Naravni Odrezak

Veal Escalope & Saffron Rice
Veal Escalope & Saffron Rice

This is my take on a popular Croatian veal recipe.  I had something similar during a holiday a few years ago in Split at a large restaurant at the end of the Riva, toward the bus station.  The large restaurant/cafe/bar has different sections depending on what you want.  The waiters were very friendly and helpful and the food, whether it be ice cream, pizza, or something more substantial, was fantastic.

The veal is quickly pan-fried and then a wine and citrus sauce is made and poured over the meat. Served with some Milanese rice (saffron-infused risotto) it is just delicious with really fresh flavours.

Ingredients

Thin veal escalopes

A cup (about 100ml) of chicken stock

2 tbsp dry white wine

3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Juice and zest of half a lemon

2 tbsp of freshly squeezed orange juice

Zest of half an orange

Olive oil for pan-frying

Plain flour for coating the veal

Instructions

Coat veal in plain flour

veal-flour

Heat olive oil in frying pan until quite hot

Put veal in frying pan

Cook for two to three minutes on one side, then turn

Cook for another two minutes

Veal cooking

Remove veal from pan and place on plate to rest

Put white wine in pan

Add lemon and orange juice to pan

Add stock to pan

Veal sauce

Heat until thickens slightly to consistency of a syrup

Add in parsley and stir

Plate up veal, pour over sauce and serve with saffron rice

Veal done!

(To make saffron rice: Heat risotto rice in olive oil/butter, pour on splash of white wine, stir.  Add stock, chicken or vegetable, and saffron, slowly to pan and stir, as if making risotto.  Keep adding liquid and stirring constantly for 20 minutes.  Add a few tablespoons of parmesan and serve.)

It is also nice to serve a side dish of gently wilted spinach with the veal and rice.

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A Balkan Side Dish: Courgettes with Rice

This Balkan side dish is super tasty, if a bit time-consuming and is really healthy.  Make large quantities and either keep leftovers in the fridge or freezer to reheat as and when you want it.

Ingredients:

(serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish)

1kg small or medium courgettes

60ml olive oil

3 white onions

3 garlic cloves

1tsp chili powder

1 can chopped tomatoes

200g risotto rice

600ml vegetable or chicken stock

2 tbsp parsley

white pepper

sour cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C

Top and tail courgettes and slice into large chunks

Heat half the olive oil in large frying pan

Gently fry chopped onions and garlic

Onion & Garlic

Stir in chili powder

Onion, garlic, chili

Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes

Tomatoes

Add courgettes

Courgette

Cook over gentle to medium heat for 10 minutes

Add rice to pan

Rice

Add stock to pan, cover and simmer for 45 minutes

Stock

Stir occasionally to prevent rice it sticking

Simmering

Remove pan from heat

Stir in white pepper and parsley

Pepper & parsley

Spoon into ovenproof dish

Bake for 45 minutes

Halfway through cooking, brush the remaining olive oil over mixture

Garnish with parsley, black olives and sour cream

Done! Serve!

Done! Serve!

Pork with Sauerkraut

Done!
Pork with Sauerkraut!

I was never a fan of sauerkraut until I tried it in Polish bigos (a meaty stew) at Bar Polski.  Since then I have been more open-minded.

This recipe for Pork with Sauerkraut is very surprising and quite frankly, delicious.  Although the sauerkraut links this recipe to Central Europe, the presence of chillies provides a South European touch.

This recipe serves four and is great with either rice, baby new potatoes or mashed potato.  Serve with a little sour cream and wholegrain mustard for a little cooling and warming treat respectively!

Ingredients:

450g lean pork (or veal) diced

60ml vegetable oil

1/2 tsp paprika

400g shredded sauerkraut, drained and well rinsed

2 fresh chillies

90ml pork stock

50ml sour cream

coarse grain mustard

paprika and sage to garnish

Instructions:

In a frying pan cook the pork until it is browned on all sides.

Pork

Add the paprika and shredded sauerkraut.

Pork, sauerkraut, paprika

Stir well and transfer to flameproof casserole dish.

Halve the chillies and remove the seeds.

Bury chillies in casserole.

Casserole

Add stock to the casserole.

Cover tightly and cook over a gentle heat for 1-1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking.

Almost done!

Remove the chillies if desired and season to taste.

Garnish with sage.

Close-up

Serve with pots of coarse grain mustard, sour cream sprinkled with paprika, and a side of crusty bread.

Hungarian Beef Goulash

Tower Slow Cooker
Tower Slow Cooker

I love food. I love eating. However, I am also prone toward being rather lazy, and as a poor graduate have to make the most from the little I can afford. As a result, I am all for one pot dishes and am particularly fond of my slow cooker. However, if you do not have a slow cooker, this recipe is still for you as it can be cooked either on the hob or in the oven, which ever you desire!

Goulash is by one of the more familiar dishes from Eastern Europe. Made with sweet paprika, it is typical of many traditional Hungarian dishes. It would normally be cooked in an iron cast pot on top of a fire, but living in a studio flat in London makes this is somewhat impossible. Instead, I opt for cooking either in my casserole dish for at least three hours at 150 °C, or alternatively, in my slow cooker for between four and five hours on high. However, as I said, you could cook this on the hob, but with three jobs, I prefer to not have to keep too much of an eye on things!

You can just chuck everything into the pot and go but I try to make it a little more authentic. Onion, for example, is one ingredient which never quite has the same effect having been put in raw to the slow cooker.

First, prepare the ingredients which can be placed into either the casserole dish or slow cooker. Peel a carrot and parsnip and place into the dish. Leave them whole as they are just for flavour, not for eating. Peel and cut a large white potato into cubes and place this in the dish too. Add a bay leaf (two if they are small) and some parsley tied together so it can be easily removed (if you do not have string, use some foil).

Dice a large white onion and cook in a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Traditionally, goose fat should be used, but I find this can make the sauce too greasy. Cook the onion until it is translucent (not brown!), add in the chopped garlic for one minute, and then add half the paprika. Pour the onion, garlic and paprika into the pot with the carrot etc.

Onion in pan

Sprinkle the stewing beef chunks with a little corn flour (though plain flour can also be used) and place into a frying pan over a medium heat. Do not brown this too much, just a little, to seal in the juices. Sprinkle on the rest of the paprika and cook for a further minute and then add this into the pot.

Beef in pan

Ready to go!
Ready to go!

Add two teaspoons of caraway seeds into the frying pan and heat gently for two minutes. Put these into the pot and then rinse out the frying pan with a little of the beef stock. I add this and the remaining stock into the pot.

Cut two medium sized tomatoes and two sweet peppers into chunks and place these into the pot with two or three teaspoons of tomato puree.

Cover and heat either in the oven, in your slow cooker, or on top of a hob.

The stock may need topping up if a lot evapourates/is absorbed.

I serve this with gnocchi and a sprinkle of parsley in a nice large bowl.

Ingredients to feed 2 very hungry people:

500g stewing beef chunks

500 ml beef stock

1 bay leaf

1 carrot

1 parsnip

1 large white onion

1 large white potato

2 cloves of garlic

2 medium sized tomatoes

2 sweet red peppers

2-3 tsp tomato puree

4 tsp sweet paprika

2tsp caraway seeds

2 handfuls of parsley

Gnocchi to serve

Cooking times:

3 hours on low heat on hob

4 hours 150 °C oven (although, the longer the better!)

4-6 hours on high in slow cooker (again, the longer the better!)

Finished product!

Serve!

Washing up
Washing up

Hard work?  Well, I will not lie, any form of cooking requires effort and drive but here is the washing up I was left with – hardly a mountain!

And to prove you do not need a mansion in order to cook for yourself, this is my small kitchen in my studio flat.  If I can do it, so can you!

Kitchen left
Kitchen left
Kitchen right
Kitchen right

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