Category / Mains

Mains

Beef Stew & Celeriac Pure

Stew comes in many forms and flavours – combination of vegetables and meat, beer and mustard, red wine, white wine, in a casserole, in the oven, on the stove … But whatever shape or form, its depth of flavor and richness of taste, makes it irresistibly ever present, always welcome winter dish at our home.

This is a classic family favourite. Slow cooked beef stew with red wine and honey, served with delicious and healthy celeriac pure.

Ingredients

For the Beef Stew
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1kg beef stew meat, cut into small pieces
  • 2 carrots
  • 300ml red wine
  • 100ml water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 strings of thyme
  • 1 vegetable bullion
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 3 tbsp of plain flour
  • Parsley for decoration
For the Celeriac Pure
  • 1 big celery root, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 8 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • Chicken broth (or stock) to cover (2-3 cups)
  • 1 large Russet potato, peeled and cubed
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened), plus more for topping if desired
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh celery leaves or parsley, for garnish

 

Method

1. For the Beef: Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a deep pan and add the chopped onion. Let the onions crisp until golden and take them out of the pan put them in a plate.

2. In a plastic bag, mix the beef stew meat together with the salt, pepper and the flour until all the dry ingredients have been well absorbed and are sticking to the meat. Pour the remaining olive oil into the pan and let it heat up. Put the beef stew in the pan and let it be sealed until nicely brown.

3. Add the onion and the carrots (roughly chopped into circles) and mix together with the stew. Pour over them the wine and the water and add the thyme and the bay leaf. Let the stew simmer for at least one hour mixing regularly not letting the mixture stick to the bottom.

4. When the stew mixture has thickened and the meat is ready, add the bullion and the honey, flavoring the stew to your taste.

5. For the Celeriac Pure: Combine celery root, onion, garlic and chicken broth/stock in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until celery root is very tender.

6. Meanwhile, cook the potato in a separate saucepan in salted water until tender.

7. When celery root is fully cooked, drain off excess chicken broth/stock (reserve for another use if desired), leaving about 1/4 cup broth/stock in the saucepan with vegetables.  Add the butter and cream.  Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.

8. Drain the potato.  Push through a potato ricer into the puree and gently fold it into the puree.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

9. Garnish with chopped fresh celery leaves or parsley and extra butter if desired.

Goes well with: Rice, mashed potatoes, croquettes.

 

Mains

Baked Pangasius Fish

Have you ever dreamed of having a selection of a few delicious recipes, ready to be cooked in absolutely no time for an unsophisticated family party?

This recipe is just the kind!

Fresh fish fillet baked in a matter of a minutes to a golden perfection. Sounds simple enough… yet with a twist, elevating this dish from something humble to deliciously divine.

The magic resides in all round combination of flavious: soft fish fillet covered in a aromatic crispy crust of breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parsley and parmesan served with light cream fraiche sauce and mellow potato mash. A delicious perfection… already looking forward for cooking it for a second time.

{Recipe adapted based on the original in Mary Berry’s Everyday cookbook}

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh pagasius fish fillets
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon (grated rind + 1 tbsp)
  • 40g butter
  • 60g dry panko white breadcrumbs
  • 40g fresh, coarsely grated parmesan
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • 250g creme fraiche
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp caster sugar

 

Method

1. Preheat the oven 200C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

2. Season the sea pegasius fillets well on both sides with salt and pepper.

3. Melt the butter in a shallow frying pan. Remove from the heat, add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and half the parsley. Toss and set aside.

4. Place half the breadcrumb mixture in four rows on the prepared tray. Place the fillets on top and press firmly into the crumbs. Top each fillet with the remaining crumbs and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 12–15 minutes until cooked through.

5. To make the sauce, mix the crème fraiche, mayonnaise, remaining parsley, sugar, and lemon juice together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Serve the fish with a dollop of sauce and mashed potatoes.

Mains

Million Dollar Spaghetti

It is the depth of winter and the days are shaded, casting colours of dark. White, blue and grey during the day and star gazed purple and sapphire blue during the night. The chill is gripping and while there is joy in taking a deep air-crisp fresh breath and listening to a solitary bird song singing the spring to come during the early morning hours we still hurry to get in doors, set the fire roaring and steep a honey sweetened cup of tea, rather then venturing for long hours in the outside.

Deep winter days, call for deep flavour winter dishes. The kind that warm the heart inside out, the kind that cast mouth watering aromas like a blanket, the kind that build the inner walls of our resilience with richness and sustenance.

This Million Dollar Spaghetti recipe is just the kind. Cheesy Carbonara like spaghetti base, layered with Bolognese sauce and topped with melting mozzarella cheese to perfection. A dish that will set your senses reeling, sampling spoonful after spoonful, endless times.

{The original recipe is from the Half Baked Harvest food blog by Tieghan Gerard.}

Ingredients

  • 1 package of spaghetti
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk cottage cheese
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 500g minced meat
  • 3 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought (in this recipe – 1 Bertolli jar)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup gratin cheese
  • olive oil
  • black pepper
  • salt

 

Method

1. Start by boiling water in a deep pot. Once the water is slightly simmering add the spaghetti broken into pieces. Add a few drops of basil flavoured olive oil and some salt. Leave the spaghetti to boil until soft.

2. In the meantime, prepare the sauce Bolognese: heat a table spoon of olive oil in a deep pot over a medium heat. Add the minced meat and let it baked until the meat has changed its colour from pink to dark brown. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the tomato sauce and let it simmer for additional 5 minutes until all flavours are well infused.

3. Once the spaghetti have boiled, drain the water and poor the spaghetti in a deep oven pan on a low heat. Add three table spoons of butter and mix well. In the meantime whisk together the four eggs and mix well with the grated Parmesan cheese and the chopped parsley. Add the egg mixture to the spaghetti and mix well. Add the cottage cheese and the cream cheese and mix until well combined. Let the spaghetti simmer for a few minutes until the sauce ha thickened a bit. Season with black pepper and salt if needed.

4. Level the spaghetti mixture and poor over the sauce Bolognese spreading it evenly. Arrange on top with gratin cheese and pieces thinly cut mozzarella. Set the dish in a preheated oven to 225C and let the cheese melt, forming a light brown colour (approximately 20-30 minutes). Take out of the oven and spread freshly cut parsley on top before serving.

Mains

Asian Teriyaki Pork

We love Asian food at home. Easy and quick to prepare and not to mention deliciously light and exceptionally healthy. It is often gracing our family table for various meals. From completely vegan variaties to options of cooking with fish and meat. No surprise when this Christmas season I have found not one, not two but three Asian Cookbooks waiting for me under the Christmas tree.

But before I dedicate full attention to studing the fine features of the various Asian cuisines (what makes the Chines, Japanies, Thai and Vietnamese kitchens so different and which are each country’s most typical dishes?) we enjoy this tasty meal by cooking vegies and pork with ready bought teriyake sauce – delicious!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Pork Cutlets
  • 1tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 red paprika
  • 1tbsp of sesame seeds
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • Ready made Teriyaki sause
  • 2 coffee cups brown rice (boild)
  • pintch of salt
  • ground black pepper

 

Method

1. Start by boiling the brown rice. In a deep microwave oven-prove plastic dish add two coffee cups of rice and four coffee cups of water. Place in the microwave oven initially for three minutes on 750W, then reduce to 350W and let it boil for additional 15 minutes. Brown rice take longer to boil comapred to white rice so check several time to make sure it is ready then set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Chop the chilli into tiny slices and add to the pan. Fry for a few minutes until softened. Chop the red paprika into small piecies and add to the chilly. Mix togther and fry for 3 minutes then take out of the pan placing them on a separate plate.

3. Chop the pork cutlets into small square cubes and place in the pan, stir frying for severall minutes on high heat. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Once the meat starts to slighly brown add the already fried chilli and red paprika and pour over the teriyaki sauce. Stir fry for several minutes until all flavours are well mixed together. To finish sprincle on top sesame seeds and freshly chopped coriander.

4. Serve with rice or noodles, according to preferences.

Mains

Creamy Chicken Pesto Tagliatelle

It is December already and I am counting down the days until Christmas. The weather is unusually warm, with the green leaves and the cherry flower blossoms springing early to life. We are happy to enjoy the weekend at home, and in resonance with the weather are cooking something light yet, deep with flavour. The basil pesto tagliatelle is seductively easy to make, whispering of happy days and sunshine. Yet, adding a light cream, roasted shredded chicken and sun-dried tomatoes the pasta transforms from a summer to a winter dish, offering comfort and embrace and a hint of a teasing smile. Can’t wait to have a taste.

 

Ingredients

For the tagliatelle

  • 300g tagliatelle
  • 300ml light cream
  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • 2 cups skinless shredded roast chicken
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cups finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Roasted pine nuts

For the pesto

  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a large bunch of fresh basil , leaves picked
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g Parmesan , finely grated
  • 50g Almond flakes
  • 1 clove of garlic , peeled

 

Method

1. For the tagliatelle. Boil the tagliatelle in a large pan with salted water, until tender. Drain the water and return the tagliatelle to pan over medium-low heat. Add the cream, pesto, chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.

2. For the pesto: Bash the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt. Add the basil leaves and pine nuts and pound to a coarse paste. Muddle in the extra virgin olive oil and stir in the Parmesan, adding a splash of water if you like it a little runnier, then continue bashing and pounding until smooth.

 

Mains

Chicken HotPot

It has been a gipsy summer, golden and bright, September day today.

The harvest products could be noticed in abundance in the local stores. We admire their variety and shape and promise each other that now is a perfect time to try new veggies. Parsnip, beets, turnips, Jerusalem artichokes… we always see them, but somehow they never end up on our family menu.

Fateful to our commitment we buy some parsnips today with the good intentions to find a way of cooking it. Once cut, it has this delicate scent  reminding of a carrot and celeriac, beautifully fragrant. Belgian has a beautiful tradition, knowing fully well what to do with such vegetables and it is a dish called “stoemp”. It literally is a mash potato, mixed with a boiled veggies. Examples vary, but the most popular seem to be a combination of potato puree with carrots, or with broccoli, or spinach, or any vegetable or fresh salad available at home. The combinations sometimes are surprisingly delightful.

Paying homage to our chosen parsnip, we decide to prepare him as a “stoemp” next to our chicken hotpot. The original recipe for this dish is inspired by one of the favourite classics of Mary Berry and is meant to be prepared with a pheasant, but as the gaming season is not oficially open yet, we are content to replace this noble bird with its more commonly available cousin. Stirring the hotpot and mixing the potato parsnip “stoemp” to smooth perfection we are suddenly surprised how quickly this simple dish is ready to be served on our dining table and delighted to try something new.

The chicken hotpot is so rich and spicy beautifully contrasted with the more delicate flavours of the mash. A perfect dish to tray again, but perhaps with pheasant in the near future.

{Original recipe from Mary Berry}

Ingredients

For the hotpot
  • 2 Chicken breasts (chopped in pieces)
  • 2 large onions
  • 500g chestnut mushrooms
  • 300ml cream
  • 2tbsp of ground red paprika
  • 1tbsp of Demerara sugar
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
For the potato mash
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1 parsnip
  • Nob of butter
  • 50 ml cream
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Fresh parsley

 

Method

1. For the HotPot. Cut the chicken breast into small cubes and let them brown in butter in a clay pot over medium heat. Season them generously with salt and black pepper. Once beginning to brown, take them out from the pot into a plate and set them aside to rest.

2. In the mean time chop the onions. Add them to the same cooking pot where the chicken has just browed. Let them simmer gently until they change colour to slight brown and become translucent. Add two table spoons of ground red paprika and one table spoon of sugar. Mix well together and then add the cream. Return the chicken into the hot pot and coat it nicely with the onion sauce, letting it cook for a few minutes.

3. Chop the mushrooms and with a little butter cook them in a separate pan until softened and browned. Once ready, add them to the hot pot with the chicken. Season with additional salt and black pepper if needed. Add freshly chopped parsley just before serving.

4. For the Potato Mash: Peal the potatoes and the parsnip and cut them into chunks. Put them into a plastic cooking pot with a little bit of water and place them in a microwave oven to boil for 12 minutes on 750W.

5. Once ready, drain the exes water. Place them in a deep bawl and much them together as smoothly as possible, adding gradually butter and cream. Once the mash has attained the desired smoothness season with nutmeg, black pepper, salt and freshly chopped parsley.

 

Mains

Indian Curry with Pork and Rice

The magic of India… Not about its vibrant history, landscape, architecture, religion and people. But about its food, cultural gastronomy, spices and life. So many things to excite the imagination and most definitely to invite the senses to a delicious banquet of flavoursome delights. I wish… its authentic vegetables, fruits and spices will be more nearby. I wish… I would wake up in the morning and my day will filled with adventurous discoveries and colourful understated elegance. I wish… I would sit next to the old wizards on the ground and listen to their enchanting incantations. I wish… I would cook for someone I love, surrounded by the warm-hearted cheer of a cloud of Indian lady friends. I wish…

Drawing India closer to my my heart, I am shopping from the neighbourhood store with the idea to prepare an Indian curry with pork loin and vegetables. The ready-made Indian curry sauce I am selecting, is a basic tomato paste with onion and vegetables, spiced with chilly, cardamon and coriander. It is such a pleasure, in a lifestyle full of working stress and daily rush, to be able to prepare quickly a delicious far east meal, relying on what is a available in the local store, yet not compromising on the quality of ingredients. Cooking Indian Curry with a ready made sauce, may slightly count as gastronomical cheating, but is rich flavours are feeling our home with delightful aromas, its taste bringing a delicious smile on my face, letting me relax after a long busy working day, and letting me dream of the beauty and magic of India again.

 

Ingredients

(Serves 3 people)
  • 400g pork loin, cut in small pieces
  • 400ml Indian Curry sauce (ready made)
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 1 red paprika
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • Long Grain Rice

 

Method

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan. Add the pork loin, stirring constantly, then add the salt and black pepper.

2. Toss in the red paprika and continue stirring on high heat.

3. Add the Indian curry sauce and let it coat evenly the pork. Let it simmer gently for a few minutes leaving the meat absorb the nice curry flavours. Optionally, add coconut milk to soften the heat of the chilly Indian Curry, balancing the flavours to taste. Add the fresh coriander leaves.

4. Serve straight away with Long Gran Rice.

 

Mains

Mexican Gorditas Tacos with Marinated Beef

It is the first warm spring Sunday of the year… With the weather so delightful, we prefer to spend our time meeting friends and having a drink on the many city centre terraces rather then spending the weekend in-doors. With the sun glancing invitingly into our living room, we give it all attention and as a result spend less time in the kitchen. Sunday lunch is warm, easy and funny, a tray of delightful finger-food Mexican Gorditas tacos, served with marinated beef, cabbage, sweet Spanish paprika and cherry tomatoes, brought to life by fresh coriander leaves and silky soft mayonnaise. Beautifully delicious easy meal, that we hope to repeat soon one day, sitting in our flower blooming garden and accompanied by a glass of wine. Let the summer come!

 

Ingredients

  • Mexican Gorditas Soft Tacos
  • 250g Ready made marinated beef, cut into small stripes
  • Cherry tomatoes, sliced in four
  • Cabbage, chopped in thin slices
  • Sweet Spanish paprika, chopped in thin slices
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp plant oil

 

Method

1. Heat the oil in a medium size pan and bake the ready made marinated beef until nicely brown.

2. Cut all the vegetables into bite size stripes.

3. Serve the soft tacos as they are or lightly grilled from one side.

4. Place a small portion of the beef, vegetables, fresh coriander and mayonnaise on top of each tortilla and folding it lightly in one hand serve as a finger-food stack.

 

Mains

Vietnamese Chicken Curry

This, without any doubt, is one of my most favourite Vietnamese dishes. So fragrant, so light and so beloved it is fair to say it has completely transformed our family views on the Asian cuisine, opening the doors wide for its enticing aromas and fresh-scented richness. I have learned to cook this dish more than a year ago, following a cooking lesson from one of the most renown Chefs in Belgium, the enchanting owner of the Little Asia Restaurant, Quyen. It was amazing to see her stepping gracefully and lightly and with an incredible speed and efficiency prepare this famous from the menu dish. Following her instructions, I have recreated at home the Vietnamese chicken curry countless of times, delighting my guests and beloved ones. Isn’t it wonderful, that nowadays we could quickly stop in the local store and come out with ingredients from far East Asia, enabling us to cook such marvellously delicious dishes?

 

Ingredients

(Serves 3 people)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in small pieces
  • 1 tsp Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 2 chillies, chopped into small pieces
  • 6 mushrooms, cut into pieces
  • 2 carrots, cut into fine sticks
  • 110g Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 1 lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • Handful of sprout soybeans
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 3 lemon grass sticks
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • fresh mint, Thai basil and coriander leaves

 

Method

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan.

2. Add the chicken cubes, stirring constantly, then add the fish sauce and the freshly squeezed lime juice and salt and black pepper.

3. Toss in the mushrooms and continue stirring on high heat.

4. Add the chillies, the carrots and the lemon grass and lower the heat to medium.

5. Add the red curry paste and mixing everything well add the coconut milk.

6. Add the sugar to taste.

7. Add the sprout soybeans and the fresh mint, Thai basil and coriander leaves.

8. Serve straight away with Basmati rice.

 

Mains

Meat Roll “Stephanie”

What a delightful perfection. It is indeed, not very humble of me, but I am really glad how easy and perfect this Meat Roll “Stephanie” has turned out to be. My mother used to make it for us at home when we were kids, and I must admit I have not tasted it ever since. Now, in a moment of inspiration, I have decided to prepare it as our lunch meal served with lettuce salad and what a delicious joy it has been.

My husband has enjoyed it even more. As a passionate cook himself, there are these moments in our family when he will recognise some of my culinary performances and will take my hand in his, kiss it gently saying “thank you for everything” and then he will shake it by saying “this meal has been a real triumph”.

Beautiful moments, intensely homy and intimate. A celebration of every day life and something delicious.

Who says that the love of the man does not go through the stomach?

 

Ingredients

  • 1 kg minced meat
  • onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 eggs, 1 egg white and 1 egg yolk
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 250ml milk
  • 4-6 small pickled cucumbers
  • 4 tbs freshly chopped parsley
  • 4 tbs freshly chopped chives
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

 

Method

1. Pour the milk in a bowl and dip inside one by one the bread slices soaking them well. Squeeze all liquid from the bread and tear them into small pieces.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, the minced meat, the chopped onion, the chopped parsley and chives one egg and one egg yoke, seasoning with salt and black pepper. Mix well until all is combined.

3. Cut the carrots on sticks and boil them until softened.

4. Boil 4 eggs for 10 minuten making sure they are heard inside. Peel the shells. Cut the pickled cucumbers into sticks.

4. Spread a square size baking paper on a flat surface and dust on top of it some flour. Place the already made minced meat mixture on top of the floured surface and flatten it down to resemble a rectangle. Place the four boiled and peeled eggs in the middle forming a line. Surround them from both sides lining the carrot and pickled cucumber sticks forming two lines from each side of the eggs.

5. Lifting the baking paper from one side fold the minced meat together into a roll with the eggs remaining in the centre.

6. Lift and place in a lined with baking sheet cooking form. Brush the surface of the roll with the egg white.

7. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Bake for one hour until the meat is nicely brown.

8. Serve while still warm, sliced into pieces.