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
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
200g mild cheese (Cheddar, Edam, Leicester or any other hard mild cheese), grated
salt & pepper to taste
- Fry the chicken pieces with olive oil until all juices run clear and chicken ready, set aside.
- Add more oil to the same pan and fry chopped onion, followed by carrots, until it’s cooked and translucent.
- 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.
- 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).
- Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 30-45 minutes.
We had a few versions of this salad when we visited Sicily. Because oranges were in season, this salad was available pretty much everywhere. One version had oranges and fennel, another had oranges, onion, cheese and mint. Even all of the above plus olives. The list goes on. All of them were refreshing, palate cleansing, very simple but delicious.
Since I brought back with me a few oranges, I also made a several versions of this salad at home. Here is one:
INSALATA DI ARANCE
2 oranges, skin removed and cut into rounds
2-3 spring onions, ends removed and finely sliced
50g mild cheese (sorry, I know it’s not authentic, but I used Edam)
extra virgin oil to dress, to taste
1 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)
- Mix the ingredients together and serve.
This is a simple, gentle (although, you can add as much chilli as you wish) vegetable curry that works either as a side dish or as a main course with rice.
According to Saveur magazine, in order to get this dish as close to the authentic flavour as possible, it is essential to let the paste of chillies, turmeric, ginger, and garlic gently sweat before stewing the collard greens in coconut milk.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have fresh lemongrass on hand, adding a dry one instead.
INDONESIAN – STYLE GREEN AND COCONUT CURRY
(Original recipe comes from Saveur)
1 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 big onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 red or green Thai chillies, minced
1 (3″) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dry lemongrass (or 2 large fresh stalks)
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
400g collard greens, stemmed and cut crosswise into wide strips
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Combine turmeric, onion, garlic, chillies, and ginger in a small food processor and purée, adding up to 4 tbsp. water, to form a smooth paste; set aside.
2. If you are using fresh lemongrass, trim tip and root ends of lemongrass stalks and remove tough outer layer. Using a meat mallet, smash lemongrass to ﬂatten and tie into a knot.
3. Heat oil in a heavy-bottom or cast iron pot over medium-low heat; add reserved paste and lemongrass (dry or fresh); cook, stirring often, until very fragrant, 10–12 minutes.
4. Add sugar, salt, and coconut milk; bring to a simmer over medium heat.
5. Add collards; cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 40 minutes.
6. Remove lemongrass; season with salt and pepper and serve warm.
Following on my recent post on aubergines, here is another very simple but delicious aubergine dish, which is great as a snack/starter with the slice of rye bread or it can be a side dish too. It is ideal for the picnics and BBQs. This time it’s My Mum’s recipe:
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
about 1 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
olive oil for frying
1. Wash the aubergine, cut into round slices, place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat up a frying pan with a few spoons of olive oil, wait till it hot, but do not allow the oil to burn.
3. Put the bread crumbs on a separate plate, take each slice of aubergine, dunk the both sides into the bread crumbs and place it on a frying pan. Allow about 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden coloured and cooked through.
4. Place it on a plate, garnish with fresh chopped basil and garlic.
What sort of thing do you think about when walking through a beautiful rolling wilderness with its vibrant moss carpet, rolling green hills, burnt colour trails and different hues of purple? Call me crazy, but a recent walk we took through the New Forest brought only one thing to my mind – my Dad’s Aubergine Rolls. I think the same colour pallet gave me a hint, or I was just hungry…
AUBERGINE ROLLS WITH COTTAGE CHEESE STUFFING
2 aubergines, sliced length ways
400 cottage cheese
3 cloves garlic, crushed
150g walnuts, finely chopped
salt/pepper to taste
olive oil for frying
handful of basil leaves
1. Cut the aubergines length ways, brush it with olive oil on both sides and fry on a pan until cooked through and pale golden. Set aside on a paper tower to absorb excess of the oil.
2. In a bowl mix together cottage cheese, crushed garlic, finely chopped walnuts, salt and pepper.
3. Take an aubergine slice, place the scoop of the cottage filling closer to one side and carefully roll up. Continue the same process with the rest of the aubergines and filling. Place the rolls on a plate, decorate with the basil leaves.
This is my interpretation of one of the traditional Russian/Latvian salads called ‘Mimosa’ and originally made during big celebrations/holiday, especially Easter time, because of the colours and the eggs in it. You can use any tinned fish for this salad but most importantly, the salad must be prepared a few hours before serving to allow layers to soak (it is perfect for dinner parties as it could be made the day before and kept in the fridge). Originally these type of salads are always are made with mayonnaise, so it is not for those who are on a diet, and it is another reason why it is a special treat only for the special occasions, but the taste is very tender and light.
LAYERED SALAD ‘MIMOSA’
1 tin tuna (or any other preferred fish)
4 hard boiled eggs
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 pickled gherkins
1 cup mayonnaise
1. Do not peel potatoes and carrots. Just wash them and place in a pot with boiling water, adjust the heat and leave it to cook until they feel tender when you prod them with a knife. When vegetables are ready, just take them out of the water and leave it to cool so you can peel their skin off. When the vegetables are skinned and cool, start assemble the salad.
2. In a small bawl mix the tuna, onion and couple spoons of mayonnaise. Spread the mix on a dish you are going to serve from.
3. Then layers go as following: grated potatoes, mayonnaise, grated gherkins, mayonnaise, grated carrots, mayonnaise, then grated egg whites and top it with grated egg yolks.
4. Leave it in fridge over night or at least for a few hours. Serve as a starter.