Tag Archives: egg

Cheeky lamb pie

25 Jan

pie

Most of us have this notion that we cook a leg of lamb for Christmas or Easter. NOT my man with his rumbling tummy!! He tends to come home with a huge piece of meat, and then stares at me with a cheeky smile. In this case, you’ve guessed what it is! He also has a way of putting in his order at the right time too!!

Our friends Franco & Sonia moved back to London from Spain, so I cooked a Sunday roast with this leg of lamb. ( recipe on the blog) Is it strange that they don’t eat as much as we do? We might eat a little too much! I won’t comment further, because we then had a fair amount of meat left. The ultimate – when you can make a pie from venison, lamb or a good cut of beef roast. My oh my!!!!

This doesn’t occur, ever! A very cheeky dish and most people will say its a waste of good meat to use lamb in a pie, but I can tell you, no wastage there!! Try it for yourself and we’ll see.

mushrooms

Ingredients

1 dish of lamb leftovers ( mine was about 2 big handfuls of lamb)

1 x teaspoon of olive oil

2 x handfuls of mushrooms, chopped

1 x onion, roughly chopped

3/4 cup of red wine

1 1/2 teaspoons corn flour

1 x pack of all butter pastry

1 x egg

3 pinches of all purpose flour

salt & pepper to taste

mushrooms

Add olive oil to the pan. Fry the chopped onions until glassy. Add the mushrooms and fry until light brown. Now add  your lamb and start mixing through. After 5 – 7 minutes, add the corn flour.

onion & mushrooms

Mix through, ensuring it coats the mushrooms and  meat. Now add the red wine. Along with the heat and the corn flour,  it will now start to thicken the red wine into a tasty gravy.

Cook this on a low heat, until thickened. Put aside and allow to cool.

diced lamb

Take a little bit of butter or non-stick cooking spray and spray a 30cm square Pyrex dish or any dish of a similar size.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Sprinkle the flour on a kitchen top surface and swish it around a little bit to give you an area where you’ll be rolling out your puff pastry. Now get your rolling pin and start rolling!!!

puff pastry

I usually place one piece of pastry in the bottom of the dish, then I dish in the pie filling. Beat the egg and get yourself a little basting brush. Brush the edges on the bottom half of the pastry. Place the other half on top and gently squeeze the edges together. If you have any pastry left, cut little forms with cookie cutters and place it on top.

rolling pin

Brush your whole pie with the egg.

beaten egg

Last step : take a sharp knife and make a tiny hole in the middle of the pie or use an adorable pie bird!

lamb pie

Bake in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes or until golden brown. The final step is to remove it from the oven and look at the hungry buggers’ faces, waiting for the very first piece of that pie and then decide who you’ll give it to first!

lamb pie

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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.

Pièce de résistance … Home Grown Tomato tart

25 Aug

We should actually have a whole chapter on tomatoes, as my crop just keeps on giving and giving.. in the most famous and often used words of themost critical and only food taster in this house “The gift that keeps on giving”! However, there is something about tomatoes – the possibilities with these bright and beautiful red fruits are just endless! I read somewhere ( don’t ask me where, my memory is getting rusty)  something that actually just made my day – “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato”. Don’t you just love that, I feel like I am living on my own farm already!!

After talking about this tomato tart for quite a few weeks, I decided to actually just go for it!! After all, there will always be more tomatoes, and since we haven’t had tart within a week, I suppose, why not? I think it turned out so well, I heard new “hmmmmmm” noises from my hungry tiger that I haven’t heard before, and as always, the very famous ” beauuuuuuutiful”! I don’t actually know in what type of category it will fall in, because it has egg and cream, but just a touch, and it has 2 different cheeses. Maybe we should just call it “my french tart” since, it is after all, the Pièce de résistance!! It’s a real beauty, and why not, it is even my favourite colour!! There is always something exciting and daring about red! ;-p

Home Grown Tomato Tart

14 medium tomatoes, finely sliced / 10 large tomatoes

Olive oil for drizzling

salt & pepper to taste

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 cup of feta cheese

2 red onions, sliced in rounds

25g of butter and extra for greasing

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

2 twigs of thyme

1 pack of short crust pastry

Flour for dusting

1 fluted tart tin

45ml cream/soya cream

1 egg

Spread your tomatoes out in a tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes. While this is roasting, melt your butter in a pan, add the garlic and slowly fry your onions on a low heat.

You just want them to slowly and slightly carmelize and turn soft, juicy and sweet. When your tomatoes are ready, your onions will be ready 🙂 Dust your surface with flour and roll out your pastry. Grease your tart tin. Place your pastry in the tin and prick with a fork. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Take half of your parmesan cheese and sprinkle on the pastry. Now, layer it with your onions. Sprinkle half of your feta cheese over the onions. Now place your tomatoes over the feta and layer them properly. Crumble the remaining feta over the tomatoes.

Layer the remaining tomatoes over the feta. Sprinkle with the thyme. Beat your egg and cream together. Pour it over the filling. Now sprinkle over the rest of your parmesan and place in the oven for 15- 20 minutes or until golden brown. What a lovely little surprise!! Enjoy with a crisp and fresh green salad 🙂 Just a thought…. my camera’s battery died, so these are dirty, disgusting blackberry photos, apologies, I know, it will NEVER happen again!! 😉

Cottage pie… you’ve got to give it a try

13 Aug

I promise! It’s got a little twist ;-p When I was a little girl, I never liked cottage pie. I liked mashed potato and I liked mince, but not together. There was something about it that I felt was bland and boring and a “quick fix” when you really didn’t have much time to make supper. Not that it is, this was just how I perceived it and naturally, having a mother that is a brilliant cook, I pulled my nose at it!

I am now here to tell you that I have recovered. Hi, my name is Nadia and I have a new cottage pie recipe…. all together now…. “Hi New Cottage Pie!!!! “ This is what I like to call “Italian Cottage Pie”.  I think it has a certain  “je ne sais quoi” to it.  Cottage pie, with a bit more zing and loaded with  love!! And anti-oxidants!

I made this a few weeks ago, thinking my hubby will pull the same face I used to pull when I heard “cottage pie”. However, he actually polished my little red pie dish! I think it is because it has the crunch factor, the zingy flavour and the fluffy potato, topped with the ever so lovely and popular parmesan. Who can live without parmesan!!!!! I’m sure it sounds bad, calling it my Italian cottage pie, but basically, the base of the sauce is Italian, parmesan is Italian, and well, why not. This is not the quickest dish, but it is well worth it 🙂 If you don’t try it, you’ll never know!

Italian Cottage Pie

 

250 g mince

5 tablespoons of tomato puree

Dolmio tomato sauce ( Yes I had to, there was one bottle left in the fridge) / 1 tin of tinned tomatoes

1 1/2 teaspoon of mixed herbs

1 large onion, roughly chopped / 2 medium onions

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon of chopped garlic

4 potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 chilli finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan

1/2 cup of cream/ soya cream

Get some water boiling and add your potatoes. Flavour the water with salt. Heat a frying pan and add your olive oil, chilli and onion.

Fry the onion for about 8 minutes and add your tomato puree. Mix and fry for another 5 minutes. Season with salt.

Now add your mince and break it up with a wooden spoon. When it has slightly browned, add your Dolmio sauce/ tinnes tomatoes. Mix through.

Now add your mixed herbs. Mix through and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. It sounds long, but it really allows the meat to absorb the flavours in the sauce.

While this is simmering, check on your potatoes. When the potatoes are soft, drain them. Put them back in the saucepan and start mashing!!

When it is beautifully fluffy, add your cream and mix through thoroughly. Taste and season with salt if needed. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Grease a pie dish or any dish of your choice. When your mince is ready, spoon it into the pie dish. Take your mash and spread it over your the mince. Make sure it covers all the mince. Now pour over your egg. Sprinkle with parmesan and place in the oven for 25 minutes.

When you remove it, the egg and parmesan will have formed a lovely crust with a golden colour. Enjoy with a side salad or veggies 🙂

 

Monday Pig out pie

8 Aug

Hello my foodie friends! I think after this weekend, we almost knew what “gluttony” meant. I won’t be suprised if we develop little piggy tails! We enjoyed a pork barbeque with a lovely bread and olive and goats cheese. The next day we had larger than life pizza’s and on Sunday I prepared a lovely sticky and sweet pork shoulder with rice, corn and a radish salad. How does it not come close to being as greedy as 2 little piggies?

I suppose we love food so much, we can never be guilty of gluttony ;-p We enjoy it too much and definitely appreciate it. Naturally,even after all of this indulging, there was some leftover pork. Yes I know, even I do not feel like taking photos of everything and took a back seat on the blog over the weekend.  This is good, it means I will make it again, just to share that lovely pork shoulder.

So, back to the leftovers – I wanted to make a simple and light stirfry, but alas, so enters the lion man! He wanted a pork pie! He can’t say no to a pie! Also in this message, he “matter of fact” mentioned he would like to have mushrooms with it and a tasty little sauce.“Recipe brain” going in overdrive! Needless to say he had to pick up puff pastry from the grocer on his way home… well he was the one that wanted pie! ;-p

I suppose it is a comfort food for many. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like pie. I think the love for it lies in the lovely and rich butter pastry. So while I am sitting at work I am working on a little non-fat pastry recipe in my head. Well hey, who wants that?? The whole point of  pastry is to be rich, creamy and warm, creating an unknowing smile on each face enjoying this indulgence! That is always the joy and greatest reward of cooking to me. I also have to create a “cement of fame block” for the hubby as he was the genius that came up with tonight’s title. He won’t admit it, but he is always curious about my writing ;-p

I am sure he will be showing this to his work colleagues tomorrow ;-p  And before I start, remember, the main ingredient in food is love. Especially in this dish, there was plenty. My hubby put his hand to rolling out the pastry for the pie – he managed really well 🙂 Soon, I will have my own assistant ;-p

Monday Pig out pie

sunflower oil for cooking

1 pack of puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

Handful of mushrooms, rougly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped & 1/2 red onion roughly chopped

Reserve of your “gelatin” from your leftover pork / 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of soya sauce

2 tablespoons of apple pickle / apple chutney

1 courgette, roughly chopped

1 green/ yellow pepper, roughly chopped

2 cups of leftover pork, cut in bitesize pieces

Salt & pepper to taste

Preaheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Heat a frying pan and drizzle with oil. Add your “gelatin” / sauce mixture. Now add your onions and fry for about 8 minutes. Add your courgette. Fry for another 8 minutes and now add the mushrooms, yellow pepper and pork. Finally, add your pickle. Mix through and allow to simmer. Season with salt to taste.

Grease a pie dish / tin. Roll out your pastry and place one half in the pie dish. Scoop in your pork mixture. Top off with the remaining pastry.

If you have any pastry left, cut out little hearts with a cookie cutter and place them on top of your pie – this extra loving creates a better taste, I promise! ;-p

Finally, brush your pie with the beaten egg, so that it can turn lovely and deliciously golden in the oven 🙂 Bake it for 30 – 45 min until golden brown. 🙂  And if you’re anything like the hubby, serve a salad with it 🙂

 

 

 

 

Peachy pork

13 Jul

Yup, you know it! Everything is peachy! Even my pork ;-p Well, maybe not the weather. If I had to get a mental picture while eating  a peach, I would imagine lying on green, floaty grass with the sun shining on my face, and.. well, this is London and even if it is summer, there is no sun. Lucky for me, I had a lovely day and enjoyed working again and helping out a few people. It just shows you what the right atmosphere can do to improve your mood! 🙂 Happy thoughts!

It might also be that I had a construction worker screaming after me this morning, in a VERY heavy irish accent that I “Looked more beautiful than anything he had seen that morning”! Usually I would greet this with a stare that could kill, but this morning I actually started laughing! Sometimes London puts on its tutu dress and dances like a lovely ballerina!

Yesterday I bought some peaches, a whole punnet, for only £1! Add to that, a pack of pork steaks for £1.43 and it already creates happy rays of sunshine in my life!! So, sitting at work today in my happy mood, I fantasized about lovely, juicy ripe peaches, a delicacy to me 🙂 Needless to say, after biting into one when I got home, there was nothing delicate or sweet about these evil buggers! Looks can be deceiving! Then I thought, if I added a little love and sweet words of encouragement, they will turn into a lovely, colourful and sweet surprise of  luscious infusions 🙂

To top this, was a picture in my mind of the one and only licking his plate clean….. as happy as a pig in mud! Which, I am very proud to say, he did! Who needs a puppy when you have your own true love cleaning his plate like that ;-p By now, after all this mumble jumble, I still have not mentioned what I cooked! So here we go: Peachy pork steak with carrot & cabbage fritters… and like our family like to call it.. “flied lice” ! ;-p  Fried rice for those of you that get a terrible mental picture right now ;-p

Peachy pork

3 – 4 pork steaks

2 peaches, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of sunflower oil

1 clove of garlic, grated

1/2 teaspoon of ginger, grated

4 tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon of finely chopped, fresh rosemary

1 spring onion, finely chopped

Fritters

1 carrot, grated – medium size “grater”

1 cup of cabbage, grated – medium size “grater”

1 tablespoon of flour

2 eggs

1 teaspoon sweetner/caster sugar

Pork

Place your butter, ginger, garlic, oil, rosemary and spring onions in a pan. Fry for 5 minutes. Place your pork steaks in the pan and allow them to brown on the one side. Add your peaches. Shake them around in the pan. After the steaks have gone golden, turn them.

Add your vinegar and honey and mix around so that the steaks and peaches get coated in this sweet sauce.

Taste and season with a little bit of salt.  All the while, while your steaks are getting their lovely colour, mix all the ingredients together for the fritters. Heat oil in a pan, enough to be more than a slight layer, but not as much as when you would fry chips. Make sure the oil is hot enough. Take a tablespoon and use this to place small oval shapes in the oil until they become brown and crispy and turn them over. Place on some paper towel to absorb the extra oil.

Serve up with your pork steaks, egg fried rice and the lovely sticky sauce! Heaven!