Friday, 26 November 2010

Cauliflower Risotto

I was never much of a fan of the brassica family when I was young. School dinners were probably to blame, they are probably starting to cook the Brussels Sprouts now ready for the Christmas lunch in schools around the country as I type. Now however I love them. I even grow them in the garden, and will be picking purple sprouts and kale for lunch on Christmas Day. Anyway this is a different way to use a cauliflower.

1 small or 2/3 of a normal sized cauliflower thinly sliced on a mandoline
2 small carrots grated
1 leak or onion finely chopped
250g risotto rice
1 clove garlic
1 glass of white wine
Chicken or Vegetable stock (750ml or thereabouts)
1/2 tsp of coarsely crushed coriander seeds
Seeds from 4 cardamom pods
Large knob of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
100g Parmasan cheese

Fry the onion or leek and garlic until transparent in the oil and half the butter . Add the carrots and fry briefly then add the cauliflower and rice. Stir to coat the rice in the oil then add the wine and cook until evaporated. Add the stock gradually stirring until evaporated and the rice is cooked. Add the remaining butter and the cheese, remove from the heat and stir. Leave to stand, covered for 5 minutes then serve.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Moroccan Meatballs

I love meatballs. The crusty savour of the outside with a moist flavoursome middle. I like my meatballs to be the size of walnuts to maximise the crusty outside to yummy inside ratio. Makes about 10 balls depending on the size.

For the meatballs:
350g minced lamb
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chilli powder
salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1 aubergine chopped into 1cm cubes
2 onions chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 grated carrots
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 chopped red or green pepper
1 tblsp tomato puree
1 clove garlic crushed
1/2 glass of wine.
2 tblsp olive oil

Mix the meatball ingredients together using your hands to squish the mixture together. With moist hands form the mix into balls about the size of a large walnut or a squash ball. Chill the balls for 15 minutes or longer to allow the flavours to infuse.
Meanwhile make the sauce. Fry the onions in the oil until transparent. Add the aubergine, garlic, carrots and pepper and fry until the vegetables have softened and coloured. Add the wine and then add the remainder of the ingredients. Simmer until the sauce has thickened - say 30 minutes.
Meanwhile fry the meatballs on all sides then pop in a medium oven (perhaps alongside my Baked Pears) for 10 mins until cooked through then add to the sauce and serve with plain boiled rice or pasta.

The sauce would also work well on its own with pasta or with a meaty fillet of fried fish (such as monkfish or swordfish).