Moroccan-style Meatballs

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, very finely chopped
1 lb ground (minced) lamb
3 large cloves garlic, crushed through a press
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons fine dried bread crumbs
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt and freshly ground pepper
lemon wedges for squeezing and garnish

Method

  1. In a frying pan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
  2. Add the lamb, garlic, eggs, parsley, chopped mint, bread crumbs, cumin, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the onion. Combine the ingredients thoroughly with your hands (the only way to achieve an even distribution of the ingredients).
  3. Fry a small pinch of the mixture, taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Form the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut, rolling them very lightly in the palms of your hands. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet with a shallow rim.
  5. Preheat the broiler (grill).
  6. Place the meatballs about 4 inches from the heat source and broil (grill), turning once with tongs, until brown and crispy on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove the baking sheet from the broiler and transfer the meatballs to a platter.
  7. Squeeze some lemon juice over the meatballs and arrange the remaining lemon wedges and mint sprigs on the platter. Using cocktail picks, skewer each meatball if desired. Serve at once.

Makes about 42 meatballs.

Source: Hors Doeuvre


Today’s Comic

Dolmades

Ingredients

20 vacuum-packed vine leaves in brine
1/2 cup long grain brown rice
1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground sumac
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tomato puree (paste)
salt and ground black pepper
lemon slices and mint sprigs, to garnish

Method

  1. Rinse the vine leaves well under cold running water, then drain.
  2. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the rice, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until almost cooked. Drain.
  3. Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the onion and cook until soft.
  4. Stir in the pine nuts and cook until lightly browned, then add the raisins, chopped mint, cinnamon, allspice and sumac, with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the rice and mix well. Leave to cool.
  5. Line a pan with any damaged vine leaves. Trim the stalks from the remaining leaves and lay them flat. Place a little filling on each. Fold the sides over and roll up each leaf neatly. Place the dolmades side by side in the leaf-lined pan, so that they fit tightly.
  6. Mix 1-1/4 cups water with the lemon juice and tomato puree in a small bowl. Whisk in the remaining olive oil until the mixture is well blended.
  7. Pour the mixture over the dolmades in the pan and place a heatproof plate on top to keep them in place.
  8. Cover the pan and simmer the dolmades for about 1 hour, or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the leaves are tender.
  9. Transfer the dolmades to a platter, garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs and serve hot or cold.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Source: The Ultimate Book of Vegan Cooking


Today’s Comic

Thai-style Golden Cups

Ingredients

12-16 spring roll wrappers cut
into 2 inch squares
6-8 cooked salad shrimp
1 Tbsp ground peanuts
2 Tbsp diced green peppers
1 Tbsp diced red pepper
1 Tbsp diced celery
2 Tbsp diced cucumber
1 tsp minced mint leaves
1 tsp minced coriander

Lemongrass Sauce

1 cup lime juice
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
4 red Thai chili, minced
1 Tbsp minced lemongrass

Method

  1. Make the sauce. Blend all ingredients in a blender and set aside.
  2. In a small mini cupcake pan, overlap 2 spring roll wrappers perpendicular on top of one another. Push down in middle to make a cup, then bake in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix all ingredients with lemongrass sauce in a bowl. Scoop into cups and put a shelled and cooked shrimp on top.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Source: Ciao! magazine


Today’s Comic

Smoked Duck, Tangerine, and Pecan Salad with Pinot Noir and Pomegranate Dressing

Ingredients

3 tangerines or small sweet oranges
4 oz lettuce or watercress
8 oz sliced smoked duck breast
1/3 cup candied pecans or walnuts

Pinot Noir and Pomegranate Dressing

1 cup Chilean or other inexpensive Pinot Noir, or another fruity red wine
1-1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 medium pomegranate
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Peel and slice the tangerines horizontally, reserving any juice. Cut the larger slices in half to make half-moon shapes.
  2. To make the dressing, put the wine in a small saucepan, bring it to a boil, then lower the heat. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the wine has reduced by two-thirds (leaving about 6 tablespoons). Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the sugar, and let cool.
  3. Once cool, whisk in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Cut the pomegranate in half and scoop the seeds into a bowl, catching any juice. Discard the pith and tip the seeds and juice, along with any juice from the tangerines, into the dressing.
  5. Add the pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar, to taste. Stir well.
  6. Divide the lettuce or watercress between 6 plates and arrange the duck breast and tangerine slices on top.
  7. Scatter the candied pecans or walnuts over.
  8. Give the dressing a quick whisk, then spoon it over the salad. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine


Today’s Comic

Snails Bourguignon

Ingredients

48 large snails
rock salt
vinegar
flour
dry white wine
1 carrot and 1 onion sliced together
1 shallot, chopped
garlic to taste, peeled
1 bouquet garni
peppercorns
parsley sprigs to garnish

stuffing

2 cups butter, softened
1 tablespoon shallot or onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch each pepper and spices

Method

  1. You can now buy canned snails, already cleaned and prepared. accompanied by clean empty shells. and ready to cook.
  2. If, however, you choose to use fresh snails, there must be lengthy preparations. First, the snails must be left to disgorge for 2-3 days in a container where they can get enough air, but from which they cannot escape. If the snails are bought live in a shop, this has usually been done.
  3. Dip the snails in plenty of cold water and stir well to rid the shells of the diaphragm and particles of earth. Put the washed snails in a pan containing rock salt, vinegar, and a little flour. Let them disgorge for 2-3 hours, shaking the pan occasionally.
  4. Wash once more in running water. Put the snails in a large pan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil on low heat. Skim the scum. and boil on high heat for 8 minutes. Lift the snails out, drain and put in cold water for a moment. Put them back in a pan, and cover with equal parts of water and white wine. Add rock salt (I tablespoon for 1 quart of liquid), the carrots and onions, shallot, bouquet garni, and garlic cloves, and peppercorns to taste. Bring to a boil on a moderate heat, and continue cooking for 2-3-1/2 hours, according to the size of the snails.
  5. When cooked put them in a sieve to drain. Remove snails from shells, and remove the black part at the end of the helix. Wash the shells thoroughly in warm water, and dry in the oven.
  6. To make the stuffing, blend together the butter, chopped shallots or onion, crushed garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and spices.
  7. Put some of this mixture at the bottom of each empty shell, put in the snail, and seal the shell with more of the mixture, pressing it down firmly.
  8. Arrange the shells, open side up, on special snail dishes (escargotiéres), or on ovenproof dishes filled with a layer of rock salt, and bake in a hot oven (425°F) for 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley sprigs before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: The Cook’s Book


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