Spicy Chicken Balls

Spicy Chicken Balls

If you are looking for something new, this recipe with minced chicken could easily become your next favorite. It works equally well as a main course with salad and potatoes, and as a delightful party snack. The chickpeas add taste and consistency, and the hot and spicy condiment, sambal oelek, brings added value. Chicken is actually the most common type of poultry in the world, and as a very versatile food it can be grilled, baked, roasted, deep-fried, breaded, skewered, or made into sausages. Chicken consumption rose during World War II due to a shortage of beef and pork, and it rose again in the 1990’s because of consumer awareness of risks associated with beef. When it comes to the nutritional value, the meat itself contains very little fat, because the fat is concentrated on the skin. When measured as weight percentage, chicken meat contains about two to three times as much polyunsaturated fat than most types of red meat.

Ingredients: 

400 g/ 14 oz chicken mince

1 can pre-cooked chickpeas

olive oil

1 onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp paprika powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp tomato puree

1-2 tsp sambal oelek chili paste

1 egg

Instructions: 

Rinse and drain the chickpeas, and puree them together with the minced chicken in a blender or a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

Saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion softens. Add the paprika powder and season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture cool down.

Add the sauteed onion and garlic into the chicken and chickpea mix and puree until the mixture is smooth. Combine with the pureed tomato and the sambal oelek paste. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Roll the mixture into balls (diameter 1.5 inch/ca. 4 cm). Fry the balls in a saucepan over a medium heat on all sides for about 5 minutes until they are golden. Turn occasionally. Remove all excess oil by placing them over a paper towel. Serve immediately with a refreshing salad and/or potatoes.

Spicy Chicken Balls

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Vegetarian Tex-Mex Casserole

Soy mince (or alternatively soy protein (TSP), soy meat, or soya chunks) is a product made out of textured vegetable protein. A versatile food, soy mince can be used in any recipe that calls for ground beef or any other type of minced meat, making the dish suitable for vegetarians and vegans and at the same time reducing fat and cholesterol. It is quick to cook with a protein content equal to that of meat. Soy mince needs to be flavored with seasonings and other ingredients, because it has very little flavor of its own. That also makes it very adaptable. Here, the soy is accompanied by the warmth of the pickled jalapenos and the spice mix, and combined with potato and zucchini.

Vegetarian Tex-Mex Casserole

Ingredients:

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

5 potatoes, thinly sliced

1 onion, sliced

3-5 cloves of garlic, minced

oil for frying

400 gr/ 14 oz soy mince

2-3 tbsp Tex-Mex spice mix (e.g. chili powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper, paprika powder)

500 gr/ 1 pound passata di pomodoro

1 can of peeled tomatoes

8-10 slices of pickled jalapenos, minced

150 gr/ 5 2/3 oz melting cheese, like mozzarella

Vegetarian Tex-Mex CasseroleInstructions: 

Boil the potato slices for a few minutes in salted water. Set them aside to cool down.

Saute the onion and minced garlic for a few minutes until the onion becomes golden. Add the soy mince and mix. Season with the Tex-Mex mix and the jalapenos and add the passata di pomodoro. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 15-20 minutes. If needed, add water. Check the taste.

Grease a baking dish. Arrange layers of potatoes, then zucchini, followed by the tomato and soy mince sauce. Sprinkle melting cheese on top. Bake in the oven, preheated to 200C/390F, for ca. 40 minutes. Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Vegetarian Tex-Mex Casserole

Pasta al forno

Pasta al forno

Fresh, dried, canned and frozen – peas are readily available in many shapes and forms, but only about 5% of the peas grown are sold fresh. Frozen peas are able to retain their color, texture and flavor, but they don’t have an unlimited shelf life. It is recommended that they are consumed within 6-12 months of the packing date. Overall,  frozen peas are recommended over canned peas. Peas are rich in potassium, phosphorus, protein and group B vitamins, and good quality peas can be recognized by their smooth, elastic and bright color. Green peas also stand out as an environmentally friendly food, because according to agricultural research, pea crops can provide the soil with important benefits. Green peas are perfect for numerous recipes, as side dishes e.g. with pancetta, and as an ingredient in pastas and risottos. Here, the peas provide a colorful and healthy addition to this Sicilian dish.

Ingredients: 

olive oil

1 onion, sliced

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

500 gr/1 lb lean minced beef

2-3 Italian sausages, casing removed

2.5 dl/ 1 cup red wine

500 gr/ 17 2/3 oz passata di pomodoro

200 gr/ 7 oz frozen peas

fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

150 gr/ 5 1/3 oz cheese, a combination of freshly grated Parmigiano and freshly grated smoked cheese

mezzi rigatoni pasta

Pasta al forno

Instructions: 

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion becomes golden. Add the minced meat and the sausages and continue frying. Pour the red wine in and let it evaporate. Add the passata di pomodoro, fresh parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Then reduce the heat, and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes. Add water if necessary. Add the frozen peas into the mixture and cook for another 20-30 minutes on a low heat. Once the sauce has thickened, take the pan off the heat.

Meanwhile, cook the mezzi rigatoni al dente in salted boiling water. After draining, mix the pasta with the sauce.

Add the freshly grated parmigiano cheese and the smoked cheese of your choice to the pasta mixture and mix thoroughly. Grease a deep oven tray with some olive oil. Bake in the oven, preheated to 180 C/ 355 F, for about 30-40 minutes. Let the pasta rest for a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle some parmigiano on top.

Pasta al forno

Ragù (Pasta bolognese)

Ragù (Pasta bolognese)

Pasta bolognese – or simply just ragù, like it is known in Italy – is a complex sauce which involves a variety of cooking techniques. There is plenty of room for creative interpretation, and it seems that every cook has their very own version. Common sources of differences include which meats to use (beef, pork or veal) and what form of tomato – and how much – is employed (fresh, canned or paste). Cooking liquids can also differ from broth to tomato juices, or from wine to milk. The simmering time of the sauce can also vary from one hour to five. The earliest documented ragù recipe hails from the Bologna region, and the first printed version appeared in 1891. Traditionally the Bolognese sauce is served with broad and flat pasta shapes, like tagliatelle or pappardelle, and sometimes with penne or rigatoni.

Ingredients: 

2 onions, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 celery sticks, finely chopped

500 gr/ 1 lb minced beef and pork

2 Italian sausages, casing removed

salt and pepper to taste

a pinch of chili powder

a pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated

250 ml/ 1 cup red wine

750 ml/ 3 1/3 cups (biological) passata di pomodoro

tagliatelle, pappardelle, or pasta of your choice

freshly ground Parmesan cheese

Ragù (Pasta bolognese)Instructions: 

Saute the finely chopped onions, carrots, and celery together with the minced garlic in a pan for about 10 minutes. Add the minced meat and the sausages and continue frying. Season with salt and pepper, and chili powder and freshly ground nutmeg and pour the red wine. Let the wine evaporate before adding the passata di pomodoro. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer on a very low heat for about 3 hours. Don’t forget to stir the sauce every 5 minutes, or when needed. Serve with tagliatelle or pappardelle, or some other pasta of your choice. Sprinkle freshly ground Parmesan cheese on top.

Polpette al forno

Kids just love meatballs… But how should you prepare them? What is actually better: frying in the pan or baking in the oven? Between the two, baking is actually the healthier option, because the process requires less fat. But there are disadvantages as well, because baking is definitely a slow cooking method and even preparing small quantities requires a lot of energy. But baked goods are generally speaking also very tasty – if cooked with accurate time, temperature and measured ingredients – because they cook in their own juices. These delicious Italian meatballs can be served with potatoes and a fresh salad. Alternatively you can serve them as a party snack.

Polpette al forno

Ingredients: 

500 gr/1 lb lean minced beef

2-3 Italian sausages, casing removed

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

50 gr/ 1 2/3 oz breadcrumbs

100 gr/ 3.5 oz freshly grated Parmigiano

fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

3 eggs

olive oil

Instructions: 

Remove the casing of the sausages. Mix the minced beef, the sausages, garlic, Parmigiano, the breadcrumbs and all the spices in a bowl. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Roll the mixture into balls (diameter 1.5 inch/ca. 4 cm). Set the balls into a lightly oiled baking dish and bake in the oven, preheated to 180C/355F, for 40 minutes or until the surface of the meatballs has browned. Serve the sizzlingly hot meatballs with potatoes and a salad of your choice.

Polpette al forno

Hamburger

Hamburger

The origin of the hamburger is unknown and we will perhaps never know with absolute certainty who was the first to combine two slices of bread and a steak of ground beef. What we do know, however, is that all the various inventors of this now global dish came up with the idea between 1885 and 1904. There are no written records, but only verbal statements supporting these different claims of invention. The birth of the burger is directly linked to the changing culinary needs of people who, due to the pressures of industrialization and rapidly transforming society, had less time to prepare their meals. The modern hamburger and fast food in general started to spread to countries outside the U.S. after World War II. You can have a burger everywhere in the world, but the best results are created at home, where you can control the preparation process and the freshness of the ingredients.

Ingredients: 

500 gr/ 1 lb minced beef

2 onions

145 gr/ 5 oz mushrooms

50 gr/ 1 2/3 oz Cheddar

lettuce

2 tomatoes, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

ketchup

500 grams/ 1 lb potatoes, sliced

Instructions: 

Burger: Prepare the burgers with your hands and season with salt and pepper. Fry in a pan over a very hot heat without any oil. Add a slice of Cheddar on top and let it melt.

Hamburger bread: Warm the bread in the oven for a few minutes.

Mushrooms: Fry the onions and mushrooms in a pan until the mushrooms release their juices.

French fries: Peel and slice the potatoes. Deep fry them in sunflower oil until the fries become golden.

Hamburger

Capunet di cavolo verza

Capunet di cavolo verza

Cabbage is a true superfood and contains fiber, vitamins A, C, K and B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, folate and potassium. Green veggies are also low in calories, and are therefore ideal for weight management. According to one study, by increasing your daily green leafy vegetables intake you could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11 percent. This recipe comes from Northern Italy’s Piedmont region, which is mainly known for agriculture. Poor farmers used in the kitchen everything they had, and never threw anything away. Therefore these Savoy cabbage rolls can be filled practically with anything. When purchasing cabbage, try to avoid pre-cut or preshredded cabbage because of their greatly diminished vitamin content. Peak season for most cabbages runs from November through April.

Ingredients:

1 Savoy cabbage

300 gr/10 oz minced meat

100 gr/3.5 oz rice

salt and pepper to taste

freshly grated nutmeg

100 gr/3.5 oz grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

2.5 dl/1 cup strong beef stock

Instructions: 

Rinse the Savoy cabbage leaves and soak them in salted boiling water for a few minutes until the leaves soften. Set the cabbage leaves aside.

Cook the rice in salted boiling water according to the instructions on the package. Fry the minced meat in a pan and season with salt and pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg. Combine the minced meat together with the rice and add the grated Parmesan cheese and egg. Mix well.

With the help of a spoon, put some minced meat and rice filling in the middle of each cabbage leaf. Wrap the leaves shut and put them one by one into a baking dish that has been greased lightly with olive oil. Drizzle some olive oil on the surface and bake in the oven, preheated to 180 C/355 F, for 45 minutes. Prepare the very strong beef stock and pour 2-3 tablespoonfuls over the cabbage rolls once every 10 minutes.

Capunet di cavolo verza