Dessert / Food / Pork

Chocolate Two Ways

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TBC is away on holiday. And for all my good intentions I haven’t had time to set this up as The Brazen Duck: On Holiday. However you may appreciate that I have instead brought a recipe to you from TBC via A. Let it be know that the bringing that I am doing is purely production values since A did all the planning and the cooking. Not only this but L also decided on making ice-cream sandwiches, which harkens back to my childhood where Giant Sandwiches were actually the best ice-cream. I just didn’t realise this until it was too late (i.e. they changed the recipe for the very worse), when I was younger I was won over by the glitz of ice-cream with chocolate shells, etc.

First let me tell you something I have been intending to say forever. It is this: I really enjoy The Imp. The coffee is strong with BD milk, the way I like it. But also there are two of the employees that work that really converse with you and make you feel welcome. I’ve had dinner there and it’s totally amazing, though obviously priced similarly to other tapas bars in Perth.

The only problem, as with any tiny café is you’re unlikely to get a spot in peak hour and you can’t book a table. If that’s not going to put you off I really suggest it, try their grilled vegetable sandwich, it’s amazeballs.

P.S. Their almond crescents were my go to during exams.

A here! As much as I am not worthy to be posting on The Brazen Duck (as I am usually a Brazen guest for all the delicious food which gets posted here) the Brazen Chef is the one who taught me how to cook “real” mexican, so think of this as a tribute to her in her absence.

Authentic Mexican food is quite a divergence from the tex-mex Old El Paso fare I was served as a child. For a start, it tends to be based around pork, rather than ground beef.

I was lucky enough to score a leg cut on the cheap from my butcher of choice (the budget friendly Swansea Street Markets). If you are looking for quality meat without spending a fortune, you should head over there as soon as you can! They also have difficult to find animal parts (a freezer stacked with chicken livers and tripe, for example) and are happy to try to source anything which they currently don’t have.

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There is something so divinely comforting about the combination of avocado, lime juice, coriander and chilli which makes tacos such a comfort food for our Monday night tribe.

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The staple fillings for tacos (as we do them) are guacamole and salsa. So simple and refreshing! Just mush up some avocados, chuck in salt and lime juice (and coriander if you want) to taste, and done. We actually added smoked sea salt flakes, as that was (fortuitiously!) what was to hand in The Brazen Photographer’s kitchen. This gave the guac a nice smoky zing, which really balanced the lime juice.

Use the best tomatoes that you can find in your salsa. Tomatoes are a fruit which really varies in taste with quality: you want tomatoes which aren’t too pulpy or floury, but nice and juicy. I am hoping to grow tomatoes in abundance this summer, as nothing is better than a home-grown tomato. Combine your best tomatoes with coriander and red onion.
Both the guac and the salsa will benefit from tasting and seasoning until you have got it “just right”. Everyone has different ideas about what ratios of ingredients they want in their salsa, so you’re best to let your taste buds inform your decisions here.

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Pulled pork is one of the best things in the world. I don’t think this is hyperbole. It was a mystery to me until The Brazen Chef explained that you need to braise your pork for some time (in the oven or on the stove). It’s done when it falls apart. I left the bones in the pan for this part, to give more flavour. Then, shred the meat andreduce the liquid down and crisp it in its own fat. In Australia, our pigs tend to be a bit on the lean side for this. You may need to add some lard or similar to get those nice crispy edges on your meat. We actually ended up using duck fat, as it was the only fat to hand.

I cooked this pork in a tin of crushed tomatoes, with some added coriander powder (around 2 teaspoons), browned onions, and 3 cloves of garlic. I initially wanted to add ground cumin, but there was none in the kitchen. So we added some drinking cocoa with chilli and cinnamon, largely because it was on the kitchen bench. Don’t be afraid of adding small amounts of something like this to something like pulled pork, or stews: it will give it a lovely, rich flavour without seeming as out of place as you might expect.

This pork is to die for. ❤ – TBP

Finally – never ever buy tortillas. You can make your own at home for next to nothing, and they taste so much better. Get yourself some masa flour (you can find it at markets, or places like Loose Produce in Como). Mix equal parts with warm water. You want a consistency like play-doh. Roll out between two sheets of glad wrap, and fry on a dry non-stick pan until it browns up. They’ll be more bendable if you lay them under a tea-towel after cooking. This is the one of the greatest things I have ever learnt, and I don’t think I can ever repay The Brazen Chef for this knowledge. – A

So, I’m TBC’s boyfriend, and I took over making dessert this week. In this case, it was an Ice-Cream Sandwich but with a crazy twist; Black Beans. Recipe here; linked to me by a friend. 
I assume whoever made this up did it to make a gluten free alternative to floury cookies, but in the end I added flour anyway to make the mix a bit dryer, so the cookies would hold together a bit better. Maybe it didn’t need it, but it looked like it when it was at the mix stage so that’s what happened. And hey, they ended up looking quite pretty! (Though maybe that’s to do more with TBP’s skillz than my cooking…)

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The first bite is really quite good; the black beans give it an odd but good taste. However after a few more bites, I found the bean taste a bit overwhelming, despite the huge amount of chocolate in the recipe. Some of us liked it, some didn’t. Next time I think I’ll make my ice cream sandwich biscuits without the beans I think, though it was an interesting experiment. – L

Anyway, ❤ guys!

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