Monday, 20 July 2009

Arse-periment with Pumpkin

Step one: Get a whole pumpkin
Step two: Put it in the oven.
Step three: Eat tasty soups.

Well, kinda.

I read a cool recipe like this in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a few months back, and wanted to try it out. But I hadn't remembered it, so I made it up.

I sauteed leek and garlic in olive oil, with thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. While this cooked, I took the top off the little pumpkin (would have been less than 2k, just) and removed the seeds. There wasn't much room in there, so I scraped out some of the flesh and threw it in with the leeks. I added chicken stock to the leeks too, and warmed it. And there was a spare potato lying around, so that was thinly sliced and tossed in too.
I poured the stock mix into the shell, put the pumpkin on a tray, and put it in the oven for about 2 hours. It held up very nicely. Oozed a fair bit of sugar, which went black and sticky. I stirred it a fair bit. The liquid was never boiling, but was always warm. The flesh began to soften enough to scoop into the soup after about an hour.
The resulting soup was lumpy, sure, but quite tasty. I didn't feel like blending it. I threw some roughly chopped rocket over it for token green (and I have an absolute surfeit of paving rocket at the moment). It was nice with bread and butter.

I came back to the left overs about an hour later. The skin peeled back from the remaining flesh very easily. I sliced it into wedges, and scooped it into containers. I now have lots of tasty roast pumpkin flesh, and no idea what to do with it!

The original recipe is here, and I think I'd like to try this way next time. Sounds like a tasty soup too.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Waking up next to St. Stephany

Slavic blogfollow this Rob (I think the time difference works for you

Poached Eggs with yoghurt and garlic sauce

4 eggs
2 tbl butter
2 tbl parsley
3 cloves of garlic
pinch of salt
2 tbl chives
500g yoghurt

Pound garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle, mix with yoghurt and chopped chives.

Poach the eggs and drain on kitchen paper

Melt the butter and fry the parsley briefly in a frypan, pour over eggs and serve immediately.

Man its the ONLY way to wake up on sunday afternoon

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Morrocan student food - Kefta Mkaouara

Holly crap, I turn my back and all of a sudden there are MILLIONS of activity on my old dead blog...WTF

Anyway, its awesome. I just did my first dinner here (my friends are all drinkers and lovers not eaters and fighters). Cooked morocain, and im looking forward to cooking more for people here. Man I miss it.

Anyway, this is something that was described to me sitting on the floor of a carpet shop in Morocco as what he used to cook when he was a poor student. In the end I managed to have it for lunch on the side of a oasis in the desert watching arab kids jump from the palm trees into the pool.


Moroccan Meatball Tagine called Kefta Mkaouara or Kefta Mkawra. Well-seasoned meatballs are cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. Eggs are an optional but classic addition to the dish.


----- For the Kefta Meatballs -----
  • 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) ground beef or lamb (or a combination of the two)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped very fine
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot paprika (or 1/8 teaspoon ground hot pepper)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
----- For the Tomato Sauce -----
  • 2 lbs. (about 1 kg) fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or 1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ---------------------------------
  • 3 or 4 eggs (optional)

Start Cooking the Tomato Sauce

Peel, seed and chop the tomatoes OR cut the tomatoes in half, seed them and grate them.

Mix the tomatoes, onions (if using) and the rest of the sauce ingredients in the base of a tagine or in a large, deep skillet. Cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (Note: If using a tagine, place a diffuser between the tagine and burner, and allow 10 to 15 minutes for the tomato sauce to reach a simmer.)

Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low, just enough heat to maintain the simmer but low enough to avoid scorching. Allow the sauce to cook for 15 to 20 minutes before adding the meatballs.

Make the Kefta Meatballs

Combine all of the kefta ingredients, using your hands to knead in the spices and herbs. Shape the kefta mixture into very small meatballs the size of large cherries – about 3/4 inch in diameter.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce, along with a little water – 1/4 cup (60 ml) is usually sufficient – and cover. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.

Break the eggs over the top of the meatballs, and cover. Cook for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, until the egg whites are solid and the yolks are partially set. Serve immediately.

Kefta Mkaouara is traditionally served from the same dish in which it was prepared, with each person using crusty Moroccan bread for scooping up the meatballs from his own side of the dish.