Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keftedes & hummus

The other day (Saturday?) Chris decided to try his hand at making keftedes, those delicious little fried Greek meatballs which are equally good served hot or cold. He's always liked them but having them at Greek Easter at my aunt's house reminded him just how much he liked them, and he decided that he wanted my mother's recipe. One phone call and a trip to Victory market later, we were set. I was surprised to note that my mother's recipe calls for crushed saltines rather than milk-soaked bread, but I won't argue because they taste great.

(recipe to follow)


Last night, knowing that I'd be taking the last few keftedes to work with me for lunch, I decided that I wanted some hummus to dip them in. Ingredients? A can of chickpeas (water reserved), three or four teaspoons of tahini, some salt, lemon juice, 3-4 cloves of garlic, tabasco sauce, ground cumin, ground corriander, paprika, parsley, and a dash of olive oil. Whipping the tahini at the beginning with some reserved chickpea water and lemon juice gives the end result an amazingly fluffy texture, which allows you to cut down the amount of oil used in the dip - I poured a thin stream in at one point, but mostly saved it for a drizzled garnish at the end. I don't normally add any parsley, but I had some on hand thanks to Chris' craving for keftedes, although I have to admit that it didn't really do much for the flavour of the dish. My first experiences with hummus included a "sixty pepper" hummus, so the tabasco is a nod to that preference (I don't think I go overboard in this deparment since it's not nearly as noticable as the garlic or lemon, or even the tahini).

The results? Chris claims he "doesn't really like hummus" and said that he didn't want any, but pretty soon he was taking my mini tostitos away from me and dunking them in the hummus, and ate enough for me to say that yes, he does indeed like hummus! I'd post some pics, but I've already finished it off along with the keftedes. This, combined with a delicious lemony pilaf Chris made the other night, made for a very satisfying lunch!

Food-to-eat-before-you-die meme

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk/ linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunos
t75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Goan pork from the Patak's website

Originally I was going to make the saucy slow-cooker version of this, but that fell through when I discovered that I had bought the vindaloo paste, and not the cooking sauce. Then I got lazy and let my boyfriend cook it for me while I went to Greek class.

Goan Spiced Pork
(Maas Vindaloo)
Serves 4
Preparation Time 15 mins
Cooking Time 45 mins
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medim onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 green chillies, deseeded and sliced into strips
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced into strips
1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced into strips
2 tbsp Patak's Vindaloo Curry Paste
450g pork fillet, trimmed and cut into thin strips

Cooking Instructions
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and green chillies along with the peppers and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the Patak's Vindaloo Curry Paste and cook for a further minute.
Add the pork and cook for a another 5 minutes. Mix in 2 tablespoons water, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the pork is tender and cooked through. Add a little extra water if too thick, or reduce slightly if too thin.
Serve the spiced pork with steamed basmati rice and Patak's Brinjal Aubergine Pickle.

The result was sooooo dry, and kind of bland. It was aromatic, and definitely had some heat to it, but lacked flavour, and without any sauce to speak of, the basmati rice kind of overwhelmed the pork and peppers. If I cooked it myself, I would have added more paste, or more water/oil, or chopped tomatoes/tomato paste to make it saucier. Something. I have to admit, the pork loin (which I got at Victory, the best cheap butcher/market in town) was dark and flavourful, and was a nice change from the chicken curries I usually cook.