Saturday, 4 August 2007

Kitchen masterpiece

There are some recipes that you take one look at, and just know that any attempt to try them is beyond your current skill set (and patience for that matter).

Some you see and think they will be a breeze, and they are.

Then there are my favorite ones. The ones that you think will be easy, but turn out to be waaay more involved and complicated that you thought possible. You get such a feeling of accomplishment when you make your way through one of these!

On one Sunday afternoon I started making a recipe that falls unto the latter category, unbeknown to me when I started of course. I end up spending the entire afternoon in the kitchen making stuffed potato patties! It was not the steps involved were overly complicated, on the contrary, it was simply the time involved made the process slightly exhausting. After I was finished the last thing I wanted to do was eat them! All of my hard work, my master piece, gone just like that. But who am I kidding, of course we dug in immediately once Hubby came home. It was then that it became worth every painstaking minute that they took. Hubby loved them, Lilly picked at them (which is impressive), and I will make them again...just not in the near future.

Stuffed Potato Patties: (Courtesy of Nigella Lawson - Feast)

  • 2kg russet potatoes
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1tsp ground all spice
  • 250g ground beef
  • 60ml water
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 eggs 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 70g plain flour
  • 200g fine bread crumbs
Pierce and bake potatoes until cooked through, leave them at cool.

Heat oil in fry pan. Add onion and cook until soft. Add spices and stir to coat onion. Add beef and cook, breaking up with spoon, until brown. Stir in water. Once cooked through remove from heat, let slightly cool, and then stir in parsley.

Scoop out inside of cool potatoes, add eggs, salt, and flour to mixture. At this point you need to make a smooth dough. I used my Kitchenaide, but it is suggested mixing by hand and kneading will work. DO NOT use a food processor! I found that I had to add quite a bit more flour, as it was very wet and very sticky. Too much so to do anything with properly.

Dough at this point is to be divided into 18-20 little balls. Each ball is to be flattened in your hands and 1 tsp of beef filling to be put into the center. Seal the beef inside of the flattened dough, reform into a ball and then flatten again. You should not be able to see the beef inside. Coat in bread crumbs, put off to the side and repeat. This would be the part that took quite some time! Make sure you cover your hand well with flour, as again this is initially a very sticky process and otherwise you will have trouble rolling dough into balls.

Add oil to fry pan (approximately 1 cm deep) and heat. Fry patties in hot oil until warmed through and golden brown on both sides. Transfer to paper towel lined rack to cool.


Green Fatoush: (Also courtesy of Nigella Lawson - Feast)
This is much simpler and just as incredibly delicious!

  • 4 green onions
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 pita breads
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 4 tbsp chopped mint (I admit I didn't have this, stupid grocery store was out)
Cut pitas open so that you have four halves. Toast them in oven on baking sheet for approximately 5 minutes, or until golden. Let cool.

For dressing whisk together lime zest, juice and oil in small bowl. Add sprinkle of salt, and put aside.

Deseed chillies and finely chop them and onions. Place into bowl. Tear lettuce unto pieces and add as well.

Half avocado, and using spoon scoop out pieces into salad. Pour dressing over, add most of chopped herbs and toss. Break toasted pita into pieces and toss again.

When you sever sprinkle top with remaining herbs and more pita.


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