Posted in American Cuisine, Barbecue, Beef Dishes, British Cuisine, Casseroles, Greek, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, Italian Cuisine, Mediterranean, Oven, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Turkish Cuisine

Basic Meatball / Burger Mixture

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This is a basic recipe that can be used to make all kinds of meatballs or burgers.  In Turkey we like our Köfte, which are meatballs flattened into small discs.  In Italian and Indian cooking I tend to roll the meatballs into small balls.  You can even put small cubes of cheese in the middle of the balls which are especially nice when cooked in a tomato sauce and served with spaghetti. This is my husband’s recipe which he learned from his mother.

Ingredients

500 g minced beef

1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs (if using freshly ground – only use half a cup if using fine breadcrumbs bought in the shop or it will be too dry)

1 egg

1 onion (finely grated)

1 tsp cumin

A pinch of thyme

Salt & pepper

A pinch of hot chilli flakes (optional)

Method

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hand.  Knead it for a good few minutes then form into a ball.

Now you can pull off small amounts to form into meatballs which you can freeze for later or cook straight away.  You can also divide up larger amounts to make burgers too.

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Posted in American Cuisine, British Cuisine, Cheese, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Snacks

Cheesy onion rings in breadcrumbs

What could be better than an onion ring? A cheesy onion ring!! I found this recipe on the Tasty app, and it was just as easy as they said.  The only tricky part was placing the cheese between the onion rings.  Also a good piece of advice is to have the window wide open if possible due to the fumes from the onion burning your eyes. Very quick to make but bear in mind there is an hour of freezing time involved, so better to prep in advance.

Ingredients

Medium to large sized onions (thickly sliced)

Slices of cheese

Flour

1-2 eggs (beaten)

Breadcrumbs

Oil (for frying)

**Measurements are not given as you will use as much as you need depending on how many you are making.

Method

First of all, you need to sort your sliced onions so that you have one ring that will fit inside another with a clear gap between them.

Now you need to cut your sliced cheese so that it fits between the two rings of onion.

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Next you need to place on a tray covered in baking paper and freeze for about an hour.

While you are waiting, set out a bowl of flour, a bowl with the beaten eggs and a bowl of breadcrumbs.

Once removed from the freezer, coat the ring first in flour, then in egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs.

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To cook, heat a pan of deep oil (I use vegetable or sunflower oil) over a high heat. Carefully place the rings into the oil using a slotted spoon.

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Allow to fry for a few minutes or until golden then remove onto some grease-proof paper.

Serve hot.

 

 

Posted in American Cuisine, British Cuisine, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, Mediterranean, Mexican, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Stir fry, Vegetarian

Perfect Rice

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Cooking rice can be rather hit or miss.  Either it can be bland, or puffy and over cooked, it isn’t as easy as you think.  But now I have a fool-proof recipe.  This recipe is based on 2 people so double amounts accordingly.

Ingredients

1 cup of rice (I use Jasmine)

2 cups of water

a pinch of salt

1 stock cube (chicken, meat or vegetable)

1 tbsp olive oil

Method

Put the olive oil, rice and salt in a flat bottom pan (as in the photo) and fry over a medium heat on the hob for about a minute stirring continuously.

Add the water and stir.

Cover pan with a lid and simmer over a low heat until all the water has evaporated (approx 20-25 minutes).

Serve hot.

**You can also add grated ginger or turmeric powder for added flavours.  Ginger goes nice with Chinese dishes, and the turmeric for Indian.

Left over rice can be chilled in the fridge over night and is then perfect for fried rice dishes.

 

Posted in American Cuisine, Cheese, Mexican, Oven, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Snacks

Doritos / Nacho Cheesy Bake

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This is a quick and easy dish to prepare.  It can be a side for any Mexican meal, on its own with dips, you can build more layers around edges and fill centre with Chilli Con Carne… many possibilities.

Ingredients

1 packet of Doritos corn chips or Nachos

A load of grated cheese (as much as you like)

1 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)

1 tsp mixed herbs (Thyme/Oregano)

Method

Preheat oven to 180°c.  In an oven-proof dish, put a layer of the crisps. Now sprinkle with grated cheese.  Repeat with another layer of crisps then cheese until whole packet of crisps has been used.  Finally cover with grated cheese.  Sprinke with herbs and chilli peppers as desired.

**If you plan to serve with Chilli Con Carne or a dip such as salsa in the centre, then after the first layer, place crisps around the edges to form a well in the centre.  You could also tower up in a pyramid shape too.

Place in the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and serve immediately.

 

 

Posted in American Cuisine, Barbecue, British Cuisine, No cooking involved, Quick and Easy, Side dishes, Vegetarian

Coleslaw

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Coleslaw is the perfect side for many dishes including Jacket Potatoes, Cheese Toasties and all kinds of salads. It is very easy to make and requires only 4 basic ingredients.  The quantities vary depending on how much you want to make, if it doesn’t seem enough just add a little bit more cabbage and carrot.  In Turkey, where I live, the size of cabbages vary from small to enormous, so adjust the ingredients accordingly.  In this recipe (and photo) I have used a small red cabbage as they are readily available all year round, but a regular green cabbage can be used too.

Ingredients

1 large onion (finely chopped)

1-2 large carrots (peeled and grated)

Approximately 1/4 of a small round cabbage (finely chopped)

2-3 large tbsps mayonnaise

Salt and pepper (to taste, as required)

Method

Place the grated carrots, chopped onion and cabbage in a bowl and mix.

Add the mayonnaise and again mix well to ensure all the vegetables are well mixed.

Add salt and pepper as required and serve.

Posted in American Cuisine, Cheese, Italian Cuisine, Mediterranean, Oven, spicy, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Pizza

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My favourite cuisine is definitely Italian and No 1 is Pizza… Here is a recipe to make the pizza dough, which should be enough for 4 small or 2 medium sized pizzas if  you like thin and crispy bases as we do.

Ingredients for the pizza dough

1 pkt dried yeast

1 1/4 cups of warm water

4 cups of flour

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp of sugar or honey

1/4 cup of milk

pinch of salt

Method for the pizza dough

Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the dried yeast in it, stir and wait for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, put the flour in large bowl, make a well in the centre, and add the olive oil, sugar or honey, milk and salt.

Add the yeast mixture to the bowl of flour and gently mix with a fork then form into a ball with your hands.

Flour a clean surface and place the ball of dough on top.

 **The dough will be very sticky, this is normal as more flour will be added during the kneading process.

Sprinkle more flour over the dough and start kneading, using your knuckles to push out as much air as possible.  I generally knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour to the surface/dough as needed to stop it from sticking.

Form dough into a ball shape and place in a large glass bowl.  It needs to be large as the dough will rise while it is proofing. Brush some olive oil over the top, this stops it from drying out and cracking. Cover the bowl with cling film (stretch film) and leave for at least an hour to proof.

Remove from bowl onto a floured surface and knead for another minute.  Break into 2 or 4 even balls (depending on size of pizzas you are making. and using a rolling pin roll them out to desired thickness.

Place on grease-proof paper on a baking tray. Fold around the edges to form a rim. If desired you can egg-wash the rim and sprinkle sesame seeds around the edges.

Ingredients for the pizza sauce

2 or 3 heaped tbsps tomato pureé

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp olive oil

A little water

1 tsp hot sauce (optional)

Method for the pizza sauce

Mix the tomato pureé, basil and olive oil in a small bowl.  Slowly add water until you have a smooth sauce, not too thin and runny.  There is nothing I hate more than tomato puree just being slapped straight on pizza dough.

Spread the sauce using the back of a spoon over the dough.

Decorate

Cover your pizza with grated cheese then decorate with desired toppings. Here are a few suggestions;

red and green peppers,

pepperoni,

tuna and sweetcorn,

ham and pineapple,

chicken…

…there are many more, it’s up to you.

Place in a pre-heated oven at 200 °c for 12 – 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and topping is golden.  You can switch to grill for last couple of minutes but be careful as the pizza can burn very quickly, and nobody likes burnt pizza!!

Suggestions

You can also make garlic bread, and a variety of dips too…

 

Posted in American Cuisine, Biscuits & Cookies, Quick and Easy

American Cookies

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These cookies are like those huge ones you get in the coffee shop…

Ingredients

250g All purpose flour

1 pkt Baking soda (5mg)

170g Melted butter

220g Brown sugar

100g White sugar

1 pkt vanilla essence (5mg)

1 egg

1 egg yolk

100g Chocolate chips (use more if you wish)

A pinch of salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 165c and prepare the baking trays by either lining with grease proof paper or greasing with butter.

In a bowl sift the flour and the baking soda then add the pinch of salt and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter, brown and white sugar.  Then beat in the vanilla and egg and the egg yolk until light and creamy.

Slowly add the flour and keep mixing until well combined.

Add the chocolate chips and fold in evenly.

Put about a large spoon of cookie dough on the tray.  Make sure to leave about 3 inches between as they do spread out. (I cooked 4 at a time).

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until crispy on the edges.  Do not worry if they don’t look cooked in the middle, they will soon harden up.  If you leave too much longer they will resemble bricks.

Once you remove from the oven, leave on tray for 5-10 minutes (otherwise they may break when lifted), then move to a wire rack to cool.

Suggestions

Warm slightly and add a large dollop of ice cream.

Try mixing in 2 teaspoons of peanut butter and/or a dash of caramel syrup after the chocolate chips.  Make sure you mix well.