Thursday 4 September 2014

Mediterranean Cous Cous

Mediterranean Cous Cous.

I was thinking about a flavoursome cous cous for The Great Australian BBQ, when my Mum-in-law told me about these ingredients my nieces used.

Semi-dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives & Lemon Juice. I decided to try this & to my delight the Cous Cous was delicious
1 cup of cous cous
100 gr semi-dried tomatoes
100 gr Kalamata olives
1 lemon
1 cup water

Step #1. Prepare all ingredients 
I use scissors to chop semi-dried tomatoes, not 'cos I'm a hairdresser, because it's easier. Slice Olives & squeeze lemon.

Step #2. Boil 1 cup water & pour it into 1 cup of cous cous, stirring then cover. Stand for 2-3 mins until the water is absorbed & cous cous is tender.Stir at this point so it doesn't form in lumps. 

Step #3. Mix in Olives & Tomatoes, then the Lemon Juice. I garnished the dish with a strip of lemon.

When I cooked this in the competition, the semi-dried tomatoes coloured the cous cous red. In the competition due to a heat issue, the dish was a little soggy, as I added more water, but the one I prepared at home was perfect. The flavours in the cous cous were complimented though.  

Tip. Use the correct water ratio per cous cous.

Original Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

Original Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

I wondered, why my Italian friends cooked their pasta sauce for so many hours? Until I was visiting, and realised they were cooking a whole piece of meat. I always used mince, so now I tried using thick slices of Shin Beef & meat, to my surprise the meat shreds when it starts to fall apart, producing a beautiful tender sauce for pasta.

 Using Canned or Fresh Tomatoes
Slow cooking whole cuts of meat has become the trend now, with a massive swing towards barbecuing. Whether you use a slow cooker (in my day, it was called a crock-pot), bake in the oven, wrapped in foil or in a covered bbq or webber, the desired outcome of pulled, beef, pork, lamb or any other meat is tender, juicy & infused with the flavour of the herbs & spices you use. 

Enough Sauce to make Lasagnas  & Dinner

Every culture will infuse their recipe with the flavours of there province, passing down to the generations, so when emigrating they take the unique recipes with them. 

Asian Pork Ribs

Asian Pork Spare Ribs were marinated in Soy sauce, Honey, Ginger & Garlic.

My latest efforts cooking spaghetti sauce, have found me using more canned or fresh tomatoes, depending on the season & less tomato paste. The flavour is more natural but delicious. When I cook up a pot, I have enough sauce to make some lasagnas & lunches for the next day.

In this Pasta Sauce, I used 2 pieces of Shin Beef, 2 large onions, 6-8 cloves of Garlic, 2 large cans of Tomatoes, 1/2 cup of Tomato Paste, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 4 chicken & 4 beef stock cubes salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of sugar ( to balance the acidity)1/2 cup of wine, red or whites' fine, it depends on what you prefer to drink. 
Fry the onions & garlic in some butter, add meat, add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, stock cubes, soy sauce, sugar, Stir then add 2 cans of water. Check if sauce needs salt when it nearly ready. You can add some Italians herbs, depending on your families' taste. A little mixed herbs works, if I add basil I add it at the end of cooking or you lose the flavour of the basil.