Sunday, September 28, 2008
Soutzoukakia - yum!
I reckon I must be getting over the dreadful flu and bronchitis I had in August but it has certainly taken time. Why do I think that? Well, twice this weekend I have felt like cooking and blogging about it and I have also been excited by reading a big backlog of blogs, including many food ones. I am delighted that my Bloglines is now down to under 2000! It has been hovering around 4ooo since I went to Alice Springs a few weeks ago but there was a flu-caused backlog before. So today I have been enjoying everyone's posts.
One of the blogs I was looking at today was Kalofagas - Greek food and beyond by Peter Minakis by a Canadian-Greek food blogger from Toronto. As usual he had lots of mouth-watering Greek recipes and there was a special added touch as he had been in Greece over the northern summer. I always enjoy Peter's posts and can't wait for plum season here to test his plum tarte tatin. But today it was his post on soutzoukakia that was a trigger for me. I had some leftover rice and was thinking about making piperies gemistes and had even got peppers from Mecca Bros yesterday. But when I saw his post I changed my mind.
Now Peter didn't use rice in his soutzoukakia and I don't know where I have come across soutzoukakia with rice, but I have! So this is what I did with the rice. Thanks for the inspiration, Peter, even though my recipe isn't anything like yours. I also added some piri piri oil to the mix as it was around from my Portuguese experiment a while ago. I think that this is pretty typical of Australian cooking. We are a multicultural community and our cooking reflects that: we have different cooking elements and simply combine them to see what they will be like. That's certainly how I cook much to the annoyance of purist friends who can't deal with pasta served with Asian sauces. Yeah right you should only serve pasta with classic Italian sauces? Not in my house, you don't!
500 gr. minced beef
1.5 cups cooked rice
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 dessertspoon ground cummin
Piri piri oil
Tomato sauce already prepared
Have already prepared tomato sauce simmering in a large pan
Place the minced beef, rice, eggs, garlic, cumin, pepper in a bowl
Add a couple of dashes of piri piri oil
Add a few splashes of red wine
Roll up your sleeves and ensure that the ingredients are mixed
Form into soutzoukakia shapes
Roll in flour
In a pan heat olive oil
Fry meatballs until sealed on all sides
Add additional olive oil as needed during the process
As cooked, remove from pan and add to pan with tomato sauce
When finished, add additional water to pan to ensure meatballs are covered
When cooking of meatballs completed, sear the frying pan with red wine and add this mixture to the pan with tomato sauce and meatballs
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or more
Alternately, place in an ovenproof tray and cook in moderate oven for 45 minutes.
Then enjoy with potatoes, or in my case with cauliflower cheese from yesterday, or a green salad.