Monday, 30 January 2017

Meatballs with Tomato and Paprika Glaze - Recipe

Firstly, let me apologise for the rubbish photos. I was hungry. No way they are going on Instagram. Secondly, this recipe is blatantly lifted (with a few small adaptations) from Smitten Kitchen's gorgeous cookbook, one which I've had for quite a while, but somehow hadn't got around to using. What was I thinking? This is delicious! It takes a little bit of effort, but I didn't need to go shopping for any of the ingredients - once I spotted some minced beef in the fridge, I went rummaging for meatball recipes. Ms Pearlman came through for me with these beauties. A juicy meatball glazed with a smoky sweet tomato sauce. Delish. Scrum. Mmmm hmmm.

Tomato and Paprika Glazed Meatballs

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time:  35-40mins 

Serves 4


For the glaze:

4 tsp sunflower oil
4 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp horseradish sauce
Pinch of salt

For the meatballs:

chunk of baguette (~15cm)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
Half a parsnip, finely chopped (here you can use any veg really)
600 g minced beef
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
120 ml milk
salt and pepper to taste


To make the glaze:

Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Keep simmering and whisking for about 2 minutes then set aside.

To make the meatballs:

Heat the oven to 160 C.

Whizz up the baguette into fine breadcrumbs.

In a frying pan, sauté the onions, garlic and vegetables for about 15 minutes until very soft, seasoning as you go if you wish.

Add the breadcrumbs to a large bowl, mix in the cooked vegetables, and then the rest of the ingredients. Mix together well, then shape into 10-12 meatballs.

To cook:

Line a baking dish with tin foil, then place the meatballs so they are not touching. Spoon a teaspoon or so of the glaze on top of each one. Bake the meatballs for about 20-25 minutes until they are cooked though.

To serve:

Serve with mashed potatoes and drizzle with the juice from cooking. Don't bother taking any photos... just eat and enjoy. 


Friday, 27 January 2017

Chinese New Year Feast

 It's the Year of the Rooster. The Fire Rooster. So... chicken?
This is an amazing recipe from Chinese Unchopped, the first cookbook from Jeremy Pang of School of Wok. It's a rib recipe in the book, but I was fridge-raiding as usual, so I only had chicken, but it was still amazing. It's a mix of hoisin sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, rice vinegar and cola, and chicken... cooked on a low heat for about three hours, and then grilled (or barbecued, but have you seen the weather?) and sprinkled with spring onions. If you have store cupboard ingredients with a Chinese influence, then it's easy peasy to make. Check out Jeremy's book and I do believe there's another one in the pipeline. I, for one, cannot wait.
Served with some rice and a chilli-glazed cabbage dish (also in the book), this was surely a Chinese New Year feast, with very little effort, to kick off the Year of the Rooster.
 Gong Hei Fat Choi.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Kids in the Kitchen - New Year Resolutions

Welcome to my first post of 2017. To all my avid readers (Hi Sara!) I hope this year will be as happy and prosperous as can be, despite (or perhaps because of) all the uncertainty and change that is happening, both globally and here in my little world.

So, who's made New Year's Resolutions? And more to the point, who is still keeping them, 22 days in?

This year, mine was less of a sacrifice, and more of a lifestyle change - and not just for me. I thought it was time to get my kids in the kitchen more. They have helped out with various cake decorating, and brownie making in the past (those bowls are licked clean each time), but now they are getting to an age where they can be slightly more independent, so they each have a cooking day. Saturday and Sunday, one of them will cook (with my help of course, they can't have all the fun!). They alternate the Sunday Roast, so every Saturday is a new dish for the family to eat together, cooked by a 10 or 11 year old. It's all simple stuff, nothing too taxing, but these are the skills they are going to need one day and I hope that by making it fun now, they'll have my love of food and be able to eat well, healthily and adventurously for the rest of their lives.

So far we've had Pasta Carbonara, Homemade Chicken Nuggets, Chicken and Bacon Roulades, Beef Kephtedes, and Chicken Shish... As well as several Roast Chickens!

It means we cook together, chat together and eat together more often as a family. Obviously I help with the hot oven and pans, but most of the peeling and chopping is done by them (slowly and carefully!). Some days it's planned down to the last carrot, other days it's just whatever we find in the fridge (hence the Roulades - nobody wanted to venture out to buy a chicken, so we used up chicken breasts and bacon). They are also more inclined to eat it, since they made it themselves... no complaints so far!

It's fun! Try it...

Beef Kephtedes
Chicken Shish
Next week - lasagne...