One of the delights of living in a foreign country - well, for me anyway - is the food shopping. I particularly enjoy browsing the produce sections of the supermarkets, or the roadside stalls selling fruit and veg where I often stop on the way home from work. We've taken the opportunity to sample lots of new and exciting fruit and vegetables, although there are still many that we would have no idea of how to use so have shied away from. Cowardly I suppose, but never mind.
So when we discover a recipe that uses something new and exciting we leap upon it. And this Madhur Jaffrey recipe - Pork with Long Beans and Chives - fit the bill perfectly. I had been eyeing up these bizarre looking veg for a while:
They are labelled in Malay, so I had no idea what they were, but they are long stalks with what appear to be flower-buds on the end. I'm not entirely sure that they are what Madhur Jaffrey means when she calls for 'Chinese Chives' (and I notice that Tesco have substituted regular chives in this published version of the recipe) but these garlicky lovelies were a perfect ingredient for the dish. They're strong-tasting and pungent whiich makes them a real feature of the meal, rather than 'just' an accompanying vegetable.
Long beans are always a favourite here. Just like French beans... but very long! The clue's in the name.
Madhur Jaffrey says this is a Cantonese dish, from Hong Kong. It had a lovely savoury sauce, but one with no heat so perfect for the chilli-haters (neither of us fall into this category - far from it - but we have friends and family who don't partake).
Definitely a 'keeper' of a dish.