Jan 22, 2010

spaghetti & beef-mince veggie sauce

i wasn't going to make pasta sauce but... you guessed... soup... i spotted some whole wheat spaghetti in the pantry and that changed my mind. this is what i started with

400 gr beef mince
2 carrots
1 onion
3 stalks cellery (found them after taking the pic)
500 gr crushed tomatoes
2 dl boiling water
black pepper to taste
basil, fresh or dried to taste

carrots grated ultra thin (mircoplane grater), celery sliced to ½ cm slices, onion finely minced

browned the beef, drained excess fat on paper towels

after the meat, sauteed the onion on it's own for a minute, then added carrots and celery

kept mixing on hot for another minute before adding beef, tomatoes and boiling water

turning the heat on low to simmer for 15 mins

cooked the pasta according to package directions and had 4 huge portions, took 2 with me and left the rest for certain someone. now that i've eaten one portion, garlic would have been nice addition. oh, and parmesan, definitely parmesan

Jan 20, 2010

beef stew

back to basics, this was so simple, just took a little time.

i used

400 gr beef, round steak, cut to 2 cm cubes
200 gr buttom mushrooms, quartered
1 onion, finely minced
2 tbsp all purpose flour
black pepper to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil

started by washing and quartering the mushrooms

then browned them in 1 tbsp oil on high heat. could have eaten these as they were...

next, took out the mushrooms, added the other tbsp oil and browned the meat on high heat, then added onion, sauteed until soft, then added flour and kept mixing until flour started getting brown. then added slowly 5 dl of boiling water, mixed well, turned the heat to low and simmered for 2 hrs. yes, really, for 2 hrs

after 2 hrs added the mushrooms and a generous amount of ground black pepper. boiled some potatoes as a side and served with lingonberries and mini gherkins. some might opt for some salt or soya sauce, but you know me, none was added

veggie lentil patties

if yesterdays's biscuits were loaded with calories, these patties aren't. got the idea for this recipe from a magazine but had to mess around with the original...

i used

1 dl green lentils, soaked and cooked
1 dl breadcrumbs
1 dl 4% cooking cream (the original recipe says vegetable stock would be ok)
1 egg
2 carrots, grated
1 parsnip, grated
1 large onion, finely minced
1 mild chilli, finely minced
1 glove garlic, grated
3 cm ginger, grated
3 tsp fresh thyme, finely minced
pinch white pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil (optional)

first soaked 1 dl of green lentils in water for 1 h, then cooked for 10 mins

then mixed breadcrumbs and cream in small bowl and let sit while chopping onion and grating garlic

added cooled lentils and grated ginger

grated carrots and parsnip, minced chilli and thyme, mixed egg first with breadcrumb-cream mixture then with other ingredients, added white pepper and mixed well

poured vegetable oil into small bowl and with oiled hands formed 12 patties onto a baking sheet. you could omit the oil all together and use parchment paper. baked these in 200C oven for 20 mins

there is no salt in the recipe, ginger and chilli kinda take care of packing great flavor so that i didn't miss salt. you could go all vegetarian and change the cream for vegetable stock or soya "milk".

i guess i should have thought further and gotten some sour cream to make a sauce with parsley and lemon to serve with these. i liked how the lentils baked into crunchy nutty-like bites in the patties

the dog was hopefully following my cooking, nothing for him this time

Jan 19, 2010

PW's bacon onion cheddar biscuits

let's first pretend that i didn't impose a ban of buying bacon to myself (however, buying it has to stop here!). second, i wouldn't have made these biscuits if someone at work hadn't shown me PW's recipe (you know who you are!)

to my defence i will state that i did strain out all extra bacon fat and if you look closely enough in the pic you'll see that there is a paper towel under the bacon to prove it. also, i wiped the pan before sauteeing the onion.

the chilli is my addition to PW's recipe. although the package says "mild" this particular individual packed quite a heat

i had some left-over five counties cheddar in the fridge that measured almost the 1 cup PW's recipe calls for

i had fresh thyme for something i'm going to make tomorrow, thought that thyme would go well with the bacon and cheese

PW mentioned using a spray to grease the muffin tin and that's when i remembered i had this. not sure why i've bought it, i never remember i have it...

i have tried to figure out what vegetable shortening would be in finnish. i mean, i do know what it "is" but whether we have something to that effect sold in stores, not sure. i just never took the time to find that out, maybe i should?

so, i used butter instead and my pastry blender

the dough will be very thick and sticky

very easy to drop onto tin

baked them in 190C oven for 25 mins

what can i say? i wish it wasn't 8.30 pm so that i could eat more...

these were really nice, a bomb, if you're into counting calories. a veggie version with corn instead of bacon might work nice...