Monday, 25 August 2008

Salsa (sort of Chilean style)

This is a lovely salsa which can be used as the sauce in a tortilla wrap or as a dressing for meat dishes. It is light but with a little kick, and very simple to make.


1. Large beef tomato or 2-3 medium tomatoes
2. Half a fistful of coriander
3. Lime
4. Hot little chilli (red or green)

From your pantry
  • Salt
  • Sugar


This is really very simple, especially if you use the electric chopper!

1. Make a deep cut in the beef tomato and squeeze out most of the internal juices and seeds
2. Cut off around 1/3 of the tomato and drop into the chopper bowl
3. Whizz the tomato in the chopper into a puree
4. Squeeze the juice of half or 3/4 of a lime into the puree tomato and mix it in
5. Mix in a flat teaspoon of sugar and 1/3 of a teaspoon of salt (add more or less sugar and salt if you like, until it tastes right). Add more lime juice also if you like
6. Chop up the rest of the tomato into fine pieces
7. Chop up very finely the coriander and chilli
8. Mix the chopped tomato, coriander and chilli into the puree tomato mix and leave for 2-3 mins. Then serve!

This salsa is great with meat (eg. the honey mustard chicken or meatballs) and salad. Or slap some salsa in the middle of a tortilla, top with some salad and meat and eat as a wrap. Or try it on crackers with cheese. It's also really good with grilled fish. Use your imagination!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Meatballs (Germanic style)

This is an easy recipe for making delicious meatballs which can be eaten hot or cold. They can also be used in salads and are very convenient for filling wraps and tortillas, or used as the meatballs for pasta dishes. The following recipe will make around 12-20 meatballs (depending on your preferred size), which should be enough for 2 persons.


1. 500-600 gms of minced mixed pork and beef
2. Bunch of parsley (about a fistful)
3. 200 gms of clarified butter (or Indian ghee). If not available, use lard
4. Large egg
5. Half a chicken stock cube (Knorr or Maggi)

From your pantry
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Onion (medium)
  • Flour (about 1-2 teaspoons)
The secret to these meatballs is the simple preparatory work, which infuses cooked tasty ingredients into the raw meatballs before frying, and this preparation work is done as follows:

1. Finely chop the parsley
2. Finely chop the onion and garlic
3. Spread around 20 gms (or teaspoon) of clarified butter in the frying pan and fry the above chopped herbs until they are softened but not crispy
4. Remove from heat

We are now almost ready to stuff the meatballs but we just need to prepare one tiny extra binding ingredient as follows.

1. Boil around a quarter of a cup of water
2. Dissolve the half stock cube in the hot water
3. Wait a minute for the stock to cool a bit, then add 1 teaspoon of flour and stir until the stock is thickened, like a very very thick glue. If it is not very thick, then add more flour and stir again.

The meatballs can now be prepared very simply as follows.

1. Put the meat in a mound on a chopping board
2. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the meat to taste
3. Make a crater in the middle of the meat and crack the egg into this hole
4. Scrape in the fried parsley, onion and garlic done earlier
5. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients into the meat
6. The meat won't bind very well just yet so pour in some of the floury stock and mixed this into the meat until the meat starts to become smoother
7. Form the meat into meatballs (you can select the size of meatballs you like, but not more than 3-4 cms in diameter). If forming the meatballs is tricky, then add more of the thick stock, mix in well and try again
8. Put the rest of the clarified butter in the frying pan and heat over medium-high heat
9. Using the tongs, place as many meatballs as would fit into the frying pan
10. Fry the meatballs, rolling them every 2-3 mins by shaking the frying pan, or turning them with the tongs, until they are evenly brown
11. Remove from heat onto some kitchen paper
12. Repeat steps 9 to 11 until all the meatballs are cooked.

I like to serve these meatballs with dressed salad wrapped in tortillas or chapatis. Or you can use them as meatballs for spaghetti covered with tomato sauce. Or cut the meatballs in half and use them as sandwich fillers, garnished with salad and mayonnaise.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Honey Mustard Chicken

A very simple dish, which can be made even easier with a large freezer bag (which you can buy from a supermarket). Also, you can prepare batches of this in bags, then freeze them to be defrosted later for meals or BBQs!


1. Honey
2. Mustard Powder
3. Chicken legs or thighs (6 pieces for two)

From your pantry
  • Soy sauce
  • Ground pepper (optional)
There is no real secret to this dish. You just create an unusual but very nice marinade, which you smother over the chicken and leave for a few hours before grilling. Best eaten with a salad and rice.


1. In a largish bowl, mix 4 heaped teaspoons of honey with 8 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 heaped tablespoon of mustard powder. This will be enough for 2 persons (or 6 pieces of chicken). For each extra person, increase portions above accordingly
2. If you fancy it, add about a teaspoon of ground pepper into the mix
3. Take each piece of chicken and make a diagonal cut through the thickest part of the meat. In the case of chicken thighs, make two cuts, one on each side. These cuts will help the marinade permeate through the meat
4. Put the chicken pieces into a large freezer bag, and pour the marinade mixture in. Now move the chicken pieces around the bag until the marinade covers all the chicken
5. If you don't have a freezer bag, then put the chicken in a large bowl, pour the marinade on top and mix the chicken pieces around until they are covered by the marinade
6. Leave the chicken to marinade for at least 2-3 hours, overnight is even better
7. To cook, put the chicken pieces until a medium hot grill and grill, turning over with the tongs every 7-8 mins or so, until the chicken is cooked. This may take 20 mins or so in total. You can check by sticking a fork into the meatiest part of the chicken and if the juice runs out clear, then the chicken is cooked!

Eat with salad dressed with CC's Dressing and plain white rice. Maybe you can sprinkle some fresh lime juice on top as well. It is simply great!