Monday, August 30, 2010

Yemista - stuffed vegtables

Yemista (yem-iss-ta) - stuffed vegtables

OK for this recipe i use good red capsicums, mainly because the red variety are sweeter than the green, but for this you can use a variety of vegetables, e.g. onions, tomatoes, eggplants and capsicums.. basically anything you can hollow out. 

Ingredients needed:

500g lean beef mince
2 cups short grain rice,
1 onion
1 clove of garlic or 1 teaspoon of the crushed kind
1 tin diced Italian tomato
1 teaspoon of: dried mint, oregano, parsley
a splash of Tabasco sauce (red kind)
5- 6 medium sized red capsicums
2 table spoons of tomato paste.

Utensils needed: 
A good sized non stick saucepan (to cook the filling) 
A good sized baking tray (with lid), big enough to stand the capsicums out.

Preparing the capsicums: Slice the tops of the capsicums off (about half a cm from the top) keep the tops as you will use these as lids later on. Once you have cut off the tops of the capsicums get a spoon and scrape out the white insides of the capsicums, remove any seeds from inside as well, usually this can be achieved by a quick rinse under old water. 

Preparing the filling:

*Heat a non stick saucepan till its hot, Add in the onions and garlic and Sauté, then slowly start adding the beef mince until brown.
*Now add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste with a little water (usually 1/2 a cup) and mix well.
add herbs and Tabasco sauce. and mix well.
* Add the rice and 1 cup of hot water and mix, i usually let the rice cook risotto style for 5 or so minutes before i take the mixture off the heat,
(now my mum usually adds 1 bay leaf and 3 cloves to the mixture but to be honest i cant be stuffed messing around trying to find these later on to take out, so i just dont bother (sorry mum))

* Place the capsicums upright in the oven tray, scoop the mixture evenly into the hollow capsicums, put the capsicum tops back on and place about 2cms of hot water in the bottom of the oven tray, cover with the lid and place in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes..

Cooking time could take longer, but you know they are done when you take the lid off one and the rice is cooked.

Serve with a good greek salad and some of the tzatziki mentioned below


My 15 Minute Boscaiola!

Ok this has to be one of the easiest and quickest things i cook. Great for a quick meal when i come home from work.

My 15 minute boscaiola

1 pack of any pasta you like
6-7 rashers of good bacon (the least fat the better) (for my Islamic friends, you can use chicken breast instead, just use chicken stock for the mushrooms)
2 cloves of garlic
10 button mushrooms or 4 flat mushrooms or 4-5 portobello mushrooms, (i prefer portobello)
1 pack of the ready to use beef or vegetable liquid stock (the small pack)
100g of good Parmesan cheese grated
2 tubs of the cooking cream (small containers with a green top its semi thick cooking cream so it doesn't curdle at the heat)
a handfull of fresh flat parsley to garnish

Put the water onto boil for the pasta,
*Get a good fry-pan or saucepan (non stick as always)  get it nice and hot, add a lug of good olive oil,
*throw in the crushed/diced garlic and the chopped bacon,
*once the bacon is semi cooked add in the mushrooms (sliced)
* once you see the mushrooms suck up the oil/moisture from the bacon add the stock
* once you added the stock let it simmer strongly and reduce the stock (let it evaporate)
* once more than half the stock has reduced add the cream and mix well, once its all mixed add half of the cheese.

*by the time the water should of boiled and the pasta should of cooked. (depending if you use fresh or dry).
*once the pasta is cooked drain the pasta under hot water and place the drained pasta back in the saucepan.

*pour the sauce from the frypan/smaller saucepan over the pasta and mix well.

* add the rest of the cheese and the fresh chopped parsley now and mix.

Serve with some good garlic bread and enjoy, this is good with an Italian white wine as-well.



Monday, August 16, 2010

Tzatziki - The Famous Greek Sauce/Dip

This is a really easy dip/sauce to make, once you get the method down-pact if wont take you more than 10 minutes to make.

Shopping List:
Garlic (can be fresh or crushed)
2 cucumbers (lebanese variety)
500g Greek Yogurt (i use chris's) 
1 Lemon
Good Olive Oil (anything from crete is good)
dried mint to garnish

Kitchen utensils needed:
grater (with large holes)
a sharp knife
mixing bowl 
butter knife
citrus juicer (or you can use your hands)
kitchen towel 


get a good mixing bowl, OR just use a container big enough to keep it all in,

  • peel the cucumbers
  • cut them in half and use either a butter knive or the back of a fork to scoop out all the seeds, (discard the seeds)
  • once your left with just the outside (the good part) of the cucmber get a teatowel and place it under a grater
  • grate the cucumber on the large holes
  • once its all grated and all the cucumber pieces are on the teatowl, bunch them up in the teatowl and use it to drain the water from the cucmber over a sink, you will be suprised how much water comes out of them,
  • once you have squeezed out as much water as you can place the cucmber back on a cutting board and give it a run through with a good knive (chop them up a little more)
  • once they are chopped add to the yogurt in the container,
  • next either add 1 clove of garlic chopped/diced OR 1 teaspoon of the stuff out of a jar
  • juice 1 lemon and add to the mix
  • drizzle with a good olive oil (this helps take out some of the acidity of the yogurt/lemon)
  • mix well 
  • sprinke some dried mint over the top to garnish and your finished.
Now simply place covered in the fridge and it can last up to a week (whatever the yogurt used says)
Personally i use tzatziki as a sauce on a variety of meats, aswell as a starter with some jatz or pita breads. 



Cider - Perfect For A Summers Day

Hi Guys,

Next time your looking for something different while browsing at your local bottle-O why not pick up a 4 pack of Monteiths Crushed apple cider.

Now your properly thinking, oh Ive had strongbow, I didn't like it.

But this cider is different, its made from sun ripened 100% new Zealand apples, which gives it its sparking white wine appearance (more clear/green rather then red like Bulmers).

Honestly 2 of my friends and I easily went through 4-5 jugs of the stuff within a hour during the KB's happy hour. 

For more info on this rising brewery check out \



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here you will find a collection of my favorite recipes, favorite beers and favorite wines.