Only Amazing Recipes

Amazing gluten-free, low GI, completely guilt-free and simply delicious and healthy food!

Mains

Warning!

Always keep a bottle of wine your Kitchen!  Thank you.

I will start this section with a recipe of a dish that I dont eat myself. I mean I eat this particular part but not the dish it belongs to..its pasta! I dont eat pasta (as anything else containing flour) but the sauce!! Oh yeah I eat the sauce!!

Some background good to know info on

Sauces and sugos 

(Italian) sauces fall into 2 categories: quick and slow. The quick sauces are uncooked pestos, or sauces made directly in a pan with wine or cream..it doesnt take a lot of time to cook them. Sugos is a different case. They require a long slow cooking to give them their depth of flavour and rich of texture.

The majority of sugos are started with a pile of finely chopped celery, onion and carrots called a battuto. When this vegetable mix is fried in olive oil, it becomes a sofritto which forms the aromatic base of the sauce.

When making a sugo it is important not to brown the meat too much or it will become hard will never soften again. Half cover and simmer the sauce very slowly from 1-3 hours. The longer it simmers the better it will taste.

and now Ladies and Gentlemen..

AMAZING

RICH MEAT SAUCE


INGREDIENTS:

  • 30 gr dried Porcini mushrooms (Please do not try to replace with any other mushrooms!!)
  • 50 gr butter
  • 2 tb spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick finely chopped
  • 300 gr lean beef, pork or veal mince
  • 50 g pancetta minced or finely chopped
  • 4 tb spoons of dry red wine
  • 400 g passata or pureed chopped tomatos
  • 1 tb spoon tomato puree
  • 500 ml meat stock
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 115 gr chicken livers, trimmed and very finely chopped
  • sea salt, freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION:

Cover the mushrooms in warm water and leave to soak.

Meanwhile melt the butter in the oil in a heavy based casserole set over medium heat. This is what I use: 

Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook for 5-10 min until golden but not brown. Add the meat and pancetta and brown very lightly. Add the wine, turn up the heat and boil until evaporated. Reduce the heat, then add the passata and the tomato puree, mix well, then add the stock and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stir well, then half cover and simmer for about 2 hours, topping up with a little water to prevent it drying out.

After 1.5 hours, drain the mushrooms, keeping the liquid! chop finely and add to the sauce with the chicken livers. Stir well, add a splash of reserved porcini water, then simmer for further 30 minutes. It should be rich and thick! Season well and..serve!

It is really tasty! Bon appetito!

 From Maxine Clark’s Italian Kitchen

HOT KAT


I know, I know, in a minute you are going to scream “it is not a HOT KAT its Chilli con Carne!” but I dont care because it was Kat who introduced me to this amazing dish and Kat (as well as the dish) is HOT! (even Guillaume fancied her psssst!)  

With years I have only changed the recipe a little adding some extras (that “give the dish a little kick”😉 Also. there is a lot of text here but the dish is very simple to make and dont worry if you dont have ALL the ingredients, important you have the main ones. JUST DO IT!

So…

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 g minced meat (beef or beef + pork as you prefer)
  • some olive oil for frying
  • 1 tin chopped tomatos
  • tb spoon of concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  •  half of red pepper
  • some chile
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pepper
  • salt
  • cumin seeds
  • thyme
  • cayenne pepper
  • oregano
  • coriander
  •  100-200 ml of meat stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
1. Chop the onion, put in a hot pan and start frying slow in a little olive oil, chop the garlic and add. Add chilli, thyme, dry oregano, cumin seeds, cayenne pepper. This is a little secret how to make the dish a bit more aromatic – to fry the fry herbs separately first – to let them release all the flavours and odours 🙂
2) At the same time start cooking minced meat in another pan at a low temperature (remember, it the meat gets too brown – hard – it wont go back to tender!!) and a few (approx. 10) min later mix them together. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Add finely chopped pepper, tomatoes, beans and spices. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
4) Prepare the stock – 100-200 ml depending on how the things are going 🙂  and add a tb spoon of concentrated tomato paste. Add it to the main mix.
5) Add a cinnamon stick and cook for another 15-20 min at a low heat until tender and all the flavours blended together.
Of course you can always you a “Chili con Carne seasoning mix” from Sainsburys  – it will be nice I am sure! but its feels better if it was you who’s done the miracle 😉
Enjoy! 
P.S. What Kat was also doing and it was absolutely amazing, she used to wrap the mix in tortillas, put them on the baking tray, cover with grated cheese and cook in the oven for about 7 min at approx 170 degrees. The tortillas will become crispy and the cheese will melt..it will be absolutely yammi!!! 
***

PARMIGIANA

I won’t say much about this dish. Those who tried it once, would never forget it. If you haven’t tried it yet, it is time! Stop missing out!
Ingredients for 4 portions (first I wanted to say “for 4 people” but then I thought I can eat all 4 portions by myself..) :
  • 3-4 aubergines
  • grated mozzarella cheese (they sell a grated mozzarella in the supermarkets – specially for cooking. For example HERE )
  • fresh basil
  • Veg oil for frying
For Tomato Sauce
  • 3 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • fresh basil
  • salt
Preheat the oven until 150-170 degrees before putting your Parmigiana there. 
Process:
Finely slice the aubergines (approx. 6-7 mm thick). Sprinkle with salt both sides and put aside for 30 min. (for more details please see the Grilled Aubergines recipe in the “Starters” section). 
While they are resting, have a sip of wine (for reference see the Wine section) and start making a Sauce!
Sauce: 
Finely chop the onion.
Fry it in a deep sauce pan in 3 tb spoons of olive oil until golden but nor brown.
Add 3 cans of chopped tomatoes
Add a few fresh leaves of basil
Cook for about 20 min.
The salted aubergines must have started “crying”. Whip the “tears” with a towel. (Appetisers section again)
Fry them in a generous amount of veg oil (the oil must be hot when you put the aubergines in) on both sides until golden.
After rescuing the fried slices from the oil, wipe them with the paper towels until all the slice are ready.
Cover a bottom of the baking tray with a bit of tomato sauce.
Put the 1st layer of aubergines and cover with the layer of tomato sauce:
Add grated mozzarella and a few fresh leaves of basil.
Yuuhuu! Your first layer is ready! Start the 2nd one:
Well you know what to do now, right? Continue until you’ve used all the aubergines. Finally sprinkle your masterpiece with love and put it in the oven (the t must be 150-170 degrees). Now have another sip of red (!) wine!
After 10 minutes change the position of the tray (lift it)  to grill the dish for another 5 minutes.
and now ladies and gentlemen…amazing PARMIGIANA!!!
ENJOY!!!
***
I found this dish in the FUEL magazine (Men’s Health). This magazine was bought occasionally at the airport and it was the only time it was seen – may be they issues it only once…strange because it is the most interesting, well-made, informative and just beautiful magazine on food I have ever seen! I’ve checked you can still find it on-line though – HERE.
Ladies and Gentlemen…

POWER UP PORKERS!!!

This dish is VERY tasty, nourishing and healthy!!
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbdp olive oil
  • 6-8 good pork sausages
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 2 sticks celerey
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 250 gr puy lentils (please use the one small and dark green)
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 1 spring rosemary
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • ….and i also add a can or more of chopped tomatoes!! they are good with the pork+lentils
Preparation:
 Put the lentils in the water for about 30 min. You will wash it later before you add it to the mix. 
1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the sausages until browned, then remove and set aside
2. Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan. Cook the onion, garlic, carrot and celerey for 5-10 min, until lightly coloured.
3. Return the sausages to the pan along with the stock, wine, rosemary and lentils. (Feel free to sip the wine while cooking – it will inspire you and bring you in a great mood! But not overdo it!! 😉
OK, HERE WATCH OUT IF YOUR LENTILS IS LONG-COOKING OR SLOW COOKING. IF IT IS A LONG COOKING, PLEASE PUT THE SAUSAGES BACK INTO THE PAN LATER  OTHERWISE THEY WILL BE COOKED FOR TOO LONG, FALL APART AND YOUR DISH WILL BECOME A MESS!!
4. Add a can of chopped tomatoes.
5.  Bring to boil then simmer for from 40 minutes to 1 hour (it depends on the type of your lentils) until the lentils has softened. check the sausages are well cooked and remove rosemary before serving 😉
LOW GI Complex carb (like lentils) and fiber are key to keeping the blood sugar levels stable, so combining lentils with meat means you wont be craving for a cheesecake later!
Buon Appetito!!
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