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Friday
Aug302013

Meatball Madness โ€“ The Best Red Sauce In The World โ€“ Ever

(Recipe by Leila Saffarian, originally posted here - http://saltpassplease.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/meatball-madness-the-best-red-sauce-in-the-world-ever/)

Sometimes I just really, really, really feel like a good meatball or five. Little meaty treats that are so easy to make – no – they really are. As tasty as a properly made meatball can be, I find it’s the sauce that really gives them vooma & adds that punch of flavour. Say hello to the best Red Sauce for meatball glory in the world – ever *please read this in a New York accent – meatbaaaaaallls* Here we go soon to be little meatball rollers, here we go…

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Meatballs In The Best Red Sauce In The World – Ever

For the meatballs:

500g lean beef mince 

1 onion, chopped & lightly fried

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin

Small handful *combined* flat leaf parsley & basil – chopped

Maldon Salt & Freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp (10 ml) olive oil, for frying

Best Red Sauce In The World – Ever: 

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

 1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp (5 ml) dried chilli flakes

2 tins whole peeled tomatoes

1 tin tomato paste

A glug of red wine

1 tsp (5 ml) sugar

Maldon Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper 

Small handful basil leaves

1 tub *Mediterranean Delicacies* – Roasted Red Pepper Dip

*500g Cooked pasta rice*

*grated parmesan, to serve*

*fresh basil leaves, to serve*

For the balls: This is so easy, combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl. Season & mix well. Shape into meatballs (go as big or as little as you like here) & chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan & fry the meatballs in batches (about 4 minutes on each side) until golden. Remove from the pan & set aside. 

For the best red sauce in the world – ever: Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the onions, garlic & chilli & fry for 3-4 minutes until fragrant & the onions lightly golden. Add the tinned tomatoes *crush lightly with a fork* tomato paste, red wine, sugar & season well with Maldon salt & freshly ground black pepper. Add the basil, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced. Adjust seasoning, remove from the heat & use a hand blender to blitz the sauce. Add the tub of *roasted red pepper dip* & stir well. Add the meatballs to the sauce.

Combine the red sauce & meatballs to the cooked pasta rice, add some grated Parmesan, mix well & top with fresh basil leaves & more Parmesan just before serving.

Napkins, plenty of napkins will probably be required – things get messy when eating meatbaaaaalls in red sauce – the best ever. 

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Tuesday
Aug272013

Simple Supper โ€“ In A Flash

(This recipe is by Leila Saffarian and was originally posted here - http://saltpassplease.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/simple-supper-in-a-flash/)

Those who know me, know I’m pretty easy to please in the food department. I like beer. I like pasta. I like lemons. I like chillies. I like salt. Yes, salt. Delicious in so many forms. I do enjoy my food well seasoned. Bland just isn’t my vibe & as I mentioned, salt comes in many forms, even a fishy variety – anchovies. These little, salty, fishy slithers are probably one of the best seasoning agents around. Chuck into lamb dishes (yes, I said lamb) instead of the *sprinkle sprinkle* salt variety for the meaty flavour to really *pop*. Combine with ripe tomatoes, red onion, capers, lemon & loads of olive oil for a tasty salad, or just add to pizzas with lashing of chilli. Yes, please, thank you – clearly I am a lover of the little salty fish…

A bottle or two of Mediterranean Delicacies @medideli anchovy fillets landed in my lap – fab & delicious. What to do with them… The above list with all of my likes made it pretty easy – my go to meal to feed the masses…

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Anchovy, Broccoli, Lemon, Chilli & Herby Linguine

*serves a greedy 4 or a more well behaved 6*

500g linguine

4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil + extra to drizzle

1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 jar Mediterranean Delicacies anchovy fillets, chopped

3 fat garlic cloves, chopped

2 tsp (10 ml) dried red chilli flakes *less if you’re heat sensitive*

zest & juice of 1 lemon

 3 tbsp (45 ml) capers, chopped

Maldon salt & freshly ground black pepper

Small handful each of fresh dill, parsley, coriander & mint, chopped

4 spring onions, chopped

Grated Parmesan (about 100g)

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the linguine according to packet instructions (al dente is always best), drain & set aside.  Heat 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli & fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the anchovies, garlic, chilli flakes, lemon zest & capers. Fry for 3 minutes until the garlic has softened. Add the anchovies & broccoli to the warm linguine, toss with a bit more olive oil & season with Maldon salt (watch it though – anchovy delights remember) & freshly ground black pepper. Add the herbs, spring onions, lemon juice & Parmesan. Toss well, adjust seasoning & serve with extra grated Parmesan.

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So simple, so easy & fuss-free – what could be better? Be sure to keep the pantry stocked with a couple jars of anchovy fillets for those simple suppers in a flash.

Monday
Aug052013

Chicken meatballs with courgettes and chickpeas

The world loves meatballs. How do I know this? Meatballs are one of the few foods that pop up in just about every type of cuisine across the globe. From the local frikkadel to the palm-sized meatballs of Italy smothered in tomato sauce (called ‘polpette al suga’), then there is of course the spiced kofta which feature in Mediterranean countries, North Africa, Asia and India. The Swedish serve theirs with dill sauce while the Spanish enjoy theirs as tapas. Meatball subs, poached in a broth, with soy sauce, with spaghetti, on a bun, on a stick, grilled, fried; they come in flavours and forms for every palate!

While my meatball recipe isn’t traditional, it is rather a fast supper solution – dinner in a dash, if you will. It’s quick, it’s tasty and it’s healthy and that’s all you really need to know isn’t it?  Swop the courgettes for aubergines, butternut, peppers or ready-to-roast veggies (no chopping is an added bonus) and dinner is a mere 30 minutes away. And if there are any leftovers? Toss through cooked pasta with a spoonful of pesto or softened cream cheese and you have lunch (or dinner) version 2.0.



Chicken meatball, courgette and chickpea sauté

Serves 4

500g chicken mince

1 tub Mediterranean Delicacies Chicken liver pate

salt & pepper, to taste

1 egghandful basil, chopped

handful Italian parsley, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ - 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

olive oil

700g courgettes or baby marrows, chopped into chunks

1 red onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

juice from 1 lemon

1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Mint tzatziki

1 tub Mediterranean Delicacies tzatziki

2 tbsp chopped mint

Combine the mince, chicken liver pate, seasoning, egg, herbs, onion, garlic and breadcrumbs together. Form into golfball-sized balls and set aside. Heat some oil in a saucepan and fry the meatballs until golden. Add the courgettes, onion and garlic and sauté until softened. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the chickpeas. Season to taste. Serve warm with the mint tzatziki.

Original post by Katelyn Williams - http://www.the-kate-tin.blogspot.com/2013/08/chicken-meatballs-with-courgettes-and.html

Wednesday
Jul312013

Warm Greek Salad

Salads have a hard time in winter. Like bikinis, sunscreen and sandals they get reserved for the summer months and called horrible names like ‘rabbit food’. Okay, so maybe I’m the one who calls them that but still, they deserve a little better than to be kept for diets and silly cleanses.



I have two words for you: warm & salads. Why has no one thought of this earlier? It’s simply genius! The delicious, crunchy goodness of salads but served in a warm, cozy, snuggle-up-with-a-bowl-and-a-blanket kind of way. Once you’ve opened your mind to the possibility of warm salads, the possibilities are just endless. Think lentils tossed with wedges of roasted pumpkin and butternut scattered with a warm crispy sage dressing and toasted walnuts or how about a warm potato salad with caramelized garlic, dill and crème fraiche. Add roast chicken, grilled lamb or smoked salmon and you have a salad meal. I could go on and on.



To test my new-found warm salad epiphany, I took one of the most summery recipes I could think of and gave it the snuggly treatment. Greek salad is all about the ripest summery tomatoes, the plumpest olives the creamiest feta, peppery olive oil and the tang of proper balsamic. It’s greatness lies in its simplicity. But roast those ripe tomatoes until they blister and burst with flavour, and warm the plump olives to release their bitter oils, crumb the creamy feta and then fry it so it gets all gooey inside then pile it all on the plate and drizzle with the peppery olive oil and the splashy tang of the balsamic and you have a salad worthy of the name.



Warm Greek salad

Serves 4

200g baby tomatoes

½ red onion, finely sliced

½ cup Mediterranean Delicacies Calamata-style olives, drained and pitted

4 x 25g slabs Mediterranean Delicacies feta, drained well

Olive oil

1 cup dried breadcrumbs, seasoned

½ cucumber, sliced

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the baby tomatoes, red onion and olives on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast lightly until blistered but not completely soft. They should still keep their shape. Dip the feta slabs in a little olive oil then in breadcrumbs. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and saute the feta over high heat until golden and just soft. Remove from the pan and arrange on a plate. Top with the tomatoes, olives, onion and cucumber slices. Dress with the balsamic vinegar and oil. Serve with grilled lamb chops, chicken breasts or as is. 

Original Post by Katelyn Williams http://the-kate-tin.blogspot.com/2013/07/warm-greek-salad.html

Friday
Jul262013

Homemade flatbreads with tabbouleh and hummus

I had my first taste of tabbouleh just a few weeks ago and was hooked. Okay, perhaps not my first taste but before this experience, the others simply didn’t count because this time, the tabbouleh was prepared by a Lebanese princess. It was the real deal; a recipe carefully translated over the phone all the way from Beirut from grandmother to granddaughter. So very special.


A good tabbouleh is made up of plenty of fresh flat-leaf parsley and mint, carefully shredded by hand to prevent bruising. It is said, that if you are a Lebanese woman and want to find a good husband, the key is to learn how to chop your parsley properly. And that pretty much sums up how important the parsley in authentic tabbouleh is! Serious stuff. Along with heaps of parsley and mint, it has olive oil, seasoning and some tomato and bulgar wheat. The parsley is the main ingredient here, not the wheat.


The flat breads are a delicious accompaniment to the salad as they add a great crunch, along with the velvety smoothness of the hummus, it’s a match made in heaven and a fantastic meal to serve for friends as everything can be placed in the centre of the table for people to help themselves.



Homemade flatbreads with tabbouleh and hummus

Serves 6

Flatbreads

300g self-raising flour

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups grated halloumi or crumbled feta (optional)

1 cup boiling water1 cup chopped spring onion (optional)


Tabbouleh

2 bunches flat-leaf parsley (350g)

1 small bunch mint (50g)

2 cups Bulgar wheat

1 tomato, chopped

2 spring onions, chopped

100ml olive oil

juice of 2 lemons


Mediterranean Delicacies Low-fat hummus, to serve



For the flatbread, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix to form a soft dough. Set aside for 15 minutes to rest. Divide into 8 and roll out to 30cm long.

Heat a large pan or griddle pan and fry on both sides until golden and crisp.

Make the tabbouleh, chop the parsley finely using a very sharp knife.

Mix through with the rest of the ingredients.

To serve, spread the flatbread with hummus and top with the tabbouleh.

Original post by Katelyn Williams - http://www.the-kate-tin.blogspot.com/2013/07/homemade-flatbreads-with-tabbouleh-and.html