Meatball Gyros Recipe

Meatball gyrosMy husband and I like this so much that we included this in our meal lineup almost every week during the summer and now that it has cooled down I still find myself craving it every now and again. This is the result of researching falafels before our Paris trip (can you believe we didn’t even know what they were!?) and trying to create something similar looking with what we had on hand. So not very authentic and actually much closer to Greek gyros. The best part though? One batch will serve about four adults and you might even have a little leftovers for lunch.

Ingredients

  • 500 g Ground Beef
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp BBQ Spice
  • 1 Egg, beat
  • 100 ml Bread Crumbs
  • 1 tsp Worcester Sauce
  • Sunflower Oil, to fry
  • 1 Red Onion, finely sliced
  • Half a cucumber, grated or finely diced
  • 1oo ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 4 Pita breads

DIY Meatball GyrosMethod:

  1. Combine the mince, flavouring, egg, Worcester sauce and bread crumbs together and form little balls approx 3 cm in diameter.
  2. Heat some oil in a large frying pan and add the meat balls, making sure to brown them on all sides.
  3. Add some water and let it simmer for approximately three minutes, until the water has boiled off.
  4. Combine the cucumber, yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice together and season with pepper to taste.
  5. Toast the pitas, slice them open and fill up with red onion, meat balls and tzatziki.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

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Cheats Carbonara

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I love all things Italian, especially food. Crusty breads, warm pizzas and creamy pastas are just a few of many things that I dream about. Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with a traditional carbonara, I love this lighter varient that was born when I combined two of my faves (alfredo and carbonara) with some fresh herbs. I think some of the best recipes can be born out of need. In this instance I simply didn’t have enough cream left over for a alfredo sauce and since then I’ve purposefully recreated this recipe a few times as we love the intense flavours and lighter sauce. If the raw egg in a traditional carbonara worries you, then read on to see how I make myself feel better about it.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

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A friend of ours recently proclaimed that “Surely no-one has all the ingredients necessary for a cake at all times!” I kept quiet about the my stash of my favourite cake mix and answered with a resounding, “Yes, cake recipes usually require so much butter! It is rare that I’ll have a full stick of butter on hand.”

I didn’t lie, I often don’t have enough butter for a full recipe which is how this chocolate chip cookie recipe came about. My sweet tooth demanded some chocolatey-goodness so I took a recipe I’d been meaning to try for a while, made some adjustments (replacements and halving the recipe) and I won’t look back! I’ve made fairly good chocolate chip cookies before but everyone that tasted one of my latest creations has been demanding more of this version. It is the perfect balance of sweet, salt and crispy-ness with a gooey centre.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cake flour minus 2 table spoons
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 160 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup treacle sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 90 g dark chocolate slab, roughly chopped into chunks

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Method

  1. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients with electric beater. Add the chocolate chips last.
  4. Cover the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for 4 – 24 hours.*
  5. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  6. Roll the dough in your hand to make small balls approximately 3 cm in diameter and press then down slightly on a prepared baking tray (baking paper sprayed with Spray & Cook). I made two batches and the ones I didn’t press down were smaller, thicker and wasn’t as crispy.
  7. Bake biscuits for approximately 15 – 20 minutes.
  8. Let biscuits cool on a cooling rack before serving.

* I haven’t tested this yet, but apparently the longer you refrigerate the dough the better the results are.

Mine made about 11 cookies (It is possible that I ate more than one cookie’s weight in raw dough though)

 

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Chocolate & Almond Biscotti Recipe

DSC_1359If you follow this blog regularly, you’ll have noticed that I reserve a special place in my heart (in my stomach) for Italian cuisine. Naturally Biscotti, something between a rusk and a biscuit, is one of my favourite treats. This is the ultimate indulgent snack for winter. It is sweet, filling and ideal for dipping into coffee. The best part is how easy it is to make as you literally just throw it all together and mix before baking. 
DSC_1363aIngredients:

  • 100 g almonds, diced
  • 100 g milk chocolate chips or diced milk chocolate slab
  • 430 g flour
  • 15 ml baking powder
  • 300 g castor sugar
  • 5 ml cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 45 ml butter, melted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C and prepare a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Sift together all the dry ingredients and add the almonds and chocolate.
  3. Beat the eggs and butter in a separate bowl and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until it forms a big piece of dough
  4. Divide into two pieces and press and roll it out into two long ‘french loaf’-type shapes.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool completely.
  6. Slice thin slices of biscotti (approximately 5 mm) with a sharp knife.
  7. Spread out on baking tray and bake for a further 20 minutes or until crispy at 60C.
  8. Let it cool and serve with coffee.

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

1I love chocolate chip cookies, but it’s pretty difficult to find some store bought ones that are perfect. I hate it when it tastes of margarine or isn’t crispy enough. Seeing as they don’t stock FOX biscuits in SA anymore (their choc chip is the best), I decided to try and recreate them. I was slightly disappointed in Woolworths’ ‘Chocolate chips’ (as they clearly took the name a bit literally), but they were still satisfactory. I just prefer larger chunks of chocolate, so next time I’ll hunt down the real thing.

3Ingredients:

  • 1 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 g butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (dark & milk)

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and prepare a baking sheet with baking paper and Spray & Cook.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Add the egg and mix it in.
  4. Combine the flour,choc chips and butter mixture in an electric mixer or rub it in.
  5. Once it resembles wet sea sand, start compressing it into a ball.
  6. Divide into equal sized balls and press flat in the palm of you hands and arrange on baking tray.
  7. Bake for about 15 min or until golden brown before letting cool on a wire rack.

4Makes about 20 cookies.

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