Crispy Scratchings and Chewy Meringue

Well as the title suggests I made two new things this weekend. Pork scratchings and a Hazelnut Meringue Gateau. Mr F and I had guests round to dinner on saturday night and I do like to try new things on them.
Last week we watched the new Food and Drink on BBC2 and my husband got very excited by the crackling on the pork joint they cooked. I think this is what inspired him to pick up 3 rolls of pork skin when we were shopping.
They cost 70p all together and I suggested to Mr F that I make Pork. Scratchings for the Dinner party as nibbles.
I’ve always struggled to get good crackling when I cook pork so I wasn’t very hopeful for this.
So I salted them to draw out moisture and left for a couple of hours and then wiped them dry. I then left them out all night uncovered to dry completely. Just before cooking I rubbed a little oil and lots of salt and pepper on them and put them in the oven as hot as I could get it (250c) on a wire rack and cooked for about 20 – 25 minutes. They were perfect sheets of crunchy crackling when they came out and after cooling I chopped them into bite size pieces. Hey Presto!
As a main we had Crayfish and Samphire Risotto, which Mr F made and it was delicious!
For pudding I was inspired by Mary Berry!
I made 2 Hazelnut meringue circles. This was done as a basic meringue method – 4 egg whites whisked and then 250g caster sugar and a tsp of white wine vinegar and cornflour. But then I also added 100g of ground up roasted hazelnuts. I made them into circles on silicon sheets and cooked them for about 40 minutes and cooled. Then I layered them with softly whipped cream and raspberries.
This was so yummy and even got a Wow when it was served.
I will definitely be making this again, the hazelnuts made the meringue taste like Nutella, and that’s always a winner!

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