There is no limit to variations of the meatballs and its accompanying options. This is one of them and it happened to be one of my favourites. It just reminds me of my childhood food. Back then we were not exposed to spices or exotic flavours, food was very straight forward, but never tasteless or plain. I always was amazed how with only few ingredients on hand our Mums and Grandmas managed to come up with accomplished dishes. One of the keys is seasoning. No matter what you are seasoning with, just season and taste, season and taste, until you reach the desired flavour.
I chose to serve it with the buckwheat, just because I love it for its nutty flavour and health properties, but it goes well with pasta, rice or mashed potato.
MEATBALLS IN A CREAMY SAUCE WITH THE BUCKWHEAT
For the meatballs:
500g of your preferred mince (I like to use half & half beef & pork or just turkey)
1 white bread roll or 2 slices of bread
1 big onion, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup of soured cream
1 teaspoon paprika (sweet, hot, smoked)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh dill or parsley to garnish
- Begin by soaking a bread roll in milk, but crumbling the bread in a small bowl and pouring over with milk. Press the bread with the fork, helping to soak up all the milk until it becomes mushy. Leave it to soak for a few minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Then in a big bowl mix all ingredients for the meatballs, including the milky bread, and form the balls, any size you like.
- Place the meatballs into oven proof baking dish or a tray and bake for about 20-30 minutes, depends on a size of your meatballs, or until they are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Take any heavy-bottom pan, add the butter and when it’s melted, add the flour. Keep stirring until the butter absorbs the flour, but do not allow it to burn. Then add the chicken stock, continue constantly stirring, to avoid lumps. When it thickens, add the soured cream and paprika, salt and pepper, mix well and cook for a few more minutes. Season, taste, adjust seasoning if required.
- When the meatballs are ready, simply add them to the pan with the sauce or serve it separately, pouring sauce over. Garnish with the fresh dill or parsley.
It also goes well with some pickles on a side, gherkins in particular.
This loaf is just as indulgent as Baklava, but a little bit easier on calories and the amount of sweetness. I love that it’s buttermilk based and full of crunch and texture.
(Adapted from Good Things magazine)
For the filling:
200g mix of pistachios and walnuts, chopped
100ml runny honey
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 orange, zest only
For the Cake Mixture:
225g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 large egg
50g butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
- For the cake mixture, combine the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Put the egg, melted butter and buttermilk in a separate bowl and mix well. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing well, but taking care not to overwork.
- Lightly butter a lot tin, pour in the cake mixture and spoon over the filling. Repeat twice, ending with the layer of the nut mixture.
- Bake it for 20-25 minutes or until the cake is golden-brown and springs back when pressed. Allow to cool before serving.
I saw this recipe on Pinch of Yum site and immediately wanted to try it. The suggestion was that it’s a breakfast/bruch casserole dish, but I think it’s great at any time of day on its own with some nice crispy salad or as a side dish perhaps. I’ve slightly adapted this to match my taste, but you can check out the original recipe here. It’s a lovely site, by the way, if you haven’t heard about it.
POTATO AND SPINACH BAKE
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 any preferred good quality sausages
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 handfuls of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
2 large eggs
1/3 cup of milk
1 cup of grated raw potatoes
1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
salt & pepper to taste
- Heat up the oven to 200C. Grease the medium oven proof dish and set aside.
- Heat up the flying pan over medium heat with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add the chopped onions and sauté it until it becomes soft and translucent.
- Take the sausages, peel off their outer skin by gently cutting the skin in the middle and peeling it off with your fingers. Then crumble the sausage meat in rough chunks over the onion. Then add chilli powder and onion powder. Mix well and continue cooking until it brown and fully cooked. Transfer this mixture to the prepared oven dish, distribute evenly on the bottom.
- Add the rest of the olive oil to the frying pan, add the garlic and gently cook t for a few minutes, do not allow it to burn. Add the spinach and stir until whilted for a few more minutes. Then scatter over the sausage mixture.
- In a mixing bowl, using fork, mix together the eggs, milk, mozzarella cheese, raw potatoes, salt and pepper. Pour over the sausage and spinach mixture.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown or until it springs back when touched.
These are highly addictive, once you’ve tried it, you won’t be able to stop eating them. Covered with a crispy exterior, they have a really soft inside, due to cottage cheese, and remain soft for a long time. And because they are not very sweet, you can indulge them even for breakfast.
I made this batch just plain, but you can add some extras in a dough like raisins, dried chopped apricots or other berries, or use any favourite syrup instead of the icing powder before serving.
COTTAGE CHEESE MINI DOUGHNUTS
250g cottage cheese/farmer’s cheese
4 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups plain flour (you might need to add just a bit more if the dough will be too wet)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
vegetable oil for frying (approx 250ml)
icing sugar for decoration
- In a big bowl start by beating the eggs with sugar, using a wooden spoon.
- Then add the cottage cheese and mix well with egg mixture.
- Then add the flour, baking powder and vanilla extract, mix well until combined (you might need to add a bit more flour at this stage, if the dough is too wet, but it should be sticky anyway).
- In a small pan heat up the vegetable oil until the small bubble start to appear, then turn the heat down to the medium.
- When the oil is ready, damp the palms of your hands with a little bit oil, then form a little dough balls (approx. size of the walnut, they will expand while frying) and place them one by one in a hot oil. Fry each ball around 2-3 minutes or until it’s golden brown, turning them around.
- Drain ready doughnuts onto the paper towel and dust them with the icing sugar.