Meatballs with a Spicy Chilli Sauce

Similar to my other meatball recipe, I made this today but had a play with the sauce to spice it up using a Knorr Mixed Chilli Flavour pot.
2 medium Onions
3 cloves Garlic
Generous handful of fresh herbs (I used basil, sage, thyme, oregano & parsley)
2 eggs
100g Dried breadcrumbs
500g Minced Beef
Sauce
Small handful of fresh basil, sage & oregano
540g Passata sauce
1 medium Onion
4tbs tomato ketchup
1tbs Tomato purée
2tbs Cider vinegar
Knorr beef stock pot
Knorr mixed chilli flavour pot
Extra Virgin Olive oil

1. In a food processor, place the onions, garlic cloves, herbs and eggs.
2. Blitz until they form a thick, foamy paste.
3. In a large bowl, place your breadcrumbs and mince.
4. Pour your onion, garlic, herb and egg paste onto the mince and breadcrumbs and mix together thoroughly, using your hands.  Then wash your hands.
5. Without the need to wash the food processor bowl, add the sauce herbs, Passata and onion.  Blitz these together until they form a smooth sauce.
6. Pour your sauce ingredients into a large saucepan and add the ketchup, tomato purée and cider vinegar.
7. Mix the Knorr beef stock pot in 500ml boiling water until dissolved.
8. Add this to the sauce mixture with the Knorr mixed chilli flavour pot (I only used half of the chilli pot, but add more or less according to your own personal taste).
9. Bring the sauce ingredients to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
10. Roll your meatball mixture into small balls, about 2cm in diameter.
11. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and brown the meatballs all over.  It’s best to do these in batches so that they brown and don’t steam.
12. Transfer your browned meatballs to the sauce and shake the pan to coat.
13. Repeat until all of your meatballs are in your sauce mixture.  Try to avoid stirring the sauce so that you don’t break your meatballs up.
14. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add your chosen pasta shape. Return to the boil then simmer until cooked to your liking.
15. Drain the pasta and add to your serving bowl.  Spoon some meatballs and sauce over your pasta.
16. Serve with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.


Virtual Come Dine with Me with Russell Hobbs and Chicken Liver Pate

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I was invited to create and share the first course of a ‘Virtual Blogger Come Dine with Me’ event for Russell Hobbs using one of their exciting, newly launched, Illumina range of kitchen equipment.  I was sent the 3-in-1 Hand Blender with has an RRP of £49.99 to try out.  This is a sleek and stylish looking black and stainless steel gadget that packs a powerful 700w punch of power.  Add this a coloured illuminated ring with colour coded speeds which you choose and nothing can be simpler!  It includes the stick blender; great for purees, smoothies and shakes.  The whisk that you can whip up a decadent topping of cream for any dessert or your smoothies, for a (not so calorie free) treat.  The 1000ml beaker supplied is great to use with the stick blender to make your smoothies in, whilst the 750ml chopping bowl is perfect for breadcrumbs, herbs, vegetables and fruit.

Using this easy to create recipe for my Chicken Liver Pate, I’m kicking off this week’s cyber Come Dine with Me party.  I can’t wait for the main course that Carmela’s creating for you on Wednesday and of course, as every girl loves, the dessert which is being created by Julie on Friday!

4 Shallots
100g Butter, unsalted
1tsp Oregano
1tsp Sage
1tsp Thyme
400g Chicken livers
2tbs Madeira
Salt and Pepper to taste

Peel the shallots and cut in half.  Place in the hand chopping bowl and pulse on speed 3 (green – Purees/Chopping) until roughly chopped.

Wash and trim the livers then cut into evenly sized pieces.

Melt the butter in a non stick frying pan over a gentle heat and cook the shallots until transparent. Be careful not to burn the butter.

Add the herbs, livers and Madeira.

Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until cooked through.

Allow to cool for a few minutes then tip into the beaker.

Using the stick blender on speed 3 (green – Purees/Chopping) puree the pate until smooth.

Tip into an earthenware dish, decorate with fresh bay leaves and chill until cold and set.

Serve with crackers, a bit of fresh salad and some of my homemade Apple & Sultana Chutney with a Chilli Kick.

So, now you’ve seen what I started the meal with, please go and see what Carmela has cooked up for the main course for you on Wednesday.

The obvious beauty of a non-TV version of Come Dine with Me is that there’s no strangers sitting on my bed, opening my cupboards and looking through my drawers!

Thanks to Russell Hobbs for sending me the Illumina 3-in-1 Hand Blender to review and also for the Sainsbury’s shopping voucher to compensate for the time and ingredients for this event.

Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce

A favourite in our house that I’ve been making since my son was a baby 18 years ago. Over the years I’ve changed it slightly and added a little chilli to make it for a more grown up palette, but feel free to exclude the chilli (or even add a little more if you prefer).

500g Minced beef
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1tsp ground Garlic
1tsp dried Oregano
1tsp dried Mixed Herbs
1tsp Chilli powder
50g Breadcrumbs
1 Egg
2tbs Rapeseed oil
Sauce
1 Onion, roughly chopped
540g Passata sauce
2tbs Tomato purée
1tbs Balsamic vinegar
1tsp dried Oregano
1tsp dried Mixed Herbs
1tsp Sugar
1. In a blender, place your onion, Passata, tomato purée, balsamic vinegar, herbs & sugar.
2. Blitz all these together until smooth (alternatively you can put your sauce ingredients straight into your saucepan and use a stick blender).
3. Pour into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cover with the lid whilst you make your meatballs.

4. In a large bowl, place your minced beef, onion, garlic, herbs, chilli, breadcrumbs and egg.

 

 5. Mix together until thoroughly combined.

6. Form small balls (you should be able to get 30-40 out of this mixture).  I generally use a 15ml (tbs) measuring spoon to portion my mixture out before rolling them into balls and setting to one side.

7. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry your meatballs in batches of 8-10 until browned all over.  Don’t add too many into the pan or they’ll steam rather than brown.

8. Tip your browned meatballs into the sauce and gently shake the pan to submerge them.

9. Continue to fry the batches of meatballs until they’re all browned and you’ve transferred them all into the sauce.
10. Simmer the sauce and meatballs, without the lid on, for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.  Try not to stir the meatballs as it may break them up, instead give the saucepan a shake every so often.

11. While your meatballs are cooking, you have time to bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook your spaghetti until ‘al dente’, then drain.

12. Serve the meatballs on a bed of spaghetti, sprinkled win some freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano.

FREEZE: Once cooked, you can cool & freeze the sauce and meatballs for up to 3 months.  Allow to thoroughly defrost and then heat through gently in a saucepan until hot.  Serve with fresh pasta.

This is the perfect recipe to double up for another day’s easy meal.