Fusilli & Meatballs


Fusilli & Meatballs

Fusilli & Meatballs

Lunch for 4

Ingredients for the mincemeat:

Preparing the meatballs

Preparing the meatballs

  • 500g mince beef
  • ½ medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Curly parsley

Ingredients for the Tomato Sauce:

  • 10 tomatoes
  • ½ medium onion
  • Ketchup

For the pasta:

Fusilli

Fusilli

  • 500gr Fusilli pasta
  • Curly parsley

Method:

Start by the meatball: Remove all packaging from the meat and place in a bowl.

Finely chop half of a medium onion, garlic, a handful of curly parsley and add to the mince. Also season with salt & pepper, then combine well using your hand.

Ready meatballs

Ready meatballs

Now form the meatballs as big or small as you’d like. And place them in the saucepan you will be using for the tomato sauce. You would have noted that there is no eggs or bread crumbs added here as they are not really necessary. Meat has a natural binder.

Now place the pan on a medium heat making sure to very gently turn each meat ball from side to as the meat browns. Allow 1-2 minutes per side. Once this is done, remove the meat from the pan leaving the pan on the heat.

As the meat cooks, it will release fat and we are going to use that fat to make the tomato sauce.

For the sauce, chop the remaining half onion and fry it in the meat fat for 2 minutes on high heat.

Now add the chopped tomatoes, stir and cover for 10 minutes.

for the sauce

for the sauce

After the 10 minutes, stir the content of the pan, then add the meatballs and ketchup.

Stir and add 200ml water or stock if you wish.

Adjust the seasoning, stir and leave to simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Now time to cook the pasta.

Follow the instruction on the package.

Boil the water with a table spoon of oil and salt. Just before serving, chop the remaining Parsley, add the pasta and toss.

Plate and serve.

Enjoy.

 

 

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Mexican Green plantain & black beans stew


Plantain, chicken, beans, corn

Plantain, chicken, beans, corn

Green plantain & black beans stew.  Mains for 6.

Ingredients for the Marinade:

Marinated chicken

Marinated chicken

  • 50g diced onions
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil or any vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoon water
  • Salt

Rinse the chicken, make few deep scoring on the chicken pieces. Pour the marinade over the chicken, mix well and leave in the fridge overnight.

The stew ingredients:

  • 1kg marinated chicken

    Stew ingredients

    Stew ingredients

  • 3 green plantains
  • 2 big carrots
  • 200g black beans – soaked for 24hrs & Cooked for an hour if using dry beans
  • 2 corncobs – shave off the kernels as on the picture
  • 100g chopped tinned tomato
  • 1 teaspoons chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 big garlic cloves

    Shaving the corn kernels

    Shaving the corn kernels

  • Halves of 1 green, orange and yellow sweet peppers
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • Corn oil

Prep: Don’t forget to soak the bean the day before and boil them for an hour before using in the stew.

Also marinate the chicken for few hours before using it.

Peel the plantain

Peel the plantain

Remove the skin of the plantain and cut as in the picture, cut in 2cm thick and slanted. Do the same for the carrots. Set aside.

Rinse the black beans now boiled. Rinse the corn kernel, set both aside.

Cut the red onion in big chunks or wedges, cut the sweet pepper in about the same size. Peel and crush the garlic, set aside.

Method: Use a big pot with a lid. Heat 4 tablespoons of corn oil (or any vegetable oil) fry the chicken pieces to seal in the flavours and obtain a brown crispy skin. 2 to 3 minutes on each side should do. Once all the pieces have been fried. Set aside and cover.

Browned chicken

Browned chicken

In the same pan, add the onion and brown. Then, add the plantain, carrots, beans, corn and half of the stock. Also add the chilli, ground cumin, ground coriander, crushed garlic and salt. Stir and cover to simmer for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to keep an eye on it so the liquid won’t dry out.

After 30 minutes, add the sweet peppers, tomato, the fried chicken pieces the rest of the stock and adjust the seasoning. Stir.

Add another 200ml of water if necessary as the contents of the pan should almost (not completely) covered with liquid to keep everything moist. Cover the pan and leave it to simmer for another 30 minutes…

From the time the plantain is added, the total cooking time should be 1hour and by adding the chicken half way, it means that the chicken won’t fall off the bones but will be very well cooked and as soft as the plantain.

That is it! Enjoy!

See you next week.

x

 

Baked Cod loin with Cavolo Nero


Baked cod & Vine

Baked cod & Vine

Serves 3

  • 600g fresh Cod loin from the counter
  • 6 vine tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 1 orange sweet pepper

    Ingredients for the dish

    Ingredients for the dish

  • 150g rice (Basmati & wild rice)
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 100ml white wine
  • 6 leaves of cavolo nero – Black cabbage leaves
  • 25g butter
  • 10 mix colours olives (antipasti)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Ground black pepper
  • Mustard oil

Method:

Marinated and ready to bake

Marinated and ready to bake

Rinse the cod and place in the large oven dish. Slice the fish in as many pieces as required (here 3). Crush the stock cube and sprinkle it on the fish, also crush the garlic over the fish. Add black pepper and a drizzle of mustard oil and massage the fish making sure that the garlic and stock cube cover the fish in every sides including between slices… Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes or so. Preheat the oven.

In the meantime, cut the orange pepper in wedges, cut one half of the shallot in about the same size. After marinating the fish for 30 minutes, bring the oven dish out and scatter on the fish, the pepper and shallot wedges. Also add the vine tomato. Sprinkle salt on everything and another glug on oil then place in the oven for 20 minutes at 200°C. Do not forget to base every 5 minutes it as it will dry out.

Once the fish is in the oven, put the rice to cook following the instructions on the package. Add a pinch of salt and 1 spoon of mustard oil.

Steamed Cavolo Nero

Steamed Cavolo Nero

The cabbage.

Black cabbage and olives

Black cabbage and olives

Time to prepare the Side dish of cavolo nero. Rinse and remove the spine of the cabbage leaves then cut in 2-3 each leave. Place the cut cavolo in a heat proof bowl then add the antipasti olives with a drizzle of oil from the olives jar. No need to add salt as antipasti’s olives are already vinegary-sharp. Mix well and set aside. This bowl will need to go in the microwave for just 5 minutes just before serving.

The mustard sauce.

By the time you start on the mustard sauce, the fish should be resting.

I did not get tipsy during the cooking... lol

I did not get tipsy during the cooking… lol

So, collect the juices from the now resting fish and pour it in the sauce pan with the quartered leftover shallot. Add a tablespoon of butter about 25g. Also add 100ml of white wine (I used a French white chardonnay) and black pepper. Leave the mix to simmer and the wine to evaporate a bit. This should take 3 minutes. Watch out for the foaming. When the wine stops foaming. Add the mustard and stir continuously for 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and switch off the heat.

The combo white wine and mustard can be a bit acidic, which can be very good for fish. But if you don’t have white wine, use lemon juice instead.

 

Serve as suggested with a steamed Basmati & Wild rice and a side of warm Cavolo Nero with mix olives.

Enjoy!

Serving suggestion - the sink just has a good light... lol

Serving suggestion – the sink just has a good light… lol

 

Marrow & potatoes layer with beet & sweet corn stir


Fresh Corn, Beetroots

Fresh Corn, Beetroots

Remember this dish I made with the marrow? I did promised a vegan option and ha forgotten to post it. Here it is.

Serves 3

Ingredients for the layer:

  • 600g Marrow

    Ingredients for the dish

    Can you see the Tofu slices?

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 3 medium firm tomatoes
  • 100g Tofu sliced and deep-fried to give it texture
  • 1 small red onion (optional)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 30g butter (dairy free)
  • 100ml Alpro single cream
  • 50g Flour
  • 1 Maggi stock cubes
  • White pepper
  • Salt

Preparations:

How to layer the elements of the dish

How to layer the elements of the dish

1 – Peel the marrow and keep the skin strips for decoration. Now slice the peeled marrow in 1cm width and set aside. Peel the potatoes and cut in slices about the size as the marrow. set aside. Now do the same thing for the tomato and red onion. Make sure that your Tofu is deep-fried as it will give texture to your dish. Set aside.

2 – for the batter: The batter will help to hold everything together. Melt about 25g of the butter and crush the whole stock cube in it to dissolve. Add the cream to the mix then, the flour and the finely chopped garlic. Mix well, add salt and white pepper. Set aside.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.

Layering completed

Layering completed

Method:

Butter a regular size loaf tin, place 1 layer of potatoes, then a layer of marrow, then onion, then tomatoes, then tofu.  Dust with a pinch of salt and white pepper. Then repeat the process. If you can, make sure that a layer of potato is at the top of the dish simply because you will use it as indicator to judge if the dish it cooked. Potato is the hardest of all the vegetables used here.

The dark green strips you see on this photo are strips of peels from the marrow that I am using to decorate my dish. The strips were placed on the bottom of the baking tin, then folded over the dish and held with tooth pick just before placing it in the oven.

Ready to serve

Ready to serve

Once the layers are done. Stir the batter previously prepared and pour it, not on top, but on the sides of the layers.

Now place your dish in the oven for 1h20 minutes.

Now time to prepare the accompaniment.

Beet & corn stir

For this, you will need:

  • 1 big fresh sweet corn cob
  • 1 precooked beetroot or a fresh one if you can find it

    Corn kernels

    Corn kernels

  • 1 yellow sweet pepper
  • 1 very small red onion
  • 50g roughly crush walnut
  • 2 twigs of thyme
  • Fresh parsley
  • 25g Butter (dairy free)
  • Black pepper & salt obviously

Start by shelling the corn kernels from the cob or simply go through the cob with the knife like I did on the picture above.

Chop separately all the elements of your dish then set aside.

Ingredients for the stir fry

Ingredients for the stir fry

Now, in a frying pan, melt the butter and fry the chopped onions and thyme until brown. Now, add the sweet corn and stir for 2 minutes. Then add the sweet pepper in the mix, stir for 2 minutes, add the beetroot and the fresh parsley, stir well for 1 minute and add the crushed walnut. Season with salt and pepper, Mix, cover and remove from the stove and cover so the steam will finish softening the vegetables. It is ready.

Time to check on your layers in the oven. The hardest ingredient in the dish is the potato. If you put a knife through the dish and it goes through smoothly, and comes up just slightly moist, then your dish is ready. if not, add cooking time to your oven.

Please note: not all oven perform with the same power.

Bursting with colours and flavours

Bursting with colours and flavours

Leave your dish to cool for few minutes then, serve.

Don’t forget to post a comment!

Voila! Bon appétit.

Pork & Veg in blackbean sauce


Cooked in black bean sauce

Cooked in black bean sauce

Ingredients:

  • 300g broccoli
  • 3 garlic cloves

    Ingredients for the meal

    Ingredients for the meal

  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • 300g pork cut in 1 cm thick
  • 10g ginger – grated
  • 200g noodles – precooked
  • 200g black bean sauce
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • 2 table spoons soy sauce

Before you start, ensure that all the prep is done; all the peeling, chopping, grating, rinsing complete, set aside. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package.

Method:

In a cold pan, add 3 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil, line the bottom of the pan with a layer of onions, then the slices of meat, garlic and ginger. Cover the pan and place it on the heat to cook for 5 minutes. No need to add liquid as the meat’s juices will trickle down and moisten the bottom of the pan.

After that, open the pan and stir the content to allow all the ingredients to mix. Add 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce, black beans sauce, adjust salt then cover to simmer for 3 minutes.

Now add the vegetables and stir to make sure that they are completely covered with the sauce. Cover the pan and leave on the heat for about 2 minutes, then turn off the heat, leave the pan covered to allow the steam to finish softening the vegetables (in particular the Broccoli) without overcooking it.

Serve as suggested and enjoy.

Pork, veg, black bean sauce served on a bed of noodles

Pork, veg, black bean sauce served on a bed of noodles

Vegan Creamy Spinach & garlic roast potatoes


Serving suggestion

Serving suggestion

Dinner for 2

Ingredients:

  • 150ml Alpro cream
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 200g bag of spinach
  • 2 white shallots
  • 6 small potatoes
  • 25g soya mince
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 Brazil nuts
  • 1 spring onion
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Groundnut oil.

Prep:

Rehydrate the mincemeat in boiling water for 10 minutes, then sieve and set aside.

Wash the spinach and set aside.

Parboil the potatoes in salty water and halve them.

Peel and chop the carrot, garlic, shallots & spring onion. Keep them separated and leave aside.

Grate the Brazil nuts.

Method:

Preheat the oven at 180C.

halved potatoes

halved potatoes

In an oven dish, place the halved precooked potatoes with 1 chopped garlic and spring onion, a pinch of salt and 1 table spoon of groundnut oil. Toss to mix well. Place the potatoes face down in the dish then, using the potatoes masher press the potatoes down to mash them a bit. Place in the oven for about 10-15 until they start crisp.

In the meantime, in a hot pan with 2 table spoons of groundnut oil, fry the shallots until brown, add the mincemeat with salt, pepper & garlic. Stir until the mince starts to crisp. Now add the chopped carrot. Hope fully the latter has been chopped thinly enough not to take too long to

soften. In this case, it took about 2 minutes. As all that starts to brown it adds flavour to the dish.

Ready crispy potatoes

Ready crispy potatoes

Now add the grated Brazil nut and the cream. Leave to simmer for about 3-5 minutes then, stir in the spinach, adjust the seasoning and leave to soften for about 2 minutes.

All this shouldn’t take more that 10-12 minutes and the potatoes should be ready by then. Serve as shown above.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Milk poached fish & Poêlée of Butternut Squash


Milk poached fish & Poêlée of Butternut Squash

Milk poached fish & Poêlée of Butternut Squash

Dinner for 2

For this dish you will need about 2, 3 table spoons of the roast cherry tomato (and oil) from the previous post.

INGREDIENTS:

For the poêlée

Ingredients for the poelee

Ingredients for the poelee

  • 400g butternut squash
  • 1 small potato
  • 50g onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Hand full of parsley
  • 50g butter
  • Salt & pepper
  • Herbes de provence (mix herbs)

Poelee ingredients

Prep: Halve the squash and clean the inside. Rinse and cut as on the picture, about 1cm thick. No need to peel as the skin of the butternut squash is edible.

Wash and cut the potato about 1cm thick same as the squash. Any bigger than that it will take ages to soften. Cut the onion in big chunks. Grate the garlic. Chop the parsley.

Set everything aside.

Direction: In a pan, melt the butter, fry the butternut and potato. Add garlic, herbes de provence, salt pepper, stir for 5 minutes to allow the squash and potato to absorb the flavours. Now add the onions, stir and DSC05440cover for another 5 minutes at medium heat. Do not add water. After the 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Turn off the heat and add the chopped parsley.

 

For the fish

  • 2x 150g of cod fillets

    All for the fish!

    All for the fish!

  • 1 spring onion
  • 50g red onion (half a medium onion)
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 garlic cloves

Prep: rinse the fish and set asside. Cut the spring onion, quarter the remaining half of the red onion. Dice the garlic and crush the cubes.

Direction: Pour the milk in a small sauce pan with the spring onion, red onion, garlic, stock cube, salt & pepper. Bring the milk to boil and put the fish in it. Reduce the heat and leave the fish to cook for 5-7 minutes.

Hopefully by this time the Poêlée is ready.

Heat the cherry tomatoes pipping hot before spooning it on the fish. as you serve.

Serve the dish immediately.

Butternut & Fish - Serving suggestion

Butternut & Fish – Serving suggestion

Note: the Poêlée and cherry tomatoes can be reheated, but the fish would have to be cooked at the last minute just before serving. As suggested.

Bon appétit et a bientot.