I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lamb Meatballs with Chickpea and Potato Mash and Tomato Sauce

Finally, finally, finally, a meal to get me out of the blogging doldrums!

You see it's not so much that I haven't been cooking, it's just that the meals that I have been cooking haven't really been up to blogging standard.

There was the home made ravioli that still needs a little tweaking.  We won't even mention the mozzarella that lived it's days under the aspersion that it was ricotta!  Then there was the sad, sad pork belly that just did not pass muster.  I was so pinning all my hopes on that one too!  It was a Maggie Beer recipe that I diligently copied to my phone as I sat at the chiropractor's office last week.  That one held so much promise, I mean when does pork belly ever go wrong?  When you are hoping to use it as a comeback recipe that's when!  I don't know what went wrong with that one, but to me it seemed like it needed at least another 3 hours of cooking (that would be 6 in total!).  It did redeem itself though as a comeback queen in the next night's pizza topping!  I did, however, make a pasta all'amatriciana that was good, but I forgot to take a photo of it!

So when last night's dinner had a resounding Yum! I thought I just better get straight onto it, and blog about it!

 Lamb Meatballs with Chickpea and Potato Mash and Tomato Sauce
Adapted from recipe found in MasterChef Magazine, June edition 

Serves 4-6


1.2 kg lamb mince
6 shallots (green onions) finely chopped
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, finely chopped
1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
200g feta cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl, and with your hands mix well.  Roll into golf ball size meatballs, and place on a tray.  Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.

When ready to cook place on baking dish, and bake at 200 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, or until golden, and cooked through.  Make sure you turn at least once during cooking.

Now to start on the mash....

Chickpea Potato Mash 

 kg potatoes, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
4 cloves garlic
400g can chickpeas
1-2 tbs sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Drain the chickpeas, leaving a small amount of liquid with them.  Place the potatoes, chickpeas and garlic into a large saucepan of salted water.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.  Drain.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher (or fork).  Add the sour cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Don't add too much sour cream, you don't want the mixture too sloppy!

While the potatoes are cooking, it's time to get onto the tomato sauce....

Tomato Sauce 

1 red onion, finely chopped
400g can of diced tomatoes
4 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the onion in a medium sized saucepan with a little olive oil.  Sauté gently for 5 minutes, or until softened, and starting to turn golden.  Add the chicken stock, and bring to the boil.  Simmer until reduced slightly.

Add the canned and fresh tomatoes, and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until thickened slightly.

Add balsamic vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Place the mash on the bottom of a serving dish.  Top with the meatballs, then top with the tomato sauce.

As a friend of mine would say "Yumbo Scrumbo!"

And so now I am back in the game!  Let's see if I can continue!

OK, so I must apologise with the photos - I am using my iphone (yeah I know!!)  I will get back into the swing of things here I promise!!!

Just to keep me honest - tonights dinner is Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu - stay tuned if it's a success I will post (fingers crossed!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back to Earth!


I know that it has been quite some time since I last posted, and lots has happened in the time that I have been away.

I have been back home for two weeks, and my recent trip to Italy almost feels just like a dream now. I have spend the last two weeks updating my blog with photos (I was plagued with technical issues while I was away, so the blog was just posted as is, but I have now gone through and edited it, and added photos!)

If you would like to check out my adventure pop over to......


Anyone heading to Rome I can highly recommend the tour we did there - we ate our way around Rome for about 4 hours - oh the food we tried!!!

So now its back to reality, with a big thud!

Life goes on, meals need to be cooked, and blogged about.  I Just wish there was something worth blogging about!!!

I attempted to make Mozzarella Cheese on Friday, but that was a dismal failure.  I now have a heap of "ricotta" which I may attempt to turn into something today, perhaps make some pasta and turn it into cannelloni? I have of course made Pasta alla' amatriciana several times since I have been back, but alas no photos.

Life seems to be more hectic than usual at the moment.  Or is it just me, with my laid back new attitude.... life is a little slower in Italia!!  In course I will get back on track and start telling you about my cooking adventures.  So please bear with me, I will get back into it!!!

Here's me making Lemon Risotto, under the watchful eye of Marilu (our chef) and another "pupil" Scott.

PS: If anyone is interested I am trying to put together a tour to Italy next year - Rome (Walking, Eating Tour), Florence (shopping) and Positano (Cooing!).  I would love to have some company!!!