Pork Belly with Tamarind and Sweet Chilli Sauce Glaze And a Giveaway!

Tamarind glazed pork belly and Taylor's wine

I was contacted by  Taylors Wine  to try out their wines and to do a giveaway on my blog.  How can you say no to wine, so of course, I said yes!  One lucky reader gets a chance to win 2 bottles from Taylors Wine but more on that later.

Taylors wine is a family owned wine company in South Australia’s Clare Valley, that was born from a passion of producing exceptional, hand crafted wines.  I was lucky enough to try their Taylors Estate Gewurztraminer.  This wine has rose, musk and spice aromas, along with a palate that is crisp and zesty with lime and lychee flavours.  I wanted a dish that would compliment those flavours and had a look at their website where they list food and wine pairings.

Taylor's Wine

I came up with a recipe that was not only damn delicious but went really well with the Gewurztraminer.  I love pork and what better cut is there than pork belly?  I simmered the pork belly first and cooked it all the way through. I then placed in a hot oven to get that nice crunchy crackling on it.  I accidentally put the oven on the grill with fan function but didn’t realise until after an hour of cooking. But the crackling turned out perfect. At first I thought the glaze would soften the crackling but it didn’t.  It just gave it extra flavour.  One word. Winner!

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Recipe:

  • 1.25kg pork belly
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 4 bay leaves

Glaze:

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/4 cup tamarind puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  1. In a large pot, place pork belly and enough water to cover.  Add the salt, pepper and bay leaves.
  2. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1.5 hours.
  3. Take the pork belly out and let it rest on a rack at room temperature for at least one hour.
  4. Preheat grill with fan function on your oven to 220degC
  5. Meanwhile mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl.  Place half aside into a small serving dish.
  6. Roast the pork belly for 20mins then turn down the temperature to 170degC for an hour and a half.
  7. Glaze the pork belly with your glaze mixture and let it roast for another 15 mins.
  8. Serve with the extra glaze for dipping.

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To enter:

  • please leave a comment at the end of this post.
  • Australian residents only
  • You must be over the age of 18 to enter. Wine will be shipped out once proof of age has been secured.
  • Winner will be notified by email.
  • Competition ends midnight 14th March 2014
  • What are you waiting for?  Start commenting!

Bon appetite,

Cherrie

Filipino Fiesta Party with Style

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It was party time!  What better way to celebrate a milestone birthday than to share it with family and friends and plenty of delicious food.  I invited over my food blogger friends and asked them to bring along a Filipino dish of their choice.  Some of them have eaten Filipino food but certainly not one of them have ever cooked or baked it before.

I have held many parties and dinner parties before but I have to say, most of my focus is usually on the food.  This time though, I wanted to have more style and pazzazz at my do.  As this fiesta, the guests were bringing a dish (or two or three) each, I didn’t have to worry whether there will be enough food.  As food bloggers, we tend to over cater.

Thanks to Fleishman Hillard PR company, I was provided with a party kit which included fun retro straws and napkins, deco tea light holders and candles for ambience and a stylish wine bucket to keep the wine and drinks cold.

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candles are a great way to create an ambience

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Use a stylish ice bucket to keep your drinks cold

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Wonderful Pistachios are a wonderful addition to the nibbles

The food my friends brought along were amazing.  I was really impressed at their effort, most especially because they have never cooked Filipino food before.  We also ordered a HUGE lechon.  The meat was so tender and moist and the skin/crackling was so crunchy.  It was amazing.

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The table was laden with wonderful and delicious Filipino food. My friends rock!!

My birthday cake was the highlight of the night.  My very good friends (aka #CakeSquad) Shellie and Thanh, made me a ube, pandan and coconut ombre cake, topped with macarons.  AMAZING!

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If you follow me on istagram and/or twitter, you will know that I share my birthday with my little boy.  We celebrated his birthday with family.

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Thomas with his spider man birthday cake I made for him

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photos taken by my bro @epu3on

Here are a few tips from Style and Fashion Host Melissa Hoyer to keep guests and yourself happy whilst entertaining,.

  1. Parties are all about the people so get the guest list right.  Aim to have groups of people with common interests and that you know will “gel” together well.
  2. Three week rule: I suggest inviting your guests at least 3 weeks in advance.  Hosts should give an email address for their guests to RSVP to, that way, the confirmation is saved and you can go back to it when you finalise the guest list.
  3. Be present and available.  This can be hard when you’re constantly refilling the buffet table and justling trays of food.  More importantly, everyone has come to see you and if they see you stressed then they will become uneasy
  4. To theme or not to theme: Themed parties puts a gimmick in every guest but really gives your guests the opportunity to talk about something to other people at the party.
  5. No one goes hungry on your watch: I’m always thinking about my guests, making sure they are having fun and are relaxed.  Keep an eye out for clinking ice cubes.  Offer to refill drinks, as you carry around platter of delicious nibbles such as cheese, pistachios and gourmet dips.
  6. Provide light nibbles that are easy to serve and source: I’m pretty sure that generally people love going to parties because of the sheer hospitality they recieve.  I’m also sure that hosts put on parties to have fun too.   My typical platter of nibbles includes bowls of flavoured Wonderful Pistachios, brie, Camembert cheddar and Jarlsberg and lots of dip flavours like chili crab, guacamole baba ghanoush and beetroot.
  7. Is it OK to ask people to bring something?- Of course! Most people will want to bring something.  I often tend to ask to bring a bottle of something they like drinking.  As a host, be confident to put the request in the invite subtly.

Thanks to Fleishman Hillard for the party kit and for the Wonderful Pistachios,

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie