Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kefta Bil Tahini

This is comfort food for me that reminds me of my childhood. It could probably be compared to ‘rissoles and mash’ if it had to be but it tastes much much better!

This translates to Kefta with tahinin; kefta being a mince meat ball (also known as kofta in other cultures)

It is a very simple dish, the only tricky part being making the tahini sauce, but if you follow the instructions, it should be fine. Serve with steamed basmati rice and a salad.

Sorry i dont have a photo fo the served product - we were all too hungry to wait for a photo!

Kefta bil tahini (serves 4)


500 grams mince meat (lamb or beef)
1 onion, diced
1 tomato, finely diced
Bunch of parsley, diced
1 egg
Cumin, coriander, mixed spice
Splash of Tomato sauce
Mixed spices, salt and pepper to taste

Tahini sauce

2-3 tablespoons of tahini
Juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste
Salt, pepper
3 Potatoes, sliced 1cm thick
1 onion, sliced thinly

For the kefta, mix all ingredients with your hands, adding enough breadcrumbs to make the mixture hold shape. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to give it more hold. When ready to grill, preheat grill to 180C and roll the mixture into balls (about 2 tablespoons worth per ball). Flatten slightly and grill on both sides until cooked.

For the tahini sauce, put the tahini in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of water and beat into the tahini well, until it stops being lumpy and forms a smooth paste. Add another table spoon of water and do the same thing. If you skip this step, when you add the rest of the water, the tahini will coagulate and form a lumpy mess. Add the lemon juice, mix well and then add about 1L of water, stirring well to for a nice sauce.

Arrange the potato slices on the bottom of an oven proof dish (such as a lasagne dish). Top with sliced onion and cooked kefta. Pour sauce over and make sure it covers most of the kefta. if it doesnt, add more water.

Put into an oven at 180C for about 30 minutes (covered with foil), or until the liquid is bubbling and it smells good.

Serve on rice


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why the Italians invented pasta machines...

They only cost around 30 dollars. So why didn't I get one?

Oh no, I really want to make pasta from scratch. What was I thinking?

After having a lovely pea and parmasen ravioli at Ladro a few months back, I couldnt get it out of my mind. I had to make it for myself! And luckily, the recipe was online at the Gourmet Traveller website!

Apparently there are ravioli cutters too. All this would have made my life much easier. It was actually a rather easy recipe, apart from the actual rolling of the dough and filling the ravioli. My problem lies in the fact that i dont have a very good rolling pin, and i couldnt roll it thin enough. Also, I ate too much of the filling while I was making it and so made myself sick of it before dinner even arrived. Sigh

Having said all that, after serving it with a butter and sage sauce, my husband had nothing but praise for it. I couldnt enjoy it. I think there is still a bag of it in the freezer.

You win some, you lose some.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I was first introduced to Pissaladiere by a French friend who brought some to a picnic. I was hooked! What is there not to like in a pizza which is covered in slow cooked onions, anchovies and olives? (I may have eaten much more than my fair share that day!) While travelling in France we came across it in the bakeries in Nice, and dragged ourselves away from their baguettes long enough to purchase a few in our travels.

So, I decided one Saturday that I had to make some myself. I didnt have a set recipe (which is what i do all the time), i knew the topping was basically slowly cooked onion with some thyme, salt and pepper and then topped with the anchovies and olives. For the base i used a recipe from Maggie Beers massive cook book for flat bread. The base can also be a shortcrust style pastry, depending on your mood. As I begun though I noticed I only had spelt flour so it became a spelt based pizza. This was not a problem in itself though it was a bit more difficult to knead and I had to call in the master kneader (Nathan) to finish it off for me.

And the result? Fantastic! The spelt probably made the base heavier but this wasnt a problem at all, with it being crispy and chewy and a perfect base for the onions. i had too much dough and not enough onions so one pizza ended up with an olive oil, garlic and rosemary topping which we ate straight out of the oven with more oil drizzled over it. mmmm