Culinary porn is how my sister in law would describe my collection of recipe books. Books with pictures to admire. Books you salivate over and have fantasies about.
Cookery books in our house are separated into books that are shelved in the pantry on hand for regular use. There are others that take pride of place with our other books. These are books that get read from cover to cover and brought into the kitchen for special outings before being carefully returned to their protected space.
Imagine my delight when my in-laws bought me cookery books for my birthday last week that I’m proud to add to my culinary porn collection. After first examination I’m going to have a lot of fun trying out the recipes in these two books.
The first recipes I’ve tried is from Jo Seagar’s Cook School’s Recipes. A kiwi cookery darling whose philosophy is a bit like Nigella Lawson without the sexual overtones. She runs a cookery school in Oxford, close to Christchurch, in the South Island and a cafe as well as being a writer and broadcaster here in New Zealand.
I love her cook book for it’s passionate communication and awesome photographs about food but with that kiwi grit shining through. I can’t help feeling that Jo is a little more of an authentic food lover and cook than Nigella. Or maybe she is just less celebrity.
Don’t get me wrong I love Nigella’s approach to cookery. I have about 5 of her cook books which are well read and are located in the pantry since they are used time and time again. I am however now becoming a fan of Jo.
I’m looking forward to working my way through this cookbook and sharing the best bits. The only problem is going to be that the other cook book I got may well be a distraction. I’m going to be torn between the two.
But as they say, when abroad do as the natives do, so that’s where I’m starting with a quick, simple and ever so tasty supper dish from Jo. And would you believe it requires a wok – although she says a frying pan – but I think with the Chinese inspiration it has to be a wok.
This is a recipe for Hoisin Pork Wraps.
The ingredients are as you’d expect. Pork, spring onions, cucumber, wraps with ginger, hoisin sauce and sesame oil. This is pretty much the ingredients I use for my version of duck pancakes, except of course using duck. I first did duck wraps as a boxing day delight having enjoyed roast duck for Christmas dinner the day before.
This recipe is so quick to do as long as you’re dab hand with a knife to do the slicing.
You need to slice up the cucumber (Jo says grate but I find grated cucumber a bit wet and sloppy), spring onions and pork fillet very thinly. The you fry off the pork in ginger and sesame oil before the final stir fry in hoisin sauce.
Personally I like to put all the components for the wrap on the table and people can construct the wraps themselves. Call me lazy if you like but it’s such a fiddly thing I reckon people handling their own food is best all round. Also, it means people can get the right mix of meat and veg to suit their taste. I like to smear some sauce before adding the cucumber and onions and the pork on top before rolling them up ready to eat.
The ginger gives the pork a spicy kick as do the spring onions. But it still has a comfort food feeling. Just what we needed with the rain lashing down in the darkness of night.
Want to give it a go?
Here’s the recipe for two people, adapted from Jo Seagar’s Hoisin Pork Wraps
1 tblsp Sesame Oil
1inch fresh ginger grated
500g Pork fillet thinly sliced
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/3 cucumber sliced into thin matchsticks
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
- Heat oil in pan/wok and stir fry ginger and pork till it has lost it’s pinkness
- Mix in hoisin sauce and stir fry for a couple of minutes till sauce is hot and pork cooked through.
- Wrap onions, cucumber and pork in a tortilla
- Eat straight away!