What to do with Christmas Leftovers

We can all agree that Christmas Day’s feast is delicious, but that doesn’t mean you have to live it all over again on Boxing Day. Here are some great ideas for sprucing up leftover ham, chicken and turkey to create new and exciting meals the whole family will enjoy.

Ham and Potato Cakes with Rocket Pesto

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Source: delicious. – January 2012 , Page 168. Recipe by Jessica Brook & Phoebe Wood.

Get creative with your festive leftovers to make these vibrant ham and potato cakes.

6 Servings

Ingredients

800g desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 egg, lightly beaten
150g leftover Christmas ham, roughly torn
2 tablespoons plain flour
Sunflower oil, to shallow-fry
1 bunch rocket
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
1 preserved lemon quarter, flesh and white pith removed, rind finely chopped

Wild rocket pesto
60g wild rocket
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped chives
Juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges to serve
100ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

Step 1
Place potato in a saucepan of cold, salted water, bring to the boil, then cook over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain and cool.

Step 2
Meanwhile, for the pesto, place rocket, pine nuts, chives and lemon juice in a small food processor and whiz to combine. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream until a coarse pesto. Season and set aside.

Step 3
Transfer the potato to a bowl and roughly mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the mustard, chives and beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Fold through the ham. With damp hands, form the potato mixture into 18 even patties, about 2cm thick. Lightly dust in flour.

Step 4
Add 2cm oil to a frypan and place over medium heat. In batches, cook potato cakes for 2 minutes each side or until golden and warmed through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Step 5
Toss the rocket with the pine nuts and preserved lemon rind, then serve with potato cakes, rocket pesto and lemon wedges.

Shredded Turkey Burritos

shredded-turkey-burritos-13537_l

Source: Super Food Ideas – December 2007 , Page 21. Recipe by Liz Macri.

Makes 12

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeño chillies
2 teaspoons ground coriander
400g can diced tomatoes
420g can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 3/4 cups shredded cooked turkey (see note)
12 burrito tortillas
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
3/4 cup grated tasty cheese
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves

Method

Step 1
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until soft. Add chillies and ground coriander. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add tomatoes and beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Add turkey. Simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through.

Step 2
Meanwhile, heat tortillas according to packet directions. Place on a flat surface. Spread each tortilla with 2 teaspoons sour cream. Place lettuce, turkey mixture, cheese and coriander leaves along centre of each tortilla. Roll up tightly to enclose filling. Serve.

Fruity Turkey Tagine

fruity-turkey-tagine

Source: Good Food magazine, November 2014

Freshen up Christmas leftovers of turkey, carrots and parsnips with ras el hanout in this sweet and spicy Moroccan stew.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, thickly sliced
3 carrots, thickly sliced on the diagonal
3 parsnips, thickly sliced on the diagonal
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ras el hanout (common North African spice, available at major supermarkets)
500ml turkey or chicken stock
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
140g mixture of dried apricots and prunes, roughly chopped
300g leftover turkey, cut into chunks
Good drizzle of clear honey
½ small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 tbsp flaked almonds
Couscous, to serve
Greek yogurt, to serve

Method

Step 1
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 8 mins or until softened. Add the carrots and parsnips, and cook for 8 mins until starting to soften and brown a little. Stir in the garlic and ras el hanout, and cook for a further 30 secs. Tip in the stock, tomatoes, chickpeas, dried fruit and 150ml water. Season, bring to a simmer and cook for 25-30 mins until the vegetables are tender.

Step 2
Add the turkey and simmer for 5 mins to warm through. Stir in the honey, then scatter over the coriander and almonds just before serving with couscous and Greek yogurt.

Jumbo Turkey Samosas

jumbo-turkey-samosas

Source: Good Food magazine, December 2014

Use up leftover cooked potatoes and turkey in these spiced filo pastry parcels, then serve with tangy mango chutney.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 tbsp curry paste (we used korma)
2 tbsp mango chutney, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp natural yogurt from a 150g pot (serve the remainder)
200g leftover cooked potatoes (roasted or boiled are fine), chopped into small chunks
250g cooked turkey or chicken, chopped into small pieces
250g frozen peas
Bunch coriander, chopped, plus a few leaves picked to serve
270g pack filo pastry (6 sheets)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Method

Heat oven to 180C.

Step 1
In a large bowl, combine the curry paste, mango chutney and 2 tbsp yogurt, and mix well. Fold in the potatoes, turkey, peas and coriander, then season well.

Step 2
Cut the sheets of filo in half lengthways so you have 12 strips – keep the pastry covered with a tea towel while you work so it doesn’t dry out. Layer up 3 sheets of filo, brushing a little oil between each sheet. Pile a quarter of the filling in the top corner of the pastry in a triangle shape. Fold the pastry over to encase the filling, then keep folding until the parcel is sealed and the filo is used up. Brush the final edge with a little beaten egg to help stick the pastry together. Repeat to make all 4 jumbo samosas.

Step 3
Lay your samosas on a baking sheet and brush each one with more beaten egg, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 35 mins or until the samosas are golden brown and the filling is piping hot. Serve with the remaining yogurt, some mango chutney and coriander leaves.

Get into TMP Organics this week to stock up for Christmas!

View original article here. 

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Fermentation for Beginners

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Fermentation – Then and Now

Fermentation has been used to preserve food for thousands of years. The diets of every traditional society have included some kind of lacto-fermented food. Europeans eat lacto-fermented dairy, sauerkraut, grape leaves, herbs and root vegetables. The Alaskan Inuit ferment fish and sea mammals. The Orient is known for pickled vegetables, sauces and kimchi. Farming societies in central Africa eat porridges made from soured grains, and pickles and relishes are a part of the American food tradition.

Kimchi in Korea

You may be wondering why then, in our modern world, would we want to continue fermenting certain foods? After all, we have fresh produce available daily at the local supermarket and we have fridges and freezers to store it in. Even then, if we wanted to use preserved foods we could just buy some canned vegetables, right?

There are advantages of lacto-fermentation over other methods of food preservation, and there are health benefits of eating fermented vegetables, too.

– Lacto-fermentation can enhance the nutritive value of food as many enzymes and probiotics are created.
– Fermented foods are filled with “friendly” or “good” bacteria which are healthy for the gut.
– You may absorb more nutrients from the food as the good bacteria “pre-digests” certain food components, making it easier for the gut to assimilate.
– People who are lactose intolerant usually tolerate yogurt or kefir, because the lactose sugar in these products has been partly broken down by the bacteria.
– Making cabbage into sauerkraut or kimchi increases glucosinolate compounds believed to fight cancer.
– Introducing friendly bacteria into your digestive system may help keep illness away as the gut is the largest component of your immune system. Evidence suggests that gut health could affect inflammation, allergies and autoimmune disorders in the body as a whole.
– Most store-bought products use vinegar which offers a predictable result, but doesn’t produce lactic acid which is the most beneficial part of the lacto-fermentation process.
– Making your own ferments is much more cost-effective than buying them at the store.
– Lacto-fermentation is a simple process- much simpler than the canning process. Less energy is used in terms of gas and electricity, so it’s more sustainable.

What is Lacto-Fermentation?

Most people think about beer or wine when they hear the term fermentation. While certain yeasts are used to convert the sugars in grape juice or grains into alcohol, it is bacteria that are responsible for lacto-fermentation. The “lacto” portion of the term refers to a specific species of bacteria, namely Lactobacillus. Various strains of these bacteria are present on the surface of all plants, especially those growing close to the ground, and are also common to the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and other animal species.

Lactobacillus bacteria have the ability to convert sugars into lactic acid. The Lactobacillus strain is so named because it was first studied in milk ferments. These bacteria readily use lactose or other sugars and convert them quickly and easily to lactic acid. However, lacto-fermentation does not necessarily need to involve dairy products.

Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Beyond preservation advantages, lacto-fermentation also increases or preserves the vitamin and enzyme levels, as well as digestibility, of the fermented food.

Getting Started – A Simple Sauerkraut Recipe

Fermentation is a relatively easy process, but it can be intimidating for first-timers. Basic sauerkraut may be one of the most popular ferments, and it is such an easy recipe that it works great for beginners. Follow this simple sauerkraut recipe to get used to the process and you’ll be progressing beautifully with your ferments in no time!
INGREDIENTS:
• 1 medium head of cabbage
• 1-3 tablespoons sea salt
Instructions:
1. Chop or shred cabbage. Sprinkle with salt.
2. Knead the cabbage with clean hands, or pound with a potato masher or Cabbage Crusher about 10 minutes, until there is enough liquid to cover.
3. Stuff the cabbage into a 1 litre mason jar, pressing the cabbage underneath the liquid. If necessary, add a bit of water to completely cover cabbage.
4. Tightly close the lid.
5. Culture at room temperature (15-20°C is preferred) until desired flavour and texture are achieved. Burp daily to release excess pressure.
6. Once the sauerkraut is finished, move to cold storage. The sauerkraut’s flavour will continue to develop as it ages.
Makes approximately 1 litre.

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS:
Prior to culturing, mix 1 part shredded carrots, apple, or other vegetable to 5 parts cabbage, for a more complex flavour. Add caraway seeds, if desired.

Published by The Meat-ting Place – Queensland’s leader in fresh organic meat and produce.

 

Around The World: China

Chinese New Year Day fell on February 8 this year and is celebrated by almost 2 billion Chinese around the world. Chinese New Year is the biggest festival in China, but is also celebrated in cities across the globe.

Chinese prepare for the New Year by thoroughly cleaning their houses, symbolising the putting away of old things and bidding farewell to the old year. New Year’s Eve is a time for decorating houses with red lanterns, paintings, paper cutouts and decorations adorned with the year’s zodiac animal. This year is the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac.

KoratChineseNewYear

New Year’s Eve also means – you guessed it – feasting! Family members travel long distances to be together for the traditional family dinner. It has also become a Chinese custom for many families to watch the New Year Gala on TV while having dinner, which carries through from 8pm to midnight and features traditional, folk and pop performances from China’s best singers, dancers and acrobats.

In major cities, and even in rural areas, fireworks and firecrackers ring in the New Year. In some areas people go to large squares or temples to ring a large bell, believed to drive out bad luck and bring good fortune.

chinese-new-year-fireworks

The fifteenth day of the New Year is the Lantern Festival. It is the traditional end of the Spring Festival celebrations. People send glowing lanterns into the sky while others let floating lanterns go on the sea, on rivers, or set them adrift on lakes.

Lanterns

Australians have a soft spot for Chinese food, so we’ve included a few popular dishes for you to try at home.

Chinese Barbecued Pork

BBQ Pork

800g pork neck
1/3 cup char siu sauce
1 tablespoon honey
Steamed jasmine rice to serve

Step 1

Cut pork in half lengthways. Cut each half lengthways into halves. Using a sharp knife, cut slits into both sides of pork in a crisscross pattern. Place char siu sauce in a shallow ceramic dish. Add pork. Turn to coat. Cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight, if time permits.

Step 2

Preheat grill on high. Place a wire rack in a roasting pan. Pour cold water into roasting pan until 2cm deep. Place pork on rack. Drizzle with half the honey. Place pan under grill 10cm from heat. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until browned. Turn pork. Drizzle with remaining honey. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until just cooked through. Stand for 15 minutes. Thinly slice (see note). Serve with rice.
Serves 4

Prawn Toasties

Prawn Toasties

350g green prawn meat
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
2 egg whites
2 spring onions, chopped
2 teaspoons light soy sauce, plus extra to serve
6 slices white bread, crusts removed
Sesame oil, to brush
Sunflower oil, to shallow-fry
Micro herbs to garnish

Step 1

Place the prawn meat, garlic, ginger, egg whites, spring onion and soy sauce in a food processor and process to a smooth paste. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then transfer to a bowl, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2

Brush one side of each bread slice with a little sesame oil, then spread that side with prawn mixture, making sure it completely covers each piece.

Step 3

Heat 1-2cm oil in a deep frypan and shallow-fry the toasts for 1-2 minutes each side until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel and slice into triangles.

Step 4

Sprinkle with micro herbs and serve with extra soy sauce for dipping.
Makes 12

Vegetable Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls

2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 cups finely shredded wombok (Chinese cabbage)
1 (about 120g) carrot, peeled, finely chopped
100g green beans, topped, finely chopped
1 x 230g can water chestnuts, drained well, finely chopped
4 green shallots, ends trimmed, finely chopped
3cm-piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
65g (1 cup) bean sprouts, trimmed
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornflour
60ml (1/4 cup) water
20 sheets (20cm x 20cm) spring-roll pastry, just thawed
Rice bran oil, to deep-fry
Plum sauce, to serve

Step 1

Heat the peanut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the wombok, carrot, beans, water chestnuts, green shallot, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until just tender. Add the bean sprouts and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until just heated through. Add the oyster sauce and soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Combine the cornflour and water in a small bowl. Place 1 pastry sheet on a clean work surface and brush with cornflour mixture. Place 1/4 cup of the cabbage mixture diagonally across the centre, leaving a 3cm border at each end. Brush corners and sides with cornflour mixture. Fold in ends and roll up tightly to enclose filling. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining pastry, cabbage mixture and cornflour mixture.

Step 3

Add enough oil to a large saucepan to reach a depth of 5cm. Heat to 190°C over medium-high heat (when the oil is ready a cube of bread will turn golden brown in 10 seconds).

Step 4

Add 4 spring rolls to the oil and cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a tray lined with paper towel. Repeat, in 4 more batches, with the remaining spring rolls, reheating the oil between batches.

Step 5

Place the spring rolls on a serving platter and serve immediately with plum sauce, if desired.
Serves 4

Crispy Skinned Lemon Chicken

Crispy Skinned Lemon Chicken

1 (about 1.8kg) fresh whole chicken, cut into portions
Saxa natural salt grinder
½ cup (125ml) honey
½ cup (125ml) lemon juice
1 tablespoon thick soy sauce
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into matchsticks
1 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1 lemon, cut into wedges
2 green shallots, cut into matchsticks
Coriander leaves, to serve
Steamed jasmine rice to serve

Step 1
Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in a large roasting pan. Season well with salt. Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Step 2

Meanwhile, combine the honey, lemon, soy sauce and ginger in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sauces boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Step 3

Brush the chicken with a little of the honey sauce and bake for a further 10 minutes or until chicken caramelises slightly.

Step 4

Meanwhile, heat a medium non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the lemon wedges and cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden brown. Remove from heat.

Step 5

Place the shallots in a bowl of ice water and set aside for 5 minutes to cur. Drain well.

Step 6

Arrange the chicken on serving plates. Drizzle with remaining honey sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds, green shallots and coriander leaves. Serve with lemon wedges and steamed rice.
Serves 4

The Meat-ting Place in Everton Park, Queensland has an excellent selection of grass-fed organic meats. Click here to read more. 

Around the World: Mexico

December’s Around the World destination is Mexico where, just a couple of weeks ago, millions of pilgrims flooded into the area around Mexico City’s basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the country’s patron saint, to celebrate the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The largest crowd attended on Saturday to fulfil a pledge or a penance, and thousands camped out on the huge plaza at the basilica complex Friday night to be there for Saturday’s mass.

Since 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe has become the patron saint of the Mexican Republic. Historically and emotionally, the Virgin is deeply woven into the life of every Mexican. During the wars of independence she was the patroness of the Mexican armies. Almost every Mexican town has a church dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and people turn to her for help and guidance on every occasion.

statue
 Photo Credit: LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images

The annual festival actually begins a week before December 12. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the country — many traveling for a week on foot or by burro — flock to the Basilica of Ville Madero, on the outskirts of Mexico City, where the most impressive ceremonies in honour of the Virgin are held. The streets adjoining the church are literally packed with people who wait their turn to enter the church and make their offering.

The climax of the festival begins on the eve of December 12, when the conchero dancers gather in the atrium of the church. The dancing begins at midnight and lasts throughout the day. Groups of dancers alternate to keep up the furious pace. The songs and dances of the concheros, who perform at fiestas all over Mexico, have been handed down through many generations and follow rigid traditional patterns.

crowd2

Since it is a happy day for all Mexicans, food and drink are enjoyed by rich and poor alike, and many people will save up their money throughout the year for this special occasion.

What’s on the Menu?

Tamales

HomemadeTamales-800

This authentic recipe comes straight from my cousin who is, and was raised by, a spectacular Mexican cook. You’re in for a treat! My cousin, Ian, says that Tamales are typically made in bulk, so call up your friends and family, put some music on, and have a catch up while working on the tamales. Many hands make light work and it’s fun to have a house full of people for a big food project.

The below recipe made over 20 dozen tamales in Ian’s last batch, so feel free to reduce the recipe as desired.

Ingredients
13.5 kg Ground corn masa (preferably no lard or salt added)
2.7kg Lard
Salt
Water
Dried corn husks (hojas, pronounced oh-has)

Tamale Fillings
“Green”: Green chilies (mild to spicy), jalapeños and jack or cheddar cheese.
“Red”: Shredded pork or beef shoulder in chile colorado (see next recipe).

Ian’s notes on filling preparation: The green chile is lots of mild-to-spicy green chiles and jalapeños that are chopped, roasted and then stewed with ample garlic and onion (chicken stock/vegetable stock/water are acceptable) until you do a happy dance just looking at it.

Ian’s notes on masa: Masa should be turned into tamales and either cooked to be eaten or frozen raw for storage within 36 hours of being purchased. Some shops offer masa preparada, which has the salt and lard added, but try and avoid this. Purchase freshly ground corn masa with no wheat flour – this is critical for good tamales. Spend the time to source it and you will be rewarded handsomely at mealtime.

Method
1. THE NIGHT BEFORE: Soak the corn husks in a tub/bucket of warm water overnight and keep them soaked until they are needed for wrapping. Weigh the corn husks down with a pan or skillet to keep them submerged.

2. In a clean, plugged kitchen sink or big tub, incorporate 400g of lard for every 2kg of masa, mixing by hand. This is fairly hard work. Add salt to taste. This is extremely important. The tamale will be very bland without ample salt. Taste the masa periodically as you add and mix in the salt until the flavour brightens enough to notice the salt. You can continue mixing by hand until a small (2 cm) ball of masa floats in water. A bowl or pitcher is helpful here for checking buoyancy.

Alternatively, a stand mixer can be used after the lard and salt have been added and the buoyancy checked in batches. It typically takes a few minutes in the stand mixer on medium speed. Add water while the stand mixer is running until you have a smooth mixture that is firm enough to hold its shape, soft enough to spread with a spoon under slight pressure, and buoyant enough to float.

3. Once mixed, the masa is ready to spread on corn husks. There is a silky side and a rough side to each corn husk. Spread the masa on the silky side, because it will help the masa release cleanly when the tamale is properly cooked, cooled and unwrapped for eating. You can use a spoon or rubber spatula to spread the masa, and this is the most time-consuming part of the tamale making process. A layer thin enough to cook evenly and thick enough to provide a good set of forkfuls once filled is important. Uniformity is key. With the silky side of the corn husk facing up, spread the masa, leaving a few inches of empty corn husk near the narrow end of the corn husk. The masa should be spread in a band across the wide, straight end of the corn husk (across the ‘grain’, if you will).

4. Fill the masa with a smallish spoonful of filling. Over-full tamales don’t wrap well, don’t cook well, and don’t present well on the plate. With the narrow point of the corn husk away a from you, fold the left and right sides of the corn husk over the middle, overlapping. The tamale should be about 1/3 to 1/4 as wide as the corn husk, and there should be enough of an empty “tail” (the folded narrow point) to fold up towards the opening. Some leave the tamale in this state, others take a torn-off strand of corn husk and lightly tie the tamale so that it stays folded, and still others wrap the tamale in thin, plain, square sandwich wrapping paper. We prefer to wrap in paper because it prevents the tamale from drying out and becoming crumbly during cooking and storage. It also helps the tamales pack better in plastic bags.

5. For cooking, a pot with a false bottom for steaming is extremely helpful. The tamales should be loaded in the pot standing upright, with the folded end down/open end up. Fill the pot with water to just below the steamer level and with as many tamales as you can fit with room for a dish towel and a lid on top. The towel between the lid and the top layer of tamales helps retain the steam and helps cook the entire pot evenly. Bring the pot to a firm boil (steam should be escaping the pot vigorously). Turn the heat down to a much softer boil (only a small amount of steam escaping) and check the water level, adding more to make up the loss to boiling and absorption. Let the tamales cook for at least an hour. It will likely take 1-1.5 hours for 1.5 dozen to cook to appropriate done-ness from fresh masa, and definitely 1.5 hours starting from completely frozen. Frozen tamales can go straight from the freezer to the steamer. No thawing is required.

Check for done-ness by removing a tamale (tongs are helpful), letting it cool for 5-10 minutes, and attempt to unwrap it. If the tamale comes free from the corn husk, you have achieved victory. Undercooking is much easier to do than over-cooking, but don’t be worried. A little more time in the steamer doesn’t hurt, and letting the tamale cool a bit before unwrapping it gives the masa a chance to firm up and set into a stable shape. If done, remove the tamales and plate.

And a final note from Ian: These things are truly calorie bombs, so be prepared to get new pants after a month of packing these outrageous little miracles down your eager gullet. Enjoy!

Chili Colorado

Chili Colorado - 800

Ingredients
9 New Mexico dry chilis – washed, with stems and seeds removed
3 cups water
2.25kg boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups beef stock or water

Method
Place chiles and 3 cups water into a medium stockpot, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes to soften. Strain into a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the chiles and some of the liquid into a blender, and puree until smooth. Add more liquid as necessary to form a smooth sauce. Pass sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds and the tough skins; set aside.

Cut the roast into 1 to 2 inch chunks. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the beef chunks in the seasoned flour; set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add beef chunks a few at a time, so as not to overcrowd the pot, and cook until evenly brown. Remove cooked meat, and continue browning remaining meat. Return reserved cooked meat to the pot. Stir in pureed chile mixture. Add beef stock to just cover beef chunks, or to personal preference. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to lowest setting, and simmer for 3 hours, or until meat is tender. If necessary, adjust with more stock during cooking.

Around the World: India

diwali

The second stop in The Meat-ting Place’s Around the World series is India, where preparations for Diwali are underway.

Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. The festival coincides with the Hindu New Year and celebrates new beginnings, the triumph of good over evil and lightness over darkness.

The festival usually falls between the middle of October and the middle of November, in line with the Hindu lunar calendar. Houses are cleaned and decorated with candles and colourful lights, and huge firework displays are held while families feast and exchange gifts.

Food is usually prepared in the family home, and around a month before the festival starts, women gather in each other’s kitchens to make Diwali snacks. Sweets are the main dishes prepared, and different specialty meals are also traditionally cooked on different days of the festival. Each family celebrating Diwali will more than likely have its own favourite meal for the festival, and the food plays a large role in the celebrations.

On the fourth day of celebrations, friends and families exchange gifts and sweets, and they also create Annakut: mountains of food arranged in large tiers or shapes representing India’s Mount Govardhan.

How to Celebrate Diwali at Home

If you’d like a taste of Diwali in your own home, there are a few simple things you can do. Many Australians get involved with Diwali because of its universal theme of light triumphing over darkness, and it is said that this theme can also apply to the light in our hearts.

Traditional activities include spring-cleaning your house, shopping for gold and silver, and offering sweets and prayers to the Gods, so get out the vacuum, buy yourself some bling and offer up your favourite dessert! Some people also decorate their homes with lamps and candles.

Get together with some friends and enjoy some traditional Indian meals and sweets! We’ve included a couple of recipes to get you started!

EASY INDIAN RECIPES TO COOK AT HOME FOR DIWALI

COCONUT (NARIYA) BURFI

2 Cups Fresh Grated Coconut
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 tsp Freshly Crushed Cardamom
1/2 tbsp Chopped Cashew nuts
1 tsp Ghee

Method:

– Heat ghee in a pan and fry cashew nuts until golden brown. Put aside. Grease a plate or tray and put aside.
– In the same pan add grated coconut and sugar. Mix well and cook on low to medium heat.
– Keeping stirring the mixture until sugar melts and you can see water released from coconut.
– Stir constantly until coconut mixture starts to come together. Press coconut with your spatula to check if any water remains. If you see water then keep cooking and stirring.
– Add cardamom/elachi powder, cashew nuts and mix well. You can see coconut mixture will start to change colour now from pure white to light cream. Turn off heat.
– Immediately pour mixture onto greased plate or tray and level it with a spatula or knife. You can use baking paper or aluminium foil to give it a smooth finish while levelling, or leave it as is.
– Let the mixture cool for 2-3 minutes, then cut into squares while the mixture is still warm.
– Allow to cool completely. Gently remove coconut squares with a knife and store in an airtight container.

SWEET POTATO AND GOAT’S CHEESE SAMOSAS

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, plus more to sprinkle
400g sweet potato, diced into small cubes
200g soft goat’s cheese, chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
2 tablespoons coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 whole red chilli, deseeded if you like, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
Salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 garlic cloves, crushed
125g unsalted butter
270g filo pastry
Rock salt, to sprinkle

Method:

Unlike most samosas, these aren’t fried. This both makes them healthier and somehow intensifies the flavour of the filling. Cinnamon is fabulous with sweet potato.

Place the 1 teaspoon cumin seeds in a dry frying pan and toast until golden and fragrant. Remove to a mortar and crush with a pestle. Put the sweet potato in a pan, cover with water and add salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for six to eight minutes until tender. Drain and cool. Place in a bowl and mix with the cheese, spring onions, coriander, chilli, chilli flakes, crushed cumin, cinnamon and garlic. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Melt the butter. Lay a sheet of filo on a work surface and brush with butter. Place a second sheet on top to fit over the first. Brush this with butter too. Cut into strips about 5cm wide. Spoon 1 heaped teaspoon of filling into one corner. Fold the right corner of the strip over to the left side to create a triangle. Continue to fold the triangle along the strip to the end, cutting off surplus pastry. Repeat to use up all the pastry and filling. Brush liberally with butter and sprinkle with cumin seeds and rock salt. Bake for 12–15 minutes, until golden.

Christmas Meal Ideas: Starters, Sides, Salads and Desserts

sticky-date-christmas-pudding quinoa-pumpkin-broadbean-salad

The Meat-ting Place has a delicious range of organic Christmas meats available, from turkey with apple, sage and rosemary stuffing to our popular glazed hams. Haven’t placed your order yet? View our Christmas Menu now!

Once you’ve ordered your meat, you’ll be looking for easy and tasty starters, sides, salads and desserts. Well, we have you sorted for those, too!

Check out our blog to see our top picks for this Christmas including:

Spicy Prawn Cocktail
Cranberry and Walnut Brie
Prawn, Mango and Caramelised Walnut Salad
Barbecued Asparagus with Lemon, Feta and Mint
Quinoa, Pumpkin and Broad Bean Salad
Herbed Couscous Salad with Almonds and Tomatoes 
Green Beans with Cherry Vinaigrette 
White Chocolate Bark
Christmas Trifle
Sticky Date Christmas Pudding

You can find full recipes here.