Snap, Sizzle & Cook

Sharing my love of food

Archive for the tag “Olive oil”

Butternut Risotto

I don’t often make risotto, but when I do, I am reminded once again of how good it is. Risotto is such a versatile ingredient because anything can be added to make it a delicious meal. Of my favourites are mushroom risotto, roasted vegetable risotto, chicken risotto and now my spicy butternut risotto.

You will need:
small butternut, cubed
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1.5 cups of risotto
1 litre chicken stock
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp curry powder
4 cloves garlic
seasoning

Method:
Place the butternut and garlic cloves (whole) on a baking tray. Drizzle and toss with olive oil and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until butternut is soft and tender. Set aside.
Melt butter, add onions and red pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add cumin, coriander and curry powder and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add a cup of stock to deglaze the pot. Stir around for about 2 minutes for the flavours to infuse. Add butternut, remaining stock, seasoning and rice. Give a quick stir, turn heat down to very low, place lid on pot and allow to cook, covered for 40 minutes. The rice should be well cooked (soft between your fingers), but not stodgy.

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Meatballs with Napolitana Sauce

I consider myself to be a relatively organised person.  I like to plan and prepare ahead of time so that I’m not left to rush at the last minute.   I plan my meals in such a way that by the time I wake up in the morning I know what I’m cooking for dinner.  Sometimes I’ll have my dinner ideas drawn up for a few nights depending on my work load and how my week ahead looks.

This recipe however is slightly different.  It was a Thursday afternoon last minute decision.  I decided to make meatballs in tribute to Sanet of Masterchef Season 2 who was eliminated because of her choice of dish, which was meatballs or in her case one giant big meatball. The challenged was to use any cut of beef as a main ingredient and be as creative as possible in producing any dish of your choice.  Sanet’s dish was unfortunately not adequate based on the task and requirements set forth by the judges.  I really liked Sanet (tears and all) and was really sad to see her go.

These meatballs (in my view) are rather creative as they are versatile in every way.  They can transform into a burger patty or meatloaf using all the same ingredients.  I served my meatballs with home-made tomato based sauce (Napolitana Sauce) which I served on a bed of creamy, buttery mash.

For the meatballs you will need:
500g beef mince
1 onion (finely chopped)
Splash of olive oil
Cumin and Coriander (5ml each)
Half a bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped
2 slices of crustless white bread soaked in milk
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
Seasoning

Fry the onion in the olive oil till translucent, remove from stove and allow to cool.  In a bowl combine all other ingredients and make sure to squeeze as much milk from the bread as possible before adding to the mince.  Add onions, combine well and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
While the mince is resting in the fridge, start preparing the Napolitano Sauce.

You will need:
60g salted butter
1 Onion (finely chopped)
2 Leeks (sliced)
2 Carrots (diced)
2 Tbsp crushed garlic
1 Tsp crushed chilli
50ml tomato paste
1 cup white wine
2 tins of chopped tomato
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
Seasoning

Method:
Fry onion, leeks and carrots in the salted butter till the onions are translucent.  Reduce heat and add garlic and chilli.  Add tomato paste stirring continuously and ensuring paste does not burn.  Remove pot from heat if necessary.  Add in cup of white wine and allow flavours to mingle for about 5 minutes.  Return pot to stove and add the remaining ingredients.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Taste as you go along and adjust to suite your own tastebuds – nothing wrong with that!

Remove meatballs from the fridge.  Roll into balls and lay out on a baking tray.  You should get about 20 small meatballs from the batch.  Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.  Add meatballs to the Napolitano sauce and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes.  Serve on a bed of mash potatoes or rice.

Baked Potatoes


This blog post doesn’t have a formal recipe but rather I am sharing a few tips to baking the perfect potato. A baked potato is a quick, wholesome and nutritious meal that one can top with a variety of different fillings. It is a meal that takes very little effort to prepare with some important guidelines to remember:
1.  wash and scrub the potato well and ensure all growths (eyes) and  blemishes are removed
2.  prick all around with a fork to allow steam to escape
3.  coat in olive oil and place on a baking tray.
4.  sprinkle with Maldon salt
5.  if you cover the spud in foil, moisture will be retained but if you bake uncovered, the skin will become crispy (personally what I prefer)

Bake your potato at 180 degrees for about an hour (depending on size). To check if your spud is done, insert a thermometer and if the temperature has reached 210 degrees Celsius its ready otherwise insert a skewer and if it glides through easily, its also ready.

Some of the more popular fillings are savoury mince, garlic butter, cream cheese, sour cream and fresh chives, crispy diced bacon and melted cheddar cheese…….the list goes on so whatever your choice, enjoy your spud and remember its piping hot inside!

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