Beef Wellington with mince and caramelized vegetables

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Beef Wellington is one very intimidating recipe. It always looks amazing with its golden flaky crust and succulent meat inside. If you can achieve that you are a pro! I have never tried to make Beef Wellington before, but I found this recipe in “Ministry of Food” by Jamie Oliver and decided to give it a go. It is easy and I mean it! You saute the veggies add them to the mince, roll in the dough and bake for an hour. Yes, that easy. With hyper active baby crawling around the house and trying to eat everything on her way, this is a good option if you want to impress your guests for dinner. Serve it with big jug of gravy and HP sauce and it`s a winner.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion
1 sweet potato
1 stick of celery
1 potato
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
500 g good quality minced beef
salt and pepper to taste
500 g puff pastry

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 180 C.
Peel and chop the onion, sweet potato, celery and potato into one centimeter cubes.
Place all vegetables and rosemary leaves into a frying pan with olive oil. Fry and stir for about 10 minutes or until vegetables soften and color. Add a spoon of HP sauce.
Put vegetables into large bowl and add the minced beef  with salt and pepper and half the egg. Mix well together.
Roll out pastry to size of small tea towel.
Place mince mix along one long side, in sausage shape.
Brush edges of pastry with egg and roll pastry to cover mince completely. Squeeze ends together.
Put onto baking tray, brush with remaining egg. Bake for an hour until golden. Slice and serve with gravy and more HP sauce.

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Korean beef and quinoa bowl

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This could be your quick lunch at the office, or a nice filling meal after work. It was the latter for me and I regret sharing it with Tom 😀  Since I started cooking for my baby daughter I learned a lot about nutrition as well. It is no secret that quinoa is a super food, but I genuinely prefer it over rice. In fact I stopped cooking rice even for my husbands lunch box as quinoa is more filling and times healthier.

Combining it with Korean beef you get to savor the quinoa without adding anything else.As the juices from the meat will soak in it and the sweetness of the sauce will give it this much needed fragrance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa (cooked it will be enough to serve 3-4 portions)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g  lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup  soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more if you like it spicy
  •  pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime

Preparation:

  1. Place the quinoa in a small stock pot and cover with 2 cups water or chicken stock. Bring to a full boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the garlic and ginger for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the ground beef and brown completely.
  3. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  4. Add the soy sauce mixture to the ground beef and let cook for 3-5 minutes to allow the flavors to set.
  5. Once the quinoa is done, take off the heat and fluff with a fork. Serve beef over quinoa, top with green onion and lime juice

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Ghormeh Sabzi – Traditional Persian stew

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This recipe is inspired by our visit to Radisson Blu Dubai Creek. I was invited to try their wide range of cuisines. We had the chance to try 12 different restaurants in their hotel as each one of them had a life cooking station.

The Persian  Shabestan definitely got our attention with this meal. I was asked later to make it at home and I am glad that finally can present my variation of Ghormeh sabzi to you.

I will start with the fact that this is not a quick meal. Ghormeh sabzi took around two hours to cook. But like any stew if you have the patience  you will achieve the result. Even dough I was looking for one recipe to stick to, it was impossible. Like every traditional dish the varieties are endless. In my recipe I combined the ingredients as per my own taste and knowledge.

The result was delicious hearty stew with incredibly soft beef. Since I am not a big fan of rice I choose to serve my ghormeh sabzi with flat bread and garnished with a single spoon of yogurt.

Ingredients:

– 1 kg beef cut into 4 cm cubes

– 1 large onion finely chopped

– 1 tsp turmeric

– 3 dried lemons

– 1 can red kidney beans

– 1 1/2 cups water

– 2 large potatoes

– handful spring onion

– handful parsley

– handful coriander

– 4 cloves garlic

– 450 g spinach

– 2 tbs fenugreek seeds

– 1 tsp coriander seeds

– oil for cooking

– salt and pepper

– yogurt fr serving

Preparation:

1. Preheat good amount of oil and saute the onion until golden.

2. Add the turmeric and saute for another 2 minutes

3. Add the beef and cook for few minutes or until the meat gets a nice brown color.

4. Add the fenugreek seeds, beans, water and salt season with salt and pepper. Let it cook and a slow heat for an hour.

5. Meanwhile cut your potatoes into small cubes and deep fry them. Keep it to add them at the end.

6. Cook together spinach, herbs, garlic, dry lemons, coriander seeds and season with salt and pepper.

7. After the beef is ready add the greens and potatoes.

8. Serve with a spoon of yogurt and flat bread

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Stuffed onions with beef and rosemary

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The inspiration behind this recipe was a bottle of Merlot. It didn`t take long to link it with beef mince. The beef was linked to a fresh bunch of rosemary. The rosemary was linked to sweet cherry tomatoes. And all this was linked to a nice rustic bread. The whole idea end up in this great and hearty dish. It is tasty and juicy. It got flavors and loads of gravy to dip my bread in.

The big question here was how to scoop out the onions. My internet research showed few results:

1. Scoop out the raw onions- This idea was immediately rejected in my head as I imagined myself endlessly crying over 6 big onions

2. To cut into halves and scoop out after 20 mins baking- Thinking about it I decided that this will totally ruin my idea of keeping the juices of my stuffing in the onion itself, therefore it was rejected.

I took the initiative and decided to clean my onions from the first two layers of skin, cut the top 2 cm and boil for 10 minutes until soft enough. That was the winner! After cooling my onions I used a spoon and it was almost easy to scoop out each onion by keeping it whole and firm.

Next was to prepare the stuffing. And here I kept it simple but incredible delicious. Some things just go together so well! Like onions, lean beef mince, fresh tomatoes and rosemary. I seasoned the stuffing only with salt and pepper and I added one good glass of Merlot. Cooked for another 20 mins my stuffing was ready and using a big spoon I filled the onions. Ready to bake I pour another glass of red wine and a splash of balsamic vinegar. The aroma was tempting. I served it with surprisingly good red wine and rustic whole grain bread.

Ingredients (for 6 onions)

– 6 big onions

– 250 g minced beef

– 5-6 cherry tomatoes

– a small bunch of fresh rosemary

– 2 glasses of your favorite Merlot

– olive oil

– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

– salt and pepper

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Rib eye steak with homemade chimichurri

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Living with men taught me that salad can`t be a main course, rice and noodles are only a side dish and meat is something that keep boys happy. If you like me share the same destiny then you will for sure know the feeling when standing in front off a big peace of steak and no options left.

Having good old beef stew is always a good idea, but since Dubai summer is here (I know that I repeat myself in every post, but please forgive me) my taste buds are craving something more fresh and perhaps green. A quick visit to the newly open Spineys market in our neighborhood gave me the opportunity to get a quality rib eye beef cut.  With its beautiful marble fat and price more than reasonable I grabbed three steaks together with a bunch of fresh parsley and an idea was born! Honestly who can resist  soft and juicy steak in a combination with the well known chimichurri? Not us!

In addition I`ve made super basic yet fresh cauliflower mash (see the recipe in my next post). I cooked the steaks rare as I love to have juices in my plate to dip my bread crust in it. Hungry? Find the recipe below:

Ingredients:

– 3 rib eye steaks

– clarified butter (or olive oil)

– handful parsley

– 1 tsp salt

– 1 tsp black pepper

– 1/2 tsp chili flakes

– 4 tbsp olive oil

– 4 tbsp white vinegar

Preparation:

1. Preheat a pan with a tbsp clarified butter. Season each steak with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-4 minutes and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

2. Chop the parsley and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Store in the fridge and serve with your favorite steaks.

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Beef with greens

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Eating healthy doesn`t mean tasteless food. It doesn`t mean long time for cooking as well. This recipe is for quick and delicious beef with greens. I combined one of my favorite veggies and choose to keep the seasoning very simple. I like to keep the beans crunchy, but the baby corn well seared. I added an additional crunch by sprinkled sesame seeds.

Ingredients:

– 500 g beef strips

– baby corn

– green beans

– spring onion

– broccoli

– 1 tbs ginger

– salt flakes, mixed pepper foe seasoning

– 2 tbs vegetable oil for cooking

– 1 tsp sesame oil

Preparation:

Preheat the two oils in a pan and start with sauteing the baby corn. Once you get nice sear add the broccoli and green beans. Season with salt flakes and pepper. In a different pan preheat 1 tbs oil and cook the meat with the ginger. Season again, but be careful as you already have salt in the greens. Cook for 10 minutes and then add the veggies plus the spring onion (keep it for last so it will keep its green vibrant color and fresh taste). Serve the dish with sprinkled sesame seeds.

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Stuffed bell peppers with rice, beef mince, chorizo, raisins and pine nuts

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Last week I participated on SIAL Exhibition in Abu Dhabi. The event gathered together hundreds of food companies including representatives of the local health authorities. Since Dubai lacks of fresh and local fruits and veggies I was surprised to discover a whole stand from a local farm. They claimed all their products are organic and natural. Being raised in a country like Bulgaria where we start hearing about GMO food few years ago and then moving to the Emirates where everything is imported and hardly organic you will always look for the taste you know from your childhood. I miss the moments where I can cut a cucumber and the whole house will smell sweet and fresh. Or making a glass of fresh orange juice from only two fruits. Or adding olives to your tomato salad and with a single slice of bread you can have your lunch at summer time. This is why local stand with organic products grab my attention. I have got a pack of cherry tomatoes and bell peppers. Yesterday I found the same products in the hypermarket next home and then the idea of these stuffed bell peppers came up. I chose to stuff different colors of peppers as each one has different taste. The yellow and red are more on the sweet side, where the orange and green have a bit bitter pepper taste. For my stuffing I chose to use jasmine rice, minced beef, Spanish chorizo, raisins and pine nuts. For the sauce I made warm yogurt sauce with lemon.

Ingredients:

– 12 bell peppers

– 500 g minced beef

– 100 g chorizo

– 1 cup jasmine rice

– 50 g raisins

– 20 g pine nuts

– 1/2 chipped onion

– salt and pepper for seasoning

– olive oil for cooking

For the sauce:

– 1 pepper

– 50 g butter

– 500 ml water

– 300 g yogurt

– 2 eggs

– 3 tbsp white flour

– juice from one lemon

– salt and pepper for seasoning

Preparation:

Preheat 3-4 tbsp of olive oil in a big pan. Cook the onion, chorizo, minced beef, raisins and pine nuts until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile boil the rice and when ready add it to the meat mix. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Deseed the peppers and stuff them with the rice mix. Place them in a baking tray and add water (around 1 cm). Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the peppers are soft and cooked. Prepare the sauce by melting the butter and slightly cook one chopped pepper in it. Add the water and let it boil until reduce 1/3 of the liquid. In a separate bowl whisk the two eggs, yogurt, flour, lemon juice and seasonings. Add to the boiling pepper water and whisk for few minutes until it thicken. Serve the peppers and garnish with generous amount of the sauce.

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