Pa loved to cook and my Chinese cooking style is actually very much influenced by his. We weren't a particularly affectionate family. He was not used to express his love openly and I always think he did it through his food. Before he was ill, he would cook for us whenever we visited him with the families. Every year during Chinese new year and on our Lunar Birthdays, he would cook up a storm, whipping up delicious traditional dishes for his children and grandchildren. We consensually agreed that he was the better cook in the household and we all took great pride and satisfaction in the meals he cooked for us as we fondly remember him and his cooking.
Pa’s way of expressing his love through his food will continue to be part of my family. Cooking for my family on weekends and creating special menus on their birthdays will continue for life, at least for my life until I take my last breath on this Earth.
Enough of the self-reflective stuff and such heavy content, now back to my first recipe post of 2017 which was a special dish that I cooked for Ashley on her recent 14th birthday. I had wanted to roast a whole suckling pig for her birthday dinner but I did not have the rotisserie in the kitchen. Instead, I got this boneless Spanish suckling pig roll from Huber’s. The preparation was a breeze and the result was amazing. I slow roasted the suckling pig on a bed of carrots and onion for 1.5 hours until the thin skin was crispy and golden and the meat warm, tender and juicy. Plated with homemade mushroom gnocchi and roasted vegetable, we had an outstanding dish that can easily match those served in a good restaurant. Together with her Mum’s Clafoutis dessert and Birthday cake, we created yet another beautiful memory for Ashley on her birthday, the same way Pa used to create for us.
Life is built on memories and memories are made of this.
Boneless suckling pig (You can get this from Huber’s and it comes rolled up)
½ tsp Black peppercorn
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh herbs of your choice ( I used sage, rosemary and thyme)
2 carrots, peeled, quartered length way and cut into finger long
2 onions, sliced
Pound the garlic, herbs, 1/2 tsp sea salt and black peppercorn into paste. Mix well with 1tbsp of olive oil.
Clean and pat dry the boneless suckling pig.
Unroll the pig and rub the herb paste into the meat. Roll up the pig and tie up with kitchen strings (I reused the original strings which were elastic). Leave to sit, uncovered in the fridge, for at least 8 hours. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.
Place suckling pig on top of the carrots and onions in a large roasting tin. Drizzle good quality extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt.
Pre-heat oven to 220C.
Roast the pig for 20-30 minutes, until the skin of the piglet turns golden. Reduce temperature to 180C and roast for another hour.
Slice, plate and serve.
|Boneless Spanish suckling pig. Slow roast to perfection - Thin crispy skin, not too fatty, meat was juicy and tender.|
Ashley's Birthday dinner:
|Sesame seared Tuna, Hokkaido Scallop and grilled garlic prawn with sweet corn puree|
|Slow roasted boneless Spanish suckling pig, mushroom gnocchi, roasted vegetable|
|Chocolate Mousse Cake|