Swedish Meatballs with Potato Salad

Ah, the infamous Swedish meatballs. I always pick a packet of frozen Swedish meatballs when I’m in Ikea but they are also quite easy to make at home. The only tricky thing is finding Lingonberries in Scotland, which are used traditionally to make the sauce that goes with the meatballs. I used cranberries instead as they are similar in taste and also widely available and easy to find in winter.

Swedish Meatballs with Potato Salad

 

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Sadly the photo is mine as we ate it all before I could take a good picture. Image from original recipe: http://www.menumag.bg/recepta/kyuftenca-s-cherveni-borovinki

 

 

Prep time & cooking: 45 minutes;

Serves: 3-4;

Difficulty: Easy;

Perfect for: A simple midweek meal;

Ingredients

  • 120 ml double (or single) cream;
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs;
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper;
  • A pinch ground allspice;
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard;
  • 500g beef mince;
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil;
  • 1/2 onion – finely chopped;
  • 500g beef mince;
  • 1 egg;
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.

For the potato salad

  • 500g potatoes;
  • 1/2 red onion – diced;
  •  2 tbsp parsley – finely chopped;
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard;
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar;
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil.

For the sauce

  • 200g lingonberries or cranberries (fresh or frozen);
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar;
  • 2 tbsp red wine.

Method

  1. Mix the cream with the breadcrumbs, black pepper, allspice and dijon mustard and leave for about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile,  melt the butter in a medium/large pan and cook the onion until soft. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Mix the mince with the cream mix, the egg, onion and salt to taste. Form small meatballs, about the size of a walnut. Cover and leave to chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes while you boil the potatoes.
  4. Heat the oven to 180C (Fan). While the potatoes are boiling, heat the oil in the same pan you cooked the onion. When the oil is hot, brown the meatballs for a few minutes on each side (they don’t have to be cooked through). You might have to do this in batches. Transfer the browned meatballs to a shallow baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Mix half the lingonberries (cranberries) with the sugar and wine and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring all the time. If you are using lingonberries, take off the heat, add the remaining berries and mix well. If you are using cranberries, add the remaining berries and cook for 2 more minutes while stirring. Take off the heat and keep warm.
  6. When the potatoes are boiled, take off the heat and cool slightly. Peel the potatoes while still warm. Roughly chop the potatoes and mix with the remaining salad ingredients.
  7. Serve the meatballs with the warm potato salad and the lingonberry sauce.

This recipe has been adapted from the Bulgarian magazine “Menu”, issue from January 2013. The original recipe (in Bulgarian) is available here.

Prawn & Coconut Curry and bonus Masala curry paste recipe

A chilly and wet wintery night in Scotland calls for something with a bit of heat. I also often cook when I get home after work, which is why I usually look for easy and quick recipes which are tasty, fresh and healthy. Tonight I made this delicious Prawn & Coconut Curry which I slightly adapted from Olive magazine (December 2011).

Prawn & Coconut Curry

Serves 2 | Prep 10 minutes | Cooking 20 minutes
Easy | Gluten and Dairy Free

Prawn Curry 1

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil;
  • 1 onion, chopped;
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced;
  • 1 green chilli, sliced;
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds;
  • 2 tbsp masala curry paste (I’ve added a simple recipe at the end if you want to make your own);
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut;
  • 400g tin chopped (or cherry) tomatoes;
  • 200g large raw peeled prawns;
  • a bit of chopped coriander, to serve.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion, garlic, half the green chilli, and mustard seeds. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until the everything has softened and the seeds begin to pop. Add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and coconut. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened and then add the prawns. Cook until they turn opaque, about 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining chilli and the coriander and serve with rice or naan bread (or both!)

Recipe adapted from “Prawns with mustard seeds and coconut”, Olive magazine (December 2011)

Bonus recipe: Indian Masala Curry Paste

  1. Place 2 tsp black mustard seeds in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook for 1 minute or until seeds start to pop. Add 2 tsp black peppercorns1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander2 tsp garam masala2 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. Cook for a couple of minutes or until fragrant. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Place the spice mixture in a food processor. Add 1 tsp hot chilli powder3 crushed garlic cloves, chopped 3cm piece of fresh ginger, 1/4 (60ml) cup malt vinegar2 tbsp vegetable oil. Process until a smooth paste is formed. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

This will give you plenty for the curry above and enough for a couple of more curries!

Prawn & Coconut Curry

A chilly and wet wintery night in Scotland calls for something with a bit of heat. I also often cook when I get home after work, which is why I usually look for easy and quick recipes which are tasty, fresh and healthy. Tonight I made this delicious Prawn & Coconut Curry which I slightly adapted from Olive magazine (December 2011).

Prawn & Coconut Curry

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Prawn & Coconut Curry

Prep Time: 10 minutes;

Cook Time: 20 minutes;

Serves: 2;

Difficulty: Easy;

Perfect for: A quick midweek meal

Suitable for: Pescatarian diet, Gluten-free, Lactose-free.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil;
  • 1 onion, chopped;
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced;
  • 1 green chilli, sliced;
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds;
  • 2 tbsp masala curry paste (I’ve added a simple recipe at the end if you want to make your own);
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut;
  • 400g tin chopped (or cherry) tomatoes;
  • 200g large raw peeled prawns;
  • a bit of chopped coriander (for garnish).

Method

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion, garlic, half the green chilli, and mustard seeds. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until the everything has softened and the seeds begin to pop. Add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and coconut. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened and then add the prawns. Cook until they turn opaque, about 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining chilli and the coriander and serve with rice or naan bread (or both!)

Recipe adapted from “Prawns with mustard seeds and coconut”, Olive magazine (December 2011)

Bonus recipe: Indian Masala Curry Paste

  1. Place 2 tsp black mustard seeds in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook for 1 minute or until seeds start to pop. Add 2 tsp black peppercorns1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander2 tsp garam masala2 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. Cook for a couple of minutes or until fragrant. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Place the spice mixture in a food processor. Add 1 tsp hot chilli powder3 crushed garlic cloves, chopped 3cm piece of fresh ginger, 1/4 (60ml) cup malt vinegar2 tbsp vegetable oil. Process until a smooth paste is formed. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

This will give you plenty for the curry above and enough for a couple of more curries!

Apple & Blackberry Cake

I love Autumn. I love it for its colours, flavours and comfort. It’s the season of spice, warm jumpers and Halloween. Most importantly it’s a season which inspires comfort food with fantastic flavour combinations. Squash and goat’s cheese, pears and wine, apples and blackberries… So what’s not to love?! And even though autumn is now gone… I thought I’d share this fantastic BBC Good Food recipe which combines some my favourite fruits to use this season, which also continue to be available throughout winter.

Granted, these days you can get almost every ingredient any day – in season and out of season. But I’ve always been an advocate of seasonal cooking and taking advantage of what’s in season. Today, I want to share this fantastic, simple cake I found in BBC GoodFood magazine. I loved it because it was no-fuss, really simple to make and perfect for a nice chilled Sunday. If you bake often like I do, you might find that you have most of the ingredients (maybe minus the fruit) at home already so it is not an expensive bake either!

Apple & Blackberry Cake

Prep time: 15 mins;

Cook time: 50 mins.

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty: Easy

Perfect for: a no-fuss afternoon tea treat.

Suitable for: Vegetarians, gluten-free if you substitute the flour for a Gluten-Free self-raising flour (available in most supermarkets)

Ingredients

  • 125g Softened Butter;
  • 125g caster sugar;
  • 3 large eggs;
  • 50g ground almonds;
  • 100g self-raising flour;
  • 2 Apples (I used Cox’s, but original recipe calls for Discovery, Russet or Worcester);
  • 100g blackberries

For the topping:

  • Large pinch cinnamon;
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar;
  • 25g butter, cut into small flakes
  • 25g peeled and toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped (toast for a few minutes in a dry pan) – optional
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Butter a 22cm round loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Beat the butter and caster sugar together in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy. Gradually pour in and beat the eggs, a little at a time, until you have used two-thirds, adding flour if it curdles. Fold in the remaining egg, the ground almonds and finally the flour, and combine everything gently.
  2. Add two-thirds of the apples to the cake mixture and all the blackberries. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly. Scatter the remaining apples over the surface of the cake. For the topping, sprinkle over the cinnamon, demerara sugar and butter. Bake for 50-55 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and scatter on the toasted hazelnuts. When the cake is cool, dust lightly with icing sugar.

Original recipe at https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2412648/blackberry-and-apple-cake

~Em