Mediterranean-style Stuffed Eggplants

Ingredients

4 eggplants
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 chili
6-1/2 oz ground beef
6-1/2 oz feta cheese
1 clove garlic
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
cayenne pepper
olive oil

Method

  1. Halve and hollow out the eggplants and dice 3-1/2 oz of the hollowed-out eggplant flesh.
  2. Finely dice the onion and the green pepper.
  3. Finely chop the chili and garlic.
  4. Dice the feta cheese and mix with the beef and the vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
  5. Stuff the aubergines with the mixture. Place in an oiled baking dish, pour a little olive oil and bake in a preheated oven 350°F (180°C) for about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Mediterranean Cuisine

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Spanish Omelette

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 zucchini, about 4 oz, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced 6 eggs
2 egg whites
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mixed herbs (parsley, thyme and oregano)
2 boiled potatoes, about 10 oz, diced
2 oz frozen peas, thawed
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 oz mature cheddar or parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Method

  1. Heat about 1-1/2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-based frying pan, add onion and garlic and fry gently for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  2. Add zucchini and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until tender.
  3. Beat eggs and egg whites with plenty of seasonings and herbs.
  4. Add remaining oil to the frying pan and, when hot, pour in egg mixture. Stir well and sprinkle potato, peas and tomato over omelette. Cook gently for about 5 minutes or until omelette is set and browned underneath.
  5. If liked, sprinkle the top with grated cheese and then place under a moderate broiler (grill) for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Cut into quarters and serve hot or cold.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: 50 Ways with Potatoes

Chinese Spring Onion Cakes

Ingredients

400 grams plain (all-purpose) flour
5 grams fine sea salt
1 cup water at 65 degrees Celsius
about 50 grams finely minced spring onions
about 100 ml cooking oil
6 large eggs (optional)

Sauce

3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Method

  1. Put the flour in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix in the salt. With the motor running on low speed, pour in the water. Increase the speed to medium and mix for five minutes.
  2. The dough should form a ball and come away from the sides of the mixing bowl, and will be slightly sticky and quite stretchy. If you want to mix by hand, make a dough with the flour, salt and water, then knead vigorously for about 15 minutes. It will be very sticky at first, but when it’s ready, it will be less so.
  3. Whatever mixing method you use, shape the dough into a smooth, round ball. Place the ball in a lightly oiled bowl, then flip the dough over so the oiled side is on top. Cover the bowl with a larger bowl and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. (You can leave it for several hours, if needed.)
  4. Weigh the dough and divide the weight by six. Split the dough into six even pieces and shape them into smooth, round balls, then place each one on a lightly oiled work surface.
  5. Rub a little oil over each ball so it’s coated in a thin layer. Cover the dough balls with a clean, dry dishcloth and leave to rest while preparing the sauce.
  6. Put the sauce ingredients in a small pan placed over a low flame and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Taste the sauce – it should be balanced, with savoury, salty and sweet flavours. Correct the seasonings, if needed, then leave to cool.
  7. On the lightly oiled work surface, roll out the first piece of dough until it is a rectangle that’s about 30 cm x 18 cm. Scatter some of the minced spring onions on top.
  8. Starting at one long end, loosely fold up about 1cm of the entire side, then continue to loosely roll the long end over and over until you reach the centre of the rectangle. Start from the other long end and repeat the process.
  9. Pinch the entire length of the dough where the two rolls meet to seal in the spring onions, then gently stretch the dough so it’s about 40 cm long.
  10. With your left and right hands working simultaneously, start coiling the far ends of the dough towards the centre, until they meet. Twist one of the coils so the two form a figure 8, then place one coil on top of the other and press gently.
  11. Place the coil on the work surface and shape the other pieces of dough the same way.
  12. Cook the cake immediately after shaping all the dough balls (if you wait too long, the moisture from the spring onions will seep through the layers).
  13. Heat a skillet (about 20 cm in diameter and preferably cast iron) over a medium flame. Pour about 2 tsp of oil into the skillet and continue to heat.
  14. Quickly roll out one piece of dough so it is 3 mm thick and about 18 cm in diameter and lay it on the hot pan. Cook until the bottom is starting to set and pale golden in spots, then turn it over.
  15. Flip the cake frequently, adjusting the flame as needed. Don’t let it brown too quickly or get overly dark, which would make the exterior too firm.
  16. Add more oil to the skillet, if needed. After about four minutes, use two spatulas (or a spatula and tongs) – one held in each hand – to roughly press the opposite sides of the cake towards the centre, to fluff up the layers.
  17. Turn the cake slightly and repeat several times – this should be done quickly. Adjust the heat to high and brown both sides of the cake. They need five to six minutes in total to cook. Cook the remaining cakes the same way.
  18. Brush the sauce on one side of the cake, fold in half and serve hot.
  19. If you like, whisk an egg while the cake is still in the skillet. When it’s fully cooked, lift the cake and pour the egg into the skillet. Immediately place the cake on top and cook until the egg is set. Brush the egg-side of the cake with the sauce, fold in half and then eat.

Source: SCMP

Broccoli and Tomato Quiches

Ingredients

Cheese Pastry

8 oz plain flour
pinch of salt
generous pinch of cayenne
4 oz butter or margarine
4 oz hard Cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 egg, beaten

Filling

3 eggs
2 oz garlic herb soft cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz broccoli, cooked
2 tomatoes, sliced

Method

  1. To make the pastry, sift together the flour, salt and cayenne.
  2. Rub in the fat until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the cheese and beaten egg and mix to a firm dough.
  3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead as little as possible until smooth.
  4. Roll out to l/4-inch thickness and line four small quiche tins. Chill whilst preparing the filling.
  5. Beat the eggs into the garlic herb cheese, then add the milk, salt and pepper.
  6. Cut the broccoli into 1-inch pieces and divide between the quiche tins with the tomato slices.
  7. Pour the egg mixture over the top and cook in a preheated moderately hot 190°C (375°F) oven for about 20 minutes until golden and set. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Soups and Starters

Steamed Stuffed Mushroom

Ingredients

8 large open-cap mushrooms, peeled and cleaned
4 Tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
4 scallions, chopped
1 ripe avocado, finely chopped
1 small red chili pepper, sliced
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Method

  1. Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and chop finely. Stir into the bread crumbs, scallions, avocado, chili pepper, tomato and lemon juice, mixing well.
  2. Spoon the mixture onto the mushroom caps, piling up, pressing and shaping with a spoon, so the mounds hold together.
  3. Sprinkle the cheese on top, then the cilantro.
  4. Place the mushroom caps in the steamer top, cover with the lid, and steam for 10 minutes until tender. Serve with salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Steam Cuisine