All posts by Tanya Kotze

Miso Pork Belly Ramen

People tend to associate ramen noodles with the dried noodles you zap in the microwave for a quick cheap meal.  This does not compare with freshly made Japanese ramen noodles.

Ramen also refers to the Japanese dish of noodles served in a broth and topped with meat and/or vegetables.  I decided to make ramen noodles with a miso broth and miso roasted pork belly for this week’s date night.

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Feijoada – Brazilian Pork and Bean Stew

Feijoada is considered to be the national dish of Brazil.  Pork and beans  are slowly cooked and served with rice, collard greens and orange slices.

A dish of Portugese origin, it is said that slaves would make this dish out of pork leftovers and black beans. Pig ears, feet and tails are traditionally used in this dish – I opted to leave it out of my version.

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Ravioli 3 Ways – Veal and Spinach, Ostrich and Pancetta, Smoked Venison and Butternut

As we try to stick to a fairly low carb diet most of the time, I haven’t made fresh pasta for ages.  This was a great excuse to make ravioli for date night.

As every date night is a special occasion I decided to push the boat out and make 3 different types of ravioli with 3 different sauces.

Veal & Spinach Ravioli in a Walnut Sauce, Ostrich & Pancetta Ravioli in a Porcini Sauce and Venison & Butternut Ravioli in a Sage Butter Sauce.

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Portugese Date Night – Chorizo Stuffed Calamari and Beef Espetada

Sometimes the simplest food is the tastiest – Beef Espetada being a prime example.  A dish from the island of Madeira,  large chunks of beef are rubbed with garlic, salt and bay leaves.  It is then skewered and cooked over an open fire.

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Jamaican Date Night – Caribbean Prawns, Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas and Guinness Ice Cream

When you think of Jamaica you think of relaxed island vibes, rum cocktails and food flavoured with chilli, all spice and thyme.  This inspired me to try the quintessential Jamaican dishes of Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas  for this week’s Jamaican date night. Continue reading Jamaican Date Night – Caribbean Prawns, Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas and Guinness Ice Cream

Thai Date Night – Khao Soi (curry noodles), Khao Kha Moo (pork shank) and Lemongrass Ginger Ice Cream

Of all the Thai food we ate in Chiang Mai (and we ate a lot), 2 of our favourite dishes were Khao Soi (a soup like dish consisting of egg noodles and meat in a curry coconut sauce) and Khao Kha Moo (braised pork leg on rice).  When Adrienne brought home fresh turmeric last week it was a sign to make Khao Soi, and in keeping with the Thai theme I decided to try and recreate the fabulous Khao Kha Moo from the famous “Lady with the cowboy hat” at the Chang Phueak Gate in Chiang Mai.

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Indian Date Night – Fish Tikka Skewers and Goan Prawn Curry

This is actually a date night from December but totally forgot about it with all the Silly Season chaos.

There’s so much more to Indian cuisine than the Butter Chicken, Vindaloo, Madras and Korma’s we see on local menus.

Goa – a coastal region in western India is well known for it’s seafood dishes.   Goan cuisine is heavily  influenced by its Hindu origins, Muslim rule and subsequent Portuguese colonialisation.

This prawn  curry starts of with a masala of spices, garlic, ginger and vinegar (the Portugese influence), before coconut milk is added to make a creamy curry full of flavour.

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