Archive | April, 2014

Babotie + Oranges & Cinnamon

15 Apr

babotie orange cinnamon

When I studied abroad in New Zealand in college, I took a cooking class that was 5 continents in 5 weeks. That was about a decade ago (yikes) but this dish is one that i’ve remade many times through years. the best way to describe this dish- is like South African meatloaf. it packed with flavor and spices and the sweet of raisin- it’s everything i like in dish. the best part too- it’s a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Sauté onion, add meat, add spice- and you’re pretty much there! In addition to ground beef- you can- and i think i have- made this with lamb. The other dish- I love from that NZ class is good ol’ pavlova.

With the babotie- i made my quick snacko backo couscous. The one thing i should say about this recipe- the last step is to mix milk and egg and pour it over the top. It should- and i swear- it used to just stay on the top to form like a yellow custard/eggy topping. However, in my recent attempts- it seems to just soak down into the meat. don’t get me wrong- it tastes great this way. But it’s a different aesthetic. So if anyone tries this out- let me know how it looks.

The second picture- is not so much a recipe- but something so tasty and simple i had to share. Terry told me that on her recent trip to Morocco- almost every night at the end of meal- they would serve oranges and cinnamon. it’s genius.

1 onion chopped
2 Tbsp oil
1 pound ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs- diy- toast bread and food process
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp brown sugar
dash of  pepper
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup raisins
juice and grated peel of 1/2 lemon
4 bay leaves

1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Sauté chopped onion lightly in oil until it is is translucent and begins to soften.  Add meat, curry, turmeric, salt and pepper, and cook until just brown- turn off heat. (meat will cook more in oven- so i left it not totally brown as not to overdue)
Add rest of ingredients (except egg and milk) and mix well. Put in overnproof dish (I made this in a meatloaf/bread pan but have also used an 8×8 inch. I greased it very lightly with oil- though might not be necessary)

Beat egg and milk in a bowl and pour over the meat.  bake at 350 for 30 min.

Original recipe suggests serve with saffron rice, sweet chutney and a mixed salad. I made it with a couscous.

Snacko Backo couscous
In a small sauce pan, about 1 1/4 cup water, 1 chopped carrot, pat of butter, good pinch of cinnamon, zest from maybe half an orange, healthy dose of salt and pepper. cover. bring to boil. added 1 cup couscous and a handful of gold raisins/regular raisins or currants. cover. let sit for 5 mins. fluff with fork. can add more butter/olive oil, salt and pepper as desired.

Orange with cinnamon
slice orange. sprinkle with cinnamon. enjoy. [just thinking out loud here… but what if you did cinnamon sugar and popped it under the broiler for 30 seconds?]


Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt

3 Apr

chickpea greek yogurt

I am a major fan of the Ottolenghi Plenty cookbook, given to me by Kara on my 30th bday. You may recall my glowing endorsement for the Soba w Eggplant and Mango, another recipe from that book. The thing about these recipes– they are simple–not too many indigents or tedious steps. But the ingredients they do use are – and at least to my mind – not so intuitive. For example, this recipe uses caraway seeds (caraway is that rye bread flavor). Like many of his recipes- this one finishes with mint, cilantro, and lemon, which imbues the dish with freshness. Also- flavoring the greek yogurt with olive oil, salt and pepper, epitomizes the simple cleverness of his recipes. The other thing i like about this dish- is its textural balance- the crunchiness of the carrots with the softer chickpeas etc

3/4 pounds swiss chard
1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra to finish
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/8 inch dice
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or canned. i used a 15 oz can)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
1/2 cup greek yogurt + 1 tbsp olive oil

separate chard stalks and leaves. blanch stocks in boiling water for 3 mins. Add leaves, cook another 2 mins. Drain everything and run under cold water and squeeze dry, then roughly chop.

heat up the olive oil in large saute pan. add carrots and caraway seeds, and sauté for 5 mins on med heat. Add chard and chickpeas and continue to cook for 6 minutes. Now add garlic, herbs, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. remove from heat and cool down a little. taste and adjust seasoning.

to serve, mix yogurt, olive oil and some salt and pepper. pile vegetables on serve dishes and spoon yogurt on top. sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and drizzle over more olive oil.

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