Saturday, June 13, 2020

Week 24: Tortillas Torte

The Recipe
(Serves 5-6 people)
6 tortillas
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
250g minced meat (I used beef, but it could be any - can also be substituted for a can of kidney or chili beans for a vegetarian version)
1 (14oz) can tomatoes
1 (14oz) can beans
1 bell pepper
~75g rocket salad or spinach
~240g corn
Cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
A dash of cinnamon
~150g shredded cheese
Garnishes: Avocado, salsa, sour cream

Heat the oven to 200C.

Chop onion and garlic. Cut bell pepper into bite sized pieces.

Optional: In a pan, heat a bit of oil and once it's hot cook each tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side, until it starts to puff up and become crisp. This step can be omitted.

Heat a bit of oil in a pot and cook garlic, onion, cumin and cayenne pepper until fragrant. Add meat and cook until just browned.
Add tomatoes, beans and bell pepper and leave to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Add more spices according to taste. Turn off heat, but leave the pot on the element - add corn and salad / spinach and stir for a few minutes until the salad is wilted.

Coat a springform with oil or line a cake form with foil and start assembling the torte - alternating layers of tortillas, sauce and cheese, ending with sauce and cheese. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for another 10 minutes.

Serve with avocado, salsa and sour cream.

The Verdict
Quite a lot of work, but very fancy-looking!!! I'm not sure it tasted all that much better than regular tortillas, but it certainly looked good. Too much work for an every-day meal, but definitely good for a special occasion :D

Week 23: Cabonara ala Lucy

The Recipe
125g thick-cut bacon
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp butter
2 tbsp white wine
2 eggs
~½ cup parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper
Assorted vegetables (mushrooms, bell pepper, tomatoes - whatever strikes your fancy)

In a pot, cook spaghetti for two.

Meanwhile, cut the bacon into small squares and cut up any vegetables you might decide to use.

Melt butter/oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the garlic for a few minutes until golden. Remove and discard the garlic.
Cook the bacon in the garlicky butter. When almost done, add the vegetables and give them a quick fry-up. Add wine and simmer for a few minutes to reduce.

In a bowl, mix together eggs, cheese, salt, pepper and any other spices you want to add. Once the spaghetti is done, stir in the egg mix and allow the heat from the pasta to cook the egg.
Stir in the bacon and vegetables and serve.

The Verdict
Well, cabonara is ALWAYS worth cooking in my books, but honestly, I like my usual recipe better, and it's not that different, so I probably won't bother with this one again.

Week 22: Roasted Mushrooms

The Recipe
(Serves 1)
100-150g Mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter

The trick here is to get the mushrooms completely dry before roasting them, so do NOT rinse them - if they're dirty, pat them with a moist paper towel, to get the dirt off, but do not wash them.

Cut them into bite sized pieces (I quartered mine) and place them on a paper towel to dry. I think I left mine for half an hour or so.

Get out a large pan and add olive oil and butter - enough to coat the entire pan. Turn the heat up high and wait until the butter stops foaming and it's REALLY hot.

Add the mushrooms, taking care not to crowd them. If you have too many mushrooms, cook them in batches rather than risking crowding the pan.

Let them sit for awhile and soak up the oils - the pan will get dry which is fine - don't add more oil, but turn the heat down a bit if they start to smoke. When they start to get brown, shake the pan to get them to brown evenly.

They're done when they're brown all over and seem crispy. Season with pepper and serve.

The Verdict
REALLY good! I never knew not to wash mushrooms before, but it really makes a difference. I think I possibly added a tad too much oil/butter, so they weren't all that crispy, but they still tasted a LOT better than the mushrooms I usually make :-D