Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Pork, apple and fennel salad with redcurrant dressing

As you can see from the picture, we don't follow the days that the recipes are set out on, but make what we feel like (and what we have all the ingredients for)

The ingredients for the salad dressing.
Substitutions, Omissions and Deletions:

We couldn't find any redcurrants (fresh or frozen) so we left them out completely. I think we may have put in a little more of the Jelly in the dressing to make up for it. The suggestion was made in the magazine to substitute cranberries, but we couldn't find any fresh or frozen ones of them either.

My partner and I have a weakness for pork crackling, so it was all eaten with the roast the night before, so this was left out of the salad.

The "dry" salad ingredients before adding the pork and dressing.
Prep tips: 

I used a mandolin slicer (a cheapie, from Aldi) to slice up the apple and fennel. I sliced the apple very thinly (about 1.5mm) and the fennel on the next blade up (3mm), as the finer blade tended to hack the fennel up a bit. I'd recommend getting a mandolin slicer if you want to eat some of these interesting salads, as it does make the prep so much easier if you don't have very good knife skills.

Being an ex-kitchen hand, my partner has very good knife skills. I left the roast pork for him to thinly slice up and add to the salad.

Things to do differently next time:

I found a packet of dried cranberries in the pantry after we finished eating, so would probably try making the dressing with a few of those in it.

We would also make sure to have some crackling to garnish, and add a little extra to the meal.

Taste - This was an incredible meal. If you haven't eat much fennel raw before, it has a great aniseed flavour, that was perfectly offset by the apple, dressing and pork. My partner and I also got lunch out of it for the next day - and it was just as tasty.

Ease - Quite possibly the most difficult part of this was roasting the pork the night before (however the recipe does call for pre-roasted meat). The slicing of ingredients was easy, and the only cooking you really had to do was on the stove to make the dressing.

Time - The magazine suggests 15 minutes of prep and 7 minutes cooking. I'd suggest that if you were slicing all ingredients by hand your prep time may take a little longer unless you have awesome chef knife skills. All up, this probably took about 45 minutes from getting the recipe out, to having dinner on the table. This time would include searching for the ingredients in our poorly organised pantry and fridge.

Would I make it again?
Most definitely!
This meal was so good, that I would consider making it for other people when they came around for dinner, or to take to a picnic.

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