02 May 2008

Baked Pork with Piquant Sauce

The pork and sauce is a recipe I found Gordon Ramsay's new cookbook Fast Food, which contains a number of recipes from his show The F Word (which is one of my favourite cooking shows, and is probably the only one of Ramsay's NOT shown on the Food Network in Canada). So I have two recommendations here before I even get to the food.

The first is the tv show. (I downloaded it. Sorry Channel4 - sell the show to the Food Network Canada and I wouldn't have to go about watching it that way.) There are three seasons so far, and each has followed the same basic pattern. The restaurant, The F Word, serves one three course meal per week that anyone could cook at home, usually cooked by an amateur brigade of cooks. Most of the episodes have either a little blurb from someone else about unusual food items (horse milk, for instance) or about outrageous food related things (an example: the amount of meat in sausages, and what counts as meat). I'm not quite sure why it's so compelling to me, but it really is. (Even without his usual vitriol, though that's present as well.) I hope another season is out soon, because I do enjoy it a lot.

The cookbook is both a hit and a miss. It's quite beautiful, full of a lot of pictures and meals that look and sound amazing. Everything looks quite easy to make, which is part of the point, and is probably the only thing that got me to buy the book instead of just flipping through it. (Nothing worse than buying a cookbook and discovering you'll never use it because you just know you'll never be deep-frying poached eggs or whatever.)

The miss... I live in Canada, not Britain, and it's remarkable how different the common foods are. There are so many things I either won't be able to make or would have to start substituting ingredients for. Another miss (for me) is that there are so many fish/seafood recipes. I'm willing to try the fish recipes, if I can find the types of fish he requests, but there is a lot I've never heard of or seen here. (Porgy, hake,...) And finally... a few of the recipes are a little bit... lame. Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, for example, which seems a bit too standard to be worth including.

At any rate, this pork dish was really delicious. The sauce - made of mushrooms, red pepper, onion, hot pepper, and canned diced tomato - was really fantastic and went well with the pork, which was fairly plain. (Salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary on top, with a bit of olive oil.)

The broccoli is just steamed, so a bit boring but I wish I'd bought more because it was so good that I want to eat it again tomorrow. (But sautéed, maybe, with some red pepper flakes.) The rice came from a local curry restaurant and it tastes amazing and I wish I could figure out exactly how to make it for myself. (It's got fennel seeds in it, I can tell that much, but otherwise, I don't know.) Indian rice probably wasn't the best match for this, but the fennel, at least, was quite nice with the sauce, so it wasn't as bad a combination as it might have been. (Mostly I just didn't want to cook my own, and my brother in law happened to be ordering butter chicken, so I had him pick up rice as well.)

Anyway, I'm fairly certain I'll make this again. It made far too much food, but there are leftovers for tomorrow, so I'm happy about that.

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