Tag Archives: Food

It’s been cold in Australia, despite it being spring, we are only 1.25mm off our annual average rainfall. We have had rains that have filled dams, flood causeways, uprooted trees and I have lambs in coats as it is cold. They also have a shelter home but they walk and eat outside and will sit where they find warmth. I can see the sun shinning through my office window today and it’s been a while.

I was really hungry at lunch and wanted a quick and easy lunch, couldn’t be bothered with a sandwich, I wanted something hot and fulfilling.

I got out a wrap, placed it on an oven tray, used some locally made South Australian grated cheese, poured a little homemade (not by me) tomato sauce on it, put some salami and pepperoni on it and baked it in the oven for 15 minutes at about 180 degrees Celsius.

pizza-wrap

Is this what you are feeding yourself or worse still your children

http://ninem.sn/MgpLoIC

Follow this link, it will show you what you are eating, if this doesn’t make you think twice about the products you are buying to feed to yourself and children, then nothing will.

Australia has such a stringent food laws that this does not happen, but they would not be buying free range, grass-fed chicken. Most birds that are for meat are raised in houses or barns, some are given growth hormone so that the breast meat becomes ‘thicker’ when they are sold.

McDonald’s have a website that you can check the ingredients – it states that they purchase “from places like Ingham” I wonder what this means. is there a place “like Ingham or is it Ingham? one should ask the question.

Chicken is not the first meat to be substituted Beef and Pork have a history of this unscrupulous practice. So if you wish to eat healthy and of late ‘clean’ then you should be looking to  purchase grass-fed, free range from your local butcher or market. Better still contact a farmer through face book, or twitter you never know where they may be for what you want and though not as cheap as take away meals like this, at least you will know what you are purchasing is not only good for the family, it’s good for your health.

Cooking Pork

They say this as if cooking pork is easy, Australians love Pork we consume 22.2 kilo- per year though this may sound not like much, it is the size of an average 4-year-old toddler, most airlines will let you take this much for check-in baggage without charging you extra. Think of the bag you pack when travelling for 10 days or more and tell me if you think you can eat this? I suspect you can’t, Writing this now it seems a lot but we Australian eat more in Red Meat than in Pork.

We have branched out to get some pork from neighbours, free range and organic, it has a beautiful taste and I noted that the ‘crackling wasn’t the perfect colour pink we all see in supermarkets. This is because it is free range and organic not kept in piggeries and fed one type of diet without naturally occurring grasses. Pigs – are not necessarily pink either so their skin colour can reflect on the meat. Ours has black patches, this make absolutely no difference to the beautiful fresh taste of the meat.

But being a meat cooker, I didn’t account for the skin and meat to cook unevenly. I based my cooking of a rolled roast on our meat weights, 2 kilos cooks for 2 hours at 180 degree Celsius, not the same for pork I discovered. Here are some tips that may be helpful:

Pork is always best cooked over medium heat. Too hot and the meat will have a tendency to dry out

Pork doesn’t need to be overcooked to be safe

Pork (like all meat) continues to cook after removal from heat. For best results, let your dish rest uncovered for 1-2 minutes in a warm environment prior to serving (except for sausages and mince)

Always cut meat across the grain to keep tender

With crackling – the secret for perfect crackling is oil, salt and heat.  Score the rind at about 1cm intervals.  Rub a little oil and salt well into the scored rind and place into a preheated 220°C oven.  Cook for 20 minutes at 220°C then turn oven down to 180°C (medium heat) and cook roast for 45 minutes per kilogram.  Rest under foil for 5-10 minutes.

Without crackling – sear first in a pan.  Place in a preheated 180°C oven and cook for 40 minutes per kilogram.  Rest under foil for 5-10 minutes.  To aid even cooking, place roast on an elevated rack in the oven or onto halved carrots or potatoes to elevate.

If in doubt ask your supplier or butcher, next time I will know – these tricks would have been handy before I started cooking it and we didn’t eat till late

for more handy tips go to http://www.pork.com.au

pork roast

 

 

 

The benefits of eating Pork

This week we have had the pleasure of getting organic pork from the farm gate, but delivered to our door. It is fresh and ready to go into our freezer, but not before I planned and cooked ribs that night for dinner. I have avoided pork for many reasons, not that I didn’t like it I do, there is nothing better at Christmas than the fresh ham off the bone is there?

I am just not use to eating it, there is the tried and tested ‘sweet & sour pork’ which as a ‘Chinese food‘ is a stable take away, I have even attempted to make it but wasn’t successful. But it got me thinking about other pork dishes and now we have our own, I am going to be a bit more experimental. After having done some research on it pork met is as healthy as red meat. I also avoided it as watching my husband order and eat it in restaurants use to make his face go red. This never happened with any other meat but then no other meat is cured with salt and having high blood pressure, he use to react almost instantly. This is did not occur with the organic pork we had the other night.

It is important to have a balanced diet so white meats are recommended, and pork is considered the ‘other’ white meat, along with chicken and fish. Should you want to order some pork,  try to find a local grower, free range and organic. I can safely say there is nothing nicer than that taste.

Ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin has less fat than a chicken breast. The downside to this is that fat is what makes pork taste so good—which explains  why ham and bacon are far more popular than leaner cuts. Bacon and other cured meats often contain sodium and other preservatives, such  as nitrates, that may raise blood pressure or increase your risk for cancer. To  limit your risk, choose fresh meats or packaged products that contain no  preservatives—typically labeled “all-natural”—whenever possible.

Read more about interesting facts on eating pork: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/saturated_fat/Pork.php#ixzz2frYkubwd

Eating when travelling

I am travelling this week and only within my own country so I don’t have to juggle different food stuffs. It is always hard to maintain good eating habits when you travel, as everywhere you go you meet people, skip meals and dine out. Especially when travelling for business, meal times can be filled with high calorie drinks alcohol and sometimes too spicy.

I am a meat person, there is nothing more satisfying than perfectly cooked and beautiful tasting beef, lamb or chicken, I like seafood occasionally but am not a fan of  ‘game’ so venison is never on the menu for me. I did try it many years ago at a wine and food fair but was so violently ill that never again. I can eat duck but find it fatty unless prepared perfectly, having eaten Peking Duck in china there has been no competition and no need to seek it else where.

There are taste sensations to avoid when travelling, purely for the comfort of the people you are seeing, things like high garlic dishes will give you very smelly breath and in some instances intestinal pain until it is dispelled from your system. If you see people leaning away from you when you talk then perhaps it’s garlic. There is no neutralizing product as in chewing gum, sometimes this makes it worse.

Excessive consumption of alcohol and lack of sleep is a really good combination to create a really foul body odour. Nothing worse than that of a sweaty alcoholic binge (on another person). This is another odour that doesn’t leave a person till a) they have ‘slept it off’ b) rehydrated and remember the old saying in business nothing smells like loose lips and career ending alcohol fueled gossip sessions. Clients don’t appreciate it, nor do bosses and besides if you are travelling on an expense account, I have never seen a ‘drink the bar dry approval sentence’, you can be asked to pay the bill and my motto is if you are not prepared to pay for it yourself then your boss certainly isn’t.

Trying the local fare is a good not only for the economy but for the diversity of your taste buds, but sometimes travelling within your own country the biggest thing we ad to our meals 9that we don’t do at home) is have an entrée, bread rolls and desserts. “our eyes are bigger than our stomachs” old sayings. I have been at a dinner where a Dr ordered a $130.00 bottle of wine, this is awkward, how do you say no if you are paying and what on earth was he thinking is the other thing. Keep the bill within reason and now I actually tell clients there is a limit to the company generosity, that is only within reason and after 4 drinks each I will call for the tab. This is enough alcohol and everybody is outside the legal limit.

Most importantly when travelling and eating Enjoy!

travelingplatebeef

 

cooking at home versus fast food

It this really busy world where women and men are out working, being parents, playing sports, being on committees and numerous other roles unmentioned in this blog. There is always that nagging feeling when coming to the end of the working day, even if you do not work in paid employment after a day working, it comes to about 4pm and your mind starts thinking about the dreaded chore of preparing the evening meal. Remember the ‘frustrated Chef‘ from ‘Sesame Street’ well cooking daily makes me feel like this

There is no speech by your parents when you grow up about how laborious this chore is, yes they talk about sex, making babies, financial responsibilities and school and growing up but my mother never told me how this could be the worst chore ever invented and how necessary it is to daily functions. My mother also never told me how frustrating it is when you ask people in the house what do they want to dinner and have responses like “anything as long as I’m with you” as nice as it sounds it’s a cop-out. In Australian language that means I have no idea and I’m not prepared to offer any suggestions, this is frustrating to say the least, or what would be nice occasionally is to have someone say, “I know” and get up and prepare it and present it themselves.

We sit and watch shows like ‘Masterchef‘, ‘My Restaurant Rules‘, Huey’s kitchen and every other ‘lifestyle’ program has a cooking segment on it and we (pardon the pun) devour these shows, in my case I love some of the dishes and want to see who wins, that’s the competitive nature in me coming out there. But sometimes these dishes they don’t relate to normal life do they? Who really has the time (other than paid contestants) to spend 5 hours preparing meals? Not me I could not think of anything more boring. Preparing and presenting a perfectly cooked meal, consuming it and then CLEANING up.

There are some days when I think, can’t I just go and buy dinner? I live where there is no identifiable (no golden arches) fast food places within 150kms or in American terms 93.20 miles so when I do feel like this I rely on the trusty freezer, to have meat, oven fires and frozen vegetables and normally use this opportunity to do a mixed grill, rump, fillet or lamb chops which I will crumb, eggs from our chooks, sausages either our beef or lamb, then bread cooked in our bread maker and frozen oven fries cooked in the oven. This really is our choice, I don’t keep frozen ‘fast foods‘ like hash browns or others, these can be high in fat and salt.

But sometimes just sometimes I would love someone to come in and cook and clean. The last time farmer was out for dinner I cooked a microwave bag of popcorn and ate that, nothing else but white wine with it. When we travel to the city to see family and friends it normally is for a celebration so food is part of this shared experience, I have a family of cookers, they bring salads, hot vegetables, desserts and we cook either a leg of lamb or roast some of our beef. There is nothing nicer, but if we dine out, I note farmer goes for the seafood or steak, I normally go the steak option, it is just nice to have food prepared and presented to you. We also like Asian foods which I also cook when I feel I have time, but overall home cooking is always much more flavor some and healthy for you than ‘fast foods’ but for the convenience fast foods will win this mental trauma every time and this is back by the statistics, people would rather drive through than shop in.

My advice, find a great fresh home delivery company that will bring fresh fruit, produce and meat to your door, plan your meals so that you only order what you know you are going to eat. This will help reduce the high calories intake and save you from opening your purse. Put that money towards a long desired holiday where, when you get it you can PAY someone to cook what you want and clean up.

frustrated chef

Starting Fresh

It’s been a while but we have been busy working on many things and one of those is joining with a home delivery company with out lambs. It is a big step for two small companies to join together, to work together with the one goal: providing fresh, superb quality foods to many who are time poor, do not wish to shop in a supermarket and want to support the local grower / primary producer and small business.

We have met and talked and agreed we need to give it a ‘red hot go’ as they say in Australia. We will supply them with grass-fed fresh lamb, advertise and move it out. It’s a win win for South Australians, you can go on-line to http://www.firstfroots.com.au order your fresh fruit and vegetables and from next month lamb. we will be doing joint press releases and advertising so that you know when we will be on their shelves (in the cool room) and be delivered fresh, cold freezer or meal ready to your door.

With First Froots there is NO joining free, enter your postcode check your home delivery status then register login, see their extensive menu, check out the price list – no hidden costs here, order what you want, select payment and then enter. delivered fresh to your door, we have tasted a fine selection of fruit and vegetables and after 1 week, we had to throw NOTHING OUT, it is fresh not stored in warehouses till it’s needed. The taste and quality are that of a farmers market, we highly recommend the service, if they delivered to Keith we would be using them exclusively. When you join tell them via Bully Beef and other meats blog.