Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Lamb, Spinach & Egg Meatloaf

We fancy a meatloaf once in a while but also love lamb, so this seemed like a perfect combo. A Persian-style polpettone!

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
450g lamb mince
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup fruit chutney

2 cups spinach leaves
3 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Mix onion, garlic, lamb mince, cumin, breadcrumbs, egg and chutney. On a piece of baking paper, spread mince mixture evenly into a rectangle. Place spinach leaves evenly over the mince. Mix hard-boiled eggs with the mayonnaise, curry powder and salt and pepper, and spread on top of the spinach. Roll up meat and filling from the long side. Bake for 1 hour at 180C.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cherry Raspberry Pie

I've been thinking pie since last night and wondering what I could make from what I have in the house. Half a bag of frozen raspberries and a jar of cherries will work for this pie.

Ingredients for filling
package of frozen raspberries, thawed
2 cups pitted canned pie cherries in juice
1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot)
2 tbsp unsalted butter

I'm using my mix in the dish pie crust for this one.

Drain the thawed raspberries, reserve the liquid in a measuring cup. Drain the cherries and add enough of the cherry juice to the raspberry juice to make 1/2 cup. In a sauce pan mix the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cherries and the cup of juice. Over a medium heat bring to a simmer and cook for approx 5 minutes. The mixture should be somewhat thick and clear. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it is melted and incorporated. Then gently fold in the raspberries. Put the filling into the pie crust. Cook at 350° and bake for another approx 50 minutes.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Getting Ready for Xmas

Living in Australia, I'm learning to take joy in the small traditions I can claim as my own during the Christmas season. You see, this Chicago native is having a very hard time adjusting to Christmas in the sun. Last year on Boxing Day, I closed the curtains, put on Christmas movies, and pretended it wasn't warm out. Christmas eve and day had just about killed my holiday spirit, so it was time to get back to basics. This year, on top of the Wassail and Rum cake I made last year, I'm going to make a few of the meals my family traditionally makes for Chrissie. Xmas eve we'll be having homemade pizzas.

"Red" pizza
Spread some pizza sauce on crust (jar or can from the store)
Add pepperoni slices and any other ingredients you desire
Top with a generous amount of shredded mozzarella and some romano cheese
Bake according to directions on pizza dough

"White" pizza
Spread crust with olive oil
Spread diced garlic on top
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, perhaps a little oregano
Top with mozzarella (not as thick as you do on the red pizza; more like a sprinkling)
Bake according to directions on pizza dough

On Boxing Day, pasta!

Baked Ziti
1 pound of ziti
1 cup grated Romano (or Parmesan if that's what you like, or half and half)
2 cups grated mozzarella
16 oz fresh ricotta (if you can't get this use a 15 oz container from supermarket)
1/4 cup fresh or 1 TBS dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

Put all the above in a bowl and mix it up - except for the pasta. Cook pasta very al dente - almost to the point of being hard as it will cook more when you bake it. Drain the pasta and put it back in the pan, add a bunch of sauce to it and mix it up. Then add cheese, spice, and egg mixture and mix it all up.

In the bottom of a lasagna pan, or other large pan (13x9) pour 2 ladels of sauce, or as much as it takes to liberally coat the bottom of the pan. Then add more sauce to the pasta mixture so it's really moist because after it's baked the sauce will soak into the pasta, making it dry, mix it up and put it inot the pan you coated with sauce. Pour more sauce over the top, sprinkle with cheese (mozzarella or romano or parmesan - whatever you have) cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes at 350F. When you serve it you can always add more sauce and cheese.