When you ask people to name some famous British chefs most of them will come up with Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and Nigella Lawson. Not me though… No I am madly and deeply in love with the cooking of Rick Stein. Rick and I had some great times in front of my TV. I sailed the canal du Midi with him, I ate dumplings with him in Phuket and I followed him around the Mediterranean. And that is still my favorit..his Mediterranean escape. I loved the show with that typical cuisine and the lovely views. I soaked in all his tips and one moment I thought I was going delusional in front of my tv cause I could almost smell the sea! I was overcome with joy when I finnaly got my hands on the Mediterranean escape cookbook. The first recipe I tried from it was this lovely kefta Mkaouara or a spicy egg, meatball and tomato tagine.
But although I love Rick Stein and everything he does I need to tell you how happy I was with the adjustments I made to the recipe. Without the extra spices I used I think the flavour would have been kind of bland. The husband and I agreed that his recipe could never be “spicy” like the title mentioned. I wrote my added spices in the cookbook and I saw the husband smile. All my cookbooks are tweaked with little notes in the sides to make recipes “more us”.
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 medium sized eggs
a small handful fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
450 grams minced lamb
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of hot paprika (I used some dried Harissa herbs I bought in Tunesia for this)
2 tablespoons of raz el hanout
1 medium onion, finely chopped
800 grams of canned chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves crushed
Start with preheating your oven at 200 degrees.
Now for the meatballs put the minced lamb, parsley, 1 teaspoon of cumin, ½ teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper into a bowl and mix together well with your hands. When all is mingled together well form the meat into small balls. (Approximately 2,5 cm)
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a shallow tagine or a frying pan and brown the meatballs briefly on all sides. You don’t need to cook them through, they just need to get a lovely golden crust. Remove the balls from the pan and transfer them to a plate.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the onion to it. Cook it very gently for about 5 minutes until soft and tender. Now add the canned tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of cumin, ½ teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of pepper, the garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons of raz el hanout to the pan. Let this simmer gently for 20 minutes. Season with some salt to your liking.
Now return the meatballs to the pan and mix them together with the sauce. If you don’t have a tagine now is the time to transfer the mixture into a shallow oven dish. Make 4 slight dips into the mixture en break the eggs into each one. Now place the tagine or the oven dish in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the eggs or cooked.
Scatter with the chopped coriander and serve with some couscous like we did or some lovely Moroccan bread to dip into the sauce.
Recipe adapted from Rick Steins Med. Escape
Posted in Arab style, Meat, Mediterranean style
Tagged arab, coriander, cumin, eggs, lamb, Meat, minced meat, raz el hanout, tajine
The day after we returned from vacation my parents in law came for diner. My head was still in the lovely Perigord; so I did not want to spend my whole day in the kitchen. Do you know that lovely rush that follows you a couple of days after you returned home. That feeling of complete inner peace. Its like walking in a cloud of good vibrations and still the holiday feeling. The husband choose to serve them paella. Quick, easy but delicious. I shared the recipe with you before and it always is a big hit when I make it. As a started I made a little buffet of Spanish tapas. Chorizo, gambas a la plancha, calamari, jamon, manchego cheese, some good olives and this tortilla al horno.
I ll just be plain honest with you guys.. I cant make a regular tortilla baked in a pan. It does not work for me. I always end up with scrambled eggs and hard potatoes. Horrible! So I fled from that challenge months ago and I go with this “It just cant go wrong recipe”. Tortilla baked in an oven. I was ashamed to tell anybody, but when I finally told my friend Maria, who happens to be Spanish and lives in Sevilla, she yelled: “What do you mean, you just recently discover that? That how I been doing that for years! And not just me, also my mom and grandma.” And to be honest, when a Spanish grandma does it, it cant be wrong, right?
1 large clove of garlic (pureed)
4 spring onions (cut into small rounds)
1 red bell pepper (deseeded and cut into small pieces)
175 grams potatoes partly boiled (they don’t need to be cooked through) sliced
75 grams of hot chorizo (cut into small cubes)
5 large eggs
175 grams of grated manchego cheese
A pinch of cayenne pepper
I used my crème brulee forms to bake the tortilla in. But you can do it just aswel in a square baking form. Just cover the backing form with some baking paper and grease it with a little olive oil.
Now add the oil, the mashed garlic, the spring onions and the paprika to a large pan and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on a medium heat. Remove the garlic, onions and paprika from the pan and add the chorizo cubes. Let it bake for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Take a large bowl and add whisk the eggs together with the cheese, the salt, pepper en the cayenne pepper.
Now poor in the garlic, onions, paprika, chorizo and potatoes. Fold it together carefully. Don’t be to enthusiastic, cause you don’t want the potatoes to break into little pieces.
Now poor the egg mixture into your forms and place them in a preheated oven op 190 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the tortilla looks golden brown.
The tortilla is ready when it feels pretty firm, but still a little springy when you push it with your finger.
Let the tortilla cool on a rack before removing it from the spring. The cool down time will allow the tortilla to firm up some more. Then cut the edges with a sharp knife and turn place a serving plate on top of the form. Turn it around and remove the form. Remove the baking paper carefully.
You can serve the tortilla hot or cold.
Posted in Mediterranean style, Nice and easy, Snacks
Tagged appetizer, baked, cheese, chorizo, eggs, oven, paprika, spanish, tapa
I adore meringue and I adore blueberries. Combine the two and you get a match made in heaven.
There is not a lot I can tell you about this pie. Blueberries are certainly not in season at the moment, but I had a craving for them and they were not at all expensive.
I enjoyed them first just on their own and later decided to just them in this wonderful pie.
Meringue pie is traditionally made with lemon flavor, but I cant be bothered with that. Sure its nice on a hot summers day, but for now I just stick to my berries.
140 grams flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
60 grams of butter (room temperature)
100 grams of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
80 ml milk
250 grams blueberries
1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
100 grams of granulated sugar
5 egg whites
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Start with beating the butter light and fluffy. To do this right it is so important to let de butter come to room temperature.
Then add the sugar and beat this till you get a nice sugary butter batter.
Now poor in the vanilla and the egg and combine this into one sticky dough.
The time to poor in the flour and the milk has arrived, but be careful, you should add a little bit of flour and a little bit of milk, mix it well and then repeat. Don’t go pouring it all in at once!
Now take a big pie dish (best a shell dish) and place some baking foil on the bottom, the side you grease with some butter of vegetable oil.
Add the blueberries to the cake batter and spoon them in carefully. Don’t break them.
Poor the batter into the dish and place it in a preheated oven on 180 degrees for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime we’ll start making the meringue.
Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together. When you start to get soft peaks, drizzle in the sugar while constantly beating. It is very important that you keep beating so that your eggs become very stiff. At the last moment poor in the vanilla extract.
After 30 minutes the pie is ready to come out of the oven. Let the it cool for a couple of minutes before applying the meringue on top of the pie.
Place the pie back into the oven for another 15 minutes (or until the meringue becomes golden brown). Don’t forget to turn the heat down to 150 degrees.
Let the pie cool down to room temperature and pop it into the fridge for another 2 hours.