29 May 2014

Cloudy, with a chance of meatballs

Or rather, non-meatballs, as it happens.  I get a recipe emailed to me each day from Mindfood - they're always beautiful ideas, using heaps of cool ingredients, but often not something that's easy to make work under the 'family dinner when everyone tumbles back into the house at 5pm' category.  So, more often than not, I enjoy perusing them, but ultimately they get deleted from my consciousness.  Not, however, yesterday...

Spinach and cheese balls.  Sounds kind of gross, I thought, as I started to skim through yesterday's inbox offering.  But, keep reading I did.  Hmmm, spinach and cottage cheese, I thought.  We have those in the garden/fridge and they need eating.  Further on, I did read.  And discovered that these were a tasty, vegetarian take on the classic meatballs cooked in a tomato sauce.  Yum!  We were having a pork roast for dinner, so I made a batch of these as one of our vegetables.  I was supposed to add mushrooms, but didn't have any, however next time I'll make the effort to get some - I think it would have added something that was missing.  And lots of fresh herbs - my bad, can't believe I forgot them.  But regardless, these were tasty, and a great side dish, or as a main.  Buon appetito!      

60 g spinach leaves
10 g butter
1/2 onion, chopped finely (or one small one)
1 clove garlic, crushed
100 g mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fresh herbs, chopped
100 g cottage cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup tasty cheese
400 g can tomatoes (or smashed up frozen ones, leftover from summer)
can tomato puree, or good couple squeezes tomato sauce
1/4 cup toasted seeds (I used sunflower, pumpkin and sesame)
  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.  Wash spinach as place in a large bowl.  Cover with boiling water for a minute, or until starting to wilt.  Place in cold water.  Drain and squeeze out as much water as possible.  Finely chop and set aside.  
  2. Saute onion in butter.  Add garlic and mushrooms.  Place in large bowl to cool.  
  3. Add all ingredients except the tomatoes and seeds to the bowl.  Mix thoroughly. 
  4. Pour tomatoes into ovenproof dish.  Roll golfball-sized balls of mixture and place in the dish with tomatoes.  
  5. Sprinkle liberally with seeds and bake for 20 minutes with foil covering.  
  6. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes, then grill until golden.  
NB: This served 6 adults as a side dish (3 balls each), so would probably be fine for 3 main meals.  I would probably have some rice and steamed vegetables or something with it too though, if serving as a main.  

08 May 2014

Super-saucy chocola-la

You can't beat a nice warm dessert after a meal on a bleak, wintery night.  It doesn't matter if it's ginger, steamed, chocolate or apple crumble, there's just something about it that takes the edge off and makes the chill retreat just a little farther from the door.  

We don't eat a lot of desserts, as generally have no room left after dinner, but sometimes you just get a hankering for one.  Or, as in this case, see a recipe whilst flicking through the obligatory holiday Woman's Day.  

The trick, I have discovered, is that self-saucing puddings need a lot more sauce than the recipe advises (the one in the picture was really yum, but needed more sauce.  Thankfully we had plenty of cream!).  So I have doubled the sauce and listed below.  Bon appetit mes amis!  

1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
75g butter melted and cooled
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Cream (oh yes, yum yum yum!)
Choc sauce - 2 tbsp cocoa, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups boiling water

  1. Grease 8 cup dish (I used a casserole-sized one, but smaller would have been probably been a bit better). Turn oven on to 180 degrees celcius.  
  2. Combine dry ingredients.
  3. Whisk wet ingredients, combine with the dry and pour into dish. 
  4. Sprinkle sauce cocoa and sugar over top of pudding batter.  Pour boiling water over. 
  5. Cook at for half hour.
  6. Serve with pouring or whipped cream.  You could serve with a nice caramel custard too, and some fresh strawberries.  Yum!!