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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Baked Cauliflower in white sauce

Ingredients: 1 medium sized cauliflower, 100 grams butter, white flour, milk, salt & pepper, nutmeg, grated cheese (mozzarela or parmesan)

Implements: medium sized pot, medium sized saucepan, Pyrex baking dish

Serves: 4

Time: 1 hour

1. Cut away the cauliflower's green stem and leaves, separate into flowers and boil in a pot of water with a pinch of salt. the cauliflower should be soft enough to eat but do not over cook.

2. On a small flame, melt butter and gradually add flour, a little at a time until all the melted butter is absorbed, stirring continuosly with a wooden spoon.
Start adding milk, a little at a time, while stirring. Do not allow chunks to form. Continue adding milk untill the dough turns into a smooth and thickened sauce. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste; remove from heat.

3. Drain cauliflower and arrange in a pyrex baking dish. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower, and add the grated cheese.

4. Bake in medium-hot oven untill cheese is toasted. Serve immediately.

Recommended drink: chilled dry white wine.

Eran's Drunk Beef Stew

One of Eran's recipes, rich and simple for wine lovers, with a rustic character. Takes a relatively long time to prepare, but there isn't much work. The most important thing is to buy a fresh cut of meat, and not a frozen one.
Spices can be varied, but the dominant flavor is the beef along with the port wine.

a large, thick-bottomed pot.
Serves: 6 hungry diners.
Time: 3-3.5 hours


quarter cup olive oil,
some flour,
2 kg veal shoulder pot roast - fresh,
6 peeled shallots,
about 600 grams fresh champignons,
4-5 small sweet potatos,
a bottle of dry red wine,
2 glasses of port - preferably a good one,
100 grams thick tomamto paste,
2.5 cups of beef stock,
3 tbsp sugar,
4 cloves of garlic,
2 tbsp salt,
1 tbsp black pepper,
a few grains of allspice,
5 bay leaves.

1. Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pot, flour the cut of beef lightly and brown on all sides in the pot. this will seal the meat and prevent its juices from escaping while cooking. Remove the meat and put to one side.

2. Peel the sweet potatos and shallots and cut them into large pieces, and fry lightly in the pot until lightly browned, then remove from the pot.

3. Add the beef stock, red wine and port, and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the tomato paste and sugar, stir and bring to a boil.

4. Add the meat and vegetables, garlic, mushrooms and spices and bring to a boil again. Lower the heat, and cook covered for 2-2.5 hours.
Recommended to serve with thick slices of fresh dark bread.
Recommended drink: dark ale or dry red wine.

Ground Beef Tacos

Ingredients: 500 grams ground beef, one large chopped onion, a few thinly chopped lettuce leaves, 1 can corn kernels, 12 taco shells, one cup sour cream (9 or 15% fat), sun-dried tomatos in olive oil, ketchup, a can of tomato sauce with some sweet chilli sauce added in, jalapeno pepper sauce, 300 grams chunk of cheddar cheese, for grating.

Implements: Medium-sized pot.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 minutes

1. Fry chopped onion in pot untill golden. add the ground beef and stir well to avoid chunks until browned. Add the corn, dried tomatos, ketchup, jalapeno sauce to taste, tomato and chilli sauce, and stir well.

2. Cover the pot and simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until the fluids evaporate. the filling should be relatively dry, to avoid it drippping out of the shells.

3. Half fill shells, add letuce and grated cheese, and serve with sour cream on the side.

Recommended drink: Your favorite lager. Miller, Corona, Carlsberg etc.

Beef Empanadas

Empanadas are one of Argentina's signature foods. They are based on a round flour base, or shell, and filled with various things, from beef to seafood, vegetables and fruit. Empanadas can be baked or fried. These are my personal favorites: Mom's Beef Empanadas.

Ingredients for 50 Empanadas: 50 Empanada bases, 1 kg ground beef, one large onion, one large red bell pepper, green olives without the stones, ketchup, salt, black pepper, ground red pepper, baharat (a mixture of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg).

Implements: Large, thick-bottomed pan.

Time: 1 hour

Serves: 5-7

1. Dice the pepper, onion and olives. Heat oil in a large pan and fry onion until golden. Add pepper and stir, leave for a couple of minutes, then add the ground beef. Stir well until all the beef is broken apart and make sure no chunks form.

2. Add ketchup and stir. Generously mix in the ground red pepper and baharat, then add the olives. Stir some more and leave for a few minutes on low heat. Optional: add some chopped hard-boiled eggs.

3. Let the filling cool before filling the shells. The empanada shells can be bought ready made and frozen (preferable) or prepared at home (too much work to my taste). Arrange the shells in rows on the work area, fill and close them by folding them in half and twisting the edge, then place on a baking tray.

4. Brush Empanadas with egg and put in a hot oven (250 degrees Celsius) for 15 minutes - until golden. Serve hot.

Recommended drink: a light beer or soft drinks.

Thai style stir fry with Baby Shrimps, and deep fried Calamary

Ingredients: 1 large onion, 2 large red or yellow bell peppers, 3 carrots, 120 grams champignon, 500 grams peeled baby shrimps, 500 grams calamari rings, egg noodles, some dry white wine, soy sauce, caramelized ginger.

Implements: Wok
Serves: 6
Time: 30 minutes

1. Prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain and put aside.

2. Dice the onion, carrots, peppers and mushrooms. Heat some oil in the wok and lightly fry the onion. Add the mushrooms and some salt, continue cooking until the mushrooms begin to release juices. Add the peppers and stir some more. Add the carrots, wine and baby shrimps. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the noodles, ginger and soy sauce and cook for 5 more minutes.

Bonus recipe:
Remember the calamari from the ingredients list? Here goes:

4. Rinse the calamari rings, dip in flour, add salt and throw in a deep fryer.

Chili Con Carne

a lovely Chili con Carne, good for a cold winter's day

Large pot
Time: 2 hours
Serves: 8

1 kg minced beef, 2 large onions, 500 grams dark beans, 4-7 fresh chilli peppers, 500 grams sweet corn kernels or baby corn (sliced), 400 grams thick tomato paste, chicken soup powder, salt, black pepper, oregano.

1. Check and wash beans. put in a medium-sized pot, cover in water and bring to a boil. then cook on a small flame for two hours.
(Alternatively, soak in water overnight, then bring to a boil).

2. Dice onions and peppers, and break apart the minced meat. Caution! do not touch eyes after handling the chili peppers.

3. Heat oil in the large pot, add onions and fry lightly until golden, then add the minced meat. Stir well until browned, and avoid forming chunks.

4. Add the beans, corn and peppers, and mix well. Add the tomato paste, a glass of water, then spices: 2-3 tablespoons of chicken soup powder, salt and pepper to taste, and generous amount of oregano.

5. Cook on small flame for two hours, stirring occasionally. if necessary add water. best served with nacho snacks, sour cream or natural yogurt.

Recommended drink: Ice cold beers. Lots of them!

what this page is about

Open Sauce is a blog about food and cooking, with simple recipes accompanied by pictures of me and my friends cooking them.