Allotment produce for Sunday lunch and cured pork belly for the perfect brunch

I have so many ideas about cooking and so little time. I sometimes wonder if I should take a week off work and just cook. A tempting thought but this would also mean that I would spend the week eating!

Last week, amongst all of the mainly healthy foods, I did a slow cooked pork belly. I cured the meat for 2 days and then slow poached it for 4-5 hours; it was so tender it almost fell apart. The curing added lots of flavour. Cooked like that it would make for a perfect brunch meat. I pan friend potatoes until golden and crispy, friend an egg, cut up some veg and made a spicy, sour cream based sauce to go with my long cooked meat and it was a match made in heaven.

The process made the meat so tender and I have an idea regarding brisket that I would like to try. Am still thinking what spices would be in the perfect dry rub for brisket, not quite ready but I was thinking that star anise and perhaps coriander seeds might add a nice flavour, will follow up!

I found some wonderful Seville oranges last weekend and made a hot and sour marmalade, not being too keen on too sweet, this is perfect for me, spread on dark, toasted bread, or even better, toasted sourdough bread!

It was also time to make some more hot sauce as I was actually running out. With winter apples still available this is perfect! My favourite is using Bramley apples but citrus is also nice, the fruitiness makes the hot sauce softer, before the hotness of the chillies kick in as a pleasant surprise.

The past week went way too fast there was very little time for cooking and way too much eating out. One lunchtime I opted for the 500 calorie pizza from Pizza Express in an attempt to be healthy but it reminded me more about cardboard than pizza, I should have gone for a sloppy Guiseppe like my friend did! So after quite a lot of non-healthy foods I have had a mixed weekend, a healthy pasta salad packed with salmon and veg. The Sunday roast replaced by meatloaf and allotment veg, parsnip, potato and garlic mash, parsnip crisps, kale steamed in lemon juice and garlic served with gravy, pickled cucumber and apple jelly, total comfort food cooked in a healthier way without compromising the flavours.

Next week is all happening, most of the stuff is in boxes as there will be work done around the house, I hope we can get most unpacked for the weekends guests. A menu for Saturday is in progress not finished just yet and can’t make my mind up regarding dessert. No more cooking until next weekend, after the next couple of weeks will slow down and make more time for cooking!

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