When not slaving away with only Twitter and mad dog for company, I occasionally have a 'life.' This usually entails cooking for friends, trying far too many wines, and the occasional entire day out. I will post my ramblings, recipes and recommendations here on the 'Gourmet on the Go' blog. Hope you find something of interest!
As we head deeper into September, the autumn chill has lead me to think about warming food. So, for lunch, I’ve replaced salads with a big bowl of steaming soup. I thought I’d try my hand at the Chinese restaurant classic of chicken and sweetcorn soup, being as the sweetcorn season is at its height and spring onions are coming to an end.
Forget the sweet gloopy version of this soup you may have tried in the past, which is usually laden with sugar and corn flour, this healthy simple recipe delivers an impact on flavour and is perfect for a cold day.
Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup Recipe
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
2 chicken thighs (skinned)
2 cloves garlic, roughly sliced
1 inch knob of ginger, sliced into thick rounds
5 spring onions
Small bunch of coriander
1.5 litre chicken stock (or water)
1 heaped tbsp cornflour
2 ears of corn, kernels removed (or a can of sweetcorn, drained.)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp soy sauce
tsp ground white pepper
Sesame oil to garnish
Add your stock, chicken, ginger, garlic, coriander and soy sauce to a large pan. Take three of the spring onions, bash with the flat of a knife to loosen, roughly chop and add to the pan. Bring up to a boil, remove any scum that comes to the top using a ladle, cover and gently simmer for 20 minutes.
While the soup base is simmering, pulse the sweetcorn in a processor until roughly chopped. Finely slice the two remaining spring onions. Mix the cornflour with a couple of tablespoons of the simmering stock or water.
After 20 minutes, remove your chicken with a slotted spoon, set aside and leave to cool a little. Then, using two forks shred the meat from the chicken and discard the bones.
Strain off your stock, and discard the herbs and vegetables – they have imparted their flavour. Put the strained stock back in the pan on a gentle heat.
Add the sweetcorn to the pan and bring up to a boil. Remove any scum that comes to the surface with a ladle. Add your cornflour mix and stir. Stir in the shredded chicken and white pepper.
Slowly stream in the beaten egg, stirring continuously.
Serve garnished with the sliced spring onion and a few splashes of sesame oil.
Asian Style Braised Pork Belly with Aubergine Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Author: Sarah Fay
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
This is one of my favourite mid-week recipes, much loved by adults and children alike. The blend of the sweet, spicy and sour sauce is such a winner with the soft unctuous pork belly and juicy flavourful aubergine. What’s more, it’s pretty easy and fast prepare…
500g skinless pork belly, cut into 2cm chunks
1 large aubergine, cut into chunks
2 tbsp ground nut or vegetable oil
300ml chicken stock
2 tbsp of fish sauce (Nam Pla)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 birdseye chilli, chopped
1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
1 bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks separated, stalks finely chopped
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp of dark brown or muscovado sugar
1 tbsp water
Juice of half a lime
Add 1 tbsp of oil to a large pan and heat over a medium flame. Brown off pork belly in two batches and set aside.
Add another tbsp of oil to the pan and cook the aubergine until lightly golden, stirring now and then to prevent sticking. Set aside with the pork.
Turn the heat right down and add the brown sugar and 1 tbsp of water to the pan, heat until it starts to bubble and caramelise.
Add the pork and aubergine to the pan of sugar and throw in the star anise and cinnamon stick. Stir to cover in the sugar syrup.
Keep the heat low and add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir and sweat for 5 to 7 minutes.
Now add the stock, fish sauce and coriander stalks to the pan. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat right down, put a lid on the pan and simmer for 1 hour.
After an hour, add the lime juice, stir and taste. Add more fish sauce to taste.
Serve with steamed rice and garnish with coriander – delicious!