicken stock from the steamed chicken into the soup when it’s cooked. Bring it to a boil then pour in the canned tomatoes and let it simmer for about 20min in a low heat. After that, put in the rest of the vegetables, leaving the mushroom, chickpea and barley till the end, we don’t want to bruise the mushroom too much. Boil for a bit more, season with salt, pepper, thyme, basil and oregano to taste. When it’s ready, slice up the chicken diagonally for visual effect, and lay it on top of the hearty soup. Just lovely.

Last night I decided to try out a new recipe, called Goan Pork. It’s partly Indian food but they like a bit of sourness in their food – therefore introducing vinegars into curries. This dish is so simple and delicious, you have to eat it with either rice or naan bread because the vinegar can be overpowering. We had it with toast and some left over minestrone soup.

The recipe is abit extensive in terms of spices, I didn’t have all of them unfortunately so I omitted quite a few spices out. The dish still tasted great though. A mixture of hot, sweet and sourness in the pork, it was nice.

It was like a curry dish without the curry powder. There are fresh chillies soaked black and white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, tumeric, cumin, onions, garlic, ginger, basil (although I used curry leaves), cardamon, cloves, oil and I think there could be another 1 or 2 other ingredients. And the main ingredient being pork (about 800g).

All the ingredients listed above except the basil is to be minced up in a processor and then combined with the pork and marinated overnight. Unfortunately I did not read that part and only marinated it for 2hrs. It still turned out yummy though. So at the end, the meat goes into the wok and cooked. For the pork to be tender, it needs to be simmered in a low heat for about 2hrs. Having no patience for that and my tummy was rumbling, I served it after 40min of cooking (15min of simmering). It was fine!! The pork was still abit tough but it doesn’t matter… it was lovely. The vinegar was abit over powering but it was nice in small doses.

The yellow shine is from the tumeric in the dish. Doesn’t it look similar to the picture taken from the recipe book? I tell you, it’s photoshopped!!! 🙂 Looks really scrumptious doesn’t it? Well, we have some left over for tonight in which will be eaten with rice and I will fry up some egg, chive and mushroom omelet. Tell you something else, there’s still minestrone soup left over, so for Thursday night, it’ll be back on the menu, renamed as Fish Chowder – minus the cream, etc, replaced with minestrone soup! Talk about mixing and matching, think it’ll be a good combination!

Whadya reckon? Leave me a comment if you want the Goan Pork recipe, otherwise I’d recommend you go get the cookbook. I’ve decided to go choose 1 cookbook and cook recipes from there for 1 week and from there buy the ingredients. This way you’ll try all sorts of food and at the same time widen your pallete! You’d be surprise also how easy this is to organise and it’ll definitely save you money! Don’t buy ingredients willy nilly, not using it and throwing them out when they go off in the fridge. Try it out! Have a great day and don’t forget to smile!