Thursday, 7 April 2016

Mozzarella stuffed meatballs

Mozzarella stuffed meatballs

Firstly, apologies about the delay with this post. Life has been a little crazy, with more downs than ups lately, but one thing has kept me going ... Food! I don't know about you, but to me food is all about comfort and feeling like you are getting a big warm hug.

One of my favourite comfort foods is pasta. I know carbs are evil (yada, yada, yada), but I love them and I'd rather be happy than hungry. Over the years I've made many different types of meatballs  sometimes with a simple tomato sauce, sometimes baked, sometimes fried. I also love stuffing them with cheese from time to time. 

Today I want to share my mozzarella stuffed meatballs, with gooey cheese in the middle and a yummy tomato sauce with semi-dried tomatoes. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Meatballs cooking

Mozzarella stuffed meatballs

Makes 10 large meatballs

500g beef mince
10 cubes of mozzarella or cheddar cheese
1/4 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 can of tomato condensed soup (420g)
1 can of crushed tomatoes (approx. 410g)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 can of water*
100g semi-dried tomatoes (optional)

1. Add the mince, onion, oregano, egg and breadcrumbs into a large bowl along with some salt and pepper and two dessertspoons of crushed tomatoes. Combine the ingredients using a fork or your hands until everything is mixed through well.

2. Divide the mince into ten portions and place on a chopping board. Take a portion of the meat and flatten into an rough circle shape. Place a piece of cheese into the middle of the meat and pinch in the sides to cover the cheese. Roll the mince in your hands to form a rounded meatball. Continue with the rest of the meat portions until you have ten meatballs.

3. In a large frying pan (with a lid), brown the meatballs in a little bit of oil until each side has a little colour. This is to simply make sure the meatballs keep their shape and have a little bit of colour on the plate. Remove meatballs from the pan and set aside.

4. In the same pan, add the tomato soup, tomatoes, tomato paste, water, garlic and basil. Cook over a medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble. Stir through the semi-dried tomatoes and return the meatballs to the pan, covering each one with a little bit of sauce.

5. Bring the sauce to the boil before adding on the pan's lid and turning the sauce down to a simmer. Simmer the meatballs and sauce for 40 minutes.

6. Remove the meatballs from the sauce and mix in your favourite cooked pasta or spaghetti (I often use large shells or penne). If you feel the sauce isn't thick enough, allow the sauce to simmer for 5-10 minutes (uncovered) before adding in the pasta.

To serve, simply add the meatballs back on top of the pasta and top with a good amount of Parmesan cheese.

You can also add salami chunks to the sauce. Simply add it in with the semi-dried tomatoes.

Steph xo

* Take the empty can from the tomatoes or soup and fill it half way with water. I often do this instead of measuring out the additional liquid and then trying to work out what the ratio is to the liquid from the can.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Steph's vegetarian breakfast: Buttery thyme mushrooms with poached eggs and creamy goats cheese

Poached egg, buttery mushrooms and feta - Steph's Kitchen

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. As much as I love bacon, sometimes I just crave a vegetarian breakfast.

How could vegetarian be good over bacon, you might ask? Well, if you love buttery mushrooms, creamy goats cheese or feta and poached eggs, you will LOVE this breakfast as much as I do.

Buttery thyme mushrooms with poached eggs and creamy goats cheese

Serves 1

2 eggs
50g butter
Fresh or dried thyme leaves
2 - 3 mushrooms (I use cup mushrooms. If you use a different kind, you want about a small handful)

Meredith Dairy goat cheese (marinated in olive oil, garlic and thyme) or full cream danish feta (marinated or plain) - either choice is delicious!
Garlic chives or spring onions

1. Slice the mushrooms. Melt the butter in a small pan (with a tiny bit of olive oil to stop the butter from burning), adding the thyme leaves and mushrooms. Turn the pan to a low heat, turning the mushrooms regularly. Once golden and your mushrooms are soft, they are ready. So keep an eye on them as you work through the next steps.

2. Fill a small pot three-quarters full of water, adding in about 1 tsp of white vinegar. Put the pot over a high heat, bringing it to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a low heat.

3. Using a spoon or knife, mix the water in the pot until it creates a small "spin". Crack your eggs into the water while it's still moving. Poach the eggs to your liking. I usually wait until the eggs have turned white and the edges of the egg are no longer whispy. You want the egg to be soft and springy. If the edges are too firm, your centre will be as well.

4. On a piece of thick butter toast (sour dough or rye is amazing for this), place your eggs, followed by the mushrooms (with any left over butter from the pan). Top with crumbled goats cheese or feta and some garlic chives or spring onion.

Side note: This dish is also amazing with a little bit of pesto (not too much though! Just a little drizzle in places or it will overtake all the other flavours)


Steph xoxo

Friday, 25 September 2015

Cafe-style breakfasts at home

We all love going out and enjoying a good breakfast on the weekend. However, how many of us really want to change out of our slippers and put on "presentable" clothes for breakfast every Saturday and Sunday?

Here's some of my favourite breakfasts that will have you enjoying cafe-style breakfast while still in your PJs (you're welcome!)

PB and J pancakes

We all love peanut butter and jam on toast (it can't just be me?!). So why not enjoy that gooey-sweet goodness on a pancake! And no, I don't just mean spread it on top. This recipe takes it to another level! Peanut butter pancakes with an easy strawberry sauce.

If pancakes are on your mind but you're not in a PB and J mood, check out my article "Four easy ways to jazz up the simple pancake" for other ideas.

Two egg omelette (dairy-free)

If you think all omelettes are heavy and mostly cream, I urge you to try this two egg omelette recipe from my Grandma. It is super fluffy and turns out perfect every time. Make it your own by adding whatever ingredients you fancy. If you are lost for ideas in the morning fog that is your head around breakfast, here's some that I like:

  • Grilled red onion (diced and fried until they are golden) and cheddar cheese - the more mature the better!
  • Ham, cheese and pineapple (yes, pineapple ... try it before you say no!)
  • Bacon, fetta and chives.
  • Three cheese: Cheddar, parmesan and fetta.

The ultimate breakfast wrap

Trust me, it's not as complicated as it sounds. Grab some wraps, fry up some bacon, sausages and eggs, and add these yummy home-made hash browns. Top it all with some BBQ sauce or tomato relish and you are good to go. It's the addition of the hash browns that make it amazing.

Cheesy french toast with cheats tomato relish

This is a regular in our house, with Mr Steph requesting it at least every second week. The french toast is topped with cheese while cooking, and the tomato relish is the laziest relish you'll ever find.


Steph xo