Cheesy Chicken Meatloaf

My Mum was recommending to try this recipe for ages, but for some reason I always dismissed it. Maybe because we are not really big sandwich or appetiser fans, which this recipe is particularly good for. One day, something took over me and I decided to have a go, and I didn’t regret it. I think it’s brilliant recipe and I only wished I discovered it earlier. It takes no time or effort to prepare, and as a result you’ll have the most succulent, tender and delicious meatloaf. Of course, it is great sliced in sandwiches, but you can also have it on its own with just salad, or with added any grains/pulses/roasted vegetables. Also, it’s perfect dish to take with you to the picnic or beach.

VERY MOIST CHEESY CHICKEN MEATLOAF

Ingredients:

1-2 tablespoon olive oil

600g chicken fillets, cut into small chunks

1-2 onion (depends on the size), finely chopped

2-3 carrots (depends on the size), grated

3 tablespoons semolina

2 eggs

200g mild cheese (Cheddar, Edam, Leicester or any other hard mild cheese), grated

salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Fry the chicken pieces with olive oil until all juices run clear and chicken ready, set aside.
  2. Add more oil to the same pan and fry chopped onion, followed by carrots, until it’s cooked and translucent.
  3. Transfer in the food processor, or using a hand blender, mix it all until preferable consistency. I like to keep it a bit chunky, not completely puréed, so I’d just pulse a few times. If the mixture looks a bit dry, add few tablespoons of water.
  4. When you are happy with the consistency, transfer it to the bowl (if you are using food processor) and add the remaining ingredients, season and mix it all well, then pour it into the prepared loaf tin (you might want to butter the tin first).
  5. Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 30-45 minutes.

 

 

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Open Grilled Sandwich with Apple & Cheese

My Mum used to make this on Sundays for breakfast. What a treat it was, sweet apple slices make a simple grilled cheese sandwich taste gourmet.

OPEN GRILLED SANDWICH WITH APPLE & CHEESE

Ingredients:

(All quantities are flexible)

Preferably whole grain bread, sliced

sweet apple, sliced

mature cheddar, grated or sliced

black pepper

Method:

  1. Place the slices of bread on baking sheet.
  2. Top with sliced apple and grated cheddar cheese, few twists of black pepper on top.
  3. Place it under the grill until cheese has melted,  approx. 2-3 minutes or until it’s golden and bubbling.

(Cottage)Cheese Straws

As the title suggest, these are not your usual loaded with Cheddar cheese straws, these are a much lighter version, made with the Cottage Curd Cheese /Twarog

You can snack on them, serve instead of bread with soups and dips, or even with tea and coffee, if you don’t have a sweet tooth. They are very addictive though.

Also there is no limit to toppings. Traditionally, they are sprinkled with caraway or poppy seeds, but  you can sprinkle with whatever takes your fancy: paprika, linseeds, sesame seeds, curry powder, chopped nuts or as a sweet option with sugar and cinnamon.

COTTAGE CHEESE STRAWS

Ingredients:

250g twarog cheese (available at Tesco or other Polish supermarkets)
250g butter, at room temperature
350g plain flour
2 eggs  (1 — for a dough, 1 for the topping)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Options for topping:

Caraway seeds
poppy seeds
linseeds
paprika, etc.

Method:

  1. Beat the cheese with butter until smooth.
  2. Add the egg and sugar, beat again. Add the flour, salt and baking powder. Knead lightly until the dough comes together and is quite soft.
  3.  On floured surface roll out to a of 7-8 mm thick and cut into sticks with a width and a length of about a finger.
  4. Place the cut out strips on a baking sheet, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with caraway seeds, sesame seeds or anything else of your choice.
  5. Bake in a preheated to 180C oven about 13-15 minters or until the straws are tender and golden brown.

 

 

Mushroom paté/hummus

I’m still on the fence about what this is. Is it a pâté or is it a hummus? It’s smooth and blended, that’s what unites these two, but it lacks the hefty butter content or cream cheese usually in a pâté. On the other hand it has puy lentils, which can classify it as a hummus. Because of these factors, it is a light, healthy flavoursome blend, which can be spread, dipped in, or topped on salads. Enjoy!
Mushroom pâté

MUSHROOM PATÉ/HUMMUS

Ingredients:

250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

1 small carrot, grated

2 garlic clove, chopped

400g cooked green lentils (puy lentil)

handful of chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in saucepan, add the onion, carrot, garlic and sauté 5-7 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and cooked through, another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove aside.
  2. Place the mushroom mixture along with the cooked lentils, nuts, lemon juice, soy sauce,thyme in the food processor or blender and pulse to the preferred (coarse or smooth) consistency. Season well with salt and pepper, or lemon juice.
  3. Scrape the mixture into a small serving bowl and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.

Mushroom pâté 2

Zucchini & Cheese Savoury Cake

This is something different from the usual sweet zucchini bread. Serve as an accompaniment to a main-dish soup or salad, or just on its own it’s delicious.

Don’t expect a high rise of the cake. Although it rises high in the oven, as soon as it comes out of it, it drops down. It is normal because the ingredients are heavy and moist, however, it doesn’t make cake soggy.

Recipe came from here.

I only changed the title, as in my mind, bread would always have some sort of yeast component. Also, original recipe asks to cut the cheese in cubes, but I prefer to grate it.

Savoury Zucchini Cake

IMG_6925

 

Chicken Liver Paté

Here’s an idea to add to your recipe collection during the Christmas season if you want to impress when entertaining. Something you can make ahead as it only enhances the flavour. The red wine adds body to this spread and cuts through the richness of the liver.

Chicken Liver Pate with red wine

CHICKEN LIVER PATÉ WITH RED WINE

Ingredients:

350g chicken liver

115g butter

150ml red wine

5 springs of thyme, leaves stripped, plus extra for garnishing

salt & pepper to season

Method:

  1. Rinse the chicken livers and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Trim away any white sinew or greenish portions from the livers with small scissors, the cut each in half.
  2. Melt half the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat until it forms. Add the livers and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until browned.
  3. Add the thyme, wine to the pan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat  and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the liquid is reduced and the livers are just cooked through when sliced open.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then tip the livers and sauce into a blender, and blend until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Spoon the paté into a serving bowl, pressing it down with the back of the spoon, then set aside.
  5. Melt the remaining butter over a medium heat, then pour it over a medium heat, then pour it over the top of the paté. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  6. Serve with rye bread or toasted french bread slices or cornichons, which are the traditional French accompaniment.

Chicken Liver Pate with red wine

 

Gazpacho

Apparently the ‘real’ Gazpacho has bread in it, but I prefer the ‘clean’ version with fresh bread or other bread things on the side. Easy to modify to suit your taste. Even better the next day!

Gaspacho

GAZPACHO

(Recipe adapted from Ina Garten)

Ingredients:
1 medium cucumber, halved and seeded
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion

1 red chilly
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1. Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onion and chilli. Put all vegetables into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process it until the mixture appears creamy.

2. Transfer the mixture into large bowl or saucepan and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the tastier it gets. To garnish you can add finely chopped onion, tomato, cucumber or small croutons on top. I’ve just splash extra olive oil on top before serving. We had it with Empanadas on a side, the combination of flavours, cold and hot was wonderful!