On Friday I decided to treat us to some MASSIVE steaks from our local butchers for dinner to serve with some spicy potatoes and green salad…but then I got them home and realised they needed something more to do them justice – a little Googling later and the lovely Coconut Raita provided me with an excellent recipe for coriander pesto that more than did the steaks justice.
Our ribeye steaks
Smoked chilli and sea salt saute potatoes
Cooked ribeye steak with the obligatory red wine
Although Mr B was slightly of the opinion that I was trying to kill him – after making a SERIOUSLY hot South Indian potato curry earlier in the week – with my second intensely heated dish of the week, it was actually delicious and a meal I would definitely recommend!
I’m not sure how many of you, like me, have been watching the new series of Masterchef? I’m a serious Masterchef nut, I watch all the versions including professional, celebrity and real…I even watch Australia (well, every other episode – why is it SO long as a series?!? And I really didn’t like the winner) but I still managed to miss the beginning of the new series It’s what comes with no longer watching adverts I guess…we missed the first episode of Hustle too…anyway, I digress! So Masterchef, what I have seen of it, has inspired me to get back into cooking a few new things…or new varieties of old things. Hence this recipe!
So with no further ado, the delicious recipe…
Super spicy falafel, minted meatballs, yoghurt dip, chopped salad and grilled pitta
Serves 2 (with a nice amount of leftovers for lunch the next day!)
For the falafel:
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 red chilli (maybe don’t use a birdseye though like I did!)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 heaped tsps tahini
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- sesame seeds for rolling
For the meatballs:
- 150g pork or turkey mince (I’m unsure as to which mine was!)
- 5 tbsps chappatti/gram flour (though plain flour would work)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tsps mint sauce
- 1tsp salt
- 1tsp ground black pepper
- extra flour for rolling
For the yoghurt dip:
- 1/2 – 1/3 tub of plain yoghurt
- 2 tsp mint sauce
- 1 tsp good quality olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the chopped salad:
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1 little gem
- 1/4 of a cucumber
Pack of wholemeal pitta breads
- Preheat the grill (I have a super rubbish oven so I guestimate the temp – maybe 200?). You need to make the falafel and meatball mixtures first…
- Falafel – in a small blender put all the falafel ingredients – leaving out the sesame seeds. Whizz up until everything’s smooth and you’ve got no lumps of chickpea – I like to shake the blender whilst it’s whizzing to get all the bits out of the corners…though I’d make sure you have a good grip on it…
Falafel mix, ready for rolling into balls
- Put this is a bowl and check the seasoning. Rinse out the blender.
- Meatballs – in the blender put all the meatball ingredients (except the extra flour) and whizz until all smooth. put the mixture in a bowl, if it’s still quite runny (it wants to be starting to ‘bind’ at this point), add a little more flour.
Pork/turkey meatball mix, ready for rolling
- You know want to roll both the falafel and meatballs into small balls (think ping pong size) – rolling the falafel in the sesame seeds and the meatballs in the flour – alternatively you could throw sesame seeds everywhere as I did!
Falafel ready for the oven
- Put all the balls on baking trays, ready for being grilled.
- Put the falafel under the grill for 10 minutes, turn and cook for another 10. Take out and replace with the meatballs. Cook the meatballs for the same time – 10 minutes one side, then 10 on the other. Put the falafel and meatballs on a big platter and put at the bottom of the oven (leaving the grill on) to keep warm.
- Whilst these are cooking, prepare the yoghurt dip and the salad.
- Dip – all you need is to bung all the ingredients in a bowl and mix – super simple
Yoghurt dip (with a little Betty)
- Salad – chop all the ingredients into roughly 1cm square chunks – though being precise is in no way essential. Toss together and put in a bowl.
- You are now ready for the pitta, I did 2 per person but Mr B looked at me like I was starving him and had 3…maybe, I might have joined him Anyway, put however many pittas you are having on a baking tray and bung under the grill for 3-5 minutes, turning after 2.
- Put the pittas on the serving platter with the meatballs and falafel and serve it all together.
Spicy falafel, meatballs with yoghurt dip, chopped salad and grilled pitta (plus fire)
N.B. A large glass of red wine and open fire seriously improve your enjoyment of this dish!
P.S. Who’s your favourite Masterchef contestant? The crazy Japanese lady is HILARIOUS!
Awesome, simply awesome! Bodean’s was restaurant two on our birthday mystery tour and I believe that Mr B enjoyed it even more than The Luxe!
Bodean’s is in Soho – a ‘BBQ smokehouse’. They have ice hockey and basketball on big tv screens, alcoholic root beer and awesome (yes, that word again) buffalo wings, BBQ ribs and burnt ends. Just perfect – but I need to go back with some more room in my belly!
Try the buffalo wings (though perhaps not a dozen) and the root beer.
So, it was Mr B’s birthday on Wednesday and I took him to see the Lion King (which was amazing) but not before we’d eaten tons of delicious food First of all I took him to John Torode’s restaurant in Spitalfields, The Luxe.
He’s been banging on about it for ages and I was more than looking forward to going, having planned this about 3 months ago and I’ve been looking at the menu ever since. Even then I still found it impossible to choose what to eat or drink!
In the end I went for one of their ‘hard shakes’ which I would more than recommend – absolutely ingenious! I had the gin bramble with vanilla ice cream, cassis and gin and Mr B had some bourbon and chocolate ice cream concoction – they don’t appear to be on the online menu but they exist – truly! I had the steak, rocket and parmesan sandwich and Mr B had the BBQ pulled pork sandwich. All very, very delicious and I want to go back. The setting is lovely too, backing right onto Spitalfields market and, although we were there on a Wednesday lunchtime, there was quite a buzz in the air and it was really busy by the time we left. I would be straight down there for brunch if I lived anywhere near London! I think The Luxe brunch and hard shake would be an excellent hangover cure!
I think next time we’ll be going to the 1st floor dining room, the menu looks pretty good.
BBQ pulled pork sandwich and Steak and rocket sandwich
Our delicious 'hardshakes'
So it turns out that a new laptop does not an un-lazy lady make – I can find a million and other reasons not to blog, or sew, or generally do anything except be tired and exhausted! But on to the real matter at hand here – a ridiculous excess of turnips!
If any of you, like us, get vegetable boxes, you might find, like us, that you’re often frantically searching for something, anything to do with the ridiculous number of some veg or other that happens to be in season. In this instance, the vegetable in question is turnip…aren’t turnips only used in pasties…? So a brief amount of searching on my phone later and I was inspired to come up with recipe one of two (Mr B’s been tasked with finding something for tomorrow night’s dinner that is equally as turnip excess busting)…
Turnip and bacon risotto
8 rashers streaky bacon
1 white onion, finely diced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
2 small turnips, peeled and finely diced
1 pint chicken stock
2 handfuls arborio rice
1 small handful cheese (a mixture of blue cheese and parmesan is best I think)
2 handfuls spinach
- Fry the bacon in a deep frying pan until nicely crispy, remove and chop into bite sized pieces.
- Using the oil from the bacon (add a little more olive oil if needed), heat and add the onion and pepper.
- Fry for 2-3 minutes until softened.
- Add the turnip and fry for 3-5 minutes until it starts to soften.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir till all the grains are nicely coated.
After the first ladle of stock
- Add the stock a couple of ladles at a time and keep stirring regularly. Doing it this way (in a frying pan) you can add more liquid each time and you don’t have to stir it quite so often (thank you Mr Slater!).
- Keep doing this until the rice is cooked but till has a good bite to it. If you run out of stock before this happens then use white wine or just plain water is fine.
Stirring through the spinach, bacon and cheese
- Stir through the spinach, chopped bacon and cheese and season generously with pepper (it can take a lot of pepper!). You’re unlikely to need much salt – depending on the saltiness of the bacon you use.
- Serve with a grating of parmesan on top and a grind of black pepper.
Turnip and bacon risotto
I know – I’m a complete geek for posting this! Not impressive stats but they’re all mine!
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