Week 2 Day 2
I’m going to have an exotic supper tonight. So for the rest of the day, I will keep it low key, but still real food. A nibble of the Chocolate Coated Hazelnuts with Black Coffee. A couple of Boiled Eggs for lunch. And a couple of Fresh Strawberries. This week’s strawberries are much more natural in appearance. I will be pleased when another fruit comes into season. But with the coconut, there are more options this week.
When I think of dishes to make with pork, I go East Asian—something like Thai. I know there are premade spice mixes available. But they are relatively expensive, and premade blends can contain sugars. Not much but it all adds up. Sugar can feature a lot in East Asian, and especially Chinese cuisine. It is a matter of checking the labels. But it won’t be sweet and sour pork tonight!
Even with the limitation of ingredients, there are enough here to make an imaginative dish.
I have an onion and some bell pepper, plus mushrooms and beansprouts. So, I’m going to have a go at Thai Pork Stir Fry.
I love the names of the food dishes. And I can make up any number of pretentious names for basic recipes. The only spices I have are Dry Thai Seasoning. Garlic, onion, coriander leaves, chilli, lemongrass, ginger and dried bell pepper. Now, fresh ingredients would not cost that much and would significantly enhance the dish. In the late summer, you would be able to grow all those ingredients. Once they get going, all but the peppers and chilli will be available for months. Lemongrass and ginger need to be in pots and kept frost-free. Peppers are annuals, so that isn’t important. Lemongrass and ginger grow to 1.5 metres so they will make a striking display on the patio or step. Just put some seeds. Cloves or roots in a pot and have a go. Why don’t you? https://www.canna-uk.com/ginger_grow_it_yourself
Let’s get back to the present, with this exotic-on-a-budget dish. Here’s a tip. Because those ingredients are dry, and this is going to be a flash-fry job, soak them first in the water, half an hour to an hour before. Add water to cover, then double it. It makes a paste and allows the flavour to come out. You need more than you think, don’t sprinkle. About a teaspoon or more, depending on what flavour level you want.
Take your chosen portion of pork, chop into small chunks. Cut up a quarter to half an onion depending on size. Onions can be carby for a keto diet. Roughly chop half of the pepper into suitably sized pieces. Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan with olive oil. Get it to near smoking, then just throw in the ingredients. A wok and a gas burner would be the most spectacular with flames everywhere. A frying pan and ceramic hob need more attention to stirring the mix evenly. Just after the ferocious sizzling stage add in the spice mix. Then add in the beansprouts for the last minute or so, until cooked on the outside. Serve up. I added some lime juice. I thought it was exotic.
For pudding, it was the works! Greek Yoghurt with Strawberries, Chocolate Shavings and Grated Coconut. The method should be self-explanatory.
The coconut is a real treat. One of the best value real foods there is—loads of flavour, roughage and energy. The only nutrient lacking is the protein. At 56p it is fantastic value. They do have a limited shelf life surprisingly for something with such a tough case. And once opened they do need to be eaten within a day or so. I have a lot of uses for this coconut!
But first, to extract the milk. Use a hammer and cross-head screwdriver to make two holes in the ‘eyes’. Pour out the milk into a tall glass or cocktail glass. Add lime and crushed ice. There you have a refreshing cocktail. I managed to raid the drinks cupboard to hunt down some holiday gin. Coconut Crush Keto Cocktail! Strictly speaking, the gin is not in the cost. It would have been fine with no alcohol.
Coconut Pieces. Once the milk has been poured out, go outside and smash the coconut on a concrete slab or against the wall. You could also use a hammer. A jagged edge is desirable so that you can prise out the coconut pieces. Serve fresh or with lime juice. Or with fruit and chocolate. Store airtight and use within a couple of days maximum. Best eaten fresh