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Andalusian recipes, travel, and design

Category: pork

Lust for Life Reclaimed & Honey-Roasted Rosemary Pork Chops

A few months ago, I started reading Paradise Reclaimed, an Icelandic novel by Halldór Laxness.  I have yet to finish it…but today, made me think of the moral behind the tale in Laxness’ novel.

I was thinking about how sometimes we must take a long journey to get us where we want or should be and to give us that depth of palette, that we would not have achieved otherwise and with which we paint our canvas of life.  At times for some of us, the road can be tumultuous, full of bumps, twists and turns, and paths that maybe we wished we had not taken but from which we cannot turn around. And then other routes appear that we are afraid or unable to take; and yet, when we actually take the leap and grab the proverbial “bull by the horns”, we are lead down a path to magical places…places we have longed for…places that provide wings for our souls to soar…

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A Saturday Pork Roast & A Farmer’s Market

I’ve been meaning to visit the Barnes Farmer’s Market since we moved near the area, but as it falls on Saturdays, I always seem to have something else better to do instead, like visiting some part of the UK or exploring London… Today, however, I went for a very refreshing walk with a friend of mine, whom I’ve known since our high school years back in Spain, and we ventured into the village, where we bumped into the farmer’s market. Well, in all honesty, we could’ve missed it had I not turned around to look behind me and see it…oftentimes my curiosity pays off! It’s located across the street from the pond in downtown Barnes.

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Pork Belly Tacos with Pineapple-Avocado Salsa & Avocado Mayo

I am totally not a planner when it comes to food. In fact, I was explaining this to a friend the other day, how most days I determine what we are having for dinner by whatever I take out of the freezer in the morning. On occasion I do plan the evening before and sometimes I dream about a breakfast combination… but in general, I tend to surprise even myself, which for me makes eating and cooking so much more fun. 😉


And many times, our meals are based around what we have available or something that I must use up, as is the case with this recipe and the pineapple that would soon have gone bad and to waste. I hate wasting food for many reasons, but I won’t go into that now.


Here’s the combination for this dish: pork belly stripes made in the oven with a dry rub (get the recipe for the spice mix here), a pineapple-avocado-tomato salsa, an avocado mayo (recipe included below), and Paleo soft tortilla shells (get the recipe here)*. The tortilla shells can be made days in advance and frozen. I usually take them out of the freezer just a few minutes before heating them. They are easily warmed up in a hot pan with no oil or grease necessary, just a few seconds on each side.


*For the tortilla shells this time, I halved the recipe, omitting the flaxmeal and cumin, since I knew the pork was going to be spicy enough. Plus, I doubled the amount of coconut milk in the recipe to make them slightly thinner.



Pork Belly Tacos with Pineapple-Avocado Salsa & Avocado Mayo
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
  • For the pork belly stripes:
  • 1 kg pork belly strips
  • 2-4 tablespoons of Cinnamon-Chili Rub*
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (or a bit more) of lard, cut into think slices
  • For the pineapple-avocado-tomato salsa:
  • 1 fresh pineapple, cut into slices and then diced
  • 1-2 ripe avocados (depending on size), diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • For the avocado mayo:
  • 1 medium avocado
  • juice of one lime
  • coarse sea salt, to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • For the set up:
  • fresh onions, for garnishing
  • Paleo Tortilla Shells*
  1. For the pork belly stripes:
  2. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  3. Rinse and place the pork belly stripes in an oven proof dish.
  4. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-chili rub on both sides.
  5. Sprinkle with some coarse sea salt, to taste, and place the slices of lard on top.
  6. Bake for about 30-40 minutes on each side or until done, depending on the amount of meat on them. (I turn mine over about every 20 minutes.)
  7. Cut each strip into small pieces to use in your tacos.
  8. For the pineapple-avocado salsa:
  9. Mix the pineapple, avocado, and tomato and drizzle with the lime juice.
  10. For the avocado mayo:
  11. Pulse in a blender or immersion blender the avocado, lime juice and sea salt.
  12. Add the olive oil slowly and blend until all is smooth.
  13. For setting up each taco:
  14. Place some pork belly pieces on each shell (amount is up to you).
  15. Cover with some of the salsa, the avocado mayo, and fresh onions.
  16. Enjoy!


Honey Mustard Rosemary Pork Ribs

I was at the bookstore the other day searching for some novels and cookbooks, and bumped into a cookery book by Jose Pizarro, a renowned Spanish chef who resides and owns two restaurants in London: Jose and Pizarro.


This marinade is inspired by one of his recipes. Its combination of flavours is delicious and can be used for other meats, such as chicken, or even for a salad dressing.

Mustard Rosemary Pork Ribs
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Serves 2-3.
  • 2 stacks of pork ribs, 16 ribs
  • For marinade:
  • 3 tablespoons mustard (I used Groninger Mosterd, which has no sugar or additives)
  • 4 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons ground rosemary
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of one lemon
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  1. Clean and separate the ribs.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients together.
  3. Place the marinade in ribs either in a plastic or glass container, where the marinade can cover the ribs.
  4. Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours before cooking.
  5. I cooked the ribs in the oven at 180C (350F) in the same oven-proof, glass dish I used to marinate them. I left them in the marinade and simply turned them over a few times during the cooking time, about 35-40 minutes.
  6. Serve with your favourite side dish.


Pork Chops with Apples and Sage

This recipe is so simple, I almost didn’t post it. It’s a combination that is usual in some spheres and maybe not so much in others.

We don’t generally eat a lot of pork unless we are visiting Spain or Germany, where it’s hard to avoid (but, who would want to avoid the delicious Jamon Serrano, anyway?). 😉

I’ve made this same dish two different ways, with pork chops and with pork belly. With pork belly, it’s much more juicy and flavourful.


Ingredients, for 2

  • 4 pork chops
  • 2 large apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, julienne
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste


For Pork Chops:

  1. In a saucepan, over medium to low heat, add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the apples, onion, garlic and spices. Sauté until tender.
  2. Once the apples and onion are almost tender, sauté the pork chops in another pan with some olive oil. Season to taste.
  3. Serve the pork chops with the apple mixture over top.
  4. I served the pork chops with some roasted white and sweet potatoes.

For Pork Belly:

4-5 pork belly slices (for 2 persons)

  1. Preheat oven to 170C (340F).
  2. In a glass, oven proof dish, place the clean pork belly slices.
  3. Place the onions and apples in between and around the pork. Sprinkle the garlic and spices over top.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cooked, turning occasionally to cook well on both sides.
  5. I served the pork belly with some sautéed bok choy and water chestnuts.