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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Naked Shepherd's Pie - Pastel de papa

Layers of mashed potatoes and minced beef, baked in the oven - sort of a crustless Shepherd's Pie. Known in Spanish as Pastel de Papa.

6 medium potatoes, cooked and diced
1.5 kg minced beef
1 large onion
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 hard-boiled eggs
Grated cheese
Baharat spice mixture
Red pepper flakes (not very hot)
Vegetable oil

Medium pot
Pyrex baking dish
  1. Make mashed potatoes - mash the cooked potatoes with milk or butter, spice with salt and nutmeg.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a pot and fry the onions.
  3. When the onions begin to brown, add the chopped garlic and stir.
  4. Add the minced beef and stir until browned. Keep stirring to prevent chunks from forming.
  5. Spice with salt, baharat mixture, pepper flakes and ketchup.
  6. Take off the heat. Dice the eggs and add to the meat.
  7. Lightly oil a Pyrex baking dish.
  8. Spread a layer of mashed potatoes.
  9. Spread a layer of meat.
  10. Cover with more mashed potatoes
  11. Score the top layer with a fork and sprinkle with grated cheese.
  12. Bake in the oven under medium-high heat (250 deg C) for about 20 minutes, until the cheese browns.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken Fajitas

This quick and easy Mexican-style dish is versatile and fun to make.
This version uses mild seasoning, but feel free to add more spicy stuff if you like it hot.

Ingredients (makes 5 tortillas):
2 Chicken breasts
1 Large onion
2 Bell peppers
Lemon juice
Vegetable oil
Dry garlic flakes
Flour tortillas

Large frying pan

1. Slice the onion and peppers to strips
2. Slice the chicken breasts to strips
3. Put the chicken strips in a bowl and add the dry garlic, cumin, paprika and some lemon juice, stir and leave to marinate while the vegetables cook
4. fry the onion on a medium flame until it softens
5. add the pepper strips and stir, keep frying until the pepper softens a little, but still retains some crunchiness - we don't want a limp filling.
6. remove the vegetables from the pan and cook the chicken
7. warm up the tortillas from both sides and stuff them: put some vegetables in the middle, add some chicken and whatever additions you would like, such as sliced jalapenios, avocado, hot sauce etc.
8. fold up the bottom third of the tortilla, then fold the sides over each other

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rice and Lentil Majadara

this simple and filling dish is great as a side dish, or on its own.

2 cups long-grain white rice
3-4 medium onions, chopped
500 grams green lentils
4 cups of boiling water
sweet paprika
vegetable oil

A large pot

1. heat oil in the pot and fry the onions until soft.
2. add the paprika and cumin, then stir.
3. add the lentils (i use frozen, pre-cooked lentils. if using dry lentils, soak them overnight)
4. add the rice, and do not stir!
5. add 4 cups of boiling water, and cover the pot
6. let cook until all the water is absorbed (15-20) minutes
7. stir and serve with a dollop of plain yoghurt