James St Cookery School: Hot and spicy pork fillet, Squid with romesco chorizo
PEOPLE tend to think less of pork than of beef or lamb but, it’s tasty, versatile and, for me, vastly underrated.
For my hot and spicy fillet dish I recommend trying the free–range pork from Pheasant Hill Farm near Killyleagh.
My second recipe is a quick and easy squid dish, perfect for first–time squid cooks. Make sure you score the squid before cooking – this will help keep it tender.
HOT AND SPICY PORK FILLET
350g pork fillets
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 small dried red chillies
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat your oven to 220C. Grind the fennel seeds, cumin, coriander, chillies, paprika and salt together to a fine powder. Combine with some olive oil and, using your hands, coat the fillets with the mix in a large bowl; wash your hands well before and after.
Sear the fillets in a large pan with a little olive oil on a high heat to seal the meat, a couple of minutes on each side, turning with tongs.
Place the meat on a roasting tray and pour over all the juices and spices from the pan. Drizzle again with olive oil and oven cook for 13 minutes, checking halfway through to ensure it’s not drying.
Remove, cover with tinfoil and leave to rest. Slice after eight minutes, spoon over any juices and serve – ideally with mashed potato and spiced apple sauce.
SQUID WITH ROMESCO CHORIZO AND PADRON PEPPERS
400g squid, tubes and tentacles, cleaned
Freshly ground pepper
Oil for cooking (sunflower or rapeseed)
100g uncooked chorizo, cut into 1cm slices
150g padron peppers
For the sauce:
4 red peppers, skinned and finely chopped
5 garlic gloves, peeled and crushed
2 medium red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
60g flaked almonds, toasted (place on dry pan on medium heat until golden, toss)
1 tbsp tomato puree
Make the romesco sauce first – the longer it has to infuse, the better it tastes. Cook the peppers, garlic and chilli in oil in a pan on a medium heat until soft. Whizz in a blender with the remaining ingredients. Season to taste and place in a dish in a fridge.
Make a cut down the centre of the cleaned squid and score by slicing an indent (not cutting through) criss–cross fashion, to ensure the squid won’t tighten up too much during cooking.
Season with salt and pepper and place a griddle pan on the hob with a little oil. Cook for two–to–three minutes each side, pressing down to minimise curling.
In another pan, place the chorizo on a medium heat – you shouldn’t need oil. When it’s browning, add the padron peppers; cook for three minutes. Serve with a spoonful of sauce.
Romance is on the menu at Hadski’s restaurant where our Cook & Dine service is gearing up for Valentine’s Day. See cookinbelfast.co.uk