Mexican Red Rice

This rice dish is full of flavour and texture and is great side for almost any savoury Mexican dish or just on its own with avocado and tangy salsa.

MEXICAN RED RICE

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1-1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice

3 cloves garlic, minced

2-1/2 cups vegetarian/chicken stock (from the cubes is just fine)

400g passata/canned chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 cup frozen petits pois

salt to taste

chopped spring onion/coriander for serving (optional)

Method:

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes or until softened and translucent.
  2. Add the dry rice and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until rice becomes a golden brown colour. Do not allow the rice to burn. Add the garlic to the rice and cook for one more minute.
  3. Add the passata/chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, petit pois, chilli powder and salt, mix well, lower heat and cover with a lid.
  4. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

 

 

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Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls or ‘golubtsy’ (“go-lub-tzy”), how we call them back home is one of the most authentic and popular dishes. However, there are many interpretations of this dish (using different fillings, types of meat, cabbage, sauce, etc) in many other countries-Russia, Turkey, Israel, Greece, Armenia, Poland, etc. This dish originated from the idea of using up the leftovers and that means that it is very adaptable to incorporate whatever food you have to hand. The only thing, at home only white cabbage is normally used for this dish, but I found white cabbage in UK is very different to the one we have at home (it is much smaller, tighter, hence it is difficult to separate the leaves and leaves are not as flavoursome), so like many people, I opted for Savoy cabbage instead, which is also perfect.

STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS (GOLUBTSY)

Ingredients:

1-2 Savoy cabbage heads (depends on the size of the cabbage. I used two).

Note on the cabbage: I also tried using a few leaves of Pointed Cabbage (you will see on a photo), but I can conclude now that it also worked but I still prefer Savoy cabbage.

For the sauce:

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 cans chopped tomatoes in their juice

2 tablespoons sugar

50ml red wine (optional)

salt & pepper

For the filling:

500g beef mince

600g pork mince

1/2 cup of uncooked rice

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped herbs (parsley/thyme)

1.5 teaspoons salt

0.5 teaspoon pepper

Method:

1. Start with preparing sauce first. Heat up the olive oil in a large pan, add chopped onion, cook it until soft. Add tinned tomatoes, sugar, wine, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, make sure it’s seasoned well, cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it’s done, set it aside.

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2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile prepare the cabbage by carefully, with a paring knife, removing the core of the cabbage. (Don’t worry if it’s not accurate, ass long as you managed to remove most of the hardest part of the core, it’ll help you to separate the leaves). Then place the prepared cabbage head into the water for a 4-5 minutes at least, or until you are able to peel off the leaves one by one, using tongs (or you might find it is easier to use fork and knife). Set the leaves aside. Depending on the size of your cabbage, you will need approximately 14-16 leaves.

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3. Preheat the oven to 170C and make the filling. For the filling simply combine the beef mince, pork mince, beaten eggs, chopped onion, rice(uncooked), herbs, salt and pepper, add 1 cup of the prepared tomato sauce and mix it all lightly using a fork.

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4. To assemble, place 1 cup tomato mixture in bottom of prepared baking dish (preferably heavy bottom/cast iron dish/Dutch oven). Take the cabbage leaf, carefully, with the small knife, remove the hard triangle rib from the base of each cabbage leaf. Then place few tablespoons of filling in the middle near to the rib edge of the leaf and roll up towards the outer edge, tucking the sides in as you roll, forming the sort of parcel shape. Continue the same with the rest of the leaves and filling. Them place half of the rolls on the bottom of the dish seam side down, cover with few cups of sauce, then layer of rolls and finish with the rest of the sauce. Cover the dish with the lid and bake for an hour and a half or until the meat is cooked and the rice is tender. Serve it hot on its own or with roasted potatoes, or at home we used to eat it with rye bread and dollop of soured cream.

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And, I have to apologise for the absence of the photos with the end of process, as in a moment of haste, I managed to delete them somehow. So, I have to turn to the good old Google and found THIS for you, to see the finished result.

Eggcellent curry in a hurry

Let face it,- egg is such a versatile cooking ingredient, but on its own, it can be rather boring. So, let’s spice it up and make it Egg Curry! Try this recipe and Im sure it will be regular choice for your curry nights in.

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EGG CURRY

Ingredients for base sauce:

50 g butter

1 yellow onion

1 clove of garlic, crushed

a small piece of root ginger, peeled and grated

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 teaspoon flour

100 ml fish stock (a good quality cube will do, dissolved in that amount of hot water)

400 ml double cream

Salt & pepper to season

 

To serve:

Cooked Basmati rice

4 Boiled eggs

 

Method:

1. To make the curry sauce, melt butter in a pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and ginger, without allowing them to colour. Add all spices and cook for another few minutes to release their flavours.

2. Add the flour and stir on a low heat for a minute, then gradually stir in the fish stock, bring to the  boil and allow reduce by half. Pour in the cream and simmer until it has reduced by about two-thirds and thickened. You can blend the sauce in a liquidizer or strain it through a fine-meshed sieve, or just leave it as it is. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

3. Soft or hard boil the eggs (personally I prefer when they are somewhere in between). Spoon the rice into a bowl, place the egg on top and spoon the sauce over. I also like to add some greens on a side, it’s good for you and good for the colour on your plate.

I also just remembered making the same Egg Curry but with the addition of cooked cauliflower florets – it’s a good compromise to rice.

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