Another drawing

Wanted to try something different, other than animals. Am pleased with the result.

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”
― Ruth Stout

Beef Meatball Goulash With Rice

Originating from medieval Hungary, Goulash is a deep, rich, belter of a dish. Back in the 9th century goulash was eaten by Hungarian shepherds. They would take cooked, seasoned meat and dry it in the sun to preserve it. Then they would store it in bags made from sheep stomachs. When they wanted to eat it all they would have to do was add water to the bag and they had a meal.

In terms of ingredients I can’t say how close this was to the traditional dish. For sure it would have used paprika (Hungarian paprika is renowned to be some of the best in the world). Not only does it give lots of flavour, it adds that deep red colour that makes it so appealing.

The use of fresh herbs really kick this one up a notch. Those rich flavours are contrasted with the freshness of the parsley. 

Red Onion, chop it into thin half moons

Green pepper, slice it as thin as you can

Garlic, grate it

Parsley, roughly chop it

Cook the onion and pepper till soft in a pan with some oil. Season with salt and pepper. Once soft add half of the garlic, dried thyme and ground coriander. Also add all of the paprika.

Cook this mix for a couple more minutes and add the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil and then add the stock pot and water. Mix it all up, lower the heat to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.

While that is simmering, put the basmati rice in a pot and add 500ml water. Bring to the boil and then pop a lid on the pan, lower the heat to medium and leave for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the pan from the heat and leave the lid on till you are ready to serve.

While the rice is cooking, put the mince into a bowl with some salt and pepper, then add the remaining garlic, dried thyme and coriander. Mix in the panko breadcrumbs. Make into enough balls for 3 each. (Don’t compact them too much, just enough to keep them together. Half submerge the meatballs into the sauce. Pop a lid on the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through. 

Once the meatballs have cooked add the spinach to the pan and put the lid back on for a couple of minutes until it has wilted. Season if you need to and then remove from the heat and stir in two thirds of the sour cream.

Fluff up the rice and serve as a bed for your sauce and meatballs sprinkle over your parsleyand a dollop of sour cream.

Grilled Chicken With Saffron Spiced Freekeh and Zahtar Dressing

This dish received a lot of hype before I cooked it, it looks and sounds like it was going to be packed with flavour. However, it wasn’t the case. I really enjoyed it and would happily recommend it. My wife and brother on the other hand were left underwhelmed.

By the time I plated this up I was practically dribbling into the bowl (I gave that one to my brother). The dish looked amazing and smelt delicious. The flavour on the other hand was.. different to what we were expecting. Now I really liked it, it was very citrusy and spicy. There were some issues, I didn’t see the need for the saffron, I can’t say I really tasted it. Also the Freekeh wasn’t as flavourful as it has been before in other meals. I will try this one again one day. I am sure it was my cooking that let the end result down. It is hard to look at that ingredients list and not get a fantastic tasting meal. 

Firstly get your grill on medium high, prep the chicken by putting it on a tray with a bit of salt and pepper mix up some olive oil and lemon zest and massage this into the chicken. Put it to one side while you carry on prepping.

Shallot, c it into thin half moons

Garlic, peel it, grate it.

Red pepper, slice into strips.

Add your shallot to a pan with some oil and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Then add your pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Next add your garlic and saffron and cook for 1 minute. When ready add 750ml of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the Freekeh with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.

While the Freekeh is cooking, whack your chicken under the grill, probably for around 10 minutes each side depending on the size of your breasts.

Parsley, chop it

Mint, chop it

Red chilli, finely chop it. 

In a bowl mix up the Zahtar spice, a squeeze of lemon juice, a quarter of the parsley, all the mint, and some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and then add as much of the chilli as you fancy.

When the Freekeh is cooked drain any excess fluid. Mix in the rest of the parsely and some lemon juice.

Slice the chicken and lay it on a Freekeh bed. Top with the Zahtar dressing and sprinkle any leftover herbs and chilli.

 

 

“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.”
― Julia Child

Caribbean Spicy Sausages

Just try and stop your mouth watering. Look at the colours, vibrant, fresh and what it all boils down to, damn tasty.

Take a good old English tradition and turn it on its head. This dish did it perfectly. Spicy sausages with roasted vegetables samothered in mango chutney and jerk seasoning revive this often dull and lifeless dinner into a fantastic assault on the taste buds. Don’t get me wrong I love bangers and mash, but so often you see cheap sausages, lumpy mash and gravy that may as well be water. Cooked properly and the traditional English staple will win hands down for me. Its what I grew up with. But this fusion of flavours is a welcome change.

The vegatables are sweet and sticky but also come with that irresistible jerk flavouring that provides that lovely heat. The sausages were just good quality sausages. I don’t know what the flavourings in them were but that had a nice spicy flavour. The mash was soft and buttery. Again I don’t know what they were but for mash you need a high starch potato like russets. This means they will mash better and soak up all that butter or milk. I always season my mash especially with pepper.

Slice your peppers into 1 to 2 cm wide slices. They don’t have to be all even, the smaller ones will roast more and get that amazing crispness on the skin. Peel and chop the onion into large 2cm peices. Peel and chop the carrot into batons as big as your little finger.

In a bowl mix olive oil, the jerk seasoning and the mango chutney mix this with the veggies in a tray so everything is covered. Season with salt and pepper and then lay the sausages on top. Prick the sausages a couple of times with a sharp knife. Put it all in a pre heated oven of around 200 degrees and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Peel and chop the potato into 2cm peices, pop the in a pot of boiling water until they are soft in the middle. Once they have cooked drain and put back in the pan with a knob of butter and a splash of milk. Season with salt and pepper and mash until smooth.

Serve it up on a plate and sprinkle with some roughly chopped parsley. Amazing.

Crispy Sea Bream with Braised Fennel, Parsley Mash and Zesty Crumbs

A simple dish that is made great by a fantastic crumb that lifts the flavours from the other ingredients.

The main component of this meal, the fish, was as you would expect fresh and tasty. The skin was nice and crisp and gave a nice texture to the dish. I loved the fennel. I have only ever had the soft leafy tops before so this was another first for me. Apparently it is related to celery and you can see that when you taste it. It is fresh and crisp in flavour. It is subtle and does not overpower the delicate flavour of the fish. The potatoes were nice and buttery, the skins being left on gave a slight resistance when eating them which was nice. What stood out on this dish was the zesty crumb. The panko breadcrumbs were proper crunchy, mixed with salt, pepper, parsley and the lemon zest. They seemed to give all the other ingredients that little lift.

So for this you need chop the potatoes into pieces, leave the skin on, it adds to the texture. Pop them into a pan of boiling water and boil for 15 – 20 minutes or until they are soft through. 

While they are cooking away, remove the nice leafy tops of the fennel and finely chop them put them to one side. Cut the fennel in half length ways and remove the core at the bottom. Then slice into 1cm pieces. 

Lemon, zest it;

Parsley, chop it

Garlic, grate it

Put a splash of oil in a pan and cook the fennel on a high heat for 5 minutes before adding the garlic. A minute later add 300ml water, turn down the heat to medium\low whack a lid on a gently simmer until the fennel is tender.

Add some oil to a pan on medium heat and add the breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt. Once the crumbs are nice and golden put them in a bowl to one side. Once they have cooled, add half of the parsley and a pinch of lemon zest. Wipe out the pan with some paper towel.

Drain your potatoes once they are cooked. Put them back in the pot and add in the butter, mash it all till its nice and smooth then mix in the rest of the parsley and some salt and pepper. Keep it warm with the lid on while you cook the fish.

Add some oil to the pan and cook the fish skin side down for 3 minutes and then turn it over for another couple of minutes. When the center is white you know its cooked. 

Mix the fennel tops into the fennel and serve it next to a dollop of mash and that’s lovely sea bream. Scatter over some of the zesty crumb mix and get stuck in. 

This meal is from our HelloFresh box Www.hellofresh.co.uk