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Pork, Veal & Ricotta Meatballs with Cavolo Nero August 2, 2015

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This is another Weight Watchers recipe. If I were to make it again, I would make a few tweaks. It would probably increase the propoints value of the recipe but I would switch out the ricotta for feta cheese. I found the meatballs to be a little lacking in flavour. I used breadcrumbs instead of rolled oats just because I had some leftover bread. I couldn’t find Cavolo Nero in the supermarket so I use kale instead, probably a bad idea as it didn’t really wilt down very well and was a bit hard. Next time I would just add some spinach instead close to the end of the cook until wilted. I did taste pretty good in the end but it would be even better with the suggested tweaks.

12 propoints value

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1/4 cup (20g) trraditional rolled oats

400g pork, veal mince

4 green shallots, thinly sliced

1 small zucchini, finely grated

1/3 cup (80g) reduced fat fresh ricotta cheese, crumbled

1 tsp olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbs baby salted capers, rinsed, finely chopped

2 cups (500ml) tomato pasta sauce (I used passata instead)

100g trimmed cavolo nero (Tuscan cabbage), coarsely chopped

250g spelt spaghetti

Salt and pepper to season

Method

1. Blitz the oats in a food processor until finely chopped. Combine oats, mince, shallots, zucchini and ricotta in a bowl. Season well with salt and pepper.

2. Roll the mince mixture into balls. To prevent the balls sticking to your hand, you can spray them with some olive oil spray.

3. I cooked these in two batches to prevent them becoming soggy. Heat a frying pan and add some olive oil. Fry half of the mince balls until brown, turning frequently to coat all sides. Transfer to a plate. Do the same with the remainder of the balls. Re-add all the meatballs to the pan and reduce the heat. Add a lid and let the meatballs cook for 10 minutes. This is to ensure that the meatballs are cooked through on the inside. Remove from the heat.

4. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

5. While the pasta is cooking add the onion to the same pan as the meatballs and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minutes. Add the capers and the pasta sauce and bring to the boil. Add the meatballs and the cavolo nero and cook for another 3 minutes until the cabbage is wilted.

6. Serve the meatballs with the pasta and enjoy.

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Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni June 13, 2015

Filed under: Italian,Pasta,Vegetarian — delishuss @ 7:27 am
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I went to this brilliant cheese making demo (Mad Millie). I was in food heaven. We made ricotta, mozzarella, feta and yoghurt. I gave the ricotta a shot myself last weekend. I reckon it was a success but I realised pretty quickly that even I wouldn’t consume that much cheese on my own so I thought I would use it in this recipe. One of my lunch club girls made it before, mine is probably a much less healthy version. The filling of the Cannelloni tubes is a bit tricky, well more messy than tricky. Might be a good one to get the kids involved in, if you have some. I used 2 teaspoons to fill them; 1 to fill them with the ricotta mixture and the other one’s handle to push the mixture in. You could use a piping bag if you had one, it would be much handier.

The photo doesn’t do this justice, it’s oozing with deliciousness.

Serves 4-5 people

Ingredients

10 cannelloni tubes (instant kind)

1 tin of tomatoes with garlic and herbs

100ml passata

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon of allspice (I didn’t have nutmeg so used this instead)

Oil spray

250g ricotta cheese

50g Mozzarella cheese, shredded

50g parmesan, shredded

250g baby spinach

1/2 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons fresh basil

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Heat a frying pan and spray some oil on it. Fry the allspice and the garlic for 2 minutes. Add the spinach; it does seem like a lot of spinach but it wilts away to nothing. On that note, let it wilt down and then remove from the heat and cool.

3. In a big bowl, beat the egg and the ricotta until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the spinach to the ricotta mixture.

5. Re-heat the same pan that you used for the spinach. Spray some more oil on the pan and saute the onions until soft and golden.

6. Add the tin of tomatoes and passata and simmer until the sauce has thickened.

7. While the sauce is reducing start preparing the cannelloni tubes. Add the ricotta filling into the tube with one teaspoon and push the mixture down with the handle of another teaspoon. Fill the remainder of the tubes in the same way.

8. Once the sauce has reduce, tear the basil and add to the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

9. Add the cannelloni tubes to an oven proof dish. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle the cheeses over the sauce.

10. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the cheese has melted and is golden brown.

11. Serve with a green salad.

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American Hot Pizza Pie February 11, 2015

Filed under: Favourites,Italian — delishuss @ 10:08 am
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So you’ll know if you have read my blog before that I love Jamie Oliver. He is my cooking idol. However, I must admit I find his recipes quite difficult to follow. I personally prefer each point of the cooking method numbered so that I don’t have to keep re-reading the paragraphs. I’m going to blame the recipe format for the fact that I made too much dough for each pizza and also missed what the purpose of the breadcrumbs was. Okay, okay, I will take a smidgen of blame for not reading the recipe before I bought the ingredients and started making it. Note to future self, read the recipe thoroughly both in advance of food purchasing and preparation.

I got this recipe from Jamie’s cookbook, Save with Jamie. I’m doing a 12 week health and fitness challenge, not quite sure that this recipe fits in the scope of healthy eating but it was delishuss. A little of what you like is good for you, right?

Here’s a few things that I wish I knew before I started this one. The dough recipe will make about 3×12 inch pizzas. I depends on your outlook whether you think 12 inch is medium or large :-0 I made 2×12 inch pizzas and there was too much dough. I know the intention is that it’s a pie, so it’s going to be thicker, but I found it a bit doughy to be honest.

You can freeze the uncooked, prepared pizza as well.

The breadcrumbs go on the pizza tin’s base before you add the dough. Given that I forgot to add this, I can only assume that because my pizzas stuck to the bottom of the tin that this is to prevent this happening.

So here goes (itemised method because that’s the way I like it):

Serves 4-5 people (original recipe states 8-9, I will let you be the judge).

Prep/cooking time = 1 hour + proving time

Ingredients

1kg strong white bread flour or Tipo ’00’ flour, plus extra for dusting

1x7g sachet of dried yeast

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or leftover pork dripping

2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1x400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Red wine vinegar

50g ciabatta or stale bread

Olive oil

350g leftover cooked pork and crackling or 6-8 quality sausages (at least 80% meat)

1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced

25 slices of pickled jalapeno or 2 fresh green chillies, finely sliced

159g cheddar cheese or mozzarella

1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds

1 good pinch smoked paprika

Method

1. Put the flour and 1 heaped teaspoon of sea salt into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.

2. Add 600ml of tepid water to the well and stir in the yeast.

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3. Add the extra virgin olive oil (or the equivalent amount of leftover pork dripping, for incredible flavour), and use a fork to gradually bring in the flour, then pat together into a dough.

4. Knead on a flour-dusted surface until smooth and springy.

5. Place in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel ( I used cling film/glad wrap) and leave somewhere warm until doubled in size (roughly 1 hour).

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6. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic and put it into a blender with the oregano, tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of vinegar or liquid from the jalepeno jar. whizz until smooth, season and put aside.

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7. In a food processor, blitz the bread into fine breadcrumbs. Oil the pizza tins, and lightly dust with the breadcrumbs.

8. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius, 375 degrees Fahrenheit or gas mark 5.

9. Knock the dough back (this means taking the excess air of it), then divide into 3 and stretch or roll out each piece on the flour-dusted surface using your tin size as a gauge.

10. Place in the tins, pushing the dough up to the sides to create a crust when cooking and then let them prove for another 15-20 minutes.

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11. Divide the sauce between the pizza bases.

12. Finely chop the pork and any leftover crackling, or squeeze the meat out of the sausage skins, then sprinkle over the pizza.

13. Toss the slices onion in a drizzle of olive oil (prevent them cooking too quickly and burning) and scatter over the top with the sliced jalapenos or chilli and bombs of cheese.

14. Bash the fennel seeds and paprika in a pestle and mortar until fairly fine, then sprinkle over the pizzas from a height.

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15. At this point, you can cover the pizzas and freeze if not required.

16. Bake the pizzas for around 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the base is golden, puffed up and crispy.

Note: you can cook the frozen pizzas straight from the freezer, just add another 30 minutes to the cooking time.

This seems like an exceptionally long recipe but it the method itself is quite straight forward, so give it a go at the weekend when you have a bit more time on your hands.

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Beef Ragu August 17, 2014

Filed under: Favourites,Italian,Meat,Pasta,Soups and Stews — delishuss @ 7:41 am
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I’ve been on a mini-holiday, just at home but it’s been a nice relaxing couple of days. I have been going a bit mad with the slow cooker. I made this Ragu and also pulled pork: https://delishuss.com/2014/08/16/pulled-pork-roll/. I’m really enjoying using the slow cooker at the moment. I’ve had the best results with fattier cuts of meat. I’ve tried a curry recipe with lean lamb steaks and it shriveled up to nothing. I didn’t have a recipe for this one, I just winged it. I have another recipe on the blog for ragu, I reckon this is the better of the two.

6 serves

Ingredients

1.2 kilos stewing beef, chopped into chunks

1 onion, chopped

2 medium size carrots, roughly diced

5 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 oxo cubes

250 ml beef stock

250 ml red wine

Boquet garni

1 tin chopped tomatoes

4 slices of parma ham, chopped

1 sachet of tomato paste (25g or so)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt and pepper to season

 

Method

1. Heat a large frying pan and heat 2 tablespoon of the oil. Saute the onions and the carrots. Remove from the frying pan.

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2. Heat the remainder of the oil and add half of the beef. Brown and remove from the pan and repeat with the remainder of the beef. While the 2 batches is browning, add the garlic and pancetta and fry off for about 3 minutes. Add the meat and the veg to the slow cooker.

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3. Add the wine and the stock to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the tomato paste. Simmer for 5 mins and add the sauce to the slow cooker.

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4. Sprinkle the two oxo cubes over the meat. Unwrap the bouquet garni. Remove some of the stalks of thyme and rosemary and take off their leaves and sprinkle over the meat. Tie the bouquet garni back up and add it to the slow cooker.

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5. Pour over the tin of tomatoes and stir through. Season with salt and pepper.

6. I cooked it in the slow cooker for about 6 hours on high. You could do it on low for 8 hours if you have the time.  Once it has finished cooking. Remove the bouquet garni and any large leaves of rosemary or thyme stalks.

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7. Serve with rigatoni pasta or any pasta of your choice. I threw the pasta into the ragu before serving to soak up some of the juices.

 

Note: Half way through the cooking, you can place a piece of kitchen paper on top of the liquid and soak up some of the fat on top. Some chefs recommend using slices of bread.

 

Tagliatelle with Quick Sausage Meat Bolognese May 27, 2014

Filed under: Fast Food,Italian,Meat,Pasta,Uncategorized — delishuss @ 9:10 am
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IMG_20140526_221429[1]I was looking for a pasta recipe and came across this one from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course. It’s a perfect weekday evening recipe because it’s so quick and easy. The success of this recipe is dependent on the choice of sausage. Buy good quality packed with flavour.

Ingredients

Olive oil, for frying

1 small onion, peeled and finely diced

1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped

3-4 best quality Italian flavoured sausages (I used beef with sundried tomatoes and herbs)

150g dried tagliatelle

200g cherry tomatoes, halved

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Method

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  • Heat a large frying pan and add a little olive oil. Sweat off the onions for 3 minutes and add the garlic for another 2 minutes or until the onion is softened.

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  • Remove the skins from the sausages and add to the frying pan. Break up the sausage meat as you fry it so that it resembles mince meat.
  • Meanwhile start cooking the pasta as per the packet instructions.

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  • When the sausage meat is lightly coloured, add the halved tomatoes and a little seasoning to the pan and continue to cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down. Add a tablespoon or two of pasta water to the pan as it cooks to create a sauce.

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  • Drain the pasta, reserving a further couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Add the drained pasta directly to the pan with the sauce. Toss well, and loosen with a little more of the cooking water if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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 http://www.pinterest.com/grainiac/recipes/

 

Margherita Pizza January 16, 2012

Filed under: Italian,Weight Watchers Recipes — delishuss @ 10:16 pm
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I often fancy a little indulgence at the weekend, pizza would be up there on my list of treats. So I was delighted when I saw this healthy option by Weight Watchers. I got the recipe from the February issue of the Weight Watchers magazine. I’m always put of by the effort involved in making pizza from scratch but this is really handy. Worth trying some weekend when you can take it at your leisure.

13 propoints per serving

serves 4

Ingredients

200g strong white bread flour

200g plain white flour, plus tbsp extra for kneading

1 tsp salt

1 tsp (1/2 c 15g sachet) fast action dried yeast

2 tsp olive oil

250ml tepid water

To top the pizza

1 x speedy tomato sauce recipe (see bottom of recipe)

150g cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp shredded fresh basil

125g pack reduced fat mozzarella cheese, drained and diced

25g freshly grated parmesan cheese

Method

1. To make the pizza dough, combine both flours in a large mixing bowl with the salt and yeast. Make a well in the centre and add the olive oil and almost all of the tepid water. ( The water should feel just warm- if it is too hot, it may kill the yeast). Use a table knife or kitchen spoon to bring the liquid and flour together, adding just enough to make a soft dough that comes together without being sticky, leaving the bowl clean.

2. Dust the work surface with 1 tbsp of the extra flour and start to knead the dough. Using the heel of your hands, roll the dough away from you, pressing down firmly as you do so, then bring the dough back towards you and repeat with the other hand, so you are rolling the dough back and forth, alternating your hands as you roll. Knead for 3-4 minutes until the dough feels soft, springy and elastic. If you prod the dough,, the indentation should spring back lightly.

3. Return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover with clingfilm. Lease to rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7/220 degrees celsius/2oo degrees celsius with fan oven.

4. While the dough is rising, make the speedy tomato sauce.

5. Punch the dough down to deflate it, then divide it into 4 balls. Dust 2 baking trays with a little of the remaining flour and use the rest to roll out the dough.

6. For each pizza, shape a ball of dough into a fat disc, then use a rolling pin to gently press down on the dough, starten to flatten it into a neat circle before you roll out. Use the rolling pin to roll out to a 20cm disc. Transfer to a baking tray. Repeat for the other dough balls.

7. Spread wach pizza with a quarter of the sauce, then scatter with the cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Season generously with black pepper and leave to rise for 10-15 minutes.

8. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the bases are risen, golden brown and crisp at the edges. Swap the trays over after 8-10 minutes.

 

Speedy Tomato Sauce

Place a 400g can chopped tomatoes, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest, 1/4 tsp mixed dried herbs and 1 tsp caster sugar in a lidded saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, then season to taste.