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Posts Tagged ‘sauce’

I am glad to say that I am not a total amateur when it comes to some things. In fact, I would go as far as saying that I am actually very very good at one thing…and that is cooking!

I come from a background that involved food. My parents were restaurateurs (now retired) and my father a chef. My mother ruled the roost at home and I have nothing but fond memories of all the delicious meals she would make. Unfortunately, my repertoire only stretches to making middle eastern or Persian dishes so whilst I learn to make a mean beef stroganoff or simple chicken pie (from scratch of course) you will have to bear with recipes that I’ve learned over the years that are a hit in any Persian household.

One night, I had no idea what to make for dinner for the children. I could have done a quick pasta but was bored with the idea myself as we’d only had pasta a few days ago so as I had some minced beef out already, I decided to make something that I grew up on. Pan fried kebabs served with fluffy white rice.
 
 
For this, you need a very good non stick frying pan. Mine isn’t a good one..as you can see from the picture, the kebabs were a little *over-done* and that is due to the pan being no good after many years of being used to the brink of it’s own extinction. The tomatoes make a good mixer with the white rice because there is no sauce. Iranians mix butter with their rice to make it less dry but tomatoes work just as well and is a slightly healthier option.
You can also add any kind of vegetables you want, it really doesn’t matter. We had mushrooms in so I just simply sauteed them in the pan with the tomatoes after the kebabs were made.

All you need is:

500g minced beef (or lamb)
1 medium onion, grated
2 heaped tbsp natural breadcrumbs
1tsp turmeric (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything by hand in a bowl and make as many oval kebabs as you can. Don’t make them too thick otherwise they will take longer to cook through and end up burning on the outside. Don’t make the pan too hot and use 2 tbsp cooking oil and keep turning the kebabs. Have a plate ready at the side for the ones that get done first and as you get space add the others otherwise you’ll end up taking forever. We like to have crunchy vegetables with our meals so I have added radishes as a complement but a fresh salad will do the trick and give a bit more colour to the meal.

If you don’t fancy rice with it, pitta bread will do just as good. The preparation takes a bit of time but trust me, it will only take five minutes to eat it all and the children will LOVE it!

**If you don’t fancy minced meat, very thin slices of chicken breast will also do very nicely, or for vegetarian, a mix of more vegetables.  You can make a quick spicy sauce to go with the vegetables using 2 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tbs cooking oil, half a pint of water salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or none if you don’t want it hot), 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp dried oregano.  Bring it to the boil, then simmer and reduce for 20 minutes.

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By now, you will have realised that my best skill is cooking and I like blogging about it too.  I am sure, or at least I hope that at some point, I’ll get to the sewing, knitting and other stuff!  Here is another food one I wrote  in the summer last year but I am now going to use it in a series of *Make your own* posts that I am going to experiment with.  Enjoy.

The fresh ingredients...

My parents have been away for a couple of weeks and I was left with strict instructions to pick the tomatoes from my fathers garden and eat them.  Well, I love tomatoes as much as anyone else but I have to admit, there were quite alot of tomatoes to be contending with and there is only so much salad we can eat!! 

I wanted to do something to test my own skills and so I decided to make a Passata sauce. I have never actually eaten any passata before so was very worried about what I was doing but decided it was all for the name of experimenting!

I found a simple recipe online that called for ingredients that I had in the house already.  Tomatoes, fresh basil, (I have a pot that was given to me on my birthday), garlic and onions – check!

Firstly, I boiled then simmered the tomatoes along with a whole onion and a couple of sprigs of basil for about an hour.  Then I had to strain the mix through a sieve as I don’t have a mouli (a food mill) and this took quite a bit of time and really hurt my arms (cooking is good exercise!) but I was pleased with the end result.

Once you have the sauce ready, you then add a finely chopped onion and several finely chopped cloves of garlic with more basil and salt to taste.  I boiled it down until I thought it was thick enough to be a *sauce*.  The aroma of garlic and basil had engulfed the house making us all hungry.

For my first attempt at making this sauce, I think it went very well indeed.  I was more happy because I used two homegrown ingredients which, even though I didn’t grow at home myself, it still gave me a personal sense of satisfaction!  If you feeling even more adventurous, you can couple the sauce with a homemade pasta and garlic bread too!

 

 

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