Ossobuco and Spaghetti.

A simple way to enjoy your beef ossobuco. I like this dish as it has its own flavour and whichever spices or flavourings you use, are really just to enhance its richness.

The trick is to cook it low, slow and with love.

Ingredients:-

  • 4 beef shanks.
  • 1 large sliced onion.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
  • I green pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste.
  • A pinch of sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon spice blend of equal parts ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • 2 tbsp of all purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • A splash of Worcestershire sauce.
  • A splash of balsamic vinegar.
  • 2 chopped tomatoes.
  • Cooking oil.
  • 1 small bunch of coriander chopped and some lemon zest.

Method.

Mix the flour, spice blend and salt and pepper on a wide plate.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan.

Dry the ossobucco pieces and dredge them in the flour mixture. Shake off excess flour and fry in the oil till brown all round then set aside.

In the same pan, fry your onion and mix well till soft, before adding the garlic and green pepper. Add the tomato paste and the sauce and vinegar as well as the sugar, stir well.

Add the ossobuco pieces to the pan…

…and some water to just cover them.. then add the chopped tomato on top.

Cover and simmer on low for 2 hours, till the meat is ready and tender. Once ready, sprinkle with the coriander and lemon.

Cook your spaghetti as per the pack instructions and plate.

The sauce is thick, the meat is tender, succulent and full of flavour.

Worth a try right?

You can also check out these other tasty beef ossobuco recipes already on the blog:-

. Instant Pot Ossobuco.

.Curried Beef Shank.

. Naan and Ossobuco.

Buttermilk Jerk Chicken, Plantain and Pineapple Salsa.

This recipe is quite a mouthful, but making it is easy breezy and sitting down to enjoy it is the ultimate pleasure.

It is a perfect weekend meal as you sit down to catch up with our loved ones over a delicious meal.

All you need is :-

  • 4 firm yellow plantains.
  • Chicken legs / quarters, one per person.
  • I cup buttermilk.
  • 3 tbsp jamaican jerk seasoning paste.
  • For the salsa, half a ripe pineapple, one onion, one green pepper, some chopped mint and coriander (one tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of dried mint, salt and pepper.

Method.

Mix your buttermilk and the jerk seasoning together.

This is the brand I used. It has some kick and salty too so be careful not to oversalt your dish.

Clean your chicken and pat dry, then slice it as below image.

Keep the skin on as it will crisp up beautifully when cooking and add to the flavour.
Rub the seasoning all over the chicken, and keep it in a covered dish, marinate for 4 hours, but preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat your grill pan until really hot, add the chicken pieces skin down, let them sear a bit undisturbed then flip.
Once you turn, sear the bottom and once browned, lower heat the let the chicken cook for about 30 minutes till done.

As the chicken cooks, you can get started on your pineapple salsa.

Dice your pineapple, onion and pepper as well as the coriander and mint and add to a bowl.

In a small bowl, add a tsp of dried mint, a tbsp of honey and juice of one large lemon and mix well. This will be your dressing for the salad.
Pour the dressing on the chopped fruit and vegetables. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Peel, slice and pan fry your plantain.

Once the chicken is ready, plate and dig in!

I served mine with some leftover lemon rice that matched the flavours of the other dishes quite well.

The heat of the jerk is just right and the spice is all over every taste bite. The buttermilk tempers the heat a bit but also ensures the chicken is moist all the way through. The plantain and pineapple offer contrasting sweetness, the onions and peppers offer crunch and the mint a cooling effect.

Your tastebuds will be dancing each time you take a bite.

Colours, flavours, aromas are all there.

Definitely worth a try!

Tasty Stewed Lentils.

I know I am not the only one who craves a warming, filling and hearty stew on rainy days.

This recipe is tasty, easy to make, will fill you up well on a chilly day and keep well in the fridge, in case there are leftovers.

I love this vegetable stew as it enhances the authentic flavour of the vegetables used, and is full of nutrients too. Let’s get started.

Ingredients are:-

  • 1 1/2 cups small brown lentils (masoor dal)
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • 1 bay leaf.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped.
  • 1 medium courgette and 1 medium eggplant, chopped and kept aside in salted water.
  • 1 large chopped tomato.
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped.
  • Mixed herbs (thyme and basil).
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat your pan, and add the oil. Add the bay leaf, then onion and fry till translucent then add your chopped garlic.
Add the carrot, mixed well then add your tomatoes and let cook a while.
Drain and rinse then add the eggplant and courgette, let cook a while before adding the potato.
Once the potatoes are cooked a bit, add the herbs, lentils and 3 cups of water as well as your salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
This is a hearty stew that will satisfy your comfort food cravings.
The best accompaniment to this is some crusty bread from Brood.

You can even have it on its own or with some dinner rolls. The kids like it with chapati and rice. Leftovers are great for their lunchboxes too.

Note: Soaking the eggplant in salted water removes the bitter taste and also reduces the water in the veggies, hence they are able to hold their shape well, and enhance their natural flavour.

This is a tasty one pot dish full of flavourful vegetables and nutrients that will please the eyes and palate, it is definitely worth a try and easy to make too.

Weekend Cuisine: Au Gratin Potatoes.

This dish is a delight for those of us who love potatoes in whatever form, and love cheese too. This is quite a rich dish, boiling potatoes in butter, milk/cream then bake with cheese and breadcrumbs. Ooh the lusciousness and decadence of it all is what makes it a great comfort food, but also a dish you do not make every other day as it is quite rich.

Ingredient: 2 kg potatoes peeled cleaned and sliced thinly, a pinch of white pepper, 2 cups of aged gouda cheese, 2 tbsp unsalted butter, 2cups milk, 2 cups full fresh creamy diced onion, pinch of nutmeg. 2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs.

Slice your potatoes thinly. Grease your baking dish with a little butter and set aside.

Heat your saucepan, add butter and add the onions and cook till they are soft.
Add your milk and cream, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat.
Add your sliced potatoes to this mixture, add in your seasoning and the spices.

Let the mixture simmer gently for about eight to ten minutes, the potatoes will soften a bit but be keen so it doesn’t burn at the bottom.

At this time you can also preheat your oven at 160°C.

Add the mixture in layers onto the baking dish. start with a bit of sauce, then potatoes sprinkle a bit of the cheese and so on, then pour the remaining sauce on top and some cheese too.

Set aside a bit of the cheese for later.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix the cheese you set aside with some seasoned breadcrumbs, about 2 tbsp. Sprinkle this on the potato mixture and return to oven at top rack and let broil for about 10 minutes.

Let the dish stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with steamed vegetables to counter the richness of the dish. And please season your vegetables with a splash of lemon juice just before serving. It goes so well together. Trust me on this.
Clearly the dish was a hit!

So, what are your waiting for? Try it and enjoy this decadent creamy and cheesy awesomeness with your family.