Showing posts from January, 2011

Sunday cooking - meatballs!

Sunday is always a good day for cooking. When the chores are done, there is always a lull in the afternoon to plan and plot.

This evening I started with 700 grams of minced beef and the aim was to create different dishes to freeze so I can eat them during the week when life's a bit too busy to cook.

First beefball recipe:
Mix together
100 grams bacon, chopped
350 grams minced beef
1/2 onion chopped
1 tsbp plain flour

Form into balls and fry in a pan with heated 1 tsbp olive oil, until all browned. Add 100 ml of red wine and let is bubble for 2 minutes.
Add 200 grams chopped tomatoes (which is about half a tin)
Add salt & pepper to taste
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Then toss together with pasta.

Second beefball recipe:
Mix together
200 grams minced beef
Salt & pepper
1 tsp thyme, chopped

Clean 6 medium mushroom caps, remove stalks. Pick up a small ball and squeezed into each cap. Line the caps in a roasting pan. Dot each cap with soy sauce and some vegetable oil. Roast at 180 degrees Celcius for …

Make you own Gyoza

I love gyoza or Japanese dumplings. Since I found this recipe many years ago when I was a student in Cincinnati, Ohio, you can call these little darlings potstickers like the Americans do. So called because they stick to the bottom of the pot - you will find out why when you read the cooking instruction.


2 cups plain flour, will need more to make it more solid, plus extra for rolling
2/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup cold water
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Combine all and knead until smooth. Divide into 30 balls and roll each into a thin 2-inch circle.


500g pork
1 1/2 tsbp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsbp sherry
Dash of pepper
1 egg
1 1/2 tsbp cornstarch
1/2 inch finger of ginger, finely chopped

Mix all the ingredients together. Put a small dollop into each 2-inch dough circle, fold into half and pinch the semi-circular edges - I'll have to make a video of how I do this!

Now, put a small amount of oil in a flat bottomed pan, with lid. Arrange the potstickers at the bottom of t…

Music taught me a lot

I have loved music from a very young age. My papa used to play various cassettes when he was at home. He is a good singer too and I know his many songs such as Sinatra's 'My Way' and the one we call 'And I love you so'

I just checked that there are videos of Dan Mclean singing this on YouTube. And I know the first stanza by heart!

My father is also a brilliant musician. He has taught himself the guitar and
piano, and years later I found out that he can also play the saxophone. Better than me! Not that I was very good, but as a teenager I play the tenor saxophone almost every day.

One day I came home with my saxophone and he played it. He showed me all the vibrato and jazz techniques. I think I stared at him and wondered is this the father I knew! Shouldn't take anyone for granted; even your nearest and dearest.

I've always wanted to play a musical instrument, but they were too expensive for my parents to afford. So when at the secondary school welcome assembl…

Finding things out

It's good to have curiosity and the thirst to learn. That's how one finds out about things. It's quite important to instill in children not just facts, but also the desire to learn. When you keep learning, you keep your mind active.

I'm just saying that as now I have to find things out about Indonesian curry. There are many curry houses in Southsea, but mostly from the Indian subcontinent. Well, and the one Thai restaurant called Bangkok. Delicious food, by the way, if you are ever this way.

So I should look into Malaysian, Indonesian and other South East Asian curries.

Google it, Wiki it, read a book in the library or ask your auntie. Whatever the method, don't forget that there is a quest to collect family recipes and you can add yours at

Get searching and tell me about your regional dishes!

Happy New Year!

Well, a happy new year to you and I hope you and yours have had a very good festive season. I won't bother with resolutions this year, but I do have a few things I'm looking forward to.

For Christmas I was given a year long subscription to delicious. magazine and also Nigella's new book - Kitchen. So I shall be making some things from the pages of these. Already I have my eye on Nigella's teriyaki chicken recipe and some cauliflower curry from the pages of delicious. I'm not sure how much use I will have of the 1001 cocktails, but those half drunk bottles that have been lingering in the drinks cabinet may get to be used too.

Also a stay with my friend Jan has always inspired me to cook because she's so amazing in the kitchen. While we sleepily watched television, she cut apples and made crumbles. Wow! I should take inspiration from her industry and try to make pies like her.

I will write more about living and working in Southsea, one of the most vibrant neighbourh…