We seem to have accumulated a variety of tea in our household and without mentioning names, I’m not the only culprit to blame for this. Inevitably I find myself looking for ways to use this stash of tea and not let it go to waste. So, with the help of my cookbooks, settled on making ceviche and flavoring it with a smoky brew of Lapsang Souchong. Continue reading “Lapsang Souchong Prawn Ceviche”
Finally… back to posting recipes and thought these carrot keftedes would make a tasty start. Last year after sorting my collection of cookbooks, made a conscious decision to make better use of the ones left on my bookshelf. It was tough letting some cookbooks and magazines go, but it needed doing. Possible making room for a few new ones. These days many friends prefer to look at online recipes. Maybe I’m old-fashioned… but I love the feel and look of holding cookbooks, randomly opening their pages, enjoying the beautifully photographed dishes, discovering recipes and reading a few stories along the way.
With that said, I have committed to organizing a monthly Instagram cookbook club. And if you’re interested and have an Instagram account, I would love you join me. You don’t need to buy any cookbooks for this cookbook club, you only need use your own cookbook collection. If you’ve neglected your cookbooks lately this is a great way of showing them some love… you might need to brush cobwebs of a few. And I’m sure family and friends won’t mind you trying out a few new dishes on them.
So here’s how it works…
On the 10th of each month (we’ve already completed this month) I will post a photo of an ingredient ( for example “carrots” ) on my instagram, (seen on the sidebar) account. With that piece of information, you look thorough your own cookbook collection and choose a sweet or savory recipe using “carrots” as the main ingredient.
Hopefully giving you enough time, between the 20th to the 25th of each month, you post a photo of the completed dish on your instagram account. Mention the name of the dish and the cookbook you choose the recipe from. Add a brief description or story about the recipe, if there is one. I also ask those joining to use the hashtag #foodandtoolsUseYourCookbookClub, this way everyone can view each others dish even if you are not following them.
Now, back to the Carrot Keftedes, I had earmarked this recipe (along with others) sometime ago and my Instagram cookbook club was the perfect excuse to give them a try. Keftedes are usually made with ground meat but here they’ve been given a modern twist using vegetables. This recipe was from the small plates section from Maria Elis Greek Cookbook “Smashing Plates,” a collection of modern mediterranean recipes.
A pretty straight forward recipe that includes lovely flavors from the feta, parmesan, mint and cinnamon. Before roasting the carrots it’s a good idea to tidy the carrots up by cutting off the tapered ends, leaving them even in thickness… makes grating easier with no overcooked limp parts. Once prepared the keftedes mixture needs at least an hour in the refrigerator to firm up before shaping and shallow-frying in olive oil. You also have an option to deep-fry them in vegetable oil but I preferred the shallow frying method.
The suggested accompaniments (also from the same cookbook) alongside the Carrot Keftedes were carrot tabbouleh and a light version of a pomegranate skordalia made by mixing yoghurt, garlic and pomegranate molasses together which was quite delicious. Perfect party food for sharing.
Also from the same cookbook and in a past post, made the moussaka stuffed tomatoes, a lighter version of a more traditional moussaka … quite delicious too.
(Makes 16 pieces)
Recipe adapted from the Greek Cookbook “Smashing Plates” by Maria Elia.
350g carrots, (peeled and trimmed, leaving them whole)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and grated
1 cup of feta, crumbled
1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons dried mint
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese or Kefalotyri
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, beaten
salt and freshly ground pepper, to season
all-purpose flour, to dust
olive oil, for shallow frying
How to make:
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Toss the carrots into a roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through. Carrots should still have a bite to them so careful not to overcook them. Once cooked remove from pan and let cool.
Grate the carrots and place into a suitable bowl along with the onion, feta, breadcrumbs, cinnamon, mint, cheese, parsley and egg. Mix everything together, season with a little salt and pepper and mix in. Leave the mixture to rest and firm up in the refrigerator for at least and hour before shaping.
Using your hands, shape the mixture into 16 walnut-sized balls, then flatten into patties and dust with flour.
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and cook the patties for about 6 minutes (about 3 minutes each side) until golden brown. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Serve warm or cold.
Hummus is filling, deliciously tasty and so easy to make at home. Perfect for eating as a snack with some warm home-baked flatbread, used as a spread for sandwiches or served with grills, barbecued meats or chicken. We all love hummus in our family and we sometimes love to top hummus with minced lamb cooked with sweet spices and pine nuts, then garnish the dish with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and olive oil, this is one of our favourite mezze dishes when dining at a Lebanese restaurant.
With the help of a food processor/blender it only takes a couple of minutes to make up a bowlful of hummus… it’s the soaking and cooking of dried chickpeas that takes time. Canned chickpeas are a handy store cupboard ingredient when you don’t have the time to use dried chickpeas or can’t be bothered. Continue reading “Hummus Topped with Lamb, Pine Nuts and Pomegranate Molasses”