Thursday, 26 February 2015


Mezzes Made Myself!

4 Capsicums, medium size
12 button mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
600g pumpkin
6-8 medium roasting type potatoes
4 corn cobs
2 cups coarse bourghul
150g lean bacon
150g sliced virginia ham or similar (larger slices preferable)
4 slices of cheddar or nacho cheese around 2mm thick
2 tbsp Tuscan seasoning mix
1 tbsp dried basil
2 tsp dried mint
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
half tsp ground nutmeg
cooking salt
1 lemon
2 cups chicken stock
100g semi dried or fully dried tomatoes
olive oil (a cup or so)

Yes, I know, a huge long list but you're making four dishes here...

In a small saucepan, place the caraway and cumin seeds, chop the garlic coarsely and add that too, add about two tablespoons of olive oil and salt and half a cup of stock, light the burner. Chop the sundried tomato and bacon into strips. When the water has evaporated and the spices are beginning to roast, add the bourghul and the sundried tomatoes and bacon, toss for a minute or two then add the rest of the chicken stock. Add the mint and toss through, then juice the lemon and add this and toss through. Set aside to cool.

Wash and dry the potatoes, set on baking tray. Cut pumpkin into four slices, clean and set on baking tray. Clean the corn and cut ends square. Core the end out of the capsicum and remove the seeds and webs through the hole. Boil the corn in lightly salted water, then lift out and set aside. Put the capsicums in the water and parboil then set them aside to cool  Stem and peel the mushrooms and halve them.

When the vegetables are cool enough to handle comfortably, lay slices of ham down, lay a slice of cheese on each, and roll the corn cobs in them, place on baking tray. Put alternating teaspoonful of the bourghul stuffing and mushrooms in the capsicums, place on baking tray. If there is stuffing left (and there should be around two thirds left) lay this down as a bed to keep the capsicums from rolling. Arrange vegetables to a pleasing design, then brush with olive oil and sprkle with Tuscan seasoning and salt.

Bake in oven at 185C for 45 minutes, at which time brush with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning and salt again, and return to oven with tray reversed to help even out the cooking process, bake for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes and the ham have browned in spots and all are cooked through.
This tray will fill four plates quite adequately.

May be served hot or cold. Serves four as a main meal.

Mezzes are pretty much hearty finger food, and the stuffing mix can also be used to stuff large tomatoes that have been hollowed out. They're served as sides at a party or feast, or (as in this case) a filling meal for four people.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

salsiccia coniglio speziato in modo mio

NAME: _salsiccia coniglio speziato in modo mio

1 kg rabbit meat, diced fairly small. (Or use cute fluffy chicken meat if you're squeamish... %)
100g diced pork fat
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp powdered turmeric
1 tbsp red paprika powder
1.5 tsp plain salt
1.5 tsp raw sugar
splash of water for consistency

Mince the rabbit and fat on the coarse disk of your mincer (around 5mm - 8mm hole) and place in a bowl in the freezer or fridge. The rabbit should be cubed to minimise the length of sinews, as they are VERY tough and will clog the mincer unless they're pretty close to frozen. I tend to take out the longest thickest sinews in the leg meat anyway. Do chill or even partly freeze the rabbit and the fat, the sausages will be the better for it.

Toast each of the seeds separately in a hot pan, place in mortar, and grind to a fine powder. add the sugar and salt and grind them fine also, then mix into the meat along with the turmeric and paprkia powder, mix well to thoroughly combine, then put back in fridge again to marinate for a while.

Set up for stuffing 20mm casings, a kilo of meat will make just about a metre, I'm using collagen because that's all I have to hand, and they seem to work okay. Fill and either make convenient length links, or form into a spiral and skewer flat.

If not using right away, freeze ASAP and use within a safe time. (Generally a kilo is enough for two to four people, depending on sides, hunger, etc)

Fry and serve, or use in a recipe such as the Spanish Casserole dish I make.




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