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


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.


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)


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.

Posted in Beef Dishes, Cheese, Greek, Mediterranean, Oven



Traditionally, Moussaka is made with minced lamb, but this is rare and expensive where I live so I have altered the recipe slightly using beef instead of lamb… still taste delicious.


Olive oil (for frying)

3 medium aubergines

1 medium onion (chopped)

500g minced meat

2 cloves of garlic (crushed)

a handful of sliced mushrooms (optional)

salt and pepper (as preferred)

Grated cheese for topping

Tomato Sauce  (you can also use ready made – 1 tin)

4 medium tomatoes

1 green pepper

1/2 red pepper

1 tbsp tomato pure

1 tsp dried oregano

Cheese Sauce

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp flour

approx 500 ml milk

1 tsp chives

A large handful of grated cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


Slice the aubergines (approx 1/4 of an inch thick) then brush with olive oil on both sides, place on a baking tray and grill until golden.  Turn and repeat with the other side.

In a frying pan, fry the chopped onion and garlic in olive oil then add the minced meat and fry, stirring now and then until meat is no longer pink.  Add the mushrooms (if using) and fry for a few minutes more.

In a food processor (if not using a ready made tomato sauce), put in roughly chop tomatoes and peppers, the tomato puree and oregano.  Blend together until you have a smooth tomato sauce.

Add the sauce to the frying pan with the minced meat and stir a few minutes then set aside.

For the cheese sauce, take a saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat and then stir in the flour until well combined.  Slowly add milk, stirring continuously over a medium heat until it begins to boil.  Turn down and simmer for a few minutes.  Remove from heat and add the grated cheese and chives.

Now to put it all together.  In an oven dish, place half of the sliced aubergines over the base.  Pour over the minced meat and level out.  Now place another layer of aubergines then cover with the cheese sauce.  Finally to top it off, sprinkle finely grated cheese over the sauce.  Bake in the oven at 180c for 40-45 minutes or until golden.

Serve with a green salad.



Posted in Beef Dishes, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine

Thai Beef Curry


Nothing like a nice tangy curry on a chilly evening.  The thing I love about curry is you can basically throw any left over vegetables in it.  So if you have any carrots, spinach or the like, don’t be afraid to throw them in too.  And for those vegetarians of you out there, just leave out the beef and replace with your favourite vegetables.


500g Beef (cut in thin strips)

1 large onion (chopped)

1 Green Bell Pepper (cut in strips)

1 Red Bell Pepper (cut in strips)

1 Yellow Bell Pepper (cut in strips)

A few mushrooms (sliced)

1 small tin pineapple pieces

2-3 Spring onions (roughly chopped)

A handful of fresh corriander (chopped)

1 tsp cumin (ground)

Salt and pepper (as preferred)

About 3-4 teaspoons Thai curry paste (Green or Red)

About half a glass of white wine

3 tbsp double cream

About 125 ml milk

1-2 tbsps flour

1-2 tbsps Olive oil


Fry the beef strips in olive oil, turning until browned. Add one of the teaspoons of curry paste and mix with the beef, then remove to a seperate bowl.

Fry the onions and peppers.  After a few minutes add the mushrooms, spring onions, pineapple and corriander. Return the beef to the pan.

Now add the remainer of the curry paste, the cumin and flour and stir for almost a minute until flour has disappeared.  Pour in the wine and let it simmer for a few minutes, stirring occaisionally.  Now add the milk and cream and cook for a few minutes, until it starts to bubble then turn down on low to simmer so that the juices reduce to leave a thick creamy sauce.  Salt and pepper as preferred.


Serve with either Basmati or Jasmine rice.

Also try my recipes for onion bahji and naan bread.




Posted in American Cuisine, Beef Dishes, British Cuisine, Casseroles, Potato Dishes, Uncategorized

Beef Stew (second variety)



450 g (1/2 kilo) diced beef

1 tbsp olive oil

2 beef stock cubes (I used oxo)

750 ml boiling water

2 tsp mixed herbs (I used rosemary/thyme and oregano)

2 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)

3 carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 leeks (white part) cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tsps cornstarch

2 tsps cold water

2 tbsp gravy granules


Brown off the beef in the oil for 4-5 minutes or until brown.

Put the beef into a stew pot (I am using a deep terracotta pot).  Mix the stock cubes with the hot water and pour over the beef. Add the herbs then cover and cook at  about 180 c in the oven for about an hour.

Stir potatoes, carrots and leek into the pot.

Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tsps of cold water and stir into the stew.

Cover and simmer 1 hour more.

Mix the gravy granules in a bowl with some of the juice from the stew then re add to stew and cook a further 20-30 minutes.


Posted in Beef Dishes, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine

Fiery Meatball and Vegetable Curry

photo (1)


For the meatballs

1/2 kilo minced beef

1 onion, finely grated

3 cups of breadcrumbs

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 tsp thyme (or oregano)

*Small cubes of cheddar cheese (optional)

For the curry

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 red pepper, chopped

1 tsp ginger, grated

1 courgette (zucchini), cut into cubes

1 aubergine (eggplant), cut into cubes

3 or 4 hot fiery peppers (I used cin bibers), pierced

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsps garam masala curry powder

1 tbsp flour

2 tsps red curry paste

salt and pepper

400 ml water

4 tbsps of olive oil


For the meatballs

Put all the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and knead well.

Break off bits of the mixture (size approximately same as an egg) and roll into balls.

*I like to put small cubes of cheddar cheese in the centre of the meat balls, but this is optional.

For the curry

Heat oil in a large saucepan then add the onions, garlic, ginger and red peppers and fry for a few minutes.

Add the courgette, aubergine and fiery peppers and continue to fry for a few more minutes.

Next add the coriander, cumin, pepper flakes, garam masala and flour, stir well and cook for 1 minute.

Put in the curry paste and water and stir really well.  Salt and pepper as required and then place required number of meatballs in to the curry (I used 8).  Turn down to a low heat, partially cover with a lid and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Serve with basmati rice and naan bread.

**note…  the meatball recipe is using 2 eggs to hold them together better when cooking them in a sauce.   If making for only frying then only 1 egg is needed.


Posted in Beef Dishes, Cheese, Italian Cuisine, Pasta, Quick and Easy

Peppered Salami and Sausage Rigatoni


Today I wanted to eat pasta but was bored with the same old style.  So I pulled some stuff out of the fridge and this is what I came up with.  It not only tasted good with a slight peppery tang, but I was able to use up some odds and ends from the fridge.  Served 2 so adapt for more people.


Rigatoni pasta (small tubes of pasta)

3 hot dog sausages (sliced into small pieces)

2 slices of peppered salami (cut into squares)

2 small chilli peppers (finely chopped)

½ red pepper (chopped)

3 spring onions (chopped)

5 cherry tomatoes (quartered)

Worcestershire Sauce

½ tsp olive paste

1 tsp pepper paste

2 tsps pesto (basil sauce)

3-4 tbsps water

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

A few cubes of strong white cheese

2 tsps parmesan cheese (to sprinkle over the top)



Put the pasta (however much you like – I used half a box for 2 people) into a pan of boiling water.

Fry the sausages in a little olive oil until slightly browned.  Then add the peppered ham and chilli peppers.  Cook for a few more minutes on a medium-low heat then remove from the frying pan to a seperate dish.


In the same frying pan (without cleaning it) add a little more olive oil and fry the red peppers and spring onions then add to the sausages.  Now fry the tomatoes.  Add a dash of Worcestershire Sauce.

photo2  photo4

Now add the olive paste, pepper paste and pesto and stir in.  Add the water (you may need more depending on the consistency).


Return the sausage and ham back into the frying pan and mix well.

Allow it to simmer on a low heat until the pasta is ready.  Salt and pepper as you like.

When pasta is ready strain it well and return to the saucepan.

Add the sauce to the saucepan and stir well.

Pour into large bowls and decorate with the small cubes of cheese and the grated parmesan.


Posted in Beef Dishes, Mexican, Rice

Enchilada Rice



1 cup uncooked rice

500g minced meat

1 onion (chopped)

1 red pepper (chopped)

4 or 5 hot chilli peppers (optional)

½ tsp chilli powder

¼ tsp cumin

¼ cup cream

2 cups enchilada sauce

1 cup grated cheese (divided into 2)

Sliced black olives (optional)

1 cup (pre-rinsed) red kidney beans (other beans can be used also)

½ cup spring onions (sliced)

½ tsp oregano (optional)



Cook rice (as you normally would).

While rice is cooking, brown minced meat in a large pan (I used a wok), with the onions and red (and chilli) peppers.

In a bowl, stir cream and enchilada sauce, half the cheese ( ½ cup), olives and beans and set aside.

When the minced meat is cooked, drain any excess oil, add chilli powder, cumin and oregano (if using).  Stir on a low heat for about 1 minute.

Stir in enchilada mixture and the rice.  Continue stirring until warmed through.

Decorate by sprinkling the remaining cheese and the spring onions.

Cover pan for about 1 minute to allow cheese to melt.

Serve immediately with tortilla wraps.

For home made enchilada sauce recipe please check my blog.