Easy Char Siu Pork Belly

So I started medical school last month. And it’s…kind of busy. Understatement of the century, I know, but with one month (almost two!) of this stuff under my belt, I feel like I can almost take a breath. The first few weeks were terrifying, really; my mind just felt like cheese (the food analogies will not be stopping there!), kind of holey and not really retaining anything. Certainly nothing like the sponge that eager young minds are supposed to be! But I do feel like now I kind of have my groove, or at least something resembling a groove. Hopefully it won’t be as long between when I can make time for writing, but rest assured that even though I am a busy bee, I am still making time for the important things. Like cooking and eating.

Afternoon tea calls to me...every afternoon

Afternoon tea calls to me…every afternoon

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Ham Stock, Bonbons, and Pea Plants

Split pea and ham soup

This was supposed to be my “meat free dinner”.

I was just going to cheat a little bit and use the ham stock to cook the split peas – it totally would have counted! Of course that didn’t remotely work out – there was so much meat on the bone, and also some leftover ham…it would have been such a waste to throw that out! It really made the most delicious stock. Continue reading

Apple and Cherry Stuffing

Apple and cherry stuffingIt might be the first day of spring, but that doesn’t mean that the weather got the memo! Contrary to popular hope/the calendar, it is not super warm out there, and not even sunny. This is not the end of winter, folks! Sorry to disappoint, but at least you will be able to squeeze in a few more braises/stews/chilies/etc.

I don’t know why, but time and again this winter I have turned to pork for the basis of so many comfort food dishes. Pork shoulder, braised with chillies and served on top of soft polenta, or pork marinated in rice wine, honey, and garlic, or a crowd-pleasing stuffed pork loin. I suppose I should be focusing on spring-like food, but I don’t know if I’m ready to give up the warm comforting winter dishes I’ve grown so accustomed to. What am I saying – of course I am. Luckily, this pork stuffing (or “apple relish” if you will), Continue reading

Those ones are feisty, they are!

So I know I kind of bigged up all the exciting things that I was going to cook and describe in this post at the end of my last post…but then the oven/stove broke. Soo that won’t be happening, unfortunately. I’ll keep it on the (metaphorical) backburner for now, and return to it either when college gets a new stove (unlikely) or I get back home next month (probable).

However, for your viewing pleasure this evening, I have some great shots of one of my favorite restaurants in Oxford, My Sichuan. It’s located right beside the bus bays in Gloucester Green, and so is a little out of the way. They serve Sichuan cuisine (shocking), and my friends at Wikipedia tell me that Sichuan cuisine is considered one of the four great traditions in Chinese cuisine. Continue reading