Twice cooked beans with pork and XO sauce

An old favourite of mine with simple ingredients, just a little prep and a few minutes cooking time. Perfect for that week night dinner where you’re short on time but still wanting a tasty meal. If you’ve got some pork mince sitting in the freezer you get the added bonus of a cheap meal.

I recommend buying some dried Shiitake and black fungus, also known as wood ear or cloud ear mushrooms. Soaked in a little boiling water they can bulk out a meal and add that little extra flavour and texture, great in stir fries like this. Just a packet of each costing a few bucks will last you a long time 🙂

Serves 2.

Dried Shiitake and Black Fungus mushrooms.


1 tbs light soy sauce.

4 of each, dried Shiitake and Black fungus mushrooms, chopped, (about 10grams dried).


Prep done :)
Prep done 🙂


Combine the soy sauces, rice wine, sugar, cornflour and pork in a bowl, then set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.

Blanch beans in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Drain and pat dry (it is essential beans are completely dry before frying).

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry the beans for 2-3 minutes until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Twice cooked beans

Add the garlic and chilli to the wok, and stir-fry for 30 seconds over high heat until fragrant. Add the pork mixture to the wok and stir-fry for a further 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Add the XO sauce and stir to combine. When just about done stir through the beans to warm through and serve on warmed plates with extra XO sauce.

Twice cooked beans with pork & XO sauce————————————————————————————-

A very smooth dish, soft pork mince, with crunchy beans. XO sauce gives it a bit of spice along with the chilli. This is a nice recipe to bring out and surprise your friends or family with. Something different that will introduce you to new flavours! After that the XO sauce will become a fridge favourite, it definitely is here 🙂

This original recipe is from Twice cooked beans with pork and XO sauce.


Another incarnation from another cook!
Another incarnation from another cook!



Creamy Mushroom Sauce with a steak :)

I wanted a perfect mushroom sauce that will be my ‘be all end all’ mushroom sauce recipe and this is it.

There’s just something about serving a steak with a mushroom sauce, some fries and steamed vegetables, a classic pub style meal.


Serves 2.

20g butter.

2 eshallots, finely chopped.

120mls cream.

1 garlic clove, finely chopped.

150g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced.

1/4 cup of white wine.


IMG_9598Melt the butter in a fry pan over medium heat and add your eschallots. Cook, stirring for around 5 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and wine and cook for another 5-6mins. Stir in your cream and cook for 10minutes and reduce to a nice thick consistency, season with some black pepper.

Adjust heat to reduce and continue stirring.
Adjust heat to reduce and continue stirring.

It was absolutely amazing and i should of doubled the recipe really being the sauce junkie i am, oh well, next time i’ll know better. I hate to carefully manage how much sauce i am having with each mouthful!

Serve over steak on warmed plates with some steamed vegetables, in this case asparagus and broccolini, and fries.

Yummo i say.
Yummo i say.



Beef, Pork & Mushroom pie with an Asian Twist

I had organzied a pie for tonight, the plan was to do a fish pie. Having half the mushrooms leftover from the other night’s polenta meal i changed my mind and went with the mushrooms.

I’d made this pie a couple of years ago. I remember how amazing it was but never knew where i got the recipe. I dug around the web and found something similar, if not the same. With beef and pork mince in the freezer and also the last of the puff pastry & mushrooms it seemed like a great idea to use up these ingredients.

I bought some King Island garlic and fresh ginger from the markets so they would both play an important role for flavour in this dish.

I also have a collection of dried mushrooms; soaking shiitake, black fungus, chanterelle and bolet jaune. Making up the 400grams needed for mushrooms i purchased another 100g of fresh shiitake. All these prepared and chopped and we’re ready to begin cooking!

Chopped and raring to go!
Chopped and raring to go!

Heat the oil in a large fry pan over high heat then add the mince, ginger, chilli and garlic. Using a wooden spoon, break up the lumps of mince for 5 minutes until brown.

Beautiful smell as they fry away :)
Beautiful smell as they fry away 🙂

Add the mushrooms, stock, star anise, oyster and soy sauce, stirring to combine. Cover and simmer for 20minutes.


While this is simmering, get your greens ready. Roughly chop 1-1/2 cups of coriander and quarter a bunch of baby bok choy. I would use 2 bunches next time as i didn’t think there was enough in the pie. It also wilts down.


Stir the greens through, season with pepper and take off the heat and let cool for 5minutes or so.


Spoon the filling into a pie dish. Brush edges of dish with milk. Use puff pastry to top the pie, crimping the edges around the dish and cut off any excess. Brush the pastry with milk to give it a nice gloss. Bake in a pre-heated 200deg oven for 25-30mins. Put a couple holes in the pastry to let the steam out.


The taste of this pie will blow your socks off. It’s a little spicy from the chilli, a bit salty. Beautiful flavours from the mushrooms and textures of the pastry and the mince.


You’ll need…

2 tbs sunflower oil.
250g beef mince, 250g pork mince.
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
2 long red chilli’s, de-seeded, chopped.
5cm piece ginger, finely chopped.
400grams mixed mushrooms; i used shiitake, oyster, nameko, chestnut. Swiss brown, shimeji, even button would do.  You could substitute some of the weight for dried mushrooms.
150ml heated beef stock.
2 star anise.
2 tbs oyster sauce.
2 tbs light soy sauce.
2 bunches baby bok choy, quartered.

1-1/2 cups roughly chopped coriander.

Puff pastry and milk to brush.






Wild mushrooms with polenta, sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese.

OK, we’re back! It’s been a long wait to get online. Lots has been going on in the kitchen though. If you’ve been following the various media sites i’ve been posting to you could see that.

It’s our 7th wedding anniversary tonight and although in the past we’ve gone out and celebrated in style, we’re going to do the same at home but on a smaller budget and no less delicious.

We were at Pyrmont farmers markets on Saturday, walking past the mushroom guys and peeking in, they looked too good to pass by. First we picked up some shiitake, then chestnut, then i saw the oyster and they looked so fresh, i also noticed the nameko; a mushroom i’d never had before. Usually they sell out before we arrive, but on this Saturday we got there early and it was raining so there was some left for us to try.

Nameko (left), Shiitake  (top), Oyster (bottom), Chestnut (right).

Nameko (left), Shiitake (top), Oyster (bottom), Chestnut (right).

Meanwhile i had been cooking my polenta as this has to cool in the fridge beforehand. You can follow the recipe for this, i will post it at the end.

Chop your mushrooms into similar sized pieces, thinly slice your eschallot, chop up your sun-dried tomatoes if they’re large. Finely chop a few tablespoons of parsley, rosemary and oregano.

All ready to go in the pan.
All ready to go in the pan.

Heat a large frying pan on medium heat, add 1tbs extra virgin olive oil, soon after add the eschallot and fry for about a minute to soften. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat in the oil and onion and move around often so the mushrooms all cook evenly.

Add the sun dried tomatoes and the herbs and toss again to coat.

I’ve skipped the polenta steps here because i didn’t get any pictures hah, but the recipe below will show you that step. The polenta discs were put under the grill for 4-5 minutes to heat through.

Serving, place a polenta disc on the plate, top with some mushrooms followed by crumbled goats cheese and then add another disc on top and repeat.

Angela has never told me how much she enjoyed a meal as much as this, she even commented again this morning how amazing it was. And i’m with her, i was blown away by this dish and much of it is owed to the fresh and wonderful ingredients, especially the mushrooms.

A nice side shot showing you the colours, gloss and variety of the ingredients.
A nice side shot showing you the colours, gloss and variety of the ingredients.

And another mesmerizing view.

And another mesmerizing view.

One of the best tasting dishes ever!

Here’s the recipe and hats off to the formerchef 🙂