Casserole

I totally got inspired to cook a casserole after enjoying one with friends recently. This is a scrumptious version of Vera’s recipe 🙂 It mainly takes preparation time and very little to do after that than wait for the house to fill with wonderful aromas and meat that melts in your mouth.

For a vegetarian/vegan option, add kumara (or other sweet potato), carrots and/or regular firm tofu instead of the beef and bacon. It will soak up the beautiful flavors or the marinade and you can shorten all the timings by half.

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DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Enough for 4 people.

1 kg (2 lbs) of meat suitable for slow cooking, I used beef cut into inch sized cubes.

3 tbsp gluten-free all purpose flour

3 tbsp dextrose

2 tbsp tomato sauce or ketchup

150 ml white vinegar

150 ml port wine or sweet red wine (or for a non-alcoholic option use regular beef or vegetable stock – there is fructose in the wine, so if you want to reduce it use a dry red wine but the taste will be different)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (check ingredients for sugar content, I found one with less than 5g per 100g)

Grated rind and juice of an organic lemon (you don’t want all the pesticides in the rind of regular lemons).

1/8 tsp each of ginger, mustard, paprika and curry powder

15-20 prunes (or use less if you want less fructose in this dish)

3-6 slices of streaky bacon cut into thin strips

Directions:

Dredge your meat or vegan alternative (easiest way is to chuck the flour and meat in a bag and shake until the meat is coated in flour – this is to thicken the stew) and place in the bottom of a casserole dish. Prep all the rest of the ingredients  and add to the meat and and cover with a lid. Let it sit in the fridge for up to 2 hours to infuse all the flavors.

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Pre-heat your oven to 140C (280F) and cook the casserole for 2.5 hours.

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Just before cooking time is up, make any accompaniments – such as steamed carrots, potatoes or kumara and serve on a hot plate. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Burning love

As the otherwise beautiful weather was shattered by a storm shaking the windows and howling outside yesterday evening, we felt like a nice hearty meal. What could be better than return to my childhood roots and put together some ‘burning love’ (brændende kærlighed). This an adaption of my mother’s recipe which is an all-time favorite of mine.

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The name burning love is actually a direct translation from Danish which made me think about where the name came from. No definitive answers although some people suggest that it looks like a bonfire if you make a mount of mashed potato with the fried meats on the very top. It is also said that two lovers were cooking the dish once upon a time and were staring too deep into each others eyes (or something like that!) and forgot about the dish, thus earning it its ‘burnt’ name 😉

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To make this a VEGAN meal you could substitute the meats for vegan bacon and sausages! Either buy them ready made or you could even try and ‘make’ your own. Check out Vegan Adventures’ bacon here. I am going to try that sometime soon – using gluten-free flour instead or regular flour and glucose syrup instead of molasses (although it will loose some of the flavor by not using blackstrap molasses). You could also try to make your own vegan sausages with this recipe from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan! (using same swaps as above to make it gluten and fructose free).

DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Enough for dinner for 2.

2 kumara potatoes (or yams or other sweet potatoes)

1 regular large white potato

6-7 long rashers of thin streaky bacon

2 continental/European frankfurters

1 German spicy kransky sausage

A handful celery leaves

Crispy fried onions to sprinkle over the top (you can get these in European delicatessen or other specialty stores. Or, you can make them yourself – all you need is shallots, gluten-free all purpose flour and oil for deep frying. Cut the onions in very very very thin slices and cover in flour. Heat up oil and fry them until they turn brown and crunchy. Then place on paper towels to soak up the excess oil). You can also just swap for regular pan-fried onions.

Directions:

Heat a pot of water. Peel your potatoes, cut them into big chunks and pop them in the water and heat to a low boil. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, turn a pan to medium-high heat and put on your bacon in one layer so they all get crisp.

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Your bacon is done when it’s nice and crisp and looking almost a bit burnt (but don’t go black, black is not good for your body or taste, only dark brown).

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While the bacon is cooking, get your franks and sausages out and cut into small chunks (or have all this prepared beforehand).

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Take the bacon off the pan and place on paper towels to soak up the excess fat. Leave the bacon fat in the pan and now cook your sausages in this which brings out the most beautiful flavors.

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Chop your bacon into nice thin rows and leave for the moment. When the sausages have cooked, put them aside with the bacon.

Chop a handful of celery leaves finely leaving a leaf or two for decoration (you could use parsley as well, I just always have celery in the house and rarely use the leaves/the top anyways – less waste, more taste).

Now check that your potatoes are ready – you should be able to put a knife in one and have it slide though easily. Pour all the excess water away. Then pour all the fat from the pan into the pot with potatoes and mash away (this is in place of butter and makes it taste delicious – if you want a healthier version, just leave it out, but the taste is not the same). Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Then, just before serving, add half the chopped celery to retain the fresh taste and give it a stir.

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Now all you have to do is plate it up. Place a portion of mashed potato on the plate. Add your bacon and sausage mix. Sprinkle celery and crispy onion on top and finish with a decorative celery leaf. Serve as is or traditionally it’s eaten with tomato sauce or ketchup. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Baked eggs bacon overload

This week I had baked eggs for the first time (at the lovely Richmond Rd Cafe in Grey Lynn – just a shout out for some of the best customer service I have had in a long time, they are super accommodating to any dietary requests, remember previous orders and requests you have had and always go the extra mile) and it tasted awesome! So I came up with a creation incorporating similar elements. Yummy breakfast if you need to spoil someone (including yourself) with something a little bit different than regular bacon and eggs 🙂

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DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Makes two little ramekins – enough for 2 people (or one very hungry person). To make enough for 4, double the recipe.

1/2  of a 425g tin of chickpeas (drained and washed)

1/2 of a 300g tin of tomato paste or puree

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8-1/4 tsp hot chilli powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

3 tbsp water

4 eggs

2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach

250g streaky bacon (I get the Freedom Farms SPCA approved brand)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 175C (350F) and grease two little ramekins (I used ones which were 10cm wide, 6cm deep / 4 inches wide, 2.3 inches deep – keep in mind that if you use a different size the cooking time will change).

Cut up the onion into small chunks and pop in a small pot on high heat. When the onions are starting to turn glossy (and I like to cook mine till they get a nice brown surface as it gives it more taste), add the tomato paste, chickpeas, water and spices. Give it a good stir and pop a lid on it for 10 minutes in order for the flavors to develop (or longer if you want the chickpeas to turn mushy).

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Now divide the chickpea mix into the two ramekins, spoon out two holes for the eggs and pop them in.

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These will turn out with the eggs almost cooked all the way through. If you would like the egg yolk to be soft and runny, make a hollow in the middle, separate the egg yolk and put it in first, then the egg whites on top.

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Cook for approximately 20 minutes or as long as it takes for the egg whites to cook (as soon as you see no uncooked egg whites, take it out the oven or it will cook all the way through). Whilst they are cooking, make the bacon (fry to a crisp on a dry pan, then place on a plate with kitchen towel to soak up the extra fat – better finish the bacon before the rest and then keep warm in the oven than let anything go cold). Plate it all up and it is ready to eat. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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