Monday 26 December 2011

Yummy Fresh Cashew Basil Pesto

The last month has been so busy... studying, and getting ready for christmas, actually I don't know why I have felt so busy because I haven't even been working.  I started a few posts but couldn't seem to post them arg...!  So this is what I have been up to the last month...

I have been taking the WSET level 2 wine & spirits course at AWSEC in Hong Kong.  The course compromises of 8 classes which are 2 hours long.  In each class you taste 6 different wines, and learn about different styles and wine producing regions.  The course recommends that you spend 12 hours studying outside of the class, but if you have trouble remembering names (like me) it takes a bit longer.  The course was really interesting, I know so much more about styles of wines now and don't feel like such a dork when looking at menu's now.  I also have a new appreciation for different styles of wines which I thought that I didn't like before.  I took the exam on the 17th and am still waiting for the results.  fingers xx

The day after the exam my mom took me to Angkor Wat in Cambodia for 4 days for my birthday, the ruins were amazing my favorite was Bayon. We spent 3 days visiting temples and 1 day visiting a silk farm and other handcraft workshops.  I was thinking about taking a cooking course, but I ate at a few of the restaurants that offered the courses, and the food was not great.  Cambodian food seems to be a bit's a bit of a mixture of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and French but not as good as the original cuisines.  I did find a few recipes so I will try to make them at home in the next month and see how they work out.  
I got back to Hong Kong on the 22nd, spent the 23rd sewing Christmas presents (aprons & Tea cozy's) then went to a Christmas party that night.  The 24th I did some last minute shopping, a little more sewing, and some present wrapping before having some friends for dinner for a roast leg of lamb.  For Christmas lunch my mom and I went to my boyfriends parents house. 

Today has been a massive de-clutter of my room, get rid of all sorts of unwanted stuff before the new year!

And finally the recipe!  I made this pesto a week or so ago and planned to post before christmas hence the colour of the placemat. 

Fresh Cashew Basil Pesto

serves 4, prep 15 min
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cashews
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Romano cheese (or parmesan)
2 cups fresh basil leaves 
freshly ground salt & pepper to taste

Wash basil, discard stalks.  Grate cheese.  Place garlic, cashews, olive oil, lemon in a bowl and mix with hand held food processor until nuts are chopped finely.  (blender or food processor can also be used).  Add Romano cheese, basil leaves and process until basil is finely chopped.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  
I served the pesto on top of a breaded pork cutlet with fresh spinach and rice (see below).  But you can also serve with pasta or spread on toasted french bread.  

Pork Cutlets

serves 4, prep 15 min, cook 30 min
4 pork chops
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 Teaspoon chili flakes
1/4 Teaspoon Paprika
freshly ground salt & pepper
1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil approximately 

1. Trim fat and bone from pork chop, and place between 2 layers of plastic and hit with rolling pin until it is about 1/2 cm thick.  

2. Get out 3 bowls.  Put flour in first bowl set aside.  Break eggs into second bowl and whisk, set aside.  In third bowl add Panko bread crumbs, chili flakes, 1/4 paprika, salt and pepper, and mix together.  

3. Heat oil in frying pan.  Coat the pork in flour, then dip in egg mixture and then coat in Panko bread crumb mixture.  Place in frying pan cook approximately 4-5 minutes on each side. 

4. Put a scoop of rice in bowl, then top with fresh spinach leaves, slice pork and lay on top. 

Spoon a dollop of pesto on top and enjoy.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. This looks so delicious! Definitely going to do it this week-end. :)