Monday, 11 April 2011

Pesto Pork

Just make sure the pig is cooked through...
Pesto is one of those things that when bought from the shop is TOTALLY inferior to home made. Many things are the opposite, pastry is a good example. See, I'm not a food purist at all, but with something as simple to make as pesto, there are no excuses. It is also hugely versatile, everyone has had it in pasta, but it also makes a good salad dressing if used sparingly and is AWESOME blobbed on top of minestrone soup. That's only two ideas, but it's monday morning and I don't want to push myself too much.

A third idea is to slather it over a lovely juicy pork chop, transforming the humble slice of piggy into something really delicious. My pesto always comes out slightly differently, I don't measure what goes into it, there is no need, and it depends how much you have of everything. Just taste it as you go, as everyone has different tastes, and not everyone likes to ensure they are totally safe from the Twilight crew, as I do, with excessive garlic consumption.

To make pesto, you will need a wizzer of some description. Into this throw a bunch of basil, stalks removed, a small handfull of toasted pine nuts (just toast in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until they go light brown, super easy to burn them so be careful), a handful of grated parmesan, a couple of roughly chopped garlic cloves (go easy if you don't want to stink forever), salt, pepper, juice of half a lemon, and a massive glug of olive oil. Wizz it up so you have a lovely vivid green sauce and taste. Might need more salt, or a bit more lemon for some zing, tweak to your taste.

I like to serve it on a griddled T-bone pork steak with some sliced up roasted potatoes and something green on the side. I am yet to cook the T-bone steak without having to put it back in the pan to cook it some more, really hard to get right, it would be a tragedy to dry it out, but then bleeding pork isn't good either. You can use any pork chop but t-bones are super juicy and tasty, as long as you don't give yourself food poisoning by undercooking it, as I like to do.


  1. Do you know any good recipes for homemade fishcakes using salmon? I have tried on numerous occassions but just can't get them quite right! either they are not crispy enough or fall apart! Help!....loving the pesto by the way, especially love it as a salad dressing xx

  2. Fishcakes seem easy but can easily go wrong, and its easy to make very boring ones. Make sure the mix isn't too wet. I reckon best way is to roast the salmon with a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper, flake it into a bowl, add a bit of mash,then add a few finely chopped spring onions and chopped parsley, lots of seasoning and a lightly whisked egg to bind. Egg isn't essential but I think it helps. If it looks too sloppy add a bit more mash. If the mix lets you pat it into nice neat cakes it should be ok. Chill them for about half an hour to firm them up. To make really nice and crispy, just before frying, dip in a bowl of flour, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs. Fry in a non-stick pan in butter or olive oil until golden brown, then flip over and do the other side. Don't try to turn them too early. Fingers crossed, they should be lush! You can add red thai curry paste to make them exotic. Think I might have to cook fishcakes soon...xx