Tag Archives: Couscous

Slow cooked meatballs

31 Oct

with winter around the corner! Indeed, I wish everything was slow. Nowadays everything feels like it is moving too fast! I barely have time to daydream about what I would like to cook for supper. Nevermind writing my recipes down. As so, my blog has also been slow, as I am sure I don’t need to point out the last time I made a post. As fast paced as life is here in london, our household is “techonologically doomed”!

First, I had problems with my laptop, which is also one of the reasons you have not seen any posts. Then Ipods.. camera’s, dehumidifiers… maybe it is all a sign to let go of all this technology.

Sometimes I wish I was outside, far away from the city, with winding country roads, the warm sun on my face and the fresh breeze of wildflowers in the air. I guess this is what I was thinking about while I was enjoying a glass of lovely red wine, with the meatballs slowly bubbling away.

I believe that our thoughts influence our cooking and so my thougts inspired a heartwarming meal, that helps me to slow down and smell the wafts of the lovely spiced aroma in our home. .. I guess I sound like my mother’s daughter now.. yearning for the farm, family and friends around my table, no rush, surrounded by love and joy.

Enough of my self pity as I sit in layers of clothing in this cold.. I hope you enjoy this recipe, and as it will show, there is so much you can do with the right combination of spices

Flavourful Meatballs with Herb ‘d Provence Cous cous

1 pack of minced beef

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of turmeric

2 teaspoons of cumin seeds, ground

2 pinches of salt

2 pinches of black pepper

2 onions, finely chopped ( use a food processor)

2 slices of stale bread

1 egg

1 teaspoon of paprika

juice of half a lemon

1 cup of chicken stock

half a cup of white wine

half a cup of warm water

2 tablespoons of butter

For the Cous Cous

2 teaspoons of butter

salt and black pepper to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons of Herb ‘d Provence

 

To start, take one onion, and half a teaspoon of all the spices, including the salt and pepper ( 1 pinch) and put them in the food processor. Process fine, just before it makes a paste. Take the bread slices and break them into crumbs. Mix this with the mince, egg and your paste you made. Start rolling the mince into little balls, about the size of a walnut.

Take the remaining spices and put it in your food processor, along with the other onion. Process to the same texture as the semi-paste you made for the meatball mixture. Add your olive oil and butter to a pan. Wait for the butter to melt. Now add the onion and spice mixture. Cook for about 8 minutes. Now, add all the remaining ingredients and allow to bubble for about 5 minutes.

Add your meatballs to the pan. Swirl the pan so that the sauce moves around the meatballs. Turn the gas down to low. Put the lid on and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Now toss the meatballs around, so that the other side of the meatballs are also covered in the sauce. Simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes, or until cooked.

While the meatballs are cooking, measure the cous cous you required. Place it in a bowl. Now, take the Herb ‘d Provence herbs and sprinkle it over cous cous. Season with salt and black pepper. Boil water, enough to just cover the cous cous. When this has boiled, pour it over the cous cous, mixing it twice with a fork. Cover completely with a plate or some plastic wrap and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Lift the plate / take off the plastic wrap and take 2 teaspoons of butter and mix it through the cous cous with a fork. I served the meatballs with mixed roasted vegetables, along with the cous cous, but you can serve it with any vegetables of your choice, or even a lovely fresh rocket salad.

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lazy lemon meatballs

5 Apr

The word “lazy” enters the vocabulary when I whip out my little Kenwood chopper!! This little beauty was another wonderful gift from the hubby!! Yes, I am spoilt rotten!! Add to this little gadget saving me time = quick happy hubby! Which might I add, allows me to finish my blog post quicker, as he feels this comes 1st instead of him ;-p So, in my haste I also accidentally deleted a few photos that I took.

Maybe this is a underlying problem from me wanting to clear all the clutter and extras away, as yet again, my day was filled with walking down the street with boxes again!! Also, I only had mince. Now there comes a time when meatballs with homemade tomato becomes more boring than all the women with their prams here in London ;-p So I had to think of something different and lighter.

A while ago, before I started my blog, I made mini meatballs with cumin, and found that this was a different alternative, however, still served it with tomato sauce and basil. This is a different take on meatballs, tasty, light and warm for the tummy and soul 🙂 No summer here yet!! So here we go:

Meatball mixture

250g mince

half onion, finely chopped in your processor

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of dried coriander

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon of cumin

pinch of salt

4 cream crackers, made fine in your processor so they are fine crumbs

1 egg, beaten

Sauce

half a onion, finely chopped in your chopper

1 teaspoon of garlic

1 tablespoon of butter

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of turmeric

250ml of Chicken stock

1 teaspoon of cumin

Ok, so lets start with the meatballs. Place your mince in a bowl, add your spices, cream crackers and egg and lemon juice. Mix thorougly and make mini meatballs. Simples!! Now add your butter and garlic to the pan and the onion and all the spices for the sauce. Fry the onion for 5 minutes. Now add your meatballs. Let them fry and squiggle them around in the pan. Do not allow them to burn, but only brown them. Now add your chicken stock. Cook for about 15 – 20 minutes or untill cooked through.

I have served this with cous cous and finely chopped red pepper, courgette and harissa paste. I took 1 courgette and 1/2 a red pepper and chopped it in my chopper. Fine, but not too fine so that it turns into a paste. I drizzled the pan with a little bit of olive oil. Then take 1 teaspoon of  harissa paste and mix through in the pan. Now add your finely chopped courgette and red pepper. Fry for about 5 – 10 minutes. Now add a cup of cous cous. Mix it through so that it absorbs all the flavours. Flavour lightly with salt and vegetable spice. Now add a little bit of water, just enough for the cous cous to absorb it. Mix through so that the cous cous seperates. Now cover with a lid and allow to stand. The cous cous with now be done. Serve up with your meatballs and enjoy!

My sunny chicken :-)

8 Feb My sunny chicken

Morning glory 🙂 Best describing my morning 🙂 No train, rude chav or amount of crowds could put me in a bad mood this morning. My reason? Sunshine! Yes, sunshine can do that to a person, especially if you have not seen it for ages or felt it on your face. To me, the sun has a smell, similar to the lovely scent of blossoms in summer air. This makes me a child of the sun 🙂 Surely you can understand when for months you wake up in the dark, go to work in the dark and come home in the dark and add freezing temperatures to this = eating prozac like smarties! So this morning I had a spring in my step, smile on my face and a brave attitude to wear a dress in this weather! ( the sun might be shining, but it is definitely not warm!). So, when I came home, I had a look in the fridge to see if I had anything bright and summery to make ( of course it had to be a warm dish, not summer yet!) So I decided I would make a malt vinegar chicken with leeks, butterbeans, orange pepper, green beans and paprika. My hubby instantly fell in love with butterbeans at first bite! We have never looked back ;-p  It took me a while to get him to try new food and flavours. Now he really eats anything I put on the table for him! So if he likes it, I am sure everyone else will!

My sunny chicken

1 pack of chicken (drumsticks and thighs,skin on)

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

cumin

olive oil

Salt & black pepper

Malt vinegar or red/white wine vinegar

1 leek / onion roughly chopped

2 handfulls of green beans

1 can of butterbeans

dried garlic flakes

paprika

1 red/orange/yellow pepper roughly chopped

mixed herbs

1 cup of cous cous

2 cups of boiling water

1 roasted pepper

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Heat a casserole dish (one that can go in the oven and handle stovetop). Drizzle the pan with your olive oil and garlic. Add your leeks/onion to the pan. Fry for about 5 minutes. Add the butter beans and sprinkle with mixed herbs. Mix it around so that the herbs are thoroughly mixed.

Add the chicken to your casserole dish and season with salt and black pepper and sprinkle with the cumin. Mix through.  Add the green beans and the chopped pepper to the dish. Now drizzle generously with your vinegar. Finally drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and grind your garlic flakes over the chicken and sprinkle over some paprika. Remember, paprika isn’t really spicy, it just has a smoky taste. Before you put this in the oven, make sure the chicken is on top of the leeks,butter beans etc. Cover with a lid and put it in the oven for 25 minutes. Now after 25 minutes, remove the lid so that the chicken’s skin can become crispy. Cook for another 20 minutes. While this is cooking, make some cous cous and use scissors to cut in some roasted red pepper. Take one cup of cous cous and place it in a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt. Add the roasted pepper. Add two cups of boiling water and cover with lid. Allow it to stand for 10 minutes. The cous cous will soak up the water and swell out. Now seperate and mix through with a fork. This will be lovely and fluffy!! Enjoy!