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    Friday, October 21, 2016

    Herbed Rice, Cherry Tomato and Feta Salad - Add Meatballs - Dinner Sorted

    This salad was so good, there were slim pickings, if one had wanted leftovers.
    The children all had multiple helpings.
    The idea for this salad came up from the Epicurious Web Site
    Rice tossed with a Herbed Oil, add Cherry Tomatoes and and some Goats Cheese
    Something to accompany this
    How about Meatballs
    Universally loved by kids

    Recently, I read an article in The NY Times cooking column about making food without recipes, which of course we all do...BUT
    The most important thing is to get the ratios right, if you want the best flavour.

    So the suggestion for Meatballs.
    500 gms mince
    1 handful breadcrumbs (1/4 cup)
    1 handful (1/4 cup) of something from the Allum family, Onion, Garlic or Shallots 
    And 1 egg per 500 gms mince
    Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Then add your own flavourings. In this case I added some of the herbed oil and some extra lemon zest, just because I love lemon zest.

    So lets cook
    Make the Herbed Oil first, this will keep for a couple days in the fridge in a airtight jar
    1 and 1/2 cups of Parsley leaves (packed)
    1 cup Mint leaves (packed)
    1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Put the herbs, lemon zest and salt into the food processor
     Pulse till chopped
    Add oil and process till it makes a sauce
    As it said that this oil would only last 2 days, I have frozen it into icecubes
    I had made a loaf of bread the day before, as dessert was going to be a Luxury French Toast
    So in the same food processor bowl
    I made breadcrumbs
    Soaking up the excess oil and taking on that flavour
    So far, so good
    Now onto the Meatballs
    These can be made ahead as long as you don't overcook them.
    I made a gravy, which became the sauce

    Once again I like to make the mixture ahead, to meld those flavours
    So using the ratios above
    1kg of mince
    1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 eggs
    2 tablespoons herbed oil
    1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

    You will also need 2 tablespoons of flour
    2 cups chicken stock and
    A good slosh of white wine 
    Mix well use your hands
    Cover and into the fridge till needed
    To cook
    Roll into balls and fry until just brown,
    Put aside

    Add enough flour to the pan to make a roux and cook for about 2-3 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste
    Bring 2 cups of chicken stock with a good slosh of white wine to the boil
    cook for 3-4 minutes to reduce in order to make a nice gravy/sauce
    Add to the roux
    Bring back to the boil and stir so that there is no lumps
    Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
    Add the meat balls back into the pan
    Mix gently so they are covered
     There was enough for 8 people so I put half the meatballs into the freezer
    The rest I placed into a oven proof dish
    Set aside and if you need to reheat later

    For reheating
    Oven at 180C
    Place the dish into the oven
    15 minutes to reheat
    Before serving dab with little bits of the herbed oil
    Perfect dinner

    For the salad
    2 cups Basmati Rice
    12 Cherry tomatoes halved season with sea sat and pepper
    75 gms Goats feta
    3/4 cup of the herbed oil

    Cook the rice
    I add the rice to a large pot of well salted boiling water
    Cook for about 8-9 minutes till just al dente
    Put into a serving bowl
    Add herbed oil
    Mix well and cool
    Add tomatoes 
    Mix again
    Crumble feta on top
    Serve at room temperature 
    Voila... Just like that

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