Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Scrambled Eggs with Meat

This dish is easy to make, and great as a bento filler. It's basically minced meat (beef or pork) scrambled together with eggs. My mum used to make this when I was young, and she would serve it with plain rice or rice porridge.

Continue reading...

Scrambled Eggs with Minced Meat
3 eggs
100 - 150g minced beef or pork
half an onion, finely chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper
1. Beat the eggs together with the soya sauce, a little salt and pepper.

2. Heat up a frying pan, and add the sesame oil. Add the onion if you are using it (fry until soft), then the minced meat, stirring so the meat does not clump together. 

3. When the meat is cooked, add the eggs and fry. Stir continuously as if you were scrambling eggs, until the eggs are cooked.

4. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.

Tip: If you plan on packing this into your bento lunch and eating it with plain rice at room temperature, make this dish a little more salty.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Swedish Meatballs

These gloppy-looking round things are supposed to be Swedish meatballs. They taste a whole lot better than they look in the photo, though! I've been wanting to eat Swedish meatballs for some time - I first ate them at Ikea (of all places) - and finally decided to make my own. The great thing about this recipe is that the meatballs are baked, not fried (that sounds like an ad), which means less oil and fat! It also means less time standing at the stove, frying batches of meatballs, which can be time consuming. The meatballs can also be frozen - I made 40 in one batch, so there was enough for dinner, lunch the next day, plus two more batches in the freezer for another day...

Continue reading for the recipe...

Swedish Meatballs
(makes around 40 meatballs)

600g minced beef (as lean as possible)
400g minced pork

You can use half minced beef and pork if you prefer - I just find minced pork (in my area) quite fatty, so I use more beef)

2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 cups breadcrumbs (preferably panko - Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper

For the sauce:

3 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup plain flour
1 cup milk
500ml beef stock (once I substituted this for lamb stock, as I could only find lamb stock cubes. I added two stock cubes into 500ml water)

1. Preheat your oven to 225 degrees C.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the minced beef and pork, eggs, milk, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper or foil. If you are using foil, lightly grease the foil so the meatballs don't stick.

4. Using a tablespoon or small ice-cream scoop, form the meat mixture into round balls and place them onto the lined baking tray.

5. Bake for 12 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.

To make the sauce:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then slowly add the flour and stir rapidly. Cook, stirring constantly for about a minute. Slowly add the milk, and then the beef stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened a little.

To serve, dunk the meatballs into the sauce, coat them, and place them onto a plate. Serve with boiled potatoes and steamed vegetables, as well as with a scoop of berry jam. The Swedish traditionally eat this with lingonberry jam, but you could also use grape, red-currant or some other tart berry jam. Cranberry sauce would work, too...

Freeze any extra meatballs together with the sauce in freezable airtight containers or bags.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Avocado Appetiser

This "dish" is so simple that I wasn't going to post about it, but after a really lovely comment I received from someone who complimented me on my simple recipes, I have decided to! 

This is how I first started eating avocados when young...all you have to do is slice a ripe avocado in half, remove the seed, and squeeze some thousand island dressing in the centre (or on the side of your plate). Simple, yet really tasty and satisfying! It works well as an appetiiser, too. For a more elaborate and equally tasty alternative, top the avocado with some boiled prawns and voila - you have a prawn cocktail.

The hardest part about this recipe for me is getting a ripe avocado. The ones at the store are usually very hard, so I have to patiently wait for them to ripen in the kitchen before making this.

Tip: This tastes better when the avocado is chilled in the fridge. Once the avocado is ripe, stick it in the fridge for an hour or two before cutting it.