Pork Chop with Cumin & Coriander




From Tom Kerridge’s Barnsley Chop to my adapted version of Pork Chop. For those of you who like me did not know what Barnsley Chop is, it is as its name suggest, originates from Barnsley. It is a double sided lamb chop cut right across the loin as explained on this website. As much as I wanted to make Barnsley Chop the way Tom does it, I was only able to get the Pork Chop where I was. I must say, it tastes just as good. I even served it with some spicy couscous, salad and orange pork sauce. It was quick and tasty. Believe or not, I made that on a weekday after work.

This is a book I know that will be well used. I will probably make more recipes from this book during my two weeks off work for Christmas and New Year.

Happy Holidays, to all of you! I shall see you in the new year. 



If you have not bought his book yet and would like to make this yummy Barnsley Chop, there's brief recipe here.



Cup Julienne (Pie Tee)


Traditionally, this recipe is to make Pie Tee (top hats). The ingredients usually calls for Yam bean but I have altered the recipe with ingredients that are easily available in the supermarket here. So yam bean has been substituted with swede. Of course, you can use the original ingredient of Yam bean if you can get it at your nearest supermarket.

Photo via Hanamemories

The traditional case can be easily bought in Malaysia but there isn't any available here so instead of making the traditional cups from scratch which I deem tedious, I have created an alternative way of making a cup / top hat to stuff the fillings. Wonton skin was used and it only takes a couple of minutes to make it so nothing as complicated as making mixture and deep frying each and every case.



Cup Julienne / Pie Tee Recipe

serves 6

Ingredients:



  • Vegetable oil
  • 20 wonton skin / wrapper
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 300g yam bean / jicamma (julienne) *I used swede
  • 2 large carrots (julienne)
  • 1/2 caup water
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce to taste
  • ground white pepper to taste
  • spring onion (thinly sliced)
  • fried shallots


Methods:


1.  Preheat oven at 180oC. Brush some oil on a mini cupcake tray. Place a square piece of wonton skin. wrapper in each cupcake mould. Brush with more oil over the wanton skin so it takes the shape of the cup. Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for a few minutes until golden brown. Repeat. Be careful not to bake for too long as it turns golden really quickly. When the cups are ready, remove the wonton skin cups and place on a wire rack to cool.

2.  Heat some oil on the wok and sauté garlic, then add yam bean and carrots, and fry for 1 minute. Add water and cook until water is reduced and absorbed. Then add soy sauce to taste. Cook until moisture is reduced so it will not make the casing soggy when assembled.

3.  Scoop a spoonful of cooked yam bean and carrots into the baked wonton skin cup. Make sure to squeeze out any moisture if any. Serve with some sprinkling of spring onions and fried shallots.


Tips:

  • Yam bean / jicama is a little difficult to get in London so if you are unable to get it near you, substitute with swede. It tastes as good.
  • Wonton skin can also be substituted with filo pastry. 
    

Beef Rendang

A French man once asked me where I was from. I told him I'm Malaysian. One of the first things he told me was that he had one of the best Malaysian food in Australia called Beef Rendang! I wasn't sure how to react to that; surprised for knowing Beef Rendang as a delicious Malaysian dish, or that the best Rendang he had was in Australia. We became good friends since then and I am still amused by that comment till this day. I've a feeling we're good friends because of this rendang.

So here's the Rendang Recipe that I like. It does take quite a few hours and patience to make this dish but it is well worth your time. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

If you would like to learn more about Rendang and its origins, here's an explanation on Wikipedia.

Beef rendang served with rice


Beef Rendang

recipe from No Recipe
serves 5

Ingredients:


For spice paste:
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2.5 cm fresh ginger (roughly chopped)
  • 4 large cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 200g shallots (4 large shallots roughly chopped)
  • 3 tbs chilli pepper flakes (or to taste)

For the beef:
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 900g casserole / braising beef (chuck/blade), cut into large cubes
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (white part only, smashed)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2.5 cm galangal (sliced)
  • 1 can quality coconut milk
  • 1 tbs palm sugar (or brown sugar)

Methods:

Please refer to the original site I got the recipe from, for the methods. Marc explains it really well with pictures to help you along the way.
 


100 years of Rememberance Day

Remembering those who gave their lives

For those of you who did not manage to see the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red art installation at the Tower of London to mark 100 years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War, here are some pictures I've taken on the weekend.

This powerful art installation is created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins and Olivier award winner stage designer Tom Piper to commemorate the service men who were killed in World War I. The installation consists of 888,246 hand made poppies representing each British military who died during the war. The installation was officially opened on the 5th of August. The poppies were first installed on 17th July and was continually planted until 11th November on Armistice Day.

On our way towards Tower of London, we made a detour for a walk in the city

At Leadenhall Market



Then we stopped at Hung Drawn and Quartered Pub for a pint. Or in my case, half.

"To be hanged, drawn and quartered (sometimes rendered hung, drawn and quartered) was from 1351 the penalty in England for men guilty of high treason, although its use is first recorded during the reign of King Henry III and that of his successor, Edward I. The convicted were fastened to a wooden hurdle which was dragged by horse to the place of execution. Once there, they were ritually hanged (almost to the point of death),emasculateddisembowelledbeheaded and quartered (chopped into four pieces). As a warning against further dissent, these remains were often displayed at prominent places, such as London Bridge. For reasons of public decency, women convicted of high treason were burnt at the stake." via Princeton.edu










Installation of the Poppies



Making of the Poppies




Hotel Principe Filipe at La Manga Club, Murcia | Spain

Murcia has never really been on my to visit destination in Spain. It so happens that we had a wedding to attend in Murcia that I found the wonderful Hotel Principe Filipe at La Manga Club.

Hotel Principe Filipe (image via Championship Tennis Holidays)

We were really impressed as soon as we arrived. All the staff had very good English and were very friendly. La Manga Club is a large resort that felt to us like a town on its own with all facilities available on location. There were supermarkets, shops, spa, restaurants and all sorts of sports facilities (golf, tennis, football, netball, diving and more) available. As it is so big, the hotel provides complimentary minibus to make getting from one place to another a breeze.

Hotel lobby

The view from our room


What to do at La Manga Club?

Depending on the purpose of your visit, La Manga Club definitely fills many requirements. There's swimming pool, spa, golf, tennis, football, netball, hiking trails, biking, diving and lots more. There are also beaches nearby but I suggest to take the complimentary mini bus ride to the La Cala beach.

Please do not make the same mistake as us. We opted to walk to the beach which we thought does not sound too far at all. It was not a smart choice to do upon arrival and not knowing our bearings yet. We were walking in the sun at about 30 degrees Celsius towards where we thought was suppose to be the beach, which was not a problem at all. Unfortunately we got lost in the mountains and had to hike up and down on the dangerous rocky path less taken that was also filled with thorny plants. Some section of the hike was so steep, a missed step would send us tumbling down. Worse yet, I was dressed to go to the beach, so not sneakers!

We got to this point alright and is still the correct route. We went straight down to instead of turning right.

Oh yes, this looks so near but nope, there is no beach down there. Only a cliff! 

10 minutes into it and still thinking it was an adventure; so we were enjoying the view and got carried snapping away.


This was when it got real



Yes, we were mostly on the tip and sometimes in the middle but no where near the beach cause we didn't know where it was! No connection either so having a cellphone was useless then.

Yes, I look happy here but was actually exhausted from the hike. This was when we thought we were near the hotel. A little more walk but almost there.

We were lucky we found our way back after 3 hours of hiking and getting lost! Good thing we were out early and were still bright and sunny when we found our way back to the hotel. We even had time for a swim in a pool, a nice bath and then tapas at La Bodega for dinner. 

Tapas at La Bodega

A couple of pictures from the Spanish wedding we were at. Crazy fun wedding, as expected. Congratulations, my dear Naza.

At the wedding


Had a dance with the Bride's father. He's such a fun dad.


Tennis Club


When we were not at the wedding, we managed to squeeze in a tennis match on the clay court, which was first for us but real fun. After years of not playing tennis, it was nice to start again. It felt even better knowing that Andre Agassi used to train here. 


Look who was here! Andre Agassi and Sir Cliff Richard!


Lots of cactus

Does this remind you of something? ;)

At the tennis club, there are 28 courts of which are 20 Clay Courts, 4 Hard Courts and 4 artificial Grass Courts. It is a large space with all the facilities you need on location. On the grounds of the tennis club were also manicured bowling greens for Boules, Squash courts and Gymnasium. Mini Golf is also available at a short walk away next to the car park.


The Leadbetter Golf Academy


On our last day, we managed to bump into David Haye, the professional heavyweight boxer at breakfast.

See the man sat outside in the sun? That's David Haye ;) And this, the luscious holiday breakfast.

View from the restaurant Terrace

After the last breakfast of our stay here, we had a walk before our first ever gold lesson! So excited and really glad P initiated it. It was real fun and I might actually continue learning. According to Juan, our instructor, I have a beautiful golf swing which many can't master even after 2 years of learning. Woohooo!! A natural, he said! So proud of myself. Might be the dancing genes that gave the swing some grace.




With my instructor, Juan. He was great and had lots of experience.


La Cala Beach


On our last day, we managed to spend some time at the La Cala Beach we intended to go to on the first day. This time, we took the minibus instead and got there with no drama.


Do you see a Polar Bear rock?





CARTAGENA


If you are not much of a sports person, or that you need a change, there's Cartagena only 20 minutes drive away. More about Cartagena will be posted next.




Four days at La Manga and I still think we have more to do here. I would actually love to be back here again and maybe next time, I can play proper golf on the greens and not just the driving range. And also, the next tennis match with P will not be a tie again but a WIN. 



Hotel Principe Filipe @ La Manga Club

La Manga CLub
Murcia, Spain
Tel: +34 968 331234

**If you would like to read more, do follow me on twitter, facebook or instagram for more updates.