Tag Archives: meatballs

#lowcarb Italian feast with #shareGalbani

#lowcarb Italian feast with #shareGalbani

gioie della tavola – the joys of the table

Italian Meatballs #lowcarb

The Italians know best when it comes to food and family. As a nation, their history, their customs and their love of family seems to have been forged around the dinner table. There is something so unique and so special about their traditions that I often feel that somewhere in my heritage or a previous life I must have been part Italian. When it comes to food, there is simply nothing better than sitting around a table with friends or family sharing a day filled with good food and wine – just like the Italians do.

Family

Being on low-carb food regimen (…yes we are still going strong), you may think that preparing an Italian feast may prove a little tricky with all the pasta, gnocchi, bread and the likes. But as I gleefully found out that with the right cheese in hand and a touch of creativity, you can make a three course feast that is as good as any Italian mamma’s lunch.

Low-carb pizza
For starters, I had to create something that in a way imitated bread or pizza. I made a low carb base from cauliflower topped with generous pieces of Galbani’s fresh mozzarella. The cauliflower base was both crispy and extra cheesy, and the topping of salty pancetta mixed with the scented basil provided the perfect ‘antipasto’ for my Italian feast. Click here for how to video!

Low carb pizza

Cheesy meatballs with tomato sauce
Moving onto the main dish, I know that nothing beats a good, homemade Italian meatball served on a bed of pasta. I added grated Galbani mozzarella cheese to the meatballs. Instead of pasta I replaced this with zoodles. For those not in the know – and watching their waistline, zoodles are uncooked strips of zucchini and the perfect healthy replacement for pasta. Just ask your local supermarket for a supply as most stock them these days.

Low carb spaghetti and meatballs

Pears and figs with honey and lemon scented mascarpone
For dessert I kept it simple with whole pears and figs poached in a cinnamon and vanilla syrup. I flavoured the Galbani mascarpone with a dash of lemon juice. The fresh fruit paired brilliantly with the lemony mascarpone; it was subtle yet a little tangy.

Pears-and-figs-with-lemon-scented-mascarpone

It was a special and delightful kind of feast…and such a beautiful way to celebrate with friends and familia.

Saluti.

Low-carb pizza
(makes three small pizzas)
800 g cauliflower
3 large eggs
30 ml parsley chopped
250 ml (1 cup) Galbani mozzarella cheese, grated
75 ml (+- 1/3 cup) parmesan, grated
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml ground black pepper
9 slices pancetta, crispy fried
250 ml (1 cup) Galbani fresh mozzarella, torn
15 tomatoes on the vine
olive oil
handful fresh basil
handful rocket
maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Chop cauliflower up in smaller pieces and blitz into a “rice” like texture in the food processor. Place cauliflower into a big bowl and cook (uncovered) in the microwave for 10-12 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. Once cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes. Scoop cauliflower into a cheesecloth or clean dishtowel and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. The more liquid you get out, the crispier the pizza base will be. Put the cauliflower back into the bowl and add the eggs, parsley, grated mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper and mix well. Divide mixture in three to form three basis. Pat dough down into a baking pan on a sheet of baking paper. Make sure not to make your bases too thin. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
Take out and add the pancetta, mozzarella and tomatoes. Pop it back into the oven for a further 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Give it a good drizzle of olive oil and finish with some basil, rocket and maldon salt.

Cheesy meatballs with tomato sauce
Meatballs
500 g mince
1 onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
170 ml (2/3 cup) Galbani mozzarella, grated
1 egg
handful of finely chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, grated
5 ml salt
2.5 ml pepper
5 ml psyllium husks (you find this at any good grocery store)
Tomato sauce
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, whole
handful fresh basil
900 g Rosa tomatoes
salt
black pepper
Zoodles
500 g courgette noodles, cooked as per packet instruction (I prefer it raw)
olive oil
handful of Galbani mozzarella, grated

Mix all the meatball ingredients very well together, form into golf ball sizes. Set aside
Add the olive oil, garlic and basil leaves to a large pan. Heat very slowly on low-medium heat – we want to infuse the oil with the garlic and basil. Infuse for about 5 minutes –don’t burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes, turn up the heat to about medium high and cook for +- 20 minutes without the lid. You will see the tomatoes will start to burst open and infuse with the olive oil. Season generously with salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Add the meatballs and cook another 20 minutes or until done. Stir carefully now and then but don’t break meatballs. Scoop courgette noodles in a large serving bowl and top with the meatballs and sauce, finish with a drizzle of olive oil and grated mozzarella.

Pears and figs with honey and lemon scented mascarpone
3 lemons, zested and juiced
250 ml honey
3 cinnamon sticks
seeds of one vanilla pod
1 L water
6 pears, skin on
18 small fresh figs, skin on
250 ml Galbani mascarpone
pinch of salt

Place the lemon zest, honey and cinnamon sticks, vanilla seeds and water in a pot and bring to boil. Add the whole pears to the boiling liquid and turn down to simmer. Let it poach until the pears are soft (about 45 minutes). Switch off the heat. Add the figs for only three minutes to the hot liquid. Transfer the fruit into a serving bowl. Continue cooking the liquid until a thin syrup. Discard the spices and pour over the figs and pears. Mix the mascarpone, the juice of the three lemons and salt together (I used all the juice, but taste till you like the it). Serve dollops on the fruit.

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chicken meatballs with apple + cumin + mint salsa = for january budgets

chicken meatballs with apple + cumin + mint salsa = for january budgets

Indian chicken meatballs with Indian bread

The start of each year invariably sees most of us stretched to the limit after all the expenses over the festive season, the food, the gifts, the wine – it all adds up and still somehow it manages to be more than we originally budgeted for. I was fortunate enough to spend a few short days in Europe over the past month and swapping Rands for Euros is something that could make one quickly lose ones appetite. But it was wonderful and it was worth it. Just experiencing the different cultures, the history, the food and the flavours provides an inspiration that goes way beyond currency conversions! I have so much to write about from the simplest foods from the street restaurante and pastelarias of Lisbon to the simple sophistication of Parisian cuisine.

But more of this in future chapters…. One thing that remains universal is the budget-beating chicken. It remains a constant on any menu the world over and it is definitely the protein of choice in Europe at the moment. We all make the mistake of taking chicken for granted but we must always remember the many ways in which it is spiced-up, dressed-up or served up from countries in Europe + India + Mexico to the shores of Morocco. With a bit of creativity you can delve into the delights of chicken in a thousand different international ways without ever having to leave your kitchen … and to boot, you can beat the budget blues!

As a start I thought I would share my Indian chicken meatball recipe today. It’s really simple and the apple + cumin salsa makes this dish something extraordinary. I served it in a phulka but you can serve it in anything like a roti + pancake etc.

Indian chicken meatballs

chicken meatballs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 500g Minced chicken breasts (skinned, with any fat pieces removed)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Medium onion (grated)
  • 4T Fresh coriander (chopped)
  • 1t Red marsala (wet) - click here for recipe
  • 2t Green marsala (wet) - click here for recipe
  • 2t Fresh ginger and garlic mix - click here for recipe
  • 1t Oil
  • ¼ t Turmeric
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 Squeeze of lemon juice
  • For the tempering of spice
  • 3T Cooking oil
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 Cardamom pods
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
Instructions
  1. Put all the chicken mince ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix through.
  2. Taking a handful of the mixture at a time, roll in meatballs (about the size of a golf ball).
  3. Tip: Keep a bowl of water next to you – wet your hand in the water so that the meat does not stick to your hand.
  4. Heat the oil in the pan on medium heat, adding the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon sticks. Let it fry for about 3 minutes.
  5. Now add your chicken balls. Fry until cooked through and golden brown in colour.
  6. Tip: If you are in a hurry, add a dash of water to the pan and put the lid on.

 
apple + cumin + mint salsa
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Green apples (leave the peel or skin on)
  • 2t Fresh mint finely chopped
  • ½t Cumin seeds
  • 1t Green marsala (wet)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Juice of ½ to a whole lemon (all depends how juicy it is)
Instructions
  1. Chop the apples with skin still on into small little blocks.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.



phulka
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 500g Flour
  • 1T Cooking oil
  • 1t Cumin seeds
  • 1t Salt
  • 1T Sugar
  • 10g Dry yeast
  • 375ml Luke warm water
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Put flour, oil, cumin, salt and sugar in mixer. Mix for a minute or two.
  2. Add the dry yeast and mix through.
  3. Add the luke warm water slowly till it forms a dough.
  4. Knead the dough in the mixer for about 5 minutes till soft and elastic – it must still be slightly sticky to the touch.
  5. Put aside in a warm place and let it rise for +- 2 hours.
  6. Punch the dough down.
  7. Roll the dough out flat to approximately 2mm in thickness. Remember to sprinkle a little flour onto your work surface when you are rolling the dough out so it does not stick.
  8. Turn a drinking glass (tumbler) upside down and punch out circles of the dough.
  9. Heat the oil in a wok.
  10. Tip: To check whether the heat of your oil is right – stick the back end of a wooden spoon into the oil – if it bubbles and sizzles immediately around the spoon the oil is at the right temperature.
  11. Stick your dough circles into the heated oil for a minute or two. You will see it forms a bubble. Then turn it around till done - light corn-like colour.
  12. Take your deep fried dough circle out of the wok of frying oil and drain on a paper towel.
  13. To assemble - Open your little Phulka bread pockets.
  14. Add a meatball then add some apple salsa.
  15. I also like an extra squeeze of lemon juice just to give a fresh, zesty taste. Sprinkle with some coriander and enjoy.

 

 

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meatballs with mint + pine nuts + butternut

meatballs with mint + pine nuts + butternut
spaghetti and meatballs delicious, easy

#spaghetti + meatballs

When I first opened my mystery basket on Dinner Divas and saw the mince the only thing that went through my mind was MEATBALLS!! Nothing else … I never saw the chicken … in fact I did not register any of the other mystery ingredients … but at that moment in time and space, in front of all the cameras your brain just freezes. In retrospect you always end up quizzing yourself … I could have done this or I could of done that … in situations like this hysteria creeps in and disrupt your thoughts but I was resolute and determined to make this dish and prepare it well.

The other thing was that I had made a commitment to myself before I entered the competition … to stick with my gut, make a decision, go with it and not entertain any reservations. When you start doubting or second guessing yourself, this is when things tend to go awry and in a competition there is no time for messing about.

When I saw Kristy making the same dish, I have to admit I was apprehensive and the seeds of doubt were teasing my brain. Fortunately I had the clarity of mind to press on – it was too late to back track – I had to stick to what I believe in and what I know I can do well …

Well the judges did not think so – “oh dear another meatball dish – really” + “the meatballs were just disgusting” … this cut deep at that moment in time – but now I am laughing about it all. I love Caro + Aubrey + Andrew – they have crept deep into my heart and they will have a very special place in my life forever and ever …

So here is my  version of meatballs – something between my mom’s meatballs + what i have tasted in New York + something I have tasted in Italy. I added some mint + pine nuts + loads of veggies and used my fantastic tomato sauce which you can look up here

meatballs and tomato sauce and spaghetti

#spaghetti + meatballs

 

meatballs with mint + pine nuts = fab grecian fare
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 500g Extra lean mince
  • 4 Garlic cloves - grated
  • 1 Potato large - grated
  • 3 Thick butternut rings – grated
  • 1 Carrot - grated
  • 2 Small onions – grated
  • 50g Pine nuts – lightly fried in a non stick pan till golden brown
  • 1 Slice of white bread – soaked in water and excess water squeezed out
  • 1 Egg
  • Handful of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 t Dry mint
  • 1 t Salt
  • ½ t Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Put your oven on grill.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Fry a small teaspoon and taste for seasoning – I normally use the microwave.
  3. Make small balls and grill till done - +- 10 minutes. After first 5 minutes turn them around and cook for another few minutes.
  4. Put in pasta sauce and simmer for a minute or two. Serve on spaghetti + parmesan shavings + fresh basil.

 

Tomato Sauce 

Click here for recipe.

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