Sunday, 14 February 2016

Torta di pastore alla teddles

NAME: _Torta di pastore alla teddles

250 g minced (ground) beef
1 kg baby potatoes
2 - 4 g dried mushrooms
1 brown onion
3 cloves garlic
half tsp ground fenugreek seed
fresh baby green beans
a leaf of silver beet
carrot greens or parsley
half tsp golden syrup
50g - 100g sharp cheddar
half cup fine grated parmesan
half cup fine grated grana padano or romano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp beef dripping
1 tin diced tomatoes (or 3 cups diced fresh tomato, seeds and all)
2 beef stock cubes
half cup red wine

Peel and crush the garlic, add a pinch of salt, set aside, Dice the onion coarsely and place in a heavy bottom saucepan with the oil and dripping. Begin to fry until onion is tramslucent, add the mince and the dried mushrooms, continue to fry until liquid has evaporated and things start to fry again, add the garlic, fenugreek, and chopped greens. Stir well and keep the heat on for a further three minutes,

Now add the tomatoes, beans, golden syrup, red wine, and stock cubes, stir until simmering, turn down heat, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes while you boil the baby potatoes in plenty of salted water.

Turn off the sauce after twenty minutes, check the potatoes for doneness, they should be cooked soft enough to eat. Drain the potatoes.

In a casserole or other oven proof dish, ladle in enough sauce to about half cover the potatoes. Lay potatoes in the sauce until dish is about three quarters covered, then gently squash each potato, the idea is that they should finish just level with the surface of the sauce when all squashed. Experience is the best guide here.

Now cover the surface of the sauce and potatoes with the cheddar cheese, then sprinkle over the parmesan and padano (or romano) either in layers or in stripes or other patterns.

Place in a hot (210C/410F) oven for 20 minutes then transfer the dish to the griller (broiler) to brown up any cheese that hasn't browned yet. Allow to cool down slightly.

No special instructions.

Fresher is better. I managed to source locally grown onions and garlic, MILES better than supermarket produce. The beans came from our garden about an hour earlier ad did the silver beet, and the carrot tops (greens) and basil came from a local farm.

Use a nice red wine for this, it's sooo worth it! And as to the cheeses - you need a base of cheddar and then a stronger cheese or two over it.

Lastly - if you leave this in the oven for too long, the potatoes will be cooked mushy. If too short, they won't have had time to absorb some of the sauce liquid. Hence  twenty minutes at 210C, But the cheeses need to be brown - hence the few minutes under the griller.


Sunday, 7 February 2016

Eggplant Thick Chips

NAME: _Eggplant Thick Chips

2 eggplant fruit
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
1 tsp powdered cumin
1 tsp powdered coriander seed
1/2 tsp powdered cardamom
1 tbsp cooking salt
1 tbsp honey

marinated eggplant from above
2 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
2 eggs
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil (divided)

1 eggplant fruit
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
1/2 tsp Parisian essence
1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cooking salt (divided)
1/4 tsp honey
1/2 cup water (divided)

Marinate the eggplant a few hours ahead of time. Mix the ingredients other than the eggplant thoroughly in a suitably sized non-reactive bowl. (Glass or stainless steel) Cut off and discard the ends of the eggpant, slice into 1cm slices.layer these into the bowl containing the marinade and press down with a suitable sized plate and weight. Set aside for two to four hours.

Make the sauce by cutting the skin off and dicing the eggplant finely. Melt the butter in a small frying pan, add the eggplant and a pinch of the salt, then add around 1/4 cup of water. Allow to boil and when the water has evaporated, fry the eggplant cubes for a few more minutes, then remove from the pan to a bowl and set aside.

Dice the onion, put the olive oil into the pan, add the onion and the rest of the salt and the water, repeat the procedure but keep going until around half the onion has browned. Add back the eggplant and stir to combine, then add all remaining ingredients. You may use further water to bring the sauce to the consistency you want. Remove from heat and set aside, warming again just before serving.

Making the fritters: Prepare three bowls, one containing a cup of wholemeal flour, one containing the two eggs, beaten, and a third bowl containing the remaining ingredients mixed well together.

Remove the slices of eggplant from the marinade and discard the liquid. Squeeze the eggplant slices between the palms just to shed any excess liquid, then firmly press each side of each slice into the plain flour, then shake off excess, transfer to the egg to coat both sides, then to the seasoned flour mix for coat the outside.

Put some of the olive oil into a frying pan and get it as hot as the olive oil is able to stand (medium heat) then fry the egg plant slices in small batches, adding olive oil as needed.

Serve with rice or burghul and a Greek style side salad. Spoon the sauce over the grain, and also over the eggplant if desired.

Burghul is cracked wheat, make it as you would rice, with two times as much water by volume, and allow it to absorb all the water, then let it stand for a few minutes to even out the moisture. It's definitely the nicer carb to serve with this dish...

The eggplant can be left un-marinated, and dipped as above and fried right away, but the flavour is better with the marinating time.



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