Saturday, September 12, 2009

Beetroot and fetta salad

I love beetroot in any shape or form - except the canned variety. I was delighted recently to find it available and stocked up. As it was Father's Day last weekend we were gathering for lunch so I thought I would make a beetroot salad using a couple of my other favourite foods: fetta and dill.

Note that it's a good idea to make this just before serving as the beetroot quickly colours the fetta. The taste is fine later but it's visually nicer early after tossing.


7 medium-sized beetroots
400 gr fetta
15 gr dill
Olive oil
White wine vinegar


Chop both ends of beetroots and crosscut ends
Place in a saucepan and cover with water
Cook until tender
When cool peel off skins and chop into pieces of desired size
Roughly chop dill
Add beetroot and dill to serving dish
Crumble fetta into mixture
Dribble with oil and vinegar and toss

Dill chicken balls take two!

After my first disastrous but redeemed go at chicken balls I thought I would have another go! This time the mixture was very firm and easy to form into balls.

They tasted very meaty as I didn't add any bread, though the addition of grated parmesan was nice. They were fine but I think I will try again with bread as I like that texture. Dill chicken balls are a work in progress!


650 gr chicken mince
15 gr dill
1 egg
2 cloves garlic crushed
4 tbs grated parmesan
Olive oil
Tomato sauce
Shaved parmesan


Roughly chop the dill
Place chicken, dill, parmesan, garlic, egg in bowl and stir
Roll up sleeves and blend the mixture until combined
Form balls of desired size and roll in flour
Add tomato sauce to large pan or saucepan and heat on top of stove
Heat oil in pan
Quickly seal the balls in oil and added to already heated tomato sauce
Simmer on top of the stove for 30 mins or if preferred in 180c oven for 45 mins
Serve with shaved parmesan and accompanied by vegetables or green salad

Dill chicken balls

I love all sorts of meatballs and am particularly partial to some chicken balls I buy as a treat from a chicken place at Northland shopping centre. So a couple of weeks ago I thought I would have a go at trying to make some myself. I couldn't make up my mind whether to do them with dill which I was excited to find at the shops or to do a more Asian tasting lot with chilli, ginger and coriander. I finally plumped for the dill as I thought it would go nicely with tomato sauce.

Unfortunately the process was somewhat fraught as I didn't realize how sloppy minced chicken would be in comparison to minced beef or lamb and ended up with a mixture that was too moist to form balls. I think that two eggs was too much for the mixture and that the bread would have been better not soaked in milk. I added extra dry bread to the mixture and managed to make balls and cook them. The end result tasted lovely but I am going to continue experimenting with this!

1/2 cup milk
4 slices stale multigrain sourdough bread
650 gr chicken mince
15 gr dill
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic
Ready made tomato sauce
Shaved parmesan


Soak two slices of bread in the milk
Roughly chop dill
Place chicken mince, dill, crushed garlic, and eggs in bowl
Remove bread from milk and squeeze before adding to bowl
Stir all ingredients until combined
Make breadcrumbs from other two slices of bread and add to mixture
Combine full with hands
Form mixture into balls and roll in flour
Place in refrigerator for an hour before cooking to help form
Meanwhile make a tomato sauce or heat ready-made one
Remove to ovenproof dish which is large enough to contain chicken balls as well
Preheat oven to 180c
Heat oil in frying pan and quickly seal the chicken balls
Add to tomato sauce in oven-proof dish
Cook in oven for 45 minutes
Serve with shaved parmesan and accompany with vegetables or green salad


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